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Cody’s Top 20 Twins Prospects: 11-15

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:29 PM
Not all organizations have prospect depth that stretches outside of their top-10 prospects. The Twins have multiple names on this list th...
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Could Dobnak be an All Star?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:27 PM
 Could Dobnak be an all star? With this terrific infield, I believe he could be. When Donaldson was in the line up Dobnak shine...
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Who’s the Top Twins Prospect? Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:40 PM
Many teams would be ecstatic to have the likes of Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis headlining their farm system. For Twins fans, a debate c...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:22 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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FA Value Shopping

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:03 AM
Just for fun-here is 1 player at each position that might be worth the money and my contract estimates:   C- Sandy Leon 1 year/1.5 m...
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Recent Blogs

White Sox Sign Hendriks; Twins Fans Wait (Patiently?)

Late on Monday night, news broke that the Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms with free agent right-handed reliever Liam Hendriks. Meanwhile, Twins fans wait for even a good, strong rumor regarding the Twins to present itself.
Image courtesy of Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY
The White Sox would certainly seem to be the favorite right now in the American League Central Division, if the season were to start today. While bringing back free agent outfielder Adam Eaton isn't terribly concerning, they also acquired RHP Lance Lynn in a trade with Texas last month. The addition of Hendriks improves the back-end of their bullpen.

Over the past few seasons in Oakland, the once top Twins pitching prospect became one of baseball's best relief pitchers. Earlier on Monday night, MLB Network revealed that he is the best reliever in the game.



We could probably write an article or two chronicling why the Twins DFAd Hendriks, with options remaining, after just over a season with the team and before even trying him in the bullpen, but that can be for another day, and another writer.

The White Sox went and got creative with their contract offer to Hendriks, specifically the fourth season which is a $15 million option with a $15 million buy out. Of course, if they buy out the deal, the $15 million is spread over several years.

Meanwhile, the Twins have seemingly presented as a team that is quite active, looking to fill several needs this offseason. There have been plenty of rumors, though not for awhile, about their search for a shortstop. But we are still waiting to see how that will play out.

We have heard that they are looking for a fourth starter to team with Jose Berrios, Kenta Maeda and Michael Pineda. Randy Dobnak warrants a shot at the fifth starter, so they need to add at least one starter, maybe more. There haven't been any real rumors associating the Twins with starters, even though some are believed to be available. And we are still waiting to see how that will play out.

The Twins lost Trevor May to the Mets in free agency. They non-tendered Matt Wisler and he signed with the Giants. Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard are free agents that they could bring back. At this time, the Twins have signed only Hansel Robles. And Twins fans are waiting to see if more will be added, or if they will trust pitching coach Wes Johnson to turn someone like Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut, Derek Law, Glenn Sparkman, Luke Farrell, or some minor leaguers into this year's Wisler, or this year's Alcala.

And still we wait.

We have seen this before as Twins fans. And, there is no reason to believe that the Twins won't make some moves. They have made moves late in the offseason each year. Lynn and Logan Morrison a couple of years ago. The Kenta Maeda trade wasn't completed until last February. Marwin Gonzalez signed late.

So, there is no reason for Twins fans to panic. Cleveland is trading off pieces. Kansas City has added some pieces and has a lot of pitching coming. The Tigers have some serious pitching talent coming. But the White Sox are legit. Their offense was one of baseball's best in 2019, and they added Lynn - who has been one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL the past two seasons - and Hendriks - baseball's best relievers.

It's still mid-January, so there is plenty of time. But, for Twins fans, it is OK to start feeling a bit antsy. Presumably the White Sox are done with big-time moves. They aren't likely to go after George Springer or Trevor Bauer. But they have put themselves into serious postseason contender in 2021.

The Twins do not have to respond to these moves. They simply need to keep putting their 2021 roster together. They need to fill at least one rotation spot, and they need to add a couple of bullpen arms. And, clearly they would like to add a shortstop and probably a utility player. And there are a lot of options remaining, either in free agency or via trade.

So, while we start to get nervous and wonder when the Twins will make their moves, just remind yourself that it is WHEN and not IF. They will make moves. And when they do, we'll see how the Twins compare to the White Sox.

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29 Comments

Here's hoping for at least two starters. We don't have proven opener Matt Wisler to open 2 games per week this season if someone gets injured.
    • wabene and Hollywood42 like this

Brad Hand would look good in a Twins uniform.

    • mikelink45, puckstopper1, Vanimal46 and 5 others like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Jan 12 2021 01:17 AM

It's starting to feel warm and stuffy ... like the window of opportunity is closing on the Twins -- while another window opens up inch by inch for White Sox, who at this point seem like clear favorites in 2021.

