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Shane Wahl
10-29-2013, 02:59 PM
I will proceed in two parts. The first one is a realistic prediction for how the Twins might navigate in this offseason. The second is what I think I might do if I were actually the GM.

First scenario:

Trade Ryan Doumit to the Texas Rangers for RH SP Nick Martinez. Justification: unless the Rangers strike gold and land McCann, resign AJ, Soto, Murphy, and Cruz, and refrain from trading anyone else, it looks like a cheap DH/C/RF option with a potentially good enough bat might be something the Rangers need.

Nick Martinez ranks around 15-20 in the Rangers system and has a career 3.30 ERA in 327.1 minor league innings, compiling an 8.1/2.7 K/BB rate, reaching AA in 2013 (which is where he would start in 2014). The Twins are in need of some SP support between Gibson, Meyer, and May on one end, and Berrios, Sulbaran, Stewart, Thorpe, etc. on the other end. Martinez would join Baxendale and Duffey in that spot, and is probably better than both.


Sign RH SP Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $39 million deal. (13 a year)
Sign LH SP Chris Capuano to a 2 year, $15 million deal. (7.5 a year)

Starting rotation:

Kevin Correia
Phil Hughes
Chris Capuano
Kyle Gibson
Scott Diamond/Vance Worley

Bullpen:

Send Ryan Pressly to Rochester to get back to starting.

LR: Swarzak/Diamond/Worley
MR: Tonkin/Swarzak
MR: Thielbar
MR: Burton
SU: Duensing
SU: Fien
CL: Perkins

Lineup:

vs. RH
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, RF
Willingham, DH
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS (some Escobar action here against righties)

vs. LH
Hicks, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Willingham, DH
Plouffe, 3B
Pinto, C
Arcia, RF
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

Bench:

Herrmann, C/LF/RF
Parmelee, 1B/RF
Escobar, Util infield
Chris Colabello 1B/RF

(Deibinson Romero next option in AAA for bench role)

Sano should be up fairly quickly. May, Meyer, Rosario, and perhaps Buxton to follow by the All-Star break at the latest for the first two, and September for the second two).

Sano joins the team and Trevor Plouffe moves to platoon with Presley, and someone (Colabello, probably) gets optioned.

I am then looking to *unload* that bullpen as long as the replacements are doing well in AAA. I am thinking Burton, Fien, Swarzak, and Duensing flipped at the deadline or before. Achter, Watts, Oliveros, and Ibarra could be suitable replacements on the roster, with Tonkin (likely) moving to the setup role for Perkins.

Trading Doumit and adding those two free agents would make for a rather modest $76.5 million payroll.

* * *

The second scenario involves being more proactive, unloading some more payroll before adding much more back.


Trades:

1. Josh Willingham and Casey Fien to Baltimore for RHP Parker Bridwell and LHP Lex Rutledge. Justification: The Orioles are going to want one bat and to bolster their bullpen. They do it here for very cheap, especially since I would pay part of Willingham's salary if necessary.

Bridwell is young with great stuff. His numbers are very Trevor Mayesque at this point, but he is still figuring it out. He would start in A+ in 2014. Rutledge would start in A+ as well, and might be worth taking a look as a starter again. He was bad early in his career there, and was very good as a reliever in 2013, but he does have a good curveball to go with a decent fastball and that could mean for more experimentation this year, perhaps splitting time and get over 100 innings this year.

2. Kevin Correia and Jared Burton to San Francisco for LHP Ty Blach and RHP Keury Mella. Justification: The Giants want A: a solid starting pitcher, and B: a solid MR/SU man. For $8.75 million, they get both of those things here (or less, I would pay some salary to make this happen).

Blach is a LH starter who ranks around 10 or so on Giants' prospect lists. He would start at AA in 2014. Mella is very young and missed a lot of bats in rookie ball. He is a RH starter and would start in A- in 2014.

3. Sam Deduno and Anthony Swarzak to Philadelphia for LF/RF/1B Cameron Perkins and RHP Jeb Stefan. Justification: the Phillies pitching situation is a mess and here is a way for them to improve it for $1.5 or so million. Lannan and Kendrick are not very good, Cloyd needs more time in the minors, and they could try Swarzak out as a starter. Deduno and Swarzak would be 4-5 after Lee, Hamels, and Pettibone.

Perkins posted a .790 OPS in A+ in 2013. He's a RH bat with doubles power and plays corner OF and 1B. He would fill an organizational void in the OF in the middle of the system and would immediately be a better option than Danny Ortiz, Angel Morales, etc. moving forward. Stefan pitched fairly well in A-ball in 2013 and would start the system in A+ starting for the Miracle or developing into a setup man.


4. Ryan Doumit to the Texas Rangers for RHP Nick Martinez. Justification: see first scenario.

In all of these cases, the Twins should think about paying part of the 2014 salary to lure these teams to make these deals. Let's just say that salary contribution totals $8 million. The guys dealt with substantial contacts totals about $20, so this amounts to a saving of $12 million, dropping payroll to $47.5 million or so.

Try to sign: Masahiro Tanaka for a $55 million post and a 6 year, $60 million deal. FAIL (Yankees will win):

Sign Ervin Santana for a 5 year, $85 million deal.
Sign Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $39 million deal.
Sign Chris Capuano to a one year, $8 million deal (and hope for deadline trade this way)

With Santana, Hughes, and Capuano, this adds $38 million, meaning an $85.5 million payroll.

Rotation:

Santana
Hughes
Capuano
Gibson
Diamond/Worley

Bullpen:

Send Ryan Pressly to AAA to become a starter again.

LR: Diamond/Worley, or Hendriks, or Albers
MR: Watts
MR: Oliveros
MR: Thielbar
MR: Duensing
SU: Tonkin
CL: Perkins

Lineup:

vs. RH
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, DH (but with OF time)
Parmelee, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann, C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

vs. LH
Hicks, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Plouffe, RF
Pinto, C
Colabello/Arcia DH
Romero, 3B
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

Bench:

Herrmann, C/LF/RF
Colabello, 1B/RF
Escobar, Util INF
Romero, 3B/1B

I understand how this lineup looks, and I understand the animosity towards Parmelee and Plouffe, and the craziness that appears to be involving Colabello, Romero, Pinto, and Herrmann in such a meaningful way. Moving Plouffe to RF, however, makes room for Sano to play 3B when he arrives and to have both Sano and Plouffe in the lineup against lefties. Sano would replace either Colabello or Romero on the roster.

Rosario and Buxton would follow eventually. I would definitely give time for some Dozier at SS experimentation, but if Rosario is up by mid-season, some combo of 2B-LF, RF, and DH for the remainder of 2014 isn't going to hurt. And by the end of the season this might mean a Rosario-Buxton-Hicks OF.

Willingham and Doumit have zero future for the Twins, so I see no reason bothering with them at all this year. Maybe the Plouffes and Parmelees don't have a future either, but this is a maybe . . . and in a rebuild, I will take maybes over definite no-future types. The Mauer-Buxton-Sano core needs its players around it.

By season's end, I would expect a rotation of Santana, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, and May. The Twins would end 2014 with five starting pitchers who have been top 100 prospects.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 03:28 PM
It's not a bad idea. I think Willingham's value will be higher at the deadline. I know next to nothing about the minor leaguers you're targeting but they seem the "type" of guys we should go after, if not the exact ones (Martinez for example, isn't on Mayo's top 20 Rangers list and Sickels ranks him #20 as a possible bullpen arm).

I don't think SF makes that trade and Deduno and Swarzak have no trade value.

I don't like Capuno at all. A one year deal is ok I guess but I think he's done. Mauer is going to be the catcher most of the time so we have to figure out a firstbaseman unless we want to platoon Mauer and Pinto between the two (I don't think Pinto's bat will be good enough there). Corey Hart might be interesting one year stop gap. Could have some decent RH pop for a midseason trade and then move Plouffe across the infield when Sano comes up? Not sure. I have no faith left in Parmelee. A bit more in Plouffe but not a lot more.

Reider
10-29-2013, 04:21 PM
So you think it's realistic that TR will sign two FA pitchers that cost more than 4 or 5 $million/year? That's awesome. After penny pinching on Pelfrey and Correia last year when there were other options out there, I really hope he opens the wallet a bit more this year.

I won't mind if Doumit and/or Willingham are traded away. I have lost confidence in Parmelee. He had a good September, what, three years ago? And hasn't really found any consistency since. Plouffe hit for some power two years ago, so I'm willing to give him another year. I'm also really hoping to see what Pinto can do next year. I'd give him a chance for sure.

