The Minnesota Twins haven’t been extremely active this offseason when it comes to signing free agents, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, they have signed both Ervin Santana and Torii Hunter, but in the context of many other franchises, those two deals aren’t much. Minnesota has done just about enough for the organization to move forward, but there still seems to be one glaring deficiency; outfield defense.
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Heading into the free agency period, the Twins two biggest needs were in the outfield and starting rotation. Regarding the outfield, there is already a crop of guys that can hit and stand in the grass, but the Twins needed players that could field the position. With a struggling pitching staff and the large area to cover at Target Field, speed and defensive acumen was going to be the focus for left field.
Then the Twins signed Torii Hunter.
Not only does Hunter not fit the bill, he actually may make things worse. Torii is no longer a defensive asset on his own, and moving Oswaldo Arcia into left field could prove to be quite the debacle. With both corner outfielders profiling more as hitting assets than fielding, Twins pitchers will need to hope for plenty of balls hit to Aaron Hicks or whomever the Twins have playing center fielder.
That brings us to the discussion point, is there still a need for the Twins to address in one of the corner outfield spots?
As it stands today, I see the Twins carrying Arcia, Hunter, and Hicks as their starting outfielders. Jordan Schafer will likely be the fourth outfielder, and can definitely be a defensive replacement late in games. That being said, he has typically played center field. Should Minnesota look at other options?
If the Twins feel like addressing the defensive deficiency in their outfield, it could happen by way of a trade. Two potential candidates both currently play in National League stadiums. Both the Cardinals Peter Bourjos and the Padres Cameron Maybin have become expendable assets. The Padres have an over crowded outfield, and the Cardinals may see Bourjos as the odd man out.
Looking at what both Bourjos and Maybin bring to the table, I wouldn’t expect either to command much more than a low to mid level prospect. Minnesota could address an issue without sacrificing much of the future to do so. Maybin has consistently been injured and may benefit from a change of scenery. His speed is well noted, and he can be respectable at the plater. Bourjos is less of a hitter, but is a very well respected outfield option and could immediately help the Twins.
Considering that nothing has gained traction to this point, I would guess the Twins are comfortable without making a move. I would hope that reconsideration may take place as an outfield sporting Hunter and Arcia on the corners doesn’t calm my nerves.
This should be a situation to monitor into spring training.
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