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Nick Nelson
09-23-2013, 11:50 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2359-Dissension-on-Spending

JB_Iowa
09-23-2013, 12:12 PM
"But there's a large difference between contending and what we've seen unfold here for a third straight year. "

Amen.

nicksaviking
09-23-2013, 12:23 PM
GM's don't generally win a battle of wills with the owner.

jm3319
09-23-2013, 12:51 PM
GM's don't generally win a battle of wills with the owner.

I don't see how it's even a battle at this point. The owner is telling the GM to spend the OWNER's money......As a GM (or any person, really) how can it get any better than that?

Other team's GM's have to work on limited funds and would kill for a few extra million to play with. Now it seems Terry Ryan is refusing the spend, or spend very little. Blows my mind.

ChiTownTwinsFan
09-23-2013, 01:20 PM
I would think that an owner and a GM would be on the same page, or at least close to the same page. Ryan and Jim Pohlad seem to be talking from the opposite sides of the fence. That all makes me wonder what is going on internally. Why the mixed messages? Is this a bad cop/good cop routine? Or is there internal struggle? Can't see Ryan winning that if that is true. Or is this something that will all come to a head in the off season? I guess all one can do is wait and see. While the years have given me nothing to truly hope for, I still hope. Personally, if you want to change the internal culture of the organization, you need to start at the top. While I don't think Ryan will be out of a job, imo, he should be the first to go in making the changes needed to right the ship. The new GM's first job will be dealing with the manager. But, all this is just my wish for something better; it's still a waiting game.

Wookiee of the Year
09-23-2013, 01:22 PM
I have to wonder if there's some Good Cop/Bad Cop going on here. Jim Pohlad wants to be seen as the benevolent owner, so he offers a quote suggesting a willingness to spend big. Meanwhile, Terry Ryan's job is to temper expectations, so he says that Free Agency isn't a silver bullet for the Twins. (Gardy, of course, just wants to keep his job, so tries to artfully deflect blame for a 90-loss season.)

Makes me think the truth lies in between--Pohlad and Ryan both know they're going to need to do a bit of spending this off-season, but it won't turn the team into play-off contenders in 2014. And if things go awry and there aren't any solid pitchers to be had for reasonable money (or fans are simply disappointed by the overall Free Agent haul), then at least Pohlad's been quoted announcing his financial commitment to the team and TR gets to look like the penny-pinching miser keeping the Twins from respectability.

DuluthFan
09-23-2013, 01:38 PM
It would be a very unwise negotiation strategy for any GM to say "We have an open checkbook. How much do you want?" The players would have the upper hand in the negotiations. It is the GM's job to get the best deal and field a team. He wouldn't be doing his job if he is just throwing money around. It's ok for the owner indicate that the team is looking to spend money. He will not be doing the negotiating. His statements are pointed more towards the agents to consider pointing their clients towards the Twins. If the Twins are going to go against their usual free agency dealings, the free agents need to know that considering the Twins as an option will be worth at least a call or two.

Winston Smith
09-23-2013, 02:06 PM
" While the Twins have limped to three straight 90-plus loss seasons,...." more like:
http://bolstablog.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/man-crawling-in-desert-dying-of-thirst.png?w=300&h=199

SpitefulRabbit617
09-23-2013, 02:06 PM
Pfft, I'll believe Terry Ryan any day over a Pohlad. Terry Ryan isn't the one who sold us on funding a new stadium so we could increase revenue. All big name pitchers on 1 year deals. Its not like we can do any worse.

nicksaviking
09-23-2013, 02:40 PM
It would be a very unwise negotiation strategy for any GM to say "We have an open checkbook. How much do you want?" The players would have the upper hand in the negotiations. It is the GM's job to get the best deal and field a team. He wouldn't be doing his job if he is just throwing money around. It's ok for the owner indicate that the team is looking to spend money. He will not be doing the negotiating. His statements are pointed more towards the agents to consider pointing their clients towards the Twins. If the Twins are going to go against their usual free agency dealings, the free agents need to know that considering the Twins as an option will be worth at least a call or two.

I actually would disagree. Last year Ryan complained that free agents didn't want to come to Minnesota. Many people around here didn't buy it, believing that Ryan simply didn't put the best offers out there. If Ryan was being honest last year (or partially honest) then the Twins need to be out front this year with a big sign saying "Open For Business."

It's going to take an image change to attract free agents. If free agents don't want to come here due to the losing, the Twins need to be advertising that the culture has changed and they are willing to do what it takes to win. Cleveland did it last year and they didn't have trouble courting free agents.

Oxtung
09-23-2013, 02:49 PM
I think there are 2 reasons to believe the Pohlad's might be willing to spend. First, Jim, Robert and William might want to step out of the "cheap" shadow that Carl created with his spending habits. If that is true than what better time to show you're willing to spend than on a 90 loss team with huge holes?

Second, none of the remaining Pohlads have won a World Series. There might be a desire to bring home a championship even if it means spending to do so. Remember Carl won two early on in his tenure of ownership. Do the kids want to show they can follow in dad's footsteps?

cmb0252
09-23-2013, 02:56 PM
Hicks, Arcia, Gibson, and Pinto all were able to get their feet wet in the majors this year and all should play bigger roles next year. It isn't outside of possibility that Sano, May, Meyer, Rosario, and Buxton could do the same next year. Prospects don't just bring talent to the mlb club but a huge amount of financial flexibility. The pohlads could easily sign several FAs to 3-4 year deals that will help now but won't interfere with signing the prospects which turn out to be good mlb players long term.

Kwak
09-23-2013, 03:00 PM
I believe there isn't any disagreement. Pohlad states a willingness to spend--as long as its according to conditions that wouldn't be agreeable. The real plan (by management) is slash payroll, feed the public the same old "ya never know" BS, and hope that somehow they can draft, develop, and "luck-out in the dumpster" before the public completely tires of their song-and-dance. It would be a real pity to build a winner years after the public has lost interest and find that TF will have crowds like Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cleveland have today.

Thrylos
09-23-2013, 03:17 PM
Over time for Ryan to go.

twinsnorth49
09-23-2013, 03:21 PM
Pfft, I'll believe Terry Ryan any day over a Pohlad. Terry Ryan isn't the one who sold us on funding a new stadium so we could increase revenue. All big name pitchers on 1 year deals. Its not like we can do any worse.

No TR is the one who told us he was going to get a serious starter for the rotation last winter and sold us Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey,

Pelfrey was a 1 yr deal (thank god), I hope to hell we can't do any worse than that.

nicksaviking
09-23-2013, 03:22 PM
I believe there isn't any disagreement. Pohlad states a willingness to spend--as long as its according to conditions that wouldn't be agreeable. The real plan (by management) is slash payroll, feed the public the same old "ya never know" BS, and hope that somehow they can draft, develop, and "luck-out in the dumpster" before the public completely tires of their song-and-dance. It would be a real pity to build a winner years after the public has lost interest and find that TF will have crowds like Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cleveland have today.

The fans will always come back and the Pohlads know it. The end years at the Metrodome were packed despite the emptiness which allowed my unimpeded ability to snag seven batting practice balls one game I went to in the late 1990's. I went to a game once where the promotion was to give away unused tickets to Eric Milton's no-hitter because they actually had tens of thousands left that they did not issue.

Rosterman
09-23-2013, 03:30 PM
The money is there to spend -- wisely, of course. Terry Ryan, use you skills to target arbitration eligible folks who may be jettisoned by their own teams, but the Twins can afford. Take a chance on some of those guys entering the overpayed years if teams cut them loose.

The joys of free agent signings is that you get players just for money, you seldom, with the new rules, lose anyone. You also have to be willing to forget your past (being the good guy giving people long contracts and NOT trading them) and do that if the opportunity arises.

You spend money. You lose on many, you win on some. Some you take the opportunity to jettison (like Willingham...let him walk to Baltimore and take that $7 million a reinvest in another comparable player).

You hear Jim Pohlad talk about spending on free agents, and he totally misses step one of the new Target Field -- "We will be able to keep our own free agents in the future" was said, I believe.

Part of the Twins problems right now is that they did let Nathan, Kuble, Cuddyer, Hunter and others walk. They weren't able to turn around Young, Pavano, Capps, Pelfry for worthwhile players. They were forced into a corner trading Santana and Liriano because they didn't want to cough up bucks to keep them...thinking hometown players would rather stay and be underpaid than leave and get paid more than you feel is responsible.

The Twins set a budget for draftee, international signing, and major league payroll. They can spend within that window, and if attendance and such rises (because you win) can spend more, but more often than not it is based on last year's revenue rather than next year's predictions. But us fans get mad when the money isn't spent and start to make up places where it does flow (owner's pockets).

Yes, they are getting up to a $25 million windfall this year from MLB. They have extra monies to spend, even more if they didn't have Correia, Willingahm and Doumit -- all three replaceabe by similar and possibly more productive others.

Beyond those three there are no trading chips that won't mortgage the Twins future. Those chips have to show if they can play in the majors and suddenly make a Hicks or Dozier or Rosaio part of a package for an arbitration-eligible overpayed potential superstar or not. Then you start dealing your minor league depth, because soon that catches up on you when you can't keep guys on the 40-man or add them because you are just too rich in potential.