    • peterb18, jjswol, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

This means nothing. Hendriks' eyes are getting closer and closer together, and he is only going to decline, starting this year. 

    • Danchat, wabene and FritzDahmus like this

More concerned with what Hendrik's inflated contract does to price of other FA relievers.Not upset that twins didn't overpay like Sox did, but if Twins are going to remain in hunt for Central Division title,they must sign one of the remaining top FAs.

Rosenthal, Yates, or Hand would comprise the next tier, but their asking price has probably just increased.Will the Twins bite?

 

If adding Cruz(or someone equivalent) and adding another solid #3 starter(or higher), and adding a closer-type, this set of moves would undoubtedly push Twins close to the $140MM figure of last year.If this is not in the cards, then they might have to look harder for a trade that entails giving up a prospect or two.It would be a shame given the current talent if the FO opted out of either scenario. 

    • FritzDahmus likes this
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LewFordLives
Jan 12 2021 08:43 AM

Since you brought it up.....he last played for the Twins in 2013. He didn't really turn the corner in his career until 2019. Maybe there was something with his delivery or pitch selection that the Twins could have spotted, but several other teams were also unable to help him.Beyond that, I don't know what else the Twins could have done.

 

Good for him. A lot of players hang up their cleats once things haven't been working out for a few years. He stuck with it and made himself a top-tier reliever.(I do think the White Sox waaaayyy over paid.)

    • mikelink45, Dman and wabene like this

Lynn and Hendrix's contract number don't matter to me because baseball is in an economic zone that I cannot even imagine, but their arms do matter.So far wehave subtracted and they have addedLet's hope that people's fears about LaRussa come true because we are definitely sliding back.I do not see us signing Bauer so who is the pitcher that matches Lynn?Who is the reliever that matches Hendrix or Trevor May?  

 

We cannot just replace, we have to get better to match the efforts of the Sox. 

    • KFEY93 likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Jan 12 2021 08:58 AM

 

Brad Hand would look good in a Twins uniform.

So would former Twins Nick Anderson and Liam Hendriks, co- MLB relievers of the year.But I would rather have Cruz the next 2 years and Odorizzi the next3 years.. 

    • FritzDahmus likes this
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Channing1964
Jan 12 2021 09:38 AM
I haven't read the other comments nor the entire story. But I will say this....um....... Derek what the f*€k is going on? I was prolly too critical in 2018. I was quick to give the FO credit with the 2019 success. I'm not saying we have to match the White Sox as far as free agent signings. They will still kick the hall around at an alarming rate, fall asleep and make bonehead baserunning mistakes, choke in clutch situations, and rush mediocre prospects to the big leagues. But adding Lynn, Eaton, and now Hendtiks..is kinda scary. The Falvines like to fend off questions that are critical with answers that relate to the future. The future is now damn it. If we can't win our division, how can we claim to be a super AL team? I am not that impressed with Kiriloff, Larnach, or Rooker. May, Clippard and Romo are replaced by whom? Odorizzi, Hill, are replaced by whom? We heard all this bull about a new shortstop. With Dobnak, Thorpe and Smeltzer in our rotation it won't matter what the defensive range of the middle infield. Trust me the bullets will find the alleys. Maybe Derek had pitching development attributes in Cleveland and many others I'm sure. Lately I see the Indians as a team thinking unrealistically that they can still compete. With spring training literally six weeks away dont you think it's time to solidify the bullpen, rotation, and sign Nelson Cruz? Or maybe the Falvines think we should roll out this group as it is? If so, that's sad. This, so far has not been sustained success. As much as we like our new players, an infusion of all these guys at once is never gonna work. Am I scared of Eaton, Lynn, Hendriks, etc. No way. That crew will always find a way to lose. Where is the push to be the best? There hasn't been one. And the chance to get one is fading fast.
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Channing1964
Jan 12 2021 09:44 AM
And yes my lifetime dream is to be a twins daily writer.
    • ashbury and LanceJS like this

Am confident that the FO is being patient and as we get closer to spring training, we will see those deals happen. Maybe a few free agents and a trade or two. But like you, yes, I am anxious to see who I am going to be listening to on CCO this summer.

 

The Twins were loaded last year and yet, the hitters were a huge disappointment. But in 2019 and 2017, the hitters and team had excellent seasons. Well, 2021 is the next odd year, time for the Twins to shine! 

    • Dman and wabene like this

Twins would have never offered a record breaking contract to a reliever. Still some good options left at reasonable contracts. The sky is not falling yet, but White Sox have definitely made some significant moves to improve.

