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MLB Trade Rumors: Should the Minnesota Twins Try To Snag Michael Young?

Michael Young, the Rangers‘ long-time star infielder, has had just about enough of Texas.

The 34-year-old Young has recently stated that the Rangers have “misled and manipulated” him and he is now requesting a trade from Arlington.

So, where is the best option in my opinion?

The Minnesota Twins.

Look at the club’s starters at the shortstop and second base position. Alexi Casilla is the one that scares me the most, seeing as how slumps frequently and doesn’t have the best glove. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, a Japanese product, seems to have locked up the starting shortstop bid in his first year in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The San Cristobal native also could use a mentor like Young to help push into stardom himself in the future.

Young would probably start at second base if signed, earning the nod over Casilla.

That moves Casilla to the bench, and gives the Twins‘ more infield depth. Young has played everywhere in the infield in his career, so learning a new position is not in the question for him.

It seems so easy, and because of Young’s older age, the Twins might need to only give up a few third-tier prospects, and not necessarily pull the trigger on Ben Revere or Kyle Gibson.

If the Twins and Rangers were to execute a trade, that leaves the infield with—Justin Morneau, an injury-proned first baseman who, when healthy, is one of the best, the .300 career hitting Young, Nishioka, a star abroad who will contend for Rookie of the Year and Danny Valencia, a third baseman whose breakthrough season gave the state of Minnesota a deep breath of relief.

So why not pull the trigger, Minnesota? Michael Young would give the Twins depth in the dirt and ultimately help us win our seventh AL Central crown in the last nine years.

He would also give Minnesota some much-needed experience at the second base position.

Let’s help create a Young-er infield.

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MLB Power Rankings: Rating the 25 Starting Pitchers of the AL Central

The American League Central Division is filled with very good starting pitchers.

Starting pitchers can obviously determine where a team goes in the postseason, or if they even go at all.

The Minnesota Twins are looking to three-peat, and they bring back the exact same rotation that they sported during the 2010 season, resigning everybody necessary to make a deep run.

The same can be said about the Chicago White Sox, who were the last AL Central team to win the title when they did so back in 2006.

The Detroit Tigers signed a few key pitchers and look to be in the hunt this season.

The Cleveland Indians are full of young and inexperienced starters who more than likely have something to prove this year.

The best starter of 2010 and years past, Zack Greinke, packed his bags and headed for Milwaukee, deserting and therefore depriving the Kansas City Royals and the AL Central of its’ best ace.

I will take a look at all 25 of the starters for the 2011 season, give a short analysis on each, and rank them from first all the way to 25th.

I hope you enjoy and I would love some constructive feedback!

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MLB Power Rankings: Jim Thome, Albert Pujols and The 10 Cleanest Active Sluggers

In this day and age, everyone always mentions who has cheated the game of baseball rather than those who followed the rules.

Understandable as it might be, some of these tainted sluggers probably made others succumb to their lowliness by peer pressuring them into trying it.

Nowadays all we hear about are the users, and often times we do not recognize those who have never been mentioned in the steroid talks.

Since I put “cleanest” and “active” in the slideshow’s title, you will obviously not see the likes of Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz or Miguel Tejeda.

Hope you enjoy this and I would love some constructive feedback!

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Carl Pavano Signs With the Minnesota Twins: Two More Years of the ‘Stache

After keeping Twins nation in constant anxiety for the last two weeks, Carl Pavano and his moustache have finally climbed on board for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has reported that Minnesota and Pavano agreed to a two-year, $16.5 million.

In the process of signing, he turned down the likes of the Yankees, whom he serviced for four seasons; the Pirates, who were desperate to get their hands on any pitcher; and the Nationals, the silver medal winners in the Pavano Sign and Dash event in the Olympics.

“I’m excited,” Pavano said after signing Wednesday night. “When you go through free agency, there’s a lot of big decisions that you have. Obviously I couldn’t walk away from the rapport I have with my teammates, the staff and the organization.”

I’ll tell you who else was excited: Twins’ fans everywhere.

And do you know why?

Not only is it because they love Pavano and his facial hair; it’s because he’s has been the X factor in the rotation for the last 18 months.

Since coming over from Cleveland in the summer of ’09, Pavano has paced the Twins with 22 victories, including 17 last season. His 3.75 ERA isn’t too shabby, either.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the fact that he is one of the most durable men in the majors, completing seven contests by himself last year. 

Assuming Pavano is the number one starter, the rotation is then completed with the likes of hard-throwing lefty Francisco Liriano, the consistent Scott Baker, the young and ready-to-go Brian Duensing, and the also durable Nick Blackburn.

That isn’t a rotation you want to mess with.

The AL Central is set to be a frenzy come spring training, as the White Sox, Tigers, and of course the Twins look to be ultra competitive, while the Royals and Indians have taken the back seat in recent years and will once more this year.

You have to believe that this signing gives the Twins another reason to boost their confidence and try and snag that third consecutive AL Central crown.

The signing of Pavano is basically a fiesta for the Twins and their fans. Target Field’s party will start when Carl Pavano and his ‘stache walk in for at least two more seasons.

