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View Full Version : Postulating for the sake of postulating: 2013-2014 offseason



the_youngster
09-25-2013, 08:46 PM
I understand many things can change from now and 2014, but if you were in charge what would be your plan for bringing our beloved Twins back to relevance? Wait for the young potential stars? Big free agent spending? trades?

My personal plan would be to push hard for Ellsbury over the winter. His recent injury may bring down his price, but I doubt Boras will allow that. Add Ellsbury, put him in center (adding a veteran presence so its not all rookies). When Rosario reaches the majors, I would put him back in a corner outfield spot. Ellsbury is definitely a health concern of a player, but he is high risk/high reward. I would rather not trade Rosario for Dozier insurance. If Dozier has found himself, then great, we have a solid second baseman. Having Ellsbury, Rosario, Arcia, and Hicks in the outfield allows us to trade a young outfielder (most likely with a bundle of some form) for at least a number three starter, hopefully a number two. Personally I would trade Hicks, but right now Arcia probably has more value. When Buxton eventually comes up, we again might have an expandable outfielder (maybe more pitching help in a year or two). Lastly, I fall under the category of people who want Phil Hughes (still better than what we have now and can be a #2 at best, hopefully a #3). So in this scenario, we presumably have a true center fielder/veteran (helping the youngsters), a starting pitcher (hopefully a #2) from a trade, and a starting pitcher (hopefully a #3) from free agency. Add in our bullpen, the reinforcements of the future in Buxton/Sano/Rosario/Meyer, the young guys who have already gotten their feet wet (Hicks or Arcia/Gibson/Pinto), and you have actually a solid team (on paper at least). Then you can't forget Mauer, wherever he plays (as long as he does his thing and hits .300+).

So that's my plan if I was calling the shots. Now what are yours? I'm genuinely curious to hear what you guys (and maybe ladies? haven't noticed many here ever) would do with millions of dollars and control.

Thrylos
09-25-2013, 08:53 PM
I understand many things can change from now and 2014, but if you were in charge what would be your plan for bringing our beloved Twins back to relevance? Wait for the young potential stars? Big free agent spending? trades?.

-Fire the whole front office (or President, GM and assistant GMs and let the rest apply for their jobs).
-Bring Andy MacPhail back as the Twins President and CEO (read Cafardo's Sunday column) and let him have a run of the team
-Let him Hire a new GM
-Let him set a new front office that reflects this millennium
-Let him Hire a new manager
-Let them Hire new coaches
- Make 2014 a rebuilding year and trade the likes of Willingham, Correia, Doumit at al.
- Try to grab a piece or two (like Josh Johnson or Phil Hughes) in free agency
- Get rid of the AAAA players
- Play the kids in the majors and AAA in 2014 and do not sign retreads
- Be transparent about it, and let the fans know what is happening and that there is a plan.

Something like this...
(kinda what Epstein did in Boston some years ago...)

the_youngster
09-25-2013, 08:58 PM
Yeah I agree with the part about the front office. It has run its course and some youth is needed. Coaching wise, I would be fine with Gene Glynn for a year or two to groom in a new manager either at AAA or as a MLB coach (maybe like Molitor as the bench or third base
coach with Mauer as a long term guy moving year by year with the future of the franchise)

howieramone
09-25-2013, 10:36 PM
Stay the course. Panicking after 22 months would prolong the rebuild indefinitely which is what occurs in poorly run and/or inexperienced organizations. This same group successfully rebuilt the Twins within memory and will do so again. The strength of our farm system and the speed of the current rebuild has already garnered attention from the national media.

Good second post the_youngster! If things were different, I'd grab Ellsbury also, but not for the projected 100M when outfielders will shortly be an organizational strength. I want Hughes also plus one more starting pitcher from free agency. Tanaka would do just fine. Once again good job.

Shane Wahl
09-26-2013, 12:51 AM
A "blueprint" thread should be started soon. Let's wait until after game 162 for that.

Chance
09-26-2013, 06:59 AM
Ill save my full blue print for later in the offseason. It will involve going heavily at the IFA players, a couple bounce back starters, and mostly just sitting on my hands the rest of the offseason. I believe the real work of switching from rebuild to contention starts at the next trade deadline.

Siehbiscuit
09-26-2013, 09:39 AM
I tend to disagree that the Twins cupboards are "full" in the outfield. Hicks is extremely unproven. He did great at the AA level, but so did many others that never saw it translate to the big leagues. I'm not ready to write him off by any means, but to use him to support your argument is a stretch in my opinion. I personally like Shin-Soo Choo over Ellsbury. He will be less expensive and can be a stop gap until Buxton comes up in 2015 at both the leadoff spot and in CF. The rest of my blueprint will wait.

jokin
09-26-2013, 09:45 AM
Stay the course. Panicking after 22 months would prolong the rebuild indefinitely which is what occurs in poorly run and/or inexperienced organizations. This same group successfully rebuilt the Twins within memory and will do so again. The strength of our farm system and the speed of the current rebuild has already garnered attention from the national media.

Good second post the_youngster! If things were different, I'd grab Ellsbury also, but not for the projected 100M when outfielders will shortly be an organizational strength. I want Hughes also plus one more starting pitcher from free agency. Tanaka would do just fine. Once again good job.

Still waiting for you to post your links from all the garnering done by the national media. The local media, and the staff at Twins Daily, does a pretty thorough and comprehensive job, being close to the situation and all, of identifying what is, and isn't working, within this organization- given that they are paid to "ganrer attention" upon the Twins full-time and all.

BTW, I'll take some "panicking" of the type that the Red Sox and Indians did over the last 12 months, anytime, over what the Twins have done over the last 22 months. Heck, I hear both clubs have garnered their own shares of "national media attention."

gunnarthor
09-26-2013, 10:13 AM
Still waiting for you to post your links from all the garnering done by the national media.

Here's something from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/sports/baseball/twins-terry-ryan-looks-to-recapture-past-success.html?_r=0), CBS Sports (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/22327592/twins-on-way-back-with-future-stars-flourishing-farm-system), SI (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130904/pirates-twins-royals-mariners-breakthrough-teams/), KLaw (http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/keith-law/post/_/id/904/farm-systems-rising-and-falling), SI cover piece (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1208346/index.htm), ESPN (http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/buster-olney/post/_/id/1628), Yahoo (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ryan-rebuilds-twins-farm-system-094012755--mlb.html).

gunnarthor
09-26-2013, 10:23 AM
The Twins will have another top 5 pick in next years draft and they have a lot of youngsters here and coming in next year. A year from now, I wouldn't be surprised if Sano, Buxton, Meyer and May were all up. So I think the Twins should start adding FA to go with that core - ideally the Japanese or Cuban youngsters that might sign 5 year deals. I'd like them to add one real power bat to the lineup. I think Phil Hughes would be a nice fit in TF.

Trade Perkins this offseason and trade Willingham at the deadline. Listen to offers on Dozier and Rosario and hopefully we can make a nice move there.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 10:43 AM
1. Sign Ellsbury. Put him in CF, move him to LF when Buxton is up. You now have an elite defensive OF, and a legit veteran ..... they have the money, and he's worth more to the team than a 4th/5th starter type.

2. Sign Tanaka, I'd bid in the 40-50MM range. If that isn't enough, oh well.

3. Start Hicks in AAA, have him stop switch hitting. Move him up if/when he's ready. Arcia in RF all year. Backup type in LF until Buxton is up.

4. Mauer to 1B / DH full time.

5. Sano and Rosario in AAA to start the year, move them up when they are close to ready, not when they've "proved everything".

6. Sign a SP that used to be good, but had a higher ERA and lower FIP (i.e., follow the Pirates' plan).

7. Escobar starts at SS, with Floriman as your backup.

8. Trade/cut Doumit, let a random younger player be the backup RF/DH/1B.

9. Let Pelfrey walk.

I doubt that's my whole plan.....

Tanaka=3-5 wins over the last pitcher this year
Ellsbury =3-5 wins over what Hicks did this year
Sano for half a year = 1-3 wins over Plouffe
Random SP to replace Pelfrey = 1-3 wins
Pinto at C=about a wash with Morneau at 1B
Mauer for 160 games=1-3 wins over Mauer for what he played this year
Arcia better, and up all year=1-2 wins I'd think

Add some luck, you are competitive. Get lucky and Buxton is ready, add more. Get lucky with random players, you are more than competitive.....

A lot needs to go right for that to work, but it is better than standing pat. And, there is not a ton of money spent here.....Ellsbury and Tanaka are it for the big bucks long term.

jokin
09-26-2013, 11:12 AM
Here's something from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/sports/baseball/twins-terry-ryan-looks-to-recapture-past-success.html?_r=0), CBS Sports (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/22327592/twins-on-way-back-with-future-stars-flourishing-farm-system), SI (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130904/pirates-twins-royals-mariners-breakthrough-teams/), KLaw (http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/keith-law/post/_/id/904/farm-systems-rising-and-falling), SI cover piece (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1208346/index.htm), ESPN (http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/buster-olney/post/_/id/1628), Yahoo (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ryan-rebuilds-twins-farm-system-094012755--mlb.html).

