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Twins demote Romero

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A NINTH bullpen arm is necessary despite an off day on Monday.
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Article: TEX 9, MIN 6: Odorizzi Lays an Egg

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Ex-Twins in the Box Scores

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Bobby Wilson

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:12 PM
How much longer is the team going to continue to trot out a 35 year old catcher hitting .138?It makes zero sense and I get that there is...
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Twins Daily Roundtable: Extension Candidates

Twins Daily Roundtable is a new weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond in 200 words or less. This will give readers an opportunity to see multiple points of view and then add their own point of view in the comments section.

Minnesota has a lot of questions surrounding their roster for next season. The club has very little money committed beyond the 2018 campaign. While this can be seen as a roster reset, it’s also scary to consider which players might be getting significant playing time next season.

That being said, extensions are a tricky endeavor. Players reaching free agency can have some flaws. Fans saw how cold the free agent market was last season. This year’s free agent class has some big names but I doubt any of them will end up in a Twins uniform.

This week’s roundtable discussion question is: “Who’s the one player the Twins should be working the hardest to sign to an extension?”
John Bonnes
I’m hesitant to commit long term to pitcher, but Jose Berrios looks like an exception. Here’s why:

The Time Is Right
Next offseason he’ll be in the sweetest of sweet spots for an extension, between his second and third year of service time. At that point he still has one year of making close to minimum wage, so if he has some arm problems, they’re on him. For that kind of player, especially a pitcher, a big chunk of guaranteed money can make a lot of sense.

He’s Young
Berrios relatively early start to his career works in both Berrios’ and the Twins’ favor for a long-term extension. He’ll become a free agent after the 2022 season, but he’ll only be 28 years old when he hits the free agent market. If he agrees to a deal that buys out a year of free agency or two, he can still hit the free agent market in his prime as a 29 or 30-year-old

He’s Good
But you know that. He should be the top priority this offseason for an extension.

Nick Nelson
Before the season started, I suggested that signing Byron Buxton to a contract extension ought to be the front office's top priority. Right now, that take admittedly looks... not good. But I'm not backing away. In fact, Buxton's tumultuous start to the season only decreases his leverage while increasing that of the Twins. Existing questions about his ability to stay healthy and produce at the plate are only magnified, so his desire to attain long-term security ought to be heightened.

Despite his tribulations and constant regressions, I remain a strong believer in Buxton's game-changing talent. I'm confident he'll pull it all together and blossom into an MVP-caliber player. If the Twins take action now, they could score a discount on some of his best years. And if he continues on the path he's currently on? Well, they'll have much bigger concerns than overpaying him in salary.

Tom Froemming
Can I say Royce Lewis? OK, that may be a bit premature.

There are so many good extension candidates, but I’m going to go with the most urgent one to address. No, not Brian Dozier. The player I think the Twins should be working hardest to extend right now is Eduardo Escobar.

Like Dozier, Escobar is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Unlike Dozier, however, Eduado has proven he can be trusted at multiple positions. That creates a ton of flexibility. If Dozier leaves, no problem, Esky can play second. Not convinced Miguel Sano can stick at third? No problem, put Esky there. Think Nick Gordon may need to shift to second base? That’s OK, Esky can handle himself at shortstop.

The Twins have no shortage of younger players they’ll certainly be interested in keeping around long term, but time is on the team’s side with the majority of those guys. It would be a shame to see Escobar in another team’s jersey next year.

Cody Christie
Multiple players could fit into the category of extension worthy. Young players like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, and Jose Berrios are all still in their arbitration years. Veteran players like Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, and Joe Mauer will all be free agents at season’s end.

For veteran players, I believe Dozier and Escobar test the free agent market. I doubt either will be back in a Twins uniform next season. Mauer’s reoccurring concussion issues put his future plans in doubt. I don’t think he goes to another team but I don’t know if he will continue playing after this season.

For the young core, I don’t trust Sano and Buxton to stay healthy at this point. Rosario is in the midst of a career year so it might not be optimal to sign him right now. That leaves Kepler and Berrios on my list of extension candidates.

Pitching has always been a sticking point for the Twins. I try to buy out the remaining arbitration years from Berrios and add on some of his free agent years. Even if he is never a true “ace,” he can provide value at the top of the rotation.

Jeremy Nygaard
The thing that makes this question really difficult is that the player that's playing the best is likely to be the guy that most fans would say they should try hardest to extend. That guy, right now, is Eddie Rosario. The problem is that when a player is playing the best baseball of his career, you're bound to have to pay a premium to get that player to extend. So I wouldn't work hard - or at all - to extend Rosario. Ask me again the off-season, when Rosario is going into his first arbitration year and his one-year value is somewhat established by previous agreements around the league.

