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Busting 3 Myths About The Twins Offseason

The World Series is over. The offseason is about to rev up. You can explore its many possibilities by ordering and immediately downloading your copy of the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook.

As we gear up for many weeks of in-depth Hot Stove coverage here on the site, I thought I'd address three pervasive myths I've seen floating around in Twins Territory. Let's set the record straight on these misleading talkers.
On the surface, these suppositions may feel plausible, if not resoundingly true. But each of these three Twins offseason myths is driven by faulty reasoning, and here's why.

MYTH #1: The Twins won't significantly increase payroll.

It's understandable that this is the default position. The Twins franchise has a long history of spending less on the roster than many fans would hope or expect. Even our own Offseason Handbook fuels the fire on this myth, with John writing that 2018 payroll will likely top out at $110-115 million – he even considered that "optimistic."

It's certainly possible this will be the case. But I urge you to keep a few things in mind:

A ) There's a new front office in place. Granted, we've been given no reason to think Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are going to be handed a blank check, but the general belief is that Terry Ryan would often spend far less than he was able.

Is that still going to be the case? Let's not forget that the first major move from this new leadership was a fairly aggressive free-agent spend (Jason Castro).

B ) The Twins have a long way to go before they're even in the middle of the pack for spending. Levine acknowledged in his interview with Baseball Prospectus this summer that when it comes to payroll, the Twins are "not going to be in the top 10, and we're fine with that."

But here's the thing: he can add quite a bit and still be nowhere near the top 10. Minnesota's Opening Day payroll this year ($108 million) ranked 22nd in the majors. The 15th-ranked team was Kansas City, at $140 million. Is there really any reason the Twins shouldn't be able to reach that level? Especially when you consider that...

C ) They are competitive now. Know what happened the last time the Twins planned for a season with true championship aspirations? They set a franchise record for payroll, under Bill Smith, at $113 million. That was in 2011, when they were coming off their last playoff appearance.

When accounting for market inflation, that same $113 million would check in over $120 million today – maybe well over. The Twins ranked ninth in payroll in 2011; this year, the ninth-ranked Nationals spent $167 million.

So let's not just assume this team won't see a significant bump in spending, especially with a number of contracts set to come off the books following 2018.

MYTH #2: The Twins need to add an impact starting pitcher.

Sure, it'd be nice. And now that we've dispelled the first myth, it certainly feels accomplishable. But the Twins don't necessarily NEED to add a top-tier starter via free agency or trade in order to enter the 2018 season as legitimate playoff (and even World Series) contenders.

They will likely be bringing back four pitchers who made 20-plus starts in 2017, and there's reason to believe it could be a very capable group.

Ervin Santana: Coming off a career-year, has been a steady workhorse in three seasons with MN, posting a 3.47 ERA over 500 innings.

Jose Berrios: Former top prospect found his comfort zone in the big leagues and posted a 14-8 record, 3.89 ERA at age 23. Could (should?) take another big step forward.

Kyle Gibson: Finally looked in the second half like the version we've all been waiting for. Posted a 3.55 ERA with markedly more whiffs in August and September. Contrary to another popular myth, this wasn't just another typical fluctuation for the notoriously inconsistent hurler; he made several noticeable changes to drive the improvement.

Adalberto Mejia: His first season as a major-league starter was a relative success. He has the build and the stuff to succeed. With better control he can become a reliable mid-rotation piece. Young pitchers often improve this facet in their second year, and Mejia has a history of throwing strikes in the minors (2.1 BB/9).

I'm feeling somewhat bullish on this group, and the Twins will have numerous options on hand to fill the fifth spot. Their projected season-opening rotation at Rochester includes Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Felix Jorge and Aaron Slegers, who could all be poised to contribute early on if not right away. At least a couple of them have top-of-rotation potential.

As a placeholder until one of those prospects is ready, the Twins could roll out Trevor May as the fifth starter, give Tyler Duffey another shot, or a sign a lower-level free agent.

And then, once the 2018 season is underway, the opportunity is always there to make in-season additions.

MYTH #3: The Twins must add more padding to the outfield walls to protect Byron Buxton.

I keep seeing this suggestion again and again, for some reason. It's not going to happen, nor should it.

