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Article: Game Thread: Twins v Tigers, 7/21 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:24 AM
Admit it… you all had the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers circled on the July Calendar. You were all overlooking Detroit in between and now t...
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Article: Twins Close To Acquiring LHP Jaime Garcia?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:08 AM
Update Friday 4:44 - It's now been about 24 hours since Ken Rosenthal first tweeted that the Twins were close to acquiring Jaime Garcia....
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Should the Twins give a contract extension to Brandon Kin...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:36 AM
Wondering if anyone else is thinking about this question. What do a lot of you TD fans think. I have been impressed with Kintzler the las...
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2017 Offseason rumors

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 04:36 AM
There has already been rumored interest in D Rose as a FA and now the Knicks are back with another attempt to acquire Rubio (for the 8th...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (7/21): Wade HR Extend...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:06 PM
Prospect mavens across Twins Territory were bracing for impact all day Friday, anxiously awaiting details on the rumored Jaime Garcia tra...
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How MLB Teams Rebuild - Part 1

Attached Image: workers-watching-skyscraper-under-construction.jpg Good franchises can field bad teams. The Boston Red Sox might have been the most successful franchise of the 2000s, but finished in last place in 2012. The Minnesota Twins were successful during that same decade, but has suffered through two consecutive last place seasons.

As hard as it may be to swallow, the Twins need to rebuild. Some fans cringe at that word, some scoff, but the reality is that any last place team needs to rebuild in some manner. That being said, not all rebuilds are the same. So over the next two days, I'm going to look at the five worst teams from 2012 and try to better understand their method for rebuilding.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

~~~Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!~~~


Note: I created some charts for my own purposes. I took the 5 best players on each of these five teams, over the past three seasons. I used fWAR to determine the best 5 players. I just wanted to see if this data indicated anything, and I think it does.

Houston Astros - Blow Up the Outside World


[TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]

2010 - 76-86




Michael Bourn
5.8
Indians


Brett Myers
4.7
Indians


Hunter Pence
2.8
Giants


Roy Oswalt
2.5
NOWHERE


Wandy Rodriguez
2.3
Pirates


2011 - 56-106




Carlos Lee
3.7
NOWHERE


Hunter Pence
3.2
Giants


Clint Barmes
2.9
Pirates


Wandy Rodriguez
2.3
Pirates


Michael Bourn
2.1
Indians


2012 - 55-107




Lucas Harrell
2.8
Astros


Justin Maxwell
2.3
Astros


Wilton Lopez
2.2
Rockies


Jed Lowrie
2.1
A's


Jose Altuve
1.3
Astros

[/TABLE]

The Astros seems to be employing the fantasy baseball "full rebuild." They have basically taken each and every valuable player and traded them for younger pieces. They will hang on to young, cheap players, but anyone else is being used to rebuild their farm system. When you look at their chart, you can see that nearly every valuable player has been moved. The three remaining players are all pre-arbitration. Only Bud Norris and Carlos Pena will make more than 2 million dollars in 2013, and both seem very unlikely to finish their seasons in Houston.

The present in Houston is terribly bleak. They will likely have a payroll around 25 million this season, which is comically low. But the future is getting brighter. Their farm system is much improved. Going into 2012, the Astros had a terrible team and a terrible farm system. Only one of those statements is true today, due to their trades. It also doesn't hurt to get the first pick in the draft, which they used to draft a very promising shortstop named Carlos Correa.

My biggest issue with this form of rebuild is that teams eventually run out of good players to trade. Right now, Houston might be able to get something for Norris, Lucas Harrell and Jose Altuve. Do they really want to trade those guys? Each is relatively young, each is relatively productive and each is under team control for the foreseeable future. At some point, these atom bomb rebuilds have to start showing MLB results. Correa won't be ready for years. They have the first pick this June as well, but who knows when that player will be ready? This rebuild could take five more years, for all we know. It's a risky endeavor, that is for sure.

Chicago Cubs - Mrs Dash

[TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]

2010 - 75-87




Marlon Byrd
3.5
Mets


Geovany Soto
3.1
Rangers


Carlos Marmol
2.6
Cubs


Randy Wells
2.6
Rangers


Carlos Zambrano
2.5
NOWHERE


2011 - 71-91




Starlin Castro
3
Cubs


Aramis Ramirez
2.5
Brewers


Matt Garza
2.5
Cubs


Sean Marshall
2.4
Reds


Carlos Pena
2.3
Astros


2012 - 61-101




Darwin Barney
4.6
Cubs


Starlin Castro
3.5
Cubs


Ryan Dempster
3.3
Red Sox


Anthony Rizzo
2.2
Cubs


Alfonso Soriano
1.8
Cubs

[/TABLE]

The Cubs are one of those franchises that seems to sprinkle good seasons around their general misery. It makes me sad. But it looks like things may be changing. The Cubs do not seem to want to sit around, blow things up and wait to see if their talented prospects pan out. Instead, they are seasoning in some good players here and there, making smart decisions and trying to build the ship as they sail, so to speak.

They certainly do not have the payroll of a rebuilding team. They'll likely settle in right around $100 million, but that isn't a crazy figure when you consider their market and fan-base. Their roster is better going into 2013 and they have some pieces that they could move if the team struggles, but who can also contribute if the team experiences some success. They have a nice young core of players, including Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Samardija and yes, Darwin Barney. They have some elite prospects in their system and they will pick second in the June draft. It seems that the Cubs are willing to move anyone outside of their young core and farm system.

They added depth to their starting staff, and signed guys who can be moved if the 2013 season isn't going well. They went upside with Scott Baker, Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva. If one guy hits, they could have a long-term contributor in their rotation. If all three hit, well, that would be nice for the Cub fans. There is obvious risk in this strategy as well. The market for injured pitchers isn't great, and the Cubs exploited that, but they will have to rely on that same market if they decide to try to move those pitchers.

Tomorrow we'll look at three other team, including the Twins. Each has taken a far different path towards rebuilding this offseason.


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