Max Kepler would be a better player to approach as he's heading into a Super 2 year. But that means there're four more off-seasons before free agency and it might be too early.

The player who would probably get my current vote is Kyle Gibson. One year left of arbitration before free agency, likely to be part of the "rebuild", getting Gibson signed to a two- to three-year deal would give the Twins some cost certainty and not at a huge cost. The risk to committing money to a pitcher should be partially reduced by the fact that even if Gibson regresses badly, he could still be serviceable in the bullpen. Of course, that's worse case scenario. Best case is you're saving a few hundred thousand on a solid piece of the rotation. Likely scenario is you're getting a mid-rotation guy and you know exactly what it's going to cost you.

As much as I like thinking about potential extensions, I'm at a point where I'm just curious to see who makes it through the purge in July if things don't start to get a lot better.

Seth Stohs
At the beginning of this past offseason, I suggested long-term deals for a whole bunch of Twins players:
Byron Buxton - 7 years, $76.5 Million
Miguel Sano - 6 years, $66 Million (with option to make it 7 years, $86 million)
Jose Berrios - 7 years, $46 Million (with option to make it 8 years, $60 million)
Eddie Rosario - 5 years, $28.5 Million (with 2 options that could make it 7 years, $54 million)
Max Kepler - 7 years, $48 Million (with option to make it 8 years, $61 million)
Brian Dozier - 4 years, $65 Million (with an option to make it 5 years, $73 million)
Eduardo Escobar - 2 years, $9.5 Million( with an option to make it 3 years, $13.5 million)

Admittedly, six months later, the offer to Escobar looks a bit silly. He should get much more than that. Negotiating with Eddie Rosario right now would likely end up in a bad deal for the Twins because Rosario is so hot at the plate right now. It is possible that maybe a Buxton deal or a Dozier deal could be more realistic.

As I look at that list, I have zero interest in working on a long-term deal with Sano at this point. But I'd have interest in each of the others. Priority should be Buxton, Berrios and Kepler, and then Rosario if he ever cools down.

SD Buhr
Royce Lewis

OK, I’m kidding. But not completely.

If they are as convinced he’s going to be as good as the rest of us think he is, it might not be the dumbest move they’ve ever made to get him locked up for a long time right now. And given that his agent is Scott Boras, they may HAVE to sign extend him right now if they want to have any hope of getting him signed long term, because you know that once he’s even at AA, Boras will want him to just play year-to-year until he’s a free agent.

Otherwise, though, I’d probably have to suggest getting Jose Berrios locked up ahead of his peers.

Before the season started, I would have suggested Byron Buxton, but I’m starting to get concerned about whether he’ll ever stay healthy long enough in one stretch to become the hitter we all felt he could eventually become.

I have similar, if not greater, concerns about Miguel Sano’s long term viability.

Given the challenges the Twins have had finding and keeping a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm, they probably should try to extend Berrios right now. Sure, there’s no guarantee that he’ll become a true “ace” (however you choose to define that term), but that’s probably where I’d put my money first, at this point.

Jamie Cameron
With their young offensive core, there have been so many challenges between injuries and suspensions. For me, its Jose Berrios by a mile. The Twins haven't had a potential tandem like Berrios and Romero since Santana and Liriano. Berrios is taking steps forward in 2018. He's improved his K/9 from 8.6 to 8.9, reduced his BB/9 from just under 3.0 to 1.7 and is on track to have a fWAR of 4.2 in 2018, that's borderline all-star level. He's currently 24th among pitchers in MLB with an fWAR of 1.4 (Kyle Gibson is 22nd!).

On top of all of this, Berrios has developed his curveball into one of the better versions of this pitch in baseball. He has an unrelenting thirst to maximize his talent, and just turned 24. The Twins should lock up Berrios ASAP; he can lead their rotation for the next 6-8 years.

Andrew Thares
I think that despite his lackluster performance this year, Byron Buxton is still the guy the Twins should be working the hardest to sign to an extension right now.

His upside is going away the greatest of any player on the Twins, and when healthy he probably still has the highest floor of any Twins player on the roster given what he can do in the outfield and on the base paths.

Buxton’s skill set is another factor that plays into it. Speed is unquestionably his greatest strength, and he should remain one of the fastest players in baseball until around his early 30s.

As if right now Buxton is eligible to become a free agent right after his age 27 season. This means he will be a very attractive asset on the open market (assuming he doesn’t keep hitting below the Mendoza Line).

If the Twins can eat up a couple of Buxton’s free agent years with an extension, I think it will pay huge dividends down the road.

