The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Ed Thoma

June 24, 2013

Thoma column: Trade season a time to set up the future

July is, in baseball terms, the month of rumors, trade talks and decisions.

The Twins’ decisions — not just during the next five weeks but next offseason as well — ought to be based on this reality: The major-league roster is about to undergo a significant transition. By the end of the 2014 season, the lineup will be built around Joe Mauer and a collection of youngsters, most of whom are now in the minors.

The current lineup is built around Mauer and a collection of 30-somethings: Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit.

The first wave of that transition — outfielder Oswaldo Arcia — is already making a place for himself in the major-league lineup. Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson may come soon. The next wave — third baseman Miguel Sano, second baseman Eddie Rosario, starter Alex Meyer, possibly center fielder Byron Buxton — figure to show up sometime in 2014.

This is some high-level talent marinating in the minors, and the challenge for the organization is to have the flexibility to give those players the opportunities when they’re deemed ready — and to have the right role players around them.

Here are three questions the Twins might do well to answer for themselves before they make July moves:

Who’s on first? Morneau, who has just three home runs on the season, is a free agent at season’s end. Chris Parmelee, his putative in-house successor, hasn’t hit enough to be a first baseman (or right fielder, where he’s spent most of the season).

Answer: I’m not convinced either will be the first baseman on the new-look Twins. I also doubt there will be much return for either in a trade next month. I think the Twins will keep both this month.

Which way with Plouffe? Trevor Plouffe is not good enough to keep Sano from taking the third-base job.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Ed Thoma
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Free Press news updates
Special Promotions
AP Video
Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Poll