I know I'm just rambling and this disappointing season comes to an end. I think the Twins need a total overall -- bring in a new general manager and manager team, revamp the whole front office, especially if ownership and team management aren't on the same page. Stop being nice. It is a business and you need to put butts, like my own, into the seats.

old nurse
09-23-2013, 03:37 PM
The quote says near and long term. In solving the club's needs that fit both criteria it would be unlikely that free agency would be a fix. Ashburyjohn had posted the interview. Ryan never said he wasn't going to sign free agents. Their top prospects they would hope to be career Twins. Long term fix for a position when they work out. He later in ashburyjohn's post said that there would be people that they would pursue. Hopefully they have learned the market. The free agent is a short term fix. Look at what is available as a free agent. Someone generally over 30. Not a long term fix in the drug testing era. Not a long term fix. Ryan wants to fix things long term. There are people he will go after. It would be looked at as a short term fix. Willingham was a short term fix until one of the young outfielders were ready. Hopefully he has learned there is little value or gain in signing 5th starters as free agents.

Oldgoat_MN
09-23-2013, 03:54 PM
Once upon a time I went shopping with my daughter. We were buying a shirt for my brother. I told her that I was looking for a shirt for $20. They were charging $40 for that type of shirt.
My daughter said, "Dad, that's what those shirts cost now".

Is that where Terry Ryan is now? He just is really not clear what it costs to get really quality players?

I wonder about that.

ThePuck
09-23-2013, 04:00 PM
Once upon a time I went shopping with my daughter. We were buying a shirt for my brother. I told her that I was looking for a shirt for $20. They were charging $40 for that type of shirt.
My daughter said, "Dad, that's what those shirts cost now".


So, you couldn't even give your money away at that store? :-)

I bet you could go down to the dollar store and buy a few shirts and pocket the rest of the money...

JB_Iowa
09-23-2013, 04:22 PM
I don't really see Pohlad's and Ryan's comments as being diametrically opposed -- I think Ryan's position would always be that they are not going to give money away just to give it away and that there simply weren't any players out there worth the money last off-season.

But I would think that if Terry Ryan spent 15%-20% below his authority for 2013 and then turns around and does the same thing (or something more drastic) next season without improved results, ANY owner would have to wonder whether the game has passed him by. I'm of the same age as Ryan and sometimes I look at prices in general and think, "who would pay that for that" but ultimately you have to pay the market rate (or, in the case of the Twins, more than market rate especially for short-term deals which are, after all, what Pohlad mentioned).

Dainir
09-23-2013, 04:40 PM
I think people are missing the point of what Terry Ryan is saying, or at least I hope I am catching what he is saying.

If you look at the free agent market for this upcoming off season, we have:
Player ERA
Barry Zito 5.91
Tim Lincecum 4.44
Scott Feldman 3.51
Phil Hughes 5.07
Joba Chamberlain 4.97
Ervin Santana 3.16

Now let me throw some Twins numbers at you:

Sam Deduno 3.83
Drew Albers 3.98
Kevin Correia 4.29
Mike Pelfrey 5.34
Kyle Gibson 6.53


I would like to call attention to the fact, that of the 6 players listed at the top end of the free agency market, only two of them had better years than our top 3 pitchers. Ervin Santana and Scott Feldman. I would love to get either of those, but then again by this years numbers they are the best players to get in free agency, so I would think so would any other team looking for a pitcher.

For the rest of the guys in that list, they would fill a 4th or fifth slot as a starter. Keep in mind Kyle Gibson will be getting one of those spots at some point next year, and you can bet numbers will dictate who stays at with the major league club and who goes down to Rochester.

So in the free agent market who do you get after Ervin and Scott (both of whom performed well above their career average).

Zito and Lincecum are both on extended bad stretches, Lincecum's 2012 campaign was even worse than this years. Zito's Career ERA is at 4.03, but he hasn't seen a sub 4.0 ERA in 6 years.

That leaves Hughes and Chamberlain. Hughes' career ERA is 4.52 which won't crack the Twins top 3. Joba hasn't started a game since 2009 and his work since then has shown him to have eras of 4.4, 2.83, 4.35, 4.97 out of the bullpen. 3 of those 4 years had Joba with a worse ERA than anyone in our bullpen who has gotten serious amounts of work this year.

(The closest two are Duensing and Roenicke with 4.12 and 4.23 ERAs respectively.)


So, please tell me who of the rest would be a clear great improvement to the team?

Looking at free-agency, I say wow, I can't even really significantly improve our team by signing two of the best 6 players on the market unless we get the #1 and #2. Now imagine how much that would cost. Now think of yourself as Terry Ryan, could you really pull the trigger on that, knowing these are all guys that have been around the league a minimum of 7 years and still aren't performing all that well.


We have the international market or trades open for real significant improvement. We CAN'T get an ace in the free agent market, we can't even come close. We can only sign guys who would give other players in our system a run for their money at the 5th starter position.

So yeah, I get Terry Ryan saying, we can't really do it through free agency, at least not if you want a real change.

Nick Nelson
09-23-2013, 04:42 PM
How on Earth did you come up with that list as the best six pitchers in free agency?

Dainir
09-23-2013, 04:49 PM
How on Earth did you come up with that list as the best six pitchers in free agency?


I would love to be wrong and be stupid, for bringing up what I did. So please make my day and let me know otherwise.

But what I based that off of was from a startribune article:
Chart: Free-agent talent available this winter | Star Tribune


(http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/224734622.html)

Nick Nelson
09-23-2013, 04:55 PM
I think that's just a list of guys they elected to highlight. Zito is probably not among the top 30 free agent SPs.

snepp
09-23-2013, 04:56 PM
Cue the sample size and smoke-n-mirrors alerts on Albers. Proclaiming him as "better" than anything that's going to be available in free agency is a massive stretch.

Kwak
09-23-2013, 05:02 PM
"...and the answer is?" Apparently give up and pray. Change requires a new way--and that won't come from the same bunch that has been there for decades. I agree 1000% that the Twins want Mauer to leave--and no they won't open-up the checkbook if that happens--they will just become Houston North.

strumdatjag
09-23-2013, 05:12 PM
These guys have also been listed as potential free agents in recent articles.
Jason Vargas, Scott Kazmir, Tim Hudson, and Josh Johnson. My preference would be to sign a younger pitcher like Phil Hughes and hope he benefits from a change in scenery. Leaving Yankee Stadium to Target Field is a big change - there's always hope.

beckmt
09-23-2013, 05:27 PM
Vargas is more of the same, Kazmir is too risky and Hudson too old. Would love to have Johnson. Do not see a big improvement with Hughes. Ryan is correct as far as signing international players and trades are the best way, only the Twins have nothing to trade except the future to bring a very good pitcher here. But the Twins still have to spend the money. Maybe the MLB players union has to put a clause in that a team's payroll has to be at least 60-70 million. That will stop some of this issue.

old nurse
09-23-2013, 05:28 PM
Perhaps the best free agent they could sign is a backup catcher named Joe Girardi.

jokin
09-23-2013, 05:46 PM
I actually would disagree. Last year Ryan complained that free agents didn't want to come to Minnesota. Many people around here didn't buy it, believing that Ryan simply didn't put the best offers out there. If Ryan was being honest last year (or partially honest) then the Twins need to be out front this year with a big sign saying "Open For Business."

It's going to take an image change to attract free agents. If free agents don't want to come here due to the losing, the Twins need to be advertising that the culture has changed and they are willing to do what it takes to win. Cleveland did it last year and they didn't have trouble courting free agents.

Amen. I've been advocating that the Twins, in their highly favorable position with a new stadium and vast new revenue streams, should have employed just this strategy the last 2 off-seasons. A mixed strategy, employing elements of what Cleveland/KC/Red Sox/Jays did leading into 2013 would have kept the Twins avoiding sailing into the never-to-return-to-relevancy Bermuda Triangle, anchored in Laughingstock Harbor. Sadly, for a franchise's GM who thinks his best move ever was dumping Scott Erickson for nothing, I hold little hope that the barnacle-laden Ship of State has any intellectual dynamism left in the cranial cargo hold to undertake such a strategy.

jokin
09-23-2013, 05:48 PM
Perhaps the best free agent they could sign is a backup catcher named Joe Girardi.

Same page, my friend. (Or at least I think so:D).

Marta Shearing
09-23-2013, 06:08 PM
Some people wanna call it "good cop, bad cop". I call it an elaborate scheme of lying.

Thrylos
09-23-2013, 06:41 PM
I think people are missing the point of what Terry Ryan is saying, or at least I hope I am catching what he is saying.

If you look at the free agent market for this upcoming off season, we have:
Player ERA
Barry Zito 5.91
Tim Lincecum 4.44
Scott Feldman 3.51
Phil Hughes 5.07
Joba Chamberlain 4.97
Ervin Santana 3.16

Now let me throw some Twins numbers at you:

Sam Deduno 3.83
Drew Albers 3.98
Kevin Correia 4.29
Mike Pelfrey 5.34
Kyle Gibson 6.53
.

ERA? On the other hand you are talking about Ryan, so all is possible...

Zito is retiring.

Look at all Free Agent SPs under the age of 32. Calculate their average K/9 the last 3 seasons. List in decreasing K/9. Pick the top 3. These are the ones that the Twins should sign...

Hint: a pitcher who was born in Minneapolis is near the top of the list...

richardkr34
09-23-2013, 07:31 PM
Sign Phil Hughes. SHould be reasonable and his road splits look favorable.

old nurse
09-23-2013, 07:33 PM
Look at all Free Agent SPs under the age of 32. Calculate their average K/9 the last 3 seasons. List in decreasing K/9. Pick the top 3. These are the ones that the Twins should sign...

Hint: a pitcher who was born in Minneapolis is near the top of the list...

