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Seth Stohs
11-15-2012, 07:18 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?1178-Building-for-the-Future

roger
11-15-2012, 07:42 AM
I am in 100% agreement. I don't see Terry Ryan ever admitting to the public that they are playing to be in contention in 2015, even if that is the plan.

beckmt
11-15-2012, 07:52 AM
Very good article. I feel they can go inbetween, but it is tricky. I agree with most of the article, but feel that Parmalee is a better trade chip than Morneau. Most of the teams with excess pitching are looking for good young players, not expensive veterens(Seattle may of changed).

NoCryingInBaseball
11-15-2012, 07:57 AM
Great article Seth, I find my opinion shifting to the long-term approach and going after prospects and younger players rather than trying to be "somewhat" competitive in the short-run.

sorney
11-15-2012, 08:03 AM
Does it really have to be one (compete in 2015) or the other (compete now) though?
Can't it be both? Using the Sanchez example, doesn't signing him/trading excess OF's for near ready pitchers/supplementing the roster to compete now/etc give us a chance to compete right now? I think it's realistic (not super easy, but doable) to expect them to try and compete to win now and in the future. The future is never a given, and whose to say Sano/Buxton/etc aren't just complete busts (shudder)??

Jim Crikket
11-15-2012, 08:36 AM
I believe a team with the Twins current financial resources SHOULD be able to "do both" if they are smart enough to identify the right trade and FA targets. I'm also not sure that it's the veterans like Willingham and Span that are necessarily the only "trade high" candidates. Are we absolutely sure that Parmelee's value right now isn't at its peak? As beckmt pointed out, teams are looking for the young, controllable, players as much as (or more than) veterans who, despite having relatively team-friendly contracts, are still going to be paid several million dollars per year. It's just as likely that someone like Hicks is at his peak value as it is that Span might be. It just depends on what kind of player your potential trading partner wants.

My issue is that it's time we as fans stopped accepting the arbitrary ceiling that the Twins place upon themselves as being a reasonable payroll limit. There's absolutely no legitimate reason the Twins couldn't afford to sign Sanchez to a long term deal AND a couple of other legitimate starting pitchers to higher dollar, short term (1-2 year) deals, even if it meant a $125 million payroll (say 60% of revenue) in 2013-14. Why? Because by 2015, they're almost certainly going to be looking at something closer to a $70 million payroll, which will be far below their 50% of revenue target.

The Twins can afford to compete now AND build for 2015 and fans have every right to expect them to make a legitimate effort at doing so.

nicksaviking
11-15-2012, 09:39 AM
Great post, but I can't get on board with the approach if the front office refuses to aknowledge a rebuild is underway. They had the chance to trade vets for prospects this year and failed to drum up enough interest to do so despite rumors about Span, Morneau, Willingham and Perkins. All they managed to do was bungle the timing on the Liriano trade. Hard to trust that there is an actual gameplan right now, I'm riding the opinion that they're just winging it at this point until there is evidence to the contrary.

Curt
11-15-2012, 09:43 AM
"I think it is safe to say that Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are really good hitters. Austin Jackson and Hunter will comprise two-thirds of the outfield with Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch, and young Avisail Garcia. Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, and Danny Worth will round out a very strong lineup"


Won't Victor Martinez also be back this year? While not Murderers' Row, it is a pretty impressive lineup on paper.

SurroundedByTigers
11-15-2012, 10:01 AM
I'm not in awe of the Tigers. The White Sox could have easily won the division but went into a tailspin the last two weeks of season. The Tigers have two great players, Verlander and Cabrera, and a bunch of solid players surrounding them. Detroit is one bad hop (Cabrera taking one off the shins at 3B), and a sore shoulder (Verlander has logged a tremendous number of innings past 3 seasons) from being a .500 team with a bloated payrool. Twins need to upgrade pitching staff, period, get a little more production on offense, and they can make the division race interesting again.

Curt
11-15-2012, 10:24 AM
My issue is that it's time we as fans stopped accepting the arbitrary ceiling that the Twins place upon themselves as being a reasonable payroll limit. There's absolutely no legitimate reason the Twins couldn't afford to sign Sanchez to a long term deal AND a couple of other legitimate starting pitchers to higher dollar, short term (1-2 year) deals, even if it meant a $125 million payroll (say 60% of revenue) in 2013-14.

I believe what you say is true. They could do that but we would have to assume that aliens had taken over their bodies. If what the Twins say about payroll is true (I agree that this is propaganda with no evidence to support it) that would require investment. Investment is a gamble and the Twins are pretty conservative and risk averse.

The stated payroll goals are based on the Twins' business strategy which, of course, may be completely idiotic or very sane but reflect their goals. There are many ways to operate a business. Some invest in the hope of expanding, others cultivate their current business, trying to maintain or improve slowly. We have decades of evidence on which way the Twins operate.

