WWTD …. What Would the Twins Do

June 14, 2007 |

This is a plausible question. If the Twins didn’t have Justin Morneau, do you think they would give any thought to trading for or signing Mark Teixera? We know the answer …. it’s “NOT A CHANCE.” Do you think the Twins could afford a marquee position player in Teixera’s forecasted price range? Probably …. but, other positions and needs would suffer, and this doesn’t gel with Minnesota’s formula for success.

Today’s argument is spirited by the notion the Orioles’ budgetary ties resemble the Twins, rather than the Yankees or Red Sox. I’m not saying the Orioles are forced to be as frugal or cost conscious as the Twins …. but, they are tight with the buck. And, if they followed the Twins path to success, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is either go “all out” in committing cash resources, like the Red Sox and Yankees or plan “sensibly” like the Twins, Indians and A’s. For the record, the Indians and A’s won’t be entertaining the prospect of Mark Teixera in their home uniforms, either. The Orioles, and a number of other “so-so” teams, seem to be doing neither (going “all out” or planning sensibly) …. and, this is the crux of their problem and short-term destiny.

Look at the Twins roster. Four positions in the starting lineup are manned by homegrown players. The pitching staff is compromised of homegrown talent and players picked up in sensible trades or signings. In fact, the Twins have probably stolen more good players than any team in baseball. With due respect to Tom Davis, baseball trades and drafts are not tied primarily to luck. To assert this belief only dooms the future of a franchise …. it’s an excuse and excuses are for losers.

Year after year, the Twins draft well and make damn good trades …. and this ain’t chalked up to being lucky. The Twins made a serious splash by trading A.J. Pierzynski to the Giants, for Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser. They traded a minor leaguer, named Jared Camp to the Marlins, for Johan Santana. They traded Eric Milton to the Phillies, for Nick Punto and Carlos Silva. They traded …. you get the picture, right?

Let’s be honest, frantically throwing money at a problem rarely works. And, trading for a hometown kid to appease the fan base is not a sure success, either …. just look at Eric Davis and Ken Griffey Jr. I’m not arguing that Mark Teixera isn’t a good ballplayer. However, I am alleging he’s not worth $15+ million, per year, for a half dozen seasons. Save this blog …. whoever gives Teixera that monster deal will live to regret the day they offered it. I guarantee this.

Bringing Mark Teixera to Baltimore would be extremely popular and could fill some seats, and could show a commitment to the fans, and could generate some short-term interest. Guess what …. if the team is hovering a few games below or above .500 when Ravens training camp opens, it won’t matter. Will it?

The Orioles need to be sensible in the coming 45 days. They need to make trades …. for “major league ready” players, not stars. They need to build some stability in the lineup – for future seasons. Adding Mark Teixera will only deter the inevitable process. I mentioned the Indians a couple paragraphs, ago. How good would Teixera look in that lineup? It won’t happen. The Indians have developed and stuck with a lasting formula – a formula that has reaped Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, C.C. Sabathia and others. A $15 million first baseman doesn’t fit the equation. Nor, should it.

Here’s something to consider …. if the Twins, A’s or Indians were in the Orioles situation and Miguel Tejada was their shortstop, do you think they would trade him by July 31st? They absolutely would …. for top-level minor leaguers, with major league promise. Trade today for tomorrow.

The bottom line is this whole Mark Teixera “pipedream” is pulling at everyone’s heart. You know what they say about thinking with the heart, right? If the O’s wanna make the right decision on this topic and others, they should just ask themselves …. what would the Twins do?

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