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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:31 AM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:49 PM
The Minnesota Twins will enter 2021 as one of the best teams in baseball, and whether they’re projected to win the AL Central or not, a f...
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Cord cutters dilema 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:21 PM
So I hate to be this guy every year, but once again the MLB makes it a huge pain to watch the Twins if you're in a blackout market. In 20...
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Spring Training Games Thread 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:03 PM
One thread to rule them all...   Er. Sorry. Got a bit ahead of myself. (Power does tend to go to one's head.)   Anyway, seein'...
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Reusse: Modern Game Unkind to Dozier, Plouffe

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 12:03 PM
I thought thatPatrick Reusse wrote an interesting article, something I know I have been thinking for the last few years.    htt...
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Recent Blogs

Twins Offseason Status Update: Things Are Happening

Yes, this article's title is a play on the name of Minnesota's latest free agent signing. But it's also a way to say that this slow-moving offseason is starting to heat up. It's time for the Twins to get moving.
Image courtesy of Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Since we last checked in before the New Year, the Twins have made only one major-league addition, although it was a fairly significant one: signing veteran left-hander J.A. Happ last week to a one-year, $8 million deal.

Here's how the projected roster and payroll currently shape up with Happ in the mix:

Attached Image: twinsroster12221.png


Accounting for Kenta Maeda's very achievable incentives ($7-9 million), the Twins are currently slated to spend a little north of $100 million, providing ample flexibility for further additions.

With this in mind, let's get up to speed on the latest happenings and rumors.

HOPPING ON HAPP

The Twins addressed a critical need in their rotation by adding the seasoned southpaw on a one-year contract. He offers plenty of experience and a consistent track record of production, bringing more certainty to the rotation by pushing Randy Dobnak into the fifth spot and unseating Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe, or whatever rookie was lined up for it previously.

At this point Minnesota has a credible rotation to move forward with, technically speaking, but I very much suspect they'll add one more starting pitcher on a major-league deal (or trade). Top remaining free agent prizes within the Twins' potential range include Masahiro Tanaka (said to be seeking up to $20 million in salary), Jake Odorizzi (said to be seeking a three-year deal), and James Paxton. Plenty of trade possibilities also remain on the table, although one compelling name came off the board in recent days when the Yankees acquired Jameson Taillon from Pittsburgh.

Learn more about Happ and the impact of his signing:
  • Report: Twins to Sign LHP J.A. Happ: Seth Stohs and Tom Froemming tag-teamed on this quick reaction piece after Happ signed, sharing some info about the contract, his recent history, and his Statcast data.
  • How the Twins Might Tweak J.A. Happ: Matthew Trueblood dug into trends around pitch usage and effectiveness to analyze how the notoriously tinker-y Twins might help the left-hander optimize his repertoire.
  • 5 Things for Twins Fans to Know About J.A. Happ: I explored five different facts about Happ and his intriguing qualities. The notes about his performance trend coming out of 2020, and Minnesota's track record of reducing HR rates, show there's more than meets the eye.
QUALITY FREE AGENCY FITS ARE DWINDLING

How quickly has the Hot Stove fired up? One week ago I shared my personal top 10 favorite remaining free agent targets for the Twins. At that point, all were available in a stagnating market. In seven days since, four of those options have been signed away, including my No. 1 choice.


1. Jurickson Profar, UTIL

2. Jake Odorizzi, SP

3. James Paxton, SP

4. Andrelton Simmons, SS

5. Nelson Cruz, DH

6. Trevor Rosenthal, RP

7. Kirby Yates, RP

8. José Quintana, SP

9. Kiké Hernández, UTIL

10. Tyler Clippard, RP


Both Profar and Hernández got the exact AAV projected in the article ($7 million) although Profar's came on a weirdly player-friendly three-year contract with two opt-outs, and Hernández's two-year deal apparently came with the promise of a regular starting role at one position. So I'm not sure the Twins realistically could or should have won either of those biddings.

The pool of standout utility options to replace Marwin González in the requisite super utility role is shrinking fast, although there are other free agents out there – Tommy La Stella, Jonathan Villar, Asdrubal Cabrera, etc. – who could still viably fill it.

