Falvine Ready To Flex Muscles
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsBilled as forward thinkers, new-age baseball guys, and numbers focused, Falvey and Levine represent a very new culture for the Twins. We saw that play out more off the field than on it during 2017. With coaches like James Rowson and Jeff Pickler brought aboard, Falvine went young and progressive thinking right out of the gate. Former big league pitcher Jeremy Heffner was added to the organization, and those cut from the same cloth have continued to be called upon. Garvin Alston and Tanner Swanson both seem to be in that category as well.
Over the course of their organizational additions, Falvey and Levine have continued to display a tendency to follow through on something Levine mentioned during a mid-season Baseball Prospectus event. While the Twins may not outspend the competition on the field, they can find a competitive advantage in how they hire off of it. Beefing up the analytics department, and putting people in place that challenge players and coaches alike seems to be a good strategy. It’s of the same line of thinking that landed Jason Castro with the Twins for 2017. While pitching remains an expensive fix, an adept receiver can raise the overall water level of the pitching staff for a fraction of the cost.
Heading into what will be their first true offseason, or the one in which they feel comfortable making waves, Twins fans should find excitement in what we’ve been led to believe thus far. There’s a pretty low probability that the hometown nine sign the likes of Shohei Otani or even Yu Darvish, but the fact that they’ve been mentioned in the conversation is nice to see. Rather than looking for the scrap heap additions that can be made from minor league deals, it seems that the front office is aware that the time is now.
With Minnesota having graduated more than a handful of top prospects, the next phase in a rebuild is to supplement from outside. Pairing young players poised to break into their primes with established veterans is as good a recipe for winning as I can think of. That Falvine took the first year to make sure the correct infrastructure was in place should only further the ability to draw the most out of their on-field decisions.
Through the GM Meetings, Rule 5 Draft, Winter Meetings, and Free Agency as a whole, it will be worth dissecting what each decision is actually telling us. Rather than wondering what a certain player brings to the Twins, trying to understand what Falvey and Levine see as the play could be just as beneficial. In an uncapped sport with each team having access to the same commodities, it’s on the Twins to continue to carve out a competitive advantage. Whether or not we know now that Falvey has his sights set on the next Corey Kluber, trying to understand the thought process is half of the excitement.
Indirectly, we’ve been told an incredible amount by the Twins new front office over the course of their first year. While the moves have not been plentiful, the process has been put in motion to bear fruit at a very respectable rate. In a thinking man’s game, it’s hard not to be on board with what seems like a brain trust that is aimed toward sustainability as opposed to immediacy.
Ideally, I’d love to see the Twins open 2018 with names like Darvish, Santana, Cobb, Lynn and Shaw on their roster. Not knowing what will take place however, I’m equally excited to embark fully upon an offseason that has the chance to be one of the most intriguing in Twins franchise history. Smart people generally surround themselves with those who will challenge them, and help the overall growth of an organization. It’s fair to suggest that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have accomplished that, and the next question is; where do they go from here?
- Cory Engelhardt, Deduno Abides, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this