ThePuck
11-15-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm not in awe of the Tigers. The White Sox could have easily won the division but went into a tailspin the last two weeks of season. The Tigers have two great players, Verlander and Cabrera, and a bunch of solid players surrounding them. Detroit is one bad hop (Cabrera taking one off the shins at 3B), and a sore shoulder (Verlander has logged a tremendous number of innings past 3 seasons) from being a .500 team with a bloated payrool. Twins need to upgrade pitching staff, period, get a little more production on offense, and they can make the division race interesting again.

I think you are seriously understating the talent on that team. Yes, they underachieved in the first half, but they played up to their potential in the 2nd half and worked their way to the W Series. They now get Hunter and have VMart coming back too?

Winston Smith
11-15-2012, 10:40 AM
"Lookin back in front of me....." Stevie Ray

Our drafts from 2002-2008 have produced these Twins with at least a plus 1 war.
02: Span
Crain
Neshek
03: Baker
04: Perkins
05: Garza
Slowey
Duensing
06: None
07: Revere
08: None

7 drafts and they have Span, Perkins, Duensing and Revere left on the team. Nothing in return for the other guys.

This really is at the heart of why we fell so hard. A team that doesn't sign average or above free agents must rely on it's farm system. 02-07 are Ryan's last 6 drafts and now he is back in charge. I'll keep looking for a reason for hope but I'm not seeing it yet.

2015 Morneau, Willingham, Doumit and likely Span will all be gone and Joe will be 32. A depressing amount of work to do!

AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
11-15-2012, 10:58 AM
Great article Seth!

THE DFC
11-15-2012, 11:39 AM
Going for the youth movement is only thing that makes sense. Let’s look at the Twins’ situation at key positions of controversy:

Catcher: We’re locked into Joe Mauer here for many years to come. Teams aren’t going to trade for him, the Twins aren’t going to deal him, Mauer isn’t going to approve the trade. Let’s let this situation go. In 2012, he was top 10 in the AL in OPS, OPS+, oWIN%, oWAR, etc. It’s very debatable if he lives up to the full $23M per, but he had an excellent bounce back season and is in the prime of his career. Let’s mellow on this topic. It’s hardly the biggest issue in the grand scheme of things.

1st Base: We’ve got one more year of Morneau on the books for $14M. Yes, he had a decent bounce-back season, playing 136 games and putting up above-average batting numbers. The reality here is that he’s not worth his contract anymore, and we have about-to-be 25 year-old Chris Parmelee destroying AAA at an embarrassing level right behind him. It was rumored that the Dodgers were interested in Morneau around the trade deadline, and big market have always overpaid for depth. One option would be to flip Morneau to a big market, pay maybe $5M of his salary (if we have to pay at all), keep the extra $9M and open a spot for Parmelee.

Or, we could keep Morneau for another year in hopes he returns to MVP form. This scenario either pushes Parmelee to the OF (which I don’t think makes sense given our depth there...more on that in a few), makes him available for trade (would he net a prospect greater than the $9M+ we could get for moving Morneau), let him rot on the bench (not smart) or send back for more AAA (really a waste of time and talent).

If I was TR, I would be considering Free Agency moves knowing that teams are going to go after Morneau after signing dry up and essentially bank on the salary savings as added potential payroll. Then, no doubt do I flip him before the season starts.

OF: Kudos to Josh Willingham for have a career year at 33. He (and Plouffe) really showed the right-handed bats can have some serious success at Target Field utilizing that Left Field porch. Also, kudos to Denard Span for being an all-around great player for the Twins for the past couple years. However, both players are in a predicament--they have the most value trade value of anyone on the roster and have young prospects ready to replace their production.
Willingham is owed $7M over the next two seasons, and Span is owed $4.75 in 2013, $6.5M in 2014 and $9M in 2015.

To me, moving Willingham is an easy call. He had a Silver Slugger season and is only owed $7M a year for the next two years. However, he is 33, and odds are that this team won’t be going after a World Series in the next two years. On top of all of this, the Twins have rockstar prospect Oswaldo Arcia primed and ready to take over in LF. There has to be a team in win-now mode willing to part with a top starting prospect to get a Silver Slugger caliber hitter at a seriously affordable price. I would guess the potential for making this deal is equal to moving Arcia for a similar prospect. However, in the case of Willingham, we shed his salary. Plus, we stand to have a lot of productive years from Arcia at a minimal salary. Willingham is the guy to move.

In regard to Span, he garners lots of interest league-wide. He’s a very good starting CF and a very good lead-off hitter. As discussed, his contract is great, too. So, why do we move him? We need starting pitching and his production has been proven nearly replicated by Ben Revere. How wouldn’t it make sense to have a small drop-off in production from Span to Revere, gain $4.75M in payroll and net a strong starting pitching prospect in return? So, given Rivere and Span were both playing most games last year, who replaces Revere you ask? Well, Darren Mastroianni proved to be a competent player last season, and of course, you have another rockstar prospect in Aaron Hicks coming off an excellent season in AA. In fact, Hicks’s arm strength is perfect for RF, and a defensive combination of Hicks-Revere is equally or more devastating than a Span-Revere combination. Moving Span makes a lot of sense.

