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Fangraphs Top 50 Free Agents

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:02 PM
Here is the link to their Top 50 Free Agent List with player write ups, community estimated contracts and Fangraphs estimated contracts....
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Hypothetical rule change: remove DH when pitcher is removed

Other Baseball Today, 08:55 PM
I just read this potential rule change on Twitter and I am intrigued:   https://twitter.com/...4091739136?s=20     For th...
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What can Morton be had for?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:55 PM
https://www.thescore...lb/news/2045846
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What to do with Lewis Thorpe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:42 PM
Lewis Thorpe is out of options. The Twins either need to keep him on the MLB team as their 5th starter or as a reliever out of the bullpe...
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White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Today, 12:48 PM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...
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Twins Can Begin Cashing in on Prospects

There’s some divide when it comes to the understanding of prospect value. In a traditional sense, many believe that a strong farm system or a belief in prospects is representative of a preference to minimize major league spending. The common refrain is that prospects don’t all pan out, and a heavy reliance on them leaves much to be desired on the major league roster. In a certain sense those sentiments hold weight, but the reality is that the best organizations use player development harmoniously with major league growth, and Minnesota has entered the era in which they can begin to cash in.
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
When looking at the World Series participants you’ll quickly be told how the Houston Astros went out and got Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. Max Scherzer was bought by the Washington Nationals, as was Patrick Corbin. These are realities, and they were made possible because of prospect development and timely execution. Houston parted with stellar talent for Verlander and Greinke, while Washington spent because of graduated excellence currently at the highest level. In summary, both these organizations are playing in the ultimate games during October because of how they developed and handled prospects.

For the Minnesota Twins coming off a 101-win season, it will be how they handle prospects that allow the next step to be taken. It’s a tough ask for Rocco Baldelli to start multiple rookies out of the gate but utilizing expendable assets to raise the overall talent pool while sprinkling in proven performers is a blueprint that Derek Falvey needs to get right.

Recently I opined that Eddie Rosario may be the Twins greatest expendable big-league asset. In that scenario the front office will need to decide if someone like Trevor Larnach or Alex Kirilloff is immediately ready to step in to a major league starting lineup. Because of the ceilings those two possess, how are players like Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel, and Luke Raley handled?

Up the middle Royce Lewis is really the only untouchable talent that the Twins have. Does Nick Gordon appeal to the organization as the next mid-season call-up or is he a nice bit of trade fodder after a strong second season at the Triple-A level? It appears that Minnesota has all but one or two positions etched in stone for the foreseeable future so turning some of the strengths on the farm into immediate opportunity is a worthy plan of action.

Over the winter Falvey and Thad Levine are going to be focused on pitching acquisitions. If they can parlay both dollars and talent into an arm or two, there’s a good chance the opportunity will again present itself at the deadline. Moving someone like Wander Javier or Jhoan Duran isn’t the most exciting development when looking into the future, but we’ve entered a period where the Twins window is in the here and now.

With baseball being a long-play sport in terms of development it’s not fair to view prospects as single-track assets. Developing a strong farm system is not just about graduating talent to the big-league club. Churning out future assets can be viewed as churning out trade capital as well, and that’s where Minnesota currently finds themselves striking it rich.

We don’t yet know who is on the move, who will be the next rookie to make an impact, or what it costs to generate the next ace. All those things are on the front office to figure out though, and they are more equipped to do so than ever before.

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25 Comments

It's not a question of can they, but will they. I'm guessing one medium sized trade.
    • James, Twins33, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

 

It's not a question of can they, but will they. I'm guessing one medium sized trade.

That sounds about right. I'd be very surprised if they moved any of our top 4 prospects (Larnich, Kiriloff, Lewis, Graterol) but they could move Balazovic in the right deal.

Gerrit Cole might've been taken into consideration as an example too

Tremendous OP, Ted. And you hit it right on the head!