Hint in the last 3 years he missed half of his team's games while on the dl. You might like that part so you get to see more of an Albers or similar pitcher.

old nurse
09-23-2013, 07:36 PM
I do not dislike Gardy, but Holy Cow, you can get one of the two best managers out there.
Would that mean the Twins shouldn't sign Hughes?

TheLeviathan
09-23-2013, 07:37 PM
Excellent post. To answer your question toward the end, I believe Ryan will target his classic "innings eaters" (even if the really aren't....looking at you Kevin) to fix the problem. Even beyond Ryan's principles on FA, I think he believes simply being competent for five innings qualifies you as a good pitcher.

Thankfully we are drafting players who profile as higher talents but I still think our standards for good pitching haven't evolved enough.

clutterheart
09-23-2013, 07:43 PM
Nick
Great post. You summed up almost my exact feelings on this team's direction much better than I ever could. Every time I try I end up using cuss words, my mouth spittle starts to foam and it drips on the keyboard then the moisture breaks my computer.

Dman
09-23-2013, 08:28 PM
Excellent post. To answer your question toward the end, I believe Ryan will target his classic "innings eaters" (even if the really aren't....looking at you Kevin) to fix the problem. Even beyond Ryan's principles on FA, I think he believes simply being competent for five innings qualifies you as a good pitcher.

Thankfully we are drafting players who profile as higher talents but I still think our standards for good pitching haven't evolved enough.

I agree Ryan will do the same thing he always does in free agency. There will be no big signings. He is determined to rebuild like the Royals, Pirates, Baltimore and Houston are doing and that is don't be afraid to be incredibly bad and draft high until the farm is finally stocked and you come out with a couple of super stars. Then see what pieces are missing and maybe finally fill in with free agency. That isn't going to change anytime soon I don't believe.

It would be nice if he would at least look at the cubs approach and buy decent free agents and then trade them for prospects at the deadline. That way you can essentially buy prospects. Tough thing there is they have to do well or you are stuck with them.

Also would be nice if the Twins would pony up at least 50 to 60 million posting fee for Tanaka just to prove that are willing to overspend like several other teams but I doubt they have what it takes to win any kind of bidding war.

Regardless of what is said I believe Ryan is in charge and this is an old fashioned rebuild. It was hard to watch this year so even though I like picking high in the draft they need to get better soon or it is going to be hard to stay interested in this team.

PseudoSABR
09-23-2013, 08:37 PM
Can the Twins really expect to sell any tickets at the beginning of the season if they come with something less than 80 million payroll (much less 70 or 60)? Whether or not actual success arises from spending money on FA pitching is debatable, but if the Twins want to fulfill their implicit public contract with the local fans, they'll probably spend the money.

Short term deals, even on riskier players, don't hamper the future and have the potential to turn into tradeable assets.

ThePuck
09-23-2013, 08:40 PM
People keep saying we are rebuilding. What are we doing that other teams, who aren't in rebuilding mode, AREN'T doing? We're drafting...everyone drafts. We're signing international talent, so is everyone else. Aren't we just waiting and praying to the Gods that a seriously higher than normal percentage of our prospects end up above average of better? Is that actively rebuilding?

We did the two trades...the Span and Revere ones...but besides that, what exactly are we doing differently from any other team including teams that retool or are right in the thick of things?

TheLeviathan
09-23-2013, 09:04 PM
Can the Twins really expect to sell any tickets at the beginning of the season if they come with something less than 80 million payroll (much less 70 or 60)? Whether or not actual success arises from spending money on FA pitching is debatable, but if the Twins want to fulfill their implicit public contract with the local fans, they'll probably spend the money.

Short term deals, even on riskier players, don't hamper the future and have the potential to turn into tradeable assets.

I think they are banking on the season ticket sales being locked in to get AS game tix. The Twins have very successfully marketed that.

howieramone
09-23-2013, 09:11 PM
People keep saying we are rebuilding. What are we doing that other teams, who aren't in rebuilding mode, AREN'T doing? We're drafting...everyone drafts. We're signing international talent, so is everyone else. Aren't we just waiting and praying to the Gods that a seriously higher than normal percentage of our prospects end up above average of better? Is that actively rebuilding?

We did the two trades...the Span and Revere ones...but besides that, what exactly are we doing differently from any other team including teams that retool or are right in the thick of things?IMHO, rebuilding is one of those things in life, where if you have to ask, it's probably impossible to explain it to you.

USAFChief
09-23-2013, 09:13 PM
IMHO, rebuilding is one of those things in life, where if you have to ask, it's probably impossible to explain it to you.
Go ahead, give it a shot anyway. What the heck.

howieramone
09-23-2013, 09:34 PM
Go ahead, give it a shot anyway. What the heck. Some things I only do for money. If you're talking an ownership interest, have your people get ahold of mine.:)

The Wise One
09-23-2013, 10:04 PM
People keep saying we are rebuilding. What are we doing that other teams, who aren't in rebuilding mode, AREN'T doing? We're drafting...everyone drafts. We're signing international talent, so is everyone else. Aren't we just waiting and praying to the Gods that a seriously higher than normal percentage of our prospects end up above average of better? Is that actively rebuilding?

We did the two trades...the Span and Revere ones...but besides that, what exactly are we doing differently from any other team including teams that retool or are right in the thick of things?
Every team hopes that a high percentage of their signings turn out. What a rebuilding team does is trade assess for players that will someday be better than he one they traded. A retooling team has a replacement ready and thus is getting ahead in the game before they have to rebuild.
Why is this even an issue? What label your team has, rebuilding, retooling, or whatever, is meaningless. All teams are trying to get better short term and long term. Long term planning means that if you have success it will generally last longer. Quick fixes might appease fans, but will be like a 1985 Kcar, it will always need fixing

Sano&Buxton Duo
09-23-2013, 10:22 PM
We seriously need to bring the check book to Japan and sign Masahiro Tanka
20-0 1.24 era
I swear I will scream if we don't get this guy he's only 24 (turning 25 in November).
This might sound crazy but let's go out and sign Jacoby Ellsbury because of his ability to get on base at the top of the order and his speed. Don't ever forget his defense, awesome. I know he has had injury problems but he's a good veteran and think 2015 Ellsbury - CF
Buxton - RF/LF
Arcia/Hicks - RF/LF
Awesome outfield. I think maybe a 3 year with the option of 4 years sounds ok give enough time for Max Kepler to prove him self in the Minors.

launchingthrees
09-23-2013, 10:22 PM
I'd rather risk 40 million on 1-2 year deals than the 100% certainty of being horrible for the 4th straight year.

ThePuck
09-23-2013, 10:39 PM
Every team hopes that a high percentage of their signings turn out. What a rebuilding team does is trade assess for players that will someday be better than he one they traded. A retooling team has a replacement ready and thus is getting ahead in the game before they have to rebuild.
Why is this even an issue? What label your team has, rebuilding, retooling, or whatever, is meaningless. All teams are trying to get better short term and long term. Long term planning means that if you have success it will generally last longer. Quick fixes might appease fans, but will be like a 1985 Kcar, it will always need fixing

It's an issue because there seems to be this popular idea that we shouldn't utilize every avenue to get better as soon as possible (i.e., free agency) because we are 'rebuilding'. That we shouldn't be bothered funds available aren't being used because we are 'rebuilding'. That we should meekly accept all this losing because we are rebuilding. So I asked, what are we doing, as a rebuilding team, that every other team, including teams that are contenders, aren't doing? Rebuilding seems to be an excuse to defend not spending, to defend yet another carp season, to defend in general...so we should at least know what we're doing that is unique to rebuilding that other teams aren't doing, to include contenders.

Truth is, all we are doing is waiting...treading water (well, not really...that usually means your head isn't underwater)...and hoping beyond hope a huge percentage of our prospect turn out to be very good because we NEED it to. With so little major league talent, and out inability to utilize FA, that is our only shot...and history shows, that's an extremely long road to travel.

howieramone
09-23-2013, 10:43 PM
I'd rather risk 40 million on 1-2 year deals than the 100% certainty of being horrible for the 4th straight year.

I don't think we are going to be horrible next year. I think we will make the leap to not very good.:)

Major Leauge Ready
09-23-2013, 11:08 PM
People keep saying we are rebuilding. What are we doing that other teams, who aren't in rebuilding mode, AREN'T doing? We're drafting...everyone drafts. We're signing international talent, so is everyone else. Aren't we just waiting and praying to the Gods that a seriously higher than normal percentage of our prospects end up above average of better? Is that actively rebuilding?

We did the two trades...the Span and Revere ones...but besides that, what exactly are we doing differently from any other team including teams that retool or are right in the thick of things?

We made two pretty significant trades (Span and Revere) for pitching prospects and one current player (Worley). I think most people expected Worley to be a pretty solid middle of the rotation guy. Those were solid moves that differentiated us from teams that were not rebuilding. I am sure Ryan would have loved to make other trades at the deadline this year but what exactly would he have traded on than Perkins? Who was going to bring anything that mattered.

We also played prospects hoping some of them would make the leap. This is another difference you ignored. Plouffe, Dozier, Parmelee, Flormon, Hicks, Arcia, Escobar, Hermann, and a whole host of pitchers fall into this category. This is how teams that are not in the top 10 revenue markets rebuild. Even when this worksout it is going to mean more losses so some people are going to complain. It did not work out very well so people are going to REALLY complain. Many people were ready to toss Dozier on the scrap heap. It looks like he will be a darn good asset in the future so something good did come out of this season. Florimon also established himself defensively. There is still a reasonable chance he can be a ML average SS offensively, especially with his speed.

