Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Cody’s Top 20 Twins Prospects: 11-15

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:23 PM
Not all organizations have prospect depth that stretches outside of their top-10 prospects. The Twins have multiple names on this list th...
Full topic ›

Could Dobnak be an All Star?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:14 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...
Full topic ›

Who’s the Top Twins Prospect? Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:40 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...
Full topic ›

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...
Full topic ›

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...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Black Friday Sale: Cheap Players Who Could Make a Difference

Black Friday’s here and there are some deals the Twins shouldn’t miss! You won’t need to stand outside at 3 a.m. waiting for the doors to open, rather a phone call to the three players covered in this article during business hours will probably go over better than knocking on their door at 5 a.m.
Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
When making your Black Friday shopping list, you first need to think about what you need. The Twins have six days to decide whether they want to tender offers to Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Tyler Duffey, Mitch Garver, Taylor Rogers, Eddie Rosario, and Matt Wisler. It’s widely believed that all of those players will be tendered an offer with the lone exception being Eddie Rosario.

They could also lose Nelson Cruz, Alex Avila, Marwin Gonzalez, Ehire Adrianza, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, Jake Odorizzi, Sergio Romo, Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, and Zack Littell to free agency. That’s a long list of players to fill voids for but I’ve summarized a list of the Twins needs based off the players they’re losing:
  • Left fielder
  • Designated Hitter
  • Two starting pitchers
  • Multiple relievers
  • Utility Infielder/Outfielder
Now some of these needs will need to be filled by impact players who you aren’t going to find on the cheap. For example, the Twins will hopefully be legitimate suitors for Trevor Bauer to fill one of the starting pitcher voids and, whether or not they are able to attract him, they could also bring back Odorizzi on a deal. Outside of that, they could fill some of the gaps with players who could be had on the cheap. Here’s my list of Major League Baseball’s Black Friday Deals that could help the Twins:

Brad Miller - Utility Infielder
Defense has never been his strong suit which would make him a downgrade over Adrianza and Gonzalez, but he’s a considerable upgrade offensively and is able to play anywhere in the infield. FanGraphs Free Agent Tracker projects him to get a one-year deal worth two million, which would be a steal compared to the value he could provide ... especially if Josh Donaldson were to miss time in 2021.

Kevin Pillar - Utility Outfielder
Pillar contributes on both sides of the ball and would be an upgrade over Jake Cave who is entering his final year of team control before entering the arbitration phase of his career. Cave has been solid defensively in his career but has been streaky at the plate. I’m not clamoring for Pillar to replace Rosario but he would provide some consistency and flexibility if a full-time player needed a break or got hurt.

Michael Wacha - Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Wacha was a first-round draft pick, who accelerated through the minors, and had a strong five-year start to his career including NLCS MVP in 2013 and All-Star appearance in 2015. In the last three seasons, he’s dealt with injuries that have limited his innings and effectiveness. The Atlanta Braves and Drew Smyly have set an expensive starting pitcher market which might make big name guys like Corey Kluber and Chris Archer too expensive for their inherited risk. FanGraphs has Wacha signing for one-year at three million dollars ... a no-risk, no-brainer deal in my eyes.

Brett Anderson - Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
Doesn’t have the upside of Wacha but also doesn’t come with the recent injury history, and is thought to be similarly priced. As a cheap option, he might be more attractive to the Twins than Wacha for the sole reason that he is a lefty in a rotation that is dominated by righties and is less of a question mark. I would prefer one of these two over anyone else currently on the Twins 40-man roster.

Justin Wilson and/or Jake McGee - Left-Handed Relief Pitchers
Relievers are wild cards. They’re nearly impossible to project and, in my opinion, not worth spending on. I like Trevor May but wouldn’t mind letting him walk assuming that he is going to look for a multi-year deal after a ‘bleh’ season. Wilson and McGee are two guys who have shown flashes, are coming off solid seasons, and could shore up the middle of the bullpen.

The last cheap option that could help fill various voids is by relying on prospects. The Twins have a few prospects in Brent Rooker, Alex Kiriloff, and Trevor Larnach who could help fill the positions that might be left open by the departure of Eddie Rosario and Nelson Cruz. Even if this is the case, which I hope it is, I still think the Twins need to bring in a utility veteran or two who can fill-in if they rookies show they still need some fine tuning.

