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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:05 AM
Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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Hindsight is 20/20: 4 Players the Twins Could've Avoided Facing by Signing

They say hindsight is 20/20, but no one could have predicted 2020. Although the offseason and spring training felt like centuries ago, there were numerous free agent signings that the Twins had hoped for that, much like the 2020 season, didn’t exactly go as planned.
Image courtesy of © Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
The Twins had hoped for additional pitching help and a powerful bat in the lineup to replace the non-tendered C.J. Cron and muscle Minnesota into a deep playoff run. Although they had missed out on huge free agents, such as Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu, they made up for it in the end by trading for Kenta Maeda and signing Rich Hill and, of course, Josh Donaldson.

However, an abridged 60-game season means that each game holds 2.7 times its usual value. Each win, even against non-contending teams, will be that much more important. In addition, the Twins had not anticipated facing the majority of the NL Central, possibly the most competitive division in baseball, where numerous key free agents eventually landed. Although the Twins are still the favorites to once again take the division title, the road ahead of them is less predictable than it once seemed. Therefore, looking back, there are some players with team-friendly contracts that the Twins should’ve signed in the offseason, not only to supplement the team, but also to avoid facing in general this season. Here are four examples.

C.J. Cron
Contract: 1 year, $6.1M

Every win against the Tigers is critical. Last season, Cleveland was almost flawless against Detroit, losing only one game to the Tigers. This same dominance can be expected this season from the Twins’ biggest division rival. Therefore, the Twins have to be equally flawless in 2020 in games against the Tigers to not lose their footing against Cleveland. However, C.J. Cron can put a damper on that.

Although the Tigers have very few offensive pieces, Cron will be one of the most dangerous hitters in the lineup. In his six years in the majors, Cron has been consistently hitting roughly between .250 and .260, with his home run numbers ticking upwards every season. In addition, Cron’s familiarity with the Twins’ pitching will make him that much more of a difficult out. Even though he would’ve been a backup first baseman for the Twins, his numbers show that he would’ve been a highly effective one. Although the Tigers could potentially win single digit games this season, keep an eye on Cron, who could ensure that each single digit win is against Minnesota.

Dallas Keuchel
Contract: 3 year, $55.5M

It goes without saying that the Twins should’ve signed one of the biggest pitching free agents in the 2019-2020 market. Dallas Keuchel is now one of the key pieces in the White Sox’s rotation and is looking to help take Chicago to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Last season, Minnesota took the division when Cleveland fumbled too many games against Chicago, losing 10 out of 19 games. With a stronger White Sox team, the momentum could shift, leading to a division title shift to Ohio, or even possibly Illinois.

Although the Twins have a good rotation with their offseason additions, they could’ve had a great rotation with this former Cy Young winner. His career 3.67 ERA and 1.260 WHIP on paper are nothing to scoff at, but his vast experience, especially in the postseason, are immeasurable.

Cameron Maybin
Contract: 1 year, $1.5M

Cameron Maybin slipped under the radar in 2019 as a backup outfielder for the injury-riddled New York Yankees. However, he silently feasted off of AL Central teams, including the Twins. Maybin quietly batted a .293 with 9 runs and 2 home runs in 41 at bats. Maybin also infamously pinch hit the last home run for the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS in 2019. On top of this, Maybin stole nine bases, which is more than Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Jonathan Schoop combined, despite playing less than half of the time.

Maybin signed with the Tigers in the offseason to a 1-year, $1.5M deal as their everyday outfielder. Not only will Cameron Maybin likely continue to produce offensively in his but he will take a few bases along with him. Like Cron, Maybin can place a damper on an expected win against the Tigers. In December’s The 12 FA’s of Christmas Part II, it was discussed how the Twins’ lack of depth in the outfield was exposed last season. Had the Twins taken Maybin’s team-friendly deal on, he would’ve been an excellent, experienced replacement outfielder or pinch runner for Nelson Cruz.

Justin Smoak
Contract: 1 year, $5.0M

In my December 2019 article, The 12 FA’s of Christmas Part I, I discussed how the Twins should sign Justin Smoak to a 1-year, $5M contract. The Brewers did just that, by signing the Canadian fan favorite to a 1-year, $5M contract. Although Miguel Sano is now the everyday first baseman with the offseason signing of Josh Donaldson, his defensive metrics are still a cause for concern. Although Smoak’s offensive production has not been potent since his 2017 All-Star selection, Smoak will still be a difficult out in the Brewers’ lineup, and his defensive metrics are a major asset to that team.

Is there another player under the radar who you wish that the Twins signed to a team-friendly contract to avoid facing? Comment below!

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11 Comments

For what Maybin did last year, $1.5M is quite the bargain... savvy move by the Tigers.

 

Keuchel signing with the Sox doesn't scare me. He had a 4.72 FIP and 1.367 WHIP last year, and isn't likely to return to putting up numbers from his prime. 