Of course all teams are drafting. This tact hardly proves a point. What would make more sense is to comapre the Twins to the other teams that are rebuilding. Are Houston and Miami adding top FAs? I think Houston's payroll is $12M. Are they that incredibly cheap or is a low payroll consistent with a rebuilding team with revenues in the bottom half of the leauge? What am I missing? What arent the Twins doing these rebuilding teams are doing?

CHCs have been more aggressive and praised here. So far they have made no more progress than the Twins in the W/L column. Their biggest acquistion (Jackson) has been a failure. We will see if he can make a comeback next year or if his contract is a detriment for the next 3 years. They did hit on Feldman but the leauge certainly did not think he was any more likely to pan out than several other FA SPs. They whiffed on Baker too so you can hardly look at what they did as a model of success.

I think there is plenty to complain about but FA SP is a quick fix outlook. Our inability to draft and develop pitchers should be the overwhelming complaint IMO. If not for the recent resurgence of the minor leauge system I would be leading the charge to replace the bulk of the Twins FO. They have done such a good job of turning it around that from a distance it looks like they have figured some things out in the drafting dept both domestically and internationally.

I am still not completely sold in terms of drafting and development but I have no problem with has happened the past couple years in free agency. It is not even a little bit hard for me to believe TR has an uphill battle getting players to come here right now. We were linked to ejust about every FA pitcher out there last year. It is very easy from a keyboard to say just get it done but another thing entirely when you are in a battle with 29 other teams for FAs, especially when many of them have much deeper pockets or a better opportunity to win right now.

Kwak
09-23-2013, 11:21 PM
Jumping on the Cubs as a way to deflect criticism is way off base. The discussion should be about are the Twins managed in a way consistent with the prime directive of building Target Field? Are the fans treated as mindless cretins?--who really don't matter that much because the other than ticket sales sources of revenue are so large that fans can be ignored? Ok Houston and Miami are taking that tack--but are the Twins next?

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 01:22 AM
Hint in the last 3 years he missed half of his team's games while on the dl. You might like that part so you get to see more of an Albers or similar pitcher.

I'll take the chance at greatness over the guaranteed back end starter every day. Doubly so since that cash "saved" was not used to improve the product elsewhere last season.


We seriously need to bring the check book to Japan and sign Masahiro Tanka
20-0 1.24 era
I swear I will scream if we don't get this guy he's only 24 (turning 25 in November).
This might sound crazy but let's go out and sign Jacoby Ellsbury because of his ability to get on base at the top of the order and his speed. Don't ever forget his defense, awesome. I know he has had injury problems but he's a good veteran and think 2015 Ellsbury - CF
Buxton - RF/LF
Arcia/Hicks - RF/LF
Awesome outfield. I think maybe a 3 year with the option of 4 years sounds ok give enough time for Max Kepler to prove him self in the Minors.

Mike is that you?!?

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 01:37 AM
We made two pretty significant trades (Span and Revere) for pitching prospects and one current player (Worley). I think most people expected Worley to be a pretty solid middle of the rotation guy. Those were solid moves that differentiated us from teams that were not rebuilding. I am sure Ryan would have loved to make other trades at the deadline this year but what exactly would he have traded on than Perkins? Who was going to bring anything that mattered.

We also played prospects hoping some of them would make the leap. This is another difference you ignored. Plouffe, Dozier, Parmelee, Flormon, Hicks, Arcia, Escobar, Hermann, and a whole host of pitchers fall into this category. This is how teams that are not in the top 10 revenue markets rebuild. Even when this worksout it is going to mean more losses so some people are going to complain. It did not work out very well so people are going to REALLY complain. Many people were ready to toss Dozier on the scrap heap. It looks like he will be a darn good asset in the future so something good did come out of this season. Florimon also established himself defensively. There is still a reasonable chance he can be a ML average SS offensively, especially with his speed.

Of course all teams are drafting. This tact hardly proves a point. What would make more sense is to comapre the Twins to the other teams that are rebuilding. Are Houston and Miami adding top FAs? I think Houston's payroll is $12M. Are they that incredibly cheap or is a low payroll consistent with a rebuilding team with revenues in the bottom half of the leauge? What am I missing? What arent the Twins doing these rebuilding teams are doing?

CHCs have been more aggressive and praised here. So far they have made no more progress than the Twins in the W/L column. Their biggest acquistion (Jackson) has been a failure. We will see if he can make a comeback next year or if his contract is a detriment for the next 3 years. They did hit on Feldman but the leauge certainly did not think he was any more likely to pan out than several other FA SPs. They whiffed on Baker too so you can hardly look at what they did as a model of success.

I think there is plenty to complain about but FA SP is a quick fix outlook. Our inability to draft and develop pitchers should be the overwhelming complaint IMO. If not for the recent resurgence of the minor leauge system I would be leading the charge to replace the bulk of the Twins FO. They have done such a good job of turning it around that from a distance it looks like they have figured some things out in the drafting dept both domestically and internationally.

I am still not completely sold in terms of drafting and development but I have no problem with has happened the past couple years in free agency. It is not even a little bit hard for me to believe TR has an uphill battle getting players to come here right now. We were linked to ejust about every FA pitcher out there last year. It is very easy from a keyboard to say just get it done but another thing entirely when you are in a battle with 29 other teams for FAs, especially when many of them have much deeper pockets or a better opportunity to win right now.

The Astros have decided the best way to return to contention is to burn it down, be terrible and draft as high as they can. They sold all the assets they have.

The Marlins signed a bunch of big name free agents then traded them for several quality prospects (that may not have been the intention at the beginning but it the result). They too have shipped off most of their veterans and are now integrating their prospects into what will hopefully be a playoff team soon. Sooner than the Twins I'd wager, if they can find a way to keep Stanton.

The Cubs signed the most consistent pitcher available last off season to try and help stabilize their rotation and while it hasn't worked so far that doesn't mean it was a bad move (personally I expect him to rebound next season nicely). They have traded some of the assets they acquired during the offseason. I think the single biggest move they made is to attack international free agency with reckless abandon. They spotted a loophole and the exploited it to what looks like will be their advantage. By the way, the Cubs W/L record might be bad but their runs scored/runs allowed is 100 runs better than the Twins. That is a massive difference. It seems to be sheer blind "luck" that the Cubs record is as bad as it is this season.

All 3 of these teams have a set path they have taken to return to contention. They have identified some nitch in the system they believe will help them return to contention better than the rest of the rebuilding teams. The Twins on the other hand don't seem to be choosing any path to maximize their chances. The Astros, Marlins and Cubs might not all be immediately successful with their approaches but at least one can look at them and see what they are trying to do. One can acknowledge they have a plan and they are doing everything in their power to make that plan return them to relevance faster/better/longer than their competitors. How exactly are the Twins maximizing their chances of returning to contention?

old nurse
09-24-2013, 05:51 AM
I'll take the chance at greatness over the guaranteed back end starter every day. Doubly so since that cash "saved" was not used to improve the product elsewhere last season.


A one in 4 chance that the player will play in 30 games for the season. Signing him you will get the back end starter. That was my missed point.
Greatness? Maybe very goodness, but maybe not with the way he threw this year.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 08:56 AM
The Astros, Marlins and Cubs might not all be immediately successful with their approaches but at least one can look at them and see what they are trying to do. One can acknowledge they have a plan and they are doing everything in their power to make that plan return them to relevance faster/better/longer than their competitors. How exactly are the Twins maximizing their chances of returning to contention?

You honestly can't see what the Twins are doing? I mean, I think it's ok to disagree but it's pretty clear the FO is building for the future around a core of Sano and Buxton. They aren't getting distracted and ignoring the best talent (ie taking someone like Gausman to fix a present need over Buxton). They aren't adding parts that will negatively impact the 2015 and beyond teams (ie, paying Jackson 10m/year). They are moving talent at good times - both Span and Revere were traded at pretty good times to maximize their return. They've made nice use of waiver claims and rule v picks. They've made some nice FA signings that won't adversely affect the rebuild. And the first wave of talent came up this year when Gibson, Hicks and Arcia debuted and Dozier and Florimon established themselves as decent MI options (esp defensively). Next year we'll see Meyer, May, Sano and possibly Buxton and Rosario.

I mean, we can argue about how they dot the i's and cross the t's. But to say that the Marlins, who really, really screwed over their fans and still have a worse farm system than us, are in better shape seems to be purposefully antagonistic. Maybe the Twins should have let Mauer go to the Red Sox last year in a waiver claim, dropped payroll to 20m and fought for the #1 pick (Rodon seems like he could be a true ace) but I don't think that would have gone over that well with the fans (and the Red Sox sure weren't going to take on his salary and give us Bogaerts). I do think Ryan should have traded Perkins this year and I hope he moves him this offseason. But that's the i's and t's.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 08:59 AM
Can the Twins really expect to sell any tickets at the beginning of the season if they come with something less than 80 million payroll (much less 70 or 60)? .

What if Sano makes the team out of ST? I think that would help ticket sales. And if Buxton debuts after the all-star game?

(I'm not arguing that they shouldn't spend money necessarily but they shouldn't spend money on the Edwin Jackson and Ryan Dempsters right now. I do think they should spend money to get some of these Cuban defectors and Japanese FA who are young enough to be part of the next core).

cmathewson
09-24-2013, 10:52 AM
I think Ryan is more at risk than Gardenhire. His insistence on not spending through free agency is growing untenable. I wouldn't be shocked if he's shown the door at the end of the year unless he can acquiesce to building a winner in the near term, which necessarily involves free agency.

