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Bullpen Ramblings

Since the Twins traded closer Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals on July 31st, the team’s bullpen has been under some fan scrutiny. However, aside from one game, the bullpen has come up big. Again, in all but one game, the bullpen has come through, and that was in the third of three straight games in which the team’s starter failed to go past five innings.

Hopefully the bullpen will be able to continue getting the job done. It will be important if they want to maintain playoff aspirations. Here’s a quick look at how we got here, and what they could do next.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
The Twins bullpen has not been good again this year. Here are the numbers:

Bullpen ERA: 4.53 (25th)
Strikeouts: 345 (26th)
Walks: 132 (7th)
Batting Average Against: .269 (30th)

Also, the Twins bullpen ranks seventh in Innings pitched with 407.1 innings. That is largely the fault of the starting rotation. Even with the first halves of Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, the starters’ ERA is 4.89 (26th). The 625.1 innings the Twins starters have thrown ranks 27th lowest. They are also in the bottom half of MLB in strikeouts, walks, and batting average against. Again, the bullpen has generally been OK (not good, but not horrific either) until they have to throw a lot of innings due to a run of short starts.

While the Twins were generally healthy during spring training, there were some things that were already known.

First, while Glen Perkins was trying to throw some bullpens, it was clear that he would miss an extended time at the beginning of the season. Trevor May was going to be transitioned back to a starter before his season ended before it started when he had Tommy John surgery.

In the offseason, the Twins spent $2 million on veteran Matt Belisle. He had four horrific outings early in the season. But then he was nearly flawless for about six weeks before becoming the team’s closer. He recorded saves in his first three opportunities before blowing one.

The Twins also brought in some veteran types on minor league contracts. Craig Breslow got the longest big league look before the Twins DLd him and released him. Drew Rucinski has seen some time. Independent ball signing Nik Turley made three starts that didn’t go well, though it looks like his future could be in the bullpen.

So, why did the Twins sign so few relievers when we knew that there was potential for it to be a huge concern?

Brandon Kintzler would likely be solid, if not a stereotypical closer. He was much better than anticipated, even earning an All-Star berth and appearance. Taylor Rogers was coming off a solid rookie season and looking to improve upon it. Ryan Pressly’s clearly got the stuff to believe in. Fair to say that hasn’t gone real well much of this season. Tyler Duffey made the move to the bullpen and needed an opportunity to develop in that role.

It was clear from the get-go that 2017 was going to be an evaluation year for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. That meant giving extended opportunities to several arms. Could Buddy Boshers be an alternative if (and eventually when) Craig Breslow didn’t pan out? Michael Tonkin got through 2016 without an option. Could he take a step forward in 2017?

The team also added Justin Haley in the Rule 5 draft and wanted to evaluate him. Just like claiming the likes of Adam Wilk, Chris Heston and Dillon Gee. Add arms and evaluate.

Already, we have mentioned nine names for eight (and ideally seven) bullpen spots. But then there were other injuries that started piling up toward the end of spring training.

JT Chargois and his upper-90s fastball had a terrific September for the Twins and could have been a key contributor this season. Instead, 2017 has been the third lost season for Chargois since the Twins drafted him in 2012.

Nick Burdi had a lost 2016 season, but in the season’s first month, he was throwing hard, and throwing strikes, and seemingly very closer to debuting with the Twins. Instead, he had Tommy John surgery in May and that will likely cost him much of the 2018 season as well.

Tyler Jay was moved from the role of starting pitcher to relieverin spring training. The idea was that he would be able to move up more quickly. Instead, he’s missed nearly the entire season with biceps tendinitis and thoracic outlet-type symptoms.

And Jake Reed stayed with the big league club through most of spring training, but in the final spring game, he pulled a muscle in his side and missed the season’s first two months.

If you want to add Mason Melotakis to this group, that may work because he was supposed to get to the big league club this year. Unfortunately, he pulled an oblique early in the spring and didn’t have an opportunity to pitch in big league camp. While he hasn’t been injured, his velocity is way down. His numbers at AAA Rochester have been quite good. But he was able to be DFAd, went unclaimed and was outrighted to Rochester.

Each of those guys was likely expected to be a key contributor in the Twins bullpen by this time in the season. Instead, they have received zero innings so far but Reed, and possibly Melotakis, has a shot of getting a call this season.

