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stringer bell
10-08-2013, 05:03 AM
I thought this article on Terry Ryan was pretty instructive. I think my favorite team has a GM stuck in the 90s, who seems to be "saving his chips" waiting for something that will never come--the perfect free agent. Here's a link to the article by Beradino: Minnesota Twins' Terry Ryan can run from free agency, but he can no longer hide - TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_24248817/twins-terry-ryan-can-run-from-free-agency)

If the link doesn't work, it is from yesterday's PP.

USAFChief
10-08-2013, 07:56 AM
The link works, thanks for posting.

More of the same from Ryan. Some will like it, some will hate it, but there's not much there he hasn't said before, IMO. Not sure if I've heard him say Corriea was an "overpay" before, but whatever.

One interesting new fact (new to me anyway)...season ticket sales were off 24% since 2011. Ouch.

howieramone
10-08-2013, 08:11 AM
I thought this article on Terry Ryan was pretty instructive. I think my favorite team has a GM stuck in the 90s, who seems to be "saving his chips" waiting for something that will never come--the perfect free agent. Here's a link to the article by Beradino: Minnesota Twins' Terry Ryan can run from free agency, but he can no longer hide - TwinCities.com (http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_24248817/twins-terry-ryan-can-run-from-free-agency)

If the link doesn't work, it is from yesterday's PP.

If you listen to Theo, Ryan sounds like a visionary. Theo in his own words is transparent, and much slicker, but he's using more or less the same process as Ryan. Seth recently posted, Ryan told him he would not take shortcuts. I don't know how he could have made it clearer than that. Ryan being human is going to make mistakes, and there are plenty of areas he can legitimately be criticized for, but the fact of the matter is you can not rebuild a mid-market Major League baseball team in 23 months.

gunnarthor
10-08-2013, 08:19 AM
The article doesn't really say much we didn't know, although I missed the "saving the chips" part. He's not going to spend money just to spend money.

Willihammer
10-08-2013, 08:21 AM
"That can be frustrating with fans," St. Peter said. "It can be frustrating at times, I think, even for our owner. Terry puts a value on certain players and on a way to build a team. We put a great deal of respect and, frankly, trust in Terry Ryan's approach."

Step 1. Lose a bunch of games
Step 2. hibernate through the winter
Step 3. Wake up, sign one of the stragglers before ST
Step 4. Draft High

Rinse and repeat

Alex
10-08-2013, 09:10 AM
If you listen to Theo, Ryan sounds like a visionary. Theo in his own words is transparent, and much slicker, but he's using more or less the same process as Ryan. Seth recently posted, Ryan told him he would not take shortcuts. I don't know how he could have made it clearer than that. Ryan being human is going to make mistakes, and there plenty of areas he can legitimately be criticized for, but the fact of the matter is you can not rebuild a mid-market Major League baseball team in 23 months.

I'd be curious to read the quotes about Theo you're referring to. Any links?

Alex
10-08-2013, 09:11 AM
The article doesn't really say much we didn't know, although I missed the "saving the chips" part. He's not going to spend money just to spend money.

Who is advocating that? I think most people would prefer he do his due diligence, evaluate players and make this team better. Almost any position on this team, with a couple of notable exceptions (C, 2B, maybe 1B depending on Mauer) could be upgraded easily.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 09:15 AM
Nobody is advocating that. I've never heard anyone come close to saying that. People who advocate spending more want players signed that can help the team win.

TheLeviathan
10-08-2013, 09:30 AM
Ryan has been saying this stuff for so long he has effectively mislead many, many people about FA. Yes, you don't build through FA, but it is one of only few viable means of improving your team. It isn't some vile thing only the desperate and incompetent dabble in. It can be a very effective way to make huge strides.

Let's hope we start seeing I.

stringer bell
10-08-2013, 09:34 AM
"Saving his chips" were my words. The point is that every free agent which fits Ryan's self-imposed limited budget is flawed. Ryan seems to constantly undervalue mid-tier guys and so the only ones that seriously consider coming to the Twins are the Correias and Pelfreys of the world. Rummaging around the bargain basement sometimes will net a productive player, but it can't be the only free agents added. Additionally, while the Twins farm system looks to have a lot of really, really good position players, I don't think there is enough pitching. They need to add starting pitching from outside the organization.

howieramone
10-08-2013, 09:39 AM
I'd be curious to read the quotes about Theo you're referring to. Any links?Tons. Google Theo Epstein once a week like I do. Don't read the ones where they wonder if his wife is Jewish.

JB_Iowa
10-08-2013, 09:47 AM
Dave St. Peter, at that same news conference announcing Gardenhire's return, proudly called Ryan "the most disciplined general manager in the game."

Being disciplined is good. Being stubborn is not.

When the question is only money, as it is with most free agents (let's face it, nobody is blocking much talent now), Ryan needs to lean toward the less stubborn side and take a few more risks.

Put your boss' money where his mouth is, Mr. Ryan. We'll all be watching this winter.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 09:52 AM
There seems to be an unusual obsession on Theo Epstein around here. He is not the gm of the cubs. Why his words keep getting compared to Ryan's is baffling. In any event, whatever the cubs are doing is whatever they are doing. Nothing at all to do with the twins.

Alex
10-08-2013, 10:02 AM
Tons. Google Theo Epstein once a week like I do. Don't read the ones where they question if his wife is Jewish.

Referring to the Cubs top 5 farm system: "Does it help us win big league games right now?" Epstein said. "No. But it will in the future."
- See more at: Chicago Cubs: Clock ticking for Theo Epstein - Chicago Tribune (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-29/sports/ct-spt-0930-cubs-epstein-20130930_1_cubs-prospects-president-theo-epstein-kris-bryant#sthash.vGRJihQe.dpuf)

"We need certain things that, in my opinion, we are more likely to find from someone outside the organization at this point,'' Epstein said. "Some things you just can't get from the status quo.'' - See more at: Chicago Cubs: If Theo Epstein is unable to hire Joe Girardi to replace Dale Sveum, he risks compounding his mistake - Chicago Tribune (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-01/sports/ct-spt-1001-haugh-column-20131001_1_cubs-way-theo-epstein-starlin-castro#sthash.BRBhdBPZ.dpuf)

On free agency: http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/09/18/theo-epstein-speaks-free-agent-binging-on-base-needing-players-regressing-baez-baezing/

Now, I had a hard time seeing where Terry Ryan sounds like a visionary, even if his quotes about Free Agency sound very similar. However, as the last article states, he actually did acquire some free agents. They certainly have an opposite view of changing managers and he lays out a pretty clear plan for offense and the types of players he goes after.

He's been on pretty much the same clock as Ryan and, imo, has been far more active, though he's be met with comparable lack of success.

Now, the question is should we care? Not really. I'm focused on the Twins and what Ryan can do. To that end, I agree with stringer bell's assessment and the fact that he's been so passive has been concerning. I'll continue to advocate that rebuilding does not require consecutive 96+ loss seasons.

gunnarthor
10-08-2013, 10:24 AM
"Saving his chips" were my words. The point is that every free agent which fits Ryan's self-imposed limited budget is flawed. Ryan seems to constantly undervalue mid-tier guys and so the only ones that seriously consider coming to the Twins are the Correias and Pelfreys of the world. Rummaging around the bargain basement sometimes will net a productive player, but it can't be the only free agents added. Additionally, while the Twins farm system looks to have a lot of really, really good position players, I don't think there is enough pitching. They need to add starting pitching from outside the organization.

Sure, and Ryan will sign some pitchers. But who exactly do you think we should be targeting? Pretend you were the GM a year ago. What would you have done differently? I think too many people think free agency is more than what it is, the finishing touches for creating a contending team.

