If you haven\’t yet heard, the darling little spendthrifts of the Junior Circuit, your Minnesota Twins, have signed Nick Punto to a two year deal (with an option for a third). I have mixed feelings on this deal, although my overall take is a positive one. Let\’s run through a few talking points, just for fun:
Point #1: It could have been much, much worse. Seriously. Each and every Jack Wilson trade rumor that I read took a year off my life. If I only make it to 58, you\’ll know why. I\’m not at this moment being asked to be excited about the signing of Casey Blake, or Orlando Cabrera, or any other number of crappy veteran options the Twins have tended to sign (I could whip up a list, but it\’d just depress me). Instead, I\’m merely being asked to accept that the Twins have re-signed Nick Punto. I\’m ok with that.
Point #2: Nick Punto is the devil we know. I think there\’s something to this. We know who Nick Punto is, and what he can do. We know that if he can\’t cut it as the starting SS, that he can still serve a valuable role as a utility man, and we know that he will accept that role if Ron Gardenhire asks it of him. Moreover, we won\’t have unrealistic expectations that we\’ll talk ourselves into believing before Spring Training. We know what Nick Punto can do when he\’s right, and if he does that, we\’ve got a pretty solid SS. That\’s all right.
So having listed some positives, I\’d like exercise my right to complain. I know that there are still some impact players out there for the taking. I know that the Twins have payroll flexibility to spend big on one player. I want to see this happen. I\’m not locked into any particular player. Buy some Rafael Furcal, and move Punto to third base. Trade for some Brian Roberts, move Casilla to SS, and Punto to third. Back up a dump truck full of cash to Mark Teixiera\’s house to split 1B/DH with Morneau, and put Cuddyer at third base. Anything. Anything to truly build some excitement amongst the fan base, and prove that Uncle Carls pockets aren\’t sewn shut after all. Because right now I\’m actually pleased that the Twins have signed Nick Punto instead of some other old, crappy player. And that\’s fairly sad.