12/11/07 9:58 PM ET
Twins ink Monroe to one-year deal
Veteran joins outfield mix for $3.82 million plus incentives
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Young and Michael Cuddyer are expected to be the starting corner outfielders, and Jason Kubel likely will be the team's primary designated hitter. Monroe's role with the club will be to provide a right-handed bat for the DH spot against lefties and to add some more depth to the outfield.Despite having Monroe, Young, Cuddyer, Kubel and Jason Tyner all as outfield options, Smith said he isn't concerned about finding enough at-bats for all the players. "Between right, left and DH, there are going to be plenty of at-bats available," Smith said. "It's a long season. You certainly need quality guys and also a little bit of depth to get through some of the nagging injuries. You also have to give the manager a little more flexibility with matchups throughout the season." Five outfield options is a lot, considering that none are candidates to take over for Torii Hunter in center field. Smith mentioned the fact that Young and Monroe both have the ability to play center, but the club would prefer them only to fill in as backups at the spot. "We're still going to need an everyday center fielder," Smith said. "We do not have an ideal candidate for that right now." Center field isn't the only hole the Twins still have to fill. With so many outfielders and no solution yet at third base, there has been some questions as to whether the Twins might move Cuddyer back to third. It's a position he started at during the 2005 season. But Smith said the club isn't looking to do that at this time.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.