Siehbiscuit
10-08-2013, 10:25 AM
One of the more interesting things to me this off-season will be what the team does at 1B and 3B. Last year, nearly everone (including myself) wanted Parmalee and Plouffe to get full-time at bats. Plouffe certainly did and he failed miserably, so that experiment has got to end. Why not go after a veteran like Mark Reynolds to play third base until June, when Sano comes up? He can also serve as DH and play some 1B. If he gets hot, he has some trade deadline value. If he doesn't, well it's a one year deal and Sano is up any way. The issues for me are the non-moves, not the actual ones he's making. Don't block our prospects, but don't be content with the lineup as is.

amjgt
10-08-2013, 10:28 AM
Terry seems to be making it easier to use his own words against him.

We know the 2012 Revenue was $214mil - Let's just conservatively assume that stays the same in 2013 & 14 (lower attendance but more TV monies).

52% of $214mil = $111.28mil

If we did nothing in the offseason our payroll would be almost exactly half of that.

How, exactly does Terry plan to approach 52% of revenue going to payroll if he doesn't aggressively pursue free agents?

We aren't idiots.

I can see the quote coming now... "We weren't comfortable getting up to 52% of revenue with our payroll, with the free agents that were available"

Well, Terry, then maybe you should have supplemented a little bit the last couple years by spending on some of the young-ish free agents that were available, with some 5-6 year contracts, instead of waiting until you were $55mil away from your target.

They really pigeon holed themselves with the "52%" comment years ago. More and more, I get the feeling Bill Smith wanted to actually adhere to that statement and it ended up costing him his job.

howieramone
10-08-2013, 10:36 AM
Good job Alex you found the right articles. I like what Theo said about offense and the types of players he goes after also. He clearly has a plan and he does explain it well. I believe rebuilding requires the 2nd, 4th, and 5th draft picks consecutively.

JB_Iowa
10-08-2013, 11:14 AM
I think too many people think free agency is more than what it is, the finishing touches for creating a contending team.

I think it can be more than that. In the case of the Twins, it can be a way of "bridging the gap" while waiting for prospects to arrive.

I have wondered why this tweet from Howard Sinker during the October 1 Twins conference call with season ticket holders hasn't gotten more play on Twins Daily:

Howard Sinker ‏@afansview (https://twitter.com/afansview) 1 Oct
Fan tells Gardy his team lacks clubhouse leader. Gardy: Just because you're a veteran doesn't mean you're a leader. We're in search of that. (https://twitter.com/afansview/status/385195782162243584)

The Twins could very well use free agency to bring in someone who can provide that leadership. I'd have to go out and look at the boards on whose available and I havent' done that yet but Free Agency would certainly be a perfect way to fill that need.

IdahoPilgrim
10-08-2013, 11:19 AM
If you listen to Theo, Ryan sounds like a visionary. Theo in his own words is transparent, and much slicker, but he's using more or less the same process as Ryan. Seth recently posted, Ryan told him he would not take shortcuts. I don't know how he could have made it clearer than that. Ryan being human is going to make mistakes, and there plenty of areas he can legitimately be criticized for, but the fact of the matter is you can not rebuild a mid-market Major League baseball team in 23 months.

I was on vacation the other day, driving around, and I caught Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio. He said basically saying same thing (he was referring to the Cubs franchise), that rebuilding a MLB team is far more difficult than in the other major sports, because the draft only produces results a few years down the road, not immediately, and because adding one or two quality players has less of an effect in baseball than in the other major sports.

I'm not taking a position on whether Ryan is handling the rebuild correctly or not (although I do tend to favor the build-from-within approach) but I do think it is too early to judge his efforts. A realistic goal for next year would be to win 80 games, and then contend in 2015.

Alex
10-08-2013, 12:31 PM
Good job Alex you found the right articles. I like what Theo said about offense and the types of players he goes after also. He clearly has a plan and he does explain it well. I believe rebuilding requires the 2nd, 4th, and 5th draft picks consecutively.

How convenient! :) Plenty of mid-market teams or less have been able to rebuild and do so while being competitive without a single pick that high.

As others have mentioned, if you're just using the draft it's going to be a long wait for those players. Luckily for Ryan, Buxton is moving very quickly and the previous GM already had other seeds of the rebuild in place before he arrived otherwise it would be an even longer wait (assuming all works out).

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-08-2013, 01:31 PM
Something good to keep in mind:

Formula for making playoffs: There's not one | MLB.com: News (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/formula-for-making-playoffs-theres-not-one?ymd=20131007&content_id=62507386&vkey=news_mlb)

Major Leauge Ready
10-08-2013, 03:17 PM
I have this perception that FAs are generally not a very good value and that they are unlikely to get us over the hump so to speak. Of course, we all know that it is not hard to put together numbers to support whatever you like. For example, we are all aware that there have been many failures with FA SPs but it is not my goal to prove that it can be a gigantic failure. So, let’s save SPs for last. Let’s look at the top position players from the past two years. I was interested to see what they produced in terms of WAR and also their production per dollar spent. In other words, how much salary does it cost to add one WAR in free agency.

-----------------Years/Salary - AVE --- War -- $/WAR

2013 J. Hamilton- 5 - 123 --- 24.6 --- 1.9 -- 12.9
2013 M. Bourn -- 4 --- 48 --- 12.0 --- 2.0 -- 6.0
2013 N. Swisher- 4 --- 56 --- 14.0 --- 2.4 --- 5.8
2013 BJ Upton--- 5 --- 75 --- 15.0 ---(0.6) -- N/A
2012 A. Pujols-- 10 -- 250 --- 25.0 --- 0.7 --- 35.7
2012 P. Fielder--- 9 -- 214 --- 23.8 --- 2.2 --- 10.8
2012 Jose Reyes- 6 -- 106 --- 17.7 --- 2.2 --- 8.0
2012 A. Ramirez- 3 -- 36 ----- 12.0 --- 1. 4 --- 8.6
TOTAL ....................... 908 ---- 144 ---- 12
AVERAGE ......... 5.8 - 113.5 --- 18.0 --- 1.5

11.8 per 1 WAR

WAR production for this group was 1.5 wins/player at a cost of 11.8M per WAR.

What about FA pitching? I think it is safe to say that had Ryan would have gone wild and signed Greinke and Jackson, many fans would have done back flips of joy. The two of them produce a combined WAR of 4.9 with a combined salary of $37.5/yr. .

So, if we spend $60M on free agents and our success is on par with the last two year’s FAs, am I being pessimistic to believe it won’t help much if we spend 50M?

Alex
10-08-2013, 03:27 PM
I have this perception that FAs are generally not a very good value and that they are unlikely to get us over the hump so to speak. Of course, we all know that it is not hard to put together numbers to support whatever you like. For example, we are all aware that there have been many failures with FA SPs but it is not my goal to prove that it can be a gigantic failure. So, let’s save SPs for last. Let’s look at the top position players from the past two years. I was interested to see what they produced in terms of WAR and also their production per dollar spent. In other words, how much salary does it cost to add one WAR in free agency.

YEARS SALARY AVE War $/WAR

2013 J. Hamilton 5 --- 123 --- 24.6 --- 1.9 12.9
2013 M. Bourn 4 --- 48 --- 12.0 --- 2.0 6.0
2013 N. Swisher 4 --- 56 --- 14.0 --- 2.4 5.8
2013 BJ Upton 5 --- 75 --- 15.0 ---(0.6) N/A
2012 A. Pujols 10 --- 250 --- 25.0 --- 0.7 35.7
2012 P. Fielder 9 --- 214 --- 23.8 --- 2.2 10.8
2012 Jose Reyes 6 --- 106 --- 17.7 --- 2.2 8.0
2012 A. Ramirez 3 --- 36 --- 12.0 --- 1. 4 8.6
TOTAL ................. 908 144 12
AVERAGE .... 5.8 113.5 18.0 1.5

11.8 per 1 WAR

WAR production for this group was 1.5 wins/player at a cost of 11.8M per WAR.

What about FA pitching? I think it is safe to say that had Ryan would have gone wild and signed Greinke and Jackson, many fans would have done back flips of joy. The two of them produce a combined WAR of 4.9 with a combined salary of $37.5/yr. .

So, if we spend $60M on free agents and our success is on par with the last two year’s FAs, am I being pessimistic to believe it won’t help much if we spend 50M?

