Monday, February 1, 2010

Orlando Cabrera and other roster issues

Orlando Cabrera has reportedly reached an agreement with the Cincinnati Reds, pending physical and other formalities.

Ron Gardenhire, even after the Twins traded for J.J. Hardy, talked about wanting to keep Cabrera to play second base. From this distance, it's unclear if Cabrera didn't like that idea or if other people in the Twins organization didn't like that idea. At any rate, Cabrera and his diminishing range will be deployed at short again this year, just not in Minnesota.

All this further drives down the possibility of adding another veteran infielder. Reports out of TwinsFest this weekend downplayed the Joe Crede notion, and I had already written off the notion of a third base acquisition anyway because of the pinch-hitting implications.

Orlando Hudson might still be a possibility, but one must remember — he lost his job in L.A. to Ronnie Belliard last summer.


When the Jim Thome signing is finalized — he was supposed to have a physical while in town for TwinsFest — somebody will have to come off the 40-man roster. That should happen in the next day or so.

While I still expect Glen Perkins to be traded, it now appears that won't happen until he's demonstrated in exhibition games that his shoulder is sound. And for that matter, one never knows that injuries will pop up among the Twins pitchers. They may still need Perkins.

Alexi Casilla had a good playoff series in the Dominican this winter, and unless the Twins do bring in a veteran infielder, he's in the mix for a lineup spot. He and Matt Tolbert are both out of options, and it's difficult to see both of them making the 25-man roster.

LaVelle Neal suggested that the Twins could carry them both over Jason Pridie, but I believe the only way that's happening if if Gardenhire is comfortable with the notion of playing one of the infielders in center for three or four days if and when Denard Span gets one of those day-to-day nagging injuries that don't merit putting him on the disabled list.

Yeah, Michael Cuddyer played some center last season, but that was in Wrigley Field, the smallest center field area in the majors. In normal parks, Cuddyer in center is an invitation to triples.

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