Thursday, May 8, 2014

These expensive reunions

Brooks Raley, we
hardly knew ye.
To make room for Matt Guerrier on the 40-man roster, the Twins waived left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley, who was claimed by the Angels.

A number of the Twins bloggers I follow on Twitter professed to be unaware the Twins had such a name on their 40-man roster, so how big a loss could he be?

He was easily forgotten. He wasn't around long — the Twins picked him off waivers from the Cubs just before spring training and shipped him to Rochester in an early round of cuts — and his Triple A numbers so far this season haven't wowed anybody (not that anything in 14 innings should wow anybody).

But I will say this: He's 25 and left-handed. Guerrier is 35, right-handed and coming off significant surgery. Left-handed pitchers are more valuable than a right-handed pitcher of equal ability.

Raley may never be a good major league pitcher, but he can't help but have a better chance of being a useful piece two or three years down the road than Guerrier has.

There is a hidden cost to this spring's obsession with reunions with players of playoff seasons past. Effectively trading Raley for Guerrier is a mistake for this team, because it has more future damage than present reward.

Some of the obsession hurts in the here and now, of course. To keep Jason Bartlett — who wound up retiring before April was out — the Twins lost Alex Presley to the Astros. Again, Presley is no great loss in and of himself, but he IS a 28-year-old outfielder who can pass in center.

The Twins have spent the first 20 percent of the season without a legitimate corner outfielder. As of Thursday, with both Aaron Hicks and Sam Fuld on the concussion DL, the Twins had NO legitimare outfielders on the roster, unless you have a wide enough definition of "legitimate outfielder" to include Jason Kubel.

But they did have four shortstops on the 25-man roster, so they put a shortstop in center and watched balls go over his head.

It's a misshapen roster, and the problems begin with an inability to recognize that the past is past.

1 comment:

  1. Whom do you blame? Seems to me this continual problem falls directly the on G.M.'s shoulders. I would add the decisions to sign Pelfrey for two years as well as the reluctance to put guys immediately on the d.l. How many more days will Gardy have almost no bench until Mauer is placed on the d.l? Time for some changes at the top. Part of me hopes for a complete collapse so that both Ryan and Gardy are fired. Time for new blood.