Rebuilding the Twins: Right Field
Our next installment of Rebuilding the Twins takes a look at right field.
This offseason the Twins have a major decision on their hands. Michael Cuddyer is a free agent and has been with the Twins for his entire career. He has played many positions during his time here but right field seems to be his most comfortable spot. Cuddyer is a strong clubhouse presence and a leader on the team. It would be very hard to replace his off the field leadership as well as his on the field production.
Jason Kubel is also an impending free agent. Kubel has been a cog in the middle of the lineup for a few years, but his numbers took a dip this past season as Kubel was hurt for a portion of the year. I don’t believe the Twins will be able to resign both players, so let’s look at potential candidates to take over right field next season:
Cuddyer: As mentioned above, Cuddyer is a great leader and has been for many years. If the Twins were to lose him it would be a major blow to the clubhouse and the offense. And after a shaky season filled with injuries and inconsistency, one might argue that resigning Cuddyer is that much more important.
Kubel: Kubel is coming off an injury shortened season. When healthy, Kubel provides serious power and can hit the ball to all fields. Kubel may be more suited for a DH role but does provide a good arm in the outfield when he plays there. But the Twins outfield picture is mostly left-handed as it is, so if Kubel is resigned he would probably be DH.
Joe Benson: Benson received playing time late in the season for the Twins, and while he struggled; my thought is that he will most likely be the team’s 4th outfielder. Benson is not that far off from being able to play every day, but just needs a little more seasoning to be ready for that.
Free Agents: With all the holes this team needs to fill and not a lot of money to do so, I think Cuddyer will be the Team’s #1 priority on offense and a majority of the rest of the money they have to spend will be devoted to pitching.
Gut Feeling: I believe the Twins will find the money it will take to resign Cuddyer and he will be starting in right field next season. Cuddyer is worth more than his offensive production, and it would simply be too much to replace if they were to let him go.