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Non Roster Taijuan Walker

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:39 PM
From Lavelle:   Interest in Walker The Twins are finalizing their list of nonroster invites to spring training. One pitcher they are...
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Bremer’s FSN Sidekick 2020

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So with Seth confirming Morneau calling 60 games this year, how do the rest of the games break down? Morneau - 60 Bert - 20? Smalley...
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Nick Senzel

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:54 PM
According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Reds are apparently open to trading Nick Senzel after signing Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos...
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Post-Donaldson Trade - Status of Top Prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:06 PM
Lewis and Kirilloff are blocked by Donaldson, Polanco, Arraez and Sano. Without a trade or an injury, I don’t see an opening for our top...
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2019 2020 (non-Twins) off season

Other Baseball Today, 07:45 PM
My first prediction is that WA signs their two big possible FAs to extensions.   My next is that Cole goes to LAA.   The White...
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Twins Need to Make a Splash With the Rain Man: Sign Josh Donaldson

The MLB Winter Meetings have come and gone with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon inking incredibly lucrative contracts in San Diego. Now is the time for the Twins to bring their big addition to Minnesota.
Image courtesy of John E. Sokolowski, USA Today
The Twins absolutely need another starting pitcher, and they have been very active in seeking help for the rotation. The problem, however, is that the cost and demand are at unforeseen levels. Strasburg and Cole combined for 16 years and $569 million, and even Tanner Roark, Kyle Gibson and Michael Wacha saw their stocks balloon. The Twins may not be willing to commit four or five years for $100 million or more to Madison Bumgarner or Hyun-Jin Ryu, and that is understandable.

Even with Gibson and Martín Pérez struggling down the stretch, the Twins rotation ranked seventh in baseball in fWAR in 2019,. José Berríos, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda fused together for a 3.72 ERA and 513 strikeouts in 505 1/3 innings in 2019. General manager Thad Levine told Dan Hayes of The Athletic that they feel they have “stabilized” by bringing their three best pitchers back from a year ago. As much as Bumgarner and Ryu would excite fans, multiple California teams are involved with both, and the odds that they leave the west for Minnesota seem worse with every new report.

The Twins have to improve this winter. They have the talent, youth, financial flexibility and opportunity in the weak AL Central to hang division title banners on a yearly basis. So, since the “top” pitchers are unattainable or ridiculously priced, they should focus on bringing in another impact bat, while supplementing with someone like Dallas Keuchel. What if I told you the Twins could add one of the best hitters and premier defenders in baseball?

Joshua Adam Donaldson played in 155 games last year for the Braves and hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, 33 doubles, 94 RBI, and 15 runs saved defensively at third base. This was not a breakthrough year for the former MVP, as his career slash line is .273/.369/.509 with 219 home runs. He is a certified stud at the plate and is still a premier defender entering his age-34 season.

Many people will point to career trajectory and his demand of a four-year contract as deal breakers. I will happily remind you that Nelson Cruz just hit .311/.392/.639 with 41 home runs in his age-38 season. Donaldson could be different and has a history of injuries, but that is well worth the risk. A four-year, $100 million deal for Donaldson is the likely contract, and the Twins should make it happen.

But can the Twins actually convince Donaldson to come to Minneapolis? I believe they can. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Donaldson has a relatively small market. The Nationals and Braves have been most heavily linked to him, but neither team has the financial flexibility of the Twins. The ink is still drying on Strasburg’s huge deal with the Nationals, and they seemingly made no effort to resign Anthony Rendon this winter. I would be surprised if the Nationals committed $100 million to a different third baseman.

The Braves want to keep Donaldson, and he has expressed a preference to return to Atlanta, but they are not confident in being able to pay him.This leaves the Dodgers as another linked team, but something tells me they won’t move Justin Turner over to first base for someone not named Rendon. This is a bidding war that the Twins can win.

There will be push back from the fan base if the Twins add a big time bat over an arm, but the goal here is to get better. Donaldson is a six-win player and the Twins can pound teams into submission while developing their pitchers from within. The left side of the infield was weak last year and Donaldson brings outstanding defense. Brusdar Graterol, Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran are on the horizon, and avoiding ludicrous contracts with aging pitchers is nothing to scoff at.