I'd keep Deduno and Fien around next year. As for Burton, I really hope he improves from last year.

Realistically, I wouldn't trade Deduno away if it meant being left with 3 pitchers who weren't good enough last year (Gibson, Diamond, Worely) to hopefully fill in the last two spots. Heck, for the short time Albers was up, he was at least able to have a few solid performances. That said, I really hope Diamond has a bounce back year. That would be huge for the Twins, especially if they sign a couple of solid FA pitchers.

Paul Pleiss
10-29-2013, 04:56 PM
I like Gunnarthor's idea of bringing in Hart, he seems like he could be a good fit with this club. He can play a solid first base, provide some pop, and can play a corner outfield spot to keep his bat in the line up when Mauer needs time at 1B. Also a nice DH from time to time if Doumit is still around.

diehardtwinsfan
10-29-2013, 05:36 PM
Both are fairly nice ideas, though I have a few quibbles.

I don't think it's wise to platoon Hicks at this point. I really think he belongs in AAA playing every day. I'd be fine letting Presley have a shot in MLB at the 1% chance that he suddenly clicks and can be an asset. Platooning really doesn't make sense. Given where this team is, I don't think they can afford to give up quickly on guys who could potentially be solid pieces.

I would thrilled if Doumit or Willingham netted any sort of prospect. I just don't see it. I like the idea of packaging them with some relievers, as I do think there's a glut in the pen and some of these guys could have some value, but I also wonder if the relievers would fetch more on their own while rolling the dice this spring that Doumit and Willingham bounce back... who knows. If Ryan could get Martinez for Doumit, I think most of Twins land would be thrilled.

TheLeviathan
10-29-2013, 05:55 PM
I like the Hart idea - I'm also 100% behind being rid of Willingham and Doumit. Doumit for sure needs to go. He's becoming the new Punto - only the bizarro/goatee version that can hit a little but fields like a tee-baller. I'm done with having him on the roster.

Physics Guy
10-29-2013, 05:59 PM
Thanks for putting yourself out there, Shane. Overall, I think you have some good ideas. I know you have been a big proponent for dumping most of our veterans. I like your ideas, but just don't think most of your trade proposals would be taken by the other teams. Relievers are pretty fungible and Doumit and Willingham's stock are way down. I think you have the right idea regarding free-agent pitchers, although 5 years of Santana scares me a bit. Every couple of years he throws out a clunker. Unfortunately, the Twins will have to go 4 or 5 years to get somebody who is an upgrade. I agree that Plouffe and Parmelee should be given another opportunity. While Plouffe didn't take the next step last year, I am still intrigued by his power. We need to find out if Parmelee is capable of being a player. I'm starting to get the feeling that both he and Colabello are AAAA players.

Shane Wahl
10-29-2013, 08:42 PM
I know that paying some salary is not realistic for this team to do, but I would do it and some of those teams might be interested. I tried to go top end of the realistic prospects (these guys, aside from Blach who is probably 250 or so overall, are 400-600 overall).

And all but one of them is either A+ or AA.

The alternative to not going big is to go with either Kazmir or Haren with Hughes. And probably for quite similar years and money. That's acceptable to me too.

There's little doubt in my mind that the Twins will get one of those guys, and Hughes makes the most sense.

Capuano is about an average #4 starter. He's my Correia replacement, but with more strikeout capability. In the first scenario, the two years is just based on the idea that I think it is fairly silly for the Twins to sign a guy for one year at all if he is one of two FA pickups . . . because they are just in the same mess again next year. If the Twins sign three FA starters, then Capuano at one year and would be either disposable (from the rotation) or if good, tradeable at the deadline or before. He also goes back and forth between being above average and below average and in 2013 he was below average . . . In many ways he is an asset that isn't too expensive and could be deadline fodder.

With regard to Ervin, the vast majority of pitchers are going to have one bad year out of five, and many will have two bad years out of five. Only real aces escape one bad year out of five.

Major Leauge Ready
10-29-2013, 10:57 PM
The general direction is great. Get rid of the guys who are not going to contribute in the next phase. Unfortunately, most of these guys value is very low right now. Willingham and Doumit are more likely to be moved at the deadline. Perkins ans a primary piece, potentially w/others is actually there best bet to yield a quality player or prospect IMO.

I would prefer Kazmir on a 3 year deal. He might end up being just as good and I don't like the idea of a 34-35 y/o Santana at 18M/yr in 2017-18. Hopefully, by then, out propects will make us contenders again. I would rather Kazmir and the $18M to spend in 2017.

I would spend the difference on a corner OFer or add a little and sign Morales or Loney if they decide to catch Mauer.

Blackjack
10-30-2013, 08:10 AM
I think the Twins learned their lesson with Hicks, no matter how good he plays in spring training on opening day he'll be in AAA and will have to earn his way back. They picked up Presley for a reason.

I heartily agree with your idea of jettisoning Doumit and Willingham, but not until the trade deadline. Right now their value is at its low, if they could get hot, they might be worth more by then.

Shane Wahl
10-30-2013, 08:56 AM
I understand that the value might increase for those two (more than likely, but I still wouldn't actually bet on it), but in the meantime they are clogging the roster as non-contributors post-deadline. Also, that money saved now could be . . . nevermind.

mike wants wins
10-30-2013, 09:15 AM
I agree with Shane. Use the money elsewhere.

Brandon
10-30-2013, 09:16 AM
Campuano is someone I forgot about. You can add him to the Pelfry, Yoon and Campuano types. I can see the Twins signing 2 of them as they will not be expensive. I don't see any big name pitchers coming here because we are in too much of a transition here. Most elite pitchers know we have 3 OF prospects, 3B, C that we are breaking into the big leagues over the next 2 years. Who wants to wait 2 seasons to be stable on the Diamond again. Hughes won't be signed unless the contract is a value for the team so 3/39 is out of the Question. A 1 year 8 million maybe. Hughes did have an awful year last year. we could add an option year or go higher for the 1 year. Hughes may have the talent but hasn't shown or earned it so if the bidding for him goes to 3/39 it won't be us getting him. Hart would be a great pickup for us if we do not resign Morneau. I would be really happy if the Twins would sign one of Ubaldo or Santana to go with above pitchers to fill out the rotation, but I don't see the Twins doing that unless it gets mandated from ownership to overpay for one of these guys for ticket sales. Also I forgot about Romero. He does deserve a chance to come up and play a little bit. I was thinking Punto who could play some SS and 3rd but Romero can handle 3rd defensively if Plouffe is not improving there. Shane has some real good ideas. Though there is no way the Twins will go extreme. Plus Willingham could rebound and sign a 2 year extension to DH...it could happen for the right price.

kab21
10-30-2013, 09:44 AM
The basic blueprint

Sign a good pitcher - Tanaka or Jimenez but I could settle for a Hughes type

Send Doumit packing for anything (or basically nothing if necessary) - Joe says he wants to catch so Doumit is expendable with Pinto as a half time backup/starter

Keep Willy until deadline as a middle of the order bat to take pressure off of Arcia and Sano. And he could have a nice season

Trade Perkins IF there is a top prospect available for him. At a minimum top 50ish regardless of position.

Sign a FA OF'er - this doesn't seem like a good choice but this is where the talent is this offseason. If you are going to spend money then go after somebody good. And even though the farm system is stacked with hitters the MLB team sucks at hitting and prospects bust all the time.

Start Arcia and Hicks in AAA because they have some issues at the plate that need some work. Bring them up in June/July if they look good.

Steve Penz
10-30-2013, 09:59 AM
Thanks Shane. Solid work. One part I really enjoy about your plan is the flexibility in the lineup. I love that you list a RHP/LHP-pitcher approach that includes a players place in batting order and whether or not they play that day. One of my hopes for next year and beyond is that our club embraces platooning. I agree with the FO that its not the ideal but if that gets the best possible production out of our current team then it must be. MUST.

kab21
10-30-2013, 10:09 AM
Thanks Shane. Solid work. One part I really enjoy about your plan is the flexibility in the lineup. I love that you list a RHP/LHP-pitcher approach that includes a players place in batting order and whether or not they play that day. One of my hopes for next year and beyond is that our club embraces platooning. I agree with the FO that its not the ideal but if that gets the best possible production out of our current team then it must be. MUST.

I don't have a problem with taking advantage of the RH/LH but this team needs some better hitters than Shane's projected lineup. That team is closer to 50 wins than 70 wins imo.