However, that has opened up opportunity for others. Alan Busenitz got the call first. He went up and down a few times, but with recent outings, he has shown good improvement. His mid-to-upper 90s fastball is good, and he has a good breaking ball too.

Trevor Hildenberger was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2015and 2016. He came up in late June and has shown that he can get big league hitters out. On Sunday, he got four outs to record his first MLB save. While his fastball sits in the upper-80s most of the time, his changeup is really, really good. And he throws each of his pitches from a couple of angles.

Busenitz and Hildenberger should factor into the 2018 Twins bullpen options. Hopefully Jay and Reed, Chargois and Melotakis, and maybe even Burdi at some point, will get an opportunity and could factor into the bullpen.

But other names have surfaced for 2018 as well. John Curtiss had a very strong 2016 season, spending a month in Cedar Rapids before moving up to the Miracle. He also performed well in the Arizona Fall League. He’s been absolutely fantastic in 2017, both in Chattanooga and since his move up to Rochester.

Luke Bard was recently promoted to AAA after putting up huge strikeout numbers at Chattanooga. Ryan Eades has been solid in the bullpen. The Twins also acquired lefty reliever Gabriel Moya from the Diamondbacks in exchange for John Ryan Murphy. He’s put up silly numbers at AA all year. Nick Anderson has been, arguably, quietly, the best reliever in the Twins farm system all season. Todd Van Steensel has put up another year with great numbers, this time at Chattanooga.

And we don’t know what the ultimate roles will be for the likes of Fernando Romero, Dietrich Enns, Dereck Rodriguez or other starters in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

The cabinet is certainly not bare, and as Falvey and Levine have said, accumulating arms and talented arms is clearly a focus.

If you’re looking for a sleeper for 2018, look to the GCL where right-hander Michael Kohn has been pitching the last few weeks. A former teammate of Torii Hunter, Kohn threw for the Twins in a tryout and soon after the Twins offered him a deal. Kohn was eating lunch with another former teammate and former Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen when his agent texted him with the Twins offer. The Twins signed him to a two-year minor league deal that includes an invitation to big league camp in 2018. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since May of 2015 due to shoulder surgery. In 115 games (132 games) over parts of five seasons in the big leagues, he struck out 111. He has pitched five innings over five appearances in the GCL over the last two weeks.

And finally, there is Glen Perkins. The three-time All-Star hasn’t pitched since April of 2016. He had shoulder surgery, reattaching the muscle to the bone. It had to be incredibly painful, and clearly it has taken a ton of work to get back. His rehab stint in entering its final week. The Twins will (presumably) call him up and give him an opportunity. I’m realistic about how much he’ll be able to contribute down the stretch. I hope he can just be solid. This is most likely the final season of his career, unless his plans have changed due to these injuries. The Twins aren’t going to pick up his option. So enjoy what he’s got left. Hope for the best. Appreciate the work he’s put in to get back and remember how great he was for a three or four year stretch.

The Twins could certainly go out right now and add a reliever or two in a trade. The cost, in terms of dollars or prospects would not be high. Or, they could call up guys like John Curtiss, Mason Melotakis, Luke Bard and Jake Reed in September and give them a shot.

The cupboard for Twins relief pitching options is far from bare. I would again advocate in the upcoming offseason that they not go crazy on bullpen arms in free agency. Maybe one veteran on a one-year, low cost, low risk deal, and a couple more minor league signings. That’s it. And then find a manager and pitching coach (whether that is Paul Molitor and Neil Allen or not) who will be willing to go with the young arms.

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55 Comments

Besides I health issues I really like our bullpen depth especially in the upper minors.. One thing that hasn't been talked about a lot if the potential of kohl Stewart moving to the pen.. When he was drafted a lot of scouts thought he'd end up closing by the time he arrived to the big leagues.. He's got great stuff and is a great athlete maybe a move to the pen unlocks something and gets his swing and miss up...
    • Loosey, caninatl04 and MN_ExPat like this

Excellent wright up Seth. Just stay away from the Minor League reports ;)

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, Seth Stohs, LimestoneBaggy and 2 others like this

Call up - don' trade.  I have never seen a graph of reliever performances but I have to believe they are really erratic;  great years lead to overuse and then they get good contracts with the next team when their arm is not recovered from the previous year.  I prefer to have a bullpen of young arms and I would like to see us fill it up with our potential relievers and put them on rotation rather than designated roles and use them evenly so that they eventually sort themselves out.