Ted Schwerzler
This is a tricky question because I think there's more talented players ahead of the guy I believe the Twins should work to retain. Brian Dozier is going to hit the open market, and Minnesota's effort should begin and end with a qualifying offer.

Joe Mauer makes sense to be brought back on a one or two year deal if he's healthy, but the brain injury coming back into play could jeopardize that and force him to walk away. Eduardo Escobar isn't going to set the world on fire, but I think we've seen what he brings to the club as a utility guy. Some team may be willing to overpay for that, but if there's a reasonable deal to be made there, that's where I'd look first if I was Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.

Steve Lein
Three household names will hit free agency heading into the 2019 season: Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, and Eduardo Escobar. These are your options as I don’t think Jose Berrios or any of the Twins other young talent are saying yes to a deal at this point, so I wouldn’t be working hard on one.

Many would like Mauer to play for the Twins his entire career, and for as long as they’ll have him I think that will be the case. So, I don’t try too hard here either.
Brian Dozier has been a superstar at his position for three years now and is a veteran leader in the clubhouse. He also can only play second base and his heirs apparent are already at AAA (Nick Gordon) or on the suspended list (Jorge Polanco).

But I’d work the hardest on Eduardo Escobar even without those notes considered. He’s among the best utility players in the game and has thrived when thrown into a starting role. This year he leads all 2B, SS, and 3B in doubles, continuing his blistering finish to the 2017 season. He’s also a veteran presence and extremely likeable, so he’s my pick.

If you missed any of the previous roundtable discussions, here are the links:
Romero’s Rotation Spot
Top Prospect Timelines
Minnesota’s All-Star Selection

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46 Comments

Since I feel the Dozier train has already left the station sans QO, Escobar is the guy I hope they keep.He's a gamer and has made so many strides as a hitter. If he doesn't get the big hit, he often helps ruin the pitch count.He can play anywhere on the field, which makes him a natural in the neo-shift era. Last, but not least, he always brings passion and levity to the field. Echoing Tom: It would be at least disappointing to seem him in another jersey next season.

 

Jeremy's take on the July purge is where I'm at though.I'm not sure Falvine share any of our sentiments.I sometimes feel like they have some crazy, mad-scientist, five-year formula that will require a Tibetan monk's patience to follow and hopefully not result in a fan base looking like sheeple.

    • beckmt, jun, DocBauer and 1 other like this

Given that my answer today varies wildly from what I would have said in March, I'm okay with waiting it out until the trade deadline just to see how everyone looks, where the team is, and who is still on the roster. 

 

Okay, that's a cop-out.

 

If I had to choose today, I'd say Escobar and Gibson are the two you really should extend. Dozier seems like he's gone and the group of Buxton, Sano, Rosario, and Kepler all have something that makes the timing poor. 

    • jun and caninatl04 like this

You begin with signing Escobar sometime this summer.Then work on Rosario, preferably as you say above after a couple week mini slump.  

 

As for the others, work on Kepler and Berrios this winter.I believe that Buxton and Polanco can wait until next summer or the following off-season.

 

I don't think the Twins will ever be in position to sign Sano as he will always want much more than what he has proven to be worth.Hopefully, he can begin playing better so they can trade him...either this July or next winter. 

 

As for other pitchers, would expect them to do something with Gibson.Does he have another year of control?If so, that can wait until winter.

    • jun and caninatl04 like this
Can't believe I am typing these words.... Extend Kyle Gibson.
    • Twins33, jun, Sconnie and 3 others like this
There are several players i would sign.
1. Escobar. He needs a good 3/4 year 8-10 million per year ext.
2. Dozier. I think a 4 year 64 or 5/75 would work.
3. Berrios desrves it next.
4. Buxton for the right price with incentives for staying healthy.
5. Rosario a good 5 year one would be nice
6. Kepler
7. Pressly. He is good now and getting close to FA
8. Romero if he is this good by arbitration he will get expensive quickly.

Berrios is my pick. He's young, motivated, only going to get better with time, as long as he stays healthy, the Twins have a good chance to win every five days. They haven't been able to say that since Johan left. 

Escobar is clearly my choice to extend. Dozier is not longer a 'superstar'. I don't trust Sano and Buxton anymore. I have more faith in Rosario, Berrios, Kepler. I think Dozier is going to be way too expensive for what he could bring to the table.

I think that the lessons of Capps, Hughes, and Perkins should be clear:Do not extend older pitchers at their prime or older.Too much of a risk.

 

As far as pitching goes, hate to break the news but the 2019 rotation looks just like the 2018 rotation, minus Lynn, plus Pineda.Which means that it will still be a middle of the road rotation, unless one believes that one more year of experience for Berrios and Romero will make a difference.