Yes, in that a I think every one of those players would have been an improvement for the Twins.

It's no secret that FA are both high risk and tend to be overpaid in dollar amount vs. WAR (and it looks like about 2x as much as one would expect), and taking basically just the highest paid FA is going to scew that quite a bit.

Either way, eschewing FA as a rule is just an option the Twins don't have. They need to find some help out there or they'll lose more fans.

drivlikejehu
10-08-2013, 03:29 PM
The risks of free agency are well known. But the question remains why a Twins fan should prefer for Pohlad to pocket the money rather than trying to improve the team, even if its just from 66 wins to the low 70s. The point of losing more, on purpose, to further enrich a billionaire just doesn't make sense to me.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 03:52 PM
If you have a whole team of replacement level players (0.0 WAR), they are expected to win 52 games (some mention 48 wins). The more players you can get into the positive WAR side, the better chance you have of doing better. Not only that, but getting a quality starting pitcher may have a trickle down effect on the WAR of bullpen members (less wear, better quality). If a player has to play out of his normal position, let's say a 2B has to play shortstop, because he's the best option at shortstop, his WAR is likely affected (because of the defense part); however, if you get a proper shortstop in there, that likely improves the WAR of the shortstop position and, with the move back to 2B, the WAR of the player previously out of position. Makes no sense to not go after as many quality players as possible because it's not just their WAR you take into account, but the effect having a player like that may effect other players WAR as well.

Rosterman
10-08-2013, 04:01 PM
I just keep getting in trouble thinking about that 52%.

What is the breakdown of the other 48%:
- Twins administrations
- Tickets/Sales/Marketing
- Scouting
- Minor League Player Development (players, coaches, facilities)
- Draft picks monies ($6 million or so)
- International signings ($3 million or so)
- Stadium operations
- Payment to City/State
- Concessions cost vs. profit

How do the Twins arrive at $200 million in revenue:
- ticket sales
- advertising
- shared MLB monies
- media

Any ideas on numbers for any of the above categories?

gunnarthor
10-08-2013, 04:16 PM
The risks of free agency are well known. But the question remains why a Twins fan should prefer for Pohlad to pocket the money rather than trying to improve the team, even if its just from 66 wins to the low 70s. The point of losing more, on purpose, to further enrich a billionaire just doesn't make sense to me.

Nobody wants the Polhads to get richer. Screw them. I hate them. But that doesn't mean you have to ignore the obvious - that the Twins are rebuilding and it doesn't make sense to spend much in FA to go from a 96 loss team to a 90 loss team. I have yet to see anyone suggest a reasonably likely scenario that Ryan could have done last year after the season that was better than what he did do.

USAFChief
10-08-2013, 04:43 PM
Nobody wants the Polhads to get richer. Screw them. I hate them. But that doesn't mean you have to ignore the obvious - that the Twins are rebuilding and it doesn't make sense to spend much in FA to go from a 96 loss team to a 90 loss team. I have yet to see anyone suggest a reasonably likely scenario that Ryan could have done last year after the season that was better than what he did do.
Even if all he had done was improve a 96 loss team to a 90 loss team, that would mean he's starting this winter's work with a team that is 6 wins better than what he has to work with now.

I strongly disagree with the often stated position that free agency is only to supply the "finishing touche" to a team that is already good. Free agency is a way to add talent to ANY team and should be used regularly...just like the draft, etc.

Ignoring free agency, whether dumpster diving or adding premier talent, should never be an option.

Major Leauge Ready
10-08-2013, 05:22 PM
Even if all he had done was improve a 96 loss team to a 90 loss team, that would mean he's starting this winter's work with a team that is 6 wins better than what he has to work with now.

I strongly disagree with the often stated position that free agency is only to supply the "finishing touche" to a team that is already good. Free agency is a way to add talent to ANY team and should be used regularly...just like the draft, etc.

Ignoring free agency, whether dumpster diving or adding premier talent, should never be an option.

No, if you would signed the free agents mention, you would have spent your entire budget and would have to hope for improvement from within. You would also need to hope the performance of the FA you hired did not decline.

For the record, I think they should spend the money. I don't think anyone advocates the Twins should ignore FA. Based on the reports from last year, the Twins were very active. We can say they did not get the job done if you think the job is signing a FA at any cost. I think the job is getting production per dollar spent because you are going to get beat if you don't given many other teams can outspend us. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you pass on.


Having said the above, this has little to do with the point I was trying to make. FA spending gets more attention and division than any other topic and the numbers in the previous post are very telling IMO in terms of the relative potential impact of FA for a mid-market or small market team. As the A's and Ray's have demonstrated, drafting and developing talent, especially SPs is the most fundamental element of sucess in MLB. I am far more concerned about scouting, drafting, development, and locking the right players up early in the manner utilized by the Rays. I don't care if they ever sign a $12M/yr FA as long as they draft and retain the right talent. Follow the same model as the As and Rays with an extra $30 or 40M to spend on retention and we would be in great shape.

The Wise One
10-08-2013, 05:26 PM
There seems to be an unusual obsession on Theo Epstein around here. He is not the gm of the cubs. Why his words keep getting compared to Ryan's is baffling. In any event, whatever the cubs are doing is whatever they are doing. Nothing at all to do with the twins.

IIRC there was a ton of praise thrown Epstien's way about his use of Sabermetrics, signing a lot of international players, signing and trading free agents, and in general calling him everything great and Terry Ryan is not this season. There will be comparisons to how different approaches work over the same period of time. Epstien in his role would appear to have a lot more oversight and direction to his GM so it is easy to forget there is a GM in Chicago. Epstien's role looks from the outside to be similar to Ryan's.

So if whatever the Cubs are doing has nothing to do with the Twins, your complaint is long overdue.

Whatever Epstien has directed has not produced results any better than what Ryan has produced and thus takes away an avenue to criticize Ryan. I would suspect a few people are not happy about that. I would also think that a few people after the past in season lovefest for all things Cubs are happy to point out said failures as an "excuse" for the Twins not doing similar to what the Cubs are doing.

drivlikejehu
10-08-2013, 05:38 PM
The Twins #1 problem is their failure to develop their own players. That's also the most important aspect of any potential rebuild. But free agency gets at a more fundamental issue, which is the committment to putting the best team on the field. Coming in way under 'budget', refusing to change with the times, an often-troubling approach to injured players, and other issues all go back to the core values of the organization.

The Twins are not very far from being a more PR-savvy Marlins at this point. Of course they would love to turn things around on the cheap - who wouldn't? Twins fans just deserve better than the half-hearted turnaround effort going on right now.

USAFChief
10-08-2013, 05:58 PM
No, if you would signed the free agents mention, you would have spent your entire budget and would have to hope for improvement from within.


I think the job is getting production per dollar spent



Re point 1 above: How is that different than not spending money and hoping solely for improvement from within?

Re point 2: I think the job is production...i.e. wins. Actual wins, on the baseball field. I have little interest in winning the Fangraphs "wins/dollar spent" prize.

Thrylos
10-08-2013, 06:03 PM
the fact of the matter is you can not rebuild a mid-market Major League baseball team in 23 months.

The Baltimore Orioles (2011-2012), Cleveland Indians (2012-2013), Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2013), Boston Red Sox (2012-2013; ok they are not mid-market), Detroit Tigers (2005-2006) will disagree.

Lots and lots of examples of rebuilding in a season or two, but they all required drastic change of FO and field management personnel. If you don't do that, you cannot rebuild in 1-2 years. That simple.

The Wise One
10-08-2013, 06:57 PM
The Baltimore Orioles (2011-2012), Cleveland Indians (2012-2013), Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2013), Boston Red Sox (2012-2013; ok they are not mid-market), Detroit Tigers (2005-2006) will disagree.

Lots and lots of examples of rebuilding in a season or two, but they all required drastic change of FO and field management personnel. If you don't do that, you cannot rebuild in 1-2 years. That simple.
Detroit had 19 years between playoffs, Cleveland 5 years, Baltimore 14 years. That is how long it took them to rebuild. How much of Boston losing can be pinned on bad manager?