For example it's inevitable that some of these guys will be starters next year but this simply cannot be the #4-9 hitters on opening day. Please let there be more talent on the roster than this next season.



Parmelee, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann, C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

ScottyB
10-30-2013, 10:10 AM
Shane, in your first scenario I don't see Deduno anywhere (either on the staff or as trade bait). I think Ryan is on record as saying that he feels Deduno has earned a chance to be back in the rotation, soI think Deduno is likely to be in the rotation, assuming a clean bill of health.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-30-2013, 10:22 AM
Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.

kab21
10-30-2013, 10:33 AM
Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.

Sign DeRosa.

Shane Wahl
10-30-2013, 10:46 AM
Shane, in your first scenario I don't see Deduno anywhere (either on the staff or as trade bait). I think Ryan is on record as saying that he feels Deduno has earned a chance to be back in the rotation, soI think Deduno is likely to be in the rotation, assuming a clean bill of health.

Oops. That is a fair point and an omission--I came up with the second scenario first and then didn't make the correction in the first one. Man, Deduno makes me think about trading Correia more and more. But, in this case, Deduno would be the fifth starter. I don't know what to do with Diamond and Worley. Worley isn't good, but good lord he was just terrible last year.

Shane Wahl
10-30-2013, 10:48 AM
Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.

Haha. I think the Yankees would take a letter saying "congratulations, you got rid of A-Rod" and they would pay the salary.

Shane Wahl
10-30-2013, 10:50 AM
Ultimately, a platoon with Parmelee and Plouffe shouldn't be out of the question. I guess that would mean Hicks in left after Buxton arrives. That's not terrible given the range and a big left field.

I am still not totally convinced that Parmelee doesn't have Lyle Overbay type potential.

kab21
10-30-2013, 10:52 AM
Oops. That is a fair point and an omission--I came up with the second scenario first and then didn't make the correction in the first one. Man, Deduno makes me think about trading Correia more and more. But, in this case, Deduno would be the fifth starter. I don't know what to do with Diamond and Worley. Worley isn't good, but good lord he was just terrible last year.

I think the last couple of seasons have made it brutally clear that you cannot have too many solid but unspectacular arms.

Shane Wahl
10-30-2013, 10:54 AM
And this is weird for me to say such things about Parmelee given that I said last year and the year before that he was a bench player on a good team. This isn't a good team though.

Ultimately:

Hicks, RF
Mauer, 1B (come on)
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Arcia, DH
Dozier, 2B
Rosario, LF primarily (for whatever time he spends with the Twins in 2014)
Pinto, C
Florimon, SS

Is pretty exciting even if there are going to be growing pains. I would rather get some of those growing pains out in 2014 and not wait for 2015.

kab21
10-30-2013, 10:56 AM
Ultimately, a platoon with Parmelee and Plouffe shouldn't be out of the question. I guess that would mean Hicks in left after Buxton arrives. That's not terrible given the range and a big left field.

I am still not totally convinced that Parmelee doesn't have Lyle Overbay type potential.

I don't think people have much of a problem with that. The problem is that there are six marginal hitters in the lineup. In addition to that two of the three good hitters (dozier and Arcia) could slump. It could be the worst lineup in baseball.

Wookiee of the Year
10-30-2013, 11:11 AM
I like it--these are the types of moves the Twins should be making. I don't know that I'd trade Willingham in the offseason--his value's so low right now, I'd rather gamble on a bounceback--but I certainly won't be upset if that sort of wheeling and dealing happens this offseason.

In fact, my biggest criticism is that you have Hicks starting the year for the Twins. I'd give him some time to figure it out in AAA before throwing him into the big league spotlight again, but you can just slide Presley over to CF and use Arcia/Willingham/Parmelee in the corners.


So you think it's realistic that TR will sign two FA pitchers that cost more than 4 or 5 $million/year? That's awesome. After penny pinching on Pelfrey and Correia last year when there were other options out there, I really hope he opens the wallet a bit more this year.
With Morneau ($14M) off the books, I would hope so. Plus Blackburn ($5.5M), Carroll ($3.75M), and the aforementioned Pelfrey ($4M).

Steve Penz
10-30-2013, 11:17 AM
And this is weird for me to say such things about Parmelee given that I said last year and the year before that he was a bench player on a good team. This isn't a good team though.

Ultimately:

Hicks, RF
Mauer, 1B (come on)
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Arcia, DH
Dozier, 2B
Rosario, LF primarily (for whatever time he spends with the Twins in 2014)
Pinto, C
Florimon, SS

Is pretty exciting even if there are going to be growing pains. I would rather get some of those growing pains out in 2014 and not wait for 2015.

Agreed! That outfield will catch everything and if they struggle at least we are watching those with a future try to figure it out vs older guys who will not be around for long. Pinto, Buxton, Hicks, Arcia, Sano, and Rosario have to play.

Ultima Ratio
10-30-2013, 11:25 AM
If Hicks makes the 25 man to begin the year, I quit. If he's promoted from AAA with anything less than a .700 OPS, I quit.

Thrylos
10-30-2013, 11:59 AM
How many games will these teams win; enough to challenge Detroit for the division or get a wild-card spot? Will they move deep into the post-season?

if the answer to the first one is no, I'd rather have them look for 2015 and beyond. Capuano will be 36 years old. He is on the decline phase. Even if the Twins decide (*) to not complete in 2014, they can sign younger FAs (like Hughes) who will be part of a potential future competitive team. A Capuano signing will be lots like the Correia signing.


(*) Decide because the Twins have the $ to spend and be competitive:
2013 Revenue: $215 million; 2014 broadcasting $: $35 million = $250 million
(promised) 52% of that is $130 million. Actual projected as is spend = $60 million (with arbitration awards).

Net left to spend: $70 Million.

$70 million plus most of this pen, plus Mauer, Arcia, Dozier and a few others as a core (and I don't even mind Willingham or Plouffe as platoon DH) can build a champion.

But are the Twins willing to do it? Does this front office actually have a. the guts and b. the talent to do it?

Not sure there...

nicksaviking
10-30-2013, 01:25 PM
Good stuff, but I have a feeling that after last season Nick Martinez is going to find himself higher than 15-20 in the Rangers organization which will probably price him out of Doumit's value.

twinsajsf
10-30-2013, 04:59 PM
Rotation:
1. Sign Kazmir 3/$35-40M
2. Sign Hughes or Feldman @ 2/$20M
3. Deduno
4. Correia
5. Gibson
-----------
Diamond/Worley for competition/injury

Lineup:
CF Presley/Hicks (placeholders for Buxton)
2B Dozier
1B Mauer
RF Sign Nelson Cruz 2/$26M
LF Arcia
DH Willingham
3B Plouffe (placeholder for Sano)
C Pinto
SS Florimon

Siehbiscuit
10-30-2013, 05:07 PM
For all the pitching talk, a few of you made some very good points in regards to the lineup being awful.

Willingham (LF), Doumit (DH), 1B and 3B are all positions where you must have good hitters. I understand Florimon at SS, because his defense really is very good. I can live with that. Dozier is solid, not great at 2B. He's definitely not a problem area.

But going into the season with only Parmalee, Colabello and Plouffe as the 1B and 3B options is asking for a poor lineup. At least Willingham and Doumit have had multiple strong seasons and could bounce back. Outside of Plouffe's one month a few years back, none of these three have done anything to deserve having the job handed to them. Sano is on his way, so don't splurge in FA. But 1B is a huge need area and needs to be addressed to make this lineup at all productive again.

Arcia will improve. Hicks needs to earn his promotion from AAA. I wouldn't be opposed to signing an OF either.

Siehbiscuit
10-30-2013, 05:09 PM
Also, I think Worley will earn a rotation spot in ST. He was a good pitcher with the Phillies and for whatever reason the wheels came flying off this year. He'll bounce back. Scott Diamond? not so much.

Craig in MN
10-31-2013, 12:03 AM
Net left to spend: $70 Million.

$70 million plus most of this pen, plus Mauer, Arcia, Dozier and a few others as a core (and I don't even mind Willingham or Plouffe as platoon DH) can build a champion.

But are the Twins willing to do it? Does this front office actually have a. the guts and b. the talent to do it?

It's reasonable to doubt what they will do. I think an important thing to consider when comparing this year's offseason to every other one in Twins management' history, is their long term financial flexibility. They have never spent wildly on the free agent market, but they have always had contracts and upcoming contract concerns that go a few years in the future.

