Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Plouffe and the future

The Twins wrapped up their arbitration cases Monday without going to any hearings when they and Trevor Plouffe agreed on a one-year. $7.25 million deal.

As I said about Casey Fien's settlement, the money interests me less that the organizational decision to stick with Plouffe at third base.

As the off season continues, I've become increasingly resigned to the notion that Miguel Sano is going to be in the outfield in 2016. I'm not convinced that's the right place for him, but I also know there is skepticism about Sano as a third baseman as well.

The concerns about Sano in the outfield and at third are similar, Sano is simply much bigger than normal for those positions. Players of his weight class are first basemen or designated hitters. I think it was Aaron Gleeman who researched it when the Sano-to-the-outfield talk started and determined that the last regular outfielder with a listed weight above 250 pounds was Frank Howard, and that was more than 40 years ago.

So ... Plouffe remains the Twins third baseman. He's not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season, at which point he'll be 31.

Let's say that Plouffe stays at third for the Twins through 2017, then signs elsewhere as a free agent. It's a safe bet that his successor at the hot corner won't be Sano. By then he'll have either established himself as an outfielder or played his way to first base or DH.

If the Twins are indeed serious about playing him in the outfield this year, he's not going to be working on his infield technique. He'll have enough on his plate learning the nuances of outfield play.

The Twins did spend a couple of high draft picks on high school third basemen last June, Travis Blankenhorn (third round) and Trey Cabbage (fourth round). I wouldn't expect either to be ready by 2018 to inherit the job, but I wouldn't rule it out either.

That's down the road, obviously, but the fact remains that if Sano was going to become the Minnesota third baseman, this was the year for it to happen. The Twins have decided not to take that route.

No comments:

Post a Comment