TheLeviathan
09-24-2013, 11:18 AM
What if Sano makes the team out of ST? I think that would help ticket sales. And if Buxton debuts after the all-star game?

(I'm not arguing that they shouldn't spend money necessarily but they shouldn't spend money on the Edwin Jackson and Ryan Dempsters right now. I do think they should spend money to get some of these Cuban defectors and Japanese FA who are young enough to be part of the next core).

Personally I don't believe prospect hope sells season tickets. That won't be enough.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 11:28 AM
I think Ryan is more at risk than Gardenhire. His insistence on not spending through free agency is growing untenable. I wouldn't be shocked if he's shown the door at the end of the year unless he can acquiesce to building a winner in the near term, which necessarily involves free agency.

I can't disagree with this more (so watch Ryan get fired next week). Ryan hasn't been back at the GM job long enough for the Pohlad's to fire him. And they clearly knew that Ryan was going to be going low-payroll when they brought him back (and Smith wanted to keep or increase payroll, is my guess). He has a track record and good relationship with the Pohlad family. Ticket sales at TF this year were pretty good considering the quality of the team (higher than Pitt and Balt). And obviously the farm system is a lot better than it was just a couple years ago.

He was interim-GM last year and he took the interim label off this year. The Pohlads had to know how he'd run the team and give it their blessing. No way he's gone.

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 11:46 AM
You honestly can't see what the Twins are doing? I mean, I think it's ok to disagree but it's pretty clear the FO is building for the future around a core of Sano and Buxton. They aren't getting distracted and ignoring the best talent (ie taking someone like Gausman to fix a present need over Buxton). They aren't adding parts that will negatively impact the 2015 and beyond teams (ie, paying Jackson 10m/year). They are moving talent at good times - both Span and Revere were traded at pretty good times to maximize their return. They've made nice use of waiver claims and rule v picks. They've made some nice FA signings that won't adversely affect the rebuild. And the first wave of talent came up this year when Gibson, Hicks and Arcia debuted and Dozier and Florimon established themselves as decent MI options (esp defensively). Next year we'll see Meyer, May, Sano and possibly Buxton and Rosario.

I mean, we can argue about how they dot the i's and cross the t's. But to say that the Marlins, who really, really screwed over their fans and still have a worse farm system than us, are in better shape seems to be purposefully antagonistic. Maybe the Twins should have let Mauer go to the Red Sox last year in a waiver claim, dropped payroll to 20m and fought for the #1 pick (Rodon seems like he could be a true ace) but I don't think that would have gone over that well with the fans (and the Red Sox sure weren't going to take on his salary and give us Bogaerts). I do think Ryan should have traded Perkins this year and I hope he moves him this offseason. But that's the i's and t's.


The Cubs, Marlins and Astros have all made trades to improve their minor leagues so that is a wash. They have all drafted good players, so again, that's a wash.

The Marlins are going to build around Fernandez and Stanton which is what we hope Meyer and Sano become. They also have 9 other players considered top 100 prospects either on their roster or will be on their roster within the next 2 years. The Cubs have Rizzo and Castro with another 5 top 100 prospects on the way including Baez who is basically Sano but might actually stick at SS for a few years (although with Castro he might slide to third anyways). The Astros have 13 top 100 players either with the squad or on their way. The trio of Correa, Springer and Appel would give Buxton, Sano and Meyer a run for their money. So talented youngsters seems to be a wash.

Waiver claims, rule V signings and FA's like Pelfrey and Correia aren't going to help this team return to contention. They are just stop gaps until someone better comes along.

I advocated for trading Mauer last off season with the correct assumption the Twins weren't going to sign any high end FA's. He would have brought back prospects and the Twins could have payed as much of his salary as was required to increase the return.

So, my question isn't "What are the Twins doing?" but rather is "What are the Twins doing that other clubs aren't?" What is giving the Twins the edge in the "return to contention" race?

Major Leauge Ready
09-24-2013, 11:48 AM
The Astros have decided the best way to return to contention is to burn it down, be terrible and draft as high as they can. They sold all the assets they have.

The Marlins signed a bunch of big name free agents then traded them for several quality prospects (that may not have been the intention at the beginning but it the result). They too have shipped off most of their veterans and are now integrating their prospects into what will hopefully be a playoff team soon. Sooner than the Twins I'd wager, if they can find a way to keep Stanton.

The Cubs signed the most consistent pitcher available last off season to try and help stabilize their rotation and while it hasn't worked so far that doesn't mean it was a bad move (personally I expect him to rebound next season nicely). They have traded some of the assets they acquired during the offseason. I think the single biggest move they made is to attack international free agency with reckless abandon. They spotted a loophole and the exploited it to what looks like will be their advantage. By the way, the Cubs W/L record might be bad but their runs scored/runs allowed is 100 runs better than the Twins. That is a massive difference. It seems to be sheer blind "luck" that the Cubs record is as bad as it is this season.

All 3 of these teams have a set path they have taken to return to contention. They have identified some nitch in the system they believe will help them return to contention better than the rest of the rebuilding teams. The Twins on the other hand don't seem to be choosing any path to maximize their chances. The Astros, Marlins and Cubs might not all be immediately successful with their approaches but at least one can look at them and see what they are trying to do. One can acknowledge they have a plan and they are doing everything in their power to make that plan return them to relevance faster/better/longer than their competitors. How exactly are the Twins maximizing their chances of returning to contention?

Let's keep in mind the origin of the question/response was why aren't the Twins doing more to get better. You can't possibly argue that getting rid of everyone so you can suck as a positive example.

Miami's situation simply affirms the fragility of a plan to build around free agency. AT least they got something out of it and they might have considered dumping those players as a fall-back position from the start. I am not sure that will serve them in the future free agent market but they got some good young players. Toronto then proved the fragility of the same plan for ateam that was further along. It cost them a chunk of their their farm system to make that mistake.

I have no problem at all with Chicago's approach. Just like the Twins, they were really active in the FA SP market. You could make a case the only difference was that TE had an easier time convincing players to come to CHC as compared to TR convincing SPs to come to MN.

diehardtwinsfan
09-24-2013, 11:50 AM
I wrestle back and forth with the Twins and free agency. I think there's a few things that you have to accept as fact before going forward.

1) You cannot build a contender solely from FA. Perhaps if there are 15 allstars out there on the market, you could do it, but reality is that you cannot.
2) This team has so many holes that free agency cannot fill them all.

People are making a big deal from Ryan's quote, but I find it strange to admit that very few people are willing to accept the obvious here. He's right, you cannot build a winner via free agency. The ideal FA aquisition is getting that all star to play at that position of weakness for a contending team. I won't argue with the people who don't like Ryan in that I don't think he would do this even if it was 2010 all over again.

That said, I think the question at hand would be this. Would you rather get a few decent FAs and move a 90 loss team to an 80 loss team, or if you are lucky, high 70s, at the expense of a better draft position to stock up on star talent and potentially handicapping the team's ability to get a ring down the road vs. a few years of absolutely miserable performance to stock up on talent that may not all work out and potentially put you back in this mess?

To me, this is the philosophical debate we are having, and it captures the downside of each of these moves. Overpaying for a few FAs won't suddenly turn this team into a contender, though it may make them more palatable to watch in the short term. Long term, it means lesser talent coming through the system and bigger contracts which could hamstring future moves. On the other hand, stocking up with prospects is far from guaranteed. They flame out... often. Where would this team be if one of Buxton or Sano turned into a dud?

I tend to lean towards the prospects route personally. They can flame out, but if you have enough of them, you'll do fine. The Twins are building a nice farm system, the problem is that they are about 8 months away from starting to graduate them in mass. While doing a big signing would be nice, you don't want to block any of these guys, which means getting 3 pitchers in FA wouldn't be very wise. Getting 1 pitcher in FA would be, but then you have the problem that said pitcher might be dragging the team down in 2016/17 as these prospects establish themselves.... It's a tough conundrum to be in. That's personally why I think they should be targeting guys like Abreau/Tanaka, who are young enough that they should perform during their contract. But that likely means more bumps in 2014...

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 11:58 AM
Let's keep in mind the origin of the question/response was why aren't the Twins doing more to get better. You can't possibly argue that getting rid of everyone so you can suck as a positive example.

Miami's situation simply affirms the fragility of a plan to build around free agency. AT least they got something out of it and they might have considered dumping those players as a fall-back position from the start. I am not sure that will serve them in the future free agent market but they got some good young players. Toronto then proved the fragility of the same plan for ateam that was further along. It cost them a chunk of their their farm system to make that mistake.

I have no problem at all with Chicago's approach. Just like the Twins, they were really active in the FA SP market. You could make a case the only difference was that TE had an easier time convincing players to come to CHC as compared to TR convincing SPs to come to MN.

Why are you denigrating the Astros approach? The Twins are almost as terrible and yet they won't be getting the #1 pick. They also aren't going to be receiving the prospects that Mauer and Perkins could have brought them. The Astros on the other hand brought back all the prospects they could and are ensuring themselves the top pick in the draft for several years. They are maximizing their opportunities. What's better being honest about a complete rebuild and doing everything in your power to make it happen or claiming meaningful games in September while slashing payroll and simultaneously not committing to the full rebuild?

IMO the Astros are the better run organization currently even though they have far less resources both monetarily and at the major league level.

