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Target Field Tax Status

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:58 PM
Been reading about all the losses (alleged or not) that MLB has (and maybe will again) taken with the pandemic, and wondered how the tax...
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MLB.com report on instructional league prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:30 AM
In case you haven't seen it, mlb.com has published an article on the prospects at instructional league camp and their progress.   ht...
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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 09:08 AM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:12 AM
https://www.mlbtrade...-year-deal.html
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Recent Blogs

5 Pivotal Questions Heading into the Twins Offseason

Another exciting season ended in bitter disappointment. Now, the Twins — and baseball at large — look ahead to an offseason of unprecedented uncertainty.

As we size up the months ahead, here are the top five questions on my mind.
Image courtesy of David Berding, USA Today Sports
1: Will fans be back at at Target Field in 2021?

In some ways, this question is more pertinent to fans like myself than it is to the team. I missed seeing games at Target Field this year, and I know I'm not alone. Summer isn't the same without regular trips to the ballpark. I dread the idea of another one stripped of this cherished staple.

But, it's also a legitimate factor for the Twins and their planning. The reality is that if ownership and the front office are anticipating another season of no fans in the stands, or severely diminished capacity, it's going to affect revenue expectations. And that is going to impact spending.

We'd all like to hope and believe that 2021 will bring a return to normalcy, or something close. But the sad fact is that right now, there is no specific reason to think that'll happen. The world, and especially our country, have a lot of progress to make before packed outdoor venues are a plausible scenario. And, suddenly, spring training is less than five months away.

Another key question that falls under the same largely uncontrollable pandemic-related scope: will there be minor league baseball (at least as we've come to know it)?

2: Will Nelson Cruz return? Should he?

The Twins have a number of major decisions to make on players, but none loom larger than this one. Cruz has been the heart of this team. He was named Twins Most Valuable Player last year, and was a top 10 finisher for AL MVP. Both will likely be true again this year. Cruz is without question the foremost clubhouse leader, and the outward face of the franchise. (Did you happen to see any MLB postseason promo relating to the Twins?)

While some might not like to hear it, there is a fairly good chance the Boomstick is not back in 2021.

If it were simply a matter of picking up a reasonably-priced team option, as was the case last year, this would be a no-brainer: he'd be back. But that's not the case. Cruz is hitting the open market as a free agent, and his suitors have doubled since last time around via the universal DH. Minnesota will have far more competition for his services, especially after he put together two of the best seasons of his career here.

Cruz indicated in mid-September that he hoped to stay with the Twins, but was angling for a multi-year contract. The good news is that it's now a little hard to envision him getting a guaranteed two-year deal, but the bad news is that — for the very same reason — the Twins may shy away from a competitive bidding war.

As incredible and elite as Cruz looked for the vast majority of his time here, he is at an age where baseball players can lose it very quickly. And in the final weeks of the 2020 season, the 40-year-old started to look his age in a hurry.

After participating in both ends of a doubleheader on September 8th, Cruz hit .154/.267/.256 with one home run, one double, and two RBIs in his final 11 games. And while he was the team's sole source of offense in the playoffs, driving in two runs on two doubles, it wasn't exactly Nelly Takeover Mode as we've come to know it. The versions of Cruz we saw during the opening series in Chicago, and the final series against Houston, were plainly and obviously very different.

It's a small sample, of course, but the timing and circumstances make the drop-off impossible to ignore. Minnesota has a number of young hitters looking for opportunities, and no shortage of bats they could theoretically rotate through the DH spot next year. The front office will have to deliberate on just how hard it wants to pursue Cruz this winter.



3: What is this roster's biggest need?

Heading into the offseason a year ago, the Twins' top priorities were fairly well understood: they needed a front-end starting pitcher, and a star-caliber acquisition to build upon their momentum. Many of us assumed those would be one in the same. Instead, Minnesota ended up going two different routes, trading for Kenta Maeda and signing Josh Donaldson.

Now, they have already given up one of their premier young talents and committed $23 million over the next three years, for long-term fixtures. When you add in the likelihood of dialed back spending, it's unlikely the Twins will venture quite as far into the aggressive ends of the market this offseason.

Besides, it's tough to pinpoint exactly what they need in order to take another step forward.

Could they use another high-end starting pitcher? Sure, but it's not the glaring hole it was a year ago. The Twins were one of the best pitching teams in the league, and their starters were lights-out against Houston. I'd trust Maeda, José Berríos and Michael Pineda — all due back in '21 — as my top three in the rotation once again.

