The Twins have made some exciting moves in the off season, but one glaring spot on the field has yet to be addressed in the minds of Twins fans… third base.
The Twins have used 17 different players at the corner position since Corey Koskie left after the 2004 season.
The faithful who are happy to go into next season with Brendan Harris, Nick Punto or even Joe Crede will argue that the Twins have already made enough changes to get them to the next level of the playoffs. But have they really done enough so far to compete with teams like the Angels, the Red Sox and even the dreaded Yankees?
There have been many third basemen on our wish list of players, but the list is starting to dwindle down to less then a handful of viable options. Players who we thought might be good fits in Minneapolis/St. Paul such as Pedro Feliz and Garrett Atkins moving on to other teams.
Who is likely out
Adrián Beltré is one player many would have liked to have seen in a Twins uniform last year. Now with Chone Figgins going to Seattle, the third baseman is sure to be moving to a new team, but his asking price is putting him out of the reaches of even teams like the Boston Red Sox. Although we would like to see the Twins pick up a quality third baseman, Beltré price tag is likely going to keep him from wearing a Twins uniform in 2010.
Mark DeRosa is another player the Twins are familiar with and has been mentioned. The Cardinal third baseman is reportedly asking for some serious compensation as well and if what we hear is true about his asking price ($24-27MM for 3 years), we can definitely agree with the Twins passing on him.
Who is left
Kevin Kouzmanoff is a player we definitely would like to see next year. The young Padre third baseman has a great glove and some power behind the plate. The Padres have been rumored to want to move him to a few teams with the Twins being one of them. The Twins have offered pitcher Glen Perkins who the Padres believe could be in the middle of their rotation, but rumor is that the Padres want more. We have discussed this here and wouldn’t mind the Twins sending a package deal with Perkins. The Padres have some young outfielders, so we are not sure if they would be interested in someone like Ben Revere, but he would be someone we could dangle.
Juan Uribe is another corner man that the Twins have expressed interest in. The current Giant has a small price tag, but when we think of Juan Uribe, we think about the 8th inning error that broke up Jonathan Sánchez’s perfect game. That play shouldn’t define him, but that is the first thing we think of when you bring up his name.
Joe Crede is the last man on our list. The 3rd baseman is coming off yet another back surgery and says he is healthy. Chances are he would be willing to sign another incentive base contract, but it is obvious he is not the player he once was with the Whtie Sox. There is a good chance that getting out of the Metrodome will help ease any back problems, but we like to think of him as a worst case scenario option.
The fact is that the Twins have a possible all start third basement in Rochester, but it isn’t likely we will know what his true potential is until 2011. Danny Valencia has been touted as the biggest prospects for the Twins, but his development has been slow and there is no indication that the Twins want to bring him up any time soon.
Signing Kouzmanoff would be a treat for Twins fans as it would give them a young powerful third baseman with a glove.