On December 16, the same day that longtime Twin Michael Cuddyer was signed by the Colorado Rockies (he will wear #3 in honor of the legendary Harmon Killebrew), the Twins officially introduced outfielder Josh Willingham to serve as Cuddyer’s replacement.
I really hoped the Twins would re-sign Cuddyer, mainly because of his versatility and leadership (and some will say his good looks!), but I now believe that the Willingham-for-Cuddyer move could actually turn out to be a good one for the Twins. Replacing Willingham with Cuddyer will save the Twins about $3 million per year and it gives Minnesota a few extra draft picks in next year’s draft. Willingham and Cuddyer have similar stats, but Willingham has more power. They are also said to have similar personalities.
Then, on December 19, the Twins lost another outfielder. Jason Kubel was signed by Arizona for two years. Although the Twins talked with Kubel about re-signing him, the move didn’t really surprise me since Minnesota had already signed Willingham. I also heard that Kubel was getting frustrated with Target Field because he couldn’t hit many home runs there.
So, with Cuddyer and Kubel gone, the Twins will have a different look in the outfield when next season opens. Minnesota has said they plan to make Willingham their starting right fielder, with Denard Span in center and Ben Revere in left. This surprises me a little because, even though this is good for Span and Revere, Willingham said he feels more comfortable in left field. Another possibility is to put Willingham in left, Revere in center, and Span in right. Span played well in right a few years ago and I think Minnesota should try him there again to see how he does. But, we’ll have to wait and see! What do you think about the Willingham-Cuddyer swap and the outfield situation??
Written by: Sam Graves