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Minnesota Twins Sign Reliever Tim Stauffer

Those Twins fans hoping that the last spot in the Twins bullpen this year might go to a failed ex-starter may have gotten their wish today. It’s just that that failed ex-starter was with the Padres.

The Minnesota Twins announced that they signed right-hander Tim Stauffer to a one-year, $2.2 milion contract today to compete for a bullpen spot. Stauffer is an ex-starter who was moved to the bullpen after suffering a couple of significant injuries while he served as a fringe starting pitcher in the Padres organization.
Image courtesy of Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
In 2012, Stauffer had his elbow’s flexor tendon repaired and had undergone labrum surgery a few years earlier. He debuted way back in 2005 and was the third overall pick in 2003. This is his first team other than the Padres, who brought him back a few times.

Last year Stauffer wasn’t a key cog in the Padres bullpen, rarely seeing high leverage innings unless they were in extra innings. But his stats as a reliever give hope that he has the potential for more. Last year he had 57 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56.1 innings, though he also posted a pretty mediocre 1.314WHIP. He also seemed to be helped by spacious Petco Park, giving up far fewer hits at home than on the road, but Target Field has a reputation as a pitcher-friendly park, too.

He’s possibly better than he’s been used, and although he’s 31 years old, it’s a very affordable one-year deal and provides additional competition in a possibly already crowded bullpen. About the only people who should be opposed to this move are the other relievers in the Twins bullpen, unless the hope was that the Twins would sign a high-end reliever.


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45 Comments

Nothing wrong with the signing as a guy to replace Burton, I guess... If they were going to bring in a RP, I would have preferred someone who was a bit better to be the 8th inning guy. It seems like we have a lot of BP candidates already when you factor in the young guys who probably won't make the rotation. Most of the RH guys are already pretty similar to Stauffer, so other than competition, not sure what he really brings to the table, but at least he's not horrible. 

 

Still really, really want to see them bring in a guy we can count on to start in CF, either via trade or FA signing. Would much rather they had held the money given to Stauffer out to contribute towards an OF that can actually cover some ground. 

 

Hopefully they aren't done yet, but the 40 man is starting to look pretty full. 

Nothing wrong with the signing as a guy to replace Burton, I guess... If they were going to bring in a RP, I would have preferred someone who was a bit better to be the 8th inning guy. It seems like we have a lot of BP candidates already when you factor in the young guys who probably won't make the rotation. Most of the RH guys are already pretty similar to Stauffer, so other than competition, not sure what he really brings to the table, but at least he's not horrible. 

 

 

 

Uhhh... 24.5%.... that's Stauffer's K%... there is nothing similar on this staff to that number among any of the RHPs (Fien is the only one close, and he was only at 19.6%).Only LHP Perkins has a better number than that

    • glunn and Dantes929 like this
He hasn't been very good outside of Petco. Lucky for him Target Field has been such a paradise for Twins pitchers *snort*.
    • HitInAPinch likes this

Uhhh... 24.5%.... that's Stauffer's K%... there is nothing similar on this staff to that number among any of the RHPs (Fien is the only one close, and he was only at 19.6%).Only LHP Perkins has a better number than that

Not just referring to K%, but rather overall potential. Stauffer has been pitching in the best pitcher's park in baseball for the last 9 years to the tune of a 3.99 FIP and a 1.308 WHIP. He has a track record of being okay, but even San Diego didn't use him high leverage situations, with a total of 7 Holds and 1 blown save to go with his 0 saves over that time. Yes he started some, but a majority of his work has been out of the pen. 

 

He's not a bad back of the pen guy, but I would rather see a Meyer or May, or even Tonkin get some major league experience than Stauffer at this point. 

    • glunn and Sconnie like this
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jorgenswest
Dec 23 2014 06:19 PM
I won't be opposed until he makes the roster in favor of Tonkin.

There are very few people left who would call a Target Field a pitching friendly park.

It was number 3 in park factor according to runs last year. Number 1 in the AL. Every element of offense was given a boost in Target Field.

One year isn't enough to judge a park. The usual standard is three years. The two years previous it ranked 10 and 12.

Target Field did look like a pitching friendly park in its inaugural season. That impression created the first season lingers in a few minds.
    • glunn and Sam Morley like this

Do we think the Twins are willing to use a bullpen spot on Meyer/May/Pelfrey/Milone/whoever doesn't make the rotation? Or is that just what we think they should do?

Bottom feeding, but he is the best RHRP the Twins have, by default. Last season the Twins' pen ranked worse than the rotation in the majors and it needs major work, which unfortunately I don't see happening...Just cannot get excited about a 90 mph FB pitch to contact middle reliever.

 

Silver lining:Fryer was outrighted.