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 07:07 PM
IIRC there was a ton of praise thrown Epstien's way about his use of Sabermetrics, signing a lot of international players, signing and trading free agents, and in general calling him everything great and Terry Ryan is not this season. There will be comparisons to how different approaches work over the same period of time. Epstien in his role would appear to have a lot more oversight and direction to his GM so it is easy to forget there is a GM in Chicago. Epstien's role looks from the outside to be similar to Ryan's.

So if whatever the Cubs are doing has nothing to do with the Twins, your complaint is long overdue.

Whatever Epstien has directed has not produced results any better than what Ryan has produced and thus takes away an avenue to criticize Ryan. I would suspect a few people are not happy about that. I would also think that a few people after the past in season lovefest for all things Cubs are happy to point out said failures as an "excuse" for the Twins not doing similar to what the Cubs are doing.

Epstein and his management team hadn't worked for the Cubs before being hired in 2011 like Ryan had and, therefore, didn't contribute to the problems he inherited when he took over like Ryan had. They are a different market, and a different league...and, of course, the aforementioned fact he isn't even the GM.

It's my recollection that while some did like some of the approaches the Cubs have instituted, that focus was more on their aggressiveness in the international market this year, with some love for getting FAs that could be used as assets later on. Seems to be more love around here for the way the As, Cards and Rays do things than for the way the Cubs do thing, as a whole.

Major Leauge Ready
10-08-2013, 07:30 PM
Re point 1 above: How is that different than not spending money and hoping solely for improvement from within?

Re point 2: I think the job is production...i.e. wins. Actual wins, on the baseball field. I have little interest in winning the Fangraphs "wins/dollar spent" prize.

I have never suggested and I don't think anyone else has suggested they not spend. In the context of the keys to building a consistent winner on a mid-market budget, free agent spending is not all that important in relative terms. We should all be far more focused on what went wrong in drafting and development. I am far more concerned with what they have done to improve scouting, drafting and development personnel as well as the processes associated with these functions.

Alex
10-08-2013, 07:31 PM
Detroit had 19 years between playoffs, Cleveland 5 years, Baltimore 14 years. That is how long it took them to rebuild. How much of Boston losing can be pinned on bad manager?

Those aren't rebuilds. Those are terribly run organizations for extended periods of time.

I'd point to the Cardinals, Athletics, and Giants, all of whom are comparable to or worse off than the Twins. They've managed to rebuild without bottoming out for multiple years over the last 20.

As for Boston, whether or not you want to blame it on the manager, that's something the Twins haven't changed.

gunnarthor
10-08-2013, 09:12 PM
Those aren't rebuilds. Those are terribly run organizations for extended periods of time.

I'd point to the Cardinals, Athletics, and Giants, all of whom are comparable to or worse off than the Twins. They've managed to rebuild without bottoming out for multiple years over the last 20.

As for Boston, whether or not you want to blame it on the manager, that's something the Twins haven't changed.

Not really sure how comparable the Giants and Cards are. They had huge financial advantages over the Twins in that period of time. Only really in the last few seasons have the Twins been at a similar (although generally smaller) levels.

Twins and A's have both managed 9 seasons above .500 in the last 20 years. Twins finished dead last 4x, Oakland 5x. I guess you can say Oakland's worst seasons weren't as bad, record-wise, as the Twins.

The Wise One
10-08-2013, 09:20 PM
Epstein and his management team hadn't worked for the Cubs before being hired in 2011 like Ryan had and, therefore, didn't contribute to the problems he inherited when he took over like Ryan had. They are a different market, and a different league...and, of course, the aforementioned fact he isn't even the GM.

It's my recollection that while some did like some of the approaches the Cubs have instituted, that focus was more on their aggressiveness in the international market this year, with some love for getting FAs that could be used as assets later on. Seems to be more love around here for the way the As, Cards and Rays do things than for the way the Cubs do thing, as a whole.

What the A's, Cards and Rays have done shows that you can't rebuild in a short period of time. They also show that to get premier talent you have to trade premier talent. Building in that manner does not happen quickly. A couple of bad trades of the premier talent will set you way back. That is something these teams have not done.
What was the last international free agent of the 16 year old variety Epstien signed that made it to the big leagues? Last trade his organization made that brought success was 2008?

TheLeviathan
10-08-2013, 09:35 PM
What the A's, Cards and Rays have done shows that you can't rebuild in a short period of time. They also show that to get premier talent you have to trade premier talent. Building in that manner does not happen quickly. A couple of bad trades of the premier talent will set you way back. That is something these teams have not done.
What was the last international free agent of the 16 year old variety Epstien signed that made it to the big leagues? Last trade his organization made that brought success was 2008?

Epstein and Ryan aren't comparable. Ryan is taking back over a mess he has a large hand in creating. Epstein was taking over for a previous regime that made awful decisions. Epstein also had virtually nothing to build around whereas Ryan had Mauer, Sano, Kepler, Rosario, and others already on his team when he started a second time. We'll see if Epstein can build the Cubs back up from the husk that he inherited. But Ryan had a much more favorable position coming in, the comparisons aren't fair you're using.

As for Ryan himself, it is a problem that Ryan is afraid to make big trades like the ones you mention. He's resistant to dealing premier talent and resistant to dealing for it. I'd argue that one of the reasons he doesn't make a lot of mistakes is he doesn't take any risks.

The question you have to ask is - if other GMs can take risks and avoid major mistakes - does Ryan not do it because he's not as competent as those GMs at avoiding mistakes? Ryan gets a lot of credit for not making back-breaking decisions, but one could argue he only avoids those because he's little more than an average GM whose aware of it and avoids exposing it. In my opinion, it's ok to expect successful risk-taking from a "good" GM. We should demand that of Ryan as well.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 09:43 PM
What the A's, Cards and Rays have done shows that you can't rebuild in a short period of time. They also show that to get premier talent you have to trade premier talent. Building in that manner does not happen quickly. A couple of bad trades of the premier talent will set you way back. That is something these teams have not done.
What was the last international free agent of the 16 year old variety Epstien signed that made it to the big leagues? Last trade his organization made that brought success was 2008?

Your point, whatever that is, is all over the place. Going to try and figure it out here. What does Epstein's previous success (or lack thereof) in the international FA market have to do with what the Cubs GM (not Epstein) is doing now? The aggressiveness is what is being lauded, the aggressiveness. We have no idea how successful this year's aggressiveness in the international FA market by the Cubs will turn out for another 5 years or so. Or do you?

As far as the moves being made by HOYER, what does that have to do with what Epstein did in Boston when he put final pieces in place for a W Series Championship and later a 2nd W Series Championship a few years later?

Again, you argument is all over the place...your point vague. I think you're trying to do an I told you so to someone that you believe you have a case for, but barring that I still don't know why some continue to compare. There is no comparison. There certainly is no comparison when talking about success as a GM between Epstein and Ryan...but now they don't even have the same position. Need to start comparing HOYER to RYAN.

The Wise One
10-08-2013, 09:48 PM
Those aren't rebuilds. Those are terribly run organizations for extended periods of time.

I'd point to the Cardinals, Athletics, and Giants, all of whom are comparable to or worse off than the Twins. They've managed to rebuild without bottoming out for multiple years over the last 20.

As for Boston, whether or not you want to blame it on the manager, that's something the Twins haven't changed.

The claim was you can't rebuild from where the Twins are at in 23 months. Thyrlos claimed they rebuilt in 23 months. I simply stated how he was wrong. While the teams you mentioned did rebuild and had not fallen as far as the Twins have at any point, that really is of little consequence at this point. Even now as the Giants need to rebuild again they have 4 things the Twins do not. A RF, 1B, and Ace with a #2 starter. Ryan is the general manager, Smith was. What was done was done. Going forward Ryan is the GM. Either he and his team rebuild the Twins or they don't. From the point he took back over the team the cupboard was pretty bare. Some things he is going to have to change from how he did it before. He is going to have to spend more. The whole process is going to take time. Ryan is going to have to learn how to judge the free agent market better. He is loathe to sign free agents that are marginally better than the players he has. If he wants the Twins to be near .500 that will have to change. I doubt the fans will come out strong for that kind of team but others posting seem to want that. My impression is Pohlad wants a team that will sell out Target Field and make him money. That is going to be difficult to do for next year. A lot will depend on the market for players in the mid tier range. Ryan has got to find a few that fall between the cracks like Cleveland did for short term success. Ryan doesn't usually work that way, but that too will have to change. Ryan will be the GM and Gardenhire the coach for the next 2 years. If there is no success beyond what the prospects bring, they will be gone after that.