The lineup underperformed, but there aren't obvious opportunities to resurrect it through offseason tinkering. Mainly they just need guys to stay healthy and get back to producing. I don't know that any starting position player is likely to be replaced from this year's (albeit rarely seen) optimal lineup, with the possible exception of Eddie Rosario.

Bench depth, bullpen arms, back-end starters ... all areas that the Twins are likely to address. But as of now, it isn't clear where they would aim to make a true impact addition.

4: Should Edgar Varela be back as hitting coach?

There's no way around it: Every Twins hitter took a significant step back in 2020, with performances ranging between mildly disappointing and confidence-shattering. The team's OPS dropped by nearly 100 points. Several mainstays never managed to navigate out of season-long slumps, and in the postseason, Houston's pitching picked Minnesota's long-tenured core apart:



What has changed since last year? Well, in a sense, everything. (And that really should be taken into account when assessing anybody's struggles.) But when it comes strictly to the Twins and baseball, we know this: heralded hitting coach James Rowson was fished away by Miami last winter, and replaced by a relatively unknown commodity in Edgar Varela.

To what extent were the offense's shortcomings attributable to this change? Personally, I have a hard time believing it's a very significant factor. But in a results-based business, Varela could be vulnerable. Assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez might also be on the hot seat, though that seems less likely since he was also here for the 2019 bash-fest.

5: What strategy will drive the Twins forward?

This really is the ultimate question. A forum thread here at Twins Daily the other day put it well: Should the team reload, retool, or rebuild?

Those three words represent very different paths, and there's an argument to be made for each.

On the one hand, this has been a .600+ team over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back division championships. The Twins have the ability to keep things mostly intact if they choose to do so. It's just not a given that they will.

Those aforementioned core pieces who came out flat, again, in the playoffs – Kepler, Sanó, Rosario, Polanco? They're all holdovers from the previous regime. So is Byron Buxton, whose game-changing ability on the field is as undeniable as his inability to stay on it. Not to mention Taylor Rogers, who hasn't been a consistently effective reliever since the 2019 All-Star break.

To what extent is the Twins front office, under Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, committed to sticking with this group, which has yet to produce a postseason victory in about half a decade of playing together?

Falvey and Levine have already begun to filter in some of their own hand-picked pieces, like Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker and (most recently) Alex Kirilloff. There are more on the way. Would the Twins consider shipping out ostensible building blocks they inherited, in order to create paths for their own guys?

It really comes down to the big-picture strategy. Either the Twins are going to stay the course, making minor moves on the fringes and hoping it all comes together for this (clearly capable) nucleus, or shake things up in a big way.

That choice will dictate items two through four on this list, and it could well be dictated by the first one.

If the Twins see an unfavorable economic outlook on the horizon, and want to take a more frugal approach in 2021 – giving Cruz's at-bats to the up-and-comers, passing on major offseason additions, allowing Varela more time to settle in as hitting instructor – that can all be explained reasonably. It wouldn't be a bad strategy on its own merits, financial implications aside.

At the same time, this current team has played at a 100-win pace over a long period, and the postseason sample – while utterly gut-wrenching – is minuscule. There's also evidence that almost every regular was hampered by injury as things unraveled (although, this recurrent theme is not exactly a point in favor of the status quo).

As Falvey himself put it, the Twins have some "soul-searching" to do, and they'll need to do it while swimming through an ocean of unknowns.

What to expect in 2021?

What to expect in December?

What to expect next week?

It's going to be an interesting several months ahead.

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38 Comments

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Nick Nelson
Oct 01 2020 10:26 PM

My answers, for the record:

 

1: As of now, I guess ... no? :(

2: Lean towards no, but depends on his level of demand

 

3: Best relief arm you can reasonably acquire

 

4: Sure why not

 

5: Stay the course ... mostly

    • blindeke and DocBauer like this

As far as roster needs, the way this team hit left handed pitching this year, it would be nice to add a couple of right handed bats that can crush left handed pitching. Unfortunately, much of the organizational depth (Cave, Wade, Kirilloff, Larnach, Blankenhorn, Gordon) is left handed. The exceptions are Rooker, who has hit righties better, and Royce Lewis. I'd love to see Lewis, who had an .851 OPS vs lefties in a down year in the minors last year, on the opening day roster, but if they don't think he's ready, I think they have to add a right handed bat via free agency or trade.

