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Could Dobnak be an All Star?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:15 PM
 Could Dobnak be an all star? With this terrific infield, I believe he could be. When Donaldson was in the line up Dobnak shine...
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Cody’s Top 20 Twins Prospects: 11-15

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:54 PM
Not all organizations have prospect depth that stretches outside of their top-10 prospects. The Twins have multiple names on this list th...
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Who’s the Top Twins Prospect? Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:25 PM
Many teams would be ecstatic to have the likes of Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis headlining their farm system. For Twins fans, a debate c...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:22 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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FA Value Shopping

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:03 AM
Just for fun-here is 1 player at each position that might be worth the money and my contract estimates:   C- Sandy Leon 1 year/1.5 m...
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Recent Blogs


Avoiding the Aces

There’s an influx of high end pitchers becoming available on the trade market from Blake Snell to Sonny Gray this offseason and it’s natural to dream of the Twins landing the big fish in the trade market. While it’s fun to consider the Twins acquiring a ready made star pitcher on the trade market, they would likely be better off not doing so.
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA Today
The Twins Aren’t “One Pitcher Away”
The headline says it all. As much as the Twins struggles in the postseason are blamed on a lack of starting pitching, to pretend one starting pitcher brings them from first round exit to World Series winner is a pipedream.

2019 was a fluke and likely lesson learned from the front office. That year above all others the Twins would have benefitted from a trade for a starter at the deadline. They got dinged with bad luck when Pineda tested positive for performance enhancing substances and left them starting a rookie in game 2 at Yankee stadium. Even still, the team was clearly overmatched in all aspects of the game during that series. The Twins scored two runs en route to getting swept by the Astros in the playoffs in 2020. Maeda and Berrios both pitched more than well enough to win at least one of those games. Their future in the rotation looks far from problematic with Maeda, Berrios and Pineda returning. Pitching reinforcements never hurt, but to completely sell out for one arm won’t remedy all of their woes.

Their Window is Far From Closed
The Twins have been legitimate contenders for two years now and despite possible departures from players such as Rosario and Cruz, they’re far from nearing the end of the line. It’s easy to watch the on field product and completely forget that one of the more exciting waves of prospects in Twins history is on the brink of joining the already great roster.

Some of the pitchers on the market such as Snell and Gray are still young, controllable, and have a resume that would warrant an arm and a leg in return on the trade market. The Twins arguably have the farm system to depart with one top 5 prospect, but parting with two would be aggressive, which is likely what these pitchers would bring back. The top of the Twins farm system includes both pitchers and position players that they’re relying on in the near future and for years to come. The postseason can be random to an extent, and these young players should allow the Twins to be October regulars for years to come. Is it worth shortening that timeline for an addition that only factors in every 5th day?

They Can Build Their Own Ace
If there’s one reason to believe that the Twins shouldn’t waste the resources on acquiring a ready made ace, it’s that they can make one themselves. The front office has earned their reputation for identifying and maximizing strengths when it comes to pitching. Kenta Maeda was the definition of an ace in 2020, and while they acquired him for an exciting pitcher in Brusdar Graterol, the cost of a power reliever for an ace is an absolute steal. This serves as a perfect example of how the Twins can get more for less. They also have had great success in reclaiming pitchers like Pineda, Wisler, and even had Martin Perez to an extent.
For every ace starting pitcher available on the market, there are likely a handful of younger controllable options that are capable of breaking out but just haven’t done so yet. There’s enough of a track record from this group of evaluators to have faith that the Twins can find these players and acquire them for cheaper than your name brand ace.

It’s completely normal to hope for a big splash from a team that’s been so frustrating to watch in the postseason recently. That being said, rash reactions won’t solve any problems, and the Twins are well aware of this. For the reasons stated above, it’s likely they maintain their conservative operation and stick to their low risk, high reward style of talent acquisition, and you should be okay with that. I’d be a liar if I said I’d be disappointed to read a headline of the Twins acquiring Blake Snell, but if that headline never comes, Twins fans shouldn’t be disappointed either.