They've got $49 committed for 2014, and $27 million committed for 2015 and less for 2016. There will be some arbitration raises, but not really all that much, unless a couple of poor starting pitchers suddenly become awesome. It is practically impossible for the Twins to get close to bumping up against their financial limits without adding $50+ million/yr in contracts for those next 3 years. I'm not sure they've ever had half that much available for that long before. They can spend a big chunk without handcuffing themselves.


My plan would involve bringing in a few starting pitchers, and one good offensive player.....with a couple of those being medium length contracts. That would give them 2 players to build with for the future but keeping some financial flexibility for a signing next year or a trade later if they somehow are competitive sooner:

Sign Mike Morse - OF/1b/DH. He can rotate around to keep everyone in the lineup. He's a good clubhouse guy, which seems like they've be eager to add. Since Willingham & Doumit would be FAs after 2014, they could even sign him for multiple years without creating any obvious issues. Best guess: 3 yrs, $16 million
Trade for Wandy Rodriguez - SP. He's really good and only guaranteed one year, but could earn a qualifying offer or extension or be traded if he stays healthy. I'd guess Pittsburgh would want some cheap pitching depth or offense, so I'd offer someone like Worley, Diamond, Albers, or Hendriks for him and some cash. Best guess: 1 yr, $12 million, trade for Worley.
Sign Ricky Nolasco - SP 4 yrs, 52 million. I think he's got a good chance of having a sub-4 ERA for the Twins. There are a bunch of other FA starters that would fit this role too. Basically, this is slot for "sign the best starter you can reasonable get to a mid-term deal" , and he's the name I came up with and a generous enough offer that he'd almost certainly sign.
Sign Jeff Neiman - SP -1 yr 2million. He's been injured a ton, but he's was great when he's pitched, and would have another year of arbitration available in 2015.


Likely Roster:
Mauer, Pinto, Doumit, Morse, Dozier, Florimon, Plouffe, Arcia, Pressley, Willingham, Mastroianni, Parmalee, Escobar. That seems like an offense with some potential and some depth and some platoon options....Parmalee stays because he is out of options and can pinch hit for Plouffe. (Collabello, Herman, or Romero would be the next guys up, especially if Arcia or Pinto end up at AAA...and Sano of course would the next player for force his way on the team).
Rodriguez, Nolasco, Correia, Deduno, Gibson (Neiman/Hendriks/Diamond/Albers/Myers)
Perkins, Burton, Fein, Duensing, Theilbar, Swarzak, Hendriks (Pressly, Tonkin, Ibarra, Achter, Hernande,).

Payroll stays about the same as this year, but the rotation is notably better, and Arcia, Pinto, & Sano have a chance to push the offense to be better too. For 2015, Willingham & Doumit are Free agents, but Buxton, Sano, Arcia and Pinto are likely on the team, and Parmalee, Plouffe, Pressley, etc fill could where needed.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:14 AM
How many games will these teams win; enough to challenge Detroit for the division or get a wild-card spot? Will they move deep into the post-season?

if the answer to the first one is no, I'd rather have them look for 2015 and beyond. Capuano will be 36 years old. He is on the decline phase. Even if the Twins decide (*) to not complete in 2014, they can sign younger FAs (like Hughes) who will be part of a potential future competitive team. A Capuano signing will be lots like the Correia signing.


(*) Decide because the Twins have the $ to spend and be competitive:
2013 Revenue: $215 million; 2014 broadcasting $: $35 million = $250 million
(promised) 52% of that is $130 million. Actual projected as is spend = $60 million (with arbitration awards).

Net left to spend: $70 Million.

$70 million plus most of this pen, plus Mauer, Arcia, Dozier and a few others as a core (and I don't even mind Willingham or Plouffe as platoon DH) can build a champion.

But are the Twins willing to do it? Does this front office actually have a. the guts and b. the talent to do it?

Not sure there...

So how do you successfully spend $70 million if that is the agenda (I said if I were the GM, no the owner)?

There are 29 other teams competing. It seems difficult to throw that kind of money out unless you have LeBron-Bosh-Wade kind of collusion. For $70 million I guess you can get Santana and Jimenez, and then Ellsbury or Choo plus Morales.

But really? How likely is that unless they all sat down together and were convinced that *together* they make the Twins viable.

Anyway, I see zero possibility of this team contending for the playoffs. That isn't the point. The point is to move toward 2015.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:16 AM
Rotation:
1. Sign Kazmir 3/$35-40M
2. Sign Hughes or Feldman @ 2/$20M
3. Deduno
4. Correia
5. Gibson
-----------
Diamond/Worley for competition/injury

Lineup:
CF Presley/Hicks (placeholders for Buxton)
2B Dozier
1B Mauer
RF Sign Nelson Cruz 2/$26M
LF Arcia
DH Willingham
3B Plouffe (placeholder for Sano)
C Pinto
SS Florimon

Nelson Cruz will not be had for 2 and 26, nor will Hughes for 2 and 20. Feldman, yes. Also, Nelson Cruz is an abomination in the field. FYI.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:26 AM
If Hicks makes the 25 man to begin the year, I quit. If he's promoted from AAA with anything less than a .700 OPS, I quit.

So, is *anyone* going to ever answer my question? Name another player who skipped AAA and then was asked to be the leadoff hitter? Also, Hick's OPS after April is about .700.

WHY waste any more time with filler? Presley in CF and Willingham in left? That's the plan?

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:30 AM
For all the pitching talk, a few of you made some very good points in regards to the lineup being awful.

Willingham (LF), Doumit (DH), 1B and 3B are all positions where you must have good hitters. I understand Florimon at SS, because his defense really is very good. I can live with that. Dozier is solid, not great at 2B. He's definitely not a problem area.

But going into the season with only Parmalee, Colabello and Plouffe as the 1B and 3B options is asking for a poor lineup. At least Willingham and Doumit have had multiple strong seasons and could bounce back. Outside of Plouffe's one month a few years back, none of these three have done anything to deserve having the job handed to them. Sano is on his way, so don't splurge in FA. But 1B is a huge need area and needs to be addressed to make this lineup at all productive again.

Arcia will improve. Hicks needs to earn his promotion from AAA. I wouldn't be opposed to signing an OF either.

If you have some sort of post 2014 plan that involves Willingham and Doumit, then go ahead. Otherwise, paying and playing declining players is obviously silly and ridiculous. Any value in return is good. And it also gives several hundred more plate appearances to players potentially in the future for the Twins? Imagine that?

#24 Sano
10-31-2013, 12:32 AM
I pray Ellsbury just magically appears on this roster with Tanaka magically appearing in the rotation. I think they would look good in the twins pinstripes. That's all I'm asking, please no more rumours of nishioka like players (Yoon) coming to Minnesota.

The Wise One
10-31-2013, 05:09 AM
So, is *anyone* going to ever answer my question? Name another player who skipped AAA and then was asked to be the leadoff hitter? Also, Hick's OPS after April is about .700.

WHY waste any more time with filler? Presley in CF and Willingham in left? That's the plan?

Answer to the *question* is it was a while ago and the name escapes me.
IIRC you didn't much care for last winter's pitcher signing yet advocate Capuano. Your question about organizational filler seems appropriate.

goulik
10-31-2013, 06:56 AM
The point is "if I was GM" I have my blueprint, Shane has his, others are in the handbook, and others have been posted. If you don't like ours, post your own.

I think we should spend big with some 2-3 year contracts that can be traded or come off the books when young guys emerge and need to get paid, Longer if it is a hole in the system and we can lock up a younger FA long term.

I agree with Shane that there is no reason to slow down future Twins from coming up and taking their lumps next year because if we slow them down, they take their lumps in 2015 and we have two more non playoff years instead of one more. Let's shorten these off years, get these young guys going and supplement them with FA "winners". Play we'll next year though we don't quite make the playoffs due to youthfulness but are primes for a BIG run in 2015.

Reider
10-31-2013, 07:25 AM
goilik, I agree with you about spending some $. The Twins have been cutting payroll for 3 years now. Most of the veterans of years past are gone or will be gone after this year. Payroll is getting close to half of what it was in 2010 and these young guys are slowly making their way up. It wouldn't hurt the Twins to sign a couple of guys this off season and perhaps a couple more next off season.

I don't mind guys like Hicks playing in the MLB if they earn it. If they come up and fail, then so be it. Send them back down for a while. Fans need to understand that it takes time. Revere got sent down a few times, then one time something just clicked. He came back up and started playing the way he needed to.