At this point my strong preference is to add a starting shortstop and move Jorge Polanco into the utility role. So if I'm reconfiguring the above list, I now have Simmons at the top.

Meanwhile, the bullpen remains an area of need. Hansel Robles is hardly enough to replace all the quality production that's been lost to free agency. I get the sense the Twins were finalists for Kirby Yates, who ended up signing with Toronto for $5.5 million, but were never going to go anywhere near as high as Washington did to get Brad Hand ($10.5 million). Trevor Rosenthal feels unlikely at this point. At that part it's hard to find anything constituting an upgrade in free agency. Maybe Alex Colomé?

MORE ON THE FORMER UTILITY MEN

A couple of recent rumblings regarding the Twins' previous stable of versatile backups:

A report last week via MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and Doh Young Park suggests that the Twins have "expressed interest in a reunion" with González:



I'm dubious of how serious this interest is (and wonder if the tip came from agent Scott Boras, in an effort to enliven his client's market). That is in large part because I have enough respect for Minnesota's front office to trust that they know better. González was not especially impressive during his time with the Twins and looked flat-out cooked by the end of it, with his production and athleticism rapidly waning.

Even in the lesser secondary utility gig previously filled by Ehire Adrianza, I don't see González as a fit. I'd rather just have Adrianza reprise the role. However, it doesn't sound as though that's going to happen, as Adrianza issued an official farewell to Twins fans on Instagram over the weekend:



UPPING THE ANTE FOR CRUZ

The Twins continue to engage with Nelson Cruz, and there's evidence they have heightened their pursuit. Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the Twins have "upgraded the dollars in their 1-year offer," but adds that Cruz remains intent on seeing through the universal DH decision.



It's almost February. Still no clarity from MLB on whether DH will be in place for NL teams. (I would assume no, but can't blame Cruz and his agent for waiting on finality.)

Pretty unreal.

TWINS OUT ON BAUER?

In an interesting series of events, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic published an article on the Mets' pursuit of top free agent Trevor Bauer indicating that the Twins were in his mix, but he updated the piece soon after with a correction:

"The Mets are not the only club talking about signing him," Rosenthal wrote. "The Dodgers and Blue Jays are among the other clubs believed to be in the mix. The Twins are not, sources said, in response to an earlier version of this story."

Some fans are surely disappointed to hear that Minnesota is likely out on the free agent market's top prize. Not me. Bauer seems like the ultimate buy-high trap, coming off of what technically qualifies as a career year and Cy Young Award. Prior to 2020, his track record was much more good than great. Add in the problematic personality and surely exorbitant price, and Bauer is simply more trouble than he's worth, in my opinion.

Do you agree or disagree? What would you like to see the Twins do here in the final weeks of the offseason? Is your confidence wavering or are you keeping the faith? Sound off in the comments.

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29 Comments

It has been a tough market to read.I think the per year price of free agents has been like a normal year.The contracts do not seem to be as long though. Less than half the teams are spending so will they be full at some point and the remaining players become cheaper? Ideally I think the Twins still need 6 players. Starting pitcher, two relievers, shortstop, utility and DH. Seems like it is hard to sign Cruz and have enough for the other needs unless they address some through a trade. I am glad they are out on Bauer as he would use up too much of the remaining money.

I would agree against buying high on Bauer. Based on some of previous comments and some video others have posted it is pretty clear he was using some additional substance to help with his grip during 2020 after complaining about other pitchers using it and getting away with it. If the league cracks down on it and he reverts back to a good not great pitcher the team that signs him is going to be PISSED at overpaying for a 60 game sample. 

Count me out.

    • jrod23 and Heiny like this
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Aerodeliria
Jan 25 2021 08:19 AM
Get Simmons!
    • Twins33 and Heiny like this

Thanks for another great article, Nick.

 

I have a feeling that the lineup you posted above is close to what it will be on opening day. I suspect they will continue to try to get Cruz, maybe more money but a one year deal. They may also improve their infield by doing something on a utility player to replace Blankenhorn. But I think that's going to be it.

