January 26, 2008

Building The Future

With the moves that rookie general manager Bill Smith has made thus far, the Twins have begun to solidify the future of the team. Smith started his tenure with a bold move, trading away prized pitching prospect Matt Garza for a very much needed bat in Delmon Young. The move woke up many Twins fans, and since that moment, the off-season hasn't slowed down one bit.

Shortly after Smith's first move, the Twins signed Adam Everett to replace Jason Bartlett at short. This particular move might not affect the future of the club, but it was a nice signing to bring in some veteran leadership and great defense at one of the most important positions on the field.

The next day, Smith filled the hole at third that has been pretty much empty since the departure of Koskie just a few years ago. The signing of Lamb could actually play out well into the future. With the third year option, Lamb has the chance of playing in a Twins uniform when the park opens in 2010, a very pivotal year.

With all of these moves made, Smith still had a lot of work to do. Fans couldn't be satisfied with guys like Santana, Morneau and Cuddyer all going year to year with contracts. Smith and company took care of two-thirds of their remaining problems Friday afternoon with the huge signings of former MVP Justin Morneau, and the highly overlooked right fielder Michael Cuddyer.

Morneau's deal calls for six seasons, which if my math is right will lock him up through the 2014 season. This puts Morneau in a Twins uniform for a good chunk of time after the new ballpark, and this if definitely a good move.

Cuddyer's deal calls for three seasons, and if the production is there, an option is in the contract for a fourth season also. Overall, without the option added in, Cuddyer is set to make $24 million over the period of the contract.

With Morneau earning $80 million and Cuddyer $24 million, this does up the Twins payroll, but with times changing, and a new ballpark on the way, the Twins can definitely afford to do it.

With all of the moves made so far, Smith is off to a great start as the general manager of the Twins. But with that one huge move still lingering, people won't be happy. And that one move, could easily push Smith forward as a fan favorite or back if the deal isn't right.