Prospects are still just prospects, until they prove otherwise. Thank you Captain Obvious! LOL But at the end of the day, internal development has proven over and over again to be the foundation of good teams. I DESPISE saying anything positive about the Yankees, but for years they tried to build championship teams by flexing financial muscle. Now, they still have that ability and use it, but they built most of their championship teams, in recent memory, with a foundation that was home grown.

As currently constructed, even if it was "inherited" talent, the Twins have that kind of core. With this FO, and before, some pieces were brought in through trade of talent. When Falvey and Levine talk about building a sustainable organization, there is, IMO, a huge misunderstanding taking place. Building tbat sustainable organization does not mean ONLY building with home grown talent and "hording" prospects. When has that EVER been stated by anyone involved with the organization? BUT, building and improving the internal talent base not only means you have talented promotionsl/replacement talent, it means you have enough flexibility to trade milb talent for players, or replace ML talent traded away.

There are debates that the Twins system lacks "top end" prospects, but there is little to no debate they have a deeply rich system. One could argue, rather easily, that many of the prospects in the system ranked 11-30 would be top 10-20 for many teams.

Just for giggles, glance at some of the guys who played for AA Pensacola in 2019. Would you WANT to trade Balazovic, Colina, Duran, Jax, Ober, Sands, Jeffers, Rortvedt, Blenkenhorn, Miranda. Or WOULD you in a good deal? And this is just names from a single affiliate.

There has been a TON of debate at the trade moves Houston has made, from a deep system, to acquire quality talent without ever touching it's top 3-5 prospects in any individual deal. This is important to remember. Do the Twins really have to part with Graterol, Lewis and Khirilloff to make a major move with the depth they have?

The organization has the money and opportunity to make a few smart re-signs, as well as the financial flexibility/opportunity to add another high quality SP and RP from outside the organization. And these opportunities HAVE to be explored! Maybe we are floored! Maybe we are only slightly happy because they have to "settle" for a really nice addition or two to augment an already good team.

But in whatever incarnation you wish to dream about or present, the organization is also PRIMED to make a nice trade, or two, to enhance the current roster. Today, right now, the FO has been on the job for a little over 2 1/2 years. And they have been aggressive from the top down in many ways. To say they will continue to horde prospects and do nothing because that is the way things have been done before is misguided and short sighted.
    • birdwatcher, brvama, Riverbrian and 5 others like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Oct 23 2019 04:03 AM
I see some organizations playing 19-21 year olds at the MLB level and wonder why the Twins don't seem to do that. Are they too cautious?
    • Vanimal46 likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 23 2019 05:41 AM

 

I see some organizations playing 19-21 year olds at the MLB level and wonder why the Twins don't seem to do that. Are they too cautious?

I would say that it really depends on how well they play (and to be fair, it's a small number of players who are in MLB by 21)... I have zero problems with Lewis (for example) playing at the ML level next year if by chance he's good enough to be an above average player. 

 

But do you think he will?

    • brvama, DocBauer, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this

 

I see some organizations playing 19-21 year olds at the MLB level and wonder why the Twins don't seem to do that. Are they too cautious?

 

Those players have to be so special... teams are willing to let them become free agents before they reach the age of 27 because of the benefit today. 

 

If a 20 year old is going to struggle. There is no sense letting him burn service time struggling so he can figure it out right before he reaches free agency at age 26.  

 

 

 

 

 

    • brvama, Danchat, Minfidel and 7 others like this

 

It's not a question of can they, but will they. I'm guessing one medium sized trade.

It maybe a questions of can they.At the trade deadline, they only had trade interest in Kiriloff and Lewis.One of them had to be included in the trade to get Marcus Stroman.Considering what he ended up getting traded for, you have to wonder if we overrating the farm system.

    • wabene likes this

 

It maybe a questions of can they.At the trade deadline, they only had trade interest in Kiriloff and Lewis.One of them had to be included in the trade to get Marcus Stroman.Considering what he ended up getting traded for, you have to wonder if we overrating the farm system.

 

No idea... that is always possible.