The only question here is--could we move Hicks for more or equal value than Span? That’s a tough question. Hicks is cheaper than Span and has a higher ceiling, but there’s certainly risk involved, and Span is young enough to expect a good 5 years of production from him. That being said, Span has had some odd injury issues. Unless the prospect for Hicks is significantly better than what we could get for Span, I’d go for the home run play which is to keep Hicks.

So, why didn’t we discuss 2nd/SS/3rd? Not worth discussing. We have low payroll players here with minimal trade potential. We also don’t have any major league ready prospects here, either. Plouffe deserves another shot at 3rd after his torrid stretch in the middle of the season, and the cluster up the middle is passable. It’d be worth considering upgrades at any of these three positions with excess resources, but for better or worse, starting pitching deserves all of the attention. From a minor-league perspective, ideally, Rosario (2B) and Sano (3B) will ultimately end-up here. However, I would say those two are pretty close to untouchable, as they have ridiculous ceilings, and using the moves above, I think we’ve already made the moves needed to rectify our starting pitching.

Where does this leave us? According to the plan, we now have an additional $15 - $20M freed up for payroll and two blue chip starting pitching prospects.

The line-up is:

C: Mauer
1B: Parmelee
2B: (cluster)
3B: Plouffe
SS: (cluster)
LF: Arcia
CF: Revere
RF: Hicks/Mastroianni
DH: Doumit

Bullpen:

Perkins
Burton
Slama
Duensing
Swarzak
Waldrop
Alex Burnett/Fien

Starters:

With Diamond, Gibson, Berrios, two prospects eyed for the future rotation, I would prefer the money is spent on a Greinke, Sanchez, etc., to anchor the rotation. Be bold! We just got an extra $15 - 20M a year. Heck, use Span/Willingham to acquire an anchor. Just don’t mortgage the future.

1. Sanchez?
2. McCarthy?
3. Diamond
4. Deduno
5. DeVries

In a year, this becomes:

1. Sanchez
2. Gibson
3. Diamond
4. Prospect #1
5. Prospect #2

...with Berrios hopefully shredding through the minors.

Easy call for me. Sure, the team loses 100 games next year, probably, but it brings excitement back to Target Field because there’s potential. In intent, it’s much like where the Timberwolves were last year and the Vikings are this year--if you have young talent and are having minor to strong successes, the buzz comes back. Simple stuff.

If you build a strong young team, draft well and continue having waves of talent (it looks like we have one wave coming up and another in Sano, Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Goodrum, etc., etc. a few years later), your window never closes. The worst thing we can do is sell young talent to "win now" when it's clear we're not on the cusp.

Seth Stohs
11-15-2012, 11:39 AM
I'm always known as a Positive Twins Blogger, so after the Twins make a few moves this offseason, by Spring Training, I'll be writing about how if this goes right, and these guys stay healthy, and if the other teams have injuries and a few of the young players step up, etc., the Twins could compete. And, I do think that any team can surprise. So, I'd never say Don't pick up players or make moves for today. I do think that overall 2014 and 2015 should be considered.

Heinie Manush
11-15-2012, 11:47 AM
Seth, seems as if I've been a voice in the wilderness since the 2011 trade deadline. There was so much wrong with the organization (not just the team) that weighed against a quick turnaround. In my mind we wasted much of a year and a half by not going "all in" on a rebuild. Trying to do both? Sure, you can have pieces fall into place and make the playoffs ( White Sox, A's) but that's not really a plan, it's pretty much crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

Winston Smith, above, touches on a key point. Look at the players born in 1986, 1987 or 1988 that are in our system. Not much there. Gibson, Parmalee, Revere, Robertson, Hendricks, maybe Wimmers and a couple others. Those 24-26 year old players need to be the backbone of any organization. Supplement them with useful veterans and role players and then with an impact free-agent or two. That's a reasonable blueprint for continuing success.

So we need to restock our system with 24 to 26 year old major leaguers/prospects. We've got Mauer and a seemingly strong system at the younger levels. Say we can turn Morneau (and money), Willingham, Span/Revere and two free agent winters into a quality starter, a solid starter, a quality middle infielder, a decent corner bat and a bullpen piece. Then we have fun watching a young but talented team in 2013. A team on the rise that very well could make a playoff run in 2014 and a legitimate contender in 2015.

As a fan, that would be great. Trying to do that and still plan to compete in 2013 risks a long stretch of mediocrity.

Curt
11-15-2012, 12:03 PM
Seth, seems as if I've been a voice in the wilderness since the 2011 trade deadline. There was so much wrong with the organization (not just the team) that weighed against a quick turnaround. In my mind we wasted much of a year and a half by not going "all in" on a rebuild. Trying to do both? Sure, you can have pieces fall into place and make the playoffs ( White Sox, A's) but that's not really a plan, it's pretty much crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

Winston Smith, above, touches on a key point. Look at the players born in 1986, 1987 or 1988 that are in our system. Not much there. Gibson, Parmalee, Revere, Robertson, Hendricks, maybe Wimmers and a couple others. Those 24-26 year old players need to be the backbone of any organization. Supplement them with useful veterans and role players and then with an impact free-agent or two. That's a reasonable blueprint for continuing success.