Thanks "Howie". :confused:

Of course, in the May ESPN article you cite, Buster Olney marvels at the pleasant surprise at the Twins "almost .500 record" and is best summed-up for why East Coast scribes and guys looking to get back in a major league front office like Keith Law, even the good ones, are relatively clueless and/or disingenuous about the state of a team from the hinterland, as in these mock-worthy quotes:


But it’s almost impossible to overstate how well the pieces have been coming together in the Twins’ player development, even beyond the emergence of Aaron Hicks (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/31253/aaron-hicks) and Oswaldo Arcia (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/31262/oswaldo-arcia), outfielders who have made their respective major league debuts this season.


"The Twins have benefited from big jumps by several of their top prospects, balancing out the promotions of their No. 3, 4, and 5 prospects to the majors this year"...."Their system is particularly strong in center field"...[Klaw actually favored Gibson over Meyer in the spring]- he speaks particularly highly of Gibson, stating that he looks better than he did prior to his surgery -- throwing harder with an improved slider..

Given that Olney and Klaw would be the highest-rated experts in your list, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the other articles cited are even "less" of the same.

nicksaviking
09-26-2013, 11:23 AM
Stay the course. Panicking after 22 months would prolong the rebuild indefinitely which is what occurs in poorly run and/or inexperienced organizations. This same group successfully rebuilt the Twins within memory and will do so again.

What is the proper amount of months after which to panic?

This group did rebuild the Twins once. They also failed to rebuild the Twins once. If all you are basing this off of is past performances, a 50/50 chance at a successful rebuild after what, 36 months, doesn't sound very appealing to me.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 11:27 AM
Where does this 22 months come from? What was the team doing before that? Isn't the same leadership, other then Ryan, in place from before that?

jokin
09-26-2013, 11:48 AM
Where does this 22 months come from? What was the team doing before that? Isn't the same leadership, other then Ryan, in place from before that?

And where's the quote from 22 months ago that Ryan mentioned that this was, in fact, a rebuild......by letting your only legitimate talent walk away for virtually nothing or supplemental draft pick maybes?, signing 3 replacement players on the wrong side of 30?, signing or trading for multiple washed-up or dead-ended SPs?....and then laid out a general idea of his plan and goals encompassing the past 22 months and the next 19 months..... until the parade allegedly begins?

gunnarthor
09-26-2013, 12:31 PM
Given that Olney and Klaw would be the highest-rated experts in your list, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the other articles cited are even "less" of the same.

You asked for positive national reviews of the Twins so I gave you a couple. Then you decided to ignore over half of them and claim it as more of the same.

IdahoPilgrim
09-26-2013, 01:03 PM
1. Sign Ellsbury. Put him in CF, move him to LF when Buxton is up. You now have an elite defensive OF, and a legit veteran ..... they have the money, and he's worth more to the team than a 4th/5th starter type.

2. Sign Tanaka, I'd bid in the 40-50MM range. If that isn't enough, oh well.

3. Start Hicks in AAA, have him stop switch hitting. Move him up if/when he's ready. Arcia in RF all year. Backup type in LF until Buxton is up.

4. Mauer to 1B / DH full time.

5. Sano and Rosario in AAA to start the year, move them up when they are close to ready, not when they've "proved everything".

6. Sign a SP that used to be good, but had a higher ERA and lower FIP (i.e., follow the Pirates' plan).

7. Escobar starts at SS, with Floriman as your backup.

8. Trade/cut Doumit, let a random younger player be the backup RF/DH/1B.

9. Let Pelfrey walk.

I doubt that's my whole plan.....

Tanaka=3-5 wins over the last pitcher this year
Ellsbury =3-5 wins over what Hicks did this year
Sano for half a year = 1-3 wins over Plouffe
Random SP to replace Pelfrey = 1-3 wins
Pinto at C=about a wash with Morneau at 1B
Mauer for 160 games=1-3 wins over Mauer for what he played this year
Arcia better, and up all year=1-2 wins I'd think

Add some luck, you are competitive. Get lucky and Buxton is ready, add more. Get lucky with random players, you are more than competitive.....

A lot needs to go right for that to work, but it is better than standing pat. And, there is not a ton of money spent here.....Ellsbury and Tanaka are it for the big bucks long term.

Won't quibble with much of this. Curious about two things:

#6 the new SP - did you have any particular names in mind?

#7 was curious why Escobar over Florimon - seem to be about the same offensively but IMO Florimon is a slightly better fielder.

#9 what if he signed a relatively team friendly deal? Pelfrey didn't do that bad given he was coming off of injury. Slow start, stable summer, tailed off late. I'd take a chance on him if not too expensive, as he's better than some we have until the young guns are ready.

jokin
09-26-2013, 01:12 PM
You asked for positive national reviews of the Twins so I gave you a couple. Then you decided to ignore over half of them and claim it as more of the same.

When I have time, I'll look at the rest of your links. Thus far, I think I've pretty well-established that there is little credence in crowing from the highest roof top about someone, even "national experts" writing positively about a situation from (literally) 1000s of miles away from that situation....And put grave doubt into someone who constantly uses those "experts" for his shaky foundational arguments, experts who so often, and understandably, are mostly wrong about their understanding of that given situation. Local, well-informed writers, such as those at Twins Daily, and other local professional experts like Howard Sinker, Phil Miller and many others, should be given far more credence for their opinions than someone who casually writes something about the Twins one time a year.

nicksaviking
09-26-2013, 01:20 PM
When I have time, I'll look at the rest of your links. Thus far, I think I've pretty well-established that there is little credence in crowing from the highest roof top about someone, even "national experts" writing positively about a situation from (literally) 1000s of miles away from that situation....And put grave doubt into someone who constantly uses those "experts" for his shaky foundational arguments, experts who so often, and understandably, are mostly wrong about thier understanding of that given situation. Local, well-informed writers, such as those at Twins Daily, and other local professional experts like Howard Sinker, Phil Miller and many others, should be given far more credence for their opinions than someone who casually writes something about the Twins one time a year.

Yeah national guys are going to always think of the Twins front office and Terry Ryan as the guys who overachieved last decade. They aren't as likely to hear about Ryan's strange aversion to platoons or his idea that a team on the sharing end of the revenue sharing stream thinks $7 million per year deals are huge.

To be fair and honest, sometimes local writers (and fans) are too deep into the forest to see the trees. However, for the most part they have a better feel for the situation because they analyze the many factors that make up the results. Contrast that with the national guys who generally just analyze the results, as the minutea is too burdensome considering they cover 29 other teams as well.

Major Leauge Ready
09-26-2013, 02:09 PM
Draft a college SP with the #4/5 pick

Determine the budget. Let’s say it is $100M

Determine the best way to spend roughly $40M. My first criteria in determining the best way to spend $40 would probably be WAR/per dollar of salary. (Moneyball in a nutshell).

The VERY last thing I would do would be to add long-term contracts for players who will be past their prime in the final years of the contract, especially players like Ellsbury with injury concerns. Most likely case scenario is that type of FA acquisition will no longer be performing at an elite level. Worst case scenario is Hamilton, Pujlos, Bourne who underperformed in the 1st year of their contracts and are even more likely to underperform at the end of the term. The argument we won’t need the money for our prospects until 20XX misses the point completely and assumes this is a matter of available funds in the present. In the simplest terms possible, if we sign a major free agent today, he will likely not be an elite player in the final years of the contract. The options are … sign that free agent once the team gets where KC is today or sign him now. Do you want the 2-3 years that FA is likely to be underperforming to be when we are rebuilding as we are now or do you want those years or eroding ability to be when we should be back in contention?

Spend the money but go hard after Tanaka or other international FAs that will be in their prime throughout the contract. My fall-back position is the best free agents available on 2-3 year contracts. Kyle Lohse. We have the budget so get aggressive on those FAs. There is a lot of depth in terms of FA OFs this year. I would not rule them out but I would not be outbidding a team with $150M more in revenue than us that also knows Ellsbury the best in terms of if he can stay healthy.

No way I move Dozier from 2B until we see Rosario at this level. We have room in the outfield right now so that’s where I audition him knowing I can move him to 2B if the circumstances dictate such a move. I am also not worried about Florimon. We have much bigger holes to fill. Give him next year to see if he develops better plate discipline. He should be league average offensively if he simply learns to lay off pitches in the dirt. I am torn on moving Mauer to 1st but that might be the way to go with the emergence of Pinto. We just can’t afford to have the situation we had with Morneau repeat itself with Mauer.

gmarais66
09-26-2013, 02:22 PM
1. Sign Ellsbury. Put him in CF, move him to LF when Buxton is up. You now have an elite defensive OF, and a legit veteran ..... they have the money, and he's worth more to the team than a 4th/5th starter type.

2. Sign Tanaka, I'd bid in the 40-50MM range. If that isn't enough, oh well.

3. Start Hicks in AAA, have him stop switch hitting. Move him up if/when he's ready. Arcia in RF all year. Backup type in LF until Buxton is up.

4. Mauer to 1B / DH full time.

5. Sano and Rosario in AAA to start the year, move them up when they are close to ready, not when they've "proved everything".

