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Time to call Glaus?

March 6, 2011

Today on a special two-hour edition of Baseball Tonight; Buster Olney listed the #5 biggest topic in the American League.  He said that it is the health of Justin Morneau.  I agreed with Olney’s assessment.  He said that with the improvements the Tigers and White Sox made this offseason, the race will be greatly impacted by Morneau’s health.  All though the Twins are still saying Morneau is on pace to be at 1B on Opening Day, I am not as convinced anymore.

Morneau still has not been cleared to play in games.  He is participating in hitting and fielding drills but still is not completely symptom free.  It is unknown when Morneau will be able to start playing in games, I am not holding my breath anymore.  I think it is a little more serious than we are being told by the Twins front office.  Last year, Jim Thome provided the Twins with much-needed production in the lineup allowing Michael Cuddyer to move to 1B and Jason Kubel to RF.  I don’t think the Twins should be relying so heavily on that this season.  It will be tough for Thome at age 40 to duplicate last season’s production even with a reasonable amount of at bats.  Even if he can, it can’t hurt to have a plan C.

When I say having a “Plan C”, I am talking about 1B/3B Troy Glaus.  Currently, Glaus is unemployed.  We haven’t heard much about him this offseason and there has been no reports of the Twins being interested.  I am simply saying I don’t think it would hurt if Morneau doesn’t get cleared to play in games within the next week or two.  Glaus had a decent season last year with the Atlanta Braves.  He batted .240 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI in 412 at bats.

The Twins are strong from the left side when it comes to the lineup, Glaus would provide a little bit of balance lower in the lineup.  He obviously would not come close to replacing Morneau for however long he is out.  But he would help the Twins more than most people think.  Glaus only made $1.75 million last year and would come much cheaper this year.  Glaus could be this year’s Jim Thome like signing if Morneau is not able to go.  Glaus has been an offensive force in the not so distant past, he would be able to mentor young players like Danny Valencia along with Thome.

I believe Bill Smith should have called Glaus months ago, with the news (or no news) regarding Morneau recently I am starting to think they have to call soon.  If not now, for sure within a couple of week’s if Justin has not been given the green light.  It would not be the worst thing in the world if Morneau did not start the season with the Twins.  They need to make sure he is 100% recovered from his concussion or risk greater damage which could alter the rest of his life if he is not carefull.  Lets not forget, Joe Mauer won the 2009 AL MVP award and only played a little under 5 months that season.

The Twins have a back up plan and it worked great last year in moving Cuddyer to first.  It may work again this year but why risk it?  In my mind, there is very little risk in signing Glaus.  He would provide insurance at 1B, could DH on some days and would be a great RH option off the bench late in games.  I feel it is time, Bill Smith needs to make the call soon.

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