 

Like you, I can't see them going into the season without one more experienced starting pitcher. Whether that's a free agent or trade, don't have a clue. My personal choice would be the same as three months ago...Odorizzi. Also believe they need at least one more experienced reliever and wouldn't be adverse to bringing back Clippard.

You sucked me in with the headline .. Things are Happening .. LOL

 

Then I find out you mean things are happening for everyone but the Twins :)

 

Bummer ..

    • mikelink45 likes this

You sucked me in with the headline .. Things are Happening .. LOL

 

Then I find out you mean things are happening for everyone but the Twins :)

 

Bummer ..

4v837q.jpg
 

    • tvagle, MN_ExPat and railmarshalljon like this

Nice summary, Nick, but can't agree with your elevating Simmons to #1 priority.Polanco might only be an average defender, but to push him into a utility role seems a much lower priority than 1.) adding a top reliever, like Rosenthal; and 2.) strengthening the rotation with a starter who provides staff with insurance against an injury or falloff in performance from any of their current top three.Now this opinion would change if Polanco was a key trade figure.

 

Part of problem this offseason is that the Twins seem to be waiting on Cruz instead of being more proactive in aggressively seeking players who can actually help us end our playoff woes.Of course, no one knows what budget constraints FO operating under.My take:Falvine are imposing their own restraints rather than JP imposing a limit.Boldness is just not in their DNA, except when talent "falls" to them at end of the offseason.I'm afraid this is their MO again this offseason and as a result, we are not likely to acquire any significant difference makers.If so, then our advancement in the playoffs becomes very dependent on a return to 2019 levels by Garver/Kepler and relatively healthy seasons by Donaldson and Buxton.Is that asking too much?

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Major League Ready
Jan 25 2021 09:25 AM

Good article, Nick. The problem with trying to figure out roster construction this year is that we have little idea which prospects made improvements and how much they improved. While not tested in normal games, I could see pitching prospects making big strides. What if they have a couple pitching prospects that made big strides and want to start rotating them in for a look relatively early in the season? It might not be the obvious (Duran / Balazovic). There has been some rumbling that Canterino has improved.

 

Having our AAA team in St. Paul also adds a twist. For example, they could promote Celestino to AAA and have him available anytime Buxton is out for more than a game or two. They can also have Kirilloff / Larnach and Gordon on standby.

 

So what if the FO is thinking they have prospects that will be ready to go in the first couple months? It stands to reason that the supply of good SS will create a buying opportunity. Semien and Gregorius are not much of an improvement defensively but they would provide depth at SS. I don't think we get hurt adding one of the three. 

 

They have Taylor Rogers / Tyler Duffey / Jorge Alcala / Cody Stashak / Dakota Chalmers / Caleb Thielbar and Hansel Robles. Not sure what they expect from Colina. I am thinking at least one more RP unless they had some break throughs last year that change the landscape.

    • mikelink45, MN_ExPat and rdehring like this

 

Semien and Gregorius are not much of an improvement defensively but they would provide depth at SS. 

If you take a few minutes to dig into Semien's Statcast defensive stats*, you will see that the only weakness he has is going "to his right". He is solidly above average in every other direction. His "to his right" is not only bad, it stands out with many outs worse than the 2nd worst. 

 

Now, flip over to the 3B leaderboard and notice the #2 defender there. It would make sense that a lot of the outs that Semien is not converting "to his right" are because Chapman is cutting those balls off before Semien has a chance to make the play.

I am not sure if that is how Statcast is allocating OOA (maybe someone can tweet Mike Petriello?), but if you look at Trevor Story's numbers, you see a similar pattern as Semien. 

If that is the case, then Semien would be a solid average to above-average defensive SS, which is far better than the two worst fielding starting SS in MLB, which are Polanco and Gregorius. 

 

*https://baseballsava...roles=&viz=show

    • MN_ExPat likes this

Another Pirate Pitcher bites the dust and moves from lowly Pirates to the Yankees.  Good for Taillon for getting traded.  Bad for Pirate fans as the dumpster fire continues. In looking at the review of what Yankees gave up in their top 25 list of prospects, seems a bit much but its the Yankees.  