First of all, the Twins already bulked up the padding on Target Field's outfield fences, back in 2014. The "Covermaster" surface now in place is eight inches thick, built to absorb and disperse impact force. It cost "six figures" to install.

At a point it becomes impractical to do much else. They're not going to cover the walls in pillows, or anything that significantly affects play (you can't have line drives flying into an ultra-soft surface and then just dropping onto the warning track).

Look, we all recognize that Buxton's style of play entails certain hazards, and we were reminded of that in the final game of the season, where he suffered a cracked rib in a collision with the fence in New York. But that's part of the package. He'll never dial down the all-out effort and aggressiveness (we can only hope), so the best hope to avoid injuries is for Buxton to continually improve his situational awareness and not allow that wall (or another outfielder) to blindside him. He did seem to get better about that this year.

But at the end of the day, there's just a certain risk you run (so to speak) when hurdling through the outfield with mythical speed.

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90 Comments

I do think the criticisms of Pohlads are very overstated and lack context (of stadium reality pre Target Field or being in a rebuild the last several years), and I do expect them to spend some actual money this offseason, but I have a hard time calling #1 a myth until it actually happens.
    • Doomtints likes this

First off, their revenue is down ONLY if they weren't able to sell media advertising. Attendance held (rather than dropped) and much of the ticket sales were for fuller price tickets controlled by the Twins because they were competitive and put a winning team on the field. The brand may have taken a hit as the Twins had no excitable advertising campaign and the team was second-tiered msot of the season in sports coverage (or so it seemed) which should be worse than ever during the off-season dominated by a winning Vikings team, hockey and basketball (as always) and the dreaded Super Bowl media hype.

 

If you immediately pull-the-plug on the Hughes salary and eat it (send the guy packing), you have Santana coming off the books...so you can splurge on an A-level starter. Wouldn't the prospect of having a Tim Sale-like arm be more than tantalizing right now. Even a Grienke of two years past. Hell, wished the Twins had known enough of their prospects to land Verlander for the remaining years of his contract.

 

A tough area is how to extend sooner rather than later (remember the wonderful Indians experiment of signing their young players longterm). You may average pay, seldom overpay, and if the guys produce you get a bargain or a wonderful trading chip with a reasonable contract (see Denard Span) if someone truly pushes a player out of the picture in the next 2-3 years.

 

With what seems to be many seasons of talk of a crop of young power arms coming to the majors (few of the names mentioned have made ANY impact in the last three years), we can possibly sit tight in the bullpen. Maybe a grizzled veteran would be a welcomed addition to keep the youngsters in place.

 

We have to address Joe Mauer sooner rather than later. Is he a longjam at first or wherever else he can contribute to the team. We need to address Dozier. How much is an extension. If it is for two seasons beyond with an option, can we hope that his play remains enough to be at the least a tradechip before his downslide, or that he is a franchise player eventually moving into a DH who can also play the field role.

 

The leg surgery for Sano is a toughie. Is he truly the DH and future Twins version of David Ortiz, or just another guy to move onto greener pastures, perhaps. He's one of those guys who can be a half-way decent player by just walking up to the plate and swinging a bat. He has highs and also lows. Yes, would love if he was a $15-20 million-a-year David Ortiz, and not the second-coming of Delmon Young.

 

All this talk of payroll and spending 55% or what-the-heck is meaningless. Once you hit $100 million in payroll, you no longer have to spend 55%. The otehr 45% pretty much stays the same (cost of front office, operations, minor leagues and such). So you can spend 100% of whatever the team takes in about that amount (depending, ultimately, on play which reflects attendance and media ad revenue).

 

The Twins can easily spend $140 million. They could spend $160-175 million and unless they happen to pick the wrong injury-plagued contracts, should succeed.

 

Gibson needs to repeat to stay a Twin and then the negotiations start for a long-term contract. Mejia may/may not be a longterm player. The Twins have young arms, but only one that you truly see breaking ranks in spring training and even he could spend more time in the minors (a familiar prospect rally cry, it seems). Yes, we can hope that there will be at least 3-4 young arms fighting for rotation positions come 2019 and that all 3-4 would be keepers, although a rotation of young arms if you are still a competitive team is a high gamble to remain competitive. But you never know.