What does Toronto's trades have to do with Miami's FA binge or how the Twins could be maximizing their attempt of returning to contention?

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 12:01 PM
So, my question isn't "What are the Twins doing?" but rather is "What are the Twins doing that other clubs aren't?" What is giving the Twins the edge in the "return to contention" race?

Twins, Cubs, Marlins and Astros all made trades to improve their farm system so it's a wash? And they've all drafted and it's a wash? Well, then the Twins, like every other team, also made FA signings, so that's a wash.

Realistically, the Twins have the best farm system in the majors. They are doing that better than other teams.

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 12:50 PM
Twins, Cubs, Marlins and Astros all made trades to improve their farm system so it's a wash? And they've all drafted and it's a wash? Well, then the Twins, like every other team, also made FA signings, so that's a wash.

Realistically, the Twins have the best farm system in the majors. They are doing that better than other teams.

The Cubs, Marlins, Astros and Twins have all had top 10 picks the last 2 seasons and will again in 2014. The talent brought in is going to be similar though not exactly the same. The Cubs have traded for 2 top 100 prospects and a very intriguing C.J. Edwards. The Astros have traded for 4 top 100 prospects. The Marlins have traded for 5 top 100 prospects. The Twins have acquired 1 (perhaps 2 if you include May) top 100 prospect. Looks like the Twins are actually behind in the prospect accumulation race.

The best farm system is almost a worthless accolade (and quite frankly it is debatable if the Twins have the best). It is a snapshot of exactly 1 moment in time. The more pertinent question is who has the most young, impact talent? IMO that is hands down the Marlins followed by the Astros. The fact that some of the Marlins talent is already successful in the majors is actually a bonus but isn't accounted for in the minor league analysis.

So again, what are the Twins doing to gain a competitive edge?

IdahoPilgrim
09-24-2013, 12:56 PM
So again, what are the Twins doing to gain a competitive edge?

What would be your advice and plan?

ThePuck
09-24-2013, 01:05 PM
The best farm system is almost a worthless accolade (and quite frankly it is debatable if the Twins have the best). It is a snapshot of exactly 1 moment in time. The more pertinent question is who has the most young, impact talent? IMO that is hands down the Marlins followed by the Astros. The fact that some of the Marlins talent is already successful in the majors is actually a bonus but isn't accounted for in the minor league analysis.

So again, what are the Twins doing to gain a competitive edge?

Here's something interesting about farm system rankings. At the end of 2009, Baseball Prospectus named the Twins the 9th best system.

Here are the players they specifically referred to. Revere, Robertson, Mulvey, Guerra, Ramos, Benson, McCardell, Humber, Slama, Delaney, Hicks, Parmelee, Manship, Morales, Mijares. Our best and most talented.

Top 10 ranking then hasn't done us much good, so far..

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 01:09 PM
So again, what are the Twins doing to gain a competitive edge?

It seems like you're going out of your way to make the Twins system seem bad. Ignore the accolades of the minor league system but at the same time congratulate other teams that have lesser systems. As pointed out, the Twins system graduated Hicks, Gibson and Arcia this year and still have what is generally considered the best system. They found a solid MI duo for the first time in ... ever.

I mean, at a certain point, if the answer isn't "they have better young players coming up according to industry experts" than I don't think anything would work. It seems like you are trying to ignore every thing that suggests a rebuilding plan and then say they don't have a plan. Presumably your argument ends with something like "the Twins need to spend more money in FA."

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 01:15 PM
What would be your advice and plan?

There are several options.

1) The Twins could follow the Astros and trade Mauer and Perkins (Willingham too if he'd bring anything back) go young, suck and receive a top 1 or 2 draft pick.

2) The Twins could spend in FA, even if that means overpaying, with the intent of flipping those guys a la the Marlins of 2012.

3) The Twins could spend in FA on long term high upside contracts to bring in talent so that when our minor league talent arrives there is a solid core already in place and we could contend immediately.

4) The Twins could go in on Cuban or Japanese FA's.

5) The Twins could have been creative like the Cubs on international FA's covered by the spending cap.

6) The Twins could have put their excess cash to work by hiring some of the best and brightest analytical minds available to create an edge in identifying talent for the future.

I'm sure there are more options but those are off the top of my head. I have my preference but right now that doesn't matter. I just want the Twins to stop wasting resources; to do everything in their power to return this team to competitiveness.

DJL44
09-24-2013, 01:29 PM
"you don't want to block any of these guys, which means getting 3 pitchers in FA wouldn't be very wise"

There are 5 open spots in the rotation and you need 6 guys minimum to get through a season. Getting 3 pitchers in free agency wouldn't block anyone.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 01:30 PM
There are several options.

1) The Twins could follow the Astros and trade Mauer and Perkins (Willingham too if he'd bring anything back) go young, suck and receive a top 1 or 2 draft pick.

2) The Twins could spend in FA, even if that means overpaying, with the intent of flipping those guys a la the Marlins of 2012.

3) The Twins could spend in FA on long term high upside contracts to bring in talent so that when our minor league talent arrives there is a solid core already in place and we could contend immediately.

4) The Twins could go in on Cuban or Japanese FA's.

5) The Twins could have been creative like the Cubs on international FA's covered by the spending cap.

6) The Twins could have put their excess cash to work by hiring some of the best and brightest analytical minds available to create an edge in identifying talent for the future.

I'm sure there are more options but those are off the top of my head. I have my preference but right now that doesn't matter. I just want the Twins to stop wasting resources; to do everything in their power to return this team to competitiveness.

I think he wanted more specifics. You have the benefit of hindsight. What would you have done after last season? I agree the Twins should have (and still could) trade Perkins. But that doesn't mean they aren't rebuilding effectively. And if you want them to go the tank route, how would you make them 10 losses worse so they could get the #2 pick or 17 losses worse to get that #1 pick? And if you think they'd get top prospects while not paying Mauer's salary, I think you're incredibly wrong.

ThePuck
09-24-2013, 01:33 PM
Well, entering 2009 BA listed the Twins top 10 as Hicks, Revere, Ramos, Mijaries, Valencia, Swarzak, Hunt, Mulvey, Gutierrez and Morales. And after the 2009 season, they listed Hicks, Ramos, Gibson, Sano, Revere, Valencia, Gutierrez, Morales, Bromberg, Kepler.

So, let's see. We have a few solid pros in Revere and Ramos. The top power prospect in Sano. Some good BP arms in Swarzak and Mijaries. A future OF starter in Hicks and SP in Gibson. Valencia had one good season. Kepler is still a prospect. Not a bad group. Baseball Prospectus must have missed a few names there.

And Baseball America ranked the Twins farm system #22 in 2009. Baseball Prospectus must have really like Slama. 2009 Organization Talent Rankings - BaseballAmerica.com (http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2009-organization-talent-rankings-7865/)

That's the organizational talent ranking of 22, includes the Major league talent, I believe.

In any event, what you're saying is, the farm system rankings are flaky and have to be taken with a grain of salt. EXACTLY how I feel. And if we are to believe BAs ranking there, MAN, Ryan left our farm system in a shambles.

BTW, I specifically annotated the rankings I provided were done end of 2009, not the beginning of 2009. At the end of 2009, BA had the FARM SYSTEM between 6th and 15th.

http://www.smoaky.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=104026

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 01:36 PM
It seems like you're going out of your way to make the Twins system seem bad. Ignore the accolades of the minor league system but at the same time congratulate other teams that have lesser systems. As pointed out, the Twins system graduated Hicks, Gibson and Arcia this year and still have what is generally considered the best system. They found a solid MI duo for the first time in ... ever.

I mean, at a certain point, if the answer isn't "they have better young players coming up according to industry experts" than I don't think anything would work. It seems like you are trying to ignore every thing that suggests a rebuilding plan and then say they don't have a plan. Presumably your argument ends with something like "the Twins need to spend more money in FA."

Great, the Twins have one of the top farm systems this season. Does that mean that Fernandez and Stanton don't exist for the Marlins? Or that Castro and Rizzo don't for the Cubs? How about the 5 players aged 22 or 23 for the Astros? So yes, it's great that the Twins have a strong farm system, but the more pertinent question is who has the most young and impactful talent. That isn't the Twins.

And I'll lay this out there one more time hoping you pick up on the difference. The question isn't "do the Twins have a plan" but rather "are they maximizing their opportunity?" Disagree with their approach but the Cubs, Marlins and Astros are definitely trying to maximize their returns from their respective approaches.

IdahoPilgrim
09-24-2013, 01:46 PM
I think he wanted more specifics.

I was just genuinely curious as to what he would do differently. Saying the Twins are doing it wrong doesn't help anything. Highlighting areas where changes to the current method of operations might be lead to more effectiveness can lead to a positive discussion.

Of the 6 he mentioned, I would see #6, updating their scouting and analysis infrastructure, as the one that can have the most impact long-term and provide a cutting edge, and it wouldn't cost all that much (certainly much less than a top-line FA pitcher).

#2-5 are all basically the same - spend on FA. That's been covered enough for my taste in this thread so I won't add my thoughts, other than it is highly dependent on who is available year to year, and that I understand the concerns about getting FAs and flipping them the same year - it could hurt the ability to recruit FAs in the future.

#1 - trading Mauer is somewhat problematic, given his no-trade clause and given that he is, rightly or wrongly, in the eyes of many fans the face of the franchise. But for the right return I'm open to it. Same with Perkins - for the right return. I am not one of those who advocates becoming Houston and playing for draft picks - just not the way I'm built. When I'm at the ballpark I want to see a win; I don't care about the impact on draft position. I understand others feel differently and that's fine.

