Monday, July 26, 2004

Mientkiewicz To Pittsburgh?

Hopefully it's all just a bargaining tactic, but papers in Minnesota and the Pittsburgh area are reporting that the Twins may trade first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to the Pirates. Because of his salary, Mientkiewicz is not a valuable player at this point - he hasn't hit at all this season, and he isn't even cheap. Craig Wilson or Daryle Ward will likely be better over the last half of the season anyway. If the Pirates really wanted a Mientkiewicz type of player, they could have tried to acquire John Olerud for nothing. Unless this deal also includes one of the Twins' top prospects - Justin Morneau or Jason Kubel - it can't touch what the Angels have already offered.

If the Pirates wind up with Mientkiewicz in this deal and don't at least also get Kubel and another good prospect in return, it'll be a disaster. I can't imagine the Twins would trade Morneau at this point, since he'll probably help them at the major league level as much as Benson for the rest of the season, and far more after that. So that leaves Kubel and possibly Michael Restovich. I'd probably still just take Casey Kotchman. Hopefully this is just the Pirates' way of trying to get Anaheim or Texas to pony up.

Thanks to Baseball Primer.

5 Comments:

Blogger Rowdy said...

I'm pretty sure the Twins need to clear some payroll before acquiring Benson. Doug could be going anywhere as part of a Benson deal - here, sure, or to anywhere that wants him. Teams would be looking at him now since they know the Twins are under pressure to (a) move his salary to make room for a starter and (b) give his playing time to guys like Morneau. And he's struggling at the plate this year. It's a pretty classic buying opportunity if you like to buy low and sell high. As Sabean says, everyone's an ambulance chaser. I'd be surprised if the Pirates were the only team considering taking Doug off their hands.

He's left-handed and the slick fielding would be attractive for a team that is trying to build around young pitching. He gets on base but has little power. And he's not having a great year. I don't know how the Pirates could be thinking of keeping him long-term at $3M per year, but perhaps they take him off Minnesota's hands as a way of paying some of Benson's salary.

It would be a disappointment if Dougie is the best player acquired for Benson but maybe not a disaster. If the Bucs are going to take him on as a way of paying some of Benson's salary, that should increase the value of the prospects they'll receive from someone.

There's no way to tell. We probably hear only 2% of the whole story through the media so it's pretty futile to speculate much.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

you're right, Rowdy, about us not really knowing what's going on. but a minnesota paper is reporting a deal will be announced soon. we'll see. if they can get Kubel and also maybe Restovich as a result of taking on Mientkiewicz's salary, the deal will look pretty good. and then maybe they can get some bad GM (ken williams?) to give them a prospect for Mientkiewicz. We'll see what happens.

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