    • jjswol, wabene and rdehring like this

I like Liam Hendriks a lot but the White Sox over paid for a reliever that has been great but the mileage is starting to accumulate. The problem with free agency is that you are always paying for history. I wish Hendriks the best but the White Sox will regret this signing long term.

 

In addition, Hendriks will find a huge difference in pitching in the White Sox band box versus in Oakland.

    • LewFordLives, bighat and wabene like this
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Major League Ready
Jan 12 2021 11:10 AM

Name / Age / Free Agent / AAV

Yasmani Grandal -- 32 -- 2024 -- $18,250,000
Dallas Keuchel -- 33 -- 2024 -- 18,666,666
Jose Abreu -- 34 -- 2023 -- 17,000,000
Liam Hendriks -- 32 -- 2025 -- 12,666,666
Lance Lynn -- 34 -- 2022 -- 8,000,000 

 

The $74,583,332 invested in these 5 players is 61% of payroll. After this year they will $66.5M invested in 4 players 33 or older. There is always the possibility this works out but what are the odds? I am glad to see our FO is not placing this much emphasis on aging players. I share others concern over Donaldson but at least he is the only player we are invested in over 30.

    • wabene, rdehring, KFEY93 and 2 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 12 2021 11:20 AM

I understand the offseason isn't even close to over but the White Sox have drastically improved while the Twins have done nothing. 

 

Not awesome thus far.

    • jjswol, LewFordLives, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
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FritzDahmus
Jan 12 2021 11:42 AM

The White Sox are the Mets of the Midwest. Spend on the big names and get nothing in return. Lindor is the obvious exception.

 

We needed Odorizzi and Clippard signed. Do they think they can do better on the FA market?? Probably not.

Baseball has stopped spending...except the Mets and White Sox.

 

    • rdehring likes this
This offseason has been predictably ice cold with the exception of 3 teams - White Sox, Padres, and Mets. We’re 3 months into the offseason and maybe 10 out of the top 50 free agents are signed. We’ve seen zero indication of a flurry of signings anytime soon. This is going to be just like 2018 with pissed off free agents sitting at home when spring training starts.
    • Danchat and wabene like this
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Physics Guy
Jan 12 2021 12:22 PM

 

Since you brought it up.....he last played for the Twins in 2013. He didn't really turn the corner in his career until 2019. Maybe there was something with his delivery or pitch selection that the Twins could have spotted, but several other teams were also unable to help him.Beyond that, I don't know what else the Twins could have done.

 

Good for him. A lot of players hang up their cleats once things haven't been working out for a few years. He stuck with it and made himself a top-tier reliever.(I do think the White Sox waaaayyy over paid.)

Hendriks turned the corner when he was released and Toronto stuck him in the bullpen.The following year, 2015, his average fastball velo went from 91.3 to 94.9.the past two years he has bumped that average velo into the 96+ range. The Twins certainly could have given him some time in the bullpen before deciding to cut bait.Hindsight is 20/20 but I wish they had at tried him a bit out there.Sometimes it takes a change of scenery for a player to figure things out.

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nicksaviking
Jan 12 2021 12:34 PM

I said at the onset of the off season that this free agent class was so poor, that I really wasn't looking for much of a splash in this year's market.

 

But now I am soooooooo bored. Just give me a Mike Foltynwicz or even a Jon Lester to tide me over for now. Something.

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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 12 2021 01:30 PM

 

I said at the onset of the off season that this free agent class was so poor, that I really wasn't looking for much of a splash in this year's market.

 

But now I am soooooooo bored. Just give me a Mike Foltynwicz or even a Jon Lester to tide me over for now. Something.

Yeah, and it's particularly difficult to suffer through given the previous season and the upcoming uncertainty. 

 

It has been 11 months since we experienced anything resembling the typical cycle of a baseball calendar year.

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drivlikejehu
Jan 12 2021 03:51 PM

I think 8 of Fangraphs' top 25 free agents have signed. Some trades have happened but others are still out there. I don't see a lot of justification for angst at this stage. You don't get extra credit for acting earlier in the off-season. And let's be real, we knew all along that the Twins would wait out the market some before really getting involved. 

 

 

    • wabene and rdehring like this

well, the ChiSucks have done what you would always ask of a team once the window to contention opens: spend some money on veteran players to fill in holes, shore up weaknesses and position yourself to be go for it. Have they done it correctly? I think it's hard to say. Some of these move look better than others:

 

Grandal: could be the big mistake. catchers don't usually age well and as a hitter if his bat declines at all it's going to be disappointing if he has to play 1B or DH...which brings us to the next guy.