So we need to restock our system with 24 to 26 year old major leaguers/prospects. We've got Mauer and a seemingly strong system at the younger levels. Say we can turn Morneau (and money), Willingham, Span/Revere and two free agent winters into a quality starter, a solid starter, a quality middle infielder, a decent corner bat and a bullpen piece. Then we have fun watching a young but talented team in 2013. A team on the rise that very well could make a playoff run in 2014 and a legitimate contender in 2015.

As a fan, that would be great. Trying to do that and still plan to compete in 2013 risks a long stretch of mediocrity.

Nice handle bro!

Top Gun
11-15-2012, 12:10 PM
The future is now! Not in 2015 or the year 2525.

Willihammer
11-15-2012, 12:11 PM
Sure, the wild card could come from the AL Central, but considering the A’s, Angels and Rangers in the AL West, and the five strong teams in the AL East, it seems unlikely. (Yes, about as unlikely as the A’s and O’s being playoff teams in 2012.)

The logic which says, because the wild card will not come from the AL Central, then the Twins should look to the future and not the present, is backwards.

It is because the AL Central is weakest, that the Twins should push for now.

The Tigers won the division in 2012 with fewer wins than either wildcard. Winning division is a first round bye, and increases a WS odds by double compared to either wildcard team.

The playoffs are random, it is binary math, John just went over this.

Rosterman
11-15-2012, 01:23 PM
FROM THE TERRY RYAN YEARS, a bit before and after.

What I find interesting in the names that played elsewhere.

Plus, the players that the Twins have signed back later, either at the major or minor league level.

And the names that never made it from the top of the draft lists...or may have been traded away (circa of late).

Enjoy!!!!

1995: Mientiewicz, Mark Redman. Played elsewhere: Jeff Harris, Robert Ramsay, A.J. Hinch, Mike Moriarty. Duds: Jay Hood, Jason Bell.
1996: Jacque Jones, Chad Allen, Mike Ryan, Chad Moeller, Mike Lincoln. Played elsewhere: Travis Lee, Mike Lamb (signed him as free agent), Matt Kata, Jason Bard. Dud: Dan Cey.
1997: Michael Cuddyer, Mike Restovich, Matt LeCroy, JC Romero. Played elsewhere: Nick Punto, then traded for him. Dud: Greg Withelder (who?).
1998: Kevin Frederick, Tommy Watkins. Played elsewhere: Juan Padilla, Saul Rivera, J.J Putz, Kevin Thompson, Mike Gosling. Duds: Ryan Mills, Marcus Sents, Brent Hoard.
1999: Justin Morneau (a catcher), Rob Bowen, Willie Eyre, Travis Bowyer, Terry Tiffee. Played elsewhere: Brian Wolfe, Brian Slocum. Duds: B.J. Garbe, Jeff Randanzo, Brent Schoening.
2000: Adam Johnson, J.D. Durbin, Jason Miller, Josh Rabe, Jason Kubel. Played elsewhere: Paul Maholm, Daniel Davidson. Duds: Tagg Bozied, Colby Miller.
2001: Joe Mauer, Jose Morales, Nick Blackburn. Played elsewhere: Jason Vargas, Kevin Cameron, Matt Macri (though got him back). Duds: Scott Tyler, Angel Garcia.
2002: Denard Span, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek. Played elsewhere: Clete Thomas (signed as free agent), Kyle Phillips, Adam Lind, Evan Meek, Jeff Clement, Garrett Mock. Duds: Mark Sauls, Alex Merricks, Ricky Barrett, Doug Deeds...remember T.J. Prunty?
2003: Scott Baker. Played elsewhere: Levale Speigner, Travis Metcalf, John Gaub, Steve Pearce, Mike Hollimon. Duds: Matt Moses, Johnny Woodward, David Shinskie, Erroll Simontisch, David Winfree, Eli Tintor.
2004: Trevor Plouffe, Kyle Waldrop, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Fox, Matt Tolbert. Duds: Jay Rainville, Eddie Morlan, Mark Robinson.
2005: Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Brian Duensing, Rene Tosoni, Alex Burnett. Played elsewhere: Yonder Alonso, Steve Tolleson, Dave Herndon. Duds: Pat Kelly, Drew Thompson, Hank Sanchez, Ryan Mullins, Erik Lis.
2006: Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson, Tyler Robertson, Brian Dinkelman, Danny Valencia, Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama. Played elsewhere: Andrew Olivier, J.D. Martinez, Duds: Whitney Robbins, Garrett Olson.
2007: Ben Revere. Played elsewhere: Mickey Storey. Questions: Danny Rams, Angel Morales, Reggie Williams.
2008: Possibles: Aaron Hicks, Bobby Lanighan. Gone elsewhere: Tyler Ladendorf, Shooter Hunt, Carlos Gutierrez.
2009: Brian Dozier, Chris Hermann. Possibles: Kyle Gibson. Gone elsewhere: Ben Tootle, Matt Bashore, Billy Bullock.
2010: Possibles: Alex Wimmers, Niko Goodrum. Gone: Pat Dean.
2011: Possibles: Levi Michael, Travis Harrison, Hudson Boyd, Madison Boar, Corey Williams.

