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Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

Other Baseball Today, 12:17 PM
I've been to 41 MLB parks with 40 since 1993. I missed 5 or 6 starting in the early 1990s when I landed my first computer job and then jo...
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Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 06:56 AM
I thought I should set up a thread for minor league signings. Use this thread to post when the Twins sign a minor leaguer or when a forme...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:34 AM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Kim Ng - First Woman to be Hired as GM in Baseball History

Other Baseball Yesterday, 06:34 PM
Monumental hire by the Marlins. Congrats to them and good luck to HER!
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Twins drop Rochester as AAA affiliate, Pensacola also may...

Twins Minor League Talk 21 Nov 2020
This is a piece by LEN III lifted from the StarTribune web site. https://m.startribun...ment/573034791/
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How Can the Twins Create MLB’s Best Roster?

There are a lot of decisions let to be made this offseason, but the Twins might already have an advantage heading into what will be left of the baseball hot stove. Even with some key players set to hit the open market, Minnesota has one of the best rosters in all of baseball. What can push them over the top to have baseball’s best roster?
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
According to FanGraphs, the Twins have the fourth best roster (38.5 WAR) heading into the offseason. The teams ahead of the Twins include the Los Angeles Dodgers (44.3 WAR) the San Diego Padres (39.8 WAR), and the New York Yankees (38.5 WAR). This puts the Twins with the American League’s second-best roster, but Minnesota has clear holes to fill that can push them closer to the same level as the Dodgers.

Big Name Trades
Two of MLB’s best players, Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado, have a chance to be traded this winter. Cleveland has been trying to shed payroll for multiple seasons and Lindor is scheduled to make more than $20 million through arbitration this year, but he would be a free agent at season’s end. Arenado has the potential to be under contract for roughly $35 million per season through the 2026 campaign, but he can opt out after the 2021 season.

Arenado doesn’t seem to fit into Minnesota’s future plans as the club already has Josh Donaldson under contract and they play the same defensive position. Lindor is intriguing as his addition can allow Jorge Polanco to move to a super utility role that Marwin Gonzalez has served over the last couple seasons. However, a trade in the division would be tough and the team trading for Lindor is only guaranteed that he would play one season for the club acquiring him.

Do the Twins Already Have MLB’s Best Line-Up?
Entering the off-season, the Twins might already have the best line-up in baseball. By looking at only position players, the closest teams to Minnesota are both clubs out of Chicago and the Dodgers. Unfortunately, this includes the Twins keeping Eddie Rosario, which seems highly unlikely.

The other major roster hole not addressed by this chart is the fact that Minnesota’s best hitter, Nelson Cruz, is now a free agent. To have baseball’s best roster, the Twins are going to have to make multiple decisions this winter to complete holes in the line-up, the rotation, and the bullpen.

Filling Roster Holes
Eddie Rosario’s hole in the line-up seems easily filled by Alex Kirilloff. The club thought highly enough of him that he made his debut in the Twins Wild Card Series against the Astros and it seems likely for him to play the majority of the team’s games in the outfield next season. Designated hitter is another story as Nelson Cruz already turned 40-years old and reports have him looking for a two-year contract.

One of the easiest ways for the team to improve their overall WAR would be to sign the best available designated hitter and that might be Marcell Ozuna. He is over a decade younger than Cruz and he is coming off a season where he led the National League in home runs while positing a 1.067 OPS. There are a lot of questions about how the free agent market will transpire this year, but rival executives expect the Twins to be aggressive in the months ahead. There’s lots left to do, but the Twins are definitely in their window of opportunity.

What do you think the Twins can do to pass the Dodgers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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22 Comments

The biggest impact move the Twins could make for the every day lineup would be finding a better hitting coach. Just getting Garver, Polanco, Sano, Kepler, and Arraez closer to their 2019 performances would be a huge improvement.

    • h2oface, Danchat and alphanumeric like this

 

The biggest impact move the Twins could make for the every day lineup would be finding a better hitting coach. Just getting Garver, Polanco, Sano, Kepler, and Arraez closer to their 2019 performances would be a huge improvement.

 

If the hitting coach can get them to quit swinging for the fences every time that would make them better. Trying to replicate 2019 in 2020 was the mistake. All 4 of the Garver, Polanco, Sano and Keplers struckout or hit lazy weak fly balls way to often for that very reason. It's great when it works but it shows a glaring weakness when it doesn't. 9 singles, a couple of doubles, some sac flies and bunts and 1 home run will win many more games for you than 3 solo shots. 