 

However, I think it is more plausible that teams will overcharge the stronger organizations... being less willing to settle for a lesser players knowing that we have better players in the system.  

 

 

 

 

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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 23 2019 06:46 AM

So here's the prospect question as I see it.Can they go out and spend them to get someone who would be a better bet to be better than the options in FA? If so, I'd say trade the prospects. I'd rather, however, use them to plug holes come mid season and spend real cash on upgrades in FA. 

    • birdwatcher, brvama, DocBauer and 2 others like this

One of the issues the Twins have is Lewis,Larnich, Kiriloff,Graterol as al basically top 50 guys, and to trade top 50 guys you need a really, really good player back with years of control. (not sure who that is?)

 

And the next tier is what everybody seems to want to trade for that really, really good player with years of control and other teams might not think that highly of them, leaving the Twins in a tough spot for trading.

basically what Riverbrian said above.

    • brvama and Riverbrian like this

 

So here's the prospect question as I see it.Can they go out and spend them to get someone who would be a better bet to be better than the options in FA? If so, I'd say trade the prospects. I'd rather, however, use them to plug holes come mid season and spend real cash on upgrades in FA. 

 

But taking this one step further which is where I think the OP would suggest we go, lets do all of these things. Trade from depth for the really good controllable player, keep the guys we want for depth AND sign a big name free agent! 

 

If we traded Rosario and lesser prospects for Syndegaard, Kirrilloff or Larnach or Raley or Rooker or Wade or.... to fill Rosario's place, We sign Garret Cole for 7 years 210 Million, resign Odorizzi, and we still have the other prospects we did not trade to fill in as depth, we are truly contenders.

    • birdwatcher and Twins33 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 23 2019 10:20 AM

 

But taking this one step further which is where I think the OP would suggest we go, lets do all of these things. Trade from depth for the really good controllable player, keep the guys we want for depth AND sign a big name free agent! 

 

If we traded Rosario and lesser prospects for Syndegaard, Kirrilloff or Larnach or Raley or Rooker or Wade or.... to fill Rosario's place, We sign Garret Cole for 7 years 210 Million, resign Odorizzi, and we still have the other prospects we did not trade to fill in as depth, we are truly contenders.

I'm not against a depth move as you suggested. I'm not sure we have much in the high minors that fits that narrative. Our most ready prospects to fill in are Gordon (for Arraez) and Raley in the OF.

 

Trading Rosie opens up a hole in the OF. AK isn't ready now... neither is Rooker or Larnach… Cave should be a decent 3rd OF, but if/when Buxton goes down.. well... now it's a problem. I would say it's reasonably certain that we'd see a drop off in production in RF if that happened... and that's before I point out that I highly doubt Rosario, Arraez, or Cave gets that kind of return. 

 

I think that type of move might be better made next season if guys like AK, Larnach, and Lewis are all making a case to be in the majors. 

    • birdwatcher, goulik and wabene like this
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BrianTrottier
Oct 23 2019 10:41 AM

 

I see some organizations playing 19-21 year olds at the MLB level and wonder why the Twins don't seem to do that. Are they too cautious?

 

Byron Buxton? Brusdar Graterol?

    • birdwatcher, nicksaviking and wabene like this

 

Byron Buxton? Brusdar Graterol?

 How old was Jorge Polanco when he first appeared?

    • birdwatcher and wabene like this

 

 How old was Jorge Polanco when he first appeared?

 

when he first appeared, or came up to stay and star? Those are two very different things.....

    • Minfidel likes this

 

I'm not against a depth move as you suggested. I'm not sure we have much in the high minors that fits that narrative. Our most ready prospects to fill in are Gordon (for Arraez) and Raley in the OF.

 

Trading Rosie opens up a hole in the OF. AK isn't ready now... neither is Rooker or Larnach… Cave should be a decent 3rd OF, but if/when Buxton goes down.. well... now it's a problem. I would say it's reasonably certain that we'd see a drop off in production in RF if that happened... and that's before I point out that I highly doubt Rosario, Arraez, or Cave gets that kind of return. 

