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Chasing Madison Bumgarner Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:52 AM
Looks like the market is heating up for Bumgarner now, and the Twins are in. Post rumors and thoughts as they arise, please:  
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Minnesota and Big Contracts

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:39 AM
For more than 2 decades I have listened to Minnesota Twins fans complain that the Pohlads never give out big contracts. This is mostly bu...
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Front Page: Twins Offseason Chapter has a Loaded Amount o...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:37 AM
Recently the Philadelphia Phillies inked Zack Wheeler to a five-year deal, and in losing out on a highly coveted free agent starting pitc...
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How high would you go for Cole?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:54 PM
Let’s say Cole would sign if we gave him enough money. How high would you be willing to go? What if we could get him for 8 years, 300 mil...
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Front Page: Free Agent Faceoff: Madison Bumgarner Is Not...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:47 PM
With Zack Wheeler coming off the board, Twins Territory seems to have attached to Madison Bumgarner as the must-have free agent of the of...
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Find the Next Gerrit Cole? Twins Have Shown the Knack

Fresh off a Cy Young-caliber campaign and dominant postseason run, Gerrit Cole hits the free agent market as top prize among starting pitchers. Jake Odorizzi wouldn't have been too far behind him, had he not accepted a qualifying offer from the Twins last week.

While the Astros rightfully receive endless praise for their acquisition and activation of Cole, the Twins deserve more credit for doing the same thing – albeit it a lesser extent – with Odorizzi.
Image courtesy of Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
The paths of Cole and Odorizzi have actually been pretty closely intertwined. Both were first-round draft picks out of high school in 2008 – in fact, Odorizzi went just four picks after Cole. Only difference was, Odorizzi signed with the Brewers, while Cole rebuffed the Yankees and wisely opted for college, becoming the first overall pick three years later.

Odorizzi endured a hectic first few years as a pro, getting moved twice as a prospect in trades for established aces (Zack Greinke and James Shields) before landing in Tampa Bay, where he emerged as a 24-year-old rookie in 2014. During four full seasons with the Rays, Odorizzi was good, but short of great: 668 IP, 3.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9. He flirted occasionally with rotation-fronting potential but was held back by a few critical flaws (proneness to home runs among them).

After he put forth a career-worst season in 2017, the Rays threw their hands up, trading him to Minnesota the following spring for a middling prospect.

One month and five days before Odorizzi went to the Twins, Cole had been dealt by the Pirates to Houston. The return was far more substantial, but in similar fashion, the Astros were buying low. Cole's numbers over five seasons in Pittsburgh were quite like those of Odorizzi in Tampa: 782 IP, 3.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9.

Take out his fantastic 2015 campaign, and Cole's tenure in Pittsburgh was almost identical to Odorizzi's in Tampa, filled with glimpses of largely unrealized potential.

We all know where the story goes from there. Cole immediately turned a corner in Houston, blossoming almost instantly into an ace while unlocking new levels of velocity and performance. Odorizzi's emergence in Minnesota wasn't nearly so spectacular, but it shouldn't be overlooked, either.

The Twins took a player who required only shortstop Jermaine Palacios (owner of a sub-.600 OPS since switching organizations) to acquire, and turned Odorizzi into a major asset for a needy rotation. In 2019 he was a first-time All-Star while obliterating his career highs in velocity, strikeout rate, whiff percentage, and WAR. The decision to offer a QO was a no-brainer, and his acceptance is a big positive for next year's outlook (meanwhile, the Astros are figuring out how they'll replace their departing ace).

For all the hopeful talk about the Twins wooing Cole with an historic contract offer – the fanciful blueprints published here over the past week have been fun to read, – we all know that it's an unlikely path for this franchise. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine had their contracts proactively extended last week not because they can throw ungodly sums of money at the best free agent, but because they can savvily build and develop through a world-class operation (which is, consequently, now being raided by opponents).

In the Offseason Handbook, Tom Froemming has an excellent piece titled "Could the Twins Find the Next Gerrit Cole"? I wouldn't bet against it.