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47 Comments

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tony&rodney
Dec 13 2019 09:10 PM

Sure, why not. I hoped that all the bucks could gather a top pitcher but shifting strategies is a good option if the Twins management is stymied. JD should get 3/$75M, but he could really be ok at 4/$100M. He could play some !B and DH occasionally.

I would like to see Sano signed to a three or four year contract too. If he is not looking like he is amenable to signing long term, attempt to talk Atlanta into a deal: MS to Atlanta for Pache, Wright, and Toussaint or Anderson.

    • alphanumeric likes this

 

I would like to see Sano signed to a three or four year contract too. If he is not looking like he is amenable to signing long term, attempt to talk Atlanta into a deal: MS to Atlanta for Pache, Wright, and Toussaint or Anderson.

 

...did someone say Pache?Wow.Did we just become best friends?That Atlanta outfield is crowded.I like the cuttuh yer jib.

Sure we could sign him....he may just bump us from a wildcard game loss to divisional series loss.

 

We need lots more quality starting pitching. Our offense is pretty deep and could sustain a regular amount of seasonal injuries.

 

Just imagine what happens if Odo or Berrios even gets dinged up a bit and misses even a month....YIKES

    • h2oface, alphanumeric, DocBauer and 3 others like this

We have the positions filled (except 1B).Are the Twins supposed to do this just to spend money?Can he pitch?

    • Thrylos, DocBauer and In My La-Z-boy like this

This signing would make no sense.Too bad Rendon signed already because we could have added him as well and then have 3 starters at 3rd base.The only way this could make sense is that you have a blockbuster trade for Sano lined up and we have a top flight pitcher coming our way.I doubt that is happening.

    • mikelink45 and Captain Torii like this

I'm not really interested in position players. 

 

The team won 101 games last year yet fell short, due to lack of pitching.

    • mikelink45 and D.C Twins like this

 

I'm not really interested in position players. 

 

The team won 101 games last year yet fell short, due to lack of pitching.

The offense also did very little in the playoff series, and the infield defense was pretty bad. Donaldson would improve both of those, and there's still room to add another starter. It might just have to be through a trade, since the FO doesn't appear to want to overpay a FA right now.

    • gunnarthor, Twins33, Dantes929 and 1 other like this
Why did Donaldson have calf injuries on both the left and right calves like 4 times total? Last year I remember there was a point in the season thay they were concerned.

Buyer beware. One year maybe.
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terrydactyls1947
Dec 14 2019 01:16 PM
I would rather see what it would take to get Trevor Story from Colorado. Move Polanco to 2B, Arraez to 3B, and Sano to 1B. Defense is much stronger with minimal impact on the offense.
    • Steve Lein likes this

 

But can the Twins actually convince Donaldson to come to Minneapolis? I believe they can. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Donaldson has a relatively small market. The Nationals and Braves have been most heavily linked to him, but neither team has the financial flexibility of the Twins. The ink is still drying on Strasburg’s huge deal with the Nationals, and they seemingly made no effort to resign Anthony Rendon this winter. I would be surprised if the Nationals committed $100 million to a different third baseman.

The Braves want to keep Donaldson, and he has expressed a preference to return to Atlanta, but they are not confident in being able to pay him.This leaves the Dodgers as another linked team, but something tells me they won’t move Justin Turner over to first base for someone not named Rendon. This is a bidding war that the Twins can win.

There will be push back from the fan base if the Twins add a big time bat over an arm, but the goal here is to get better. 

 

I think you are correct. The Twins have the room in the budget to spend some cash.

 

You are also right that it is getting increasingly harder to spend our financial resources on pitching as names drop off the board. 

 

Pitching may have to be addressed via trade leaving some cash to improve the team offensively. 

 

It is very solid logic from the Twins current context that you are making. 

 

However, in the assessment of the current market for Donaldson... I do have a different opinion from yours. 