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32 Comments

I'm not sure the haul would be as high as you project.Reading MLB trade rumors or other sites, it seems like the Mets are able to acquire all sorts of guys for one good prospect and then their #11 and #20 prospect.On one hand, it's never productive to assume you can get someone like Snell for your #4,#11 and #20 prospect.On the other hand, it seems like you shouldn't have to assume that it will take Kiriloff/Larnach and Balazovic.There was a article written on this site about whether the Twins should trade for Snell.It was very informative.It pointed out how good Snell can be while also pointing out he's basically a 5-Inning pitcher.Now, when I watched him in the playoffs I didn't think he was a 5-inning guy.And I think Tampa royally screwed up removing him not once, but TWICE.That said, PITCHING covers up a LOT of deficiencies.Witness the 1965/1966 Dodgers (the 1988 Dodgers for that matter as well).Getting Snell just fortifies an already solid area.I still think you could offer Sano in a package for Snell and use Kiriloff/Rooker/Larnach in a 1B/LF rotation.The hell with service time!!The Braves move their prospects up the ladder in the system, so why can't we??Maybe one of the three doesn't pan out, but let's find out.Tampa should be intrigued by Sano's power.It's not like I want to GIVE him away.But we will be a better lineup with those 3 kids top to bottom and Tampa can enjoy the occasional 3-run bomb.Otherwise, trade Sano to Colorado for Marquez or Gray (or in a package for Story) and let him hit 40 Bombs for the Rockies.The Dodgers and Padres have put Colorado waaaay back in the rearview mirror.The Rockies are going to have to tear down and rebuild.We should be talking to them.  

    • glunn and tarheeltwinsfan like this
Couldn't agree with you more Cody.

The Twins FO really deserves a lot of credit for finding and acquiring undervalued pitchers and developing them into real difference makers for the team.

Wisler, Duffey, Thielbar, Maeda, Odorizzi, Duran, Alcala, and Dobnak have all been acquired (except Duffey) and developed into major pitching pieces for the club.

I trust Falvine to find more undervalued targets that can contribute to the team going forward.
    • DocBauer and Doctor Gast like this

Also agree wholeheartedly with what you have written, Cody.

 

I also can't understand all those who are suggesting we trade Sano for Snell. The way Tampa doesn't spend money, it is very unlikely they would ever take on his contract.

 

I believe there is a good chance that this next group, Kirilloff, Lewis, Larnach, Rooker and Jeffers will be better at the big league level than our last wave. If that happens, the Twins will have an exciting lineup in two years considering Arraez, Kepler, Buxton, Sano, Donaldson and Polanco could all still be here .

 

Toss in one of the young arms, Balazovic, Duran or maybe even Ober, making it big and they will compete for that championship.

    • Major League Ready, DocBauer, Heiny and 1 other like this
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Doctor Gast
Nov 28 2020 10:42 AM

Totally agree w/ you Cody. Aces needs to be home grown or find some diamond in the rough that has been over looked by other teams, which have been the most successful way because we don`t like to go out & draft high pitching prospects. It has been rumored that the Twins aren't interested in FA Bauer or trade for Snell or Darvish. CO, TB & Reds will be looking for great deals focused on high prospects.

Baseball is a business, common sense tells you to sell high & buy low. To trade players that had a poor 2020 doesn`t make sense because their stock is much lower than what they are really worth for an player that has inflated stock. That's why they won`t trade for Snell. We should also trade a redundant player not a needed player. 

    • DocBauer, rdehring and 4twinsJA like this

Through the years we have heard reports that "Minnesota was also in on (fill in the blank)", but ultimately the player was traded or signed elsewhere (usually a larger market team) for less than Minnesota offered. I understand that teams can ask for better prospects (the Twins have had a good farm system for awhile now), and players can opt to sign to be near their home or bigger markets for endorsements and TV exposure, it is a "free market" after all. 

 

The Twins need to continue to be active on the free agent and trade markets, while continuing to try to find reclamation projects and developing in house options. I think with a better approach some of the prospects could be developed a little quicker to see what they have in terms of major league ability. Teams like the Cardinals and Cubs have promoted pitchers as relievers in low leverage situations and moved them into higher leverage situations and then into the rotation with a good level of success.