The Wise One
10-08-2013, 10:07 PM
Epstein and Ryan aren't comparable. Ryan is taking back over a mess he has a large hand in creating. Epstein was taking over for a previous regime that made awful decisions. Epstein also had virtually nothing to build around whereas Ryan had Mauer, Sano, Kepler, Rosario, and others already on his team when he started a second time. We'll see if Epstein can build the Cubs back up from the husk that he inherited. But Ryan had a much more favorable position coming in, the comparisons aren't fair you're using.

As for Ryan himself, it is a problem that Ryan is afraid to make big trades like the ones you mention. He's resistant to dealing premier talent and resistant to dealing for it. I'd argue that one of the reasons he doesn't make a lot of mistakes is he doesn't take any risks.

The question you have to ask is - if other GMs can take risks and avoid major mistakes - does Ryan not do it because he's not as competent as those GMs at avoiding mistakes? Ryan gets a lot of credit for not making back-breaking decisions, but one could argue he only avoids those because he's little more than an average GM whose aware of it and avoids exposing it. In my opinion, it's ok to expect successful risk-taking from a "good" GM. We should demand that of Ryan as well.

Garza, Rizzo, Soto, Santana, Samardzija, Dempster, Wood were all such poor players. You are right. Epstien had nothing when he took over the Cubs. Funny you can only mention one player on the major league roster over the last 2 years as an asset and no others playing above A ball when he took back over. Ryan got lucky that Blanton and Saunders did not want to play here. How many others rejected overtures. And no, I don't have any idea who he asked either. He took a risk that Willingham would stay healthy. He took a risk that Doumit could maintain an .800 OPS. He took a risk that Pelfrey would come back quickly from major surgery. How do you know he did not negotiate with any other players?
Resisting dealing premier talent? What premier talent? Mauer has a no trade clause. Span and Revere are good players no longer in a Twins uniform. Did he have any premier talent in A+or above last winter? Hicks.The other centerfielders were traded, couldn't deal Hicks. Who should have he dealt the last 2 years? Premier talent. Willingham? The winter before he was bargain basement. You think somebody would give up premier talent back for 1 good year? After Revere and Span there was nothing left to deal.

Major Leauge Ready
10-08-2013, 10:16 PM
Not really sure how comparable the Giants and Cards are. They had huge financial advantages over the Twins in that period of time. Only really in the last few seasons have the Twins been at a similar (although generally smaller) levels.

Twins and A's have both managed 9 seasons above .500 in the last 20 years. Twins finished dead last 4x, Oakland 5x. I guess you can say Oakland's worst seasons weren't as bad, record-wise, as the Twins.

I am glad you pointed out that it is a common occurence here to site the Twins spending habits pre-Target Field in arguing a current point, whatever it might be. It will take a few years and the completion of the rebuilding process before we can determine if the FO is willing to spend the additional revenue. Everyone seems to have forgotten the first thing they did with their increased revenue was sign Mauer to a 184M dollar contract. And, I thought that a lower payroll was considered a normal product of rebuiling given a rebuilding team is going to have more players in pre-arbitration years.

I wonder if the Houston fans expect them to go out a drop $70M in free agency so that they are at their max budget?

Alex
10-08-2013, 10:56 PM
Not really sure how comparable the Giants and Cards are. They had huge financial advantages over the Twins in that period of time. Only really in the last few seasons have the Twins been at a similar (although generally smaller) levels.

Twins and A's have both managed 9 seasons above .500 in the last 20 years. Twins finished dead last 4x, Oakland 5x. I guess you can say Oakland's worst seasons weren't as bad, record-wise, as the Twins.

Seems that several people miss the point of this comparison. I'm comparing the Twins and their situation in last three/four years to those teams. I'm not using the Twins previous years because they aren't relevant, especially to the Giants and Cardinals (the A's have been in a worse situation than the twins current one for a long time). I'd argue that's reasonable.

The point is this: The Twins' current situation is comparable to those three teams (or better in the case of the As) financially. In the last 20 years, you'd think they'd have gone through something similar, but they haven't, so to argue these awful two or three seasons HAD to be part of the normal rebuilding for a mid-market team is just plain false. And while we're using .500 as the bench mark, these teams found ways to avoid being completely awful even in losing seasons. I really don't get how this is debatable.

The Wise One
10-09-2013, 12:30 AM
Your point, whatever that is, is all over the place. Going to try and figure it out here. What does Epstein's previous success (or lack thereof) in the international FA market have to do with what the Cubs GM (not Epstein) is doing now? The aggressiveness is what is being lauded, the aggressiveness. We have no idea how successful this year's aggressiveness in the international FA market by the Cubs will turn out for another 5 years or so. Or do you?

As far as the moves being made by HOYER, what does that have to do with what Epstein did in Boston when he put final pieces in place for a W Series Championship and later a 2nd W Series Championship a few years later?

Again, you argument is all over the place...your point vague. I think you're trying to do an I told you so to someone that you believe you have a case for, but barring that I still don't know why some continue to compare. There is no comparison. There certainly is no comparison when talking about success as a GM between Epstein and Ryan...but now they don't even have the same position. Need to start comparing HOYER to RYAN.

Ever find a quote about what Hoyer thinks on how the Cubs should run? Easy to find quotes about what Epstien thinks.
You said how they brought in all of these international free agents as a sign of doing good work. Excuse for asking how the results of his past work turned out. He signed a lot of players. Woo hoo. How good was his past work? Ryan's past work appears to be game for criticism, but not what Epstien has done?
You said how great the trades were by the Cubs. Did it improve their team dramatically in the last two years? When was the last time an organaization with Epstien made a great trade 08?
It really isn't a comparison of individuals but organizations. By placing names of people rather than organization it does give you a way to obscure the argument.

The Wise One
10-09-2013, 12:33 AM
Seems that several people miss the point of this comparison. I'm comparing the Twins and their situation in last three/four years to those teams. I'm not using the Twins previous years because they aren't relevant, especially to the Giants and Cardinals (the A's have been in a worse situation than the twins current one for a long time). I'd argue that's reasonable.

The point is this: The Twins' current situation is comparable to those three teams (or better in the case of the As) financially. In the last 20 years, you'd think they'd have gone through something similar, but they haven't, so to argue these awful two or three seasons HAD to be part of the normal rebuilding for a mid-market team is just plain false. And while we're using .500 as the bench mark, these teams found ways to avoid being completely awful even in losing seasons. I really don't get how this is debatable.

Yes the current team resources could be compared to the Giants. Some of the issues that led to the current state can be tied to the time less than 5 years ago when they were not on an equall footing.

North Dakota Twins Fan
10-09-2013, 01:20 AM
I am still a believer in Terry Ryan. I agree with the "Saving our chips" and I think that is what we are doing. I think this team will have a higher payroll next year. Ryan as said before "This organization needs pitchers" and I agree.
The only thing is when we are making a run in 2015 with Buxton and Sano and company, we need better caliber free agent signings. Signings like Pelfrey and Correa wont cut it and, as we all know, are not even close to what we need.

TheLeviathan
10-09-2013, 06:14 AM
Garza, Rizzo, Soto, Santana, Samardzija, Dempster, Wood were all such poor players.

Wait....did your list include the husk of Kerry Wood and Geovanny Soto? Yeesh. Ignoring that - Epstein traded for Rizzo and, going even further. Would you trade Sano for all 7 of these players? Because I might not. I certainly wouldn't deal Mauer for them. Ryan had much more to work with. That's not a shot against him, more a shot at how god awful the Cubs were ran for a long time.


