Twins get Bret Boone from Mariners
class=img_thumbleft>The Twins--perennially hamstrung by a long line of no-name, no-hit middle infielders--have upgraded to a big-name, no-hit middle infielder. The Seattle Times reports that Bret Boone was traded to the Twins this morning just hours before the deadline for releasing him. The 36-year-old Boone, who hit 37 home runs in 2001 and 35 in 2003, was cut by the Mariners 10 days ago following a lackluster 2004 and a terrible first half in 2005: 74 games in which he put up a .231 batting average and a .299 on-base percentage. No word yet on the player to be named the M's will get in return, but it won't be much. The Times story also suggests the Mariners will eat all but $150,000 of Boone's $9.2 million salary this year.
Does Terry Ryan think Boonie's due for a breakout? He should hit for better power in the 'Dome than capacious Safeco Field, but Boone's days as a stud middle infielder are almost certainly over. It's not the worst deal in the world, for two reasons: the minimal price tag and Luis Rivas, who is currently slugging a robust .287). It reminds me of the Shannon Stewart deal from 2003 in the sense that it "addresses" pressing needs by offering up more of same. Stewart is a good ballplayer, but when the Twins went out and got him, one of the last things they needed was a singles-and-doubles-hitting outfielder with a decent on-base percentage.
Boone is very likely not a good player anymore, apart from his glove; he's just another below-league-average infielder who appears poised to enter the last, journeyman phase of his career. Here's how Boone stacks up against the Twins' other two muddle-infielders, Nick Punto and Juan Castro:
Boone .231 BA, .299 OBP, .385 SLG Punto .274 BA, .341 OBP, .408 SLG Castro .240 BA, .262 OBP, .358 SLG
Ryan could probably collect all the Boones if he were so inclined. Brother Aaron, back with Cleveland this year after a leg injury, plays third base and has been almost as good as Bret: .211, .266, .362.
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