As far as making a big run in 2015. That might be a bit optimistic looking at the team right now, but add a few pieces this season, a few next off season and perhaps some of these young guys step up and you never know. I'm guessing it'll be at least 2016 before the Twins field any sort of competitive team, but you never know. 2015 would be nice.

twinsajsf
10-31-2013, 08:11 AM
Nelson Cruz will not be had for 2 and 26, nor will Hughes for 2 and 20. Feldman, yes. Also, Nelson Cruz is an abomination in the field. FYI.

We'll have to agree to disagree on Hughes. For what it's worth, Steve Adams at mlbtraderumors has done a pretty good job with FA contract projections, and he just predicted 1/$8M for Hughes. I do think he will be had for 2/$20M. Cruz will get a qualifying offer, lowering the market for him slightly, but upon further consideration, he will likely get 3 yrs., and to come to a non-contender would likely require the 1-yr. qualifying amount ($14M) per year, so let's say 3/$42. And yes, like Willingham, he's terrible in the field, so depending on the progress of Buxton/Hicks, maybe he moves to DH for 2015/16 when Willy is gone.

Han Joelo
10-31-2013, 08:25 AM
I also agree with goulik. Sign some veteran "winners" to help change the clubhouse culture and mentor the next wave.

Just dreaming, but how about Tim Hudson, Juan Uribe, and Napoli? Plus Tanaka...

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 08:48 AM
We'll have to agree to disagree on Hughes. For what it's worth, Steve Adams at mlbtraderumors has done a pretty good job with FA contract projections, and he just predicted 1/$8M for Hughes. I do think he will be had for 2/$20M. Cruz will get a qualifying offer, lowering the market for him slightly, but upon further consideration, he will likely get 3 yrs., and to come to a non-contender would likely require the 1-yr. qualifying amount ($14M) per year, so let's say 3/$42. And yes, like Willingham, he's terrible in the field, so depending on the progress of Buxton/Hicks, maybe he moves to DH for 2015/16 when Willy is gone.

Yeah, I just saw that about Hughes. I find it to be a bizarre prediction. The guys here have predicted 3 years and $30 million. Mlbtraderumors is rather low in all of the predictions, especially given the new TV money.

Cruz is 33, inept in the outfield, and is about the opposite of the kind of guy I would want to add to the clubhouse.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 08:51 AM
Answer to the *question* is it was a while ago and the name escapes me.
IIRC you didn't much care for last winter's pitcher signing yet advocate Capuano. Your question about organizational filler seems appropriate.

I don't advocate for Capuano being the top signing. I have him second in my "more realistic" scenario because there is no way the Twins are going to buy two better pitchers. In my real scenario, he is the third signing. I am not sure what is wrong with that, especially given the fact that in that scenario I am trading away Correia and mention trading Capuano at the deadline if he has a good year!

Siehbiscuit
10-31-2013, 09:14 AM
Shane, I think everyone knows this is your thread, so you can stop defending yourself everytime someone disagrees. I personally don't think dumping veterans (Willingham and Doumit) for never-will-be's is worth anything to this organization. I would roll the dice that until there is a better power-hitting RH on the roster or ready to EARN a promotion, I am not dumping Willingham. His value can only rise and he is blockig NOBODY. Disagreeing is healhy and natural, but don't cut everyone down that has a different idea or philosophy.

Rosterman
10-31-2013, 09:29 AM
Deduno is an aging rookie. If he throws anything great, market the heck out of him to a contender. I don't really see him in the long range plans. Unless no one else wants him. Then, he hangs iun the rotation until he's replaced by others. He has some uniqueness, and is cheap for a couple of years, but if you can get value out of him, do it. The other reason to give Parmelee and Plouffe a shot again in 2014 bigtime. If they gain any value, take offers. Willingham may have his most value if he has a good spring and a team gets an injury and has a need for a power-hitting OF/DH. And Doumit would be a great choice for Texas. And, yes, the Twins need to market some relievers bigtime during the trade deadline -- Swarzak, Duensing, Burton, Fein should ALL be mnovable and replaceable by fresh young arms from the minors. Let them weardown at season's end for some other team.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 11:06 AM
Shane, I think everyone knows this is your thread, so you can stop defending yourself everytime someone disagrees. I personally don't think dumping veterans (Willingham and Doumit) for never-will-be's is worth anything to this organization. I would roll the dice that until there is a better power-hitting RH on the roster or ready to EARN a promotion, I am not dumping Willingham. His value can only rise and he is blockig NOBODY. Disagreeing is healhy and natural, but don't cut everyone down that has a different idea or philosophy.

This is that awkward moment where I respond to a post about not responding to every post . . .

I am not one to simple agree to disagree, so I welcome actual debate and enjoy argumentation. Sometimes argumentation leads to arriving at a truth or some truths!

twinsajsf
10-31-2013, 11:23 AM
Yeah, I just saw that about Hughes. I find it to be a bizarre prediction. The guys here have predicted 3 years and $30 million. Mlbtraderumors is rather low in all of the predictions, especially given the new TV money.

Cruz is 33, inept in the outfield, and is about the opposite of the kind of guy I would want to add to the clubhouse.

Hmm . . . I had always heard positive accounts of Cruz as a "clubhouse guy" and teammate, so I did a little searching after reading your post, and again, all positives. Can you post a link to something negative, or are you basing it on his biogenesis suspension (i.e.--baggage of a different kind)?

I also did some searching on Hughes salary projections, adjusted for the Lincecum signing, and the HIGHEST projection I could find is the one you referenced (3/$30M), with several still lower in yrs/$'s, so 2/$20M still seems pretty realistic at this point. Of course, WE might have to add the extra year because we're a less attractive destination (see previous post re: Cruz).

cwzimmerman
10-31-2013, 11:30 AM
So you think it's realistic that TR will sign two FA pitchers that cost more than 4 or 5 $million/year? That's awesome. After penny pinching on Pelfrey and Correia last year when there were other options out there, I really hope he opens the wallet a bit more this year.

I won't mind if Doumit and/or Willingham are traded away. I have lost confidence in Parmelee. He had a good September, what, three years ago? And hasn't really found any consistency since. Plouffe hit for some power two years ago, so I'm willing to give him another year. I'm also really hoping to see what Pinto can do next year. I'd give him a chance for sure.

I'd keep Deduno and Fien around next year. As for Burton, I really hope he improves from last year.

Realistically, I wouldn't trade Deduno away if it meant being left with 3 pitchers who weren't good enough last year (Gibson, Diamond, Worely) to hopefully fill in the last two spots. Heck, for the short time Albers was up, he was at least able to have a few solid performances. That said, I really hope Diamond has a bounce back year. That would be huge for the Twins, especially if they sign a couple of solid FA pitchers.

Despite his periodic bouts of wildness, I would hang on to Deduno. Even in the unlikely event that the Twins are able to sign two or more quality starters (depending on how we each define "quality"), he would still likely serve as a serviceable starter for the back end of the rotation. Everything else being equal, I don't think he's done anything to not deserve an opportunity to be in the starting rotation to open the season.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 11:49 AM
Hmm . . . I had always heard positive accounts of Cruz as a "clubhouse guy" and teammate, so I did a little searching after reading your post, and again, all positives. Can you post a link to something negative, or are you basing it on his biogenesis suspension (i.e.--baggage of a different kind)?

I also did some searching on Hughes salary projections, adjusted for the Lincecum signing, and the HIGHEST projection I could find is the one you referenced (3/$30M), with several still lower in yrs/$'s, so 2/$20M still seems pretty realistic at this point. Of course, WE might have to add the extra year because we're a less attractive destination (see previous post re: Cruz).

What is funny about me is that I believe I said a month or so ago that the Twins should sign Hughes for 2 years and $22 million or something like that. Maybe I have been swayed by the TD prediction. I think the Lincecum deal is instructive, however. I think Hughes' salary expectation has to move towards that. So 2 and $28 was my newest 2 year prediction for him. I then was persuaded by others that two years was an unrealistic expectation, so that is why I went with 3 years.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 11:55 AM
I think Deduno has some trade value. He had an ERA+ of 106 last year in his limited time. If he were a free agent, he would certainly get some good-monied contract.