Again, I do hope that the Twins spend on starting pitching. Kenta Maeda, Michael Pineda, and Jose Berrios make a solid 1-3 but you can never have too much pitching, especially of the power variety. An arm, like Bauer, to slide in front of those three would create one of the best rotations in baseball no matter who the fifth arm is. If the Twins do spend big on a starter, left fielder, or designated hitter then this list serves as some cheaper fill-ins. What do you think of these guys as filling important roles for the Twins? Is there an under-the-radar player that makes your list that didn’t make mine?

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • nclahammer likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

12 Comments

I want Balazovic, Kiriloff, Larnach, Rooker, Lewis, Duran on the team by the end of 2021.The players listed would not block them and I hope no one does.We have to have upside if we are going to get to be more than division champs.  

Wacha is the most interesting for me, although Pillar can play CF and we need a reserve OF who can handle that position.  

 

I am hoping that Gordon and Blankenhorn can be utility players. 

    • Twins33, TopGunn#22, alphanumeric and 1 other like this
Photo
Major League Ready
Nov 27 2020 11:18 AM

I look back at how much Gonzalez played and I hope they don't go cheap on theutility role. Someone like Profar or maybe even La Stella would be great.

 

Is Pillar really an upgrade over the younger player in Cave who still might have some upside?Caves career OPS is 65 pts higher. My preference would be Rooker as opening day starter and Kirilloff / Larnach compete to push Rooker to DH / 1B

    • Danchat likes this
I really like the Pillar idea. That would allow you to trade Cave and let Rooker and Wade battle for the 5th spot.
Not a fan of signing Anderson and I'm guessing Pilar will want to sign as a starter somewhere but otherwise I like your list 👍
    • DocBauer likes this
Matthew, appreciate the entire black Friday, blue light special thought process. And there is some upside and potential quality here. I'm just not sure, even with possible payroll restrictions, that there are matches here.

Miller: I'm not sure he really is better offensively than Marwin was when you look at his career quad slash line, despite the 2020 fall off by Gonzalez. I think...if we are talking budget acquitions only...that Cabrera for about a $1M more and brining back Adrianza isn't a better move.

Pillar: I love this idea! I was hoping for him last season. Some power and speed to go with excellent defense. He provides a legitimate CF option behind Buxton and LF insurance if any of the prospects struggle at first. But will he be willing to accept a non-starter role? Financially speaking, there are larger concerns, potentially, to fill that would only allow his signing on something like $1-2M. I just don't see this happening even though it would be a great fit.

Wacha and Anderson: Interesting! I like Wacha better with upside and younger. Really hoping payroll/moves will allow us to bring in someone as good or better to the mix with Pineda for that 3/4 spot. Wacha offers upside and hope on the cheap. But I'd like to think we can find a better option for a contending team and make it fit.

Wilson and McGee: I think both of these guys could be a CHEAP investment with high dividend reward potential, especially if you don't buy in to Thielbar. But how inexpensive and what kind of floor/ceiling would you expect? Clippard did what he bas done year after year, which is perform against LH and RH for an inexpensive deal. Despite his success and consistency, he doesn't put up huge numbers and is not a closer or elite set-up man. So he grinds out year to year for $2.5-3M deals. Money may be tight, but IMO, he's a smart re-sign for $2-3M. These guys would be outstanding values on $1-1.5M as a potential 3rd "LH" offering from the pen to compete with Thielbar.

A well thought out and interesting OP! I like a lot of what you've presented here. I just think/hope the FO will find a way to fit better options in.
    • mikelink45 and Matthew Lenz like this
Photo
specialiststeve
Nov 27 2020 10:18 PM

Pitching depth is always something EVERY team needs. If we could get Wacha on a 2 year deal for say 8 million... do it. Injuries always play a part... so having a veteran to pick up innings would be a very smart thing. We all would like a top end pitcher but realistically we aren't going to get them here most likely.... 

 

We have some great prospects coming and they may be ready this year... or not.. 

    • Matthew Lenz likes this

WE HAVE WAITED LONG ENOUGH! Why do the Twins always have to go for the cheap players?  They will not attract fans, Berrios, Buxton, Sano and Cruz do. They should be shown how the club values them. In my option none will sign an extension if they do not keep Cruz. They will want to go to a team that will be stocking up for a WS or at least a good play-off run. There is more than money involved,these guys also want to win or play in the WS. If they start to rebuild (which I thought was done) most of these guys will be past their prime by the time the Twins get close again.They should keep them all and get another good to great starting pitcher. 