 

There are also a ton of good relievers due to hit the free agency this year. It feels like this might've been the end of Romo's time here, and if May and/or Clippard are not resigned, the bullpen all of the sudden starts to get a little thin. Some names that should be available are: Pedro Baez, Anthony Bass, Alex Colome, Ken Giles, Shane Greene, Liam Hendriks, Greg Holland, Jeremy Jeffress, Keone Kela, Mark Melancon, Yusmerio Petit, Trevor Rosenthal, Joakim Soria, Blake Trienen and Kirby Yates. If you add May and Clippard, that's 17 legit high leverage guys on the market, and I don't see why the Twins can't get 2-3 of them. There are also some proven closers there, and if Rogers continues to struggle, then he can move back to more of a matchup based role as a lefty, while someone else closes.

    • TopGunn#22, mikelink45, wabene and 1 other like this

Another question: What do the Twins do in regards to the closer role?

 

Rogers looked terrible this year. He failed in big spots. I think they should go out and get a better arm. Maybe look at Liam Hendriks or Colome. Rogers should be a 7th inning guy.

 

I think the Twins need another impact bat, and I think they should go after DJ LeMahieu. He's the perfect leadoff hitter and 2B/Utility guy for the Twins. This would also mean that the Twins move on from Arraez. LeMaheiu is going to require a lot of cash, so the Twins need to dump a couple of contracts. I think they should get rid of Kepler and Rosario. I also wouldn't be opposed to trading Sano if Larnach looks MLB ready. Yes the lineup might be a little shaky at times with possibly 3 rookies, but I really think the Twins need to move on. Kepler, Rosario, and Sano had their chance, and they didn't show up when the stage was the biggest in the playoffs.

 

Dream 2021 Lineup:

 

1) LeMahieu (2B)

3) Donaldson (3B)

3) Cruz (DH)

4) Kirilloff (1B/RF)

5) Buxton (CF)

6) Sano (1B) or Larnach (RF)

7) Rooker (LF)

8) Polanco (SS)

9) Jeffers ©

 

Bench: 

Garver

Adrianza

Cave

Blankenhorn

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RochesterDave
Oct 02 2020 04:30 AM
It’s utterly amazing that the Twins are already out of the playoffs (along with Tribe and Chisox), and it’s easy to look at the core of the team - which had disappointing seasons. This would include Polanco, Garver, Kepler, Sano, Rosario plus the oft-injured Buxton and Donaldson. There is a great group of prospects close to being ready , but if we trade any of the established players noted above, there’s no way that the Twins receive fair value back in trade(s). In terms of Cruz, I say offer him a lucrative 1-yr deal with an option based on plate appearances. I suspect he would go along with that. I have no idea what the FO’s budget will be after this pandemic year, but Pohlad has been extremely generous this year with a voluntary $25 mil contribution to BLM AND no minor league players or FO staff let go. The Twins are lucky that I believe they are one of the few teams that have no Debt.. thus freeing them from bank payments etc. I suspect that Falvine will try to keep this team together, while also bringing up some combination of Kiriloff, Larnach, Rooker and Colina.
    • mikelink45, DocBauer, Minny505 and 1 other like this

I'm currently leaning towards starting the youth movement myself.

 

Have Kepler become the new Cave. He's better than Cave. Bring up Larnach, Kirilloff and Rooker with Kepler filling in the three OF spots. They can also use the DH and First to get enough ABs. Even if they keep Cruz and Sano. Rosario should be let go (pains me to see it happen as I'm one of his few fans here). 

 

Have Polanco become the new Marwin. Bring up Lewis and rotate the infield. Polanco is better than Margo.

 

The way Baldelli like to rest players, I'd just prefer that the players being used are useful. I'm tired of giving away outs with scrubs. 

 

They don't have enough starting pitching for a full season. I wouldn't mind seeing Odo back but discounted. I, nor does really anyone, know what the prospects for pitching looks like. That would give us a solid 1-4 though. 

 

Relief pitching is kinda strange every year. Some pitchers click for a season or two and are just trash after. Some stick around with up and down seasons. I say find someone that's clicking or able to and use them up. 

 

It's time to see what the kids can do. It's time to see if this FO is actually any good and finding talent through the draft, trades and INT signings. It's time to test the mettle of these players. Time to play with some heart and fire. I'm also so bored with other teams bringing up young talent years before the Twins do. Service time isn't going to matter very soon so let's get these guys up and figure out how to avoid going 0-20(21) next year. It's ok to take risks and it's ok to be wrong. This safe approach isn't working. 