 

Abreu: He's likely to regress from pandemic season; it's hard to believe he'll lead the league in slugging again at age 34. That's a number that screams small sample size. But his bat should still be quality...but he's also gonna be playing more and more DH, because a) Grandal may need a home and B) he stinks defensively.

 

Kuechel: he was exactly what they needed last year. I didn't want the Twins to sign him, and I was probably wrong. (assuming he doesn't completely collapse this season through age/injury, but it seems less likely) even if the last season is a bust on this contract, I don't think they're likely to truly regret it.

 

Lynn: Hard for Twins fans to like this guy after he was a such a dog for us and then did well everywhere else. But again: the big hole for the ChiSucks was starting pitching. They really needed a 3rd guy they could count on and Lance Lynn has been that everywhere he's pitched except MN. It's a good move for a guy I will never cheer for, ever.

 

Hendriks: They are rolling the dice on him staying good well into his 30's. This and Grandal are the big risks: relievers are fungible and it's rarely worth paying a premium and committing big cash to a closer, and catchers generally age badly. Maybe he'll be fine because he's got relatively low mileage on his arm. Maybe the last two seasons are predictive of where he really is...but I kinda doubt it. it's more likely that he pitches like the 2015-2017 version: still very good, but there's as good a chance he's 2018 Hendriks as there is he's 2019 Hendriks, which is way 3-4 year deals at big money for closers scares me.

 

But they seem to be loading it up for this year, and their team is looking pretty good. A top three rotation of Giolito, Keuchel, and Lynn is playoff worthy. Hendriks, Bummer, and Foster looks strong in the back end of the bullpen. They've got talent in the lineup, including some star power with guys like Jimenez. The question is probably whether they have enough quality depth up and down the roster to ride it for a full season. (and whether their manager should still be managing)

 

They've been aggressive and the Twins have not. But I have to keep remembering two things: 1) you evaluate the off-season when the off-season is done, not every time a rival makes a move, and 2) "winning" the off-season doesn't actually get you any hardware.

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Major League Ready
Jan 13 2021 08:03 AM

 

 

They've been aggressive and the Twins have not. But I have to keep remembering two things: 1) you evaluate the off-season when the off-season is done, not every time a rival makes a move, and 2) "winning" the off-season doesn't actually get you any hardware.

 

All true, especially the part about the off-season not being over. Also, we should keep in mind that nobody predicted (even here) the 2019 Twins would win 101 games. A lot of guys finally played to their potential. The key guys are still here. It’s more likely that guys who have proven they can do it bounce back then guys who have never proven it breaking out. So, there is room for optimism.

 

Yes we have significant loss from that team (Cruz) but we have added Maeta and Donaldson. Yes, Rosario is also gone but he was 10th in WAR among position players in 2019. He hit 32 bombs but overall he was an average offensive player several well above average players. He can and will be replaced.

 

We need to fill a couple holes, starting with a SP. That’s going to happen. Next, the FO needs to decide if we are best served by bring in a SS or getting a high quality utility player. Finally one more BP arm. Paxton and Kluber are intriguing bounce back candidates. Odorizzi would be fine too. Sign one of them. Then, add a top SS or a utility player (Hernandez or Profar) and Archie Bradley. That stacks up pretty well to Lynn / Hendricks and Eaton.

    • rdehring and LanceJS like this

 

I think 8 of Fangraphs' top 25 free agents have signed. Some trades have happened but others are still out there. I don't see a lot of justification for angst at this stage. You don't get extra credit for acting earlier in the off-season. And let's be real, we knew all along that the Twins would wait out the market some before really getting involved. 

5 out of the top 25 have signed, and no one in Fangraphs' top 10 has signed. Spring training full workouts begin in ~40 days. I would love to see a rapid amount of leaguewide signings we can't even keep up with it. Most of my angst in previous years is caused by the way the offseason is set up. When you have 4 months to accomplish something, and 3/4ths of the teams show zero urgency until a week or two before spring training, it makes for a frustrating experience. 

 

My proposal for creating more urgency and more fun for the fans is implementing scheduled free agency periods. At the very beginning of the offseason, teams have 2 weeks to sign free agents. After that,, free agency is locked. The rule 5 draft, minor league draft, etc. is the only activity in January. And a second free agency window is opened 2 weeks before spring training. If a top free agent held out, the clock is ticking to make a decision. 

 

The White Sox are the Mets of the Midwest. Spend on the big names and get nothing in return. Lindor is the obvious exception.

 

We needed Odorizzi and Clippard signed. Do they think they can do better on the FA market?? Probably not.

Baseball has stopped spending...except the Mets and White Sox.

And the Padres