My heart wants Simmons because he is the most fun player in MLB to watch in the field. He is not as flashy as Baez, but he seems to be a quantum speed thinker who is always aware of the game situation, the spin of a struck ball, etc. His snap decision making is just ridiculous to watch.

 

That said, my brain says Semien, because while is not nearly as good or as fun to watch on defense, he is still a solid average to above-average defender, with a hit tool that could play in the middle of the Twins lineup.

 

Which do you prefer?

(And don't say Gregorius, because that would be a downgrade from Polanco on defense)

    • Heiny likes this
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nicksaviking
Jan 25 2021 10:33 AM

I was thinking about the 'in on Bauer', 'out on Bauer', situation and it is just so bizarre. Who was the party that got Rosenthal to retract his original statement?

 

It would make no LOGICAL sense for Bauer's camp to clarify this as they should want the perception of more suitors. It would make no LOGICAL sense for the Twins to refute this as even if they didn't want him, they should want the price driven up, not to mention this doesn't in anyway make them look better with the fan base.

 

I suppose it would make sense for one of the teams actually in on Bauer to to tell Rosenthal he's full of BS and everyone knows the the Twins aren't in it, so he needs to stop helping Bauer to inflate his price. But how would another team actually know if the Twins are in or out? And how could they convince Rosenthal with certainty?

 

Perhaps, is the more likely option that one of the Twins beat reporters corrected Rosenthal? But typically instead of letting Rosenthal update his intel, it would be that reporter who would write up their own article or Tweet denying the Twins interest. Maybe that reporter didn't want to publicly cross the front office, but was frustrated enough the the slow offseason that they still felt compelled to set the record straight? Or maybe they were tight with Rosenthal so they were going to let him be the one to save face?

 

Of course, we are dealing with human beings, so perhaps this wasn't done with LOGIC as a foundation, but with other intentions. Bauer is pretty opinionated and brash. Perhaps he really doesn't like the Twins and wanted to make it clear they weren't an option for him, leverage be damned? Or perhaps Derek Falvey really didn't like Bauer from their time together in Cleveland and had no intention of helping him gain more leverage?

 

Anyway, not a big deal overall, but it was just such an odd occurrence where the means and motivation just don't seem to add up that I'm curious as to how this all went down.

    • flatlanddad likes this

While it is frustrating to not know for sure what the FO is planning or waiting on (I'm right there with everyone else), I at least have a great diversion to the MLB waiting game...

 

The season has officially started for Georgia HS Baseball as of last week and the #1 team in the state last season (6A) is resuming their quest for a state title.

 

Not that anyone cares, but we're pretty excited :).

    • nicksaviking, tvagle and rdehring like this

Of course, we are dealing with human beings, so perhaps this wasn't done with LOGIC as a foundation, but with other intentions. Bauer is pretty opinionated and brash. Perhaps he really doesn't like the Twins and wanted to make it clear they weren't an option for him, leverage be damned? Or perhaps Derek Falvey really didn't like Bauer from their time together in Cleveland and had no intention of helping him gain more leverage?

 

 

I have nothing against Bauer, I think he's a good pitcher.My son loves him and watches his Podcasts and follows a number of things he does as a pitcher...

but I can't help but think this thought fits the best with the whole Bauer/Twins dynamic.

 

I think he would pitch well in a Twins Uni, but the key would be does he want to and I've never seen him as interested (and no I don't think it's because FAs hate the Twins).

I will continue shouting into the wind - Kiriloff, Rooker, Larnach - not Cruz, not another DH.Duran, Balazovic, Dobnak unless we trade for a really quality starter and not Odo - that is staying in the same place and we need to improve.NOOOOOOOOOOOOO to Gonzalez - another step backwards.Simmons is the only SS I would look at other than Polanco and it is time for Gordon and Blankenhorn to shine at utililty or get moved on.But the BP is a big need and now that Hand has moved on the options are Rosenthal or ?????????  

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Dodecahedron
Jan 25 2021 12:16 PM

 

Thanks for another great article, Nick.