Wookiee of the Year
10-31-2013, 11:57 AM
I also did some searching on Hughes salary projections, adjusted for the Lincecum signing, and the HIGHEST projection I could find is the one you referenced (3/$30M), with several still lower in yrs/$'s, so 2/$20M still seems pretty realistic at this point. Of course, WE might have to add the extra year because we're a less attractive destination (see previous post re: Cruz).
I wondered about that some with the Offseason Handbook--some of the Twins Daily guys have referenced the idea that it'll cost the Twins more to attract guys than it might another team, so I do wonder if some of that was baked into those contract estimates. i.e. Those are estimates of what the Twins would have to pay to sign a guy, not necessarily projections for each player's actual contract.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:05 PM
I don't think MLBTR did a Lincecum estimate, did they? I wish we could see it as a comparison to reality.

big dog
10-31-2013, 12:19 PM
So, is *anyone* going to ever answer my question? Name another player who skipped AAA and then was asked to be the leadoff hitter? Also, Hick's OPS after April is about .700.

WHY waste any more time with filler? Presley in CF and Willingham in left? That's the plan?

I believe that Jim Eisenreich went from Wis Rapids (A) in 1981 to Opening Day leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the Twins in 1982. He had an OPS of .803 until he was shut down because of his medical condition.

Of course, playing for the Twins in 1982 was not really being in the major leagues, but at least he faced MLB pitchers.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 12:22 PM
I believe that Jim Eisenreich went from Wis Rapids (A) in 1981 to Opening Day leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the Twins in 1982. He had an OPS of .803 until he was shut down because of his medical condition.

Of course, playing for the Twins in 1982 was not really being in the major leagues, but at least he faced MLB pitchers.

An answer!!! Thanks for that research. And the dude skipped AA too.

Lesson to be learned is chillax about Hicks, I think.

golfboy1
10-31-2013, 01:51 PM
An answer!!! Thanks for that research. And the dude skipped AA too.

Lesson to be learned is chillax about Hicks, I think.

Kirby Puckett basically skipped AA. He started 1984 at AAA but was called up fairly soon & never looked back.

I'm not sure what your point is regarding Hicks skipping AAA. Admittedly, it's rare that someone does it AND succeeds. Hicks did not succeed & at this point I see no reason to hand him the job. I'd love to see him get off to a good start at AAA & force the Twins to call him up but I don't think they have any plans for him to open the season in the majors.

I like your idea for the Twins to go after Hughes on a 2 or 3 year deal. He has a chance to be a solid middle rotation guy. I'd prefer they take a chance on someone like Johnson instead of Capuano. I don't think Capuano is an improvement over what the Twins already have & he is getting older & injury prone.

I also like the idea of sending Pressley to AAA to start. The Twins need to explore every option they can to get good starting pitchers.

I don't have any problem trading Doumit but I don't think he will fetch anything close to Martinez.

Brandon
10-31-2013, 02:15 PM
So, is *anyone* going to ever answer my question? Name another player who skipped AAA and then was asked to be the leadoff hitter? Also, Hick's OPS after April is about .700.

WHY waste any more time with filler? Presley in CF and Willingham in left? That's the plan?

Chuck Knoblauch

Brandon
10-31-2013, 02:25 PM
What is funny about me is that I believe I said a month or so ago that the Twins should sign Hughes for 2 years and $22 million or something like that. Maybe I have been swayed by the TD prediction. I think the Lincecum deal is instructive, however. I think Hughes' salary expectation has to move towards that. So 2 and $28 was my newest 2 year prediction for him. I then was persuaded by others that two years was an unrealistic expectation, so that is why I went with 3 years.

www.mlbtraderumors.com (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com) is projecting 1 year 8 million for Hughes. i don't have the direct link but it was in there the other day so its not too far down. Also when have the Twins ever paid top dollar for a free agent. Anyone trying to guess offseason moves should start with that in mind. They may do 1 signing for a pitcher with our payroll availablitily to sell tickets but not likely. Pelfry, Yoon and Hughes should cost in the neighborhood of 2/16 Pelfry, 2/10 Yoon and 1/8-9 for Hughes Thats 34-35 million committed to starting pitching for This year and next. Short term contracts that wont handcuff the team when the big time prospects are up and ready to go.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 02:35 PM
By the way, I do think there is a difference in being a leadoff hitter. Leading off calls for pitch recognition and plate discipline. Hicks hadn't even really seen any MLB pitching, skipped AAA and was thrown into a position that was ridiculous. But he got better after being moved down. Note, that I only have him leading off against righties.

Did Puckett start out as a leadoff hitter?

Knoblauch was batting second, correct?

golfboy1
10-31-2013, 03:22 PM
By the way, I do think there is a difference in being a leadoff hitter. Leading off calls for pitch recognition and plate discipline. Hicks hadn't even really seen any MLB pitching, skipped AAA and was thrown into a position that was ridiculous. But he got better after being moved down. Note, that I only have him leading off against righties.

Did Puckett start out as a leadoff hitter?

Knoblauch was batting second, correct?

Yes, Puckett started out as a leadoff hitter. Knoblauch batted second while Gladden was the leadoff hitter.

You yourself said Hicks "was thrown into a position that was ridiculous." How is putting him back into that same position now any better? He hasn't even come close to hitting either ML pitching or even AAA pitching. While I'm not claiming Presley is the long term answer to CF or the leadoff spot I certainly think he is a better short term solution than giving Hicks the job.

I think Puckett & Knoblauch are the exceptions. It's much more common that players come up to the majors, struggle for awhile, get sent down & hopefully learn what it takes to play at the ML level. So far, I've seen no indication that Hicks is ready to play at the ML level.

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 03:40 PM
Hicks had an OPS of around .700 after April. He also was injured in AAA until the very end of the season when he started hitting again.

Also, I am, again, only calling for him to leadoff against right-handed pitching.

gil4
10-31-2013, 05:05 PM
Deduno makes me think about trading Correia more and more.

Deduno's shoulder surgery worries me. I know his agent says it went well and he should be 100% for the spring, but that's what they always say. Worley and Diamond were supposed to be 100% last year, and we saw how that went. (Granted, that might have been 100%, especially for Diamond.)

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 05:06 PM
Dodgers Decline Options On Mark Ellis, Chris Capuano: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/10/dodgers-decline-options-on-mark-ellis-chris-capuano.html)

"Capuano, 35, pitched to a 4.26 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 105 2/3 innings for the Dodgers this season. While his role with the club was uncertain early on, injuries opened up a rotation spot, and 20 of his 24 appearances for the Dodgers wound up being starts. A .334 batting average on balls in play shows that Capuano was the victim of some poor luck, and his FIP reflects that, projecting that his ERA should've been closer to 3.55"

gil4
10-31-2013, 05:08 PM
Also, I am, again, only calling for him to leadoff against right-handed pitching.

You did mean left-handed pitching, right?

golfboy1
10-31-2013, 05:12 PM
Hicks had an OPS of around .700 after April. He also was injured in AAA until the very end of the season when he started hitting again.

Also, I am, again, only calling for him to leadoff against right-handed pitching.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

It's always possible to make a case with stats to argue a point. Mike Pelfrey had an ERA of 3.25 in July & 3.60 in August so if we ignore the other months he had a good year. Hicks improved slightly after April but he still only batted .230 with an OBP of .292 in July before he was sent down. An OPS of around .700 isn't terrible but it ain't great either. If he is going to be leading off then his OBP is probably more important & that was still under .300. He batted .047 leading off & .189 vs. RH pitching so I'm not certain that he is ready to lead off yet.

Hicks batted .227 in August & .241 his last 10 games so I guess that was an improvement over earlier AAA numbers but they still weren't very good. They didn't recall him when rosters expanded so I suspect they want him to show improvement before they hand him a job. IMHO

Shane Wahl
10-31-2013, 05:14 PM
You did mean left-handed pitching, right?

Yes, thanks!

gil4
10-31-2013, 05:21 PM
A .334 batting average on balls in play shows that Capuano was the victim of some poor luck, and his FIP reflects that, projecting that his ERA should've been closer to 3.55"

Is Dodger Stadium still and extreme pitcher's park? His ERA+ was 84, which isn't good. That said, the past 6 years it has been 113, 87, 102, 81, 102, 84. Based on the pattern, we should sign him to either a 1 or 3 year deal.

Maybe we can sign him to a 2-year deal with the stipulation that he take a sabbatical in 2015, since he should do something other than pitch during odd years.

Oxtung
10-31-2013, 09:11 PM
I agree with Shane that there is no reason to slow down future Twins from coming up and taking their lumps next year because if we slow them down, they take their lumps in 2015 and we have two more non playoff years instead of one more. Let's shorten these off years, get these young guys going and supplement them with FA "winners". Play we'll next year though we don't quite make the playoffs due to youthfulness but are primes for a BIG run in 2015.