IdahoPilgrim
09-24-2013, 01:49 PM
The one thing I would add as something that should be looked at is not just acquiring prospects but are we being effective in translating them into true major league talent. I don't know the numbers on this, but certainly anecdotal evidence shows we are falling short in developing pitching.

Rather than spending money on FA, I'd like to see more put into helping our current and future prospects truly reach their potential - if that means more money in minor league training, identifying needed coaching talents, etc - whatever needs to be done.

They say the draft is somewhat of a crapshoot once you get beyond the first few picks. Anything we can do to increase the chances of finding and developing talent will help give us a competitive edge.

nicksaviking
09-24-2013, 02:13 PM
You honestly can't see what the Twins are doing? I mean, I think it's ok to disagree but it's pretty clear the FO is building for the future around a core of Sano and Buxton.

That's a very vague gameplan. I think you are missing the point. As Ox said, the Astros and Marlins went scorched earth on their roster and clensed it of nearly all vetran filler that was taking up roster spots and taking away playing time from young players. From this point forward it's go young or go home for them. The Cubs spent big on international free agents and signed a bunch of pitchers on short term deals in the hope of flipping them for more prospects.

The Twins don't seem to be following a plan. Sitting on your hands does not cut it. The Twins have a handful young players up playing meaningful ball but they mostly have a bunch of veterans and older journeymen minor-leaguers. Ryan Doumit is still starting most days, a rebuilding team doesn't do that. Many of these vets/filler look to be competing for roster spots next year despite the fact they do not look to be a possible solution for the long term. A rebuilding team should not have this many players ages 27 or older on the roster. No the Twins do not seem to have a clear game plan other than blind faith in the prospects.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 02:19 PM
And I'll lay this out there one more time hoping you pick up on the difference. The question isn't "do the Twins have a plan" but rather "are they maximizing their opportunity?" Disagree with their approach but the Cubs, Marlins and Astros are definitely trying to maximize their returns from their respective approaches.

I guess we've gotten to the point where it's just shouting around each other. The Twins in the last two years seem to have done a lot right for a rebuild. They drafted the best prospect in the game when the Astros failed to. They traded Span and Revere at the height of their value. They debuted a bunch of rookies who seem to be both major and complementary parts of the future nucleus. They didn't give up on guys who they think will be parts moving forward. They got rid of pieces they didn't think would be part of it. They didn't mortgage the future on silly FA signings or poke the fans in the eye. We can quibble with the i's and t's but it seems they are doing as much as the Cubs, Astros and Marlins are.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 02:21 PM
BTW, I specifically annotated the rankings I provided were done end of 2009, not the beginning of 2009. At the end of 2009, BA had the FARM SYSTEM between 6th and 15th.

BASEBALL AMERICA's annual ranking of MLB farm systems - Major League Baseball - The Smoakhouse Forums (http://www.smoaky.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=104026)

Yeah, I couldn't find any link specific for the end of 2009, so I just used the pre and post years.

gunnarthor
09-24-2013, 02:34 PM
That's a very vague gameplan. I think you are missing the point. As Ox said, the Astros and Marlins went scorched earth on their roster and clensed it of nearly all vetran filler that was taking up roster spots and taking away playing time from young players. From this point forward it's go young or go home for them. The Cubs spent big on international free agents and signed a bunch of pitchers on short term deals in the hope of flipping them for more prospects.

The Twins don't seem to be following a plan. Sitting on your hands does not cut it. The Twins have a handful young players up playing meaningful ball but they mostly have a bunch of veterans and older journeymen minor-leaguers. Ryan Doumit is still starting most days, a rebuilding team doesn't do that. Many of these vets/filler look to be competing for roster spots next year despite the fact they do not look to be a possible solution for the long term. A rebuilding team should not have this many players ages 27 or older on the roster. No the Twins do not seem to have a clear game plan other than blind faith in the prospects.

What young guy isn't getting playing time right now? (Doumit has started 11 of the last 21 games) Parmelee?
How are the Twins sitting on their hands? Since Ryan came back he traded Span, Liriano, Morneau, Revere and Butera. He found a pair of 26 year olds that can play the middle infield going forward. As mentioned, Hicks, Gibson and Arcia all debuted this year. Pinto seems to be a nice piece as well. The Twins got old and their prospect well dried up. They have to get it going again.

So, even with the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done at end? Trade Willingham for Sean Gilmartin? Let Mauer go to the Red Sox through waivers? Outbid other teams for certain players?

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 02:43 PM
I guess we've gotten to the point where it's just shouting around each other. The Twins in the last two years seem to have done a lot right for a rebuild. They drafted the best prospect in the game when the Astros failed to. They traded Span and Revere at the height of their value. They debuted a bunch of rookies who seem to be both major and complementary parts of the future nucleus. They didn't give up on guys who they think will be parts moving forward. They got rid of pieces they didn't think would be part of it. They didn't mortgage the future on silly FA signings or poke the fans in the eye. We can quibble with the i's and t's but it seems they are doing as much as the Cubs, Astros and Marlins are.

I've acknowledged each of those points in previous posts then pointed out how the Cubs, Astros and Marlins are all doing those same things (and in many cases better than the Twins are). In addition those three teams have also taken further steps to return to contention.

Yes the Twins are doing some things for the future but they have yet to make a creative move that wasn't written down in the "this is how you rebuild" playbook. If you want to call that "quibbling over the i's and t's" that is just fine. The other bottom feeders have each made a creative move which means the Twins aren't doing as much as the other rebuilding teams are doing.

Jack Torse
09-24-2013, 05:48 PM
Terry Ryan is the fall guy for the Pohlad's cheap ways. TR is okay with that and knows it's part of the deal. He will spend close to every penny the Pohlads allow him saving room for incentives, waiver pick ups, etc. It's folly to believe TR spends less than the Pohlads allow him. To put it simply, Bill Smith wouldn't be that person and was disillusioned (like many) by what the new stadium revenue really meant and hence the "philosophical indifferences" and he was out. It's that simple.

Timtwinsfan
09-24-2013, 06:07 PM
Hicks, Arcia, Gibson, and Pinto all were able to get their feet wet in the majors this year and all should play bigger roles next year. It isn't outside of possibility that Sano, May, Meyer, Rosario, and Buxton could do the same next year. Prospects don't just bring talent to the mlb club but a huge amount of financial flexibility. The pohlads could easily sign several FAs to 3-4 year deals that will help now but won't interfere with signing the prospects which turn out to be good mlb players long term.
Did you watch many games last year with Hicks and Gibson playing? Gibson wasn't that good at Rochester why would he be that good in the big leagues. Did you follow Hicks? Will he be re-born? Did you watch his at bats or watch him strike out. He shouldn't have been playing in the big leagues, that was the Twins mistake not his.

boomerb5
09-24-2013, 06:20 PM
Both Pohlad and Ryan wind up getting their way. Instead of a free-agent, the team deals for a guy under contract (or arbitration-eligible), and maybe even kicks in cash to pay some of the salaries traded away. Money spent. But not through free-agency.

Dman
09-24-2013, 06:28 PM
Terry Ryan is the fall guy for the Pohlad's cheap ways. TR is okay with that and knows it's part of the deal. He will spend close to every penny the Pohlads allow him saving room for incentives, waiver pick ups, etc. It's folly to believe TR spends less than the Pohlads allow him. To put it simply, Bill Smith wouldn't be that person and was disillusioned (like many) by what the new stadium revenue really meant and hence the "philosophical indifferences" and he was out. It's that simple.


I agree TR is the fall guy for the Pohlad's but I don;t think the Pohlads are tying his hands from spending. He can spend up to the 100 Million mentioned on this board any time he wants to. TR just isn't a believer in spending money on FA's to build a team. He is waiting for the prospects to develop and then when he see's the holes left might fill it with a FA. He can spend but he won't thus the difference in quotes between him and Mr. Pohlad TR will take the heat for the Pohlads for not spending though and I don't think he will get much of an argument from Mr. Pohlad. From what we have seen from TR he doesn't know how to rebuild any other way than what he is doing right now.

diehardtwinsfan
09-24-2013, 07:32 PM
The Twins don't seem to be following a plan. Sitting on your hands does not cut it. The Twins have a handful young players up playing meaningful ball but they mostly have a bunch of veterans and older journeymen minor-leaguers.

Statements like this make it really hard to take what are saying with anything but a grain of salt. The Twins are clearly following a rebuilding plan. Whether or not you are I like it is beside the point, but there is a plan. I get your frustration with Doumit, but that one is on Gardy who continues to play him at the expense of guys like Parmelee. That said, I also think that this is one of many reasons why Gardy will not be managing next year.

The Twins are clearly rebuilding, and they are doing it their way (hence trading Span, Morneau, and Revere and somehow blackmailing the Dodgers into Sulbaran). They are also making it clear that they won't be calling up guys until they are ready. So you aren't going to see Sano or Buxton waste a couple of years of ML service time before figuring thing out. The roster filler consists of guys who are getting tryouts to see if they are long term fixtures. This is how we ended up with Fein, Burton, and possibly Deduno. Young guys like Presley, Dozier, Plouffe, Parmelle, and Colabello are getting a shot. I don't have a problem with this. It sucks because the product on the field sucks, but that's how you discover that Dozier really can be a long term option to complement the next wave, and it's quite possible that one or two others turns into solid options as well. Those will have value when Sano, Buxton, and Meyer are all up.

diehardtwinsfan
09-24-2013, 07:35 PM
Yes the Twins are doing some things for the future but they have yet to make a creative move that wasn't written down in the "this is how you rebuild" playbook. If you want to call that "quibbling over the i's and t's" that is just fine. The other bottom feeders have each made a creative move which means the Twins aren't doing as much as the other rebuilding teams are doing.