 

But before spending major money on more than one player, the Twins have to address Sano, Mauer, Dozier, all the sophs, and get a strong handle on the minor league pipeline. If they BUY players, than many prospects will be available for trade (and as shown already this season, the Twins could fill the 40-man with a least 15 prospects...too many in my book...and there will be more next season).

 

 

    • sploorp likes this

Article: "Know what happened the last time the Twins planned for a season with true championship aspirations? They set a franchise record for payroll, under Bill Smith, at $113 million. That was in 2011, when they were coming off their last playoff appearance."

 

Wikipedia: "The Twins fired Smith as general manager on November 7, 2011, and replaced him with his predecessor, Ryan."

 

Is there any doubt the new front office is aware of this history? As a few others have stated, it's not a myth until it's proven wrong. 

    • gunnarthor and Doomtints like this

 

Amendment: E Santana

 

His stats for 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2017 are all but identical: 32-33 starts, 16-17 wins, 200+ innings.

 

2017 does not really stand out for E Santana other than to punctuate his consistency for more than a decade. It certainly qualifies as one of the better years of his career—in the top 4 using these standard stats at least. But not an over-the-moon career year.

 

Those types would be more the domain of Puckett ’88, Viola ’88, Radke ’97, J Santana ’04, Morneau ’06, and Mauer ’09.

I think the angst over Ervin isn't that he had a career year, it's based on his age and the effects of Father Time (who remains undefeated).I'm no stat-head, but I believe if you find a starting pitcher who had one of his best years at age 34, then look at the following year or 2, you are going to be a little nervous counting on him to come close to repeating 2017.If you're counting on a youngster like Berrios to improve with age and experience, you have to acknowledge the likelihood of decline on a pitcher turning 35 in December.  

The problem for the Twins is that it isn't easy to find a top of the rotation starter, this will be a big test for Falvine.  

    • Oldgoat_MN, Danchat and tarheeltwinsfan like this
I'll believe 1 isn't a myth when it's proven not to be.

2 shouldn't be put forth as a myth...the Twins need better pitchers than they've assembled. You do that by adding to the top, not the bottom.
    • diehardtwinsfan, beckmt, Sconnie and 2 others like this

I'd love to hear the name of the last team that made it to the World Series without an impact pitcher (or 2.)

 

If the goal is to snick in the post-season as a wild card and go belly up again, nope, they do not need to add an impact pitcher...

    • Danchat, sploorp and Vanimal46 like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 03 2017 11:40 AM

I think some are missing the point of this post a little bit. 

 

To be clear, I'm not saying the Twins will spend $120M+, only that we shouldn't treat it as a given they won't. It seems like a lot of people are conditioned to think a certain way, or making assumptions based on how they've operated over the past 5 years while out of contention, or in the pre-Target Field days. The fact that people are pointing back to how the franchise spent in the early 2000s only reinforces why I made the point.

 

And I'm certainly not saying the Twins SHOULDN'T add an impact starter, only that they COULD keep roughly the same staff and still take a meaningful step forward.

 

Do the people saying things to the effect of "If they don't spend on a FA they'll end up with pitchers like Hughes and Nolasco in the rotation" realize the irony of their statements? 

    • Oldgoat_MN, DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 03 2017 11:41 AM

 

I'll believe 1 isn't a myth when it's proven not to be.

2 shouldn't be put forth as a myth...the Twins need better pitchers than they've assembled. You do that by adding to the top, not the bottom.

My point was that someone like May or Romero could be the addition to the top. And keeping the door open for them maintains roster/payroll flexibility. As I mentioned, you can always add during the season when you have a better idea of how things are shaping up. 

    • DocBauer and tarheeltwinsfan like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 03 2017 11:43 AM

 

Article: "Know what happened the last time the Twins planned for a season with true championship aspirations? They set a franchise record for payroll, under Bill Smith, at $113 million. That was in 2011, when they were coming off their last playoff appearance."

 

Wikipedia: "The Twins fired Smith as general manager on November 7, 2011, and replaced him with his predecessor, Ryan."

 

Is there any doubt the new front office is aware of this history? As a few others have stated, it's not a myth until it's proven wrong. 

