Another Day, Another Move
It has been a busy week for the Twins; they've signed Craig Monroe, let Jason Tyner go, offered contracts to five players, signed Adam Everett to play shortstop and now today they have signed Mike Lamb to a two-year deal (presumably to be their starting third baseman).
Adam Everett was signed much more for his defense than offense, and Bill Smith even came right out and said that the Twins were willing to sacrifice some offense at one position in order to get some leadership and good defense at one of the most critical infield spots..
Mike Lamb is also from Houston, and is basically the opposite of Everett. He is not anything special in the field, and is definitely not considered one of the top defensive players at his position. But, he has a much better bat, something the Twins have longed for at the third base position.
Last season, Lamb played in 124 games, and racked up 311 at-bats. Simply looking at his numbers might make it look like a poor signing. In those games and at-bats, Lamb hit .289 to go along with 11 homeruns and 40 runs batted in.
Comparing those numbers to Punto, the better player by far is Lamb, no question. Plus, Punto batted 161 times more than Lamb, and if you give him in the range of 100-200 more at-bats next season, there is a good chance that he'll hit for a pretty good average and somewhere near 20 homeruns and 60-80 runs batted in.
It'll take some time to see if this is a good move for the team, but in just three days, the look of this team has taken a turn. We now have two possible designated hitters, a starting shortstop, a starting third baseman, and a better idea of what the plan is for the 2008 season.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and it'll be interesting to see if these signings influence the decision on Johan Santana. Will the Twins use these signings and keep Santana, or will they still trade Santana to fill their other needs?
Only time will tell...