    • Sconnie, DocBauer and Trov like this
I really like the Twins offseason.

I’d take a healthy Rich Hill over Keuchel.

I’d take Donaldson over any of the hitters, clearly. I may take Rooker/Kirilloff/Larnach over any as well. I see very little room for someone like Smoak.

The argument for Maybin is sound as an insurance policy in center. But, he wanted to be an everyday player....and he’ll likely be available via trade.
    • DocBauer, gagu, DannySD and 3 others like this
In a short 60 game season, who knows what could happen. I would also take Hill over Keuchel at this point. I liked Cron and just wish he hadn't been hurt late in the season. But I will take Donaldson and Sano all day! Maybin would have been smart and nice. Never quite understood the Twins not making a move there. Or did they? Maybe they did and he just wanted a starting job? Or did the Twins just like what they had? I actually like Cave, but I would have gladly traded him for a season of Maybin were he interested. No reason to sign Smoak after Donaldson.
    • tarheeltwinsfan, gagu, DannySD and 1 other like this

In a short 60 game season, who knows what could happen.

I would also take Hill over Keuchel at this point.

I liked Cron and just wish he hadn't been hurt late in the season. But I will take Donaldson and Sano all day!

Maybin would have been smart and nice. Never quite understood the Twins not making a move there. Or did they? Maybe they did and he just wanted a starting job? Or did the Twins just like what they had? I actually like Cave, but I would have gladly traded him for a season of Maybin were he interested.

No reason to sign Smoak after Donaldson.

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Channing1964
Jul 10 2020 12:44 AM
im not sure Keuchel would even crack our rotation. Certainly not if Pineda were available from day 1. Maybin? Im not saying he's not a good player i just dont see where he would fit in our organization. Any of the players I would mention such as Grandal, or Encarnacion just dont fit in terms of the fact that we already have viable home grown options already in place. Unless you could pry Hader away from the Brew Crew as a Lh set up man or someone like Baez from the Cubbies, who is really better than the guys we already have? They will have to get on the field and just DO IT.
    • Sconnie, DocBauer, gagu and 1 other like this
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strumdatjaguar
Jul 10 2020 08:28 AM
Signing Smoak would have left Sano on 3B, so the Twins would not have signed Donaldson. That might have worked out better in the long run since the Donaldson contract may be a liability in its latter years. Moreover, because of the virus, we get Josh for fewer games this year, when he is likely to be more productive. We could have left Sano at 3B for one more season and then moved him to 1B or DH in 2021.
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strumdatjaguar
Jul 10 2020 08:28 AM
Signing Smoak would have left Sano on 3B, so the Twins would not have signed Donaldson. That might have worked out better in the long run since the Donaldson contract may be a liability in its latter years. Moreover, because of the virus, we get Josh for fewer games this year, when he is likely to be more productive. We could have left Sano at 3B for one more season and then moved him to 1B or DH in 2021.

I have to say that, offensively, Donaldson and Cron are almost a wash. However, having John enables Sano to move over (though I'm not so sure he was "that" bad a 3B). Replacing Smoak is the hard part. Hopefully Arraez will keep hitting around .300 and can play good defense. Maybin had a great year but won't live up to it. Keuchel and Hill are also very close (IMHO).

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tarheeltwinsfan
Jul 10 2020 02:48 PM

I admit Cron is good, but he is no Josh Donaldson, offensively or defensively.

    • gagu and SkyBlueWaters like this

First, I find some flaws in the article.Cron and Smoak play same position so no way could have signed both.Also, it would have been at expense of Donaldson, he is better than both at a better defensive position.Cron held his own, but was not amazing defense at first, in my opinion. 

 

Keuchel is far from his cy young season, other than that season he has never performed all that great.He was good after that season, but it was his age 27 peak season.He is now 32, coming off of 8-8 with a FIP of 4.72.Sox are not know to be great fielding team. Anderson led league in errors at SS. 

 

    • dxpavelka likes this

It'd be nice to have Kuechel on the Twins rather than the ChiSox, but I didn't like the contract for him then, and I don't like it now. And I'd certainly rather have Donaldson over Kuechel.

 

That's the thing with Cron or Smoak; I would have been fine bringing Cron back at a reasonable price, but I'd rather have Donaldson and moving Sano. Smoak would have been a good replacement for Cron...but I'd still rather have Donaldson. 

 

You can't have every player, eventually you run out of spots. Kuechel is the only one we really had room for that we could have let a lesser player go...but the contract means we don't have the room to sign Donaldson, and I think he's more impactful.

 

Maybin is the only one that's really in consideration for a "The Twins should have signed this guy (and not gone the route they did)" IMHO. But I understand why they like their young OF depth...and if Maybin was looking for an everyday role, he wasn't going to sign here, because no way does he beat out any of the Twins starters. So he's probably not really in consideration.