 

I have a feeling that the lineup you posted above is close to what it will be on opening day. I suspect they will continue to try to get Cruz, maybe more money but a one year deal. They may also improve their infield by doing something on a utility player to replace Blankenhorn. But I think that's going to be it.

 

Like you, I can't see them going into the season without one more experienced starting pitcher. Whether that's a free agent or trade, don't have a clue. My personal choice would be the same as three months ago...Odorizzi. Also believe they need at least one more experienced reliever and wouldn't be adverse to bringing back Clippard.

 

I agree that the roster posted is pretty close to final. I disagree that they will pursue another starting pitcher, I think they got the Odorizzi replacement they wanted to get.

 

Pencil in Marwin as the utility guy and add a couple of relievers and I think they are done.

 

I think the only question is whether Cruz comes back. The fewer moves the Twins make in the meantime, the less likely he will.

 

The bottom $ looks like ~$96M. I suspect this is already much higher than the Twins want to be paying this year by roughly one Josh Donaldson.

I am fully OK with an upgrade at SS and some sort of transference of Polanco or Arraez to a utility role. Any way you can upgrade your team, it's a good thing.

 

But I have to say I think upgrading the bench in GENERAL is what's important, and that's not necessary adding that SS. I mean, does that SS mean you are done and can't bring in another bat? No more SP or RP options? Only one of the above options?

 

Now it still comes down to final payroll. But right now, someone like La Stella to play 3 spots and provide a nice bat and an Adrianza replacement for SS and the 11th man role makes a lot of sense to me. That's half of the $ to bring in a SS and gives you more money for the other spots to be added to the roster yet.

 

So how much positive value does a new SS add to the team as a whole vs adding a couple nice 10th and 11th man options and still have some $ to add another 2 or 3 players?

    • Major League Ready and rdehring like this

 

I agree that the roster posted is pretty close to final. I disagree that they will pursue another starting pitcher, I think they got the Odorizzi replacement they wanted to get.

 

Pencil in Marwin as the utility guy and add a couple of relievers and I think they are done.

 

I think the only question is whether Cruz comes back. The fewer moves the Twins make in the meantime, the less likely he will.

 

The bottom $ looks like ~$96M. I suspect this is already much higher than the Twins want to be paying this year by roughly one Josh Donaldson.

Count me among those who do not want to see Marwin returning. When they do something in the infield, it has to be someone who is at least average defensively at shortstop. That means either an Adrianza type of utility guy or a starting shortstop with Polanco moved to super utility. 

 

As for final payroll, I see them getting over $100M, but like you expect it to be much lower than many were projecting much of the winter.

 

I would agree against buying high on Bauer. Based on some of previous comments and some video others have posted it is pretty clear he was using some additional substance to help with his grip during 2020 after complaining about other pitchers using it and getting away with it. If the league cracks down on it and he reverts back to a good not great pitcher the team that signs him is going to be PISSED at overpaying for a 60 game sample. 

Count me out.

His 2018 season was dominant and he had good stats in 2019 for Indians so most of his great pitching, if not all, is his most recent body of work. I would sign him in a heartbeat. I believe you win with pitching, going all the way back to the 72-74 Oakland A’s, the greatest team in my lifetime.

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Major League Ready
Jan 25 2021 02:30 PM

 

I am fully OK with an upgrade at SS and some sort of transference of Polanco or Arraez to a utility role. Any way you can upgrade your team, it's a good thing.

 

But I have to say I think upgrading the bench in GENERAL is what's important, and that's not necessary adding that SS. I mean, does that SS mean you are done and can't bring in another bat? No more SP or RP options? Only one of the above options?

 

Now it still comes down to final payroll. But right now, someone like La Stella to play 3 spots and provide a nice bat and an Adrianza replacement for SS and the 11th man role makes a lot of sense to me. That's half of the $ to bring in a SS and gives you more money for the other spots to be added to the roster yet.

 

So how much positive value does a new SS add to the team as a whole vs adding a couple nice 10th and 11th man options and still have some $ to add another 2 or 3 players?