    • TopGunn#22, mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

I'd move some of the veterans where you've got guys like Kirilloff, Rooker and Lewis (to a lesser extent maybe?) waiting in the wings. That frees up some cash and freshens up the lineup as well. That should help acquire a needed bullpen piece or two.

 

While I don't take much from this crazy season, I do think that this core group has shown that they're not going to get it done. Division titles are nice, but it's not what I'm setting my goals at. Winning just one game in October shouldn't be such a tough ask, let alone a major accomplishment. In general, I think the FO has done a good job of improving the team, but they haven't been able to finish the job, in my opinion, and make them a team to reckon with in the playoffs.

    • Greglw3 likes this

Thanks for another great article, Nick. Don't know how you keep them coming day after day, but they are appreciated.

 

Expect the first question is the biggie that everything else will be subject to. Opening day is now less than six months away. Looking back six months, really not much has changed. Yes, there is hope for a vaccine in the coming months and perhaps some better treatments. But COVID-19 isn't going away, we are gonna have to learn to live and yes, die with it. That means old fahrts like me and my wife don't have much of a life making Twins games on tv so very important. It also means that there will most certainly be both limitations and restrictions on fans at Target Field next April.

 

With that a strong probability and a large loss in 2020, don't see how the Twins payroll budget won't be much smaller in 2021, probably down to $100M or even less. Actually, the worst scenario for their CFO is that there is a full season with attendance limited to 15%-25% which would likely generate bigger losses than this year. Gonna be an interesting winter as players and the union gripe about not receiving those big long-term deals. So I see the Twins doing more tinkering along with a few smart trades rather than any BIG free agent signings. 

 

Would love to see Nellie back, but on a one year deal. Agree with you that it is probably 50-50.

 

A big need is getting several players who play best on the big stage when needed the most. But their biggest need may be a new manager. I cannot believe that an entire team goes in the tank on the biggest stage because all of their key players are losers. I refuse to believe that both Maeda and Berrios needed to be removed and the outcome wouldn't have been different had they stayed in. I cannot understand the constant shifting and bringing the infield in early in a game when a double play would end the inning. Two key runs were scored by Houston on weak ground balls that were outs for the first 100+ years this game has been played. Those are all the Manager's decisions, and they weren't good.

 

As for the hitting coach, I wasn't around the team and have no way of knowing whether he should stay or go.

 

It appears the Twins have a half dozen players ready to step up and play. Rooker, Jeffers, and Kirilloff all look to be ready. Jeffers spot is easy, the others will require that another player be moved. Don't know what form it will take, but they are gonna have to start getting some of these guys playing time.

 

Thanks, Nick.

    • peterb18, mikelink45, DocBauer and 2 others like this
I think we’re missing something here. Maeda, Berrios and Pineda are signed for 2021 but Hill and Odorizzi are not. The FA SP market is Bauer and Stroman, whose coming off an injury. I’d bring Hill back since he’s a lefty and bring back Odorizzi if we can’t get Bauer, who will get an insane contract. If that doesn’t work, it will be Dobnak or a trade.
    • TopGunn#22 likes this

Have we considered that MLB liked the short season and might use Covid to test a 100 game season next year?Or 81 so they can pay half salaries.I think they liked this short season and 16 team playoff.  

 

 

Having had the benefit of being able to watch a significant amount of baseball (still less than I would like, but more than I normally would have in a regular season) I had a lot to watch and not rely on box scores.What my eyes and brain tell me is that the hitting coach situation has to be addressed.The #s back up the fact that this was a major regression across the team, and with Falvey & Co. so driven by analytics I have to think that this is the very first change that they make.

    • tarheeltwinsfan, wabene and rdehring like this

Per my unscientific calculations, the Twins have $79M in firm and likely commitments next season, with some Arb guesses by me.

Garver – 1.0
Jeffers – 0.5
Donaldson – 21.0
Polanco – 4.3
Arraez – 0.5
Sano – 11.0
Kepler – 6.5
Buxton – 4.0

 

Maeda – 3.0 (officially, but likely much higher with incentives)
Berrios – 6.0
Pineda – 10.0

 

Rogers – 5.0 (included, but…. Are we sure?)
Duffey – 3.0
Wisler – 1.5
Stashak – 0.0
Alcala – 0.5
Thielbar – 0.5

 

Not listed and not included in the total… Dobnak and Smeltzer

Romo’s option declined and Rosario not offered Arb.