6. Sign a SP that used to be good, but had a higher ERA and lower FIP (i.e., follow the Pirates' plan).

7. Escobar starts at SS, with Floriman as your backup.

8. Trade/cut Doumit, let a random younger player be the backup RF/DH/1B.

9. Let Pelfrey walk.

I doubt that's my whole plan.....

Tanaka=3-5 wins over the last pitcher this year
Ellsbury =3-5 wins over what Hicks did this year
Sano for half a year = 1-3 wins over Plouffe
Random SP to replace Pelfrey = 1-3 wins
Pinto at C=about a wash with Morneau at 1B
Mauer for 160 games=1-3 wins over Mauer for what he played this year
Arcia better, and up all year=1-2 wins I'd think

Add some luck, you are competitive. Get lucky and Buxton is ready, add more. Get lucky with random players, you are more than competitive.....

A lot needs to go right for that to work, but it is better than standing pat. And, there is not a ton of money spent here.....Ellsbury and Tanaka are it for the big bucks long term.

There is no chance in the universe that the Twins sign Ellsbury. There may be a miniscule chance that TR surprises us and signs a decent pitcher or two, but he is not going to sign a centerfielder, especially one as expensive and with as many injury concerns as Ellsbury. The Twins will begin the 2014 season with either Hicks or Presley starting in CF.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 02:30 PM
The question was "what would you do", not "what do you think the Twins will do".

As for injuries, Ellsbury has played more than Mauer has over the last few years....at the most premium of OF positions, with no signs of slowing down.

6.....not sure, I'd have to do more digging on the name, but I will commit to one later in the offseason if people want to have something to laugh at me later (odss are, I'll be wrong).

7. Escobar is younger, so I think he has more room for growth. Could be wrong. that one was typed up but not that important either way I don't think.

9. I was never a fan of Pelfrey before the injury, so I don't see that he's likely to "return" to something I like all that much.

Gibson, Tanaka, KC, SP FA, random guy (Deduno, Worley, Diamond)from AAA until Meyer is ready, that's what I would do (assuming I can get lucky and pull it off).

ashburyjohn
09-26-2013, 02:59 PM
Thanks "Howie". :confused:

Mod note: Leave out the personal digs, please. And there is no value in trying to assort people into various camps.

Steve Penz
09-26-2013, 03:43 PM
1. Sign Ellsbury. Put him in CF, move him to LF when Buxton is up. You now have an elite defensive OF, and a legit veteran ..... they have the money, and he's worth more to the team than a 4th/5th starter type.

2. Sign Tanaka, I'd bid in the 40-50MM range. If that isn't enough, oh well.

3. Start Hicks in AAA, have him stop switch hitting. Move him up if/when he's ready. Arcia in RF all year. Backup type in LF until Buxton is up.

4. Mauer to 1B / DH full time.

5. Sano and Rosario in AAA to start the year, move them up when they are close to ready, not when they've "proved everything".

6. Sign a SP that used to be good, but had a higher ERA and lower FIP (i.e., follow the Pirates' plan).

7. Escobar starts at SS, with Floriman as your backup.

8. Trade/cut Doumit, let a random younger player be the backup RF/DH/1B.

9. Let Pelfrey walk.

I doubt that's my whole plan.....

Tanaka=3-5 wins over the last pitcher this year
Ellsbury =3-5 wins over what Hicks did this year
Sano for half a year = 1-3 wins over Plouffe
Random SP to replace Pelfrey = 1-3 wins
Pinto at C=about a wash with Morneau at 1B
Mauer for 160 games=1-3 wins over Mauer for what he played this year
Arcia better, and up all year=1-2 wins I'd think

Add some luck, you are competitive. Get lucky and Buxton is ready, add more. Get lucky with random players, you are more than competitive.....

A lot needs to go right for that to work, but it is better than standing pat. And, there is not a ton of money spent here.....Ellsbury and Tanaka are it for the big bucks long term.


Since when have you wanted to sign Ellsbury?

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 04:06 PM
I've been advocating Ellsbury for a couple of months.

ThePuck
09-26-2013, 04:56 PM
The VERY last thing I would do would be to add long-term contracts for players who will be past their prime in the final years of the contract, especially players like Ellsbury with injury concerns.

A player's prime is basically 26-29,30. Most players don't become FAs until they are at least 28, 29. So, every FA signing for any decent player is going to have years past their prime.

IdahoPilgrim
09-26-2013, 05:05 PM
A player's prime is basically 26-29,30. Most players don't become FAs until they are at least 28, 29. So, every FA signing for any decent player is going to have years past their prime.

This is one reason some are hesitant to dive heavily into the FA market - you almost always end up paying based on what the player has been, not necessarily what he will be in the future.

ThePuck
09-26-2013, 05:21 PM
This is one reason some are hesitant to dive heavily into the FA market - you almost always end up paying based on what the player has been, not necessarily what he will be in the future.

It's a convenient excuse not to go after any quality FA players...or to defend the FA for not doing it. Chances need to be taken....cause there are plenty of players who play very well past their supposed prime years along with those who don't.

Major Leauge Ready
09-26-2013, 05:55 PM
Some of you guys are much better than I am at remembering past transactions. Can you site examples of elite free agents signed by any team outside the top 10 in revenue when that team was rebuilding as opposed to a final compeitive piece (ie Fielder)?

gunnarthor
09-26-2013, 06:08 PM
Some of you guys are much better than I am at remembering past transactions. Can you site examples of elite free agents signed by any team outside the top 10 in revenue when that team was rebuilding as opposed to a final compeitive piece (ie Fielder)?

There have been a few - Nationals signed Werth to a long term contract when they still sucked but obviously had the right pieces ready moving forward. And the Nats might have been a top 10 revenue team. Not sure.

Brewers signed Lohse last year and I think they lost a draft pick b/c of that. Not sure if you call Lohse elite.

diehardtwinsfan
09-26-2013, 06:16 PM
I don't get the Ellsbury love, OF is pretty far down on the list of things to fill. What I'd do? Trade a couple of relievers for some prospects, promote Tonkin. Go hard after the two Cubans and Tanaka, hoping to get one of them (preferably Tanaka). Sign Hughes to a 3 year deal. Plan on midseason trades of Doumit and Willingham. Make a plan for phasing in Sano, Meyer, May, Darnell, Pinto, Rosario, and potentially Buxton.

howieramone
09-26-2013, 06:37 PM
I don't get the Ellsbury love, OF is pretty far down on the list of things to fill. What I'd do? Trade a couple of relievers for some prospects, promote Tonkin. Go hard after the two Cubans and Tanaka, hoping to get one of them (preferably Tanaka). Sign Hughes to a 3 year deal. Plan on midseason trades of Doumit and Willingham. Make a plan for phasing in Sano, Meyer, May, Darnell, Pinto, Rosario, and potentially Buxton. It really is that simple. If things don't quite work out, there is still plenty of time before the parade starts in 2015.

the_youngster
09-26-2013, 07:05 PM
Personally my preference for Ellsbury lies with the idea of intentionally creating an outfield glut. Right now it is more difficult than ever to get top of the end starters if you don't bring them up yourself. Teams are holding on to their pitchers to the death. Then add in how pitchers are getting paid in free agency, only the team who pays too much gets the player. As excited as I am for Meyer to come up, I don't want to put all of our hopes of a future rotation with him alone as the centerpiece. From my point of view, trading one of our younger outfielders for a starting pitcher is one of the last avenues for acquiring pitching for the near future. For example (I have no backing for this trade, but it is the basic concept) trade Hicks (and maybe some one else, maybe a reliever) for Derek Holland of the Rangers. Holland would instantly be our best pitcher. But if things play out, by 2015 he would be passed up by Gibson and Meyer. I would love a 2015 rotation Meyer, Gibson, holland, a free agent (lets say Hughes), and someone else.

howieramone
09-26-2013, 07:34 PM
Personally my preference for Ellsbury lies with the idea of intentionally creating an outfield glut. Right now it is more difficult than ever to get top of the end starters if you don't bring them up yourself. Teams are holding on to their pitchers to the death. Then add in how pitchers are getting paid in free agency, only the team who pays too much gets the player. As excited as I am for Meyer to come up, I don't want to put all of our hopes of a future rotation with him alone as the centerpiece. From my point of view, trading one of our younger outfielders for a starting pitcher is one of the last avenues for acquiring pitching for the near future. For example (I have no backing for this trade, but it is the basic concept) trade Hicks (and maybe some one else, maybe a reliever) for Derek Holland of the Rangers. Holland would instantly be our best pitcher. But if things play out, by 2015 he would be passed up by Gibson and Meyer. I would love a 2015 rotation Meyer, Gibson, holland, a free agent (lets say Hughes), and someone else.

Let me add 2 thoughts. I agree you never want to put yourself in a position where you are dependent on one young starting pitcher. We were stuck this year waiting for Gibson, and we don't want to be stuck next year waiting for Meyer. That's why the wish list is Hughes+Tananka or the Cuban pitcher. If we get outbid in the International market, we need another FA starting pitcher better than anyone we currently have.

The trade for a starting pitcher for a Hicks or Rosario type prospect and a major league reliever, I believe is a year premature and there is no need to spent 100M on Ellsbury to get in that position. Just my thoughts.

