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Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

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The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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Falvey: "...We're going to target impact pitching...

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Make it rain up in here, Derek.   http://www.startribu...rket/562665252/
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Nicholas Castellanos, FA, your thoughts

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Nicholas Castellanos had 88 Xbh last season with the Tigers and Cubs. He only had a 2.7 WAR. Apparently his defense weighed down this t...
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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 10:29 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Mailbag: Duda In, Gordon’s Future, Contention Time

It’s finally here. Our long national nightmare is over with pitchers and catchers reporting at the end of the week. Spring training can finally begin and that means regular season baseball is a little over a month away. It’s crazy to think the Twins are going to host a regular season home game at the end of March but that’s something that needed to happen with the Final Four being held in Minneapolis at the beginning of April.

Thanks to everyone for this week’s mailbag questions. Let’s see what’s in the mailbox.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

My first thought to this question was I hope so. That being said, the Twins don’t necessarily need him to be what Logan Morrison was supposed to be last year. Morrison was brought in to be the team’s regular designated hitter. Lucas Duda is certainly not going to be give that responsibility with Nelson Cruz on the roster. Plus, Duda isn’t guaranteed any money under his deal with the Twins. He must be on the roster and contributing to get paid.

Duda is left-handed so that could help him to find a place on a very right-handed heavy Twins line-up. Last season, he hit .241/.313/.418 with 29 extra-base hits in 107 games between Kansas City and Atlanta. He has a pair of 30 home run seasons under his belt including one as recent as 2017. CJ Cron, Tyler Austin, and Duda will all be battling for time at first base. A platoon with Cron or Austin versus lefties and Duda versus righties could add some power to the Twins line-up.


I certainly believe the Twins think they can contend this season especially in a very open AL Central. One of the biggest keys for 2019 is making sure the young core is ready to take the next step. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have plenty to prove after last season. Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios were two of the team’s best players last year but they each could be more consistent this season. Max Kepler destroyed every level of the minor leagues and he hasn’t shown that ability at baseball’s highest level. Prospects don’t always pan out, so the club needs to continue to add depth throughout the minor league system. They were able to do that in last year’s draft and by trading away assets at last year’s deadline.

Last year’s club was a good example of why one-year deals don’t typically work. There were a bunch of players with no connection to the club and very little team chemistry. Minnesota is never going to outspend other teams and I doubt many big-name free agents are identifying the Twins as an ideal destination for their talents.

As much as fans don’t want to hear it, the Twins need to see what their young core can do this season. Everything could come together and be great or things could crash and burn. We will have to see what players are up to the challenge.


There has been some talk of teams offering Manny Machado and Bryce Harper shorter-term deal with more annual money associated with each contract. I believe both players and their agents are looking for more long-term stability. They are each reaching free agency at a young age so the next contract they sign could take them through the bulk of their formative (and defining) years in the big leagues. They need to make sure the city and team are the right fit and that the contract works for their future.

I think there are a few reasons as to why the Twins wouldn’t be interested at four-years and $40 million per season. Adding another $80 million to the payroll seems like quite the jump. Minnesota needs to get into a situation where they can make more money on their television contract and that could help open the coffers for more payroll funding. I also don’t know if these two players want to be on the same team. They both have big egos and each wants to be the face of a franchise.


Nick Gordon is coming off his worst season as a professional. Most of last year, Gordon was playing at Triple-A where he was four and a half years younger than the competition. He struggled mightily with Rochester by hitting .212/.262/.283. His power hasn’t developed, and he doesn’t show much patience in the batter’s box. He’s spent the off-season adding some weight to his frame, which could help him in the power department.

He was a consensus top-100 MLB prospect in each of the last four off-seasons, but he didn’t make any top-100 lists this off-season. Here at Twins Daily, he dropped from the organization’s third best prospect to the club’s 12th best prospect. He was added to the 40-man roster this off-season, so I think he will make his big league debut this season. Gordon needs to find his swing at Triple-A and then he will be just a phone call away.


There are certainly some trickle down effects from the big-league level all the way down to Double-A. Players throughout the system are impacted by those already ahead of them on the organizational depth chart. With that in mind, there are a lot of things that will impact who is starting at which level.

I believe pitching continues to evolve and organizations are going to start taking a unique approach to the roles of starters. Chattanooga likely starts the year with a six-man rotation, but the organization most assuredly will be using more openers during the season. The Blue Wahoos’ bullpen will be equally important.