 

As far as the position players go, I would not extend anyone who was been a starter in the pathetic Twins' teams at or around his prime or is close to or at the decline phase of his career.This takes care of the Doziers, Mauers, Castros, Grossman's etc.

 

Extending for extension's sake makes zero sense.The Front Office should have a plan for each individual player and a projected depth plan for the team from 2019-2022, along with milestones for decision points.For example, some time around 2019 there should be a decision on whether Buxton is the centerfielder of the considerable future or the team is better with Lewis in that spot.If Lewis's ETA is 2020, then they should trade not extend Buxton.Same for every player in the organization.  

 

If they see that there is no clear replacement path for someone, they have the choice to extend today's starter, or trade, or go after a free agent to fill that gap. That's what good teams do, but the Twins have been ultra light in the trade front, esp. training "front line" players...

 

So one just cannot do extensions in a vacuum.I think that all the close to arbitration players (other than Sano maybe) have clear potential replacements within the organization by when they become free agents. And Sano needs to show more at this point before an extension is warranted.The only player without a clear replacement and young enough that would deserve an extension at this point is Escobar.

    • Loosey, jun and DocBauer like this

Escobar.He could our starting 3B for the next 3-5 years, depending on how the Mauer situation plays out.Sano looks headed toward DH or 1B on a full time basis.  

    • jun and caninatl04 like this

I say Kepler or Berrios, if they can, because those are the only two young players with seemingly no risk tied to them.Kepler is improving but still underperforming so I'd start there and try to strike a deal.

There have been 40 center-fielders with at least 1000 plate appearances since Buxton came into the league in 2015.Buxton ranks 39th in both wRC+ and OBP.Yet, he's the top priority for two of the panelists.

 

I guess if you really, really, really believe he's going to hit and stay healthy...(not one, but two, things he's never done for any extended period of time)...then this would be the ultimate buy low moment.But if you're Buxton's camp, would you sell this low?

 

As a local radio personality would say...'you're either on something...or onto something'.

    • Steve Lein, Thrylos and jun like this

 

Can't believe I am typing these words.... Extend Kyle Gibson.

I just laughed and spit my drink out.Then I said, OMG, he's right.  

    • Steve Lein, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 3 others like this

 

There are several players i would sign.
1. Escobar. He needs a good 3/4 year 8-10 million per year ext.
2. Dozier. I think a 4 year 64 or 5/75 would work.
3. Berrios desrves it next.
4. Buxton for the right price with incentives for staying healthy.
5. Rosario a good 5 year one would be nice
6. Kepler
7. Pressly. He is good now and getting close to FA
8. Romero if he is this good by arbitration he will get expensive quickly.

Dozier? Please no No NO. I agree with everything else.

    • caninatl04 likes this

 

There are several players i would sign.
1. Escobar. He needs a good 3/4 year 8-10 million per year ext.
2. Dozier. I think a 4 year 64 or 5/75 would work.
3. Berrios desrves it next.
4. Buxton for the right price with incentives for staying healthy.
5. Rosario a good 5 year one would be nice
6. Kepler
7. Pressly. He is good now and getting close to FA
8. Romero if he is this good by arbitration he will get expensive quickly.

I think Dozier's best years are behind him.I also think he will discover that when he hits free agency.No one is going to pay him for the 40 HR's hit in 2016, in the year 2019.I've said it for a few weeks now, I would prefer Escobar as the starting 2nd baseman in the next few years.  

    • jun and caninatl04 like this
I too would try and keep Escobar. But still as a utility player. He isn't a true SS, or 3B but as someone noted I sadly have come to the conclusion that those position requirements are changing. Versatity has value. I also consider him the teams top "clutch" hitter this year, and a lot of last year. He is unflappable. But it would be careful also. He looks a lot shinier standing next to some of the rest of this dreadful lineup. Rosario would be very hard to extend. (I wish I had a dollar for everyone who wanted him in Rochester earlier this year) I too would hang unto Gibson if possible. His string of success has passed fluke stage. Buxton and Sano? These are the two who make or break this team, and these are the two that Falvine will earn his money on. Both a quandary. I would definitely extend Buxton. He alone could make this team offensively capable. He also completely changes the OF defense for all three positions. He is that good. I still think he will "get it", and I would gladly spend JP's money on him. Sano is another matter. If I was Falvine that decision would be far more based on my opinion of Sano's personality and work habits. Not the ones the press office and the beat writers feed us, but the real ones from people who know him. If the FO perceives him as someone who want to be here and work at it, I would extend him. If they don't, I would move him as soon as I could. He may rake somewhere else, but that doesn't do us any good here.
    • DocBauer likes this
Photo
RatherBeGolfing
Jun 06 2018 02:48 PM

 

There are several players i would sign.

