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ESPN Report: Twins Could Be Mystery Team for Harper, Machado

Dreams can happen right?

Last week, I mused about the possibility of Minnesota making a bid for free agent Manny Machado. He’s young, a five-tool player, and has the potential to impact the game in multiple ways. It also helps that the White Sox have been going after him. If the Twins could steal him from their division rival, it would make the signing that much sweeter.

Could the Twins make a splash and sign Machado or Harper?
Image courtesy of Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting the Twins could be one of a handful of mystery teams interested in signing either Machado or Harper. Olney’s biggest reasons for identifying the Twins is their lack of free agent spending, which gives the club an opportunity to pull off this kind of contract.

Over the last week, Minnesota’s payroll has been a hot button topic in Twins Territory. (I wrote a little about it in this week’s Twins Daily mailbag and you can listen to Gleeman and the Geek discuss it in their latest episode). Joe Mauer’s contract came off the books and the organization has few contractual commitments moving forward.

According to Forbes, Minnesota ranks 22nd in MLB team valuations. The club made $261 million in revenue last year and spent $133 million on player expenses. Currently, the Twins are projected to start next season with a payroll around $100 million.

If it takes longer for these two players to sign, their asking price could continue to drop. It could also drop the length of the contract. Both players are relatively young for reaching free agency since they made their debuts as teenagers. This could allow teams to sign them to a longer contract because the prime of their careers would be throughout most of the new deal.

Since these two players debuted in 2012, Harper has the 12th highest WAR total, while Machado comes in at 15th. These are two of the best players of this generation and they are reaching free agency in their prime. All of baseball should be interested… why not the Twins?

Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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103 Comments

For one I find it hard to believe the Twins would go after either one.For two I would have a difficult time if they signed Machado.While he may be a very good player, I do not like the attitude and bush league play.Watching some of the things he did last year and the attitude afterwards when questioned about them was disgusting.I hope the Twins do not sign someone like that.

I agree with Thrylos, this is Olney speculating that the Twins COULD do this, rather than an indication they ARE a team negotiating.

So what I take from this is more ammo for my belief the Twins have the financial means to do deals like this.
    • SQUIRREL, Mike Sixel, joebush44 and 8 others like this

There's always a mystery team. The mystery team always has 'great payroll flexibility'. Weird, right?

 

Has the mystery team ever signed a player? I guess there's a first time for everything.

    • howieramone2, SF Twins Fan, bobs and 1 other like this
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Winston Smith
Jan 23 2019 10:46 AM

Jim Pohlad sitting at his desk. I can make $50mm with the payroll at $100 or we can sign Machado and I can make $20mm.

What do we do? …

 

Does anyone think that the Pohlad's first think how good the team will be before they think how much money can we make?

    • gunnarthor, Sconnie, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

I would poop my pants if the Twins sign one of these guys. The money is absolutely there, but a long-term investment, and a very expensive one at that, seems highly unlikely for this organization. I sincerely doubt that this will happen, but we can always dream, right?

 

For the record, if we do, by some miracle, sign one of these guys, the Twins are winning the AL Central in 2019. Book it. Screenshot this and show me in September. If the Twins sign Harper or Machado, the Twins will win the AL Central in 2019.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

If the Twins had good owners, we'd be on Machado. No doubt. He's such a perfect fit here it hurts. 

 

Speaking of hurting, do you think that having their highest paid player not give 100% every time and publicly admitting it and justifying it will help or hurt the attitude and development of the Twins' young core?

 

Is that who you want to be their role model?

    • joebush44, brvama, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this
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lukeduke1980
Jan 23 2019 10:54 AM

'Buster - nothing is happening in the free agent market.Can you write something speculative and borderline provocative to drum up some clicks?'  

    • Cris E, nicksaviking and Sconnie like this

 

Speaking of hurting, do you think that having their highest paid player not give 100% every time and publicly admitting it and justifying it will help or hurt the attitude and development of the Twins' young core?

 

Is that who you want to be their role model?

The character questions/concerns about Machado are BS. I'd love to have this guy on the team. I think he'd take pressure off of our younger guys. I think he and Cruz would help Sano and Buxton reach their ceilings. I think signing him tells the team that the FO and owners are backing this group of players.

 

The last few years our highest paid player was Mauer. Enough said.

    • SQUIRREL and howieramone2 like this
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Thebigalguy
Jan 23 2019 11:07 AM

I don't believe this propaganda. As mentioned above, it's probably an agent or agents stirring the pot. Falvine's entire long-term strategy depends on avoiding a Mauer-type contract and maintaining short-and-midrange flexibility. We all saw what happened to Joe, who was well worth the contract when he signed it. Of course, Harpado aren't catchers, where the danger is higher of career-changing injury, but too many variables in a single player's ability to contribute at pre-contract stats after the money's been exchanged. Besides, I see the Twins competing without such a coup.

    • Marcusesm likes this

 Derek Wetmore would say there's a "non-zero chance" this happens.But the percentage is somewhere between 0 and 1!

If only one of them were Korean...