If I am picking the rotation today, I think it will include Jorge Alcala, Tyler Wells, Sean Poppen, Daniel Camarena, Charlie Barnes, and Clark Beeker. Alcala was acquired from the Astros last season as part of the Ryan Pressly trade. Wells made five starts at Double-A last season and should start the year there again. Poppen spent the majority of 2018 in Chattanooga but there is depth ahead of him that will likely keep him at Double-A. Camarena was signed as a minor league free agent and hasn’t pitched yet in the Twins organization. Barnes pitched all last year at Fort Myers so he should move up a level. Beeker will be 26-years old this season, so he likely starts in Pensacola.

What do you think? Leave a COMMENT and answer any of the questions above.

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45 Comments

 

As much as fans don’t want to hear it, the Twins need to see what their young core can do this season.

 

I don't understand this argument, in the context of not trying to add significant external talent this offseason.

 

This was a 78 win team last season, and 85 the year before. Regardless of what the young core does, adding 3-4-5 WAR players right now could be huge to this team's fate.

 

If this was a club like the 2012 Twins, or the current Marlins or whatever -- I understand. Adding a 5 WAR player might get those teams out of last place, but the odds are still very low that it helps them to the postseason.

 

But the 2019 Twins aren't the Marlins, or the 2012 Twins. The 2019 Twins are absolutely in a position where they need to strongly consider all methods of adding external talent to the MLB roster right now.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 10 others like this
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lukeduke1980
Feb 12 2019 01:34 PM

 

I don't understand this argument, in the context of not trying to add significant external talent this offseason.

 

This was a 78 win team last season, and 85 the year before. Regardless of what the young core does, adding 3-4-5 WAR players right now could be huge to this team's fate.

 

Especially close losses.Was it 12 walk off losses?Add talent to the bullpen and maybe some of those games are extended and the Cruz led offense can turn 8 of those into wins.

    • birdwatcher, howieramone2, gagu and 2 others like this
I don't understand why people suddenly the Twins to spend like a top 10 team. These are two analytics guys. The whole premise behind bringing them in was to build a competitive cost-effective club.

They are not going to take costly risks by definition. About the only time they might is if this team has a more stable core. Not sure why so many are challenged by this notion
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Wookiee of the Year
Feb 12 2019 02:02 PM

 

Chattanooga likely starts the year with a six-man rotation, but the organization most assuredly will be using more openers during the season. The Blue Wahoos’ bullpen will be equally important.

Pretty cool that the Blue Wahoos' official account threw in a mailbag question.

 

...But what's this about the Chattanooga rotation? I have no interest in the Reds' minor league system. :P

    • ashbury, Hosken Bombo Disco and SF Twins Fan like this

 

I don't understand why people suddenly the Twins to spend like a top 10 team. These are two analytics guys. The whole premise behind bringing them in was to build a competitive cost-effective club.

They are not going to take costly risks by definition. About the only time they might is if this team has a more stable core. Not sure why so many are challenged by this notion

 

Who is saying top 10? They aren't even at the median right now......who said top 10? Especially if you take out the teams not even trying....

 

Analytics is NOT about not taking risks, just the opposite. It's about using math to determine the best path among all the risky paths, and to attempt to quantify that, rather than just eyeball it.

    • Twins33, spycake, Sconnie and 1 other like this

 

I don't understand this argument, in the context of not trying to add significant external talent this offseason.

 

This was a 78 win team last season, and 85 the year before. Regardless of what the young core does, adding 3-4-5 WAR players right now could be huge to this team's fate.

 

If this was a club like the 2012 Twins, or the current Marlins or whatever -- I understand. Adding a 5 WAR player might get those teams out of last place, but the odds are still very low that it helps them to the postseason.

 

But the 2019 Twins aren't the Marlins, or the 2012 Twins. The 2019 Twins are absolutely in a position where they need to strongly consider all methods of adding external talent to the MLB roster right now.

 

Exactly... Waiting on the core to show something is just plain bad strategy. 

 

If they show something this year... you'll want the proper support to augment the improved performance. 

 

If they don't show something this year... You'll want the proper support to try and remain competitive. 

 

Our 2019 level of breakouts and bounce backs or lack thereof... isn't just worse case scenario or best case scenario... the possibilities are everywhere in between worst and best case scenarios. No matter what... proper support is necessary because we are not the Orioles in need of a complete tear down. 

 

If we are in need of a complete tear down... the organization is broken. 

 

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, spycake, Sconnie and 1 other like this

 

I don't understand this argument, in the context of not trying to add significant external talent this offseason.

 

This was a 78 win team last season, and 85 the year before. Regardless of what the young core does, adding 3-4-5 WAR players right now could be huge to this team's fate.