    • TopGunn#22, mikelink45 and yeahyabetcha like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Nov 10 2020 12:07 AM
I'd prefer a roster that is built to win in the playoffs.
    • h2oface and mikelink45 like this

So much of this comes down to what the Twins are willing to spend compared to the rest of MLB.I believe there are unique opportunities to upgrade the roster, but there are many different ways to do it.I'm all for trading Sano.I see the Rockies have a terrible rating at 1B.How interested would the Rockies be in having someone with Sano's power hitting in Coors? How about solidifying the infield defense with one of the best SS bats in baseball with a package for Trevor Story ?I'd like to trade Sano to CUT our salary so we can use $$ elsewhere.Story would ADD to the payroll but he'd be a heck of an addition.You only do this if you can sign Story to another 6-7 year contract but our lineup would be even BETTER with Story replacing Sano.I believe Story is GOOD and NOT a product of Coors Field.

None of this is happening. The Twins will be cutting payroll not adding guys like Lindor. I just hope we spend enough to keep May Clippard and Cruz
    • DocBauer likes this
I would love it if the Twins made a three team trade, trade Sano to Colorado, Lindor to the Twins. A couple of young players from Colorado to Cleveland and a prospect from the Twins to Cleveland. Someone in 7 to 12 range on the prospect list?
This would leave one of the young guys to start at first. Kepler, Garver, or Kirilloff? Keep Cruz or sign Ozuna for the DH? (Can Polanco DH or Garver?) save some money on the DH?

So based on everyone wanting Rosario gone and the youngsters up, here's your line-up for 2021:

 

 C - Garver/Jeffers timeshare - play whoever has the hot hand

1B - Rooker

2B - Arraez

3B - Donaldson

SS - Polanco - placeholder for another year

LF - Kirilloff

CF - Buxton

RF - Kepler

DH - Sano - I'd prefer to trade him and re-sign Cruz, time to get him off the field

Bench - Cave, Wade, Adrianza (not my choice, but a lot of posters want to re-sign him)

Got a feeling all you who pencil Rooker in to first would be disappointed. From what I understand, Sano is better defensively, perhaps a lot!

    • wabene likes this
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Major League Ready
Nov 10 2020 03:14 PM

There could be a couple surprises in the form of non-tenders from other teams that the Twins pick-up. To come up with a roster on par with The Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Padres, and Rays will require rebounds from Kepler / Garver, and Donaldson. Buxton will need to stay healthy. Then, we need the youngsters to fill out the roster and I seriously doubt that's going to happen on opening day.

 

I am hoping Rooker starts in LF and they pick-up a couple good non-tenders to fill out the bench with quality players. Then, I am hoping Larnach and/or Kirilloff make it up before the 1/2 way point of the season and play well out of the gate. Obviously, we need another SP too.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

Easy formula. Sign D.J LeMahieu, Trevor Bauer, and re-sign Nelson Cruz. Sano as DH? A strikeout specialist as a DH? LeMahieu was the prize missed by the Twins two years ago. He still is. Arraez is a utility guy. Not great in the field, and not so savvy running bases. Sign Trevor Rosenthal too.

No. They’ve signed one major free agent (Donaldson) in my lifetime, and even that was because nobody else wanted him that badly, and refuse to invest significant resources into the starting rotation.

You can get hot at the right time and maybe accomplish something (the Rays this year), but there is just no way this roster is ever going to outclass the big market clubs until they open up the pocket book.
C - Garver/Jeffers timeshare - play whoever has the hot hand
1B - Rooker/Garver
2B - Arraez
3B - Donaldson
SS -Lindor/ Polanco (SU)
LF - Kirilloff
CF - Buxton
RF - Kepler
DH -Garver/Rooker/Polanco
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Major League Ready
Nov 11 2020 01:48 PM

 

No. They’ve signed one major free agent (Donaldson) in my lifetime, and even that was because nobody else wanted him that badly, and refuse to invest significant resources into the starting rotation.

You can get hot at the right time and maybe accomplish something (the Rays this year), but there is just no way this roster is ever going to outclass the big market clubs until they open up the pocket book.

 

I know! Why doesn't every team just spend as much as NY and LA? So what if they generate a couple hundred million more in revenue. 