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2011 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot: Why Barry Larkin and 3 Others Will Be…

The Baseball Writers Association of America will soon decide who will be elected into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Among those who are trying to make it to Cooperstown, I believe only five will receive the necessary 75 percent needed to make it to the Hall.

First-timers include three MVPs in Jeff Bagwell (1994), Larry Walker (1997), and Juan Gonzalez (1996 and 1998). Another first-timer is Rafael Palmeiro, who probably would’ve been a shoe-in his first try, but it was revealed in 2005 that he used steroids.

Beyond first-timers there are many other intriguing players, such as Barry Larkin and Roberto Alomar, both in their second year of eligibility.

 When it comes long-term candidates, Bert Blyleven is the cream of the crop. He is on his 14th ballot (out of 15 chances) and will have a controversial decision whether he gets in or not.

I hope you enjoy the following and I would love some feedback.

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Forget the Signings: Minnesota Twins Still Team to Beat In AL Central In 2011

In 2001, the Minnesota Twins (along with the Montreal Expos) were threatened to be contracted from Major League Baseball.

Take a look at where this team has come in the time since.

Rather than folding like a cheap suit, the Twins have risen back to becoming a potent catalyst in the sport in the last decade.

The 2010 season was a special year for the Twins, as highly anticipated Target Field opened for business.

The Twins took the division and ran away with it in September, winning 94 games and finishing six ahead of the hated White Sox.

Fans reached a seemingly all-time high in happiness, and merchandise and ticket sales were through the roof.

There are several factors on why they have been the team to beat in recent history, and why they will continue this trend in the 2011 season. 

This might be shocking to some, but I don’t honestly see the Twins losing a step to the rest of the division by giving up some of their better-known players such as Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and J.J. Hardy (and possibly Carl Pavano, Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome, as well). 

The offseason proceeding the 2011 season has been one of the most busy in recent history. Teams are shipping their superstars for up-and-coming prospects, and vice versa.

There has been no lack of signings in the AL Central, as even the Twins have acquired highly-touted Japanese shortstop Nishioka Tsuyoshi.

The Chicago White Sox perhaps made the largest move, acquiring slugger Adam Dunn from the Washington Nationals. They have also reached a deal with former Twin reliever Jesse Crain.

The Detroit Tigers signed catcher Victor Martinez, and in doing so acquired one of the most well-rounded at the position.

The Cleveland Indians have signed just about everybody that they needed to during this free agency period.

The Kansas City Royals have gotten rid of long-time outfielder David DeJesus and 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke just signed with the Brewers last night. On the flip side, they have agreed to two solid deals with former 26-year Atlanta Braves in Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur.

So why do I still believe in the Twins having a shot?


First Off, They Have the Best Farm System In All of Baseball

If you name a current Minnesota Twin, their is a decent chance that he came up with the team. Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Danny Valencia, and Scott Baker are just a handful of many who have called the Twins organization home since their beginnings.

In all honesty, I could go all day naming players on other squads who called the Minnesota farm system home first. Johan Santana, Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, David Ortiz, Torii Hunter and A.J. Pierzynski are just a few current pros who highlight the many who were brought up by Ron Gardenhire’s club.

What does this have to do this year’s team though?

Easy; it just means that the Twins have a greater chance to develop players like Ben Revere and Brian Duensing into the major leaguers that they have aspired to be since they were toddlers.

This is of course based on the fact that new talent develops, and in Minnesota there isn’t much doubt that it will indeed happen.

Still want to argue with that “best farm system in all of baseball” comment? I didn’t think so.


Secondly, They Time and Time Again Destroy the Division Competition

The Minnesota Twins have dominated the American League Central Division in the last decade.

In that time they have had just one losing campaign, in 2007. In that same span the Royals have had nine, the Indians and Tigers with six apiece, and the White Sox two.

As previously stated, they have won six division titles: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2010 (don’t forget that in 2008 the White Sox needed 163 games to eliminate Minnesota).

The White Sox and Indians each have a pair of titles in that same period, and the Tigers and Royals have been empty-handed (although the Tigers did have a World Series appearance in 2006).

The Twins have been more successful than most of the league in the last 10 years. They have won 888 games in this period, totalling more victories than the rest of their divisional foes: the White Sox had 850; the Indians put up 795; the Tigers totalled 731; and the lowly Royals have won just 662.

Why isn’t there a reason to believe they can win it in 2011?

The White Sox always seem to be better on paper than the Twins, but Minnesota always knows how to beat the White Sox, especially later in the season.


Finally, the Twins Play Their Best Baseball from July On

Year in and year out the Twins play their way seemingly out of the division race by May, only to rise up and defeat the competition in the final 90 games or so.

Whether they were pitching back-to-back-to-back complete game shutouts (as they did a few years back against the Royals), or sweeping the White Sox in September, I as a Twins fan expect a burst like that every year.

With the team developing players like no one else, beating the competition better than almost everyone, and playing flawless ball from July on, it seems no one in the division will stop the Minnesota Twins.

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