PUNTO RETURNS TO TWINS
Nick Punto isnâ€™t the full-time shortstop the Minnesota Twins are seeking, but heâ€™s been excellent insurance in the past and now will be for another two years. Punto, 31, signed a two-year deal for $8.5 million with an option for a third year Thursday.
Punto batted .284 last season and was the Twinsâ€™ regular shortstop for much of the season. The Twins have had trouble filling the position since trading Jason Bartlett to the Tampa Bay Rays a year ago.
How in the world can anyone justify paying Nick Punto more than $4M per year? It is this kind of signing that makes me think that major league teams know things that those of us outside the decision making core just don’t know.
I mean, the Twins have other options for utility infielders and backup starter shortstops who might cost 1/10th what they’re paying Punto. Can he be ten times more valuable than those alternatives are? Can he be three times as valuable? It doesn’t seem so.
(Note that I’m not arguing that Nick Punto stinks or doesn’t deserve to play in the majors, or even that he isn’t a starter. The point is that he isn’t so much better than the alternatives to be worth $4M per year. If he’s worth $4M what is Rafael Furcal worth?)