More thoughts from GM Bill Smith
In addition to discussing the J.J. Hardy/Carlos Gomez trade, Twins GM Bill Smith was asked to address some of the other pressing offseason issues during the conference call this afternoon. Here are some tidbits that I pulled out to pass along:
— Smith said that the Twins will definitely tender a contract to left fielder Delmon Young
“Absolutely, he’s going to be tendered a contract,” Smith said.
“Delmon had a good year last year, he grew up a lot, I know some of the
numbers aren’t where anyone, especially Delmon Young, wants them. He
grew up a lot, he matured a lot, I think he became a good teammate.
“I know Ron Gardenhire’s very high on him,” Smith added. “Joe Vavra, I had a talk
with him the other day, and I think people are optimistic Delmon has a
chance to blossom, hopefully in 2010 and realize some of the great
skills he has.”
–Smith didn’t rule out the possibility of pursuing a second baseman or third baseman this offseason. He did acknowledge that Manager Ron Gardenhire will likely keep Nick Punto in the lineup at some spot next season.
“We’re not locking anybody into any positions,” Smith said, although he did say Hardy was their shortstop. “Nick is a valuable player on this team. He can play second. He can play third. He can play short. He can play just about anywhere. Our manager likes having him in the lineup and some of the energy and defense he brings. Wherever he’s playing, he’s going to be a part of it somewhere.”
–Smith also gave a non-update on the status of talks with Joe Mauer about a possible contract extension, saying that the club isn’t about to release any details about it. “We’ll let you know,” Smith said, meaning that they’ll only announce if/when something gets done.
— There is also no news to report on whether the Twins will pick up Michael Cuddyer’s $10.5 million option for 2011. The club has until Monday to make a decision on it.
–When asked about the future of 3B Joe Crede in Minnesota, Smith said that he’s been in contact with Crede’s agent, Scott Boras, and left open the possibility that he could return.