    • Sconnie likes this

Not just referring to K%, but rather overall potential. Stauffer has been pitching in the best pitcher's park in baseball for the last 9 years to the tune of a 3.99 FIP and a 1.308 WHIP. He has a track record of being okay, but even San Diego didn't use him high leverage situations, with a total of 7 Holds and 1 blown save to go with his 0 saves over that time. Yes he started some, but a majority of his work has been out of the pen. 

 

He's not a bad back of the pen guy, but I would rather see a Meyer or May, or even Tonkin get some major league experience than Stauffer at this point. 

 

The K% doesn't have a lot of correlation to the Petco OF.... and I would wager Terry didn't sign Stauffer @ $2.2M simply to take Swarzak's job. And the fact that he wasn't used as much in high leverage situations in San Diego is more a reflection on their staff and Stouffer's history of injuries.It's pretty safe to surmise.... Stouffer's going to challenge Fien for the set-up role. Tonkin clearly took a step back in 2014, he'll likely be one of the guys challenging for spots in the back of the pen.

    • glunn and James like this
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jorgenswest
Dec 23 2014 06:51 PM
Neil Allen was a starter in the minors. He hit the majors at 21 as a reliever mixing in 5 starts in 50 appearances. After closing for a few seasons, he returned to the starting rotation at 25 with the Cardinals. I wonder how that experience will influence him as a coach. I would hope he would see it as a positive and be open to the idea of Meyer or May in a similar role.

A bullpen including decline phase players in Stauffer, Pelfrey, Duensing and Fien does nothing to build this team long term. I would rather see that opportunity go to Tonkin, Oliveros, Pressly, May, Meyer, Graham or maybe even Achter. If any off those guys develop, the Twins have a piece of the future.
    • glunn likes this

Bottom feeding, but he is the best RHRP the Twins have, by default. Last season the Twins' pen ranked worse than the rotation in the majors and it needs major work, which unfortunately I don't see happening...Just cannot get excited about a 90 mph FB pitch to contact middle reliever.

 

Silver lining:Fryer was outrighted.

 

Yep.This is a classic Terry-style upgrade, but maybe just a little higher up in the bargain ban than Burton and Fien were located, And come on, he' a little better than a typical P2C guy when he comes in off of a K/9 over 9.00 year.

    • glunn likes this
I remember reading about him in a book that followed the cape cod league when I was a teenager.

Kinda cool that he's on the Twins now.
    • glunn and jokin like this

I won't be opposed until he makes the roster in favor of Tonkin.

 

 

You might be steaming come 4th week of March.This signing seems to be a statement by Ryan.If Stauffer takes Fien's role, every RHP moves one down in the pecking order.It seems that Ryan sees Tonkin most likely fighting for a back of the pen role.We all saw Tonkin struggle in 2014, now he has to prove he's got his 2013 mojo back.
 

    • glunn likes this

You might be steaming come 4th week of March.This signing seems to be a statement by Ryan.If Stauffer takes Fien's role, every RHP moves one down in the pecking order.It seems that Ryan sees Tonkin most likely fighting for a back of the pen role.We all saw Tonkin struggle in 2014, now he has to prove he's got his 2013 mojo back.
 

 

In 2013 Tonkin pitched just 11.3 innings in the majors.And with that 0.79 ERA there was a 3.52 xFIP.In his 19 innings in 2014, his ERA was 4.74 and the xFIP 3.92. That's who the guy is.If someone averages mid 90s with his fastball but has a K% around 20%, there is a problem.And Tonkin was a 30th round draft pick.

 

(I'd rather see what Pelfrey can do, btw.)

    • glunn likes this
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jorgenswest
Dec 23 2014 07:24 PM

You might be steaming come 4th week of March.This signing seems to be a statement by Ryan.If Stauffer takes Fien's role, every RHP moves one down in the pecking order.It seems that Ryan sees Tonkin most likely fighting for a back of the pen role.We all saw Tonkin struggle in 2014, now he has to prove he's got his 2013 mojo back.


I am sure you are correct. Last year the Twins had one of the oldest pitching staffs in the AL. The number of innings from 25 and under was near the bottom. Those veterans gave them near bottom performance from the pen and rotation. Is a long term solution in the plan? Ryan's solution is to fill their bullpen with guys in their 30s in Perkins, Fien, Duensing, Pelfrey and Stauffer. Perkins is the only one of the 5 that would make any roster.
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TheLeviathan
Dec 23 2014 07:42 PM

I'd like this signing more if we had moved one of our other veteran relievers at the deadline and/or non-tendered a few.

    • Mike Sixel and jokin like this

About 4-6 years ago, I really liked the idea of the Twins signing Stauffer to a minor league deal. He's from the Rochester area, but he has always been a really good AAA pitcher. He also had that high draft pick pedigree.

 

I like the strikeout per inning that he was able to do last year, and I like that he's a ground ball guy. I don't mind this signing. Definitely not exciting, but he can take either Burton's or Swarzak's spot. 

