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Who will be the one who will push Plouffe at third base for the Twins?

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch

The Twins' General Manager has been on the record many times this offseason indicating that he would like to get someone who will "push" Trevor Plouffe at third base. The Twins' field and front office staff are unhappy with Plouffe's defense in the hot corner. Plouffe has had his moments there, but he is still learning the position. Let us not forget that the powers of being who feel that Plouffe is inadequate defensively are the same who gave starting roles at third base to Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris, who, arguable were worse defenders than Plouffe, plus Buscher has played the position all his life. And that happened in contending Twins' teams. Regardless, for some reason getting another player who can play third base is a priority for Terry Ryan for the Twins to rebound from consecutive 99 and 96 loss season.

Who would that player be?

There are three internal options: Jamey Carroll, Deibinson Romero and Mark Sobolewski. I have already discussed the last two here. For some reason, it seems that Terry Ryan does not like these options (Only Carroll was invited in Spring Training) and had an offer out to light hitting 33 year old Jack Hannahan whose greatest claim to fame is that he is Minnesotan; he snubbed the Twins and elected to sign a 1 year $2 million dollar contract with the Twins. I suspect that Ryan will not be bringing back Nick Punto or sign Chone Figgins. The pickings out there at the major league level are really slim and all remaining are aging utility players with very weak bats plus Scott Rollen who is old but serviceable mulling retirement or returning to the Reds. But, this would be the team to take 24 HRs away from a RHB (Plouffe) to install a light hitting third baseman.

Are there any other possibilities?

Looking at the list of the minor league free agents, here are the ones who are still available and at least decent defensively and offensively at third base. I suspect that unless Ryan chooses any of the aforementioned internal options, one of these folks would be it:

Shawn Bowman, 29, RHB
Audy Ciriaco, 26 RHB
Brooks Conrad, 33, SHB
Mike Costanzo, 30, LHB
Ruben Gotay, 30, SHB
Michael Hollimon (re-sign) 31, SHB
Kevin Howard, 32, LHB
Tug Hulett, 30, LHB
Andy LaRoche, 29, RHB
Mario Lisson, 29, RHB
Matt Mangini, 27, LHB
Jimmy Swift, 26, RHB

Your guess is good as mine

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  1. Top Gun's Avatar
    1B/3B Chris Colabello AA He is the man!
  2. old nurse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun
    1B/3B Chris Colabello AA He is the man!
    There is a reason Collabello has only played a few games at 3b and none for an organization that really needs one. Expected miracles abound on Christmas.
  3. Thrylos's Avatar
    There is no way that Colabello is the third baseman, but I will not count him out of the 1B/DH situation, esp. if Morneau gets traded or Parmelee has a slump in ST. Colabello has been invited to the Spring Training with the big club this season.
  4. glunn's Avatar
    Plouffe seems to have the talent. When Plouffe is hot, he is a formidable hitter and a passable fielder. Maybe this will be the year when it all gels for Plouffe.
  5. old nurse's Avatar
    Jairo Perez? Romero? From your free agent list there would be a clue to say there is no competition out there.
  6. Thrylos's Avatar
    Jairo Perez was released from the organization under a veil of secrecy last summer, with no explanations given (apparently it was for "unprofessional contract detrimental to the team and such".) Ended up finishing the season with the Wingnuts and AirDogs... Romero along with Carroll and Sobolewski are the internal choices (and maybe some of the other middle infielders like Escobar and Florimon); but TR went out and looked for more (offering a contract to Hannahan, according to his words), which means that he is not happy with the internal choices. Really there is not much there... And I really think that Plouffe is getting his act together and needs encouragement (and not a fire underneath him...) and he is not part of the problem the last couple seasons.
    Updated 12-25-2012 at 06:28 PM by Thrylos
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