Major Leauge Ready
09-26-2013, 07:52 PM
There have been a few - Nationals signed Werth to a long term contract when they still sucked but obviously had the right pieces ready moving forward. And the Nats might have been a top 10 revenue team. Not sure.

Brewers signed Lohse last year and I think they lost a draft pick b/c of that. Not sure if you call Lohse elite.

Instead of elite, I should have probably said 5+ year deals. Those are the ones that are likely to hurt the team in the final couple years. Lohse is a good example of a very good player who can bridge the gap until our young players are here in force. 3 years is a reasonable risk, especially now because that contract will be off the books by the time we are contending.

the_youngster
09-26-2013, 07:53 PM
And that is why we are having this discussion, to bounce around ideas. I appreciate your input, as it is through the conversation we can formulate the best plan (even if it is only among fans). My only retort would be that hopefully Ellsbury's injury and health history brings him below the 100M mark. I too would be leery of 100M on Ellsbury, but that is why I have refrained from putting a price on him so far. Would 90M or 85M be a different story? As long as it's not 10 years 305M (looking at you Boras/Cano).

stringer bell
09-27-2013, 12:00 AM
Really leery of signing speed guys in the 30s. Ellsbury is 30, has an injury history, and has put up one year of +.800 OPS. While I'm not a huge fan of Presley, he can hold center for Hicks and be a bitter better than replacement player. He would make a decent fourth OF when/if Hicks or Buxton claims center field full-time. From Mike's comments, I disagree totally with Aaron Hicks becoming solely a RH hitter, and Florimon has earned the starting job for the beginning of 2014 (no more-no less). I think Escobar profiles as a utility infielder with a ceiling of three-position "10th starter". Despite the offensive struggles, the area this teams needs the most turnover and improvement in is starting pitching. I would take a flyer on Mike Pelfrey if the price is right.

Reider
09-27-2013, 02:14 AM
I would like to see the Twins sign 2 quality starting pitchers.

beckmt
09-27-2013, 05:51 AM
Still would like Johnson and Lincecum if not qualified. Hughes is too much of the same old, but a fallback position. Maybe on of the older starting pitchers if for 1-2 years. Twins have plenty of outfielders coming to waste money on Ellsbury. Spend the money on pitching.

Major Leauge Ready
09-27-2013, 08:18 AM
Still would like Johnson and Lincecum if not qualified. Hughes is too much of the same old, but a fallback position. Maybe on of the older starting pitchers if for 1-2 years. Twins have plenty of outfielders coming to waste money on Ellsbury. Spend the money on pitching.

I watch very little national leauge baseball so someone has to explain to me why Lincecum is a solution to out pitching problem. Over the last two years, his ERA is 4.79. Hughes is 4.63. To put that in perspective, Correia's is 4.19. I realize ERA alone is not a complete measure but it seems to me the logic is Lincecum used to be great so it would be great to have him on our team.

Siehbiscuit
09-27-2013, 10:06 AM
I am in the Hughes camp moreso than Lincecum. Hughes still has velocity on his fastball. Getting out from under the NY media market could do wonders as well. I personally would prefer Hughes AND Ubaldo Jimenez.

diehardtwinsfan
09-27-2013, 10:42 AM
I watch very little national leauge baseball so someone has to explain to me why Lincecum is a solution to out pitching problem. Over the last two years, his ERA is 4.79. Hughes is 4.63. To put that in perspective, Correia's is 4.19. I realize ERA alone is not a complete measure but it seems to me the logic is Lincecum used to be great so it would be great to have him on our team.

It's a name recognition thing... Linci hasn't been nearly as good as he used to be... I'd avoid that signing unless it's for peanuts.

I'd add that I think Ellsbury is a similar situation. He's not going to be worth whatever he signs for and I think there's a very real chance he's outproduced by Presley, and I'm not expecting Presley to be some massive steal either. Other than that one season, Ellsbury hasn't been all that good.

mike wants wins
09-27-2013, 11:29 AM
Presley is 28, two years younger than Ellsbury, and has never been good.....

Not good beyond one year? look at his WAR year after year.....
Since becoming a full time player, he has the 4th highest WAR of any CFer
He has the 9th highest WAR of ALL OFers since he became a full time player

This year alone, he stole 52 of 56 bases....he is not yet slowing down.

I don't think people understand how good he is.

nicksaviking
09-27-2013, 01:09 PM
Presley is 28, two years younger than Ellsbury, and has never been good.....

Not good beyond one year? look at his WAR year after year.....
Since becoming a full time player, he has the 4th highest WAR of any CFer
He has the 9th highest WAR of ALL OFers since he became a full time player

This year alone, he stole 52 of 56 bases....he is not yet slowing down.

I don't think people understand how good he is.

No doubt Ellsbury is preferable to Presley but the Twins can comfortably cut bait with Presley anytime. Ellsbury on a 5-7 year $120-170 million deal will be hard to get rid of. As said previously, speed is always the first thing to go. When his stolen bases decline over the next couple of years I think we won't be very happy with the player we are left with considering the contract. His strikeouts are trending up and his 2011 HR numbers look like a mirage now.

To be fair, I've never been a big fan, mostly because his game was so speed reliant and I never put that high of value on stolen bases. I'd overpay for him on a three year deal but he'll most likely get double those years.

mike wants wins
09-27-2013, 01:16 PM
I get why people don't want to sign him, but I'm not sure who people want to sign that won't require 5+ years that is really good, now or in the future, if they won't sign 29 and 30 year old players.

If not Ellsbury, how do people expect the team to be better next year? There are no high end pitchers, you've all eliminated any FA who is "old" from consideration? Just roll with the prospects, hope 100% of them work out, and wait 2-3 more years?

Major Leauge Ready
09-27-2013, 02:44 PM
I get why people don't want to sign him, but I'm not sure who people want to sign that won't require 5+ years that is really good, now or in the future, if they won't sign 29 and 30 year old players.

If not Ellsbury, how do people expect the team to be better next year? There are no high end pitchers, you've all eliminated any FA who is "old" from consideration? Just roll with the prospects, hope 100% of them work out, and wait 2-3 more years?

There is no way around the fact that this team will not be a contender unless and until our top prospects make it here. We are a mid-market team with modest revenue. We can't buy our way into contension. And, we have to get a better performance/dollar out of our players/acquisitions than the top markets. We already have one elite $23M/year player on the books. To add another one right now and have them both likely declining when we are about to contend would be the most irresponsible move TR could possibly make.

If we were to make such a move, the timing from an organizational develoment standpoint would be where the Royals are right now. We have enough incremental revenue compared to KC to add a toip tier FA to push us over the top. Doing it now would be for the sake of not sucking next year but at the cost of the ability to add the same level player when we actually which hole to fill and when our team could actually contend via the addition of such a FA.

mike wants wins
09-27-2013, 04:53 PM
I've laid out a plan and number of wins from that plan that is different than "we can't succeed for 2-4 years" above. No place did I imply 1 player would make a difference, but 1 legit hitter, 1 legit pitcher, and one roll of the die pitcher, and Gibson being mediocre, and Arcia being up all year, and Dozier being good all year.....that's a lot of wins.

Doing it now is not about "not sucking". it is about potentially competing. And, if Sano and Buxton are up in 2015, Ellsbury will still likely be good. Not sure why they need to wait for the perfect moment to try to be good.

Major Leauge Ready
09-27-2013, 09:28 PM
I've laid out a plan and number of wins from that plan that is different than "we can't succeed for 2-4 years" above. No place did I imply 1 player would make a difference, but 1 legit hitter, 1 legit pitcher, and one roll of the die pitcher, and Gibson being mediocre, and Arcia being up all year, and Dozier being good all year.....that's a lot of wins.

Doing it now is not about "not sucking". it is about potentially competing. And, if Sano and Buxton are up in 2015, Ellsbury will still likely be good. Not sure why they need to wait for the perfect moment to try to be good.

You are twisting (dramatically) the message that those of us who recognize there are not any mid-market or lower teams that even attempt to build through major FA acquisitions. I guess the the whole leauge must just not get it. I don't here anyone saying we can't get competitive. For example, Lohse would have been a great acquisition on a 3-year deal. Unfortunately, that bridge was burned.

While you are quick to point out that prospects oftern don't pan out you universally ignore that FA often substantially underperform. (Hamillton, Pujlos, Bourne) Three of the top 4 FA position players have been horrible. Swisher, the 4th has been decent but not exactly a big difference maker. He ranks 16th amongst 1B with a 758 OPS. The Cubs basically tried to do what you are advocating. How did that turn out for them? That "one good pitcher" has an ERA of 4.74. How many wins would we have improved this year if we have employed your approach and got Jackson and Hamilton or Jackson and Bourne?

AM.
09-28-2013, 05:55 AM
I don't get the Ellsbury love, OF is pretty far down on the list of things to fill. What I'd do? Trade a couple of relievers for some prospects, promote Tonkin. Go hard after the two Cubans and Tanaka, hoping to get one of them (preferably Tanaka). Sign Hughes to a 3 year deal. Plan on midseason trades of Doumit and Willingham. Make a plan for phasing in Sano, Meyer, May, Darnell, Pinto, Rosario, and potentially Buxton.