 

As for out pitching coach - I did not like what he did last year and looking at our rankings this year I am very unimpressed again.  Berrios is struggling, Santana is down - where is our pitching guru - do they need to skip a start, do they need our wonderful pitch framing catcher who has obviously done so much to move us up in the rankings (sarcasm - yes) to call some different pitches?  Are they getting predictable?  There has to be some answer - 31 pitchers and a minor league full of arms and we are still this bad?  

There are lots of questions that this raises.

 

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"I would again advocate in the upcoming offseason that they not go crazy on bullpen arms in free agency. Maybe one veteran on a one-year, low cost, low risk deal, and a couple more minor league signings. That’s it."

 

That sounds to me like a recipe for another weak bullpen in 2018.  

 

I hope that's not the off season plan.

    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, h2oface and 3 others like this

"I would again advocate in the upcoming offseason that they not go crazy on bullpen arms in free agency. Maybe one veteran on a one-year, low cost, low risk deal, and a couple more minor league signings. That’s it."

That sounds to me like a recipe for another weak bullpen in 2018.

I hope that's not the off season plan.


My plan would be to add a closer in free agency/trade with a potentially large contract and fill in the rest of the pen with what we have. With Pressly, Hildy, Rogers, Duffey, Busenitz, Boshers and the others, I think we'll have a pretty good bullpen.
    • birdwatcher and caninatl04 like this
Agree with Chief. We should move away from hoping we get help from AAA/AA and take the approach that any help would be a bonus.

Go out and spend $10-12M total a year on 2-3 7-8th inning guys with solid track records. They are typically in the 1-3 year range.
    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel and Vanimal46 like this
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birdwatcher
Aug 15 2017 09:30 AM

 

"I would again advocate in the upcoming offseason that they not go crazy on bullpen arms in free agency. Maybe one veteran on a one-year, low cost, low risk deal, and a couple more minor league signings. That’s it."

 

That sounds to me like a recipe for another weak bullpen in 2018.  

 

I hope that's not the off season plan.

 

 

Concur. The last thing I want to see here is another veteran on a one-year, low cost, "low risk" deal and a couple more minor league signings. Go top shelf or don't go at all. And they can afford to pay up in free agency for that one bullpen stud.

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, Highabove and 2 others like this

It's admirable of Perkins to get this far after a serious injury... But honestly, I don't know if I want to see him in a Twins uniform. Especially if they're playing meaningful games in September. 

    • h2oface, Danchat, wsnydes and 2 others like this

 

Agree with Chief. We should move away from hoping we get help from AAA/AA and take the approach that any help would be a bonus.

Go out and spend $10-12M total a year on 2-3 7-8th inning guys with solid track records. They are typically in the 1-3 year range.

 

While I don't necessarily disagree that adding a bullpen option or two would be good, I just challenge anyone to go through the list of free agent relievers the last 2-3 offseasons... Determine which of them has been successful and which haven't been, and then try to remember if we thought that would have been a good sign.

 

My bigger point here, probably clearly, is that there is no way to know which 31-33 year old relievers will be good and which ones won't. (And, we don't know which top relief pitchers will become solid MLB relievers either... And, additionally, we don't know which "failed starters" will become solid MLB relievers too). 

 

Remember two offseasons ago when we (Twins fans) really wanted to give Antonio Bastardo and/or Tony Sipp 3 year deals for whatever it would take (likely above the 3 years, $18ish million that they got). Check out their baseball reference pages and see how they've done the last couple of years. I guess for me, there's just no way to know what any relief pitcher free agent who signs for less than $8-10 million (all the way down to minor league deals)... and if you sign them for more than that, there's much, much higher risk.

    • SwainZag, KGB, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

 

While I don't necessarily disagree that adding a bullpen option or two would be good, I just challenge anyone to go through the list of free agent relievers the last 2-3 offseasons... Determine which of them has been successful and which haven't been, and then try to remember if we thought that would have been a good sign.

 

My bigger point here, probably clearly, is that there is no way to know which 31-33 year old relievers will be good and which ones won't. (And, we don't know which top relief pitchers will become solid MLB relievers either... And, additionally, we don't know which "failed starters" will become solid MLB relievers too). 

 

Remember two offseasons ago when we (Twins fans) really wanted to give Antonio Bastardo and/or Tony Sipp 3 year deals for whatever it would take (likely above the 3 years, $18ish million that they got). Check out their baseball reference pages and see how they've done the last couple of years. I guess for me, there's just no way to know what any relief pitcher free agent who signs for less than $8-10 million (all the way down to minor league deals)... and if you sign them for more than that, there's much, much higher risk.

