October 10, 2007

Position Questions: Centerfield

With two positions now being covered -- second base and third base, it's time to move on to another possible hole for the Minnesota Twins this off-season. It is a "possible" hole because there is a chance that the Twins could retain their star centerfielder Torii Hunter, but the chances of him walking via free agency might be just as good.

If the Twins can sign Hunter, it will cost them a lot more money than a free agent might, but it would do a tremendous amount for them as well. First of all, they'd be getting a better player than they might find in free agency. Secondly, they'd keep the identity of their team in tact, and players like Morneau and Santana happy. And finally, they'd know what to expect from the centerfield position going into the season.

If Hunter does walk, it'll be interesting to see what happens. There currently isn't anybody on their major league roster to fill the spot, and the closest person in the minors is Denard Span, who still needs more work.

Lets give it a look...

The Question
Who will play centerfield next season?

What will most likely happen
There are two things that could happen, and from what we know right now, it is still about 50-50 on which one we will be dealing with.

The first thing, and the easiest thing for the Twins would be that we sign Hunter to a multi-year deal, and don't have to worry about what we'll be getting from our guy in center next season, or for that matter who we'll sign.

The second thing would be to lose Hunter is free agency, and be forced to sign someone else or make a trade. This will take a lot longer, and even if we do find someone, they'll be compared to Hunter, and will fall short because by no means will the player we find be an All-Star.

As far as anybody within the organization filling the hole, that is not an option.

The Candidates
Much like the the third base debacle, there are so many people in free agency that could be signed, and it'd be nearly impossible to predict what might happen.

Some of the key centerfield free agents include Mike Cameron, Andruw Jones, Kenny Lofton, Corey Patterson, Alexei Ramirez, Aaron Rowand, Jeff DaVanon and Darin Erstad.

Now, Jones probably doesn't have a very good chance of being signed. After that, I'm most intrigued by Aaron Rowand and Alexei Ramirez.

Rowand, has put up pretty consistent numbers, and is a veteran who we'd pretty much know what to expect from. Ramirez, I think is intriguing to me because he will be coming over from Cuba. Not only are Cuban players normally pretty good, but it'd be interesting to see the Twins look at someone like this.

Possible Trades
In the comments section for the third base position, someone mentioned Coco Crisp, and pointed out that the Red Sox may be willing to part with him to get Jacoby Ellsbury into their everyday lineup.

Personally, that would be a better option for me than any of the free agents that we might have a shot at. Much like Rowand, we'd know what to expect from him, and he is a pretty good fielder.

Other than Crisp, possible candidates might be Elijah Dukes or Brad Wilkerson.

Your Thoughts
Go to these links below, and share your thoughts on players you think the Twins might go after via trade or free agency. Feel free to also share players you want...

CF Free Agents

Possible CF Available

Next Edition
In the next edition, we'll go over the designated hitter position. Will Barry Bonds be a candidate for the Twins? Who else might they consider?