    • wabene likes this
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Major League Ready
Nov 11 2020 01:49 PM

 

Easy formula. Sign D.J LeMahieu, Trevor Bauer, and re-sign Nelson Cruz. Sano as DH? A strikeout specialist as a DH? LeMahieu was the prize missed by the Twins two years ago. He still is. Arraez is a utility guy. Not great in the field, and not so savvy running bases. Sign Trevor Rosenthal too.

 

I doubt anyone gets LeMahieu away from the Yankees. Every year there is a plea to sign the top FA starting pitcher and every year those players go to teams that are in the top 6 or 7 in revenue. This is not the year that changes.

    • DocBauer likes this

 

So much of this comes down to what the Twins are willing to spend compared to the rest of MLB.I believe there are unique opportunities to upgrade the roster, but there are many different ways to do it.I'm all for trading Sano.I see the Rockies have a terrible rating at 1B.How interested would the Rockies be in having someone with Sano's power hitting in Coors? How about solidifying the infield defense with one of the best SS bats in baseball with a package for Trevor Story ?I'd like to trade Sano to CUT our salary so we can use $$ elsewhere.Story would ADD to the payroll but he'd be a heck of an addition.You only do this if you can sign Story to another 6-7 year contract but our lineup would be even BETTER with Story replacing Sano.I believe Story is GOOD and NOT a product of Coors Field.

Story is an absolute 2 way star, but do you really want to give up Berrios, Arraez or Kiriloff to get one year of Trevor Story (at 14 million)? He's a FA after 2021. 

    • wabene likes this

 

None of this is happening. The Twins will be cutting payroll not adding guys like Lindor. I just hope we spend enough to keep May Clippard and Cruz

I'd go with no, yes, and ....yes?

Unfortunately while I like the OP and the exercise in general, it has 2 minor flaws. ONE being teams won't remain static in regard to their rosters. Everyone will see at least minor changes. That could be for the good or bad. TWO is the most obvious situation regarding payroll across MLB. And that goes back to point #2.

But let's talk in a vacuum for a moment. Let us safely assume nobody is going to raise team payrolls. Second, within that vacuum, let us be somewhat optomistic that inoculations help curve covid...along with more time...and teams expect something along the lines of half attendance. As Pohlad stated, the Twins are not looking to recapture losses from the 2020 season and want to consider 2021 on it's own terms. Would it then be far-fetched that the Twins might consider keeping next season's payroll also status quo? That would place them at approximately $138M IIRC. That would give them about $50M to build their roster. (I referenced this idea in a forums post recently, FWIW).

I don't believe in change for the sake of change. But I do believe in change to shake things up a little and to keep a team always moving forward. So what does $50M for the Twins to remain one of the top teams in all of MLB, much less get better?

(Financial numbers are my best guess on proposed estimates and a belief some expectations are a bit high, IMO).

Internet knocked me out so I lost all of my "intelligent" thought processes and comments. Grrr! So I can repeat everything and make all of my seemingly intelligent points or I can now be sorta P.O. and comment briefly. I choose being p.o. and being brief.

(Heavy sigh)

BULLPEN: Giving up on big time arms already on hand is a mistake. Rogers at $6M and May for $5M makes sense to me. WAY TOO MUCH arm talent unless the market explodes for May. Absolutely love the idea of Yates for $4-5M on a 1yr make good offer. Clippard back for $2.5-3M should be a no-brainer.

Someone offers May a BIG DEAL, rewind and look at Petit and Hunter in the $4-5M range.

ROTATION: Barring a smart trade, which I think COULD happen, show me somebody better than Odorizzi for $10-13M. Yes, that's a $3M swing, but are we talking a 1yr or multi year guarantee?

DH: Cruz has less than half one league to negotiate with considering re-build, financial considerations and rosters/DH in place. He might get some sort of 2nd year option. I don't buy $15M. Maybe. I'm thinking $13M tops.

UTILITY: Hernandez sounds great, but goes back to the Dogers if they want him. Love the idea of Profar, MY first choice, with room to still improve, but won't accept a 10th man role, so I would choose LaStella as a perfect fit for about $6-7M. Adrianza is brought back for around $1M for his defense and a bet his offense is the 2018-19 version.

All of these moves put the 2021 Twins almost dead on with the 2020 payroll for 2021...give or take just a little wiggle room. And should keep them as a very realist championship/top contending team with no raise in payroll.

I WISH, in this scenario, there was room to bring in a Pillar kind of player for an extra $3-5M. But there just isn't room.