 

If this was a club like the 2012 Twins, or the current Marlins or whatever -- I understand. Adding a 5 WAR player might get those teams out of last place, but the odds are still very low that it helps them to the postseason.

 

But the 2019 Twins aren't the Marlins, or the 2012 Twins. The 2019 Twins are absolutely in a position where they need to strongly consider all methods of adding external talent to the MLB roster right now.

I think this is a very, very good point. And in the context of the current young core on this team, it is worth pointing out that almost everything went wrong last year, and they still won 78 games. This team has such a high floor right now, so I think it would have made sense for the front office to do everything they could to try to raise their ceiling. Where they are at right now, with a 81-83 win projection, Buxton could break out and have a 8 WAR season like everyone hopes and dreams... and the team will win 88 games and still miss the playoffs.

    • spycake, howieramone2, gagu and 1 other like this
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howieramone2
Feb 12 2019 03:59 PM

 

Austin, Cron, Duda, Cruz....

Other teams are looking for guys that can play multiple positions, and the Twins have brought in four DH, 1B, types. Right after drafting Rooker.

I don't get it.

It's too early to give up on Gordon, but last year is a red flag to raise doubts.

Most teams are not looking for players who can play multiple positions. Teams have been specializing for years. Don't buy an Austin or Duda jersey. Gordon will replace Adrianza when he's ready. Think Ron Washington.

    • Mike Sixel and caninatl04 like this
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yarnivek1972
Feb 12 2019 08:07 PM

Not that I think there's any chance the Twins can approach that type of TV deal, but their current deal is more than a few years old, which is probably one of the reasons it's pretty far down in the rankings.

Let's look at the market size for a second...

SEA-TAC - 3.9M
MSP - 3.6M

But obviously the games are being broadcast beyond the immediate metro area. Let's look at the regional population, where the "local" games are likely being broadcast

Washington + Oregon + Idaho = 13.5M

Minnesota + ND + SD = 7.2M
There are some parts of Wisconsin and Iowa that are part of the Twins region, but not the very populated parts. At most, it probably adds up to 8.5M


I suspect Mariner games are also broadcast in British Columbia. When Ichiro was there, they had a following in Japan as well. Although, that was likely online and not part of a cable deal.
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yarnivek1972
Feb 12 2019 08:09 PM
Has Baldelli announced an opening day starter?

One would logically assume Kyle Gibson. But it could be Berrios.

 

Maybe someone can answer this for me. The Twin Cities are the 16th largest market in the US. They have the 20th ranked tv deal. Seattle just passed us for the 15th ranked metro area. They have the 5th highest tv deal. What gives? Our games are shown statewide and in neighboring states. Not the case for Seattle. Maybe I should apply for a job?

 

It's not just the immediate metro. 

 

Seattle also gets Portland. Minnesota has the Twins Cities and a lot of towns with Grain Elevators.

 

That's why MLB has to force team relocation's or possible expansion cities. Every market has been claimed by the existing franchises as part of their territory. 

 

The Mariners are going to fight tooth and nail to keep Portland from getting a franchise just like the Orioles fought the Expos move to D.C. The commissioners office and the other owners had to basically cram it down the Orioles throat. The Giants were able to stop the A's from moving to San Jose. 

 

Atlanta has the South claimed. St. Louis has Memphis. We got Sioux Falls and Fargo and of course... Little Falls.:)  

    • Mike Sixel likes this

"It’s crazy to think the Twins are going to host a regular season home game at the end of March"

 

Unless we get a major warmup I'll still be out ice fishing in MN at the end of March!!!!!

I was in search of real market size data and stumbled upon this article, on fangraphs, from 2016....

 

Estimated TV revenue for each team:

https://blogs.fangra...l-30-mlb-teams/

 

Two things stood out to me.

 

1) While we around 20th on the list, we really are not that far from 7th (Phillies - 20M difference). 

2) They talk about Ownership stake in the cable network and list the Twins as having ZERO ownership stake in FSN. I thought that was well established at this point. 

 

As for my original search. Not too much good data, but this image is interesting....

 

sn_fbmap1_576x324.jpg

    • ashbury likes this
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Aerodeliria
Feb 13 2019 09:38 AM
"I suspect Mariner games are also broadcast in British Columbia. When Ichiro was there, they had a following in Japan as well. Although, that was likely online and not part of a cable deal."

The Mariners' games were shown live on NHK on the weekends when Ichiro played, so NHK forked over big time cash to the "dai-league" and Seattle certainly gets their cut. The Angels/Mariners games are going to be the big ticket item for 2019.

 

I suspect Mariner games are also broadcast in British Columbia.