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tony&rodney
Nov 28 2020 11:13 AM

The Twins have options. The Rangers might take a package of 2-3 prospects that do not include our top 6 if we include some decent useful pitchers like Dobnak and Thorpe. We want a stable pitcher on a decent salary and Lynn, Hill, or Kluber could be enough. I want to see Duran or Balazovic in the last SP slot. A key, for me, is an additional reliever. I think Hendriks is worth a chance. Nash Walker's idea of trying to get a deal for Ketel Marte is a potential bonus. If I had one concern for next season it is Polanco's ankle. Athletes often rebound from bad ankle injuries, but those who cannot have recurring issues that diminish their skills. Polanco, when healthy, is underrated in my view. He plays every day and is tough. If he doesn't rebound, the Twins will need to turn to Lewis. Adrianza is a strong defender to fill in once a week, not a starter. Mix the vets with some kids and add a player or two via trades. The Twins do not need an ace but they do need to make the right changes. Next season will be more competitive in the Central Division.

    • glunn, DocBauer and Doctor Gast like this

Sorry Cody, can't agree with your philosophy at all.This opinion is predicated on two basic assumptions: 1.) This team's window is now wide open; and 2.) the only goal in 2021 should be to go deep into the playoffs.I for one, have little faith in this farm system developing potential aces, nor isfishing for reclamation projects is the way to go deep into the playoffs.  

 

Instead, when someone like Snell might be available, the FO should be all in.Sano plus one or two top ten prospects could get the job done.This team is at the point where quality pitching depth could put them over the top.Imagine a staff headed by Snell and Maeda, followed by Berrios, Pineda and Odo!That is a championship staff!

 

Add in a bonafide closer like Hader(doubtful) or FAs like Hendricks, Rosenthal, or Yates with a better all around hitter at !B like one of our rookies or someone like LeMahieu and our team has gained substantial pitching depth and a more rounded lineup, at the expense of two or three prospects who may or may not pan out.

 

Incremental moves will not end this disastrous playoff streak!I'm not looking to rebuild again, nor do I want to rely on 2 or 3 rookies or bargain basement pickups to end this 30 year drought.Time to go bold and bring home the trophy.

And if the team doesn't take home the trophy the farm system is depleted and another rebuild starts because of lost revenue/high salaries needing to be recouped.

 

    • Major League Ready, rdehring, Heiny and 2 others like this

TopGunn#22
Today, 03:33 PM

I'm not sure the haul would be as high as you project.Reading MLB trade rumors or other sites, it seems like the Mets are able to acquire all sorts of guys for one good prospect and then their #11 and #20 prospect.On one hand, it's never productive to assume you can get someone like Snell for your #4,#11 and #20 prospect.On the other hand, it seems like you shouldn't have to assume that it will take Kiriloff/Larnach and Balazovic.There was a article written on this site about whether the Twins should trade for Snell.It was very informative.It pointed out how good Snell can be while also pointing out he's basically a 5-Inning pitcher.Now, when I watched him in the playoffs I didn't think he was a 5-inning guy.And I think Tampa royally screwed up removing him not once, but TWICE.That said, PITCHING covers up a LOT of deficiencies.Witness the 1965/1966 Dodgers (the 1988 Dodgers for that matter as well).Getting Snell just fortifies an already solid area.I still think you could offer Sano in a package for Snell and use Kiriloff/Rooker/Larnach in a 1B/LF rotation.The hell with service time!!The Braves move their prospects up the ladder in the system, so why can't we??Maybe one of the three doesn't pan out, but let's find out.Tampa should be intrigued by Sano's power.It's not like I want to GIVE him away.But we will be a better lineup with those 3 kids top to bottom and Tampa can enjoy the occasional 3-run bomb.Otherwise, trade Sano to Colorado for Marquez or Gray (or in a package for Story) and let him hit 40 Bombs for the Rockies.The Dodgers and Padres have put Colorado waaaay back in the rearview mirror.The Rockies are going to have to tear down and rebuild.We should be talking to them.