 

If the FO and scouts can't figure out any better than fans what to do, they should be replaced. How can they figure out which minor league players to use, if they can't figure out which MLB players to try?

 

I'm with the others, sign at least 1 legit RP .... don't rely on the minors only. That has not worked at all for several years. Maybe more than several years now.

 

No one is say "go crazy" or "sign every RP" or "replace the entire bullpen" or any such thing. People are asking for 1-2 RPs to be signed that they team thinks are "certain" to be good. Not flyers. Not minor league deals that aren't really minor league deals.

    • USAFChief, h2oface, Sconnie and 2 others like this

I concur.  

 

Sign a high-priced free agent who works out = genius.  

 

Sign a high-priced free agent who doesn't work out so much = Ricky Nolasco / Kevin Jepsen.

    • Seth Stohs and howieramone2 like this

 

It's admirable of Perkins to get this far after a serious injury... But honestly, I don't know if I want to see him in a Twins uniform. Especially if they're playing meaningful games in September. 

 

I'd agree with you, but more from the standpoint of I really don't want to see him get hurt again. I think he could come back and if he's healthy, be at least competitive and maybe actually help out some. My biggest worry (and I get it, it sounds silly... My son pitches, so I have a soft spot for pitchers) is that he gets himself hurt worse again. That type of arm injury can be pretty serious, just hope it's worth the risk.  

 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

In a vacuum, letting the young guys sink or swim is a plan. We fans don't know who the next manager will be, but experience tells us that the young guys will not be relied upon to get the big outs. That will drain the pitchers who have 'proven' themselves. If no major pieces are added, Rogers, Duffey, Presley, maybe even Hildenberger will be ridden into the ground 3 months into the season. If the Twins make some relief moves, I would like to see one or two decent vets with a track record of durability, especially in consecutive games. A big time closer would be a nice get, but Molitor's usage over the last week or so (playoff style BP management) might have opened the door for an organizational shift in bullpen usage: 8-man bullpen, short leashes for relievers and starters, 2, maybe three short appearances before an off day, etc.

 

Is Terry Mullholland busy? 

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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 15 2017 11:02 AM

 

"I would again advocate in the upcoming offseason that they not go crazy on bullpen arms in free agency. Maybe one veteran on a one-year, low cost, low risk deal, and a couple more minor league signings. That’s it."

 

That sounds to me like a recipe for another weak bullpen in 2018.  

 

I hope that's not the off season plan.

They need one legit bullpen arm. Not a recovery project, a legit reliable arm.

 

Whether they need two arms depends how the existing bullpen performs from now until the end of the season.

    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and Danchat like this

If the Front Office expects to use current minor leaguers to improve the bullpen next year, then they need to actually use some at the MLB level this year.  The only one I've seen a sufficient amount is Hildenberger (future 8th-inning or maybe closer if nobody else steps up, IMO).  If the Twins stay in contention though, don't expect to see much of these young relievers in September.  Then that would leave too big of a question mark going into next season.  So, I see:

 

( a ) Twins stay in contention, don't utilize young relievers, need to shop FA market for relievers this winter (or waiver trade soon-ish).

( b ) Twins fall out of contention, trade Belisle, callup and use young relievers in leveraged situations.  Young pitchers play well.  Don't shop FA RP market much this winter.

( c ), Same as b, but young relievers perform poorly.  Shop FA RP market more heavily this winter.

    • Mike Sixel likes this

They need one legit bullpen arm. Not a recovery project, a legit reliable arm.

Whether they need two arms depends how the existing bullpen performs from now until the end of the season.


It seems pretty optimistic to me to think you can turn around a bottom 5 bullpen with only 1 good FA addition.
To me, that is how you set yourself to fail and then say stuff like, "... but they were counting on x,y, and z to step up, and who could have known that a,b, and c would get hurt. "
    • USAFChief and h2oface like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 15 2017 12:18 PM

It seems pretty optimistic to me to think you can turn around a bottom 5 bullpen with only 1 good FA addition.
To me, that is how you set yourself to fail and then say stuff like, "... but they were counting on x,y, and z to step up, and who could have known that a,b, and c would get hurt. "

...but that's not what I said.