 

 

The Nats need power, they are under the CBT and historically not really afraid of the CBT. As things stand today for the Nats... They have Kendrick at 1B, Difo at 2B, Kieboom at 3B and Turner at SS and nobody interesting behind those 4 to compete or share time. The Nats are the very definition of a team that is offensive desperate enough with the resources to pay the 4 years Donaldson is asking. They need to look at Donaldson plus a 1B or 2B or all three. They don't have much choice. 

 

The Braves agree are in great shape. They have Riley who can play 3B and Culberson and Carmargo plus decent options across the infield with Swanson, Albies and Freeman. Yes, Donaldson would make them even stronger, deeper and they'd love to have him but they don't have to pay the 4 years Donaldson is asking because they can add offense almost anywhere across the diamond with money or trade because they have young pitching coming out of their ears. I don't see the Braves.

 

The Dodgers are absolutely not afraid to move Turner anywhere and it will be no factor in their decision to add Donaldson or trade for Profar or do anything to make the team better. They can sign Donaldson and have Turner play some 1B while Muncy plays whatever. They can trade for Lindor and move Seager to 2B or 3B and Turner to 1B or wherever. They Dodgers do this sort of thing all the time. They just want good players on good terms. 

 

However... The Dodgers as they stand today can do absolutely nothing this off season and make the playoffs in 2020 with relative ease.They can wait until the trade deadline to pick up a difference maker. They they do not have to cave to Donaldson's 4 year ask or to the Indians asking for Lux, Verdugo and May for Lindor.

 

The same goes for Bumgarner... the Dodgers don't have to pay 5 years for Bumgarner because they have a 5 man rotation with 4 pitchers in the minors who can replace those guys. They will try to bring Bumgarner in to make that rotation potentially better but they don't have to pay 5 years and will probably try to land him with less years. And if they don't get him... they don't get him. They have no need to over pay anywhere. 

 

The Twins on the other hand just might have to overpay in order to land Bumgarner because this is where our desperation is.

 

But... they do not have to add Donaldson because our offensive depth doesn't force desperation... especially with Larnach, Rooker, Kiriloff and Lewis knocking on the door. 

 

IMO... Josh Donaldson should be shopping for a place to live in Northern Virginia right about now.:)  

    • Blake, brvama, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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alphanumeric
Dec 14 2019 07:00 PM

 

I would rather see what it would take to get Trevor Story from Colorado. Move Polanco to 2B, Arraez to 3B, and Sano to 1B. Defense is much stronger with minimal impact on the offense.

I wonder what it would cost to get Story and Jon Gray from the rocks..

    • Steve Lein likes this
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jorgenswest
Dec 14 2019 08:20 PM

I wonder what it would cost to get Story and Jon Gray from the rocks..


Baseball Trade Values suggests that Lewis, Balazovic and Rooker would be the same value.
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twinssporto
Dec 14 2019 10:21 PM

Please sign Josh. Let's make a lineup of hitting freaks. If we can't get a great SP might as well roll the dice on the offense. I'd watch that! 

    • Sconnie likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Dec 14 2019 10:44 PM

I want a pitcher but given the market, I'd float something like a 2/$60m contract to Donaldson and see if he bites.

 

Overpay for shorter years, see if he's interested. Players often overestimate their ability to not age (though obviously, their agents steer the other direction) so go that angle and see what happens.

    • Sconnie likes this

I think Donaldson would be a good addition. If we can't get one of the big time pitchers - and we can't - I think he'd be my first position player I'd want. But he's also probably out of our price range. I think the idea of trading or finding a few diamonds in the rough is the more likely scenario.

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drivlikejehu
Dec 15 2019 11:13 AM

There are, in fact, many teams that have won the World Series without a true "ace." Most posters on this site seem to be completely unaware of this fact.

The Twins have not signed an elite SP because they would have to overpay to do so. I understand that and agree with it.I am afraid they would need to overpay to secure Donaldson as well.A 4 year deal is a deal breaker in my eyes. He is getting up there in age and he has had a history of injuries as well. I thought that signing Gregorious would have been a better signing than Donaldson. As good as defensively as the Donald is, Didi arguably would have a deeper impact on the defense. SS is the more important defensive position and it would have allowed Polanco to move to 2B and Arraez to 3B. Didi signed for "only" 14 M. If the Twins had signed him, that would have allowed more money for pitching than if they sign Donaldson. Oh well, that ship has sailed. On to plan B or C or whatever plan they are on now.

