One area of need for the Minnesota Twins that has fallen under the radar is the middle infield. There are plenty of potential options in place, including the soon-to-be 39-year old Jamey Carroll and a group of young players that includes Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar. But it goes without saying none of those options are particularly exciting, and adding someone else to the mix to increase competition during spring training may benefit all involved.
Reid Brignac was designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, and the Twins are among the teams rumored to have interest in him. The Rays can trade him or place him on waivers within 10 days from the day of designation, and after that point it can be assumed they will simply release him. In any case, should the Twins have interest in Brignac?
Brignac spent most of the 2012 season in the minors, hitting .231 with eight home runs and 46 RBI over 400 plate appearances for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate. He played just 16 games for the Rays last season, tallying two hits with one RBI over 21 at-bats, and has a .227 career batting average with 10 home runs and 67 RBI over five major league seasons (256 games-716 plate appearances).
Brignac displayed some power earlier in his minor league career, with 56 home runs from 2005-2007, but that has basically gone away over the last few years as he has gone back and forth between Triple-A Durham and Tampa Bay. Whether he can recapture any of that at age 27 is unclear and perhaps unlikely, but any team that has real interest in him would certainly consider a significant offensive contribution a bonus at this point anyway.
Brignac can play both middle infield spots, and is considered an excellent defensive player, which theoretically makes him a solid fit for the Twins. But he is not a major upgrade over their current group, and I think the team would be better served giving Florimon and Dozier a chance to secure starting jobs during spring training.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.