 

I have been asking myself the same questions. I thought they would resign Adrianza as the 11th man and that would leave lots of options for the 10th man. Seems to me the key is coming up with a back-up SS. Maybe they are thinking that is Gordon. Perhaps thy are thinking Gordon / Blankenhorn and resigning Cruz and a BP arm.

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Dodecahedron
Jan 25 2021 04:18 PM

 

Count me among those who do not want to see Marwin returning. When they do something in the infield, it has to be someone who is at least average defensively at shortstop. That means either an Adrianza type of utility guy or a starting shortstop with Polanco moved to super utility. 

 

As for final payroll, I see them getting over $100M, but like you expect it to be much lower than many were projecting much of the winter.

 

I don't want Marwin either.

 

I agree, the final number will probably be around $100M. Payroll will definitely be higher if they bring back Cruz.

Now that I've been home for a few hours, shoveled TWICE and completed various household chores, I'm ready to add a few comments to an interesting OP that may die tomorrow, lol. But here goes:

PAYROLL: The FO,and ownership, have pushed payroll each year since this group has been running things as value presents itself. They have basically stated they know they are not done, acknowledge there is value out there, and have repeated their own past mantra that they are willing to buy late rather than shoo early and go home.

Watching what is happening across baseball right now, teams that appear to be contenders are making moves and seem to be keeping payroll at 2020 levels, or higher while teams that don't appear to be contenders are sitting out FA, making cuts, or small moves. IMO, I believe the "target" payroll for the Twins is around $130M with leeway because they recognize there are going to be some late options to be had.

NEEDS:

1A] A BAT: Ozuna is nice, but with a group of very promising bats ready and nearly ready, they don't need to tie up 4yrs on Ozuna. Cruz absolutely makes the most sense. 1yr is a done deal. A 2nd yr can work with discount/performance numbers or a fair buyout. Perhaps a combination of all. It makes the most sense for both sides.

1B] INFIELDER: This could be any of the top 3 FA SS or someone like La Stella as a valuable 3 position 10th man. Signing a SS is a greater $ cost, but might add more total value and hedges against some of the ankle and knee concerns with Polanco and Adrianza. Both are young and talented and whichever one slides in to the 10th man role they STILL play almost daily. Where there is smoke there is often fire. I think the FO is looking HARD at one of the FA SS. (Note: If they keep Polanco at SS, then in addition to a valued 10th man, they need a legitimate Adrianza type to cover SS as the 11th man.)

Cruz and a SS signing means the payroll sits around $128-130M, or the "target" area. But again, it's only a target and not necessarily the final destination.

There is a difference between LIKING your roster/depth/flexibility and LOVING your roster/depth/flexibility.

It doesn't take a savant to look at the total number of FA available to realize there are going to be solid guys looking for jobs and be available on value deals.

3] 11th MAN INFIELDER: With enough concern about Donaldson, Polanco and Adrianza health wise...even with hope/expectation they will all 3 be ready to go...why wouldn't you add inexpensive insurance? IF they stick with Polanco at SS, and sign a quality 10th man he probably doesn't play SS. Instead he plays 1B/2B/3B like La Stella, for example. So you need that Adrianza AS replacement. IF they sign a SS, Polanco can cover SS whether he is the 10th man or the starting 2B. Why not deepen your roster with another quality infielder on the cheap? An example I've brought up before, but how about Cabrera as a veteran bat for something like $3M? And there are others that could be valuable.

4] 5th SP: What about a $2-4M option...maybe with some incentives...or an invite with incentives to compete with Dobnak for the 5th spot? There is enough depth on the FA list that there could be a late rotation flier that costs very little.

5] BULLPEN: There won't be a major $ signing. But how about Colome or Soria for $3-5M? And maybe Clippard for $2-3M in addition?

Not including a couple $M in incentives for a SP option, you could POTENTIALLY add an 11th man, 5th SP, and 1 or 2 BP arms come February for a total of around $10-12M. That pushes the payroll to the $140M-ish range. Which is keeping payroll in line with 2020 and in line with the payroll of contending teams at this point.

