During the winter Matt Lawton lost to the Twins in arbitration, but even he admits this isn't such a bad thing. If the 27-year-old rightfielder had been awarded the $2.4 million he was seeking, the payroll-paring Twins might have dealt him. With Minnesota, Lawton will play every day and get a chance to build on his surprising second-half performance in '98. After a slow start nearly earned him a ticket back to Triple A, he wound up leading the Twins in home runs (21), RBIs (77), total bases (266) and runs (91). Those numbers earned Lawton the team's MVP award and ignited a small spark of excitement heading into another bleak Minnesota summer.