26-man spots that still need filling…
SP
SP
RP
RP
LF
4th OF
IF
Util
DH

 

Perhaps because it’s an easy connection to make and perhaps because where there’s smoke there’s fire, Bauer has been link as a possible MN FA. He’s also said in the past (which might have changed) that he’s going to do a bunch of 1-year contracts. So, would you be up for signing Bauer to a 1/30 contract? It likely means no Nelson Cruz. And likely means no substantial free agent additions (maybe a $5M-ish RP), but I feel like we can fill most of the rest of those 26-man spots with players already in the organization.

 

SP – Bauer
SP – Dobnak (or some Bailey-esque FA signing)
RP – Internal
RP – Internal
LF – Kirilloff
4th OF – Wade/Cave/Larnach
IF - ?? Blankhorn
Util - ??
DH – Rooker/Sano/Larnach

 

That puts us around $120M in likely commitments, including about $7M for incentives likely to be attained by Maeda

 

Play ball!

My answers to the article:

1. Probably not, unless a miracle happens in the next 5-6 months. :( 

2. I'd love to see Cruz back for one more year. It's risky to continue counting on his unrepaired wrist, but the team needs a strong veteran presence like him to look up to IMO. 

3. Gonna go outside the box and say their biggest need is sorting through the gluttonous amount of LH hitting corner OF in the organization. Need to make some tough choices this winter. 

4. I would certainly look elsewhere for a new hitting coach. When the entire team underperformed at the plate, it's time to find a different voice. 

5. I would look at doing a re-tool this winter. I think the core has been around long enough to make these tough calls and add different voices in the clubhouse. None of us will have these answers besides immediate staff... They need to think back to this last week, and really dig into what each person did. Were they vocal pumping up the other players? Were they visibly scared and the moment was too big? We've got to figure out why the offense has shown up completely flat the last 2 playoff series. 

 

    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer, dbminn and 2 others like this

Good article Nick, but I would take a different slant.In order of priority:

 

1. Change the mindset of this organization.Start with Jim P pronouncing the single goal for 2021 is for Twins to go deep in playoffs. Anything less will be considered a failure and will result in a shakeup of the organization.

 

2. Immediate changes should include new hitting coaches.While you can't blame hitting dropoff on coaches alone,such a change sends a clear message to the players that continued under-performance will not be tolerated; slow starts in April/May will result in lineup changes.A new bench coach - with a much more agressive mindset than Baldy - should be hired.Hiree can be looked at as new manager in waiting.  

 

3. Behind closed doors, Falvey has to admonish Baldy to have more faith in starters to go beyond 5 innings.This fast hook was inexcusable and led to a tiring bullpen later in the season.It's difficult to assess a player's injuries, but this abbreviated season was marked by babying many of the players.These guys are professionals and should play unless team doctors rule otherwise.Again, Baldy's incessant need toresti his players in a two month season was inexplicable.

 

4. The lineup should be retooled, primarily by adding higher OBP hitters, even at expense of HRs.This all or nothing lineup just will never get it done if postseason success is the stated goal.Players like Arraez, maybe Jeffers and Kirillof, should be given every chance to supplant all or nothing types like Garver, Sano and perhaps Rosario or Kepler.Not a wholesale revamping, but one or two early demotions to send a hard message.If there is money to spend on FAs, spend it on preferably a RH batter with high OBP, not on a starter.

 

5.Falvey should not rest on his well-deserved laurels.Kudos to Maeda and Donaldson additions, but failing to recognize at the trade deadline that Rogers was ineffective and needed to be demoted was a major blunder.Rosenthal was available from KC and maybe even Hader.This offseason must see a serious retooling of the pen, which would include establishing a set closer and two late inning shutdown types.One or two might be on the roster already but to stand pat and hope for improvement is not an option for an organization committed to playoff success.

 

6. And lastly, players with a more agressive mindset need to be added.Whether its ownership, Falvey, Baldy, his coaches, or players, the Twins have been lacking in leadership since the days of Kelly, Puckett, Hrbek, Gladden,, Gaetti.There is no heart on this current team.Who are the leaders?Cruz, Romo?This team has been passive for years, as shown by folding in 18 straight playoff games.Mauer and Morneau never really provided the leadership and hard edge that the 87/91 teams exhibited.We've had lineups at least as good as those WC teams, but not the hearts.Find a couple of gamers who don't like losing!Change the clubhouse culture!Losing can no longer be acceptable.