Odorizzi is no Cole. Obviously. But the Twins have proven they can execute the same formula. The question is whether they can now level-up, expending more resources to add a player capable of even greater impact.

As I look around the league, there is one clear candidate who stands out to me in this mold: Chris Archer, one of four outside-the-box trade targets I profiled here. He's got some of the same ingredients as Odorizzi and Cole did: standout stuff, glimmers of greatness, two years of control remaining (via team options). Oh, and coming off a career-worst season. Could the Twins pirate the Pirates like Houston did?

~~~


Who strikes you as a similar buy-low opportunity on the trade market with untapped upside? It's a likely spot for the Twins to set their gaze.

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64 Comments

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sweetmusicviola16
Nov 19 2019 10:31 PM

Archer intrigues me. What would he cost prospect wise? Would say Edwar Colina get it done? Or is that too much? Another off year for Archer and he'll make 9mil. It sounds like the Pirates might be in for a fire sale. It'd be interesting to see if a deal for Archer and Josh Bell could be reached.

    • Channing1964 likes this

I would take a flier on Archer.  What do you think the price would be?

They also tried with Martin Perez. And several others. They have one starting pitcher on the roster this front office brought in. I'd argue the jury is still out at this point.

They have fifty million in space, they better use it. And not try to get cute only. A flyer on the fifth guy? Sure. But a world series team can not take that chance with their number three or four.
    • scottz, gunnarthor, Twins33 and 10 others like this

The Astros deserve zero credit for what Cole has achieved - #1 overall, he was a stud when they got him who was maturing into his prime. Now the acquisition part ....

    • gunnarthor, Tomj14 and Battle ur tail off like this
Archer is one of the potential trade targets I am most interested in. I wasn't all that interested a season or so ago when he was a hot commodity because I didn't see the results, other than SO numbers and potential. And I know he was playing for a losing team at the time, but I've seen other pitchers just sort of transcend and show their potential. I just never got that "it" factor from him. Maybe I just never looked close enough.

The problem I see with Archer is Pirates ownership and FO. Do they think a new pitching coach could unlock his full potential? Will they hold on stubbornly for a huge payload of prospects to save face? Or will they be willing to admit it didn't work out and get a decent haul and move forward?

I would love to see what Johnson could do with him.

Considering the depth of the system, I'd think a bottom 10 prospect and a couple teen-20 prospects would it. Not junk, just 3 quality prospects from one of the best systems around. Spitballing on a late night, Rooker, Gordon and Boyer.

I wouldn't bring him in as my top "get", but as my 4th SP option with still big upside, I'd be in.
    • Strato Guy, Battle ur tail off, sweetmusicviola16 and 1 other like this
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twinstalker
Nov 20 2019 05:12 AM

Archer for Colina? Really? smh

 

Ben Cherington is smart enough that he's either going to try to fix Archer himself or, and this is a thing, he's going to realize if he has to sell that another team can probably fix him, and so he has to get an actual real and close prospect for him. I mean, he needs to pull a Glasnow or a Meadows just to keep the fans from storming the stadium with torches.

 

The Mets GM who wouldn't sell Syndergaard for anything less than the world took that stance because he knew Thor would be fixed by smart teams like the new Twins, and he'd look really bad. It must be a sort of hell to know you don't really deserve your job, and that because of that, it could end at any time.

    • Mike Sixel and 70charger like this

Twins need to get one of the top five FA starters.That involves risk.To me resigning Pineda would seem to be a way of handling the bridge gap until a couple of the 6 - 10 starters in the minors make it (guessing we will be lucky to get 2 out of 10), I am hoping for 3. 

Trading for a down starter involves risk, Archer or Boyd are the most likely targets (maybe Robbie Ray), but most Front offices after a couple of the burnings the last few years are not likely to sell low. 

Maybe you wait till midseason and then see which clubs have not preformed to pick up the last piece, and the price might be lower if the pitcher in question is having a bad year.