You're making a big assumption that all it takes is one season in the majors to prepare the young guys regardless if they've spent 1 season above A-ball or 3. I think it more likely that pushing players that quickly leads to more Hicks like lost seasons. Why not let the players arrive when they are ready even if that means a few replacement players before then?

Shane Wahl
11-01-2013, 12:09 AM
You're making a big assumption that all it takes is one season in the majors to prepare the young guys regardless if they've spent 1 season above A-ball or 3. I think it more likely that pushing players that quickly leads to more Hicks like lost seasons. Why not let the players arrive when they are ready even if that means a few replacement players before then?

True in that I think ample AAA time is valuable. I have maintained that AAA is important and there was a whole discussion about AA vs. AAA here. But I also believe two things:

1. Once a team takes that mistaken step and promotes a guy too fast to MLB, it is a problem to send him back down to AAA for long. It just messes things up. See Chris Parmelee. And before the "but Brian Dozier . . . " comment . . . Dozier was still terrible until he and Bruno found something to adjust.

2. A team that is terrible can afford to have its prospects get growing pains in MLB. The Twins are terrible, thanks to BS, TR, RG, and RA, and so on. Sticking Arcia and Hicks back in AAA seems like an unwise move.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 12:23 AM
A lot of good points in here, a few bits that I don't agree with.

Both Cruz & Hart have publicly stated they will take hometown discounts to resign with their current/former teams.

It's probably fairly safe to say Hughes is not going to get a large multi year dea. He is going to want to go to a pitcher friendly team (ballpark/defense) to re establish his value on a 1 year incentive laden deal.

You arent getting anything for Doumit other than dumping salary. Maybe a guy like Welker but I think that is even unlikely. I'd prefer to dump the salary & spend it on pitching but they have plenty of payroll available to spend on pitching and it wont be used anyway. Maybe he can be packaged with Willingham near the deadline after rebuilding a little value.

Deduno can be a solid 4/5 guy cheaply for a few years. Your not going to get value for him and the rotation is so depleted it doesnt make a lot of sense to trade him.

Also I agree its almost certain Hicks will start in AAA as will Parmelee. Pressly, Mastrioanni, & Arcia will be the OF with Willingham splitting time between DH & 4th OF with Doumit.

As much sense as a platoon with Plouffe/Parmelee makes it wont happen. Gardy & Ryan have stated numerous times they don't believe in platoons which I find maddening. It makes sense that you dont want to platoon young guys developing, they will never improve nor will you find out if they can hit both sides without giving them the chance. However at some point it becomes painfully obvious the guy can't hit one or the other it should be done.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 12:48 AM
I think the Twins will go hard after Randy Messenger & Suk-Min Yoon likely signing both. Also either Hughes or Josh Johnson on a 1 year deal. Feldman would be great & the Twins have always reportedly been high on him but he pitched pretty well for a contender in the AL Beast. The market will price him out of what the Twins will spend. Knowing Ryan's history, he is going to go for having multiple options mid level options.

Sano will make the team out of ST relegating Plouffe to 4th OF/1B duties. They should move Dozier but there are other 2B (Phillips,Kinsler etc..) who maybe available possibly watering down the trade market.

There's a good chance both Meyer & Gibson are in the rotation by June/July.

I hope a RHP bullpen guy (Burton) will be packaged with Dozier for a pitcher in the Meyer/May mold.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 01:48 AM
Trade Brian Dozier & Glen Perkins to the Braves for Alex Wood & Sean Gilmartin.

Trade Doumit & Burton (now a proven closer ;p ) at the deadline for any near MLB pitcher with upside.

SP: Correa, Wood, Deduno, Messenger, Moon (Gibson & Meyer waiting in the wings in AAA)
Bullpen: Fien, Swarzak, Tonkin, Welker, Pressley, Theilbar, Albers

C: Mauer/Pinto
1B: Pinto/Mauer
2B: Rosario
SS: Florimon
3B: Sano
OF: Pessly, Arcia, Mastrioanni
DH: Willingham
Bench: Plouffe, Escobar, Doumit, Herman

jokin
11-01-2013, 02:31 AM
Trade Brian Dozier & Glen Perkins to the Braves for Alex Wood & Sean Gilmartin.

Trade Doumit & Burton (now a proven closer ;p ) at the deadline for any near MLB pitcher with upside.

SP: Correa, Wood, Deduno, Messenger, Moon (Gibson & Meyer waiting in the wings in AAA)
Bullpen: Fien, Swarzak, Tonkin, Welker, Pressley, Theilbar, Albers

C: Mauer/Pinto
1B: Pinto/Mauer
2B: Rosario
SS: Florimon
3B: Sano
OF: Pessly, Arcia, Mastrioanni
DH: Willingham
Bench: Plouffe, Escobar, Doumit, Herman

Since you are predicting the Twins to go all-in the Far East, why not also sign Tanaka and get Wladimir Balentien out of his 3-year contract with the Swallows to play LF? There are ample available $$$ to sign all 4 of the above- and suddenly the Twins would be the talk of the American League as legitimate contenders. Yoon is still a crap shoot to return to form as a SP, Tanaka would replace him, only as the Ace- not the #5 starter- along with Wood and Messenger- a terrific top 3, with Yoon battling Correia, Deduno, Gibson and Meyer for spots at the bottom of the Rotation.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 03:34 AM
Since you are predicting the Twins to go all-in the Far East, why not also sign Tanaka and get Wladimir Balentien out of his 3-year contract with the Swallows to play LF? There are ample available $$$ to sign all 4 of the above- and suddenly the Twins would be the talk of the American League as legitimate contenders. Yoon is still a crap shoot to return to form as a SP, Tanaka would replace him, only as the Ace- not the #5 starter- along with Wood and Messenger- a terrific top 3, with Yoon battling Correia, Deduno, Gibson and Meyer for spots at the bottom of the Rotation.

I would love (LOVE) for them to go after Tanaka. Thats just not the type of move Ryan makes. The Yankees are going all in on Tanaka especially now that they believe they can get out of A-Roids salary, plus the posting fee will not count towards the salary which they are determined to get under 189Mil to reset their luxury tax %.

Yoon I can't imagine costing more than a few million for the posting fee & salary. Somewhat low/cost low/risk with some upside kind of move Ryan aalways falls back on after his sticker shock FA contract heart attacks. Messenger is in the same boat with a bit more predicitability I suppose is the best word that comes to mind.

Arcia/Hicks/Buxton is the OF of the future & nearly here. I can't see Ryan paying to get a guy out of a contract when they have guys who should be ready by mid season2014-2015.

Siehbiscuit
11-01-2013, 10:49 AM
Messenger would be good pull from Japan and I believe he was a guy on the Twins radar last year as well. A couple areas that are unlikely to happen are: 1) Parmalee starting in AAA. He is out of options and he would likely be picked up off of waivers, so I doubt the Twins would try and send him down. 2) Dozier will not be moved this off-season. He's a FO pet and unless Rosario was absolutely blasting the doors off at AAA and then MLB in 2014, maybe Dozier gets moved in the 2014 offseason. 3) Lastly, unless Doumit is moved he will be the DH. Which I disagree with, but its kind of a Twins reality. Willingham will play in LF and Arcia in RF. Mastroianni, with all due respect, is nothing more than a 4th OF. If healthy, he will be that again.

Shane Wahl
11-01-2013, 05:44 PM
What are Messenger's Japan numbers? He wasn't good before he went there.

ashburyjohn
11-01-2013, 06:14 PM
Baseball-reference.com has a tab for players who have played in Japan, so if you go to Randy's page there and click on it you get this:

Randy Messenger Japanese League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com (http://www.baseball-reference.com/japan/player.cgi?id=messen001ran)

Thrylos
11-01-2013, 06:16 PM
what are messenger's japan numbers? He wasn't good before he went there.

12-8, 2.89 era, 196.1 ip, 56 bb, 183 k, 1.171 whip

Shane Wahl
11-01-2013, 09:27 PM
Thanks to both of you. It's more interesting, certainly.

jokin
11-01-2013, 10:00 PM
Thanks to both of you. It's more interesting, certainly.

More interesting than Nishi, to be sure. And probably for not much more money than Nishi. They still need to make a serious offer at Tanaka.

jokin
11-01-2013, 10:09 PM
I would love (LOVE) for them to go after Tanaka. Thats just not the type of move Ryan makes. The Yankees are going all in on Tanaka especially now that they believe they can get out of A-Roids salary, plus the posting fee will not count towards the salary which they are determined to get under 189Mil to reset their luxury tax %.