Why in the world do they need to do something "creative"? Trading Span for Meyer is text book for "this is how you rebuild" as was Revere for Worley and May. Trading Morneau, Butera, and Liriano was as well. That's exactly how you rebuild.

cmathewson
09-24-2013, 08:40 PM
I can't disagree with this more (so watch Ryan get fired next week). Ryan hasn't been back at the GM job long enough for the Pohlad's to fire him. And they clearly knew that Ryan was going to be going low-payroll when they brought him back (and Smith wanted to keep or increase payroll, is my guess). He has a track record and good relationship with the Pohlad family. Ticket sales at TF this year were pretty good considering the quality of the team (higher than Pitt and Balt). And obviously the farm system is a lot better than it was just a couple years ago.

He was interim-GM last year and he took the interim label off this year. The Pohlads had to know how he'd run the team and give it their blessing. No way he's gone.

1. The owner says he wants to spend whatever it takes to put together a winner.
2. The GM says he will only spend if he thinks his team is ready for the World Series already. Ergo, he will not spend money.

If Ryan continues to defy his boss, he will not last long.

Oxtung
09-24-2013, 08:59 PM
Why in the world do they need to do something "creative"? Trading Span for Meyer is text book for "this is how you rebuild" as was Revere for Worley and May. Trading Morneau, Butera, and Liriano was as well. That's exactly how you rebuild.

Baseball is a zero sum game. Your loss is my win. Right now teams are doing more and better than the Twins and consequently we are losing the game. In the highly competitive world of MLB a team needs to find a competitive edge and right now the Twins don't have one. The Twins won't win the World Series until they find one.

Kwak
09-25-2013, 01:09 AM
Baseball is a zero sum game. Your loss is my win. Right now teams are doing more and better than the Twins and consequently we are losing the game. In the highly competitive world of MLB a team needs to find a competitive edge and right now the Twins don't have one. The Twins won't win the World Series until they find one.

You are assuming (incorrectly IMO) that the Twins' plan is to build a World Series winner. No, it is to put an inexpensive team that is just interesting enough for people to follow. Ticket sales revenue isn't the driver of MLB teams. Its media and shared revenues that drive MLB. The Twins can make a healthy profit by keeping payroll low and losing to the "big" clubs. There is no need to be a champion. Sadly, it is almost a negative because when a team wins, everybody has both hands out demanding more money.

JB_Iowa
09-25-2013, 09:03 AM
You are assuming (incorrectly IMO) that the Twins' plan is to build a World Series winner. No, it is to put an inexpensive team that is just interesting enough for people to follow. Ticket sales revenue isn't the driver of MLB teams. Its media and shared revenues that drive MLB. The Twins can make a healthy profit by keeping payroll low and losing to the "big" clubs. There is no need to be a champion. Sadly, it is almost a negative because when a team wins, everybody has both hands out demanding more money.

While I agree with much of this, I do think that ticket sales, food & beverage sales and merchandise sales play a part in the Twins thinking.

I think they want to field a team that will have enough success to put & keep b*tts in the seats throughout most of the season. That doesn't mean they aspire to the World Series or even the playoffs but to some level of competitiveness that keeps fans interested through most of the summer. (I think we agree on that being their basic goal).

They've failed miserably at that the last 3 years and I would speculate that is part of what is driving Jim Pohlad's comments. Not necessarily a return to the playoffs but at least a return to where they aren't an utter embarrassment so that after the 2014 season, season ticket holders renew (even without the lure of the AS game) and so that they keep people coming through the gates in reasonable numbers in August and September.

Food, beverage, merchandise sales, ticket sales may not be the biggest part of baseball revenues but they surely have an impact -- isn't that why they wanted TF in the first place?

ThePuck
09-25-2013, 10:30 AM
“There’s going to be a lot of competition for quality, there always is. But we’ll be in the mix,” Ryan said of the free-agent market for pitchers. “We pursued a bunch of free-agent pitchers last year, and there was a number of them we didn’t get, for whatever reason.”

Twins' search for starts never ends | Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/225129192.html?page=1&c=y)

mike wants wins
09-25-2013, 10:43 AM
I'm not sure Presley (assuming you mean the OF) and Collabello are young players.....they are 28 and 30.....

I don't think a rebuilding team signs Doumit. I think a rebuilding team trades Willingham in the offseason. Other than that, I don't know what Ryan has done or not that is not pure rebuilding.

gunnarthor
09-25-2013, 11:09 AM
I'm not sure Presley (assuming you mean the OF) and Collabello are young players.....they are 28 and 30.....

I don't think a rebuilding team signs Doumit. I think a rebuilding team trades Willingham in the offseason. Other than that, I don't know what Ryan has done or not that is not pure rebuilding.

I think they'll hang onto Willingham this offseason and hope he regains some of his value for next years trade deadline, which shouldn't be too hard to do. I suspect he'll be DHing most of the time and if his knees are ok, his power should be ok. Even this year, his OBP was pretty good even with the bad avg. And at the deadline, he'll only be owed about 3.5m or so.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
09-25-2013, 07:15 PM
I see it as a PR move. I'll believe it when I see that the Twins spend money.

mike wants wins
09-27-2013, 01:22 PM
I think they'll hang onto Willingham this offseason and hope he regains some of his value for next years trade deadline, which shouldn't be too hard to do. I suspect he'll be DHing most of the time and if his knees are ok, his power should be ok. Even this year, his OBP was pretty good even with the bad avg. And at the deadline, he'll only be owed about 3.5m or so.

I meant last offseason....when he had value. Should have been more clear. A rebuilding team would not have kept him around, imo. A team that thought they could play meaningful games in September would though.

gunnarthor
09-27-2013, 02:32 PM
I meant last offseason....when he had value. Should have been more clear. A rebuilding team would not have kept him around, imo. A team that thought they could play meaningful games in September would though.

The rumors were that his value wasn't very high, despite his strong season b/c he was still on a 2 yr deal, was aging and had injury history. Teams were wary of that. The reports were #4 type starter prospects like Atlanta's Sean Gilmartin. If nothing else, a strong first half next year will still bring back that type of prospect.

ashburyjohn
09-27-2013, 04:22 PM
I meant last offseason....when he had value. Should have been more clear.

In addition to what gunnarthor stated, Hammer actually finished 2012 hurt. It is not clear to me that fantastic off-season offers were out there to be considered - it's easy to envision other GMs replying "let's talk again in March, OK?"

nicksaviking
09-28-2013, 02:03 PM
The Twins are clearly following a rebuilding plan. Whether or not you are I like it is beside the point, but there is a plan. I get your frustration with Doumit, but that one is on Gardy who continues to play him at the expense of guys like Parmelee. That said, I also think that this is one of many reasons why Gardy will not be managing next year.

The Twins are clearly rebuilding, and they are doing it their way (hence trading Span, Morneau, and Revere and somehow blackmailing the Dodgers into Sulbaran).

No, clearly the Twins are rebuilding, but they do not clearly have a plan other than wait and pray for the prospects. If Gardy is playing Doumit against Ryan's wishes, Ryan simply could have traded or cut him. Morneau was traded for one and likely two more players +27 years old. If Morneau simply could only bring back another stop-gap OF taking up a roster spot, why was Morneau moved at all? Not a rebuild move.

Butera brought back a young player and dumping Carroll, even for nothing, cleared some room on the roster, but I don't know how you can insist that a proper rebuild should include this many AAAA 27+ year olds. I'll agree that Ryan has taken a few strides this summer, but the gameplan for the rebuild seems to be made on the fly. Kevin Correia had no business being on the Twins radar last off-season. It should have been a one-year vet or a longer term solution, same with the Carroll and Willingham signings the previous year and Doumit's extension this past offseason. All this seems more like ad-libbing than an actual gameplan. In fact I think one can make a pretty strong argument that until this summer, Ryan had deluded himself into thinking the Twins didn't need a rebuild but instead needed to reload.

PseudoSABR
09-28-2013, 02:32 PM
they do not clearly have a plan other than wait and pray for the prospects
Having a plan doesn't mean it automatically works out. Part of the plan (it seems) was to buy time (with semi-affordable vets) until the prospects get here and play competitive baseball; the latter of course, totally failed. But that had far more to with the failures of Worley, Diamond, Morneau, Willingham, Doumit, Parmelee, Plouffe etc. (players we thought would be at least league average if not better) than it does with not signing enough free agents or some such. (Indeed, one wonders, if they players I mentioned had played to anticipation, how that might have shaped the upcoming offseason).

27 year olds can certainly be part of the rebuilding plan, especially if they establish some value whether that be a veteran along with our core or a tradeable asset. Pressely looks better than anyone else we've thrown in center this year. And really, it's not TR's fault that Morneau's value was craptastic.

There's simply no reason to cut bait with Doumit; he's going to get paid either way, and there's still a chance he can establish some trade value.

I'm just not sure what plan would have satisfied you, and if such a plan was realistic. Any path through last year's free agency class was mired with duds, and even the successes would have not made this club competitive. (And is signing one big name free agent, that much more of indication of a plan?)

It stinks--whatever the Twins hopes were to be competitive in 2013 totally failed--but they didn't at all mortgage the future for the myth that was 2013.