Further, we still don't know if there is any chance of actually having a status quo $138M payroll. I hope it happens! But even at reports of a $125M option, I don't exactly think that means the Twins are dead in the water. There is still too much talent on hand and too many possibilities vs trade and DFA to be determined to not look for improvement. Maybe Smyly is our 4th SP option. Maybe Oddo reaĺy can be signed for $8M for 1yr. Maybe the Twins are the right team to offer Kluber a $8-10M make good offer. Maybe Carberera is the perfect 1yr 10th man option.

A lot of unknowns at this point, unfortunately. If you look at the current roster and the milb depth, you can't help but be excited. But there are so many unknowns, you also have to be guarded and hope the FO is as smart as we think they are.

I remain hopeful for 2021 even with questions. I see an awful lot of opportunity available if the payroll stays the same. If everyone else lowers payroll, then I still see opportunity because of the same. A lot of talent on hand. A ton of talent pounding on the door. Per the OP, you want to keep up with the top projected teams, just be smart and keep your payroll at an even quo at least.
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Major League Ready
Nov 11 2020 09:10 PM

 

Unfortunately while I like the OP and the exercise in general, it has 2 minor flaws. ONE being teams won't remain static in regard to their rosters. Everyone will see at least minor changes. That could be for the good or bad. TWO is the most obvious situation regarding payroll across MLB. And that goes back to point #2. But let's talk in a vacuum for a moment. Let us safely assume nobody is going to raise team payrolls. Second, within that vacuum, let us be somewhat optomistic that inoculations help curve covid...along with more time...and teams expect something along the lines of half attendance. As Pohlad stated, the Twins are not looking to recapture losses from the 2020 season and want to consider 2021 on it's own terms. Would it then be far-fetched that the Twins might consider keeping next season's payroll also status quo? That would place them at approximately $138M IIRC. That would give them about $50M to build their roster. (I referenced this idea in a forums post recently, FWIW). I don't believe in change for the sake of change. But I do believe in change to shake things up a little and to keep a team always moving forward. So what does $50M for the Twins to remain one of the top teams in all of MLB, much less get better? (Financial numbers are my best guess on proposed estimates and a belief some expectations are a bit high, IMO).

 

Using the scenario you provided of gate related revenue at 50%, revenue would be reduced by at least $60M even if they played 162 games. That's probably not realistic but even at that optimistic number maintaining the same level of payroll is "far fetched" when revenue is down $60M. 

 

If they could know for sure that the worst case scenario would be that gate related revenue would not go by more than 20%, it might be realistic to hope they would only reduce payroll by $25M and take their lumps in terms of profit. Unfortunately, there is a pretty good chance revenues could be down by more than 20% and none of the teams are going to construct a budget that has a good chance of loosing tens of millions dollars. This would change considerably if they players were willing to adjust salaries based on revenue reduction but that seems very unlikely. 

Seriously does anybody think Cleveland would trade Lindor to us? In addition why would a self respecting Twins fan want that guy anyway? He is the enemy and with that crap eating grin he bugs the crap out of me. No thanks. They will not be signing another big ticket FA after signing Donaldson. In a normal year that would be true and this year even more so. After reading Doc's post I would say holding steady on payroll is our best case. The Spanish flu raged from February 1918 till March of 1920. 27 months. Things may be better this summer but not back to the way it was. Fans at 50% capacity might be the best case. I do get the feeling that the Pohlads will continue their stellar response and keep payroll close to the current level. If so let's please put the Pohlads are cheap rant to bed.
    • DocBauer likes this
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Major League Ready
Nov 13 2020 09:42 AM

In 2019 the Twins had 9 guys with an OPS of 800 or better. In 2020, they had three above 800. Unfortunately, two of them (Buxton & Donaldson) only had 237 PAs between them. The first step toward having the best or one of the best rosters in MLB is for the players we have to play up to their capabilities and stay healthy. A new hitting coach that can get them to improve their approach would help. A good free agent utility guy should be doable and that would help too. That 10th guy is going to get a lot of ABs.

 

Starting pitching should get priority in terms of free agent budget. Bauer is the only difference maker and we are not going to win that battle. Taijuan Walker might be risky but he seems like the best upside guy. MLB trade rumors predicts 2/16. He is young enough they could offer him a back loaded 3 year deal if they believe in him. Perhaps 2 years (6M/10M) and a 3rd year option at 14M with a $2M buyout)That would leave room for the BP help we need.

So the goal is to have the best lineup in MLB but accomplishing that goal might include keeping Rosario and THAT is unfortunate?Seems like we're talking out of both sides of our mouths.


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