The Monroe Doctrine (Or How I Learned To Not Accept the Twins Offseason Moves)
A few days has passed since the Twins announced that they are relinquishing one of their dimmer stars for the 30-year-old Craig Monroe. While most in the Twins community seem to believe that this is yet again another indication that the Twins are only interested in second-rate stars (Gleeman, TwinsGeek, Nick&Nick ) and truthfully that was my initial gut reaction as well. Why spend any amount of the payroll towards Monroe even if he is a 4th outfielder/DH platoon? Last year the Twins acquired Jeff Cirillo in what turned out to be the final season of his career. When Cirillo wasn't on the DL, his contributions were minimal and was eventually waived and picked up by the Diamondbacks. To some, it would appear that the Twins were once again acquiring an overpaid, low-reward hitter.
Don't be fooled because this is exactly what they got. The only mitigating factor is how the team deploys Monroe.
When the rumor mill began to buzz that the Twins were in talks with the Cubbies for Monroe, my first inclination was that if you are negotiating with the Cubs, why not attempt to get Matt Murton, a young right-handed bat with years left in his legs? After all, the numbers certain indicate that Monroe has probably peaked with his production. Monroe's numbers prior to his 2007 drop-off were not all that impressive and since his best offensive season in 2004 he has steadily declined and his strike out rate has increased.