You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
This is the time of year when, like it or not, there’s a lot of discussion going on about who will or will not be wearing a Twins uniform a week or two… or a month or two… from now.
The reality is, when your favorite Major League Baseball team is not a contender in July, there will almost certainly be changes made. Maybe you’ll see a managerial change. You will see player changes.
Fans will be saying “hello” to some new faces… and they’ll be saying “good-bye” to some favorite familiar faces. That’s baseball, especially when your team is in the middle of its third consecutive losing season.
Let’s try to make a few predictions concerning who we’ll be saying “good-bye” to.
The easiest off-season prediction to make relative to the Twins was that manager Ron Gardenhire’s job status would be a hot topic by the end of July. Gardenhire’s Twins have lost almost 100 games in each of the past two seasons and it would seem almost inevitable that the total will be at least 90 losses in 2013.
That was predictable. Since the losing season was predictable, so was Gardenhire’s hot seat.
Of course, the reason the losing season was predictable is that the roster that General Manager Terry Ryan and the rest of the front office assembled for Gardenhire before the season started was underwhelming.
I’ve never been overly impressed with Gardenhire’s game management philosophies, but I also believe that the job of a manager is a lot more about managing the clubhouse than managing individual games.
A manager is only as good as the players he’s given to work with and I think pretty much everyone, including his boss, now knows Gardenhire was dealt a pretty lousy hand this season.
If the manager has lost the clubhouse… if the players have tuned him out and no longer respect his voice… then he should be replaced. I’ve not heard nor read any indication that such is the case, however.
Given that, I not only expect Gardenhire to remain the Twins manager through the end of this season, but also to be brought back for 2014 and beyond.
There are plenty of other possible changes to the Twins worthy of discussion that are far more likely to take place, however.
This time of year, trades are at the top of the list of discussion topics.
A year ago, I published my list of top five most likely Twins to be dealt before the end of August. At that time, the list was, in order from first to fifth, Franicisco Liriano, Denard Span, Danny Valencia, Alexi Casilla and Josh Willingham.
In a poll we attached to that article, our readers agreed with my top three choices, but felt Matt Capps was more likely to be traded during the season than Casilla and Willingham. In fact, almost nobody agreed with me on Willingham being a trade target.
In the end, the Twins had almost nobody that anyone really wanted to trade for a year ago. Liriano and Valencia were traded during the season, Span was dealt in the off-season and Casilla parted after the season, as well.
The Twins are sellers this year, once again, but is Ryan likely to see any greater interest among his fellow GMs than he did a year ago?
I’m not sure Ryan will trade more than just a couple of players, again, but the level of interest… and thus the ultimate return for those players… should be greater this season.
Here’s my list of the five Twins players most likely to be wearing another team’s uniform by the end of August this year:
- Justin Morneau: He’s in the last year of his contract with Minnesota and there reportedly are teams calling about him. He’s not going to bring the return he would have if he were his old home run hitting self, but if the Twins will pay a chunk of his remaining salary (and there’s absolutely no reason they shouldn’t), there are contenders that may be willing to give up a prospect with some talent. If they end up just giving Morneau away as a salary dump, Twins fans should justifiably be enraged.
- Jared Burton: He’s had a few struggles and hasn’t been as reliable as he was a year ago, but there are a lot of teams that could use relief pitching and Burton is likely drawing interest.
- Ryan Doumit: The Twins like his versatility. Other teams will like that, too.
- Glen Perkins: If it were me, I wouldn’t trade Perkins unless someone agreed to way overpay for a “proven closer.” Unfortunately for the Twins, most teams (other than the Twins themselves, historically) are not inclined to overpay for a proven closer. If you want an indication of whether Terry Ryan believes the Twins can contend next year or whether it will be at least 2015, watch what he does with Perkins. If he’s traded, it may indicate Ryan expects the All-Star Game to be the biggest Target Field highlight of 2014.
- Trevor Plouffe: Is Terry Ryan ready to annoint Miguel Sano as the Twins’ starting third baseman beginning in 2014? If so, Trevor Plouffe could be dealt.
Others: Could Kevin Correia or Mike Pelfrey be traded? Maybe, but I think not.
Pelfrey is pitching better and if that continues, he may have some value, but he’s making little enough that if he isn’t dealt in July, he could be “blocked” by teams claiming him to prevent a waiver trade in August. I also could see the Twins extend Pelfrey for another season before this summer is over.
I think Ryan feels vindicated by Correia’s season and intends to keep him for the second year of his contract.
What do you think?
Who do you think will no longer be wearing a Twins uniform by the end of August? Let us know in the poll below. We’ll add Ron Gardenhire to the list to choose from in the poll so if you really believe he’s likely to be axed this summer, you can reflect that in your choices.
Who do you feel is MOST likely to NOT be wearing a Twins uniform by the end of August? (Choose up to 5)
- Justin Morneau (69%, 25 Votes)
- Jamey Carroll (53%, 19 Votes)
- Jared Burton (47%, 17 Votes)
- Brian Duensing (31%, 11 Votes)
- Ryan Doumit (28%, 10 Votes)
- Glen Perkins (22%, 8 Votes)
- Mike Pelfrey (19%, 7 Votes)
- Trevor Plouffe (17%, 6 Votes)
- Casey Fien (14%, 5 Votes)
- Kevin Correia (14%, 5 Votes)
- Scott Diamond (8%, 3 Votes)
- Ron Gardenhire (3%, 1 Votes)
- Joe Mauer (3%, 1 Votes)
- Josh Willingham (3%, 1 Votes)
- Aaron Hicks (0%, 0 Votes)
- Chris Parmelee (0%, 0 Votes)
- Brian Dozier (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 36