    • TopGunn#22, rdehring and Bomba2026 like this
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OldTimeTwinkie
Oct 02 2020 08:28 AM
I would argue that this season the opposing pitchers both starting and relief pitchers were much tougher than what we face last year. White Sox, KC, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati all showed improved arms with a ton of power arms coming out of the bullpen. Pittsburgh is the only team that was not in that category. The hitting coach may not have been the problem.
    • DocBauer likes this

:huh:

 

I was just really impressed that Nick managed to get in a shot at the "previous regime". 

1. Way outside of my knowledge and too early to speculate I would believe. 

2. I am all for it.I agree he slumped end of season and maybe that was age catching up, the lack of rest days because of schedule, or lack of protection behind him and he was pressing.He would get so many sliders just off the plate, some being called against him adds to chasing it.He crushed 2 doubles and still looked like he knows what he is doing.I would not break bank on return, but I would like to see him back.

3. That is hard one to answer.They can always upgrade pitching, but is it biggest need?They have many ready to go minor league guys most likely, and will they fill holes?I guess I would lean toward pen overall.

4. I would look into hitting coach, but offense was down across the board this year, not just on Twins team.Some teams it was up, but ball was not as juiced so we expected lower OPS.I am wondering how difficult COVID rules made adjustments for hitters during the season.I mean normal year we would have had 100 more games to play before playoff to make adjustments to how pitchers were going at hitters.

5. For me, it is retool.Let some go, trade who has some value, but keep the core overall that you have signed.Bring in some younger guys see what you got, but not full overhaul.I would point out, Kiraloff was not a Falvene pick, he was drafted the year prior to their hiring.He came up in their system, but they did not draft him.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

With all the talk about hitting coaches I began wondering about something I must have heard several times during every broadcast. That is that they were not allowed to use some type of video during games that they had relied upon in previous years. Assume it had something to do with Houston prior transgressions, but not sure of that either

 

Will that video be back next year? Did it make that much of a difference to be the cause of so many good hitters throughout the league doing poorly?

    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer, wabene and 1 other like this
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nicksaviking
Oct 02 2020 09:06 AM

1. I'd like to go to a game next year, but who knows what's going to happen. I'd guess at some point there will be some kind of database or ID card for those who have received a vaccine or who have already gotten Covid so those folks can get out and about. Seems like an overreach perhaps, but people are going to want to start opening things up for those no longer at risk at some point.

 

2. I doubt anyone offers Cruz more than one year + an option. The Twins may drag it out like they normally do with free agents, but I'll bet he comes back, he seems real comfortable here.

 

3. I don't think the roster has any big needs, so like signing Donaldson last year, just go get the best players you can and sort out the positions later. Trevor Bauer sure does look like a perfect fit.

 

4. Yeah, I bet Varela is gone. The bats were way off this year.Might not even be his fault but someone will get sacrificed for sure.

 

5. I'd like to see some trades this off season. Last year I'd have liked to see some prospects moved for pitchers, but I might rather see Kirilloff, Lewis and company instead next year. There's not much room for Rosario, but I don't know who still has value. Kepler and Polanco's contracts should be worth a lot, but then they laid an egg this season. No idea what Sano's value is. Maybe move Arraez? Let Polanco and Lewis man the middle infield? If Berrios won't sign an extension maybe it's time to pull the trigger on him?

 

 

    • TopGunn#22 and DocBauer like this
The problem is that Baldelli yanks out a pitcher that has given up 0 runs.....This is the main reason we lost to Houston. The team gets behind and they seem to just give up. I'd make Cruz the player Manager. The players are not the issue. And spending millions on Donaldson was a bad decision. How much time will he miss next year? Finally, You could not pay me to go to downtown at night to a Twins game. Not a safe City.
    • jkcarew likes this
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lukeduke1980
Oct 02 2020 09:44 AM

As the season developed this year I noticed pitchers really avoiding the hot zones of our various bomba boys.Is the launch angle approach too vulnerable to hitters looking for pitches only in their hot zones, leaving them flummoxed and panicky when a team successfully game plans to pitch around their zones?Can a new hitting coach fix this approach on a Kepler?  

 

The problem is that Baldelli yanks out a pitcher that has given up 0 runs.....This is the main reason we lost to Houston. The team gets behind and they seem to just give up. I'd make Cruz the player Manager. The players are not the issue. And spending millions on Donaldson was a bad decision. How much time will he miss next year? Finally, You could not pay me to go to downtown at night to a Twins game. Not a safe City.