Did Smith get fired for spending money or for spending money poorly? Speculation aside, he was green-lighted for an all-time record payroll the last time the Twins had legit championship aspirations. That is the pertinent fact here. 

    • beckmt, Oldgoat_MN, tarheeltwinsfan and 3 others like this

 

Which one would you like? Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Pelfrey???? It's not that the Twins haven't tried, but it's a big crap shoot. And you don't just sign somebody. There has to be a mutual agreement between a player and a team. I'm not convinced Yu Darvish would come to Minnesota regardless of the money offered. I think he would accept less money to be in a community with a significant Japanese influence. or return to the Rangers where he felt very comfortable. At the ridiculous salaries offered to free agents, what's a few million?

 

 

Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, if we want to talk about a pipe dream Darvish.... Or trade for an impact SP with the players down in the minors. 

 

Frankly all of those pitchers would have more of an impact than most every pitcher we've seen over the last 5-6-7 years. 

 

I'm not entirely with you on the premise. Every successful or impact SP was an unproven prospect at one time that some one promoted to fill a spot in the rotation. World Series contention is what happened when Cleveland relied on Salazar and Kluver to fill spots in their rotation and I could probably come up with dozens of other examples but you get the drift. Of course there are plenty of examples of going the other way. I am still on the Cobb band wagon and think he could have a very big impact on our rotation though don't know if he would fit your definition of impact SP.If he does then I am completely on board with your last sentence. 

 

If the Twins came out of the gate with that signing like they did with Castro a year ago I would immediately rate their off season a B+. 

 

As far as myths go I agree with Sconnie. If you think myth 2 is not a myth then myth one becomes pointless.  

 

I just want a pitcher who will be better than the merry-go-round of AAAA/unproven pitchers we've seen over the years. Cobb could fit that mold. Lynn could fit it too. Darvish is a pipe dream but would certainly fit. Or make a trade for someone who isn't a FA. 

 

If the playoffs this year and last have shown us anything, it's the Twins are not even close in the pitching department. I believe the offense could survive, and WIN a playoff series or two. With the current pitching staff as it is? No chance they would win a 5 or 7 game series. 

 

Which one would you like? Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Pelfrey???? It's not that the Twins haven't tried, but it's a big crap shoot.

 

 

Dumpster Diving and Spendtrifting, both TR trademarks, are a big crap shoot.  If you are going for quantity vs. quality, that's what you get.

 

The Twins should go after two top 20 pitchers.They have not done that since MacPhail. 

 

 

 

 

    • Oldgoat_MN and tarheeltwinsfan like this

 

I'd love to hear the name of the last team that made it to the World Series without an impact pitcher (or 2.)

 

If the goal is to snick in the post-season as a wild card and go belly up again, nope, they do not need to add an impact pitcher...

Might depend on what you mean by impact. The Royals won the WS when their best pitcher was Edison Volquez and Chris Young. Obviously, they had a great bullpen and amazing team defense. The 2015 Mets pitching staff wasn't that great either but was certainly better than the Twins this year. The 2014 Giants had a team ERA+ of 99 but rode Bumgarner (4.0 WAR pitcher) and Jake Peavy down the stretch. They beat a Royals team with 3 solid starters but none had a WAR above 4.The 2012 Giants pitching staff was actually worse than 2014. Bumgarner and Cain were both good but again both were sub 4.0 WAR pitchers. 2011 Cards had Chris Carpenter and nothing - Kyle Lohse was their second best starter.

 

So a World Series team doesn't need a bunch of 4+ WAR pitchers. That helps, of course. But could Berrios and, say, Alex Cobb and Ervin Santana be a strong enough front of the rotation for the Twins? Maybe?

 

 

    • Dantes929 and Original Whizzinator like this
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Deduno Abides
Nov 03 2017 12:39 PM

Did Smith get fired for spending money or for spending money poorly? Speculation aside, he was green-lighted for an all-time record payroll the last time the Twins had legit championship aspirations. That is the pertinent fact here.


Memory is that Smith was offered another position in the organization because of a series of bad trades while he was GM, and not for spending.

