Welcome to the 14th of 30 "2008 Team Previews
", where I'm - you guessed it! - offering up a little preview of the 2008 season for each of the teams. Nothing super fancy, (I'm not writing books here munecas), just a few notes on what major moves the teams made over the winter and a thought or two on their upcoming season. I'm going in reverse order of 2007 standings, so next up is....
2007 Record: .488 (79-83), 3rd place in AL Central
2006 Record: .593 (96-66), 1st place in AL Central
Who's Out: Johan Santana (P), Torii Hunter (OF), Matt Garza (P), Eduardo Morlan (P), Carlos Silva (P)
Who's In: 4 prospects from the Mets, Livan Hernandez (P), Delmon Young (OF), Jason Pridie (OF), Brendan Harris (INF)
Notes: The Twins have long been a model of consistency and resiliency, contending most years despite a low payroll, and even the threat of contraction years back. For 2008, they lose two faces of the franchise in Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, but still have homegrown Joe Mauer, and 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau. Truth be told, the Twins probably got the best years out of Torii Hunter- while his character and intangibles in the clubhouse have a glowing reputation, $90 million and five years is too much for most teams, much less Minnesota.
Johan Santana is perhaps The Best Pitcher on the Planet, and Twins fans are lamenting that they don't have Hughes in the rotation and Melky in CF in return for him. While the Mets package isn't exciting, it's still a collection of four players who will likely contribute to the big team at some point, if not as All Stars. However, the Twins have a solid contingent of young pitchers available, including Fransisco Liriano coming off surgery. Promising young pitcher Matt Garza was swapped for Delmon Young this off-season, giving the Twins a potential offensive star, if he can ever settle down his temper and avoid throwing bats at umpires
Unlike other teams I've previewed, while the Twins technically are in rebuilding mode for their new stadium in 2010, there's a minute chance they could pull off a miracle and contend. They have the 2006 AL MVP and batting champ, and if their young pitching staff comes together ahead of schedule, who knows. Regardless, with the surplus of young pitching and new position players they picked up this offseason (Young and Gomez), 2010 is looking bright for this team. No more garbage bags on the outfield walls either!
Next up: Los Angeles Dodgers
Labels: 2008 team previews, other teams