Yoon I can't imagine costing more than a few million for the posting fee & salary. Somewhat low/cost low/risk with some upside kind of move Ryan aalways falls back on after his sticker shock FA contract heart attacks. Messenger is in the same boat with a bit more predicitability I suppose is the best word that comes to mind.

Arcia/Hicks/Buxton is the OF of the future & nearly here. I can't see Ryan paying to get a guy out of a contract when they have guys who should be ready by mid season2014-2015.

The Giants are reported to be kicking the tires on Balentien, so there must be a do-able "out clause" in his contract in Japan. In this scenario, Arcia could eventually move to 1B or become more full-time at DH. Balentien is still only 29, so a 3-year deal plus an option would seem to make sense in a veteran role among the rookie wave. As far as Tanaka goes, the Twins have a chance against the Yankees in the sense that they just have to win on the posting fee number, not the contract.

I know this isn't how Ryan thinks or operates and I'm not optimistic on anything but low-budget, low-risk, high-reward type signings like Yoon (and there is NO Posting Fee to acquire him), but perhaps Pohlad was serious in his public statements to stop the "embarrassment" now and open the checkbook, plus put all of $25M in the media money to work towards the payroll and not the TF debt.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 11:33 PM
The Giants are reported to be kicking the tires on Balentien, so there must be a do-able "out clause" in his contract in Japan. In this scenario, Arcia could eventually move to 1B or become more full-time at DH. Balentien is still only 29, so a 3-year deal plus an option would seem to make sense in a veteran role among the rookie wave. As far as Tanaka goes, the Twins have a chance against the Yankees in the sense that they just have to win on the posting fee number, not the contract.

I know this isn't how Ryan thinks or operates and I'm not optimistic on anything but low-budget, low-risk, high-reward type signings like Yoon (and there is NO Posting Fee to acquire him), but perhaps Pohlad was serious in his public statements to stop the "embarrassment" now and open the checkbook, plus put all of $25M in the media money to work towards the payroll and not the TF debt.

I just think they would probably keep Dozier at 2B & slide Rosario back to LF over making a move on Balentine.

There are new rules on the posting system where the player can choose between the top 3 bidders, also if he is not signed the runner up team in the posting fee has a chance to sign him. So even if the Twins fork over the 60+ mill it will take to be in the top 3 what Japanese player isn't going to choose LAD, NYY, or the Texas over the Twins.

Trevor0333
11-01-2013, 11:38 PM
Interesting tidbit about Nolasco/Johnson/Messenger from their shared agent.

Sosnick reps not only Johnson, but fellow free agents Ricky Nolasco (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/nolasri01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-www.typepad.com) and Randy Messenger (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/messera01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-www.typepad.com). He says that the Twins seem to have interest in every member of that trio, but his "sense is they're most interested in Nolasco."

Also the Twins wouldnt have to give up their 2nd round pick to sign him either. Rumors have the Dodgers possibly looking to go all in on Tanaka & make a run at David Price could indicate they won't chase Nolasco. He would be a great signing if the Twins could get him.

beckmt
11-02-2013, 12:38 AM
Interesting tidbit about Nolasco/Johnson/Messenger from their shared agent.

Sosnick reps not only Johnson, but fellow free agents Ricky Nolasco (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/nolasri01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-www.typepad.com) and Randy Messenger (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/messera01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-www.typepad.com). He says that the Twins seem to have interest in every member of that trio, but his "sense is they're most interested in Nolasco."

Also the Twins wouldnt have to give up their 2nd round pick to sign him either. Rumors have the Dodgers possibly looking to go all in on Tanaka & make a run at David Price could indicate they won't chase Nolasco. He would be a great signing if the Twins could get him.

He is another #3 or worse starter, Twins have plenty of those.

Shane Wahl
11-02-2013, 01:07 AM
Ulgh. I wouldn't sign Nolasco. He's extremely average. It's a slightly improved Correia but for 3 years and $42 million or more. Yikes.

Trevor0333
11-02-2013, 02:08 AM
He is another #3 or worse starter, Twins have plenty of those.

They have plenty of #5's, Im not sp sure about #3's. He is much better than Correia. I'd liken him to a durable Scott Baker, he would also instantly be the teams best SP althoiugh thats not high praise given their current crew.

Shane Wahl
11-02-2013, 08:48 AM
Career ERA+ for Nolasco? 94.

No thanks.

Oxtung
11-02-2013, 11:10 AM
I agree, Nolasco does little for me. Speaking of Mr. Baker I wouldn't mind the Twins bringing him back. Even a 1 year deal would work for me though an option year would obviously be nice.

stringer bell
11-02-2013, 11:44 PM
Regarding Hicks, I can' see any way that he will start 2014 in Minnesota. He was promoted to Minnesota on the basis of a strong 2012 in AA and a very good spring training. While Shane is saying his season wasn't a failure, it was assuredly below average. His 2013 wasn't a springboard for starting the season in the majors, and given his performance last spring training and subsequent poor performance, a strong spring can't be used to justify starting him in the majors. Hicks absolutely needs to perform well at Rochester before being promoted.

Shane Wahl
11-03-2013, 07:11 AM
Ok, reality seems to indicate that Yoon is a real possibility. And, yes, Hicks is likely to start in Rochester. I don't really want for the Twins to sign some marginal AAAA player yet again, and neither do I want them to get an aging and declining veteran for the corner OF.

So maybe they don't do that and they start with Willingham-Presley-Parmelee in the OF (Arcia either in AAA or getting quite a bit of time at DH). If those walks start to drop for Willingham (because his bat is less of a threat and pitchers are aware of this now), Parmelee really doesn't improve significantly, and Presley actually achieves what could be expected of a marginal MLB player, then the team is going to get around zero WAR from the three of them while also no development for the future. That's the kind of scenario that is quite scary to me. I don't think much was actually figured out in 2013 and I don't want another similar situation in 2014. This is why I am much more willing to part with these older and replaceable players now.

By the way, I may have been onto something with Correia and the Giants. Clearly, the Twins are not going to trade the only pitcher they can be fully confident will be an actual 4th-5th starter in terms of quality. But Correia would thus fit nicely at the backend of the Giants rotation.

TopGunn#22
11-03-2013, 04:41 PM
My answer to Shane's question would be Chuck Knoblach.

Joe A. Preusser
11-03-2013, 04:58 PM
Nolasco is fine, as long as he's not the top guy we bring in. A lot of this offseason hinges on where they think Plouffe will play when "the mighty stick" becomes a major leaguer. I think they sort of project him (Plouffe) over to 1st base or RF, so don't expect the Twins to add any depth at those positions. Wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to have a Buxton, Hicks, Plouffe outfield when we win the World Series.

Shane Wahl
11-03-2013, 06:26 PM
Nolasco is fine, as long as he's not the top guy we bring in. A lot of this offseason hinges on where they think Plouffe will play when "the mighty stick" becomes a major leaguer. I think they sort of project him (Plouffe) over to 1st base or RF, so don't expect the Twins to add any depth at those positions. Wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to have a Buxton, Hicks, Plouffe outfield when we win the World Series.

If the second best pitcher they bring in is a 3 year/$42 million or so guy then woah.

Nolasco is not close to worth that kind of money. He is basically merely Correia+

Anyway, I think you are right about Plouffe. I think giving him some time in the corner OF spots before Sano even arrives might be helpful.

And against lefties he is very good.

Shane Wahl
11-03-2013, 06:28 PM
Knoblauch came up and batted second between Gladden and Puckett.

But that is pretty close enough.

And Chuck Knoblauch had a rookie .701 OPS . . . which is roughly what Hicks had after April.

Who'dathunk?

Oxtung
11-03-2013, 06:41 PM
Knoblauch came up and batted second between Gladden and Puckett.

But that is pretty close enough.

And Chuck Knoblauch had a rookie .701 OPS . . . which is roughly what Hicks had after April.

Who'dathunk?

So you're saying we should trade Hicks tquickly before he forgets how to throw a ball?:jump:

ashburyjohn
12-18-2013, 06:40 PM
Trade Brian Dozier & Glen Perkins to the Braves for Alex Wood & Sean Gilmartin.

Not quite exactly, but good call nonetheless!

Trevor0333
12-18-2013, 07:43 PM
Not quite exactly, but good call nonetheless!

Hahaha well Alex Wood would have looked very good as the #5 in the rotation.