SeanS7921
11-15-2012, 01:25 PM
If you have a payroll of around 100 million dollars then you don't need to plan on contedning in 2015 you can contend now. Le Tigres who won only what 88 games this season signed Tori Hunter? Big wow. Tori Hunter got lucky on balls in play last year. His power is dimished and his Defense in RF isn't even average anymore. Maybe plus two wins for Le Tigres. The Twins could contend now with smart trades and a couple of free agent SP signings. You obviously want to be flexible for future years because what you have isn't a sure thing or even close to it. The Blue Jays went all in for this upcoming year. With the package they got which is close to 10 plus wins a year if healthy they went all in. The Twins don't need to do that but can contend in the AL Central with smart moves. Look at the Orioles, I'd argue the Twins are a better team with a couple of above average starters and luck thrown in.

Kwak
11-15-2012, 01:45 PM
If the Twins plan on rebuilding through trades--start now! IMO there is no realistic scenario where the Twins are a playoff team in 2013. It would be far better to trade nearly all of the ML talent now, lose 120, and get serious about rebuilding. Consider how wretched DET was in 2003--and now they rule the division and likely are the favorite for the AL pennant in 2013. Their owner spent money--but they also drafted well, and they made shrewd trades. The Twins need not repeat the long drought of the '90s in order to rebuild for the next decade.

sorney
11-15-2012, 01:56 PM
Succumbing to a 2 year rebuilding plan means wasting the last few years of Mauer's prime.
Mauer is supposed to be a player to build around. Don't waste what's left of his prime rebuilding.

Linus
11-15-2012, 09:30 PM
Great post, but I can't get on board with the approach if the front office refuses to aknowledge a rebuild is underway. They had the chance to trade vets for prospects this year and failed to drum up enough interest to do so despite rumors about Span, Morneau, Willingham and Perkins. All they managed to do was bungle the timing on the Liriano trade. Hard to trust that there is an actual gameplan right now, I'm riding the opinion that they're just winging it at this point until there is evidence to the contrary.

So you really think TR, who has won multiple "executive of the year" awards is just sitting around waiting for things to happen and see if guys fall in his lap? Some of the posts here just don't make sense. I understand being impatient for the plan to unfold but people just have to wait a second before they cast judgment.

Seth, you are a great blogger but the idea that signing torii should make the Twins fold up their tent and go home is just dumb. The truth is the Twins should have a similar goal whether they are building for next year or 2014 or 15 - add quality, longer term pitching. To think they are going to trade off all their assets for prospects and they will be all better in 2014 is tenuous at best since they have exactly one in house pitching prospect (Hermsonn) at AA or above.

They could trade away all available assets, miss on their assessment and end up with nothing. Anybody remember the Stahoviak / Becker years? They need quality, young(er) pitching: this year, next year 2015 and beyond. If they don't solve that, Hicks, Arcia et al will not make a difference.

Riverbrian
11-15-2012, 09:59 PM
Great post, but I can't get on board with the approach if the front office refuses to aknowledge a rebuild is underway. They had the chance to trade vets for prospects this year and failed to drum up enough interest to do so despite rumors about Span, Morneau, Willingham and Perkins. All they managed to do was bungle the timing on the Liriano trade. Hard to trust that there is an actual gameplan right now, I'm riding the opinion that they're just winging it at this point until there is evidence to the contrary.

So you really think TR, who has won multiple "executive of the year" awards is just sitting around waiting for things to happen and see if guys fall in his lap? Some of the posts here just don't make sense. I understand being impatient for the plan to unfold but people just have to wait a second before they cast judgment.

Seth, you are a great blogger but the idea that signing torii should make the Twins fold up their tent and go home is just dumb. The truth is the Twins should have a similar goal whether they are building for next year or 2014 or 15 - add quality, longer term pitching. To think they are going to trade off all their assets for prospects and they will be all better in 2014 is tenuous at best since they have exactly one in house pitching prospect (Hermsonn) at AA or above.

They could trade away all available assets, miss on their assessment and end up with nothing. Anybody remember the Stahoviak / Becker years? They need quality, young(er) pitching: this year, next year 2015 and beyond. If they don't solve that, Hicks, Arcia et al will not make a difference.