 

I think that type of move might be better made next season if guys like AK, Larnach, and Lewis are all making a case to be in the majors. 

I think we would be better off with Syndegaard and Wade Than Rosario and not have a Syndegaard type. Wade would only be that fall back guy if one of the bigger outfield prospects doesn't push his way up in Spring Training. With Kirrilloff, Larnach, Rooker, Wiel, and Raley all a step away, I would be surprised if one of them doesn't push their way up early in the season if not straight out of Spring Training.

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 23 2019 10:58 AM

 

It maybe a questions of can they.At the trade deadline, they only had trade interest in Kiriloff and Lewis.One of them had to be included in the trade to get Marcus Stroman.Considering what he ended up getting traded for, you have to wonder if we overrating the farm system.

 

How do you know this? Look at what he was traded for? No one near the level of either one of those 2 players.

 

I'm curious how people think that what was leaked from Twins officials are what ultimately was going on. I just look back on all kinds of trades and see what was it ACTUALLY took to acquire guys from time to time and it seems to me, most of the time, Twins would have been able to match or beat these offers. 

 

Like Syndergaard. I don't believe for one second that the Mets actually believed they would get Lewis and Kiriloff both for him. Did they start there? Maybe. But I would be willing to bet either one of those guys, plus another from our top 7-15 would have got that trade done without an issue. 

 

 

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 23 2019 11:04 AM

 

One of the issues the Twins have is Lewis,Larnich, Kiriloff,Graterol as al basically top 50 guys, and to trade top 50 guys you need a really, really good player back with years of control. (not sure who that is?)

 

And the next tier is what everybody seems to want to trade for that really, really good player with years of control and other teams might not think that highly of them, leaving the Twins in a tough spot for trading.

basically what Riverbrian said above.

 

I'm not sure alot of folks actually feel this way. I'm pretty sure there is a good portion of the fanbase that is more than ok with using of few of those guys from the top of your list as long as it brings back real talent. 

 

Twins have been the ones trying to trade peanuts for ribeye steaks, at least over the years they have been.(Maybe that's what you meant with your post, sorry)

 

I will give this FO credit, they have done a pretty darn good job so far. But to me, the biggest test is these next couple years. This is the same type of thing Terry Ryan was faced with, with a few of his cores. He declined to do anything significant and it was the start of the 16 game streak of gettiing beat in the postseason. The real question, IMO, is will the ownership allow their FO to break from the Twins mold and do what it takes to build a real contender? Or will they toe the line and continue with the cheap ways and prospect hoarding we have seen for years?

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, goulik and 1 other like this
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BrianTrottier
Oct 23 2019 11:05 AM

 

when he first appeared, or came up to stay and star? Those are two very different things.....

 

He got a few games at ages 20 and 21 but became more of a regular at 22 when he appeared in 69 games--not a huge difference agewise.

 

The argument was that the Twins don't play guys at the MLB level at that age, which doesn't ring true. Mauer debuted at age 20, Torii Hunter at 21-22, Cuddyer, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Morneau, Sano, Kepler, and Arraez all made their first appearances at 22. Again, the original post was referring to 20-21 year olds, but I'd argue there's not much of a difference playing a 21 year old and a 22 year old.

 

Point being, the Twins don't avoid calling guys up at that point because they're young. It's because there aren't too many guys demonstrating that they're MLB caliber players in their early 20s. I'm guessing the Twins aren't abnormal in their decisions to play guys real young.

 

ETA: Stay and star at the MLB level are two very different things, ones that most MLB players never achieve no matter their age.

    • birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan, Riverbrian and 6 others like this

 

How do you know this? Look at what he was traded for? No one near the level of either one of those 2 players.

 

I'm curious how people think that what was leaked from Twins officials are what ultimately was going on. I just look back on all kinds of trades and see what was it ACTUALLY took to acquire guys from time to time and it seems to me, most of the time, Twins would have been able to match or beat these offers. 