Smith’s worst free agent signing was Nishioka, who wasn’t expensive. Smith had no idea whether it was a good idea; he was just reacting to Gardy’s dissatisfaction with Hardy and the scouting assessment of Nishioka. It wasn’t the money; it was the outcome.
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

Might depend on what you mean by impact. The Royals won the WS when their best pitcher was Edison Volquez and Chris Young. Obviously, they had a great bullpen and amazing team defense. The 2015 Mets pitching staff wasn't that great either but was certainly better than the Twins this year. The 2014 Giants had a team ERA+ of 99 but rode Bumgarner (4.0 WAR pitcher) and Jake Peavy down the stretch. They beat a Royals team with 3 solid starters but none had a WAR above 4.The 2012 Giants pitching staff was actually worse than 2014. Bumgarner and Cain were both good but again both were sub 4.0 WAR pitchers. 2011 Cards had Chris Carpenter and nothing - Kyle Lohse was their second best starter.

 

So a World Series team doesn't need a bunch of 4+ WAR pitchers. That helps, of course. But could Berrios and, say, Alex Cobb and Ervin Santana be a strong enough front of the rotation for the Twins? Maybe?

 

The Royals were 3rd in the AL in team ERA in 2015 and 4th in 2014.Plus that pen.

 

The Mets in 2015 had Harvey, deGroom and Thor with ERAs 2 under 3, the other 3.25 and WHIPs around 1.000.

 

The 2014 Giants had Bumgarner and Peavy with 2.98 and 2.12 ERAs and WHIP around 1.000, as well as 5 relievers with WHIP under or around 1.000

 

The 2012 Giants had 5 starters with 184+ IP, headed by Cain (2.79 ERA, 1.040 WHIP) and Bumgarner (3.37 ERA, 1.114 WHIP)

 

The 2011 Cardinals had 4 starters with 183+ IP, 4 starters with ~3.50 ERA, and 5 relievers at 1.000 WHIP or under, 3 of them under 2.30 ERA.

 

Are the Twins projected to have anything close to that if they sit on their rear ends? Esp. with Santana regressing.

    • sploorp likes this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 03 2017 12:52 PM

 

The Royals were 3rd in the AL in team ERA in 2015 and 4th in 2014.Plus that pen.

Not plus that pen, BECAUSE of that pen. They were 12th in the AL in SP ERA in 2015, when they won the World Series.

    • ashburyjohn, jorgenswest, DocBauer and 3 others like this

 

The Royals were 3rd in the AL in team ERA in 2015 and 4th in 2014.Plus that pen.

 

The Mets in 2015 had Harvey, deGroom and Thor with ERAs 2 under 3, the other 3.25 and WHIPs around 1.000.

 

The 2014 Giants had Bumgarner and Peavy with 2.98 and 2.12 ERAs and WHIP around 1.000, as well as 5 relievers with WHIP under or around 1.000

 

The 2012 Giants had 5 starters with 184+ IP, headed by Cain (2.79 ERA, 1.040 WHIP) and Bumgarner (3.37 ERA, 1.114 WHIP)

 

The 2011 Cardinals had 4 starters with 183+ IP, 4 starters with ~3.50 ERA, and 5 relievers at 1.000 WHIP or under, 3 of them under 2.30 ERA.

 

Are the Twins projected to have anything close to that if they sit on their rear ends? Esp. with Santana regressing.

I think you're taking a few things out of context (again) and moving goalposts. You originally suggested that teams need one or two "impact" pitchers. Now you want to look at staffs. Either way, it really just depends on what you think of as impact.

 

For example, the Cards 4 starters were pitching in the NL. Carpenter was legit good but Jackson and Garcia had WARs under 1.0, Westbrook was in negative territory. Lohse was 2.3. They had some good relief pitchers but overall, it wasn't that impressive. Team wise, they had 9 WAR. Frankly, they really weren't too far off from where the Twins were this year.

 

The 2012 Giants had 5 starters w/184ip. That is true. What you didn't mention was that Lincecum was really, really bad and, as a staff, they managed only 8 WAR. I did mention that Cain and Bumgarner were their two best pitchers but neither was anything special.  

 

You didn't say anything really different than what I said about the 2014 Giants squad.  Casilla, Machi, Affeldt were all good relief arms for them that year. They had a solid pen but I don't think anyone on that staff would be called impactful. And if they are, then yes, the Twins could find some similar arms.

