Thursday Night, November 29, 2007
Just wanted to post a couple of quick thoughts.
First, a source close to the situation informed me that Trent Oeltjen has signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There, he will team up again with Alex Romero who was the guy that almost ended Oeltjenís career. During spring training, Oeltjen was watching Romero take batting practice when a piece of Romeroís broken back left the batting cage and hit Oeltjen right below his eye. It cost him half of the 2005 season. He rebounded very well and then had a great 2006 season at New Britain. In 2007, he was never really given a shot at Rochester. He was the leading hitter in the recent World Cup in Taiwan, and now he is a Diamondback. He got as high as #9 in my prospect lists in 2006.Trent did a Q&A for the site last October. Good luck.
I mentioned nine days ago when the Twins needed to finalize their 40 man roster, but it did happen. The Twins were able to sign RHP Brian Bass, and once that happened, they put him on the 40 man roster. I have heard great reports on what he did for Rochester in 2007 and he has done very well down in Venezuela this winter. This is a nice depth-signing for the Twins. The team also signed long-time veteran pitcher R.A. Dickey to a minor league deal, likely an arm for Rochester. He has had so many arm surgeries that he doesnít have much for cartilage remaining. Again, just some minor league depth.
Secondly, these rumors about the Red Sox leading the race for Johan Santana are interesting and yet, who knows what will happen. The report from the Pioneer Press says that the Twins would acquire CF Coco Crisp, SS Jed Lowrie, SP Jon Lester and SP Michael Bowden for the two-time Cy Young award winner. At first glance, this doesnít appear to be a bad deal at all. Crisp is a great defensive CF who would do a great job behind the Twins young pitchers. Secondly, he was a solid hitter with Cleveland. I remember when they played the Twins, the 3B always had to play about halfway up the 3B line, and he would still bunt for hits. He got away from that in Boston. Is he great? No. Is he solid, and fairly priced? Yes. Jed Lowrie is a 23 year old SS. He could play 2B down the road, but reports Iíve seen say that he can play a solid SS as well. Looking at some of his numbers, he appears to be quite similar to Dustin Pedroia. Good batting average. Very good on-base skills. A little pop in his bat, enough to think 15-20 home runs could be in his future. Jon Lester was the winning pitcher in the World Series ending Game 4 for the Red Sox. The lefty missed much of the 2006 season while going through chemotherapy. The Red Sox wisely were quite patient with him in 2007. He is ready, and he could be as good as a #2 type of pitcher. Michael Bowden, like Lowrie, was a supplemental 1st round pick in 2005. Bowden is a pitcher who was taken out of high school. He struck out more hitters that innings pitched at Hi-A this year before performing adequately in his time at AA. He is likely a year and a half or so away from the big leagues, but I do think he has a high-upside. So, you would think I would be touting this as a great deal. I canít do that when the Twins donít acquire either of their top two targets, CF Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Clay Buccholz. I think that they need to hold out for one of the two.
I still think that the Yankees have a shot as well, particularly if they were to make Robinson Cano available. I personally think that the Red Sox are primarily involved in the Santana Sweepstakes in an effort to increase how much the Yankees have to pay. By letting the media know that Buccholz or Ellsbury might be available, the goal would be to have the Yankees give up more.† Are there any other trade partners that you think the Twins should consider? Maybe Seattle (Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow)? Maybe St. Louis (they donít have the necessary package)? The Angels? (Aybar or Wood, Weaver, Saunders?), the Dodgers still (Kemp or Young, Billingley, Loney, LaRoche, Hu, Broxton or Meloan)? Who else?
Keep checking back from time to time. You never know when something new will be out here.. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.