If Hildenberger, Pressly, Rogers, and Duffey close out the season strong (not to mention someone like Curtiss), how many arms do you need? And those are only the guys who can/should pitch this season. I'm not even including the guys in the minors.

...but that's not what I said.

If Hildenberger, Pressly, Rogers, and Duffey close out the season strong (not to mention someone like Curtiss), how many arms do you need? And those are only the guys who can/should pitch this season. I'm not even including the guys in the minors.


Three of those guys have been here all year, contributing to a bottom 5 bullpen.

Of course you'd rather have them finish strong instead of weak, but it'll be such a small sample size, that it won't tell you much about how you can expect them to perform next season.

Most WS contenders these days have really good bullpens. Traditionally, guys like Pressley, Rogers, Duffey are ok pieces, but ideally I think you'd like all those guys competing for the last spot or two, not all being key pieces.
    • USAFChief, h2oface and Vanimal46 like this

 

I concur.  

 

Sign a high-priced free agent who works out = genius.  

 

Sign a high-priced free agent who doesn't work out so much = Ricky Nolasco / Kevin Jepsen.

Kevin Jepsen and Ricky Nolasco were very moderately priced signings. Low risk, low investment, low reward, low fan morale, low win total. lets try a new approach 

 

I mean sign a couple of high end guys who have he track record to lock down the back of the bullpen. Rely on Shaggy et al. for the front of the bullen and if they take off and take over the back of the bullpen, they are that much better off and that much deeper.

 

Kevin Jepsen and Ricky Nolasco were very moderately priced signings. Low risk, low investment, low reward, low fan morale, low win total. lets try a new approach 

 

I mean sign a couple of high end guys who have he track record to lock down the back of the bullpen. Rely on Shaggy et al. for the front of the bullen and if they take off and take over the back of the bullpen, they are that much better off and that much deeper.

True.But at the time wasn't Nolasco the highest priced FA signed to date by the Twins?

    • Danchat and howieramone2 like this

 

It seems pretty optimistic to me to think you can turn around a bottom 5 bullpen with only 1 good FA addition.
To me, that is how you set yourself to fail and then say stuff like, "... but they were counting on x,y, and z to step up, and who could have known that a,b, and c would get hurt. "

Not sure how it is any different than "lets count on x to step up and buy m and n, and who could have known that a, b, and m would get hurt".  I have no problem with buying depth and quality but the idea that it hasn't worked to rely on the minors in that past is not proof that relying on the minors in the future won't work. Feels like we have drafted hard throwing relievers the last 3 or 4 years and we are starting to see guys like Busenitz and Hildenberger come up and contribute and also seems like there are other guys ready to step up so the plan of having minor leaguers step up is a better plan now than when it failed in the past. Like I said, I am all for quality and quality depth but injuries are not respecters of how a player was acquired.  Burdi and Chargois were supposed to be our hot shots this year. It is just as likely that whatever free agent quality we get this off season go down to the same injuries..  

    • 70charger, DocBauer and howieramone2 like this

According to MLBTradeRumors here are your pending free agent relievers(as of right now).  Just food for thought.

 

Right-Handed Relievers

Al Alburquerque (32)
John Axford (35)
Andrew Bailey (34)
Tony Barnette (34) — $4MM club option with a $250K buyout
Matt Belisle (38)
Joaquin Benoit (40)
Trevor Cahill (30)
Jesse Chavez (34)
Tyler Clippard (33)
Steve Cishek (32)
Wade Davis (32)
Neftali Feliz (30)
Jeanmar Gomez (30)
Luke Gregerson (34)
Jason Grilli (41)
David Hernandez (33)
Greg Holland (32) — $15MM player option
Craig Kimbrel (30) — $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Brandon Kintzler (33)
Mark Lowe (35)
Dustin McGowan (36)
Jason Motte (36)
Pat Neshek (37)
Juan Nicasio (31)
Seung-hwan Oh (35)
Logan Ondrusek (33) — $1.5MM club option
Chad Qualls (39)
Addison Reed (29)
Fernando Rodney (41)
Francisco Rodriguez (36)
Sergio Romo (35)
Fernando Salas (33)
Bryan Shaw (30)
Joe Smith (34)
Craig Stammen (34)
Drew Storen (30)
Huston Street (34) — $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Anthony Swarzak (32)
Koji Uehara (43)
Carlos Villanueva (34)
Jordan Walden (30)
Tom Wilhelmsen (34)
Chris Young (39) — $8MM mutual option with a $1.5MM buyout