 

The Mets certainly had better arms than these Giant and Cards teams but again, they didn't really have anything too impactful. They had a couple guys with 4+ WAR seasons but not above it. Could a Berrios, Cobb, Santana front three (as I suggested) come close to what the Mets group kicked out? Maybe. 

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TwinsWonWithHunter
Nov 03 2017 02:23 PM
Another note on myth 1. Not to kick up an old tired wound but ...
In Dec 02, the Twins non-tendered David Ortiz. Why? To save a little over a million dollars.
I remember the discussions well. The Twins had a young, power-hitting left-handed hitter who was their best power hitter since Hrbek. He (Ortiz) had just come off a 400 at-bat, 20 HR season. Even the most conservative and measured estimates concluded that, if you give him 550 at bats, he'll hit about 30 HR, drive in 90+.
But, he was arbitration-eligible, and was projected to bring in somewhere from 1.5 to 2 million.
So, the Twins (penny counters), came up with a rationalization.
We'll let Ortiz go. Make Matt LeCroy the nominal DH, pay him about 500K. LeCroy can probably give us 15 HR, 60 RBI. And we will platoon him with "the bench"--a bunch of guys who can spell DH for a game here and there, keep our options open, keep guys fresh. And when it's all said and done, the DH slot will probably be in the ballpark, statwise, of the projected Ortiz numbers. And if it's a little short, We'll make it up in the aggregate on the defensive end, since our rotating DH slot guys are pretty decent when they play their field positions. Whereas Ortiz can only play one position, and he is sort of a field liability.
So, we can save about 1.5 million in 2003, and we will have more day-to-day rotational options. It's hard to put a price on that!
The argument had so many angles to it that you could almost buy it in real-time. Almost.
And I am not stretching the truth one jot. What I just described is how the Twins sold that bill of goods during the 2002/2003 off-season.
The elephant in the room of course is that we knowingly let an up and coming power hitter walk, and we did it to keep a dollar.
The same family owns the Twins. They are not going to increase payroll beyond some nominal tick.
    • kenbuddha likes this

 

Another note on myth 1. Not to kick up an old tired wound but ...
In Dec 02, the Twins non-tendered David Ortiz. Why? To save a little over a million dollars.
I remember the discussions well. The Twins had a young, power-hitting left-handed hitter who was their best power hitter since Hrbek. He (Ortiz) had just come off a 400 at-bat, 20 HR season. Even the most conservative and measured estimates concluded that, if you give him 550 at bats, he'll hit about 30 HR, drive in 90+.
But, he was arbitration-eligible, and was projected to bring in somewhere from 1.5 to 2 million.
So, the Twins (penny counters), came up with a rationalization.
We'll let Ortiz go. Make Matt LeCroy the nominal DH, pay him about 500K. LeCroy can probably give us 15 HR, 60 RBI. And we will platoon him with "the bench"--a bunch of guys who can spell DH for a game here and there, keep our options open, keep guys fresh. And when it's all said and done, the DH slot will probably be in the ballpark, statwise, of the projected Ortiz numbers. And if it's a little short, We'll make it up in the aggregate on the defensive end, since our rotating DH slot guys are pretty decent when they play their field positions. Whereas Ortiz can only play one position, and he is sort of a field liability.
So, we can save about 1.5 million in 2003, and we will have more day-to-day rotational options. It's hard to put a price on that!
The argument had so many angles to it that you could almost buy it in real-time. Almost.
And I am not stretching the truth one jot. What I just described is how the Twins sold that bill of goods during the 2002/2003 off-season.
The elephant in the room of course is that we knowingly let an up and coming power hitter walk, and we did it to keep a dollar.
The same family owns the Twins. They are not going to increase payroll beyond some nominal tick.

You should have added: and LeCroy would satisfy Gardy's requirement for 3 Catchers.

 

I think you're taking a few things out of context (again) and moving goalposts. You originally suggested that teams need one or two "impact" pitchers. Now you want to look at staffs. Either way, it really just depends on what you think of as impact.

 

For example, the Cards 4 starters were pitching in the NL. Carpenter was legit good but Jackson and Garcia had WARs under 1.0, Westbrook was in negative territory. Lohse was 2.3. They had some good relief pitchers but overall, it wasn't that impressive. Team wise, they had 9 WAR. Frankly, they really weren't too far off from where the Twins were this year.

