Tagged: Orlando Cabrera

The Thome Aftermath

After being a Twin killer for most of his career, a run that included hitting 57 homeruns against Minnesota, Jim Thome is joining the organization. For just $1.5 million and up to $750,000 in incentives based on plate appearances, Thome will become a powerful bat off the bench and a spot starter at designated hitter. 

What exactly Thome will do is hard to tell, but it is know that the signing affects the team’s roster, the team’s bench plans for the 2010 season, and the current payroll.

40-Man Roster
The team’s 40-man roster is currently jam packed. There is nowhere to put Thome, and the Twins will have until this weekend when Thome completes his physical to make a roster decision. 
It’s currently difficult to tell who exactly the Twins will remove from the roster as several candidates would be in danger of being lost through waivers. Both Glen Perkins and Alexi Casilla are rumored to be available, but it’s also difficult to see something happening on that front before spring training. 
Bench Plans
The Twins will in all likelihood go with a 12-man pitching staff. Going in that direction would allow for four players on the bench, and with Jim Thome onboard, the plan might change just a bit.
Jose Morales, or any other catcher who may need to start the season after Morales’ has surgery this week, will take one spot. Two spots remain after that, and it sounds as if Jason Pridie might get one spot while the other could come down to a battle between Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert if no further moves are made. 
If the Twins sign a second or third baseman, either Nick Punto or Brendan Harris could shift to the bench, costing both Tolbert and Casilla roster spots. All in all, the bench battle won’t be fully solved until spring training gets underway. 
Payroll Situation
Thome’s contract was rather small, and it really adds just about $1 million to the payroll since he’ll be taking a player’s roster spot who would have made the minimum of around $500,000. Now that Thome is signed, the Twins are right at or slightly above the $90 million mark.
Assuming the Twins might have $5 million more to spend if the right move comes along, there could still be a move to re-sign third baseman Joe Crede or a second baseman such as Orlando Cabrera, Orlando Hudson, or Felipe Lopez. 

O-Cab Carries Leadership

Orlando Cabrera arrived in Minneapolis last Saturday after the Minnesota Twins made a deadline deal in an attempt to help shore up their middle infield and add production from the second spot in the lineup. Since his arrival Cabrera has without a doubt been a productive player. The veteran shortstop has went 10-20 at the plate in five games to give him a .500 batting average since his arrival, and he’s made several professional plays in the field.
The offense and defense are two things the team knew they had the chance of receiving when Cabrera was acquired, but there is one other thing that Cabrera carries – leadership. From the first time Cabrera stepped foot on the Metrodome turf, it was easy to tell the type of person he was away from the batter’s box.
After Cabrera grounded out to second base in his first at-bat as a Twin, he went to the dugout and let everybody know what the pitcher was trying to do. The next time up, Cabrera took a nearly identical pitch down the right field line for a double.
Veteran leadership is one quality that Cabrera carries, so too is his mentorship. From his first inning as a Twin through his 45th, Cabrera has been seen time and time again sitting and talking with youngster Carlos Gomez. The mentorship has paid off.
Gomez has gone 4-15 in four games since Cabrera’s arrival to give him a .267 average in the near-handful of games. The 23-year old speedster has shown more confidence, hit pitches he didn’t earlier in the season, and continued to make strong plays in centerfield. 
If the Twins are playing meaningful baseball come October, Cabrera could be a key factor. His leadership and ability to communicate with young players such as Gomez however could have an impact on the many seasons ahead.

Deadline Aftermath

Heading into the trade deadline, all eyes were on the big market teams: the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and others. All the talk was about Roy Halladay and what his destination would be. In the end, Halladay would stay put and the Yankees were inactive in any big moves.

The big markets for the most part stayed put (with the exception of the Red Sox acquiring Victor Martinez), and the division that currently has three teams making a run at the playoffs, the American League Central, made the moves.
The first big move came when the Detroit Tigers unexpectedly jumped in and acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Seattle Mariners. Washburn will be gone at the end of the season, but for the final two months, the move has a chance of bolstering an already pretty good rotation.
Hours later the Twins countered with a move of their own; they sent a minor league shortstop, Tyler Ladendorf, to Oakland and brought in shortstop Orlando Cabrera with hope that the middle infield in Minneapolis will see more production. 
As the deadline passed, it seemed as though the Tigers and Twins were the only contenders in the Central to make major moves. Reports then began rolling out with word that for a second time, the White Sox had traded for pitcher Jake Peavy.
The deal was soon finalized and Peavy will indeed be in Chicago. Whether or not Peavy will help the team this season however is questionable. Peavy has been on the disabled list since the first week of June, won’t be back before the first week of September, and may not pitch again this season.
While the Cleveland Indians scrapped their team and looked to the future by trading Ben Francisco, Ryan Garko, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez, the Tigers, Twins and White Sox each took shots at bolstering their rosters for the final two months of the season.
Only time tell who exactly made the biggest move, but for now at least it seems as though the Twins and Tigers, with Peavy’s current injury, made the biggest impact on the 2009 season.

Twins Acquire Orlando Cabrera

The Minnesota Twins have traded minor league shortstop Tyler Ladendorf to acquire the shortstop from the Oakland A’s, Orlando Cabrera. After weeks of speculation, the team made the move and gave up far less than the initial reported asking price of Danny Valencia.

Ladendorf was a second round pick in 2008 and has been playing for the Beloit Snappers after starting the season with the Elizabethton Twins. At the Rookie level, Ladendorf hit .410 in 17 games. His promotion to A-ball has brought struggles as he hit just .233 at Beloit.
Ladendorf was not ranked among the top ten prospects within the organization by Baseball America. 
The addition of Cabrera gives the team potential for more production from the middle infield. Through 101 games, Cabrera hit .280 with 4 homeruns and 41 RBI as the shortstop in Oakland. His month of July has stood out as the deadline neared. In July, Cabrera has hit .373 with 2 homeruns and 16 RBI for one of the lowest scoring offenses in baseball.
Cabrera will wear number 18 for the Twins and hopes to be in uniform for tonight’s game. There is no information on how the team will make room on the 25-man roster.