So, I guess I have to be the one to do this, huh? No one else wants to write this? No one will take the obvious grief that will accompany the following 800 or so words. I guess in some way it makes sense. I do hold the distinction for having the least reliable and most obnoxious Twins blog in the stratosphere (using a word like stratosphere is obnoxious). Although, I am more known for putting Twins player heads on bird bodies and writing about chance encounters with talking pumas, so I can't imagine that anyone comes to this blog for actual Twins roster coverage.
It doesn't really add up. I'm going to do it anyway:
The Twins should sign Robinson Cano.
There, I said it and now no one else has to. All you gutless members of the lamestream media can retreat to your cushy mansions and eat your duck eggs or whatever and I'll do all the controversial "reporting." I'll take the heat; enjoy your cashmere.
Fact: The Twins have the money. With Justin Morneau ($14 million), Nick Blackburn ($5 million), and Mike Pelfrey ($4 million) coming off the books, the Twins have $23 million to spend, not even accounting for the money they were under budget last season. It's estimated that the Twins will have $40-50 million to spend this off-season. If that's the case, they could easily throw $25-30 million at Cano and add an MVP quality bat to the lineup for the next half-decade.
The tough part is convincing Cano to answer a phone call from the Twins, much less signing an actual contract. Therefore, the Twins have to overpay. Here's what I would offer:
Austin Powers is 16 years old?!? Yeah baby. Actually, I'd offer 10 years, $300 million.
Now, just calm down for one moment. I'm not crazy and you should keep reading. Here's the case for Cano: He's really freaking good.
I get all the reasons not to sign him: he's going to be 31 in a couple weeks, he's super expensive, the Twins don't really need a second baseman, he doesn't pitch, he smells like Yankees...I just think the positives outweigh the negatives. The Twins would be adding a second perennial MVP candidate to their lineup, along with a premier defensive player.
Let's get back to that phone call I mentioned. What would happen if Terry Ryan called up Cano in a misguided attempt to actually woo him to Minnesota? I think it might go down like this:
Robinson, how are you today, it's Terry Ryan...No Terry Taylor was the Red Rooster, how do you know about that? I'm Terry Ryan, Twins General Manager...Minnesota Twins...It's in the North...You come here every year...Yes, it's cold, but not in the summer...Sure, there are penguins everywhere. Look, we want to offer you a contract to play for the Twins...Yes, we are a baseball team...Joe Mauer...Yeah, sideburns. Listen, we have a what I think is a very fair offer for you. We're building a winner here. We want to add you to a lineup with Mauer, with Miguel Sano, with Byron Buxton. We're going to have a powerful lineup and we want you to be a part of it...No, it's not Canada, just one set of taxes...I mean, some penguins...We can work out the logistics later, but we want to offer you a ten year contract worth a total of $300 million...No, you can live wherever you want, you just have to play here...I have never seen an igloo...Yep, actual houses...Sure, how many penguins?
And so on. Basically, you give in to his demands and you pay him a lofty salary and you get another MVP on this team.
Of course, I can hear it now..."But (sniffle) what about Brian Dooooooooozier (sniffle) (tear)?"
I like Brian Dozier. He's great. His hair is beautiful. However, he's not the type of player that would keep me from looking at someone like Cano. You can still upgrade second base; Dozier isn't the best guy at that position. Plus, are we 100% sure that Dozier can't play short? I thought a lot of his struggles in 2012 were mental, not physical. What if we just move Dozier to short, use Florimon as a super-utility guy and dominate the American League like champs do? Peep this potential lineup (likely around midseason when Buxton and Sano are ready):
Byron Buxton - CF
Joe Mauer - 1B
Josh Willingham - DH (if there is a God)
ROBINSON CANO AND HIS MVPNESS - 2B
Miguel Sano - 3B
Oswaldo Arcia - LF
Brian Dozier - SS
Josmil Pinto - C
Aaron Hicks - RF
Hot dog. That lineup is fresh. Now, much of the 2014 season would be played without that lineup, but you could conceivably run that lineup out for the 2015 season, with some other guy in place of Josh Willingham. Perhaps you blow another 30 mil the following off-season on someone.
Another point: You can deal with Mauer's lack of "power" (which isn't even true, he lacks home run power, but still slugs .450ish every year) because you'd get so much power from your second baseman. It's a trade-off, and we all need to learn to make trade-offs.
Logical retort to all of this: Cano doesn't pitch, you dingus.
True. I can't argue with that. I looked very closely at Cano's Baseball Reference page AND his FanGraphs page and I can find no evidence that he is a pitcher. Thus, the Twins' starting pitching would still be a problem. Remember, they're only spending $30 mil on Cano. That still leaves $10-20 mil for a good starter, a decent starter, some snacks and a Playstation 4. Why not grab Cano, add Matt Garza, pick up Scott Feldman and get ready to roll. It's all so simple!
Overpaying for Robinson Cano is not the Twins' way. It would be the single most shocking moment of my life, and I've been struck by lightning four times. It would be such a departure from "business as usual" and it would really build some interest in the brand. If the Twins can execute this maneuver, they would instantly become the most interesting franchise in baseball. Signing Robinson Cano is a social contract with the fans and I would love to sign on that dotted line. Now, who wants to help me track down some penguins?