Im with you all the way (no to Ellsbury), but Darnell?

I would also like to see, when they don't get Tanaka, either Lincecum or Josh Johnson signed, in addition to Hughes.

What would people think of Joba?

diehardtwinsfan
09-28-2013, 06:42 AM
Im with you all the way (no to Ellsbury), but Darnell?

I would also like to see, when they don't get Tanaka, either Lincecum or Josh Johnson signed, in addition to Hughes.

What would people think of Joba?

I dont' consider Darnel a major prospect, but he gets a shot next year, and I think he can be something better than a 5 starter. I haven't seen him pitch, but he seems to be able to put out some high K games on occasion. I do think he can be a decent mid-rotation arm, which is nothing to sneeze at. I also think that Worely should get another chance, and I'm not sure we should give up on Deduno quite yet either. KC is also in the rotation, so I'm not terrible sure the Twins should go out and get a ton of guys. Honestly, if they just got Tanaka, I'd be thrilled. Hughes as their other pitcher would be nice too, but you have to keep some spots open for the young guys coming up.

mike wants wins
09-28-2013, 09:35 AM
I've never said FAs don't work out sometimes, people asked, on this thread, what I would do to make the team competitive sooner rather than later. I suggested signing one "decline phase" FA in my plan, 1. I think that guy will not fall off the face of the earth in the next 3-4 years (yes, he might at the end of the deal, but that is the chance you take if you ever want to sign a FA) and 1 expensive guy in his prime.

We can disagree on our prediction of whether or not Ellsbury will decline too fast, but to state it like fact is no better than what you are accusing me of doing.

As for no one saying they can't be competitive next year, there are several posts in this thread saying that exactly.

I disagree, and it is ok to disagree.

The OP asked for suggestions on how to be better next year, I gave them. Feel free to disagree.

jorgenswest
09-28-2013, 10:04 AM
It must be acknowledged that as a group of players in their thirties, the performance of the free agent class will decline each year including the first year.

The top free agents will get 5-6 years. The Twins have to expect that they will be a shadow of their current self in the end years of the contract and will be a burden to the payroll. Mid market teams can't afford to sign top free agents every off season. Is this the offseason?

The risk works when the team has a successful season early in the contract. For the Twins success is the playoffs or maybe even competing in September. The downside, of course, is that the improvement of the young players 3-5 years down the road is balanced by the decline of the large contract players (Mauer + free agents) and the Twins improve but never become a top team. That may have been the bar for success in 2010. The bar has dropped significantly. I think success might be the fringe of the wild card now.

However, there is another risk. There is a risk the Twins won't maintain the revenue of a midmarket team if they don't improve towards 80 wins. They have a poor TV contract. They live by the revenue of Target Field. They can't afford to do nothing. For them it is far better to contend on the fringe of the wild card and fill seats for the next decade. Maybe they will get lucky and make it once or twice.

They need to make those key top free agent signings this winter. They will grow old with Mauer and be a burden on the payroll in 2016-2017. With their help next year and the young players coming the Twins should be able to be in the fringe of the wild card mix and sell tickets.

If they don't sign those guys, revenue will drop and they may not have revenue to sign them in the future. Maybe they will get lucky and the guys they sign will be the ones that defy decline and injury as they age.

Major Leauge Ready
09-28-2013, 10:54 AM
I actually think highly of Ellsbury. Unfortunately, the timing is absolutely horrible. Signing him or a player like him at this stage of team development and Mauer at the same age with 5 years remaining on his contract would be incompetent IMO.

We can quibble over the definition of fact. I think there is ample evidence to consider it a fact that many FAs don’t don’t pan out from day one. An even higher percentage will decline substantially at the end of their contract and speed players are even more prone to decline in terms of relative performance.

I don’t believe next year is lost at all. However, the original OP did not ask what “you” would do to be competitive next year. He asked “what would be your plan for bringing our beloved Twins back to relevance?” How this is interpreted is an illustration of the real basis for the different perspectives seen here. Some are all in / got to get better right now. Others are looking at it as a multi-year process.

Next year does not look so bad to me if SOME of the following happen. Starting with position players because it is easier to project

1B – Abreu / Mauer / Morales / Morneau / Reynolds
2B – Dozier plays somewhere near his 2013 2nd half performance
SS – Florimon – Will not hurt us if he does not get better but could be aleauge average offensively if he can learn to lay-off pitches in the dirt
3B – Plouffe gives way to Sano by June and become a utility player in the lineup against LHP or gets traded.
C – Pinto does not have a sophomore slump
DH/OF – Willingham has an average or better year
DH/OF – Arcia hits as projected. Could be great if he learns to lay-off high heat.
CF – Presley is no prize but can hold down center until Buxton gets here. As long as we are hoping …. Hick’s starts out well at AAA and makes it up by June.
OF – There are several decent FA OFs. One of them on a 3-year deal might be a goiod idea.
OF – Rosario start out hot at AAA and is here by June.

Pitching – God helps us.
SP - Worley or Diamond returns to meet expectations. I guess to quantify that means an ERA between 3.6 – 4.0.
SP – Correia gives us exactly the same as this year.
SP – Tanaka is the big move I think makes by far the most sense. The TV revenue increase is likely to make the bidding on him crazy so I don’t like our odds even if TR is aggressive. It could get out of hand.
SP – Next best move would be a very aggressive 3-4 year offer to Jimenez.
SP – Phil Hughes won’t transform our team but he would be a solid addition
SP – Josh Johnson as the high risk/reward addition.
SP – Pelfrey on a 2-year $12M contract. Insurance policy. He should be at least serviceable back of the rotation SP now 2 years removed from TJ.
SP- Consider Swarzak or Duensing to move to a spot in the rotation.
SP – Try Hendriks in long relief.
Management – I don’t blame Gardenhire. He did not have the players to win and he did not get dumber since being MoY in 2010 and 3 times R/U for MoY. However, it might be time to try something new. The question TR needs to answer is if Gardenhire is the right guy to guide the development of Sano/Buxton/Arcia/ Rosario/Meyer/etc.

The only thing that went right this year was Dozier’s second two-thirds of the season and Correia gave us what we expected. We are due for a handful of the positives above to come to fruition.

Shane Wahl
09-28-2013, 11:27 AM
Why would anyone pay Mike Pelfrey $12 million for 2 years? If that how this team spends money, then it hasn't learned a damn thing from the past or present.

Shane Wahl
09-28-2013, 11:28 AM
Swarzak and Duensing are relievers and only became good as relievers. End of story.

orangevening
09-28-2013, 12:05 PM
Why would anyone pay Mike Pelfrey $12 million for 2 years? If that how this team spends money, then it hasn't learned a damn thing from the past or present.

Tell us exactly how you feel about Mike Pelfrey....:s-instagib:

Shane Wahl
09-28-2013, 12:09 PM
Tell us exactly how you feel about Mike Pelfrey....:s-instagib:


They just are now getting Nick Blackburn off their hands. Why continue it?

Major Leauge Ready
09-28-2013, 01:59 PM
Swarzak and Duensing are relievers and only became good as relievers. End of story.

I agree but desperate times require desperate measures.

On Pelfrey, I first wrote 2/10 but changed it thought back to last year and realized someone is going to give him 2/12. The FO made a mistake thinking he was going to a ML pitcher at the start of the year but he was decent the last half of the year. Pelfrey would not be my first or second choice but there is as good a risk that he will uptick this year as several of the SPs who got 6-7M last year. Many people here asked why in the heck Correia got 2/10. Well, he was better than some who got much more and a lot better than some who got the same or slightly more.

Major Leauge Ready
09-28-2013, 02:21 PM
David Murphy has had an offf year but he has been a pretty decent player. What do you gents think about attempting to sign Murphy for outfield depth?

mike wants wins
09-28-2013, 07:26 PM
Major league ready, the only delta in your plan and mine is abreu instead of Ellsbery, otherwise the plans are almost identical. Not sure why my plan seems so bad then.

edit, actually, you spend more money on FA pitching than my plan.

chopper0080
09-28-2013, 09:48 PM
The "mid market" and "wait for our prospects to come up" arguments are the same old lines that losing organizations feed their battered fans and then those fans use as excuses to why their team can't compete. I don't buy it. Teams that prioritize winning come up with ways to win. St. Louis, San Francisco, and Atlanta aren't huge markets and they find ways to field competitive teams. What I hear is a front office that sold a line to a city to leverage a new stadium and are now using the same excuses they used before to dupe their fans into believing it is ok to be competitive once or twice every 10 to 15 years.

Let me give most of you an update, it is ok to field a competitive roster using multiple sources. It is ok to have too many good players at certain positions, that is called depth. Having good players at the major league who your prospects have to beat out to make the squad is a good thing. This allows prospects to come up when they are ready, not when you are desperate. 5 to 7 year deals are common for top free agents and most of those free agents are close to 30 if not above 30. While this makes it smart to not depend on free agency to build your team, ignoring it as a resource to improve your team is equally stupid. And, regarding that 7 year contract, I am pretty sure the owner can afford to eat 2 years at 13 mil if the front office is smart and can get 5 good years out of a player. Final tip, if your front office is so afraid to sign free agents because of the potential failure, then you need a new front office because yours doesn't believe it can get the job done.