+12

TopGunn#22
11-15-2012, 10:22 PM
Great post, great comments. My 2-cents...I think trading Willingham to the Braves for young starting pitching (Hanson, Minor, Teheran, Delgado) and Span and a prospect to Tampa for Shields or Hellickson is a start. A big question to answer is what prospect in the package for Shields/Hellickson and what prospect with Willingham if we asked for 2 Braves pitchers instead of one. Still, you could conceivably have Sheilds/Hellickson at the top of your rotation with 1 or 2 of the Braves young starters and Scott Diamond in your rotation and you haven't spent a dime in free agency. Maybe you add an Edwin Jackson or Brandon McCarthy as a FA. Your starting pitching is MUCH better. Gibson is a possibility in June. If you kept Morneau that would put Parmalee in RF. You need a LF'er. Hicks is not even a consideration until at least July. But a team that could pitch like that could compete with a little luck in 2013 (and face it, most every team needs a little luck). It would certainly be set up to compete in 2014 with prospects like Arcia, Hicks, Gibson, Hendricks etc...a year older.

SP Shields, Minor, E. Jackson, Diamond (Delgado/Gibson)

CF Revere
2B Carrol
C Mauer
1B Morneau
DH Doumitt
RF Parmalee
3B Plouffe
LF ??? (Arcia?)
SS Florimon/Dozier
The lineup isn't as strong but the pitching staff is built to keep you in games.

Heinie Manush
11-15-2012, 10:36 PM
At 1:23 Rosterman posted some information the leads me to the single most important reason why we are in the mess we're in. Look at the 2008-2010 drafts and you will see 10 pitchers drafted with in the first 100 or so picks. Of these 7 have washed out and two others have had arm surgery. Only Gibson seems a lock to be a solid or better major leaguer. Horrible drafting and training or extremely bad luck? I lean toward the former.

beckmt
11-15-2012, 11:23 PM
This is a fine line. We need pitching, pitching and more pitching. Model has changed in the past 3 - 4 years as most clubs now are very reluctant to give up pitching prospects without being overpaid for them. None of the twins players available will bring more than a B prospect. Rays, Atlanta and Seattle along with Oakland have the excess pitching. I would prefer to deal with the Rays as we have 2 players they should be interested in (Span and Parmalee) and 8 possible starters to trade. Brave and Seattle pitchers are more risky unless Seattle will give up one of their top prospects (would probably require Willingham +) mlbtraderumors commented today that Seattle could be in on Hamilton(that would cost only money, but is an unlikely destination). Twins need to more at a faster pace or this market could pass them by. If TR decides to wait, I only hope it is the correct move and we are not looking at the dregs of the barrel.

old nurse
11-16-2012, 06:56 AM
" Nothing in return for the other guys.
!

Is there a selective lack of knowledge here? Players traded for other pieces that begat other pieces.
Players left by free agency. Jesse Crain had a career year in his last year. Signed elsewhere because he wanted to be a closer. The Twins got a draft pick.
Baker left and the Twins got nothing. What possible scenario could have the Twins ever received compensation for Baker ?
Yes Ryan did not always produce the most talent from the drafts yet he found talent off the other rosters. Examples in Ryan's late tenure before vacation moves were 2 minor league players became Luis Castillo and Buck Buchanan became Jason Barlett. Matt Gueirrier was a waiver pickup.The cupboard was not bare in 2007 when Ryan retired

Cody Christie
11-16-2012, 07:13 AM
The Twins aren't going to be fighting for a playoff spot next season. It makes sense to build for the future.

mike wants wins
11-16-2012, 08:31 AM
How does signing players this year, to maybe contend stop them from building for the future? And, GMs are not in charge of the draft....they do trades and free agency. It isn't like if they cut payroll this year, they will use those dollars saved in a future year....

ThePuck
11-16-2012, 08:46 AM
If you have a payroll of around 100 million dollars then you don't need to plan on contedning in 2015 you can contend now. Le Tigres who won only what 88 games this season signed Tori Hunter? Big wow. Tori Hunter got lucky on balls in play last year. His power is dimished and his Defense in RF isn't even average anymore. Maybe plus two wins for Le Tigres. The Twins could contend now with smart trades and a couple of free agent SP signings. You obviously want to be flexible for future years because what you have isn't a sure thing or even close to it. The Blue Jays went all in for this upcoming year. With the package they got which is close to 10 plus wins a year if healthy they went all in. The Twins don't need to do that but can contend in the AL Central with smart moves. Look at the Orioles, I'd argue the Twins are a better team with a couple of above average starters and luck thrown in.

Torii Hunter was rated as the 3rd best defensive RF in baseball this year...so he's much better than average out there in RF. They are also getting VMart back. The also played up to their ability in the 2nd half with a .579 winning %. Their 1-5 right now is AJax, Hunter, Cabrera, Fielder and VMart....much better than ours. Their first three pitchers all had ERA under 3.75.

They are way ahead of us.

Shane Wahl
11-16-2012, 09:51 AM
There's like a million good things to respond to in this thread, so I am not going to try. I believe in going big or . . . going big. The safer go big scenario involves not trading anybody and just adding through free agency (two pitchers and maybe a bat to trade--still think if in 2012 D-Lee or Vlad had been given a chance, they could have traded them for something). The other go big scenario is to trade a BUNCH of guys on the Twins (Span, Morneau, Willingham, Doumit, and either Parmelee or Revere) for 5+ B or better prospects who are ready or close to ready. I think the former situation can get the Twins above .500. The latter situation would likely not produce more than 70 wins, but at least there would be interest in seeing a roster of 22-25-year olds with Mauer and Plouffe and a few other guys for a year.

