Handbook Preview: Everything You'll Find Inside
We are working hard to finish up this year's edition of our annual Offseason Handbook. It will be released to preorders later this week. Anyone who does NOT preorder by the last out will have to wait unhappily for an extra three days. So preorder your digital copy now, and join the early birds. (Disclosure: If you do choose to wait, you can download it free, or $1, or $5, instead of paying the $10 preorder minimum. Pay whatever you're comfortable with, including nothing. We just want you to get it.)
Here's what you'll find inside this downloadable PDF once it hits your inbox:
- Foreword, by R.T. Rybak: We sampled the former Minnneapolis mayor's poetic prelude last week.
- Introduction: You can read the entire thing in our post setting up the 2019-20 Twins offseason.
- Five Offseason Focuses: These stand out as the five most critical areas to address in the next few months.
- 40-Man Roster: A snapshot of the Twins' roster as it stands heading into the offseason.
- Organizational Depth Charts, by Seth Stohs: Breakdowns of the system's current depth, and most promising upcoming prospects, at each position. This is what you're working with.
- Arbitration Decisions: With 10 Twins players eligible for arbitration, we analyze their situations and project a 2020 salary. Stay or go? That's up to you.
- Payroll Analysis, by John Bonnes: Geek presents all the details around spending in 2020: what's committed, what's realistic in terms of flexibility, what's possible if the purse strings really open up. He goes into greater depth on the #3Pitchers70Million framework shared here.
- Free Agents: Profiles and blurbs on dozens of available free agents, along with estimated contracts. We dive deep on the clear positions of need – catcher, rotation, bullpen – while also touching on other noteworthy names.
- Trade Targets, by Jeremy Nygaard: The creator of our Roster & Payroll tool, Jeremy has a strong grasp of MLB rosters and their technical management. We asked him to come up with some trade targets and scenarios for the Handbook, and he came through with 16 names. You can warm up with my list of four off-the-radar pitching targets not on Jeremy's list.
- "Could the Twins Actually Sign Gerrit Cole?" by me: Even if he ends up receiving the biggest free agent pitching contract in MLB history, it's not totally outlandish to envision the Twin as realistic players for the crown jewel of the market. I'll examine this topic from five angles: the player, the need, the fit, the cost, and the impact.
- "Could the Twins Find the Next Gerrit Cole?" by Tom Froemming: Offering the flipside of the previous feature, Twins Daily's head editor states his thesis off the bat. "Gerrit Cole was built, not bought." Tom follows with a thoughtful look at how the Twins might uncover the next rotation revelation, rather than paying the highest of premiums.
- "Breaking Down the Bullpen Picture," by Glen Perkins: Third on the all-time Twins saves list, number one in our hearts. Who better to weigh in on the state of the Minnesota bullpen than a man who was recently its chief ambassador? Since retiring two years ago following a 12-year playing career spent solely wearing the TC, the three-time All-Star closer now lends insight as a TV and radio analyst. We appreciate him weighing in on the current setup.
- "Fickleness of Free Agent Relievers," by me: As we put together another list of enticing-on-the-surface free agent relief options this year, I felt compelled to include a "buyer beware" warning. So I went back to last year's Handbook and reviewed how each one panned out: where they signed, for how much, and the ROI on their cost relative to their production. Not to get all clickbaity but... the results may shock you.
- "How Rest, Rocco and Recovery Won Over Mitch Garver," by Dan Hayes: The Athletic's Twins beat writer delivers an extremely informative story on the team's enlightened handling of catcher workload. You'll learn why Mitch Garver played in just over half the team's games, and how his initial reluctance turned to advocacy by season's end. This dynamic will greatly affect offseason planning at catcher, with Jason Castro heading to free agency.
- "The Revamped Twins Pitching Development Engine," by Parker Hageman: Building a championship-caliber staff is about more than trades and signings. It's about embedding an infrastructure that maximizes what you have, and unearths hidden gems. Through his uniquely perceptive lens, Parker unpacks the franchise's systematic overhaul in arms development under Derek Falvey.
- "Shifting Plans for the Twins Defense," by Matthew Trueblood: Improving run prevention isn't exclusively the domain of pitching. Minnesota's defense struggled in the second half of 2019, contributing to key losses (especially in the ALDS). Matthew, a staple at Baseball Prospectus and welcome addition to our writing rotation here at Twins Daily, submits a data-packed rundown on the team's defensive strategy.
- Twins Daily Cheat Sheet: The Handbook closes with an open-ended exercise. Using all the preceding information (plus your own unrepresented ideas), create an offseason blueprint that turns the Twins into a World Series contender, while adhering to reasonable parameters. Share it here on the site.