Possible Free Agents: Second or Third Baseman?
*Note: This article was previously published on my old blog.
There are only six weeks left until the Twins pitchers and catchers report. After the Hardy/Gomez trade there hasn’t been a move to fill second or third base. Nick Punto can fill either of the two spots, so only one free agent is needed, but two would be ideal.
Second basemen Ronnie Belliard, Jerry Harriston Jr., Orlando Hudson, Adam Kennedy, Felipe Lopez, Mark Loretta, and Pablo Ozuna remain unsigned. Third baseman Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Joe Crede, Nomar Garciaparra, Melvin Mora, Robb Quinlan, and Miguel Tejada also do not have contracts.
Mark Loretta, Pablo Ozuna, Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, and Robb Quinlan really don’t bring anything valuable to the table. It is also unlikely that the Twins sign Belliard, Harriston, Garciaparra, and Tejada. That leaves us with Hudson, Kennedy, Lopez, Crede, and Mora.
The Twins lineup should look like this.
1. CF Span
2. 2B/3B Free Agent/SS Hardy
3. C Mauer
4. 1B Morneau
5. RF Cuddyer
6. DH Kubel
7. SS Hardy/ Free Agent
8. LF Young
9. 2B/3B Punto
Hardy is not really the OBP guy needed in front of Mauer, so the free agent needs to have a decent OBP. Crede and Mora do not have a good OBP, so that leaves Hudson, Lopez, and Kennedy.
As those three are all second baseman, the free agent signing needed really needs to be a second baseman, and it should be Hudson or Lopez. Kennedy would be a decent fallback option, but as Hudson and Lopez are not signed and won’t cost a free agent pick, one of them should be signed.
Now we have to ask, why have the Twins only pursued third baseman so far this year? It really doesn’t fit what the team needs.