Thursday, December 22, 2005

Twins "nab" White

In a move that does absolutely nothing for me, the Twins signed journeyman free agent Rondell White. According to KFAN, who spoke to Twins GM Terry Ryan, this signing officially ends the club's pursuit of free agent sluggers Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas, as White will become the everyday DH.

I'm sorry, but I can't look at this move and get excited about what he brings to our lineup in the DH spot. He's never hit 30 HRs (He's only hit more than 20 twice in 12 seasons), never had more than 82 RBI (his next highest season total is 67!!!), and he's had a hard time staying healthy his entire career. This is your new DH Minnesota.

I have liked how Terry Ryan has run this team in years passed, but when Ryan comes out and says that the Twins needed to sign "two professional hitters" this offseason, it makes me wonder. Which of the three guys we gotten this offseason would fit in to that role. Batista is a professional hitter, but that would be professional in Japan, not MLB. Castillo is a decent hitter, although I think he was signed for his defense than his bat. And now Rondell White who's managed to string out a 12 year career by posting mediocre numbers and a nose for finding the DL.

I've tried hard to look at Ryan's situation with sympathy. Mike has put me in my place many many times after I've taken Terry downtown. The realities of the situation are that the Twins have to compete with the likes of Boston, New York, and now the White Sox for free agents and with how skewed MLB is these days it's very hard to be competitive with a $60 million budget. But, there comes a point in time when the system won't work well enough to be a winner within the division. Chicago is setting themselves up for many more years and Cleveland is in the process of doing so as well. Okay fine, keep the pitchers, but at some point you have to look at trying to unload in an effort to build for the future using FA, not just the draft. Hunter is due $13 million next year. Unless he has an absolutely monster year (30 plus HR, and 100 plus RBI and not just another Gold Glove), there's no way I can justify paying him that, knowing many others who put up superior numbers could be had for that amount if not less.

I'll try to be optimistic, but until these new guys show me they're the game-changing players Ryan promised us in October, I'll be very skeptical of this teams ability to compete for the AL Central title.