2. Dozier. I think a 4 year 64 or 5/75 would work.
 

 

:unsure:

Rosario, if he has a career year, you test his market for a trade. Don't wait, like they did on Delmon Young.

 

Extend players, you can still wait until arbitration Year One to start that negotiation...when both sides do have a better idea of what Year Three MIGHT bring.

 

Gibson is a trade piece. If he holds. As are ALL free agents.

 

Yes, I would, though, extend Escobar. If Mauer doesn't return and Sano sees more time at first, Eduardo can bridge the gap until you find a new third baseman, plus he can play other positions. The question is cost. And if the Twins are tanking, you trade Eduardo and then negotiate to bring him back. I think he does love it here. And, again, if Sano goes to 1B/DH, you can pretty much promise him a season as a starter at third base. I don't see many other teams doing the same.

 

The Twins do have a strength in the outfield. But, besides Granite and maybe Wade, are all two seasons out at best. So, you can part with one of the three...and, again, would vote for Eddie!

I can't wait to read these "Dozier's best years are behind him" posts when he goes on a binge again later this year...
    • Dman likes this

I can't wait to read these "Dozier's best years are behind him" posts when he goes on a binge again later this year...

"binge again later this year". That may be the problem. :(
    • Danchat and jun like this

"binge again later this year". That may be the problem. :(


Could be. He's the equivalent of North Dakota men's hockey. Starts slow every year. By December fans want the coach fired. The next 3 months they're on fire and make the NCAA tournament.
    • Platoon likes this
To defend extending Dozier, I am confident he will get paid as both LA teams, Angels and Dodgers will be looking for a 2B. He can hit 25-30 HRs a season and plays over 150 games a season. I dont expect 40 HRs a season, but 25/30 is not out of the question. I am confident he will be fine through 35/36 years old. If he maintains that production he will help us win games and be high on the all time Twins career leaderboard and there is value in having players get towards the top of the board. He will definately be valuable next year which would be a big loss for our team. Also i dont think that amount hamstrings the Twins if he plays 150 games a year, even if his production is down some.

Yes we have a second baseman in AAA but he can be used as a trade chip. With the payroll flexibility we have now i dont see why we wouldnt want to keep Dozier.
Does anyone know what the qualifying offer numbers will be this off-season? I would extend one to Eduardo.

Extend Rosario. Negotiate with all three of the Arb-3 players: Gibson, Odorizzi and Pressley.

By the way, the Twins have a total, yes, TOTAL of $24.5 million committed to next year. Mind you, the roster would then consist of only three players.

Two more have team options.

7 are pre-arb
3 (mentioned above) Arb-3 players, and
5 each Arb-2 and Arb-1 players.
    • jun likes this

To defend extending Dozier, I am confident he will get paid as both LA teams, Angels and Dodgers will be looking for a 2B. He can hit 25-30 HRs a season and plays over 150 games a season. I dont expect 40 HRs a season, but 25/30 is not out of the question. I am confident he will be fine through 35/36 years old. If he maintains that production he will help us win games and be high on the all time Twins career leaderboard and there is value in having players get towards the top of the board. He will definately be valuable next year which would be a big loss for our team. Also i dont think that amount hamstrings the Twins if he plays 150 games a year, even if his production is down some.

Yes we have a second baseman in AAA but he can be used as a trade chip. With the payroll flexibility we have now i dont see why we wouldnt want to keep Dozier.


Agreed. It's also not illegal to trade away minor league talent too and keep Dozier. If we want to be contenders that's what contending teams do.

 

Agreed. It's also not illegal to trade away minor league talent too and keep Dozier. If we want to be contenders that's what contending teams do.

 

That's is exactly what the Yankees did not do with Cano, and Dozier and Cano are not comparable.

 

Competing teams get the best player available to play a particular position, not good old fan favorites.As a matter of fact, Dozier is not even the best player available in the 2018 Twins who can play second base for them in 2019, Eduardo Escobar (who is 2 years younger as well) is.

    • jun likes this

Competing teams get the best player available to play a particular position, not good old fan favorites. As a matter of fact, Dozier is not even the best player available in the 2018 Twins who can play second base for them in 2019, Eduardo Escobar (who is 2 years younger as well) is.


Let's forget Dozier has out produced Escobar every single year and focus on the first 60 games this year. Got it.

I would confidently bet a lot of money Dozier out produces Escobar this season again.
    • Mike Sixel likes this

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