Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who's at third? I don't know

In the five seasons since Corey Koskie departed to explore free agency and the wonders of post-concussion syndrome, the Twins have deployed 17 players at third base.

The instability is not yet over; Matt Tolbert finished 2009 as the incumbent, but during the winter meetings Ron Gardenhire indicated that if the Twins open with their current set of players, Brendan Harris would probably have the job.

The roster, however, is not set, and the Twins are believed to be hoping to snag a veteran to round out their infield. They have Justin Morneau at first, J.J. Hardy at short, and Nick Punto at either second or third.

Earlier this month I listed eight free agents (not including Joe Crede) to whom I could imagine the Twins making offers. Of those eight, two — Placido Polanco and Pedro Feliz — have signed, and a third — Mark DeRosa (above) — is apparently about to complete the details of a deal with San Francisco. That still leaves a fairly sizable crop of free agents sitting out there as we approach the new year.

Patience may yet pay off.

Oh, the 17? Alphabetically: Tony Batista, Brian Buscher, Juan Castro, Jeff Cirillo, Howie Clark, Joe Crede, Michael Cuddyer, Brendan Harris, Mike Lamb, Matt Macri, Nick Punto, Luis Rodriguez, Michael Ryan (for just one inning), Terry Tiffee, Matt Tolbert, Tommy Watkins and Glenn Williams. (List complied through Baseball Reference.com)

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