Come on fellow Twins fans, demand more from your franchise.

MichiganTwins
09-28-2013, 10:51 PM
The "mid market" and "wait for our prospects to come up" arguments are the same old lines that losing organizations feed their battered fans and then those fans use as excuses to why their team can't compete. I don't buy it. Teams that prioritize winning come up with ways to win. St. Louis, San Francisco, and Atlanta aren't huge markets and they find ways to field competitive teams. What I hear is a front office that sold a line to a city to leverage a new stadium and are now using the same excuses they used before to dupe their fans into believing it is ok to be competitive once or twice every 10 to 15 years.

Let me give most of you an update, it is ok to field a competitive roster using multiple sources. It is ok to have too many good players at certain positions, that is called depth. Having good players at the major league who your prospects have to beat out to make the squad is a good thing. This allows prospects to come up when they are ready, not when you are desperate. 5 to 7 year deals are common for top free agents and most of those free agents are close to 30 if not above 30. While this makes it smart to not depend on free agency to build your team, ignoring it as a resource to improve your team is equally stupid. And, regarding that 7 year contract, I am pretty sure the owner can afford to eat 2 years at 13 mil if the front office is smart and can get 5 good years out of a player. Final tip, if your front office is so afraid to sign free agents because of the potential failure, then you need a new front office because yours doesn't believe it can get the job done.

Come on fellow Twins fans, demand more from your franchise.

I dont want to personally attack your statement, but I do not think you are being fair in your post. The Twins had a large run of being competitive. They are simply paying for the mistake with HUnter and Santana. Those trades/free agency hurt a team like the Twins. We are able to talk about prospects coming up because we have the 1st and 3rd best prospects coming to Minnesota very soon. It is not a comp out to say the truth.

ThePuck
09-28-2013, 11:02 PM
I dont want to personally attack your statement, but I do not think you are being fair in your post. The Twins had a large run of being competitive. They are simply paying for the mistake with HUnter and Santana. Those trades/free agency hurt a team like the Twins. We are able to talk about prospects coming up because we have the 1st and 3rd best prospects coming to Minnesota very soon. It is not a comp out to say the truth.

So Ryan not being able to sign these TWO players SIX seasons ago is what's hurting this team?

jokin
09-28-2013, 11:34 PM
I dont want to personally attack your statement, but I do not think you are being fair in your post. The Twins had a large run of being competitive. They are simply paying for the mistake with HUnter and Santana. Those trades/free agency hurt a team like the Twins. We are able to talk about prospects coming up because we have the 1st and 3rd best prospects coming to Minnesota very soon. It is not a comp out to say the truth.

In turn, you failed to address chopper's entire post. Look, I know the gulf is wide between the true believers and the true skeptics. But come on here, St Louis, Atlanta and San Fran have all had FAs walk without the clubs "paying" for the mistake ad infinitum-those losses didn't "hurt a team like the Twins", even though all 3 markets and revenue situations strongly resemble "a team like the Twins". And they all are able to talk about legitimate potential prospects coming up every year, not just once this decade, and inordinately delayed in their call-ups, as Sano and Buxton will be, until the "situation is optimal for them to compete." I don't think chopper copped out in any way, but instead stated the truth like it really is.

Kwak
09-29-2013, 02:06 AM
The Twins must make "a big splash" to change attitudes and restore competitiveness. September has shown what happens when a team "gives-up". Starting pitching is the primary need and must be the source of "the big splash". A second pitcher, at a typical Twins salary, would show that management is serious about addressing the problem. This "big splash player" will be expensive--but the bullet must be bitten (so to speak) or everyone including the players, will infer just another management song-and-dance for 2014. The entire team cannot be rebuild in a single year, therefore better talent must be added yearly.
The Twins, as well as everyone else has identified starting pitching as the primary need. Therefore, "the big splash" can only come from a starting pitcher, not an Ellsbury.

diehardtwinsfan
09-29-2013, 06:59 AM
So Ryan not being able to sign these TWO players SIX seasons ago is what's hurting this team?

Keeping Santana and trading hunter would have been the right answer in terms of how they hurt the team, but hindsight is 20/20 too. I would also add a couple of bad drafts during that timeframe as well. That's one of the big reasons why we are paying for it right now, as those classes are where the Twins would have been pulling minor league talent the last couple of years... and there really hasn't been much there.

Marta Shearing
09-29-2013, 07:00 AM
I understand many things can change
from now and 2014, but if you were in charge what would be your plan for bringing our beloved Twins back to relevance? Wait for the young potential stars? Big free agent spending? trades?

My personal plan would be to push hard for Ellsbury over the winter. His recent injury may bring down his price, but I doubt Boras will allow that. Add Ellsbury, put him in center (adding a veteran presence so its not all rookies). When Rosario reaches the majors, I would put him back in a corner outfield spot. Ellsbury is definitely a health concern of a player, but he is high risk/high reward. I would rather not trade Rosario for Dozier insurance. If Dozier has found himself, then great, we have a solid second baseman. Having Ellsbury, Rosario, Arcia, and Hicks in the outfield allows us to trade a young outfielder (most likely with a bundle of some form) for at least a number three starter, hopefully a number two. Personally I would trade Hicks, but right now Arcia probably has more value. When Buxton eventually comes up, we again might have an expandable outfielder (maybe more pitching help in a year or two). Lastly, I fall under the category of people who want Phil Hughes (still better than what we have now and can be a #2 at best, hopefully a #3). So in this scenario, we presumably have a true center fielder/veteran (helping the youngsters), a starting pitcher (hopefully a #2) from a trade, and a starting pitcher (hopefully a #3) from free agency. Add in our bullpen, the reinforcements of the future in Buxton/Sano/Rosario/Meyer, the young guys who have already gotten their feet wet (Hicks or Arcia/Gibson/Pinto), and you have actually a solid team (on paper at least). Then you can't forget Mauer, wherever he plays (as long as he does his thing and hits .300+).

So that's my plan if I was calling the shots. Now what are yours? I'm genuinely curious to hear what you guys (and maybe ladies? haven't noticed many here ever) would do with millions of dollars and control.
I like your plan, but I dont think Ryan has the creativity to carry out something like that. He just doesnt have that ability.

Marta Shearing
09-29-2013, 07:01 AM
Besides, if they sign an outfielder, how's Gardy gonna find atbats for Doumit in RF?

diehardtwinsfan
09-29-2013, 07:07 AM
The "mid market" and "wait for our prospects to come up" arguments are the same old lines that losing organizations feed their battered fans and then those fans use as excuses to why their team can't compete. I don't buy it. Teams that prioritize winning come up with ways to win. St. Louis, San Francisco, and Atlanta aren't huge markets and they find ways to field competitive teams. What I hear is a front office that sold a line to a city to leverage a new stadium and are now using the same excuses they used before to dupe their fans into believing it is ok to be competitive once or twice every 10 to 15 years.

Let me give most of you an update, it is ok to field a competitive roster using multiple sources. It is ok to have too many good players at certain positions, that is called depth. Having good players at the major league who your prospects have to beat out to make the squad is a good thing. This allows prospects to come up when they are ready, not when you are desperate. 5 to 7 year deals are common for top free agents and most of those free agents are close to 30 if not above 30. While this makes it smart to not depend on free agency to build your team, ignoring it as a resource to improve your team is equally stupid. And, regarding that 7 year contract, I am pretty sure the owner can afford to eat 2 years at 13 mil if the front office is smart and can get 5 good years out of a player. Final tip, if your front office is so afraid to sign free agents because of the potential failure, then you need a new front office because yours doesn't believe it can get the job done.

Come on fellow Twins fans, demand more from your franchise.

I think you are obfuscating the point just a bit. Using Sickle's top 75 prospects, the Twins have 4 guys in the top 75 who will be in AA/AAA next year playing at CF, SP, 3B, and 2B. Those are some of the hardest positions in baseball to get good talent, and all will likely see time at TF next season. They have a 5th guy who is a bit further back. Waiting for the kids is going to make sense in that type of a situation. You don't want to block them by signing guys like Ellsbury or some 3B.

Now I agree that we need to go out and get pitching. I'm not sure I agree that we should be doing 5 to 7 year deals to do it. That's just silly. How many of those contracts end up working out? If you do something like that, your young kids will get good just as that huge contract starts becoming a burden. I don't want to burden the next wave with another Nick Blackburn, Joe Mays, etc. Even with TF, the Twins aren't the Yankees or Cubs who can essentially print money.

That said, I do think the Twins need to be more proactive on the FA market side of things. Particularly with younger talent. I think the money would be much more wisely spent on the two Cubans and/or Tanaka... I hope I'm not asking too much, but honestly, getting one of those guys would make me pretty happy this offseason.

ThePuck
09-29-2013, 09:08 AM
Keeping Santana and trading hunter would have been the right answer in terms of how they hurt the team, but hindsight is 20/20 too. I would also add a couple of bad drafts during that timeframe as well. That's one of the big reasons why we are paying for it right now, as those classes are where the Twins would have been pulling minor league talent the last couple of years... and there really hasn't been much there.