 

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Nov 28 2020 04:28 PM

I look back at how much Gonzalez played and I hope they don't go cheap on theutility role. Someone like Profar or maybe even La Stella would be great.
 
Is Pillar really an upgrade over the younger player in Cave who still might have some upside?Caves career OPS is 65 pts higher. My preference would be Rooker as opening day starter and Kirilloff / Larnach compete to push Rooker to DH / 1B


I prefer to give the prospects a shot too, but even in that case we need some backup in case they need some more seasoning.
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Nov 28 2020 04:28 PM

Matthew, appreciate the entire black Friday, blue light special thought process. And there is some upside and potential quality here. I'm just not sure, even with possible payroll restrictions, that there are matches here.
Miller: I'm not sure he really is better offensively than Marwin was when you look at his career quad slash line, despite the 2020 fall off by Gonzalez. I think...if we are talking budget acquitions only...that Cabrera for about a $1M more and brining back Adrianza isn't a better move.
Pillar: I love this idea! I was hoping for him last season. Some power and speed to go with excellent defense. He provides a legitimate CF option behind Buxton and LF insurance if any of the prospects struggle at first. But will he be willing to accept a non-starter role? Financially speaking, there are larger concerns, potentially, to fill that would only allow his signing on something like $1-2M. I just don't see this happening even though it would be a great fit.
Wacha and Anderson: Interesting! I like Wacha better with upside and younger. Really hoping payroll/moves will allow us to bring in someone as good or better to the mix with Pineda for that 3/4 spot. Wacha offers upside and hope on the cheap. But I'd like to think we can find a better option for a contending team and make it fit.
Wilson and McGee: I think both of these guys could be a CHEAP investment with high dividend reward potential, especially if you don't buy in to Thielbar. But how inexpensive and what kind of floor/ceiling would you expect? Clippard did what he bas done year after year, which is perform against LH and RH for an inexpensive deal. Despite his success and consistency, he doesn't put up huge numbers and is not a closer or elite set-up man. So he grinds out year to year for $2.5-3M deals. Money may be tight, but IMO, he's a smart re-sign for $2-3M. These guys would be outstanding values on $1-1.5M as a potential 3rd "LH" offering from the pen to compete with Thielbar.
A well thought out and interesting OP! I like a lot of what you've presented here. I just think/hope the FO will find a way to fit better options in.


Thanks!
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Nov 28 2020 04:38 PM

WE HAVE WAITED LONG ENOUGH! Why do the Twins always have to go for the cheap players?  They will not attract fans, Berrios, Buxton, Sano and Cruz do. They should be shown how the club values them. In my option none will sign an extension if they do not keep Cruz. They will want to go to a team that will be stocking up for a WS or at least a good play-off run. There is more than money involved,these guys also want to win or play in the WS. If they start to rebuild (which I thought was done) most of these guys will be past their prime by the time the Twins get close again.They should keep them all and get another good to great starting pitcher.


I feel like your comment has nothing to with the topic of this article. Not at all suggesting a rebuild, replacing Sano, Buxton, et al

I guarantee all of these guys will be employed in 2021. I’m not suggesting the Twins sign any of these guys in lieu of going after a bigger dish, I say as much in the article, but the fact is that every time has these guys in the active roster.
    • ashbury likes this
Photo
railmarshalljon
Nov 29 2020 11:54 AM

 

I want Balazovic, Kiriloff, Larnach, Rooker, Lewis, Duran on the team by the end of 2021.The players listed would not block them and I hope no one does.We have to have upside if we are going to get to be more than division champs.  

Wacha is the most interesting for me, although Pillar can play CF and we need a reserve OF who can handle that position.  

 

I am hoping that Gordon and Blankenhorn can be utility players. 

I do too, but they have to earn their spot first. They're prospects, so odds are half those guys are gonna be busts. 

Prospects can be busts, sure. So can the player's on the cheap. Do they earn their spot, or are they given it with hopes of yesteryear. Even more likely to suck than to rebound. They just take up roster space. I mean.... they are already being tossed! 

 

I hate going cheap. It just blocks the path, or delays it, of the prospects that your "stellar farm system" has ready. I love going prospects pounding on the door. Are they ready? I see it all the time.... all over the league, that many are, they just have to be given the opportunity. And if they shine before you thought they would, you have just wasted less time.

 

Was Jeffers ready? Many said no. Many were wrong. 

    • jud6312 likes this