 

Left-Handed Relievers

Fernando Abad (32)
Antonio Bastardo (32)
Jerry Blevins (34) — $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Craig Breslow (37)
Brian Duensing (35)
Zach Duke (35)
Boone Logan (33) — $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Jake McGee (31)
Eric O’Flaherty (33)
Oliver Perez (36)
Glen Perkins (35) — $6.5MM club option with a $700K buyout
Clayton Richard (34)
Tony Watson (32)

    • birdwatcher, h2oface and caninatl04 like this

Not sure how it is any different than "lets count on x to step up and buy m and n, and who could have known that a, b, and m would get hurt". I have no problem with buying depth and quality but the idea that it hasn't worked to rely on the minors in that past is not proof that relying on the minors in the future won't work. Feels like we have drafted hard throwing relievers the last 3 or 4 years and we are starting to see guys like Busenitz and Hildenberger come up and contribute and also seems like there are other guys ready to step up so the plan of having minor leaguers step up is a better plan now than when it failed in the past. Like I said, I am all for quality and quality depth but injuries are not respecters of how a player was acquired. Burdi and Chargois were supposed to be our hot shots this year. It is just as likely that whatever free agent quality we get this off season go down to the same injuries..


But if you sign FA help and they get injured, then you still have your top internal options available to step in.
If you rely on your top internal options instead, you are left scrambling when they get injured.

There is a reason that the top FA players get a lot of money.
They don't come with a guarantee, of course, but you play the odds, and they have better odds, that's why they are in demand.
    • USAFChief and Mike Sixel like this
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birdwatcher
Aug 15 2017 01:52 PM

 

According to MLBTradeRumors here are your pending free agent relievers(as of right now).  Just food for thought.

 

Right-Handed Relievers

Al Alburquerque (32)
John Axford (35)
Andrew Bailey (34)
Tony Barnette (34) — $4MM club option with a $250K buyout
Matt Belisle (38)
Joaquin Benoit (40)
Trevor Cahill (30)
Jesse Chavez (34)
Tyler Clippard (33)
Steve Cishek (32)
Wade Davis (32)
Neftali Feliz (30)
Jeanmar Gomez (30)
Luke Gregerson (34)
Jason Grilli (41)
David Hernandez (33)
Greg Holland (32) — $15MM player option
Craig Kimbrel (30) — $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Brandon Kintzler (33)
Mark Lowe (35)
Dustin McGowan (36)
Jason Motte (36)
Pat Neshek (37)
Juan Nicasio (31)
Seung-hwan Oh (35)
Logan Ondrusek (33) — $1.5MM club option
Chad Qualls (39)
Addison Reed (29)
Fernando Rodney (41)
Francisco Rodriguez (36)
Sergio Romo (35)
Fernando Salas (33)
Bryan Shaw (30)
Joe Smith (34)
Craig Stammen (34)
Drew Storen (30)
Huston Street (34) — $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Anthony Swarzak (32)
Koji Uehara (43)
Carlos Villanueva (34)
Jordan Walden (30)
Tom Wilhelmsen (34)
Chris Young (39) — $8MM mutual option with a $1.5MM buyout

 

Left-Handed Relievers

Fernando Abad (32)
Antonio Bastardo (32)
Jerry Blevins (34) — $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Craig Breslow (37)
Brian Duensing (35)
Zach Duke (35)
Boone Logan (33) — $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Jake McGee (31)
Eric O’Flaherty (33)
Oliver Perez (36)
Glen Perkins (35) — $6.5MM club option with a $700K buyout
Clayton Richard (34)
Tony Watson (32)

 

 

Cool. If we bring back all the ex-Twins, we have wiggle room if one of them isn't that good.

 

They need one legit bullpen arm. Not a recovery project, a legit reliable arm.

 

Whether they need two arms depends how the existing bullpen performs from now until the end of the season.

Not too many years back, the stat guys were touting how worthless it was to pay for relief pitchers, and specifically, closers. The KC breakthrough 3 headed monster for the 7th, 8th, and 9th, changed the game, and hopefully, our front office is paying attention. The only thing better than a two headed monster, is a 3 headed monster. I certainly hope the Twins acquire at least two, and not just one. But hey, one is better than doing nothing again!

 

I appreciate the optimism of the article and summary of the bullpen, I just don't want the Twins FO to be paralyzed by hope, again.

    • DocBauer likes this

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