I didn't like seeing Berrios get pulled so early, but it wasn't the main reason we lost - this offense had no chance of winning this game with the amount of pathetic ABs they took. There were so many hittable pitches that they missed, even Cruz got a meatball right down the middle and he fouled right off.

 

I'd say the players are mostly the issue, these guys aren't hitting when they need to! Other teams' lineups have been jumping all over good pitching so far in the playoffs, yet the Twins hitters don't have a clutch bone in any of their bodies outside of Cruz. Couldn't even hit a single HR, despite their moniker as the bomba squad! Rocco certainly did a poor job managing things, but you can't win ballgames when your offense scores 1 run per game.

    • TopGunn#22 and wabene like this
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Dodecahedron
Oct 02 2020 10:53 AM

Some will disagree, and probably quite strongly, but in my mind this is still a young/inexperienced team. Any "rebuild" the Twins have been doing is not yet complete. Starting a new rebuild before finishing the current one sounds very Terry Ryan-like. Let's not do that again.

 

This team took a giant leap forward with pitching and hitting was down leaguewide. After last year's record setting offense, we knew the hitters were going to be closer to normal this year, didn't we?

 

Much of the advice I'm reading here is to strip something and build anew. After a crazy, shortened season where three teams in the the AL Central feasted upon weak AL and NL Central teams (and promptly got bounced from the playoffs), I don't think you can read too much into this year. 2020 will not have an asterisk (nor should it), and years from now when people look at division championships, it won't even dawn on most people that this was a shortened, wackadoodle season.

 

The Twins looked downright miserable at the end, and it was a strange year all around. Say what you want, the simple fact is this team was done; how the team performed over the course of the year is almost irrelevant. When it came time to play in the playoffs, their heads were somewhere else. This was a different team that what we saw just a couple of weeks earlier.

 

My only advice is for Baldelli to practice what he preaches. He sank the team by managing ahead. He needs to focus on the current game like he says he does. Don't pull healthy and performing pitchers or hitters to rest them for later. if you don't win today, tomorrow does not matter. It was a stroke of luck that the Twins won the division, and of course you don't win in the playoffs by luck alone.

    • DocBauer, chpettit19, wabene and 1 other like this

1. I think yes, but maybe not right away and maybe not full stands. I think it's possible that a real and properly tested vaccine may be available and in distribution by March, which is the only way large-crowd events will be able to be handled safely, particularly as we continue to deal with flare-ups on the pandemic. If it's been distributed widely enough and shows enough effectiveness...I think fans will be able to watch live again. In some fashion.

 

2. I'd look to bring him back, on similar terms to the original: 1 year or 1 + a team option. Otherwise...you let him go. (You probably let him go if someone offers him $20M too)

 

3. Biggest need might be for a high BA hitter to add to the lineup. It's not a monumental need, but with the power swingers and high K guys, they might need to sprinkle in another guy who hits for average as part of their good OB%. I'm not interested in a guy who hits an empty .300 and never walks and is nothing but a singles hitter...but frankly even a late-period Joe Mauer hitter would be good for the lineup. Maybe Kirilloff is that guy (with much more power)?

 

4. Unless you think Varela has lost the room, you might as well bring him back. It's really hard to know much about his specific performance in this weird sprint of a season. I think hitting coaches have more impact over time.

 

5. It's definitely more of a reload with a little retool over a rebuild. The rotation is solid for next season, there's a bunch of good arms in the bullpen, the lineup should be very good to great, even in the face of what happened here. Overreaction to small sample sizes and weird, impossible seasons is the sort of thing franchises with massive revenue streams can do and buy their way out of any mistakes they make by making decisions made based on emotion...it's not a path to sustained success for the Twins. Who have been very successful the last two seasons. It's been a lot of wins and a team that's been very fun to watch. The "blow it up, fire everyone" crowd should probably go take a nap.

    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer and wabene like this

Think attendance will be upgraded to limited maybe 10,000 per game. Cruz is a big question mark for me, maybe bring back only if price is right. Hitting is waiting in St. Paul, give some young player a chance. Pitching is always in flux, especially relievers, will need to add a couple but again there are some young pitchers that should get their opportunity. I know RB likes veteran players but some of present Twins will need to take on that role instead of adding someone.

