Wednesday update: Street and Twins relief prospects

Posted on November 12th, 2008 – 12:15 PM
By Joe Christensen

Following up on some points that surfaced in our reporting on the effects of Pat Neshek’s injury:

(*) I don’t think the Twins will acquire Huston Street. I know they like him. I know they kick themselves for not grabbing him in the 2004 draft, when he went to Oakland with the 40th overall pick. That year, with a slew of extra picks, they chose SS Trevor Plouffe (No. 20), LHP Glen Perkins (No. 22), RHP Kyle Waldrop (No. 25), RHP Matthew Fox (No. 35) and RHP Jay Rainville (No. 39).

This year, as Street lost his closing job in Oakland, the Twins had hope of trading for him to use in a setup role in front of closer Joe Nathan.

But Oakland sent Street to Colorado this week in the package for LF Matt Holliday. Now, it’s a whole new ballgame. Dealing with the Rockies is not like dealing with the A’s. While Billy Beane was willing to move Street as a closer-in-decline, the Rockies will try enticing teams that need a closer with the thought of Street regaining his All-Star form.

From today’s Denver Post:

Street could eventually be traded to another team, considering the interest and needs of the Indians, Mets, Cardinals, Brewers and Rays for a closer. The Rockies have told people close to Manuel Corpas he still is the closer, leading to the belief among some that Street would be traded rather than be used as protection if Corpas doesn’t bounce back.

The Twins have a closer. So why pay closer prices in a trade for a setup man? It does sound like Street could be traded again this offseason, but I don’t think it’ll be to Minnesota.

(*) I know it probably surprised people to see a bunch of minor-league prospects listed as potential solutions to replace Neshek in the Twins’ bullpen. Here’s a link to how some of those prospects have been faring in the Arizona Fall League, where Jeff Manship has a 5.04 ERA, Tim Lahey 3.86, Anthony Slama 4.26 and Rob Delaney 7.04.

Let me be clear: The Twins could very well use the trade route to acquire relief help, and perhaps there are some lower-tier free agents with experience who could fill those roles to start the season.

I just don’t see the Twins making a big splurge in the free agent market to solve their bullpen issues, when they are confident they have great pitchers coming through the system who could soon fill the void.

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