Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Second Base Solution

I was originally planning on writing this for Wednesday's piece, but with the news on Tuesday that Akinori Iwamura was on his way out of Tampa Bay alot of speculation seemed to be around the Twins acquiring him. Therefore I waited until I knew where he was going, because if the Twins did indeed acquire him they would have no need to find a second baseman. Unfortunately, the speculation was incorrect as Iwamura was sent packing to Pittsburgh for a run-of-the-mill middle reliever, and it appears the Twins again missed out on a golden opportunity to upgrade one of their biggest weaknesses without giving up a lot of value.

That said, I think the Twins apparent unwillingness to acquire Iwamura is the clearest sign yet that the Twins payroll will be closer to $80 million than the $90-$100 million some people are projecting. If the team indeed was willing to move their payroll into the mid 90-millions, adding Iwamura's $5 million salary for 1-year wouldn't be a big deal. However, with a payroll closer to $82 million, that $5 million could potentially net them a 3B on an incentive-laden deal and an older, slightly less productive 2B than Iwamura. Is that possible? I was going to breakdown the 2B Options, but Aaron Gleeman did that a few days ago with literally exactly the same players I planned on breaking down. He also described them in much more detail than I could have, so if for some reason you are reading this but don't read AG, follow the link to see the potential 2B upgrades the Twins should be going after. Of course, Iwamura is out of the picture now.

Tomorrow, I'll look at the potential shortstop upgrades, with a few different ideas than Gleeman had on his blog today. Check back tomorrow, feel free to post your opinions on how to upgrade 2B in the comments.