The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

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
Sports
Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Control Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Jack White's Cub Face Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eli, Giants learning new offense How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Boy With Life-Threatening Tumor Gets Wish To Visit PNC Park, Meet Cutch Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX James Rodriguez Joins Real Madrid Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Morosi: Lee could be a tough sell Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits English Captain Steven Gerrard Retires From International Soccer - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th 105-year-old woman throws first pitch