    • Mike Sixel and IAMNFan like this

Among the pitchers we haven't "fixed": Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey, Martin Perez, Kevin Corriea, Hector Santiago, Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco, and Lance Lynn. 

 

On the other hand, Odorizzi. 

    • Mike Sixel, Dave The Dastardly and IAMNFan like this

 

Among the pitchers we haven't "fixed": Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey, Martin Perez, Kevin Corriea, Hector Santiago, Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco, and Lance Lynn. 

 

On the other hand, Odorizzi. 

The Twins did fix Lynn. They taught him that he needs to start spring training on time and that he is not worth all of the money he wants.Most of the rest of your list was not fixed by anyone else, either.

    • birdwatcher, adorduan, PDX Twin and 1 other like this

 

The Twins did fix Lynn. They taught him that he needs to start spring training on time and that he is not worth all of the money he wants.Most of the rest of your list was not fixed by anyone else, either.

Lynn 2017:(StL) 11-8, 3.43
Lynn 2018:(MIN) 7-8, 5.10 
Lynn 2018: (NYY) 3-2, 4.14
Lynn 2019: (TEX) 16-11, 3.67

 

Yes, the Twins were the ones who fixed him. 

    • Vanimal46 and lukeduke1980 like this

"Yes, the Twins were the ones who fixed him."

Tongue in cheek about Lynn.

I can't think of any player the Twins have "fixed". Baldelli or someone did change the pitch to contact approach on the mound and to be more aggressive at the plate mental approach but actual improvement in technique was questionable. Buxton and Sano remain a work in progress and Twins have let players go who have flourished elsewhere. Not just for the Twins but for MLB in general, coaching seems to be a ceremonial position and is offered as a reward for ex major leaguers who don't want to leave the game. All you need to know is when someone like Tom Brunansky was hired as the hitting coach under Gardenhire.

Again, Gibson seems to be a pitcher who has raw talent but doesn't seem to have command or a clear idea on the mound. Twins seem to be happy to keep sending him out there and just accept the results.

    • IAMNFan likes this
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Lenny Green
Nov 20 2019 08:53 AM

Seems to me you buried the lead late in this article-"Odorizzi is no Cole."Which to me implies that it is unclear if the Twins in fact "have shown the knack."

 

That said, I'm all in on Falvine and believe they'll keep on improving the entire Twins franchise.

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

Comparing Odorizzi to Cole is kind of a kick in the midsection to Cole.

Cole is one of the few people on earth that could be considered the best pitcher on the planet, and Odorizzi almost qualified for the ERA title (innings wise)

 

Now this isn't meant to discredit how good Odorizzi is, but lets not get carried away by comparing him to Cole.

 

The question is not can you take a pitcher with amazing talent and harness it, it should be can you find an amazing pitcher that may not be at his best but the other team is looking to get rid of for a slew of prospects. So far the Twins has shown no ability to do that, but I really, really hope that changes.

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, beckmt, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this

 

Lynn 2017:(StL) 11-8, 3.43
Lynn 2018:(MIN) 7-8, 5.10 
Lynn 2018: (NYY) 3-2, 4.14
Lynn 2019: (TEX) 16-11, 3.67

 

Yes, the Twins were the ones who fixed him. 

Is it possible that Lynn was still rebounding from the missed season?

 

FIP

2015 3.44

2016 Did not pitch

2017 4.82

2018 3.84(4.72 with Twins)

2019 3.13

 

xFIP

2015 3.90

2016 -

2017 4.75

2018 3.98 (4.49 with Twins)

2019 3.85

 

 

And technically the Twins did fix him before the Yankee turnaround.

 

According to Alston, Lynn moved a little closer to the third-base side on the pitching rubber. He also made slight alterations in the way his right foot contacted the slab -- "so he can get into his glutes a little bit more" -- as well as the way his left foot moved toward home plate.
Stride length wasn't the issue, Alston and his team determined, so much as the way Lynn's hips worked. "What it allowed him to do was make sure he was connected properly from his top half to his bottom half," Alston said. "That allows the ball to stay on plane just a little bit longer."

That should be easy enough to track with Statcast™ data. Did Lynn really move on the rubber in the way that he and Alston said? The answer is yes, noticeably so. With the Twins, Lynn was releasing the ball an average of two feet to the right of the center of the rubber. With the Yankees, that increased to 2.6 feet, so an increase of nearly half a foot.

 