 

The Twins don't make moves like this. The Twins throw crazy money at dubious retread pitchers coming off TJ surgery, not perennial all-stars at the peak of their careers. 

    • Mike Sixel, h2oface, chpettit19 and 4 others like this
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RatherBeGolfing
Jan 23 2019 11:19 AM

Submitting to Common Man's PST Tournament

    • USAFChief, scottz, Sconnie and 1 other like this
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ScooterDance
Jan 23 2019 11:27 AM

 

I would poop my pants if the Twins sign one of these guys. The money is absolutely there, but a long-term investment, and a very expensive one at that, seems highly unlikely for this organization. I sincerely doubt that this will happen, but we can always dream, right?

 

For the record, if we do, by some miracle, sign one of these guys, the Twins are winning the AL Central in 2019. Book it. Screenshot this and show me in September. If the Twins sign Harper or Machado, the Twins will win the AL Central in 2019.

 

I'm going to screenshot this and show you after we sign one of them. You better have evidence that you pooped your pants, or I'll call you out as a charlatan and a liar.

    • SQUIRREL, Twins33, 70charger and 4 others like this

I'm going to screenshot this and show you after we sign one of them. You better have evidence that you pooped your pants, or I'll call you out as a charlatan and a liar.

mod note: we'll accept verbal confirmation. Link/pic not necessary.
    • SQUIRREL, ashbury, Blake and 15 others like this

I'm pretty sure $261M was the 2017 number. 

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howieramone2
Jan 23 2019 11:52 AM

 

I agree with Thrylos, this is Olney speculating that the Twins COULD do this, rather than an indication they ARE a team negotiating.

So what I take from this is more ammo for my belief the Twins have the financial means to do deals like this.

Actually almost every team has the ammo. Also, the team that comes in second, can we all agree they didn't even try.

Jim Pohlad is an absentee owner. If Sano and Buxton came up to him in full uniform, he would probably not know who they were.. If you think the Pohlads want to win or will spend the money to win, you have another think coming. If it's that important to you there are 29 other teams.


You mean like when he demanded that Molitor stay on as manager? That kind of "absentee owner"?
    • Mike Sixel and brvama like this
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howieramone2
Jan 23 2019 12:00 PM

 

You mean like when he demanded that Molitor stay on as manager? That kind of "absentee owner"?

Close enough.

The term "report" is used pretty loosely these days.
    • Mike Sixel, scottz, Twins33 and 1 other like this

Zero chance the Pohlad's approve a 9 figure contract immediately after finally getting out from under Mauer's deal. 

    • spanman2, Sconnie and Original Whizzinator like this

 

I still don't think either would commit ten years of their lives to Minnesota without taking the area for a test drive, so I'd think if the Twins were to get one, it would be on a big money short term deal or something with an easy opt out after a year or two.

Honestly. I don't think it would necessarily have anything to do with Minnesota -- opt-out clauses seem pretty standard these days. Heyward and Darvish got them in Chicago, Price and Martinez in Boston, etc.

 

I tend to think opt-out clauses aren't so bad. They have a value for the player, of course, which should be taken into account in the price of the contract, but it's possible the Twins wouldn't even have to deal with the last half of a Machado or Harper deal, which seems to be a common complaint among fans (although given their ages, the latter half wouldn't necessarily be onerous either).

    • SQUIRREL, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 4 others like this

 

Has the mystery team ever signed a player? I guess there's a first time for everything.

 

This mystery team signed Scrappy Doo:

 

Attached Image: mysterymachine.jpeg

 

Fan reaction was mixed.

    • SQUIRREL, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 7 others like this
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Canizaro's Ghost
Jan 23 2019 12:52 PM

You can tell how old a Twins fan is by how much they buy rumors like this. The younger you are, the more you allow it to happen. I've seen this movie before, and the Twins NEVER get the girl. 

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Ryan Atkins
Jan 23 2019 01:02 PM

Per the report, the Twins "are mentioned by rival officials and agents".

 

Of course agents are going to mention everyone, they want to make it seem like all teams are IN so you best blow us away with your offer.

 

The more interesting part here is "rival officials". I really wonder where/who that came from? Because, you would think that any team official would prefer to make it seem like NO ONE besides my team is interested so you might as well accept our offer.

 

Prefer Harper. I would love to see the crazy numbers Sano could put up if you had Harper hitting behind him.

    • nicksaviking likes this
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nicksaviking
Jan 23 2019 01:18 PM

 

Per the report, the Twins "are mentioned by rival officials and agents".

 

Of course agents are going to mention everyone, they want to make it seem like all teams are IN so you best blow us away with your offer.

 

The more interesting part here is "rival officials". I really wonder where/who that came from? Because, you would think that any team official would prefer to make it seem like NO ONE besides my team is interested so you might as well accept our offer.

 

Prefer Harper. I would love to see the crazy numbers Sano could put up if you had Harper hitting behind him.

 

Yeah the Red Sox are telling the Yankees that the Twins are offering $400M so they better top that if they want Machado. The Mets are telling the Phillies not to bother because they have a source that says the Twins are going to sign them both.

    • SQUIRREL, scottz, Ryan Atkins and 2 others like this

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