November 15, 2007

Monroe a Twin, For Now

Yesterday, the Twins made a low-risk deal to acquire a right handed bat for next season. Monroe has always hit well in the Dome, and other than this past season, has been a very good player.

The surprising part of the deal was that Monroe was expected to be non-tendered by the Cubs on December 1st, and had the Twins waited, they could have kept their player to be named, and just signed him to a deal less that the nearly 5 million dollars that he will make over the course of the the 2008 season.

However, according to a report, the Twins plan on non-tendering Monroe at that deadline if he doesn't agree to a lower contract.

The move for the Twins, was simply to get them exclusive negotiating with Monroe. If the Twins can't get a deal done, they'll simply let him go, and the deal made with the Cubs, calls for the Twins to send them a player only if Monroe remains with the team.

So, while the Twins did get a pretty good bat (if he gets on track), they also made a pretty smart move here. They aren't going to waste 5 million dollars on a chance, and they also made a nice decision to try and get him at a lower cost and get a chance to talk with him exclusively.

Hunter Says No
After the move was made yesterday, there were a number of people wondering whether the Twins made the move because they thought the fact that Monroe and Hunter are very close friends would lure Hunter in.

Bill Smith didn't sound like that was the reason, but said that if that is what the deal does, great.

"Without Craig Monroe we would like to have Torii back and with or without Torii we're glad to have Craig Monroe. If it's a package, great."
On the other hand, Torii said that the Twins made a nice move with this trade, but also said that it'll depend on much more.
"Trading for Craig is not going to get me back there. It looks good, I can
tell you that. But that's not all of it. Can you guarantee that Johan is going
to be back? Joe Nathan? There's other stuff right now. But it's open. It's time
to talk."