Shane Wahl
11-16-2012, 09:56 AM
I can assure you that for 2013 Torii Hunter > Chris Parmelee in RF (if that ridiculous scenario plays out), both defensively and offensively. The Tigers are WAY ahead of the Twins, unfortunately.

Mr. Ed
11-16-2012, 10:27 AM
2015

Bleh, that's too far away. Get it together and get winning. Already wasted 2 years of everyone's time messing around.

kab21
11-16-2012, 10:59 AM
I love it how some can't see any middle ground on this. This isn't a completely blow it up situation nor is it a go for it in 2013 situation. The focus should be on building a team that is peaking in 2015. The rotation is a mess and while it might be possible to completely rebuild it in one offseason through 3+ FA or trades the more realistic path will take a couple of years. They should be able to sign a FA this winter and it's sounds pretty likely that they can match up on a trade with TB/SEA/ATL/CIN/other for a young pitcher/prospect. There's also a chance they pick Appel/Manaea/Stanek/other in the draft in June. I know that a couple of teams have turned it around in one offseason but realistically it's going to take a couple of years (hopefully).

LaBombo
11-16-2012, 11:04 AM
I'm not in awe of the Tigers. The White Sox could have easily won the division but went into a tailspin the last two weeks of season. The Tigers have two great players, Verlander and Cabrera, and a bunch of solid players surrounding them. Detroit is one bad hop (Cabrera taking one off the shins at 3B), and a sore shoulder (Verlander has logged a tremendous number of innings past 3 seasons) from being a .500 team with a bloated payrool. Twins need to upgrade pitching staff, period, get a little more production on offense, and they can make the division race interesting again.

If it turns out that the cornerstone of Terry Ryan's plan to have the Twins contend in 2013 involves crossing his fingers and hoping that two guys who NEVER get hurt...get hurt, well, then I would hope that even the loyal-to-the-point-of-idiocy Pohlads would show him the door, and punch him in the arm really, really hard on the way out.

And I'm a little hazy on your definition of "solid" players. To me that means guys who are average or a little better. Either the word has a vastly different meaning to you, or you're unaware of the fact that Fielder, Jackson, Avila, Scherzer, and Fister are All-Star caliber players. And Hunter and Martinez may not be All Stars anymore, but they're clearly still well above average. Current Twins staff 'ace' Scott Diamond would have to battle for the 5th spot in a Sanchez-less Tigers rotation, or toss long relief if they bring Anibal back. They left a reliever (Villarreal) off their postseason roster who could probably beat out Burton for the setup role if he were a Twin.

It's likely that the Twins will add a couple of starting pitchers in the offseason, and maybe a warm body in the middle infield or bullpen. They'll probably be better next year than they were this year or last. But if you seriously think that the Twins will contend for the division title by adding Joe Blanton, Jeremy Guthrie, and a big bag of Verlander and Cabrera voodoo dolls...well, good luck with that.

Winston Smith
11-16-2012, 11:13 AM
Twinkies contracted there is no future!!

jtrinaldi
11-16-2012, 03:55 PM
the Twins are doing what they can to get by until 2015 and 2016.

ashburyjohn
11-16-2012, 06:09 PM
The future is now! Not in 2015 or the year 2525.


If man is still alive. If woman can survive.

Physics Guy
11-16-2012, 06:43 PM
I agree on the middle ground, which I suspect is Ryan's position. We need to acquire several SP, but only ones who have the potential to be around in 2015. My hope is they sign Sanchez (only 28 years old) and trade for two young pitchers (Minor, Delgado, Hellickson, Paxton...). Those guys would make us better next year and get some experience for a run by 2015, maybe even 2014. The Twins should avoid any SP past his early thirties. I was pushing for Shields, but now I only think it makes sense if he will sign an extension. I don't want to see Willingham, Span or Morneau leave, but at least we have potential replacements for them. Without pitching we are just spinning our wheels towards another 60-70 win season.

kab21
11-17-2012, 03:14 AM
I really don't understand this insistence that Shields needs to be signed to an extension if he's traded for. He's signed until he's 33. Players don't sign 1 yr extensions. He'll be looking for 3 more years particularly since he signed such a cheap deal the first time and this will be his only chance at a multi-year FA contract.

I think most likely the Twins try to get 1-2 of the prospects that the Reds/Braves/M's have to offer.