On radio, yes. But not much on TV. As of 2014, "a Mariners game will occasionally be simulcast on Sportsnet Pacific but not enough to make it a consistent viewing habit."

 

http://ca.sports.yah...-073118544.html

 

All of Canada is considered Blue Jays territory. But, the Blue Jays elect not to enforce any MLB.TV blackouts, so fans in Vancouver can simply watch every Mariners game on MLB.TV.

 

Here's a tweet from the Mariners TV network (Root Sports Northwest) actually advising Canadian viewers to watch on MLB.TV in 2018 (and also showing pitcher James Paxton being visited by an eagle at Target Field):

 

 

I don't understand why people suddenly the Twins to spend like a top 10 team. These are two analytics guys. The whole premise behind bringing them in was to build a competitive cost-effective club.

They are not going to take costly risks by definition. About the only time they might is if this team has a more stable core. Not sure why so many are challenged by this notion

I don't know why you'd say that is the premise behind analytics. Terry Ryan had the same premise, without analytics, and we moved on from him. The premise behind analytics could just as well be to identify smart risks to take.

 

Also, everyone focuses on the extremes of Buxton and Sano -- but we actually have a pretty stable core right now. By definition, it would be hard for a young team to average 82 wins these past two seasons without a stable core. Berrios and Gibson look like 3-4 WAR SP for 2019, and Berrios has 4 years of control left. Rosario, Kepler, and Polanco all look like steady 3 WAR players, each with 4 years of control too. A couple elite prospects not far away too.

 

Look like Fangraphs projects us to 83 wins, with only 2 WAR each from Buxton and Sano. We don't need to wait until we're projected for 90 wins, or at 90 wins, to supplement with significant external talent. (You are correct that this front office might wait until that point, and might not land a player then anyway -- but that doesn't mean it's right.)

    • sweetmusicviola16 likes this

 

I don't know why you'd say that is the premise behind analytics. Terry Ryan had the same premise, without analytics, and we moved on from him. The premise behind analytics could just as well be to identify smart risks to take.

 

Also, everyone focuses on the extremes of Buxton and Sano -- but we actually have a pretty stable core right now. By definition, it would be hard for a young team to average 82 wins these past two seasons without a stable core. Berrios and Gibson look like 3-4 WAR SP for 2019, and Berrios has 4 years of control left. Rosario, Kepler, and Polanco all look like steady 3 WAR players, each with 4 years of control too. A couple elite prospects not far away too.

 

Look like Fangraphs projects us to 83 wins, with only 2 WAR each from Buxton and Sano. We don't need to wait until we're projected for 90 wins, or at 90 wins, to supplement with significant external talent. (You are correct that this front office might wait until that point, and might not land a player then anyway -- but that doesn't mean it's right.)

What significant talent are we going to bring in right now?Harper?Honestly is he going to sign here unless he gets 10 years and 350 mil?I doubt it.Keuchel?I'm guessing he is going to want 4 years if not 5 to come here.Is he worth 5 years 100 mil when his peripheral stats have declined for 3 straight years and he's 31?If he was why wouldn't his own club, who knows him better than anyone, be making some sort of effort to resign him?The Astros potentially will lose both Cole and Verlander after this season but have made no move to resign Keuchel.Seriously what does that say?And signing guys isn't just about money.It also takes up a roster spot and costs the Twins draft picks and signing pool money.When do we give a serious chance to perform to the 7 young pitchers who have already pitched at least at AAA if not the majors?Kimbrel?This is the one I'd give serious consideration too.But according to one report the Twins have made an offer to Kimbrel for 3/45.It is still up to the player to say yes.

 

Exactly... Waiting on the core to show something is just plain bad strategy.

If they show something this year... you'll want the proper support to augment the improved performance.

If they don't show something this year... You'll want the proper support to try and remain competitive.

Our 2019 level of breakouts and bounce backs or lack thereof... isn't just worse case scenario or best case scenario... the possibilities are everywhere in between worst and best case scenarios. No matter what... proper support is necessary because we are not the Orioles in need of a complete tear down.

If we are in need of a complete tear down... the organization is broken.

it does make me wonder if Falvine are hoping for bounce back seasons from Sano and Buxton to trade the away. Is the plan all along to wait for 2021?

it does make me wonder if Falvine are hoping for bounce back seasons from Sano and Buxton to trade the away. Is the plan all along to wait for 2021?


Who knows but restoring trade value is a big part of any equation. It isn’t just what they can do for us. You have to consider what they could also bring us.
    • Sconnie and sweetmusicviola16 like this

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