AGAIN, there is a difference between LIKING your team and LOVING your team.
    • rdehring and Heiny like this
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Channing1964
Jan 26 2021 05:04 AM
please, everyone knows this offseason is bull crap... A lot of obvious things have not happened and its too late. Unless i see Trevor Bauer and Cruz, then the fo blew it badly.

 

Now that I've been home for a few hours, shoveled TWICE and completed various household chores, I'm ready to add a few comments to an interesting OP that may die tomorrow, lol. But here goes:

PAYROLL: The FO,and ownership, have pushed payroll each year since this group has been running things as value presents itself. They have basically stated they know they are not done, acknowledge there is value out there, and have repeated their own past mantra that they are willing to buy late rather than shoo early and go home.

Watching what is happening across baseball right now, teams that appear to be contenders are making moves and seem to be keeping payroll at 2020 levels, or higher while teams that don't appear to be contenders are sitting out FA, making cuts, or small moves. IMO, I believe the "target" payroll for the Twins is around $130M with leeway because they recognize there are going to be some late options to be had.

NEEDS:

1A] A BAT: Ozuna is nice, but with a group of very promising bats ready and nearly ready, they don't need to tie up 4yrs on Ozuna. Cruz absolutely makes the most sense. 1yr is a done deal. A 2nd yr can work with discount/performance numbers or a fair buyout. Perhaps a combination of all. It makes the most sense for both sides.

1B] INFIELDER: This could be any of the top 3 FA SS or someone like La Stella as a valuable 3 position 10th man. Signing a SS is a greater $ cost, but might add more total value and hedges against some of the ankle and knee concerns with Polanco and Adrianza. Both are young and talented and whichever one slides in to the 10th man role they STILL play almost daily. Where there is smoke there is often fire. I think the FO is looking HARD at one of the FA SS. (Note: If they keep Polanco at SS, then in addition to a valued 10th man, they need a legitimate Adrianza type to cover SS as the 11th man.)

Cruz and a SS signing means the payroll sits around $128-130M, or the "target" area. But again, it's only a target and not necessarily the final destination.

There is a difference between LIKING your roster/depth/flexibility and LOVING your roster/depth/flexibility.

It doesn't take a savant to look at the total number of FA available to realize there are going to be solid guys looking for jobs and be available on value deals.

3] 11th MAN INFIELDER: With enough concern about Donaldson, Polanco and Adrianza health wise...even with hope/expectation they will all 3 be ready to go...why wouldn't you add inexpensive insurance? IF they stick with Polanco at SS, and sign a quality 10th man he probably doesn't play SS. Instead he plays 1B/2B/3B like La Stella, for example. So you need that Adrianza AS replacement. IF they sign a SS, Polanco can cover SS whether he is the 10th man or the starting 2B. Why not deepen your roster with another quality infielder on the cheap? An example I've brought up before, but how about Cabrera as a veteran bat for something like $3M? And there are others that could be valuable.

4] 5th SP: What about a $2-4M option...maybe with some incentives...or an invite with incentives to compete with Dobnak for the 5th spot? There is enough depth on the FA list that there could be a late rotation flier that costs very little.

5] BULLPEN: There won't be a major $ signing. But how about Colome or Soria for $3-5M? And maybe Clippard for $2-3M in addition?

Not including a couple $M in incentives for a SP option, you could POTENTIALLY add an 11th man, 5th SP, and 1 or 2 BP arms come February for a total of around $10-12M. That pushes the payroll to the $140M-ish range. Which is keeping payroll in line with 2020 and in line with the payroll of contending teams at this point.

AGAIN, there is a difference between LIKING your team and LOVING your team.

I assume you were referring to Arraez when mentioning Adrianza several times. How much shoveling did you have? Saw that Omaha got hit hard last night/today.

    • DocBauer likes this

I assume you were referring to Arraez when mentioning Adrianza several times. How much shoveling did you have? Saw that Omaha got hit hard last night/today.


Combination of bad auto-correct and being very tired, but you are correct.

We got just short of 12". Seventh highest on record. Fun, fun, fun!

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