TopGunn#22
11-17-2012, 08:47 AM
I agree with the dissent on the either/or position...meaning we either push all our chips to the middle of the table and try to compete next year or resign ourselves to 2015 or beyond. Clearly, the Tigers are better. SP 1-5 they are light years ahead of us. With V-Mart coming back, their lineup will probably be better. At the end of last year, I was not in favor of trading Willingham. Good grief, we needed power and he was it! That said, his value will never be higher and teams like the Braves and Rays have young pitching they would part with. Span's value also won't get much higher. With a surplus of young outfield talent in the minors the Twins can make moves that will improve the team for next year and also build for the future. What would our outlook on the Twins be had THEY made the deal with Miami and not Toronto? We'd have a star shortstop who would fill our leadoff spot, two solid starting pitchers to go with Diamond and an outfielder in Bonifacio that would have stepped in to LF paving the way for a Willingham trade. We have some tradeable assets, the question is how do we use them and how aggressive will be be? Will the best options be gone before we pull the trigger or will waiting improve our leverage. (This is by far the best site to keep up on the Twins with the best bunch of guys sharing their opinion).

diehardtwinsfan
11-17-2012, 09:18 AM
Here's the problem. The team's needs now (starting pitching and MI help) will still likely exist in 2015. There's some potential for some help up the middle in the farm system for 2015, but not nearly enough pitching. Essentially that means that they are going to have to make some smart free agent pitching signs over the next two years regardless. I don't know which pitchers are FAs for 2014 and for 2015, but the bottom line is that if they want to be competitive in 2015, that problem is still going to have to be addressed.

USAFChief
11-17-2012, 10:42 AM
Here's the problem. The team's needs now (starting pitching and MI help) will still likely exist in 2015. There's some potential for some help up the middle in the farm system for 2015, but not nearly enough pitching. Essentially that means that they are going to have to make some smart free agent pitching signs over the next two years regardless. I don't know which pitchers are FAs for 2014 and for 2015, but the bottom line is that if they want to be competitive in 2015, that problem is still going to have to be addressed.

Bingo.

ashburyjohn
11-17-2012, 01:42 PM
Here's the problem. The team's needs now (starting pitching and MI help) will still likely exist in 2015. There's some potential for some help up the middle in the farm system for 2015, but not nearly enough pitching. Essentially that means that they are going to have to make some smart free agent pitching signs over the next two years regardless. I don't know which pitchers are FAs for 2014 and for 2015, but the bottom line is that if they want to be competitive in 2015, that problem is still going to have to be addressed.

I think this is obviously correct, but leaves unstated there are multiple routes to go regarding free agency. We can aim for FA talent who will still be prime contributors to a pennant-winning 2015 squad. Or, we can obtain younger talent by some other route (trades, mainly, if prime talent is the aim) who won't be ready until 2015, and use FA to supplement the 2013-4 squads so that further loss in the fan base can be avoided and let those contracts run out when the young'uns are scheduled to arrive. (A combination of these two approaches is quite viable, of course.) Also, as you allude, it's not necessary to completely stock up for 2015 this winter, so it can be phased over the coming three offseasons - there is not much value in paying prime talent for 2013, in and of itself. I trust that Terry Ryan has the long term plan in place (longer than 2015, naturally), and it will be interesting to watch the deals as they unfold. Stopgap moves by themselves are not a cause for despair - that is basically what Ryan accomplished last winter and they were necessary. What would be deadly is if the only moves going forward look like stopgaps to get us to 2015, without the moves that actually pertain to success in 2015 and beyond.

Teddy
11-17-2012, 02:55 PM
It's going to take Terry Ryan and company time to clean up the mess that he inherited from Bill Smith's regime. It was a different philosophy with Smith in charge, and it didn't work, and now they're going back to building the farm system, focusing on instruction and fundamentals. Sadly, the big-league club needs as much work on fundamentals as the Rookie-leaguers.

Brock Beauchamp
11-17-2012, 03:10 PM
Here's the problem. The team's needs now (starting pitching and MI help) will still likely exist in 2015. There's some potential for some help up the middle in the farm system for 2015, but not nearly enough pitching. Essentially that means that they are going to have to make some smart free agent pitching signs over the next two years regardless. I don't know which pitchers are FAs for 2014 and for 2015, but the bottom line is that if they want to be competitive in 2015, that problem is still going to have to be addressed.

I don't know... Depending on how this past draft pans out, the team could look pretty good in pitching prospects (or at least adequate).

But... you can never have too much pitching.

Willihammer
11-19-2012, 12:42 PM
Good article by Dave Cameron on fangraphs today. "Why I'm not a fan of losing on purpose." (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/why-im-not-a-fan-of-losing-on-purpose/)


I see this argument a lot as it pertains to teams like the Mets, with valuable walk-year veterans in R.A. Dickey (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1245&position=P) and David Wright (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3787&position=3B). We saw it last year when the A’s signed Coco Crisp (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1572&position=OF) to play center field. The perceived value of putting a respectable team on the field is quite low, but as the A’s showed last year, the actual value of doing just that can be extremely high. We simply don’t know enough about the future to say that Dickey and Wright aren’t going to be part of the next competitive Mets team. We do not have the forecasting capabilities to look at a 75 win team and tell them that they can’t be a 90 win team in the following year.

There’s too much variation in baseball for teams to simply accept their most recent record as evidence of their short term future.