And no, I don't have any idea who he asked either.

Then I'm failing to see the point. None of the players you listed represented a significant risk or a premier player. He's had many in his tenure and has never dealt one. You could argue timing, but we get into this with Ryan a lot: people say "Ryan's just never done that because A, B, C, etc". Well, yeah. He's never done it - so can we stop assuming he will? He's had a helluva long tenure to establish trends. More than most GMs get.

Again I ask you to consider - does he avoid risks because he knows they'll fail or because he doesn't know the right ones to take?

ThePuck
10-09-2013, 06:48 AM
Ever find a quote about what Hoyer thinks on how the Cubs should run? Easy to find quotes about what Epstien thinks.
You said how they brought in all of these international free agents as a sign of doing good work. Excuse for asking how the results of his past work turned out. He signed a lot of players. Woo hoo. How good was his past work? Ryan's past work appears to be game for criticism, but not what Epstien has done?
You said how great the trades were by the Cubs. Did it improve their team dramatically in the last two years? When was the last time an organaization with Epstien made a great trade 08?
It really isn't a comparison of individuals but organizations. By placing names of people rather than organization it does give you a way to obscure the argument.

Wait, I'm obscuring an argument I wasn't even making in the first place? I said that they shouldn't be compared, and now I'm doing something different to obscure the argument? You want me to debate an argument that I not only didn't make, but I made a point of saying shouldn't even be an argument.

Well, you're going to continue, so how did Epstein do as a GM? Well, he brought in key pieces to get the supposed cursed Red Sox over the hump to win a W Series while playing in a division with the big bad Yankees (Ortiz, Schilling, Millar and Francona to manage), then he was able to keep to team together and get pieces in place for another W Series championships a few years later. In fact the Boston team now, the one who is favored to go to the W Series, is the team he had a huge part in. Epstein has had more success when it comes right down to why they play...to win it all.

AGAIN though, he had a LOT of funds available, and he spent available funds, so, really, there is no comparison.

As far as with the Cubs, it doesn't matter if Epstein is the talker, he's not the GM. We hear Magic Johnson talk all the time, the Dodgers GM is pretty quiet, but he's still GM.

The Wise One
10-09-2013, 06:55 AM
Wait....did your list include the husk of Kerry Wood and Geovanny Soto? Yeesh. Ignoring that - Epstein traded for Rizzo and, going even further. Would you trade Sano for all 7 of these players? Because I might not. I certainly wouldn't deal Mauer for them. Ryan had much more to work with. That's not a shot against him, more a shot at how god awful the Cubs were ran for a long time.



Then I'm failing to see the point. None of the players you listed represented a significant risk or a premier player. He's had many in his tenure and has never dealt one. You could argue timing, but we get into this with Ryan a lot: people say "Ryan's just never done that because A, B, C, etc". Well, yeah. He's never done it - so can we stop assuming he will? He's had a helluva long tenure to establish trends. More than most GMs get.

Again I ask you to consider - does he avoid risks because he knows they'll fail or because he doesn't know the right ones to take?

Travis Wood
That you cannot distinguish a difference between revenues when he has teams in the dome and Target Field says it all.

The Wise One
10-09-2013, 07:03 AM
Wait, I'm obscuring an argument I wasn't even making in the first place? I said that they shouldn't be compared, and now I'm doing something different to obscure the argument? You want me to debate an argument that I not only didn't make, but I made a point of saying shouldn't even be an argument.

Well, you're going to continue, so how did Epstein do as a GM? Well, he brought in key pieces to get the supposed cursed Red Sox over the hump to win a W Series while playing in a division with the big bad Yankees (Ortiz, Schilling, Millar and Francona to manage), then he was able to keep to team together and get pieces in place for another W Series championships a few years later. In fact the Boston team now, the one who is favored to go to the W Series, is the team he had a huge part in. Epstein has had more success when it comes right down to why they play...to win it all.

AGAIN though, he had a LOT of funds available, and he spent available funds, so, really, there is no comparison.

As far as with the Cubs, it doesn't matter if Epstein is the talker, he's not the GM. We hear Magic Johnson talk all the time, the Dodgers GM is pretty quiet, but he's still GM.

You posted, you made it your argument with your take.
Yep, Epstien took a very good club and added a few more pieces and won 2 championships before sagging. . Far different than starting over.
The vision on how to build the Chicago team is Epstien's not the GM. That does not appear to be the case with the Twins. How you chose to see it is your choice

USAFChief
10-09-2013, 08:01 AM
Lets make our points without getting personal.

thanks.

TheLeviathan
10-09-2013, 09:53 AM
Travis Wood
That you cannot distinguish a difference between revenues when he has teams in the dome and Target Field says it all.

He traded for Wood too.

I recognize the difference, but it doesn't matter if the issue is one of principle and not availability of resources.

IdahoPilgrim
10-09-2013, 11:12 AM
I wonder if the Houston fans expect them to go out a drop $70M in free agency so that they are at their max budget?

What Houston fans? Do they have any left?:o

Sconnie
10-09-2013, 12:20 PM
Overpaid for Kevin Correia? Is TR in for sticker shock if he were to ever seriously bid for a top tier pitcher!

Sconnie
10-09-2013, 12:28 PM
Re point 2: I think the job is production...i.e. wins. Actual wins, on the baseball field. I have little interest in winning the Fangraphs "wins/dollar spent" prize.
Look at the Yankees, one of the biggest spenders, always high dollars spent/win, spends on free agents, spends on in house talent. They aren't afraid of getting talent and keeping talent, and they win a ton. While I hate the yankees, it's mostly envy.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 12:32 PM
I have this perception that FAs are generally not a very good value and that they are unlikely to get us over the hump so to speak. Of course, we all know that it is not hard to put together numbers to support whatever you like. For example, we are all aware that there have been many failures with FA SPs but it is not my goal to prove that it can be a gigantic failure. So, letís save SPs for last. Letís look at the top position players from the past two years. I was interested to see what they produced in terms of WAR and also their production per dollar spent. In other words, how much salary does it cost to add one WAR in free agency.

-----------------Years/Salary - AVE --- War -- $/WAR

2013 J. Hamilton- 5 - 123 --- 24.6 --- 1.9 -- 12.9
2013 M. Bourn -- 4 --- 48 --- 12.0 --- 2.0 -- 6.0
2013 N. Swisher- 4 --- 56 --- 14.0 --- 2.4 --- 5.8
2013 BJ Upton--- 5 --- 75 --- 15.0 ---(0.6) -- N/A
2012 A. Pujols-- 10 -- 250 --- 25.0 --- 0.7 --- 35.7
2012 P. Fielder--- 9 -- 214 --- 23.8 --- 2.2 --- 10.8
2012 Jose Reyes- 6 -- 106 --- 17.7 --- 2.2 --- 8.0
2012 A. Ramirez- 3 -- 36 ----- 12.0 --- 1. 4 --- 8.6
TOTAL ....................... 908 ---- 144 ---- 12
AVERAGE ......... 5.8 - 113.5 --- 18.0 --- 1.5

11.8 per 1 WAR

WAR production for this group was 1.5 wins/player at a cost of 11.8M per WAR.

What about FA pitching? I think it is safe to say that had Ryan would have gone wild and signed Greinke and Jackson, many fans would have done back flips of joy. The two of them produce a combined WAR of 4.9 with a combined salary of $37.5/yr. .

So, if we spend $60M on free agents and our success is on par with the last two yearís FAs, am I being pessimistic to believe it wonít help much if we spend 50M?


Free Agency definitely doesn't have a very good return on investment.

Finding good talent and drafting it, Michael Wacha (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wachami01.shtml), who has "Ace" type stuff for the Cardinals was drafted by the Cardinals #19th in the 1st RD of 2012. He's already in the majors and a stud.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 12:41 PM
The risks of free agency are well known. But the question remains why a Twins fan should prefer for Pohlad to pocket the money rather than trying to improve the team, even if its just from 66 wins to the low 70s. The point of losing more, on purpose, to further enrich a billionaire just doesn't make sense to me.