https://www.mlb.com/...gent-c301119518

    • 70charger likes this
For a buy low player I'd look at Givens from Baltimore. Good stuff but hasn't been able to harness it. I'd trade one of the many rule 5 eligible prospects for him.
    • beckmt and Tomj14 like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 20 2019 09:12 AM

 

They also tried with Martin Perez. And several others. They have one starting pitcher on the roster this front office brought in. I'd argue the jury is still out at this point.

Perez was an entirely different situation. That was a free agent flyer on a mediocre bottom of the rotation starter, not trading for a guy who's shown flashes of greatness and had two years of control remaining with his team. If you can find me an actual similar situation where they're come up short trying to turn around a player in this kind of scenario, I'm all ears.

 

 

The Astros deserve zero credit for what Cole has achieved - #1 overall, he was a stud when they got him who was maturing into his prime. Now the acquisition part ....

Yes, I'm sure it was random coincidence that he immediately unlocked his potential as soon as he arrived in Houston, much like Charlie Morton, Ryan Pressly, and others. All happenstance. Crazy! I'll just leave a few articles here...

 

https://www.post-gaz...es/201910150105

 

https://www.sfgate.c...by-14522509.php

 

https://www.mlb.com/...hers-c297698084

 

 

    • birdwatcher, Danchat and IAMNFan like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2019 09:15 AM

 

The Astros deserve zero credit for what Cole has achieved - #1 overall, he was a stud when they got him who was maturing into his prime. Now the acquisition part ....

 

Cole wasn't a stud, he'd come off of two average seasons which was extremely disappointing considering his pedigree, his velocity and his movement. 

 

I get the Archer comp, but from a bit of a different angle. The guy had never thrown a sinker before, but that's the Pittsburgh staple and as soon as he got there they had him throwing this new pitch at the expense of his superior four seamer and slider. Houston had Cole do the exact opposite and he took off.

 

For what it's worth, I think Archer clearly knows that was an issue because the last two months of the season he stopped throwing the sinker. Yeah, I'd take a flyer on him.

 

But that wasn't going to be the pitcher I thought Nick was going to bring up. I thought it was going to be Jon Gray, another top draft pick with elite velocity, and good but not great results that may or may not be heavily influenced by his organization and environment.

    • birdwatcher, Twins33 and wabene like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 20 2019 09:21 AM

 

Among the pitchers we haven't "fixed": Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey, Martin Perez, Kevin Corriea, Hector Santiago, Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco, and Lance Lynn. 

 

On the other hand, Odorizzi. 

6 of those 9 pitchers were acquired by the previous front office and are, thus, completely irrelevant. Sanchez never pitched here (and his ensuing breakout actually suggests the team was quite smart to target him) so, also irrelevant, if not contrary to your intended point. Lynn was not a player in need of "fixing." I'm not even sure why you listed him with this group.

 

 

Seems to me you buried the lead late in this article-"Odorizzi is no Cole."Which to me implies that it is unclear if the Twins in fact "have shown the knack."

 

That said, I'm all in on Falvine and believe they'll keep on improving the entire Twins franchise.

I actually didn't bury that lede. In the second paragraph, above the fold, it clearly states that the Twins did the same thing "to a lesser extent" with Odorizzi. I think it goes without saying that Odorizzi is no Cole.

 

But both pitchers tapped new levels of performance, velo, and dominance with the new clubs. That is a noteworthy parallel. And one can argue what the Twins did was more impressive because they made an All-Star, $18M pitcher out of something much less. 

 

Cole's fWAR in 2019 was 45% higher than his highest mark with Pittsburgh. Odo's 2019 fWAR was 48% higher than his highest mark with Tampa. 

    • birdwatcher, nicksaviking and wabene like this

I guess we will just differ on whether helping Odo get better proves they can do this again or not. And the utter failure of Perez, who they targeted, liked, signed, and tried to fix, is any indication or not. Oh, and how is the Romero work going for this FO?

 

