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UdeLakeTom

Craig Monroe

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UdeLakeTom

The Twins made their first acquisition of the offseason on Tuesday, completing a trade with the Cubs for outfielder Craig Monroe in exchange for a player to be named later.

After helping the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 by hitting 28 home runs during the regular season and five more in the postseason, Monroe saw his production level off in '07. He was designated for assignment by Detroit in August after hitting just .222 with 11 home runs.

The Cubs then acquired Monroe in a trade with Detroit on Aug. 23. He hit .204 with one home run in 23 games for Chicago.

Adding Monroe gives the Twins another option in left field and is the club's first attempt to help strengthen their offense. Despite his struggles last season, Monroe has fared well against the Twins, batting .322 with 13 home runs in 283 career at-bats vs. Minnesota. He holds a career .304 batting average at the Metrodome in 35 games.

The trade comes as a bit of a surprise, considering that many baseball insiders viewed Monroe as a non-tender candidate. Monroe, 30, made $4.8 million last season and he is arbitration-eligible again this season. Had Monroe been non-tendered by the deadline in December, the Twins then could have bid on him as a free agent in a market already saturated with outfielders.

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mnwild

Well, its another hack the Twins will release about 3 months into the season when he's putting up Rondell White's numbers. Why do the constantly get these players who they will eventually release?? Oh I forgot he is a friend of Hunter's but I doubt that will help the Twins being able to sign him to a contract.

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Willy

For what he is, Monroe will be solid.

He is a spot starting outfielder/DH that will start most liklely against lefthanded pitching. I like him better than Rondell and he would be a good bench option late in a game, he has some pop.

Also, the last few years he has shown good power and rbi numbers. I will bet against lefthanded pitching, those numbers increase. He is better than Lew Ford or Jason Tyner, your other DH/LF options.

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maros91

He is better than Ford or Tyner but thats about it. This trade doesn't really excite me.

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IFallsRon

He's a career spare who'll swing at a bounced pitch. Twins won't offer him much and he'll be released in Dec.

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The Donk

I think he will actually be a good addition to the team, through the last 3-4 years whenever the Twins and Tigers met up, it seemed like he was the one that would produce the go-ahead homerun or double for the Tigers, he was a Twin-killer. Maybe he liked playing in the dome? I can tell you this.. he will DEFINITELY be better than Lewser Ford or Rodnell for MVP!

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Bushwacker

Well he is about 8 years younger than the last dozen or so guys the Twins have brought in. Maybe there is a new "youth movement". I am getting my hopes up that they might actually aquire someone in their late 20's before spring training. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Dahitman44

I agree that it is not a GREAT deal, but it is a small piece that we needed. He is much better than what we have, but if we let Hunter go and replace him with this guy ... Well that is not upgrading the lineup.

We have to hope that this is just one small step forward.

I just wish smilin carl would open his wallet and go for it -- this team is close. Add a bat or two and a vet pitcher we could make a SERIOUS run, not just a chance to be competitive.

I am tired of hearing small market this and losing money that. Smilin' Carl is one of the richest owners in baseball and he has a new stadium on the way -- he needs to step up to the plate but I doubt he will.

mad.gif

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mskyfshntchr

Torii is like a big brother to this guy. they work out in the offseason and such. i think they did it to hopefully give them a better chance to resign torii. Makes sense. If it doesn't he helps their depth in the OF and is a RH hitter which this teams SO BAD!!!

For the price, I think it was worth it. Hopefully, he isn't as bad as batista or white...

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Maximum12

For not giving up anything, why complain?

One of my major gripes someone has already mentioned - nobody with any pop off the bench or at DH. Monroe could be either any given game. If he can hit .240 with power he'd be a heckuva lot better than anyone limping off the bench in 2007.

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Dahitman44

No doubt -- bench, left or DH he is still better than what we have on the team or in minors.

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IFallsRon

It's official. Let's welcome 2008's Lew Ford:

Craig Monroe endured the worst season of his major league career in 2007, a .219 disaster that got him dumped by two teams. His 12 home runs were far below the 22 he averaged since becoming a regular, and fewer than half of the 28 he hit in 2006.

Those dozen homers also would have ranked fifth on the Twins - which is why he will play for Minnesota in 2008.

Monroe agreed to a one-year contract Tuesday that will pay him $3.8 million next season, the maximum 20 percent cut from his 2006 salary of $4.77 million. The contract also includes a bonus of $150,000 if Monroe makes 450 plate appearances, a level he reached four times in the past five seasons with Detroit. It is not guaranteed unless he makes the Twins' Opening Day roster.

"We see him as a good fit on this ballclub," said general manager Bill Smith, who declined to comment on the terms of Monroe's new deal. "He's got some power in his bat, and that's something we need more of."

Monroe's role will be up to manager Ron Gardenhire, Smith said, but the 30-year-old Texan is a logical candidate to split time with Jason Kubel as the team's right-handed designated hitter, and back up corner outfielders Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer. Many Twins fans assumed that the acquisition of Young last month would cause the Twins to release Monroe, but Smith said he is convinced that the team needs the depth Monroe provides.

"It's a long season, and we're going to need all hands available," Smith said. "There's going to

be plenty of opportunity for him to help us."

That opportunity probably wouldn't have come had Monroe not accepted Minnesota's terms on Tuesday. Teams must formally offer contracts for 2008 by today, and as an arbitration-eligible veteran, Monroe was a candidate for being non-tendered. Six other players are in that situation: Matt Guerrier, Juan Rincon, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Tyner and Kubel.

Monroe was acquired from the Cubs on Nov. 13 for a player to be named later, though had he not signed, the Twins would not have owed Chicago any compensation. The teams will determine the identity of the player after the season begins, though it is expected to be a low-level prospect.

The outfielder spent six seasons with the Tigers, and was a hero of the team's 2006 World Series run, hitting five postseason home runs. But after hitting just .222 in 99 games last season, Monroe was designated for assignment by Detroit, which eventually dealt him to the Cubs. The change of scenery didn't help. Monroe had only 10 hits in 23 games for Chicago, and was all but certain to be non-tendered.

Minnesota scouts say there is good reason to believe, however, that the outfielder's decline can be turned around.

"Sometimes players have off years," Smith said. "We believe there is a good possibility he can bounce back and really help us."

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Willy

Best bench option we have as of right now. At least there is a little pop in his bat. One of the areas the Twins have neglected the past few years has been their bench. However, 3.8 mill or whatever he signed for is too steep IMO.

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B. Amish

he's an upgrade at DH. if we get a centerfielder, we should have a much improved outfield/dh platoon.

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The Grebe

Amish...You or one of your crew didn't set up something that looked like your avatar picture, in a field off highway #65, north of Mora, a couple years ago, did you? I took a picture of almost the exact same thing on our way up ice fishing?

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B. Amish

sorry, not me or anyone i know.

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Scott M

IFalls, Adam Everett might challenge Craig Monroe for the title of Mr. Lew Ford 2008. crazy.gif

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