OR...to get a higher Draft pick.

And that can, at times, mean you miss out on a Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, et al.

It also means if you sign a FA outside of the top protected picks (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/20763514/how-the-new-free-agent-compensation-system-works) (was top 15, now in 2014 it's a top 10) you would forfeit your 1st RD draft pick, thus sorta 'handcuffing' your future for the present going from 66 wins to 72 wins.

So if you sign 'top' end FA's ~ for 2013 that was $13M and up ~ you better be prepared to mortgage your future 1st RD draft pick.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 12:49 PM
The Baltimore Orioles (2011-2012), Cleveland Indians (2012-2013), Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2013), Boston Red Sox (2012-2013; ok they are not mid-market), Detroit Tigers (2005-2006) will disagree.

Lots and lots of examples of rebuilding in a season or two, but they all required drastic change of FO and field management personnel. If you don't do that, you cannot rebuild in 1-2 years. That simple.

Changing the FO and field management personnel.

1. I think the "field management personnel" can affect a team - 5-10 wins.

2. The FO has little to nothing to do with the team put on the field the first 3 years with the team. Most of the players on the 25 man roster will be from the previous GM's activities. Around year 4 (this will be Terry Ryan's 3rd year at the controls - signed late 2011, in charge of 2012 and 2013 activities) you see the team (more than half it's players) as directly there by actions of the FO.

Alex
10-09-2013, 01:04 PM
2. The FO has little to nothing to do with the team put on the field the first 3 years with the team. Most of the players on the 25 man roster will be from the previous GM's activities. Around year 4 (this will be Terry Ryan's 3rd year at the controls - signed late 2011, in charge of 2012 and 2013 activities) you see the team (more than half it's players) as directly there by actions of the FO.

Sorry, but the third year he had the reins for the offseason (at Target Field) and was making decisions (or not) that affected the roster. Some good, some bad, and some good then but bad now: Willingham, Doumit, Bourton, Carrol, re-signing Capps (which, btw, cost us an opportunity for a draft pick), and promoting Dozier are just off the top of my head.

Heck he signed the biggest FA contract ever for the organization!

Alex
10-09-2013, 01:08 PM
Yes the current team resources could be compared to the Giants. Some of the issues that led to the current state can be tied to the time less than 5 years ago when they were not on an equall footing.

Well, if you think the Twins are still suffering lingering effects from being a low-market team, that's fair.

I was making a point to those who accept that the Twins are a mid-market team but also saying their struggles are "normal" for mid-market teams.

If you want to say Twins are worse off than the Cardinals and Giants because they're still "in recovery" that's a different discussion, one I'd disagree with off hand, but a different one nonetheless.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 01:15 PM
Sorry, but the third year he had the reins for the offseason and was making decisions (or not) that affected the roster. Some good, some bad, and some good then but bad now: Willingham, Doumit, Bourton, Carrol, re-signing Capps (which, btw, cost us an opportunity for a draft pick), and promoting Dozier are just off the top of my head.

Heck he signed the biggest FA contract ever for the organization!

3rd year? Use numbers...like 2011...2012...etc

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 01:23 PM
Sorry, but the third year he had the reins for the offseason and was making decisions (or not) that affected the roster. Some good, some bad, and some good then but bad now: Willingham, Doumit, Bourton, Carrol, re-signing Capps (which, btw, cost us an opportunity for a draft pick), and promoting Dozier are just off the top of my head.

Heck he signed the biggest FA contract ever for the organization!

Terry Ryan was signed on November 7, 2011 (http://minnesota.sbnation.com/minnesota-twins/2011/11/7/2545138/terry-ryan-minnesota-twins-general-manager-bill-smith).

Thus:
He did not sign any players for the 2011 season.
He did not participate in the 2011 MLB June Draft.
The World Series had completed.

So that puts him in charge of 2012 and 2013. I believe total comes to two seasons, not three​ where he resides over the FA, Draft, and in-season activities. All three of which he missed for the 2011 season.

cmathewson
10-09-2013, 02:51 PM
I read stuff in this article I had not heard him say before. He did say that if a scout told him to overpay for a guy, he would. That belies the impression that he won't overpay for anything. He also reiterated that he won't spend money if the market is weak. But I think the market is stronger this year, so perhaps he'll be more active. We can only hope.

Not that I expect a Baltimore-like turnaround next year, because starting pitching is only one of a handful of issues that need to get resolved, albeit the most glaring one. But I have some hope that a four-year deal will make success in more likely when Buxton, Sano, Meyer, and others are ready.

gunnarthor
10-09-2013, 04:42 PM
Well, if you think the Twins are still suffering lingering effects from being a low-market team, that's fair.

I was making a point to those who accept that the Twins are a mid-market team but also saying their struggles are "normal" for mid-market teams.

If you want to say Twins are worse off than the Cardinals and Giants because they're still "in recovery" that's a different discussion, one I'd disagree with off hand, but a different one nonetheless.

Ignoring a lot of other stuff, I'm not sure how you determined the Twins were similar in payroll potential to the Giants. The Giants have usually been a top 10 payroll team. In 2010, the teams within 5m to the Twins in salary were the White Sox, Dodgers (but ownership was stealing their money), Mets (Ponzi scheme), Cubs and Brewers. 2011, our most expensive team was still 6m lower than #8 team - the Giants. And people still claim we can have a 110m or so payroll, which, this year, would put us 30m behind SF and close to teams like the Reds and Nats in 13th place. And the Reds have managed 8 winning seasons in the last 20 and the Nats are even worse.

Alex
10-09-2013, 05:34 PM
Terry Ryan was signed on November 7, 2011 (http://minnesota.sbnation.com/minnesota-twins/2011/11/7/2545138/terry-ryan-minnesota-twins-general-manager-bill-smith).

Thus:
He did not sign any players for the 2011 season.
He did not participate in the 2011 MLB June Draft.
The World Series had completed.

So that puts him in charge of 2012 and 2013. I believe total comes to two seasons, not three​ where he resides over the FA, Draft, and in-season activities. All three of which he missed for the 2011 season.


To be fair, I was referring to your use of "three years" which I thought referred to the opening three years of Target Field, and the year I was talking about should be clear based on the free agents. Regardless, he had an immediate impact on the 2012 roster, so arguing the roster was out of his control just isn't quite true.

Alex
10-09-2013, 05:42 PM
Ignoring a lot of other stuff, I'm not sure how you determined the Twins were similar in payroll potential to the Giants. The Giants have usually been a top 10 payroll team. In 2010, the teams within 5m to the Twins in salary were the White Sox, Dodgers (but ownership was stealing their money), Mets (Ponzi scheme), Cubs and Brewers. 2011, our most expensive team was still 6m lower than #8 team - the Giants. And people still claim we can have a 110m or so payroll, which, this year, would put us 30m behind SF and close to teams like the Reds and Nats in 13th place. And the Reds have managed 8 winning seasons in the last 20 and the Nats are even worse.

Again, though the Reds didn't bottom out like the Twins have. Fair point on San Fran. I was going based off a comparison, perhaps in another thread or article that someone else made of teams that we should emulate.

All I was attempting was to show that the seasons the Twins have gone through are not necessary to rebuild, and I think that's pretty clear that they don't. Sure, some teams do, and some teams are just poorly run organizations, but I'd argue that the almost complete inaction of the front office is why the Twins are where they are and not some sort of magical baseball cycle.

gunnarthor
10-09-2013, 07:04 PM
All I was attempting was to show that the seasons the Twins have gone through are not necessary to rebuild, and I think that's pretty clear that they don't. Sure, some teams do, and some teams are just poorly run organizations, but I'd argue that the almost complete inaction of the front office is why the Twins are where they are and not some sort of magical baseball cycle.