Whichever scenario...whether it's not signing those two, not signing one and trading the other, or whatever different scenario wants to be thrown out, it still comes down to the fact that it's ridiculous to blame where we are now because of what we did or didn't do with only two players six seasons ago.

jorgenswest
09-29-2013, 09:36 AM
I think the Twins out all of their 2014 eggs in the Tanaka basket. Outbid everyone on the posting fee and give him a long contract.

The big dent is on this year's budget. Dollars spent on the posting fee will be off the books. Tanaka isn't enough to make a difference next year. However, he is a key piece for next year and the future. He is young. The posting fee is a one time cost. Since it is a blind bid, the Twins have equal footing with the other teams. Tanaka won't have other major league options once they win the bid. They need to spend everything on Tanaka next year.

diehardtwinsfan
09-29-2013, 11:04 AM
Whichever scenario...whether it's not signing those two, not signing one and trading the other, or whatever different scenario wants to be thrown out, it still comes down to the fact that it's ridiculous to blame where we are now because of what we did or didn't do with only two players six seasons ago.

Actually no it's not. We had a couple of bad drafts in that time frame and made two big mistakes with pending free agents. Admittedly, those mistakes are hindsight 20/20 type issues, but when it takes 4-6 years to develop quality major leaguers, 6 year old decisions make a pretty big difference.

USAFChief
09-29-2013, 11:05 AM
I often see the premise that "long term, high dollar FA contracts don't work" thrown around as fact.

i don't think that's true, but for the sake of argument lets stipulate that as a near certainty, any such contract will be regretted later.

Id still want the Twins to sign such free agents because I'd trade probably being better for certain in the near future over the theoretical possibility of being better on the distant future.

chopper0080
09-29-2013, 11:07 AM
I think you are obfuscating the point just a bit. Using Sickle's top 75 prospects, the Twins have 4 guys in the top 75 who will be in AA/AAA next year playing at CF, SP, 3B, and 2B. Those are some of the hardest positions in baseball to get good talent, and all will likely see time at TF next season. They have a 5th guy who is a bit further back. Waiting for the kids is going to make sense in that type of a situation. You don't want to block them by signing guys like Ellsbury or some 3B.

Now I agree that we need to go out and get pitching. I'm not sure I agree that we should be doing 5 to 7 year deals to do it. That's just silly. How many of those contracts end up working out? If you do something like that, your young kids will get good just as that huge contract starts becoming a burden. I don't want to burden the next wave with another Nick Blackburn, Joe Mays, etc. Even with TF, the Twins aren't the Yankees or Cubs who can essentially print money.

That said, I do think the Twins need to be more proactive on the FA market side of things. Particularly with younger talent. I think the money would be much more wisely spent on the two Cubans and/or Tanaka... I hope I'm not asking too much, but honestly, getting one of those guys would make me pretty happy this offseason.

On your first point, I don't see how a player like Ellsbury blocks anyone. The job of the manager is to manage players to keep them happy while also putting the best 9 players on the field. If you want to bring Sano up starting in 2014, then don't sign a free agent 3B. That is fine with me. But, don't use his potential as an excuse to put a pile of crap at the 3B position. If there is a player in free agency who can fill that void, then sign him. You can move him or trade him later if you need to. One way or the other, a move needs to be made. The same goes with Ellsbury. He is a player who can help this team over the next 4 or 5 years. Does it matter if either Ellsbury or Buxton have to play LF or RF instead of CF if they both are producing at a high level. I call that a great problem to have.

Regarding FA and 5 to 7 year deals, what top free agents are signing deals that aren't like this? If this is the type of contract that top free agents get, then that is what you have to pay. I agree that you can't field a MLB roster through FA, but you have to take some calculated risks to field a competitive roster. You pay your front office to get these decisions right and if they don't, then you need to get new personnel. Signing a 30 year old to a 5 year deal won't kill your franchise unless he bombs in the first 3 years. After that, you should have prospects coming up and replacing vet players which helps balance out your salary cap. Also, if you sign a #2 SP in free agency, does it really matter if he becomes yuor #4 SP in 3 or 4 years? Roster management should be about balancing short term benefits with long term benefits. Right now, the Twins are ignoring this balance which is why they are struggling. In terms of BLackburn and Mays, are you really stating that you thought these were top signings at the time? They were marginal players with very little room for error and regression which made them poor investments. Middling FAs like this are where teams take the most risk in FA.

We agree that the Twins should invest their offseason money in free agents who are young and whose best years are ahead of them. The problem is that these players are in the highest demand and are not what the FA market is flush with.

ThePuck
09-29-2013, 11:11 AM
Actually no it's not. We had a couple of bad drafts in that time frame and made two big mistakes with pending free agents. Admittedly, those mistakes are hindsight 20/20 type issues, but when it takes 4-6 years to develop quality major leaguers, 6 year old decisions make a pretty big difference.

Yeah, obviously we don't agree. If any team can still be so fiercely affected by decisions made on two players who haven't been on the team for 6 seasons, then that team wasn't put together well overall to begin with. They were handled poorly sure, and it negatively affected us, but those bad decisions end up being scapegoat much like how some want to blame everything on Smith.

So I'll stick to saying it's a ridiculous idea that we are in such bad shape now because of how we handled Hunter and Santana back in 2007. We have had institutional failure for years on this team. That is why we are where we are.

chopper0080
09-29-2013, 11:16 AM
Actually no it's not. We had a couple of bad drafts in that time frame and made two big mistakes with pending free agents. Admittedly, those mistakes are hindsight 20/20 type issues, but when it takes 4-6 years to develop quality major leaguers, 6 year old decisions make a pretty big difference.

But what you fail to acknowledge is that bad drafts and missed free agents happen to EVERY team. The best teams are the ones that go outside of their ideal model to compensate for these mistakes while losing teams use it as an excuse why they can't compete for several years. Last year the Twins had Morneau coming back from injury and Joe Mauer as a top hitter but no DH on the roster. While they have power on the way in their minor league system, wouldn't it make sense to sign a power option like Mike Napoli to mitigate the risk of Morneau and Mauer while also infusing the lineup with needed power? We saw last year what happens when you play prospect roulette. Hicks was disappointing and Arcia only showed flashes. Why not use free agency to bridge these gaps and allow Hicks to force his way onto the roster rather than keeping him struggling because we didn't have better options? Michael Bourne wasn't that costly and could have been dealt at the deadline if Hicks flourished.

chopper0080
09-29-2013, 11:23 AM
The Twins must make "a big splash" to change attitudes and restore competitiveness. September has shown what happens when a team "gives-up". Starting pitching is the primary need and must be the source of "the big splash". A second pitcher, at a typical Twins salary, would show that management is serious about addressing the problem. This "big splash player" will be expensive--but the bullet must be bitten (so to speak) or everyone including the players, will infer just another management song-and-dance for 2014. The entire team cannot be rebuild in a single year, therefore better talent must be added yearly.
The Twins, as well as everyone else has identified starting pitching as the primary need. Therefore, "the big splash" can only come from a starting pitcher, not an Ellsbury.

I don't believe they need to make a "big splash" but they need to address their needs which are numerous. "Smart splashes" would be smart, but free agency is tough for a team that is not attractive for free agents. We don't bring anything to the table other than money right now which is something that most teams offer. in the end, if we want to improve we will need to upgrade our pitching. Because we have been crappy in developing our own pitching, we will have to overpay to get it from an outside source. Those are the facts.

Side note. One would think that if you haven't been able to develop a quality pitcher in house over the past 6 years, you may want to change how your organization is acquiring and developing starting pitchers. Just a thought Twins.

beckmt
09-29-2013, 12:59 PM
I don't believe they need to make a "big splash" but they need to address their needs which are numerous. "Smart splashes" would be smart, but free agency is tough for a team that is not attractive for free agents. We don't bring anything to the table other than money right now which is something that most teams offer. in the end, if we want to improve we will need to upgrade our pitching. Because we have been crappy in developing our own pitching, we will have to overpay to get it from an outside source. Those are the facts.

Side note. One would think that if you haven't been able to develop a quality pitcher in house over the past 6 years, you may want to change how your organization is acquiring and developing starting pitchers. Just a thought Twins.
Some of that was institutional module(pitch to contact), some of that was bad luck in all the high draft pick pitchers had TJ surgery and lost time to get to the majors (one may never with the Twins). I agree with the new module of taking high school pitchers and not abusing them like college coaches and expecting a longer time to get here. Terry Ryan can change. Twins need to spend FA dollars on pitching and only pitching as we do not have the trade pieces to get pitching this winter. Like Josh Johnson and Lincecum(though I believe he will get a qualifying offer which I would not give up a second round pick in a deep draft to sign). The Twins will have to overpay(as will all clubs), so pick up the under or around 30 pitchers for the 3-4 year contracts. Hughes I do not like because he may not be able to beat the better power teams. If you want to take a chance on an older pitcher fine, but hold it to 1-2 years. Pelfrey would be better than most of the AAAA pitchers the Twins have. Use them at Rochester to give the fans there a ball club with a chance of making and doing well in the playoffs.

BHtwins
09-29-2013, 04:49 PM
I don't think losing Torii Hunter to free-agency has made one ounce of difference. Complete and absolute non-factor at this point in time.

