Miguel Sano's positional future with the Twins is somewhat dependent on whether the Twins can sign Byung-ho Park, a 29-year-old home-run hitter from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
Minnesota won a bid to exclusively negotiate with Park, who destroyed KBO pitching last season by hitting .343 with 53 home runs and 146 RBIs.
“We went out and got a guy who’s got some pop in his bat, as long as we can reach an agreement," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Monday, per the Star Tribune. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but he’s someone we think could give us more length to our lineup, another power guy in the middle.”
Adding Park would create a logjam at the corner infield positions. Joe Mauer is expected to start again at first base, and moving Sano to the outfield would allow Trevor Plouffe to start at third while Park could rotate between first and DH.
Sano was almost exclusively used as a designated hitter during his 80-game rookie season. According to CBS Sports, he played all but 11 games as the DH – in part due to a hamstring injury he suffered and played through.
At this point, manager Paul Molitor says working Sano out as an outfielder is nothing more than an experiment, but it's an option he wants to consider, the Pioneer Press reports.
Minnesota has a young, talented outfield with Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Oswaldo Arcia all up-and-coming.
Yahoo's Jeff Passan also
" target="_blank">says Minnesota trading Plouffe isn't out of the question. Doing so would allow Sano to remain at third base.
We're just playing around a bit here, but how would you feel about this Twins lineup next season?
- Aaron Hicks - CF
- Brian Dozier - 2B
- Miguel Sano - LF
- Trevor Plouffe - 3B
- Byung-ho Park - DH
- Eddie Rosario - RF
- Joe Mauer - 1B
- Eduardo Escobar - SS
- Kurt Suzuki - C
Note how this sample lineup doesn't include Byron Buxton. Hicks was better than Buxton last season, and that's the only reason we used this sample. Buxton could very well blow the Twins away in spring training and force Molitor to put him in the starting lineup.
Create a lineup you like and send it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.