I agree the Twins should be looking to trade with Colorado. They used to do trade and signings in MLB. Trade Buxton, Sano and prospects for Marquez or Gray and Story. Story for sure would have to be a sign and trade.

Move Royce to CF hopefully not only filling in for Buxton but hitting is better. Extra OF could play first, they have played this in the minors before.

The OF and INF would be set for the next five years? The money you save on young players you invest in pitching or extending the core.

If you believe you can turn Gray or Marquez into an ace extend them.

For Colorado Buxton and Sano get a fresh start. Sano hits 50 hr in Colorado plays good FB. Buxton hits 30+ home runs and covers the expansive OF in Colorado with ease. Maybe a couple of years of MVP caliber play.
The SP should be set with some ML players next man up?

Meada
Gray or Marquez
Duran/Balazovic
Berios
Pinda
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tony&rodney
Nov 28 2020 04:18 PM

Buxton and Sano for Story and Marquez? Wow. I'm not sure about the Rockies parting with Marquez. Maybe add Dobnak and Thorpe? It would be a big trade, for sure. Maybe a week from now we will all see some crazy trades and signings.

I agree the Twins should be looking to trade with Colorado. They used to do trade and signings in MLB. Trade Buxton, Sano and prospects for Marquez or Gray and Story. Story for sure would have to be a sign and trade.

If Story can be signed to a contract the Twins would find palatable, why would the Rockies want to trade him?
 

    • DocBauer, rdehring and yeahyabetcha like this

If they're looking to the trade market, I'd like to see them go after Musgrove.

    • Cody Pirkl likes this
“ 2019 was a fluke.”

“The Twins have been legitimate contenders for two years now and despite possible departures from players such as Rosario and Cruz, they’re far from nearing the end of the line.”

“If there’s one reason to believe that the Twins shouldn’t waste the resources on acquiring a ready made ace, it’s that they can make one themselves. . . Kenta Maeda was the definition of an ace in 2020, and while they acquired him for an exciting pitcher in Brusdar Graterol, the cost of a power reliever for an ace is an absolute steal.”

I can’t find the through line here. Are the Twins legit contenders, in which case a trade makes sense, or are they a year or two off, in which case they should hold onto their prospects?

And as you say, Maeda is an example of what a smart trade can do for a team. So they should refrain from doing that sort of move again but still somehow replicate it?
    • USAFChief, JLease, rdehring and 1 other like this
In making an offer for Snell, the needs of the Rays must be considered. They seem to have plenty of infielders. They have plenty of relievers. Maybe they could use an outfielder. But their glaring need is a catcher. Make Garver the centerpiece in a package for a Snell deal? He is a year removed from a monster year. We can hand catcher to Jeffers and sign a good backup.
    • alphanumeric, rdehring and GNess like this

 

And if the team doesn't take home the trophy the farm system is depleted and another rebuild starts because of lost revenue/high salaries needing to be recouped.

 

Exactly! I've invested the last four years following these prospects in the minors and will feel robbed if I don't get to see them play for the Twins.I don't like the idea of trading them away. The Twins have given me 2 world Series and it would be nice to bag another one or two before I go, but I've get tremendous satisfaction watching our minor leaguers develop into stars.

 

Besides, as you said, if the deal does not pan out it will set us back years. And then there is the fact we are a mid market team. We can't afford to go out and spend big like the Yankees. Developing stars that are low budget and under team control is the only way we can afford to put a good product on the field.

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railmarshalljon
Nov 29 2020 11:39 AM

I don't necessarily disagree with you but I will say as a counterpoint, having an ace is a great thing to have if we don't win the division and have to play in the wild card game. The Sox are a young and lethal team that could potentially take the division. Maeda could get hurt then we're relying the mental fortitude of Berrios. 

