With the end of baseball's regular season nearing, and the probability that most of you forgot the Twins are still playing, I thought I'd take a look at trying to craft a 25-man roster out of former Twins.
To be fair, this isn't intended to make the Twins organization look bad. Many players on this team have very valid reasons they aren't with the organization anymore, and it's pretty astonishing to see how good some former Twins have been. Hopefully I didn't blatantly oversee someone, notify me if so. Of course some liberties had to be made.
Joe Nathan (closer), RHP Texas Rangers; Jon Rauch, RHP New York Mets; Jessie Crain, RHP Chicago White Sox; Grant Balfour, RHP Oakland A's; Pat Neshek, RHP Oakland A's; Craig Breslow, LHP Boston Red Sox; Jose Mijares LHP San Francisco Giants
Wilson Ramos, C Washington Nationals (RH); Jim Thome, DH Baltimore Orioles (LH); Delmon Young, OF Detroit Tigers; Orlando Hudson, IF Chicago White Sox
On the surface there's some real talent on this team. Dickey (18-6, 2.67era, 4.1 K:BB ratio) is the favorite for NL Cy Young award, and Lohse has been almost as good. Humber (4/21) threw a perfect game at Seattle, while Santana (6/2) threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, but neither were not able to sustain any momentum they got from those starts. Kind of sad to see Santana fall apart.
The bullpen is a hodgepodge of former good to great arms for the Twins. Some (Nathan, Mijares) were justifiably let go, while others (Balfour, Breslow) probably should have gotten more of a chance from the Twins. This would've been a pretty damn good bullpen this season, but the Twins have had some great relievers over the last decade, and this year too.
The lineup actually fascinates me. On paper there's some strong name value, and you can balance it pretty well other than having to have Punto leadoff. Pierzynski (.278ba/.325obp/.510slg) had a career year helping lead the White Sox to a probable AL Central title. Hunter (.308/.359/.449) has really became a great veteran filling a leadership role, Kubel (1hr/16ab) is showing the power that was swallowed up by cavernous Target Field, Jones is actually fairly decent, and JJ Hardy is still the face of everything that went wrong in the Bill Smith era. It would also probably be one of the worst defensive teams in the last 30 years.
The bench is atrocious other than Ramos.
Some notable Twins on rosters not to make the cut on my made up roster that played this season: Lew Ford, Livan Hernandez, Brian Fuentes, LaTroy Hawkins, Matt Gurerrier, and Henry Blanco. None made it because either they were awful, injured, or named Lew Ford.
Speaking of injuries one of the big reason this team wouldn't work is because Santana, Garza, Punto, Hardy, Cuddyer, Ortiz, Kubel, Ramos, and Thome all missed significant time to injury this year. So in a way you could say they'd actually still fit in quite well with the Twins.
Also interesting to note is Neshek, Mijares, Punto, Valencia, Thome, and Hudson all were either traded or released and signed by another organization this year. Seems like a lot, no?
However, the biggest reason assembling this team wouldn't work? The payroll would be $153,981,250...