Happy 2013! Hope the holiday season was good to everyone!
So far this offseason, nearly 100 percent of the focus has been on the Twins adding more starting pitching, and with good reason. I feel like that's been hammered home ad nauseum though, so I'll refrain from lamenting about the moves and non-moves on the pitching front in lieu of being hopeful that there's some help on the way in terms of the middle infield.
It may seem unthinkable, but the Twins actually received six WAR from their middle infielders last season, per Fangraphs. That, however, is in spite of the fact that their second basemen combined to hit .251/.312/.308, while their shortstops combined for an equally gruesome .248/.307/.316. Basically, Jamey Carroll and Alexi Casilla graded out really, really well according to Ultimate Zone Rating, which isn't all that reliable on a one-year sample anyway.
Casilla is gone on waivers to Baltimore, and Carroll turns 39 in a month's time. I don't think his skills are going to fall off a cliff, but it's entirely possible that he demonstrates some regression or gets hurt. I think Carroll is tremendously underrated, even among Twins fans, but even I'll concede that it's a dangerous proposition when a team's middle infield value is going to be provided solely by a 39-year-old who has about as much power as present day Al Newman.
Middle Infield Targets: Freddy Sanchez, Aledmys Diaz
Twinkie Town | Jan 8