 

Like Syndergaard. I don't believe for one second that the Mets actually believed they would get Lewis and Kiriloff both for him. Did they start there? Maybe. But I would be willing to bet either one of those guys, plus another from our top 7-15 would have got that trade done without an issue. 

The fact they got players nowhere near the level of our top 2 is my point.If the reporting was correct, they were requiring either Lewis or Kiriloff in the deal.They looked at the rest of our system and were either not offered enough or didn't think anyone else in our system was better than the players the Met's offer unless the Twins included one of the top 2 players.

 

I find it hard to believe Toronto accepted a lesser deal from New York than what the Twins were able to offer just because the Twins wouldn't include Lewis or Kiriloff.They must have not have considered the other Twins prospects at the level of the Met's prospects.

 

 

I find it hard to believe Toronto accepted a lesser deal from New York than what the Twins were able to offer just because the Twins wouldn't include Lewis or Kiriloff.They must have not have considered the other Twins prospects at the level of the Met's prospects.

I am guessing (really hoping) that MN didn't think he was going to be a upgrade over what they had at the time (Berrios, Pineda, Ordo and Gibson) and weren't willing to pay the price being asked for a 5th starter. Which if Pineda doesn't get hurt May be true.

And (fingers crossed) their thoughts were with those guys plus another or two they could get a better pitcher at the deadline or off season.

Hopefully not wishful thinking.

    • wabene likes this
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Battle ur tail off
Oct 23 2019 02:54 PM

 

 

I find it hard to believe Toronto accepted a lesser deal from New York than what the Twins were able to offer just because the Twins wouldn't include Lewis or Kiriloff.They must have not have considered the other Twins prospects at the level of the Met's prospects.

 

I would surmise it is not the fact that lower prospects wouldn't get it done. I feel as if this information was leaked because the Twins were unwilling to beat the offer accepted even without using Lewis and Kiriloff. 

 

They don't tell the truth to their fans over there all the time. Or at the very least, they leave parts of the truth out. They have always made it seem as if the other organization is the villian, "the asking price was too high", "he turned down our offer and wanted too much money", etc.  

 

Now, I am not all that mad they didn't make a trade for Stroman. I don't feel he is that great. There have been chances over the years though to add real talent by giving someone up and they haven't done it. 

 

Basically, I really won't believe anything from them until there is proof their offer was higher both in terms of trades or FA signing. That's me, I'm sour. Most of it comes from blowing 2006 and 2010. Even though those were a long time ago, it still chaps my hide. LOL

 

I see some organizations playing 19-21 year olds at the MLB level and wonder why the Twins don't seem to do that. Are they too cautious?

 

There were only 3 position players with 300 PA and age 20-21: Vlad Jr., Soto and Acuna. There were 9 players at age 22, and the Twins had one - Arraez. 

 

The Twins pitched Graterol on his 21st birthday as a RP and put him on the playoff roster.

 

I think the Twins are reasonably aggressive. I have no doubt they will bring up Lewis, Kirilloff or Larnach whenever they are ready (except for years of control shenanigans).

    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, diehardtwinsfan and 4 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 23 2019 05:26 PM

 

I think we would be better off with Syndegaard and Wade Than Rosario and not have a Syndegaard type. Wade would only be that fall back guy if one of the bigger outfield prospects doesn't push his way up in Spring Training. With Kirrilloff, Larnach, Rooker, Wiel, and Raley all a step away, I would be surprised if one of them doesn't push their way up early in the season if not straight out of Spring Training.

 

Not a Syndergaard type is quite the description :)  

 

I'm more holding the FO to their words about spending money when the window is open... It's wide open right now. 

 

And I'm not exactly sold on Thor. He's not the same guy he was. Perhaps our analytics team sees something and can correct it, but he was not as good as Pineda, Berrios, or Odorizzi last season... Think about that. 

 

I'm not against acquiring him. I'm not sure he's worth major league pieces that the Mets are asking for nor the prospects they'd likely ask for as well.

 

This is not the ace you're looking for. 

    • goulik likes this