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Major League Ready
Dec 15 2019 02:28 PM

Alex Anthopoulos was on Duquette's radio show and hinted he would be willing to go 4 years on Donaldson. I think he prefaced the statement that if the AAV came down a little he would be willing to go to 4 years. It was a few days ago and I don't remember exactly what he said but he did sound pretty determined to get him.

Lol. If they can't beat 5/$85 for MadBaum there is zero chance they were ever serious about Donaldson. 

I would rather see what it would take to get Trevor Story from Colorado. Move Polanco to 2B, Arraez to 3B, and Sano to 1B. Defense is much stronger with minimal impact on the offense.


This. I hope this is the path they take. Forget about third baseman
    • Steve Lein likes this

 

There are, in fact, many teams that have won the World Series without a true "ace." Most posters on this site seem to be completely unaware of this fact.

 

It has happened, but let's not pretend it is common. Here is the World Series pitchers (winners and losers) average starting rotation over the last decade broken up by where they fell in the rotation:

 

 Starter - ERA

1- 2.94

2- 3.14

3- 3.33

4- 3.67

5- 4.17

 

So you're right, it has happened. 2011 St. Louis had Carpenter with a 3.45 ERA and 2015 Royals had Volquez with a 3.55 ERA. But the average rotation has 3 pitchers clearly better than Berrios. We can't get 1 apparently.

    • Mike Sixel and Sconnie like this
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drivlikejehu
Dec 15 2019 08:08 PM

 

It has happened, but let's not pretend it is common. Here is the World Series pitchers (winners and losers) average starting rotation over the last decade broken up by where they fell in the rotation:

 

 Starter - ERA

1- 2.94

2- 3.14

3- 3.33

4- 3.67

5- 4.17

 

So you're right, it has happened. 2011 St. Louis had Carpenter with a 3.45 ERA and 2015 Royals had Volquez with a 3.55 ERA. But the average rotation has 3 pitchers clearly better than Berrios. We can't get 1 apparently.

 

I'm not sure what it means that the "average" rotation has 3 starters "clearly" better than Berrios. So for the past 20 years, you can show me 10 WS-winning rotations where that was true?

 

I mean, that's clearly false, but by all means, show me the teams, the 3 starters, and the proof they were "clearly" better than Berrios.

So on mlbtraderumors.com they report Washington is thinking to offer Donaldson 90 million over 4 years. We should be able to beat that if we don't sign Ryu and go with Keuchel or Wood instead.

https://www.mlbtrade...on-bidding.html

 

So on mlbtraderumors.com they report Washington is thinking to offer Donaldson 90 million over 4 years. We should be able to beat that if we don't sign Ryu and go with Keuchel or Wood instead.

https://www.mlbtrade...on-bidding.html

The Twins love him and want him bad. But only for 3 years. A 4th year is a deal-breaker. Sorry.

 

I'm not sure what it means that the "average" rotation has 3 starters "clearly" better than Berrios. So for the past 20 years, you can show me 10 WS-winning rotations where that was true?

 

I mean, that's clearly false, but by all means, show me the teams, the 3 starters, and the proof they were "clearly" better than Berrios.

 

Jose Berrios best season was this last and he had a 3.68 ERA. Here are the #3 starters for the World Series Champions for the last 10 years and their ERA:

 

Lincecum- 3.43

Garcia- 3.56

Vogelsong- 3.37

Lester- 3.75

Hudson- 3.57

Ventura- 4.08

Hendriks- 2.13

McCullers- 4.25

Eovaldi- 3.33

Corbin- 3.25

Avg- 3.47

 

So, on average over the last decade, the 3rd starter in the WS Champion team was better than Berrios has ever been. Even if you want to say he is equal to these starters, there are still 2 starters better than him. What is the plan to acquire these starters. History shows World Champion baseball clubs have great pitching. Much better than what we ran out there last year and much better than we currently have for the 2020 season.

 


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