 

The 2012 Giants had 5 starters w/184ip. That is true. What you didn't mention was that Lincecum was really, really bad and, as a staff, they managed only 8 WAR. I did mention that Cain and Bumgarner were their two best pitchers but neither was anything special.  

 

You didn't say anything really different than what I said about the 2014 Giants squad.  Casilla, Machi, Affeldt were all good relief arms for them that year. They had a solid pen but I don't think anyone on that staff would be called impactful. And if they are, then yes, the Twins could find some similar arms.

 

The Mets certainly had better arms than these Giant and Cards teams but again, they didn't really have anything too impactful. They had a couple guys with 4+ WAR seasons but not above it. Could a Berrios, Cobb, Santana front three (as I suggested) come close to what the Mets group kicked out? Maybe. 

 

WAR is what got them to the post-season.WAR does not matter in the post-season. Rate stats, do matter more.Verlander's WAR with the Astros was very small (because he did not play much.)But he was essential for their off-season.No Verlander no WS. WAR is a very bad metric for this.

 

WAR is what got them to the post-season.WAR does not matter in the post-season. Rate stats, do matter more.Verlander's WAR with the Astros was very small (because he did not play much.)But he was essential for their off-season.No Verlander no WS. WAR is a very bad metric for this.

Sure, WAR is just one stat, I've also pointed out the low ERA+ as well. The point is we need better starters. But better starters could mean Cobb and not Darvish, for instance. 

    • sploorp and Vanimal46 like this

 

I'd love to hear the name of the last team that made it to the World Series without an impact pitcher (or 2.)

 

If the goal is to snick in the post-season as a wild card and go belly up again, nope, they do not need to add an impact pitcher...

 

This is what I was thinking. If we start looking at the SPs on the other playoff teams, we will notice most of the names. For fun, we can analyze how these pitchers were acquired. Only then can we state:

 

1) The Twins don't need good, proven SPs.

2) The Twins shouldn't acquire them via free agency or trade.

 

I'm guessing these two ideas could be shattered just by looking at what successful teams are doing.....

    • Thrylos likes this

 

Might depend on what you mean by impact. The Royals won the WS when their best pitcher was Edison Volquez and Chris Young.

 

It's worth it to look at how crappy the teams the Royals beat in the playoffs were.

 

- The Astros had no hitting and barely above average pitching.

- The Blue Jays hit well but had poor pitching

- The Mets may have been the worst-hitting team to ever play in the WS

 

Every team the Royals faced in the playoffs had pitching at or worse than theirs.

2015 was a year where whoever got hot would win the WS, this happened to be an above-average but unexciting Royals.

 

This was a fluke year ... an outlier ... an exception ... thus it's not helpful to bring it up. You can't win a world series by betting on more exceptions happening.

 

It's worth it to look at how crappy the teams the Royals beat in the playoffs were.

 

- The Astros had no hitting and barely above average pitching.

- The Blue Jays hit well but had poor pitching

- The Mets may have been the worst-hitting team to ever play in the WS

 

Every team the Royals faced in the playoffs had pitching at or worse than theirs.

2015 was a year where whoever got hot would win the WS, this happened to be an above-average but unexciting Royals.

 

This was a fluke year ... an outlier ... an exception ... thus it's not helpful to bring it up. You can't win a world series by betting on more exceptions happening.

However, it appears to me that "fluke" or "outlier year" is the Twins strategy.

    • Doomtints likes this

It's worth it to look at how crappy the teams the Royals beat in the playoffs were.

- The Astros had no hitting and barely above average pitching.
- The Blue Jays hit well but had poor pitching
- The Mets may have been the worst-hitting team to ever play in the WS

Every team the Royals faced in the playoffs had pitching at or worse than theirs.

2015 was a year where whoever got hot would win the WS, this happened to be an above-average but unexciting Royals.

This was a fluke year ... an outlier ... an exception ... thus it's not helpful to bring it up. You can't win a world series by betting on more exceptions happening.


The Royals won the AL pennant the year before, so . . . two consecutive fluke years? I hope the decision makers aren't discounting proven methods of roster construction because they're less aesthetically pleasing.
    • Broker likes this