The Santana trade was bad in a bad situation but Id argue the Garza-Bartlett for Young did more long-term damage, as was jettisoning JJ Hardy.

I have no hope at this point that anything changes and next year is a 90 loss season as well.

Also there is no 100% guarantee that those 4 of the top 75 turn into star caliber players. At one time Delmon Young was a BA #1

jokin
09-29-2013, 06:04 PM
.

So I'll stick to saying it's a ridiculous idea that we are in such bad shape now because of how we handled Hunter and Santana back in 2007. We have had institutional failure for years on this team. That is why we are where we are.

The handling of Hunter/Santana were not causal, merely symptoms of the actual disease within the organization, a disease of willingly misguided myopia and mendacious miserliness, that directly led Terry Ryan to abandon his post in his first go round at the helm. Needless to say, despite the "cure" that Target Field was claimed to be by ownership, the disease still runs rampant throughout the organization.

jokin
09-29-2013, 06:13 PM
I don't think losing Torii Hunter to free-agency has made one ounce of difference. Complete and absolute non-factor at this point in time.

The Santana trade was bad in a bad situation but Id argue the Garza-Bartlett for Young did more long-term damage, as was jettisoning JJ Hardy.

I have no hope at this point that anything changes and next year is a 90 loss season as well.

Also there is no 100% guarantee that those 4 of the top 75 turn into star caliber players. At one time Delmon Young was a BA #1

Well stated. People are betting big on the assumption hype that all of these prospects are going to magically sprinkle parade-inducing pixie dust when they all arrive in 2015......when in fact, a 50% return in all of our top prospects becoming impact players would be considered unusually high. And that number of producing prospects, in and of itself, simply won't be nearly enough to dig this team out of the whole it's dug for itself, despite what the optimists are wishcasting on Twins Daily.

Oxtung
09-29-2013, 07:26 PM
I haven't put my plan together yet but some ideas: I would go after Tanaka and sign Josh Johnson and/or Tim Lincecum. Both have the potential to be #1-3 pitchers on a staff. Even with Lincecum's "problems" he still is averaging 1 strike out an inning and his FIP and xFIP are in the 3's. I would toss money at them to entice them to a shorter contract then, if we're not competing, eat that salary in a trade (assuming they have pitched well enough to garner a trade). Or if they are amenable and they are pitching well look at working out a longer term contract.

I also think I would start asking about Chris Owings, Jurickson Profar, Alcantara (although trading with the Cubs is unlikely), and pitchers like Tyler Glasnow, Luis Heredia, Lucas Sims, Julio Urias and Lucas Giolito. Giolito and Urias are both very intriguing, Giolito because he might be a good buy low candidate (and he plays for the Nats with whom Ryan has a good working relationship) and Urias because he just seems destined to be a stud. He dominated A-ball as a 16 year old that already has a low 90's FB. I don't know if we match up well with any of those teams in particular but I would put Perkins and Mauer on the table, though I'm guessing Mauer's ship has sailed with this concussion.

On a longer term note I'm really hoping that Stuart Turner turns into a pitch framing stud and that he can hit enough to start.

ThePuck
09-29-2013, 07:30 PM
Why would Giolito be a buy low candidate? He's doing very well in the minors and was a first rounder.

Oxtung
09-29-2013, 08:13 PM
Why would Giolito be a buy low candidate? He's doing very well in the minors and was a first rounder.

That statement probably needed further explanation. He will definitely cost something of value but he has hardly pitched in the last 2 years after hurting his arm in HS that required TJ surgery. He only threw 36 innings this season and hasn't pitched in full season ball yet. He has some very serious risks attached to him currently. So if one is trying to acquire potential front-line starters, which I was looking for, he might be "cheap" in comparison to say Kyle Zimmer, Aaron Sanchez or Robert Stephenson. Dylan Bundy could be another "buy low" candidate coming off his surgery.

Given the Twins' current "stockpile" of tradeable talent it is going to be hard to acquire a top tier pitching prospect and so looking for a risk might be required.

ThePuck
09-29-2013, 08:17 PM
That statement probably needed further explanation. He will definitely cost something of value but he has hardly pitched in the last 2 years after hurting his arm in HS that required TJ surgery. He only threw 36 innings this season and hasn't pitched in full season ball yet. He has some very serious risks attached to him currently. So if one is trying to acquire potential front-line starters, which I was looking for, he might be "cheap" in comparison to say Kyle Zimmer, Aaron Sanchez or Robert Stephenson. Dylan Bundy could be another "buy low" candidate coming off his surgery.

Given the Twins' current "stockpile" of tradeable talent it is going to be hard to acquire a top tier pitching prospect and so looking for a risk might be required.

Thanks for the clarification.

howieramone
09-29-2013, 08:40 PM
That statement probably needed further explanation. He will definitely cost something of value but he has hardly pitched in the last 2 years after hurting his arm in HS that required TJ surgery. He only threw 36 innings this season and hasn't pitched in full season ball yet. He has some very serious risks attached to him currently. So if one is trying to acquire potential front-line starters, which I was looking for, he might be "cheap" in comparison to say Kyle Zimmer, Aaron Sanchez or Robert Stephenson. Dylan Bundy could be another "buy low" candidate coming off his surgery.

Given the Twins' current "stockpile" of tradeable talent it is going to be hard to acquire a top tier pitching prospect and so looking for a risk might be required.

I think it's a great idea, but maybe premature. I think we have to wait on our 10-20 prospects to play out before we will have the ammo. I have no problem using Perkins as our headliner at a trading deadline deal, but I can't see any other chips at this time. If we can get Butera deals from The Hammer and Doumit I'd be happy.

Oxtung
09-29-2013, 09:15 PM
I think it's a great idea, but maybe premature. I think we have to wait on our 10-20 prospects to play out before we will have the ammo. I have no problem using Perkins as our headliner at a trading deadline deal, but I can't see any other chips at this time. If we can get Butera deals from The Hammer and Doumit I'd be happy.

I think Aaron Gleeman hit the nail on the head when he said Perkins has less value at the trade deadline because teams are looking at relievers as 3 month rentals that don't cost much. They want the biggest bang for the littlest buck. I think Perkins value will be greatest during the off season because teams are making their longer term plans which would maximize his contract status. I would move him this off season probably.

beckmt
09-29-2013, 09:52 PM
Surprising how many of these posters want change for changes sake. You have to make good baseball deals and other GM's are not fools. Unless the Twins have another good closer in waiting(and at this time not sure one is on the club) would not trade Perkins now(it is a good thought depending on the return). Twins need pitching, pitching and more pitching. Will post more on this in my prospective for next year.

ScottyB
09-29-2013, 10:45 PM
7. Escobar is younger, so I think he has more room for growth. Could be wrong. that one was typed up but not that important either way I don't think.

Sorry to picks nits, but Florimon is just not suited to be a backup. Gardy tried him at second and third in ST, and he was very uncomfortable. He has 2 games away from SS in over 800 minor and major league league games. Escobar is comfortable and capable all over the infield and has some time in the OF. He was also our emergency catcher early in the season, when we had only Mauer and Doumit. Escobar's a Punto type - a decent utility guy, not a starter.

jorgenswest
09-29-2013, 11:32 PM
I would absolutely trade Perkins for a very good starting pitching or shortstop prospect. I am skeptical that any reliever would return a very good prospect at those positions.

Oxtung
09-30-2013, 12:09 AM
I would absolutely trade Perkins for a very good starting pitching or shortstop prospect. I am skeptical that any reliever would return a very good prospect at those positions.

I don't know that he would either but I would certainly be on the phones trying to make it happen. I would be willing to give up a prospect in return to balance out the trade if that would help. I would also be willing to eat Perkins' already small salary if that would do anything.

Another route I would look at is adding overpriced but still good players. Off the top of my head I'm not sure who still fits this bill though.

gunnarthor
09-30-2013, 09:20 AM
That statement probably needed further explanation. He will definitely cost something of value but he has hardly pitched in the last 2 years after hurting his arm in HS that required TJ surgery. He only threw 36 innings this season and hasn't pitched in full season ball yet. He has some very serious risks attached to him currently. So if one is trying to acquire potential front-line starters, which I was looking for, he might be "cheap" in comparison to say Kyle Zimmer, Aaron Sanchez or Robert Stephenson. Dylan Bundy could be another "buy low" candidate coming off his surgery.

Given the Twins' current "stockpile" of tradeable talent it is going to be hard to acquire a top tier pitching prospect and so looking for a risk might be required.

To add a bit to Oxtung's point on Giolito, the Nats also are in win-now mode and coming off a pretty disappointing season. Span and LaRoche have one year left on their contracts (w/options), Werth is getting older but is still pretty good. They have a really nice young but competitive nucleus. Whatever they decide is their flaw is, they have the resources to fix it. I don't think the Twins nec match up well with them (they seem to need on-base skills and a little health) but some other team might be able to get a guy like Giolito from them since they are making win-now moves (sorta like the Meyer/Span trade).

Hopefully, for the Twins, some team decides that Perkins is the final piece (maybe the Dodgers, Red Sox or Tigers bullpen can have an epic post season collapse) and we can get a nice piece pack.