All I said was that the jury was still out, given how little evidence we have at this point......

    • adorduan, ken, Channing1964 and 2 others like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2019 09:28 AM

 

They also tried with Martin Perez. And several others. They have one starting pitcher on the roster this front office brought in. I'd argue the jury is still out at this point.

They have fifty million in space, they better use it. And not try to get cute only. A flyer on the fifth guy? Sure. But a world series team can not take that chance with their number three or four.

 

I want them to spend on free agents, but I think there's still a need to get cute. 

 

There are a lot of free agent pitchers who can help the team get to the playoffs, but only a couple, at least in my view, that can help the Twins win in the playoffs. Guys like Keuchel, Ryu and Hamels would certainly help solidify a rotation, but at this point in their careers I don't think any of them could logically turn into a front line starter. If you rank those guys with Archer based on floor, Archer would likely be at the bottom, but he's still got the velocity and the wipe-out slider, he'd still have the highest ceiling of any of those guys, I don't think it's even close.

    • birdwatcher and wabene like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 20 2019 09:33 AM

 

But that wasn't going to be the pitcher I thought Nick was going to bring up. I thought it was going to be Jon Gray, another top draft pick with elite velocity, and good but not great results that may or may not be heavily influenced by his organization and environment.

Gray definitely belongs in this convo. Many of the same traits as Cole/Odo and will probably cost less than Archer to acquire. 

    • nicksaviking, rghrbek and wabene like this

Been trying to get this team to trade for Gray since they didn't draft him....

    • nicksaviking and wabene like this

 


But both pitchers tapped new levels of performance, velo, and dominance with the new clubs. That is a noteworthy parallel. And one can argue what the Twins did was more impressive because they made an All-Star, $18M pitcher out of something much less. 

What am I missing that Odo has done with the Twins that declare a new level of performance?

His WAR from ESPN has him at 3.6 this year his next highest is 3.5 in Tampa. He highest yearly ERA was last year with the Twins and his lowest was in 2015 with Tampa.While he has never been a huge innings per start guy two of lowest total innings are his two years with the Twins. So higher strike outs is what I see.

He best two years with Tampa is combined WAR is 6.5, his two years with the Twins is 5.2?

 

Basically everything I wrote about Odo is the opposite for Cole.

His hits down, ERA down, K's WAY up and WAR way up best two years in Pit 7.3, two years in Houston 12.2.

There is really no reason to be comparing these two or what the teams that got them did.

If you want to compare Cole to somebody maybe it is Texas, with what they did with Minor and Lynn? They both blew up there compared to their career prior.

    • Mike Sixel, wabene, Battle ur tail off and 1 other like this

I think the Twins will sign a low bucket FA starter again - I've mentioned Ivan Nova but someone like him for sure. I just don't think the Twins will pay what good starting pitching is worth. The FO comes from a non-spending background and Rocco came from Tampa as well. I think the writing is on the wall that this team is going to adopt a Rays like pitching staff, rather than bring in big FAs.

 

As to the FO's ability to identify talent (especially pitching talent), I think the jury is still out. Odorizzi was a great pickup but many of the trades and signings haven't worked out. Still too early to condemn but probably too early to praise, as well. 

    • Dman likes this

I think the Twins will sign a low bucket FA starter again - I've mentioned Ivan Nova but someone like him for sure. I just don't think the Twins will pay what good starting pitching is worth. The FO comes from a non-spending background and Rocco came from Tampa as well. I think the writing is on the wall that this team is going to adopt a Rays like pitching staff, rather than bring in big FAs.

As to the FO's ability to identify talent (especially pitching talent), I think the jury is still out. Odorizzi was a great pickup but many of the trades and signings haven't worked out. Still too early to condemn but probably too early to praise, as well.


They'll have to start using some first round picks on pitching.... Tampa does.
    • adorduan likes this