It's not a big mystery why the Twins crashed and burned. Morneau's career was dramatically changed by injury. Span, Nathan and Mauer less so. Baker got hurt. Young and Liriano failed to develop off of strong 2010 seasons. Cuddy got old. Garza and Ramos were traded away in win now trades and draft picks either took longer than expected time to develop, either b/c of injuries or slow progress (Wimmers, Gibson, Hicks) or didn't develop (Plouffe/Parm). Nishi sorta sucked. A bunch of other players just got old.

There's nothing surprising about this. Reusse predicted it before it happened. Teams get old and if they also get hurt, they collapse. Sure, not every team loses 96 games when it happens but sometimes they also have outside factors (such as another 100 loss team in their division or surprising health) that help them. I don't really care about how many losses a team has (so long as it isn't quite ridiculous) in a season but how many seasons will it take them to turn it around. I'd rather the Twins lose 96 4x and start winning then going through a 9 year death march like the Reds did.

Alex
10-10-2013, 07:46 AM
There's nothing surprising about this. Reusse predicted it before it happened. Teams get old and if they also get hurt, they collapse. Sure, not every team loses 96 games when it happens but sometimes they also have outside factors (such as another 100 loss team in their division or surprising health) that help them. I don't really care about how many losses a team has (so long as it isn't quite ridiculous) in a season but how many seasons will it take them to turn it around. I'd rather the Twins lose 96 4x and start winning then going through a 9 year death march like the Reds did.

If you think rebuilding requires losing horribly, that's fine. I don't think it does. Now, maybe for the Twins, because of their clear struggles to evaluate and develop late first round talent in the recent years it is easier, but that's another problem. As for your litany of reasons why the Twins crashed, I don't think poor decisions and development from previous management excuse current management from the same, or at least for doing very little.

The fact that I think you can both field at least a mildly competitive team and rebuild at the same time, is one of my frustrations with the last two years. Nothing was done to improve key holes in the organization on the major league team while new holes were actually created, and it sure doesn't seem like much will be done next year. I'm willing to give a pass on 2011 and some aspects of 2012, but I think 2013 was a complete mishandling and don't look forward to 2014, but I hope I'm wrong.

If the Twins turn it around by 2015/16, it won't be because they lost 96 plus games three or four seasons in a row. In fact, it will have very little to do with that. It will be mostly because they had success with international talent signed prior to those years, trades, and any free agent signings. Buxton looks like he will play a role but it's hard to say with the other top picks in that timeframe.

big dog
10-10-2013, 08:20 AM
Reusse predicted it before it happened.

Reusse's like the guy who predicted 15 of the last 4 stock market crashes. Him being right once in a while is just proof of the law of large numbers.

gunnarthor
10-10-2013, 08:56 AM
The fact that I think you can both field at least a mildly competitive team and rebuild at the same time, is one of my frustrations with the last two years. Nothing was done to improve key holes in the organization on the major league team while new holes were actually created, and it sure doesn't seem like much will be done next year. I'm willing to give a pass on 2011 and some aspects of 2012, but I think 2013 was a complete mishandling and don't look forward to 2014, but I hope I'm wrong.



A lot to go over but I'll just point out that this is exactly what Ryan has done before. He rebuilt the 2002-2004 playoff Twins into the 2006 squad on the fly while changing key components. The 2+ WAR players on 2004 were Santana, Radke, Silva, Nathan, Ford, Koskie, Rincon and Hunter. The 06 squad was built around Santana Liriano, Nathan, Mauer, Morneau, Punto, Bartlett, Cuddyer, Castillo, Reyes and Hunter.

The team Ryan took over wasn't possible to make a quick fix out of. The failures of this years team was mostly because veterans like Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe, Doumit and even Mauer a bit either failed to hit, got hurt or both. If you think there was a quick fix to last years team, feel free to tell us what it was. But signing Dempster, Edwin Jackson and/or Brandon McCarthy wasn't it.

Alex
10-10-2013, 11:37 AM
A lot to go over but I'll just point out that this is exactly what Ryan has done before. He rebuilt the 2002-2004 playoff Twins into the 2006 squad on the fly while changing key components. The 2+ WAR players on 2004 were Santana, Radke, Silva, Nathan, Ford, Koskie, Rincon and Hunter. The 06 squad was built around Santana Liriano, Nathan, Mauer, Morneau, Punto, Bartlett, Cuddyer, Castillo, Reyes and Hunter.

The team Ryan took over wasn't possible to make a quick fix out of. The failures of this years team was mostly because veterans like Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe, Doumit and even Mauer a bit either failed to hit, got hurt or both. If you think there was a quick fix to last years team, feel free to tell us what it was. But signing Dempster, Edwin Jackson and/or Brandon McCarthy wasn't it.

For whatever reason you have the impression I think everything was fixable, but I don't. You seem to think I have the impression that the team could be competing for the division this year but that isn't it at all. I'm frustrated that people are giving Ryan a complete pass and making excuses on where the major league team was this season as natural or unavoidable.

I'm not looking for a quick fix, even if by "fix" we mean an above .500 team. I'm looking at least for decisions that improve the team. I appreciate and understand where he started, but so little was done that we're exactly where we were at this time last offseason. I don't think the expectation of that is too much to ask and I'm certainly not willing to make the excuses you are for him about this season's team: His ability to acquire serviceable starting pitching and starting Aaron Hicks were fully within his responsibility.

At this point I'm going to leave it here because we either disagree on key points, or the the focus keeps changing.

gunnarthor
10-10-2013, 02:11 PM
I'm not looking for a quick fix, even if by "fix" we mean an above .500 team. I'm looking at least for decisions that improve the team. I appreciate and understand where he started, but so little was done that we're exactly where we were at this time last offseason. I don't think the expectation of that is too much to ask and I'm certainly not willing to make the excuses you are for him about this season's team: His ability to acquire serviceable starting pitching and starting Aaron Hicks were fully within his responsibility.


I honestly don't understand where you are coming from. Starting Hicks does improve the team in the long run. He needs that experience. Trading Span and Revere away improves the club in the long run. The starting pitching market was horrific and Correia ended up being one of the few good signings.

One of the big problems I have with people ripping on Ryan this year is that no one can suggest a realistic better solution than to do what they are doing.

RodneyKline
10-10-2013, 04:21 PM
What Ryan has failed on is that he has let all the Twins good players leave to star on other teams and play in the All Star game with another teams hat on. Teams that are perennial contenders like the Braves make sure to have a great farm system and to keep their good players until they have a better player to take their place. They don't let their good players leave and hope that a prospect might take over like Ryan did with CF last year for example.

old nurse
10-10-2013, 05:04 PM
For whatever reason you have the impression I think everything was fixable, but I don't. You seem to think I have the impression that the team could be competing for the division this year but that isn't it at all. I'm frustrated that people are giving Ryan a complete pass and making excuses on where the major league team was this season as natural or unavoidable.

I'm not looking for a quick fix, even if by "fix" we mean an above .500 team. I'm looking at least for decisions that improve the team. I appreciate and understand where he started, but so little was done that we're exactly where we were at this time last offseason. I don't think the expectation of that is too much to ask and I'm certainly not willing to make the excuses you are for him about this season's team: His ability to acquire serviceable starting pitching and starting Aaron Hicks were fully within his responsibility.

At this point I'm going to leave it here because we either disagree on key points, or the the focus keeps changing.

Looking for decisions that would improve the team. Short term fixes were not done. The 3 ways to add players are prospects coming up, to trade and free agents. The near ready mlb prospects were brought up and didn't do much. There was not an excess of them so that you could trade one or two for a capable player in an area of need or other GMs had a clue as to their performance capabilities and did not offer much in trades. What he traded for was not near mlb ready players so the current team was not added to in that fashion. Will Myer in May be better pitchers in 2 years than the 4th starter off a team? I would think that is what Ryan thinks. It doesn't help this year, but it helps future years. That leaves free agents. minimally better players than the ones you have will only make you minimally better. Look what was out there to be had in the areas where the Twins had needs. They could have got players minimally better. There were a couple that could have been useful that Ryan missed on, but not a whole lot. I do not think many are giving him a free pass as much as it is the viewpoint there wasn't a whole lot that could have been done. The trades not working would take away the pass