As we hit the home stretch, the Twins are in the position to grab two players for free who can help them, one for the rest of this year, one for the future.
A couple days ago, the Rockies DFAed Matt Murton to make room on the 40 man roster for Juan Rincon (remember him?). Murton has a career AAA line of .312/.388/.469, and he is average defensively. Granted he can only play in a corner, but I’d absolutely rather run him out there than Delmon Young. From 2006-2008 Murton has a .827 OPS against lefties, proving he could be a viable platoon partner to Jason Kubel. His OPS has been .200 points higher after the all-star game than it was before it in those seasons as well. Murton would be a better defender and hitter than Young, but because of the Young-Garza trade, I doubt Bill Smith would want to take a chance on Murton and admit his mistake in trading away Garza.
Secondly, the Red Sox recently released Brad Penny. Penny isn’t fantastic, especially when you look at his traditional numbers, but his peripherals aren’t terrible. He strikes out roughly twice as many people he walks, doesn’t give up a ton of homers, and his fly ball tendencies would play well on days when Carlos Gomez is patrolling center field. Penny has a 4.48 FIP this year, and is projected to get better for the last month, with Zips projecting a 4.44 mark. There are some very valid concerns about how he would fit in with the Twins, but seeing as the difference between him and Armando Gabino (or Anthony Swarzak) could be a playoff spot, he’s worth a pickup.