    • glunn, DocBauer and HitInAPinch like this

Wasn't Stauffer not only the 3 pick in 2003, but also became the #1 prospect in all of baseball? Those top prospects......... they can paralyze you with hope. Waiting for Sano. Isn't that a play by Samuel Beckett?

    • DAM DC Twins Fans and jokin like this
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The Wise One
Dec 23 2014 10:01 PM

By Baseball America Stauffer was the 4th best prospect of the Padres after being drafted, 5th best after he played a year, then fell out of the top 10. He never made Baseball America's top 100 in those years. Only one Padre did. At best he was the 104 best prospect. With a B- grade, very highly doubt he even cracked a top 200 list.

He was the 4th pick in 2003. Delmon was first followed by Richie Weeks then Kyle Sleeth.

    • h2oface likes this

I am sure you are correct. Last year the Twins had one of the oldest pitching staffs in the AL. The number of innings from 25 and under was near the bottom. Those veterans gave them near bottom performance from the pen and rotation. Is a long term solution in the plan? Ryan's solution is to fill their bullpen with guys in their 30s in Perkins, Fien, Duensing, Pelfrey and Stauffer. Perkins is the only one of the 5 that would make any roster.


Old staff and getting older. If you are going to be bad be young. 2015 is looking like a year in waiting for the prospects to contribute in 2016
    • h2oface and Platoon like this

A bullpen including decline phase players in Stauffer, Pelfrey, Duensing and Fien does nothing to build this team long term. I would rather see that opportunity go to Tonkin, Oliveros, Pressly, May, Meyer, Graham or maybe even Achter. If any off those guys develop, the Twins have a piece of the future.

 

Actually, the future pieces of the Twins' bullpen are sitting in A and AA ball. Their names? Nick Burdi, Zack Jones and Jake Reed.  All three can bring the heat in the mid to upper 90's. They aren't as far away from the big leagues as you might think.

    • h2oface and Sam Morley like this

By Baseball America Stauffer was the 4th best prospect of the Padres after being drafted, 5th best after he played a year, then fell out of the top 10. He never made Baseball America's top 100 in those years. Only one Padre did. At best he was the 104 best prospect. With a B- grade, very highly doubt he even cracked a top 200 list.

He was the 4th pick in 2003. Delmon was first followed by Richie Weeks then Kyle Sleeth.

 

How bad was the 2003 draft, where the 4th overall pick can't even make the BA top 100 in his first year?

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The Wise One
Dec 23 2014 11:05 PM

Old staff and getting older. If you are going to be bad be young. 2015 is looking like a year in waiting for the prospects to contribute in 2016

Ervin Santana is the old man of the staff at 32. 5 of the 10 pitchers over 30 last year are gone. I wouldn't bet Kris Johnson (29) will be back, Swarzak (28) is gone.Adding 2 32 year olds is not making the staff older in comparison to what they jettisoned

    • ashbury, James and Monkeypaws like this
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The Wise One
Dec 23 2014 11:27 PM

How bad was the 2003 draft, where the 4th overall pick can't even make the BA top 100 in his first year?

 Stauffer had a known shoulder injury coming out of college. That would have an effect on his ranking and evidently his career

 

Stauffer Signs With Padres Despite Injury

By Will Kimmey
August 15, 2003
Padres scouting director Bill Gayton said Tim Stauffer's makeup was one of the deciding factors when the organization used the fourth overall pick on the Richmond righthander in June.

It's already paying dividends for the Padres. Stauffer and his agent, Ron Shapiro, alerted the organization during contract negotiations about a weakness in his shoulder before agreeing to a bonus of less than $1 million Thursday.

Actually, the future pieces of the Twins' bullpen are sitting in A and AA ball. Their names? Nick Burdi, Zack Jones and Jake Reed.  All three can bring the heat in the mid to upper 90's. They aren't as far away from the big leagues as you might think.


They shouldn't be too far away, unless they take the same path that Gibson, May and Meyer are taking, which means they are all 2-3 years away...and are blocked by guys like Pelfrey, Stauffer and Duensing. It seems every off season, we hear the same thing about prospects being close and every year we keep waiting for them to arrive. Look back at messages from the last two off seasons about when we expected other Twins pitchers to make the club. Could probably add Tonkin to that list as well.

Signing Stauffer for just over $2 mil isn't a bad deal, it just doesn't fit what the Twins need at this point, at least to me.

Ervin Santana is the old man of the staff at 32. 5 of the 10 pitchers over 30 last year are gone. I wouldn't bet Kris Johnson (29) will be back, Swarzak (28) is gone.Adding 2 32 year olds is not making the staff older in comparison to what they jettisoned


Adding two 32 year-old for two 29 year old is getting older. But the point of a 4 time 90 lost team going with more age. Trying to get to 85 losses? The rebuilding plan must start in 2016
    • Platoon likes this

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