Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Leaving a Golden Legacy

Two Twins who may have played their last games in a Twins uniform picked up awards today, as the 2007 Gold Glove winner were announced earlier today. Torii Hunter won his 7th straight Gold Glove in the outfield, while Johan Santana earned his 1st Gold Glove on the mound. Hunter's 7th Gold Glove gives him 1 more than the late Kirby Puckett, although I'm not sure if he deserved this one. Gold Gloves are voted on by the players and managers, and oftentimes the votes are based on reputation more than performance. I'm not going to pretend that I've seen enough games (outside of the Twins) to truly judge who should win the award, but Hunter's defensive performance this past season was not as great as in his younger years. Clearly, he was still superb defender, but I'm not sure he was a top 3 defensive outfielder in 2007. On the other hand, after watching Santana make plays on the pitcher's mound all year, this is an award that he was overdue for. In 2007, Santana fielded bunts with lightning-quick reflexes and he did not make any errors all season. With a Gold Glove, Santana has only added to his great Twins career, while Hunter has held onto his golden reputation in centerfield. As a breath of fresh air, a certain overrated Yankees shortstop actually did not win a Gold Glove, with Orlando Cabrera of the Angels taking home that honor. The other AL winners were: C Ivan Rodriguez (Tigers), 1B Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox), 2B Placido Polanco (Tigers), 3B Adrian Beltre (Mariners), OF Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners), and OF Grady Sizemore (Indians).

As for their futures with the Twins, it is looking more and more as if 1 of them will remain in Minnesota, while the other will not be back in 2008. It has been pretty clear for a while that Hunter is not coming back, and the news lately that Hunter has cut off talks with the Twins only supports that. On the other hand, word thus far from the GM meetings is that the Twins have not been discussing any trades involving Johan Santana. Unless the Twins have some serious prospects in signing him to an extension, which I doubt, I do not understand why they would not at least entertain offers for Santana. I can't say I supported trading Hunter, so I will not complain about losing him for nothing, but letting the best pitcher in MLB walk away next year would be the worst possible thing for this organization. Right now, he has the potential to fill at least two of the Twins' major offensive holes with young, cheap players right away, and if the organization misses out on that opportunity, Johan better be retiring as a Twin.

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