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MNTWINSWINAGAIN
Oct 02 2020 12:07 PM

Just going to use the Sportrac MLB multi-year payroll list to make decisions and then add players to fill holes.

 

Catcher

Alex Avila2021 UFA-resign him for $4m and use as backup/mentor

Mitch Garver 2021 Arb 1-resign and use as C, DH and 1B

Ryan Jeffers 2021 Team Control- resign and make primary C

 

1st Base

Miguel Sano 2021 $7m- Trade to NL team that needs DH(Miami)

 

2nd Base

Luis Arraez 2021 Team control- resign and make primary 2B

 

3rd Base

Josh Donaldson 2021 $21m- primary 3b, some 1b and DH

Marwin Gonzalez 2021 UFA- goodbye

 

SS

Jorge Polanco 2021 $3.84m- utility player at SS, 2B or trade

Ehire Adrianza 2021 UFA- ?? depends on other transactions

 

OF

Eddie Rosario 2021 ARB3- trade

Max Kepler 2021 $6.5m- primary RF

Byron Buxton 2021 ARB3- resign, primary CF

Jake Cave 2021 team control- trade

Brent Rooker 2021 team control- resign and LF/4th OF

 

Starting Pitchers

Jake Odorizzi 2021 UFA- goodbye

Michael Pineda 2021 $10m- starting rotation

Jose Berrios 2021 ARB2-resign, starting rotation

Kenta Maeda 2021 $3.125M+- starting rotation

Rich Hill 2021 UFA- resign, starter/relief

 

Relief Pitchers

Sergio Romo 2021 $5m option- decline and goodbye

Taylor Rogers 2021 ARB3- resign and setup/cl

Tyler Clippard 2021 UFA- resign 

Trevor May 2021 UFA- resign

Tyler Duffey 2021 ARB2-resign

Matt Wisler 2021 ARB2-resign

Cody Stashak 2021 Team control-resign

Devin Smeltzer 2021 team control- AAA or trade

Jorge Alcala 2021 team control- resign 

Caleb Thielbar 2021 team control-resign

 

DH

Nelson Cruz 2021 UFA- goodbye unfortunately

 

Retained/Buried payroll

Homer Bailey 2021 UFA-goodbye

Ildemaro Vargas-already released

 

Summary- Looks like I keep 22 players from the Sportrac list.Room for additions from inside and outside the organization.

 

2021 roster

Catcher-Jeffers, Avila and Garver

1B-Donaldson, Garver....

2B-Arraez, Polanco, Adrianza

3B-Donaldson, Adrianza

SS-Polanco, Adrianza...

OF-Kepler, Buxton, Rooker, Kirillof...

 

Starting Pitchers-Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Hill...

Relievers-Rogers, Clippard, May, Duffey, Wisler, Stashek, Theilbar...

 

With only 3 players to add, I am going after Mitch Moreland 1B/DH, Jose Iglesias SS and Trevor Bauer SP.Why?Moreland is cheaper and more polished than Sano, Iglesias over Polanco because of defense(Polanco can not go to his right and then make a throw with anything on it because he does not plant and throw overhand, he slings it sidearm), Bauer because he is a true ace.

 

If I can trade Polanco and get good value for him, I do it and bring back Jonathan Schoop to play UT at 1b, 2b and 3b and bring up Lewis, Gordon or Javier to back up Ilglasias.Area of extreme concern is getting backup that can play 3B because Donaldson is on the IL too often.Schoop has the arm and can hit.Adrianza does well defensively but is inadequate offensively.Polanco does not have the arm.Arraez might work there in a pinch, but having a guy like Schoop would be better.

 

OF additions come from Milb but would be nice to add a guy like Kevin Pillar to put a good defender who hits RH in the mix and someone who could adequately fill the hole that Buxton regularly vacates.

 

Relief staff shortages are filled by Milb guys that need seasoning and who could swing through the rotation, including Dobnak.

 

Key additions-Bauer($25m), Schoop($6.5m), Moreland($4.5m), Ilglasias($4.5m), Pillar($5m)

 

Key subtractions-Cruz($10m+), Sano(good ridance)($11m), Polanco($4.4m), Rosario($9m), Cave($1m), Romo($5m), Gonzalez($9m), Adrianza($2m), Odorizzi($18m)

 

$45m added, $70m subtracted.

 

Traded players Sano, Polanco, Rosario, Astudillo and Cave used to stock Milb with highest ceiling pitchers that can be attained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • TopGunn#22 likes this

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