Sunday, February 1, 2015


Casey Blake was one who got away from the Twins, but they can hardly be faulted for that.  Despite some solid minor league seasons, he showed little at the plate during his brief call-ups to the Twins over parts of three seasons.  His path to playing time was blocked by Corey Koskie, Doug Mientkiewicz, and David Ortiz (not to mention Justin Morneau rising through the ranks) and, at 29, he was no longer considered a prospect when the Cleveland Indians signed him to a minor league deal after the 2002 season.

Given his first chance to play every day in Cleveland, however, Blake showed great versatility in the field and averaged over 20 home runs a year over his five-and-a-half seasons.  Prior to the 2008 trading deadline, the Indians flipped him to the Dodgers for catching prospect Carlos Santana, who has been a fixture in the middle of Cleveland's lineup ever since.

By the time he was done, Blake had put together a solid 13-year major league career with 167 home runs, 616 runs batted in, and a career .778 OPS.  Not exactly David Ortiz numbers, but not bad at all for a guy who couldn't crack the early 2000s Twins lineup.

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