How many aces have the Twins home grown in 60 years of baseball? Kaat, Blyleven and Viola by my count. You could stretch it to include Santana (originally an Astro) and Pascual (pre arm trouble). Home grown aces occur infrequently, thus all acquisition avenues have to be examined. I too would not include Balazovic, Larnach, Kirilloff or Lewis in a deal for Snell. Possibly a package built around Duran or Garver. If the Twins' farm is as deep as believed there is significant value beyond the top four or five.

How many aces have the Twins home grown in 60 years of baseball? Kaat, Blyleven and Viola by my count. You could stretch it to include Santana (originally an Astro) and Pascual (pre arm trouble). Home grown aces occur infrequently, thus all acquisition avenues have to be examined. I too would not include Balazovic, Larnach, Kirilloff or Lewis in a deal for Snell. Possibly a package built around Duran or Garver. If the Twins' farm is as deep as believed there is significant value beyond the top four or five.


Santana definitely counts.
    • DocBauer likes this

 

Santana definitely counts.

 

As an ace, certainly. Home grown - probably not.

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SkyBlueWaters
Nov 29 2020 03:40 PM

 

How many aces have the Twins home grown in 60 years of baseball? Kaat, Blyleven and Viola by my count. You could stretch it to include Santana (originally an Astro) and Pascual (pre arm trouble). ... 

 

You don't include Brad Radke? In '97 he's 3rd in Cy Young voting, not too shabby. As late as '01 he leads the AL in SO/W at 5.37. Besides, he wins a playoff game for the Twins in the 21st century. Lately, for me, that's damn near heroic.

 

Camilo Pascual, 5 years an all-star, repeatedly leading the league in K's, was definitely an ace. 

 

I also think a good case can be made for Johan. Yes, enough talent was evident to acquire him even when it meant having to keep him on the ML roster. His K stats in the minors with Houston certainly grab attention, but those MiLB ERA's and WHIP's indicate there was still a lot of work to be done. As does the 2000 season with the Twins. Yes, he had the stuff, but the improvement over 4 years between '00 and '03 happens with Twins coaching.

 

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and DocBauer like this

 

You don't include Brad Radke? In '97 he's 3rd in Cy Young voting, not too shabby. As late as '01 he leads the AL in SO/W at 5.37. Besides, he wins a playoff game for the Twins in the 21st century. Lately, for me, that's damn near heroic.

 

Camilo Pascual, 5 years an all-star, repeatedly leading the league in K's, was definitely an ace. 

 

I also think a good case can be made for Johan. Yes, enough talent was evident to acquire him even when it meant having to keep him on the ML roster. His K stats in the minors with Houston certainly grab attention, but those MiLB ERA's and WHIP's indicate there was still a lot of work to be done. As does the 2000 season with the Twins. Yes, he had the stuff, but the improvement over 4 years between '00 and '03 happens with Twins coaching.

 

The original point was how many aces have the Twins signed/drafted/developed in their history. Both Johan and Camilo were aces in my opinion though Johan came from Houston. Both Pascual and Kaat were in the Senators organization when they moved to Minnesota but I would count them both as home grown. My error in not clarifying Pascual as an ace in my original post. Though I was a huge fan of Radke, I did not consider him an ace. Again, just my opinion. The premise is - if you wait to develop an ace, you may be in for a long wait. 

I'm not sure the haul would be as high as you project.

I've seen some trade scenarios proposed by some pretty sharp baseball writers that say itd be a haul. For example Eno Sarris at the Athletic wrote an article just today with a few trade proposals. For example he had the White Sox parting with Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech and Jonathan Stiever. Thats a solid prospect, a generational talent in Kopech whos already debuted, and one of the best hitters in the minor leagues in Vaughn. Thats a painful price for whoever decides to pay it.

And if the team doesn't take home the trophy the farm system is depleted and another rebuild starts because of lost revenue/high salaries needing to be recouped.


Exactly. Think of it from an objective business point of view from the front office. They have a young up and coming team that can be in the picture for years. If they sell off the future for one player and don't win anything, thats the kind of decision that costs people their jobs. I'm not saying we shouldn't take chances, but I think trading for someone like Snell is about the riskiest move you can make and doesn't even guarantee you a title assuming he holds up his end of the bargain.
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