- La Velle confirmed a recent trade rumor which is now official that the Twins have acquired Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and prospect Jason Pridie from the Tampa Bay Rays for Garza, Bartlett and Eduardo Morlan (ESPN's take here). As I have stated earlier I have no problem with the Twins trading Garza for Young but believed the Twins would have had to add to the package to substantiate this offer. Young seems to outweight Garza in value with the upside. I think Young will have the better chance of performing higher than his ceiling potential than Garza does.
- I think Bartlett for Harris is a relatively straight-up trade. Harris has a little less experienced than Bartlett at the major league level and has bounced around in several organization (Cubs, Expos, Reds, Nationals, Rays) before having a solid season last year with the Rays (.286/.343/.434, 12 HRs). Harris's numbers have fluctuated over the years and will make less contact than Bartlett but he can hit for more power than Bartlett can (a .148 vs. a .098 ISOP). Harris, however, is more of a second-baseman than a shortstop. While Bartlett made 13 errors in 2007 in 138 games as the Twins shortstop, Harris made 11 in 87 games. Verdict: Harris is a more potent bat, but Bartlett had a better glove and better contact hitter. Hopefully the Twins have intentions of moving Harris to third or second. Maybe the Twins cleared the roster spot for a bigger fish moving to shortstop...
- The third members of the trade are interesting. Jason Pridie was a Twins Rule 5 draft pick last year. The 24-year-old centerfielder had a good season split between Double-A and Triple-A. In 275 plate appearances for the Durham Bulls, Pridie had and isolated slugging percentage of .221 - a home run every 3.6% of his plate appearances. While still really nubile in the Twins farm system, I believe with the potential that Morlan has he could have been packaged in a better trade. Earlier rumors had Juan Rincon attached (and judging from the Rays previous trades for Houston's Dan Wheeler, it was plausible ).
- It would have been been a terrific trade had the Twins gotten Young, Harris and Pridie for Garza, Bartlett and Rincon. Unfortunately the Twins had to surrender one of their better bullpen prospects.
- Regardless, I think the GM Smitty has improve this team in ways that Terry Ryan would dare not dream. Smitty has signified that this new regime will not be after to make moves. I am more convinced than ever that both Santana AND Nathan could be traded this offseason. On the FAN, Mark Rosen believed it was quite a gamble for the Twins front office to move major league experienced pitching without the knowledge that Liriano will be 100% by opening day. Then again, Smitty might be ready to add more MLB ready pitching in the forecasted Santana/Nathan trades. The Twins are, however, still deficient in the thirdbase/centerfielder positions. However, from what I know about what planning goes on in the front office, moves are not made simply to shift attention from one area and away from the other. This move might also have players repackaged into other trades before the offseason is over.