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Buxton: "Pissed" at Twins for No Call-Up Decision...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:38 AM
According to the Star Tribune, Byron Buxton is displeased with the Twins after not being called up in September of 2018. According to Byr...
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Article: Official Rule 5 Draft Day Thread

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:00 AM
The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been fairly quiet against in 2018. Certainly there are meetings, but there haven't been a lot of si...
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Article: Twins Trying to Sustain Excellence

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:00 AM
If you’re feeling a bit underwhelmed at the close of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, I’m sure you’re not the only Minnesota Twins fan i...
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Non-Twins Off-season news, tidbits and transactions

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:03 PM
We had a thread for items around the baseball world that were worth sharing but not worth a thread of their own. Now that the 2018 season...
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Derek Falvey Interview on 1500 ESPN

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:00 AM
Falvey discusses Sano, payroll, etc. http://www.1500espn....an-mackey-judd/
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Offseason Blueprint: Bargain Bin Shopping (Part 2)

As of 8 AM on Thursday, yesterday's story about bargain bin free agent hitters had eight comments, and none of them were "the Twins/Pohlads are so cheap" and I want to congratulate Twins Territory on that giant leap forward. It's not often that happens in a story about fiscally responsible spending. We'll try for two in a row today, as we continue by finding bargain bin pitching...
Image courtesy of © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
 You can create your own blueprint using Twins Daily's Offseason Handbook, which you can download immediately and name your own price. 

Starting Pitching
Philosophy - This is the hardest area to predict for the Twins. On the one hand, it makes sense to not commit too many years or too much money, because they have (in theory) only one available spot in the rotation and several young candidates as backup options.

On the other hand, at this point next year they could have three more openings as Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda are all scheduled to be free agents. Finding a top-flight starter that can be the core of the 2020 team with Jose Berrios (and perhaps Fernando Romero and Brusdar Graterol) could be valuable this year and necessary next year.

Targets - The free agent market is also interesting. There is no longer the anticipated star power at the top, but this is a deep class in the middle, with a number of intriguing comeback candidates and veterans. My favorite candidates are:
  • Yusei Kikuchi - A 27-year-old left-hander coming over from Japan, he’s the one name that satisfies both concerns: he’ll likely sign a multi-year deal, but his price could be reasonable due to some injury concerns.
  • Charlie Morton (35yo), Gio Gonzalez (32yo), Anibal Sanchez (35yo) - The free agent market is replete with mid or late 30-year-old pitchers who have had success recently. If you have a favorite, offer them a second year and they’re likely yours at a reasonable price.
  • Derek Holland (32yo) - Riskier is someone like Holland, who has had a roller coaster career and bounced back last year in spacious Pac Bell field. He’s still young, appears healthy again, Target Field limits long balls, and Holland could fall into a bullpen role if the rotation doesn’t work out.
Relief Pitching
Philosophy - The Twins failures last year are mostly blamed on the Addison Reed deal, which was a disappointment. But that stumble was exacerbated by the real problem: the Twins haven’t developed reliable bullpen difference-makers internally. When veterans are hurt or overused, there has been no reliable backup plan.

Free agency can't fix that, just paper it over a bit. The big change this year will be the changes to the coaching staff and player development. In the meantime, the approach in free agency will likely look similar to last year, making some of the cheaper options real possibilities.

Targets - Last year’s market was deep, but the market for relievers didn’t have the bargains that were available for other positions. Expect the same this year. Here are few options that might be overlooked.
  • Kelvin Herrera - He’s an elite (and young, 29yo) bullpen arm that struggled after a midseason trade, and then went down with a ligament injury in his left foot. There’s a lot of inherent risk there, but if he’s expected to be out a significant time, a Michael Pineda-type deal might make sense. And if he isn’t, he could provide good value as he rebuilds his market on a one-year deal.
  • Greg Holland - A reliever who dominated in Kansas City with Herrera, he had a terrible beginning of the year in St. Louis, even getting released. But then he bounced back strong with the Nationals so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
  • Joe Kelly - Historically he has matched the template that failed the Twins old regime - high velocity that somehow doesn’t translate into strikeouts. Last year, the strikeouts went way up, but didn’t translate into a low ERA. The 31-year-old might well be a half step from becoming something special, if the Twins think they can get him over the finish line. (But a lot of teams have thought that.)
This thought exercise might be especially valuable in today’s major league game. The free agent market plunged last year in part because top teams were conscious of the salary cap while bottom teams were dumping productive high-salary players. The Twins payroll flexibility allowed them to wait for the market to come to them, acquiring some bargains in spring training. Several of those moves didn’t work, obviously, but that doesn’t mean a team shouldn’t try to game the market for some solid acquisitions this year.

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22 Comments

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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Nov 16 2018 09:47 AM

I like Charlie Morton and the two Holland boys. I think they would be a fine addition to the Twins staff. 

 

Off topic: When is TD going to drop the pi of Brian Dozier (just above the comment thread)?

Addison Reed was an interesting signing last year. The Twins got a deal on Fernando Rodney, and Reed seemed to be a set-up man addition who could step into the closer role if needed. Zach Duke was a fine single-season signing. The Twins managed to flip two of the guys, and no doubt would've flipped Reed if he wasn't coming off injury. Reed is an option as closer out-of-the-gate for 2019. I wish the Twins ahd given more closing innings to Trevor May, but sometime next season the Twins have to make that decision on Trevor and sign him for longterm.

 

The rotation question: Do you sign Kyle Gibson for 3 years and an option. As with Jake Odorizzi (due $9 million) is either an alternative for long lasting starts, or do you cut one loose (Odorizzi) and let the other play out with hopes of a mid-season trade. I imagine it all comes down to money. Pineda is interesting. It would've been wonderful to see him egt in a few major league games last September. At best, he produces well enough to flip. At worse, the Twins discover they have a real gem and strike a longterm deal. 

 

This will be an interesting off-season, to see the stock the front office is putting in players already on the roster. If they don't do anything with the vets, then we see them rebooting the team in their own image. Of course, Buxton and Sano threw a wrench into the system, still longerm unknowns.

 

And the number of arms in the wings is pure staggering. Especially hen you consider that you can readily go out and but arms for $10 million dollars a season. Mejia, Slegers, Goncalves Littell, Stewart, Romero...in the wings Thorpe, Graterol and others. Whew. Right there are eight arms that could see play in 2019 and none of them are guaranteed a multiple start roster spot ion the majors. Go figure.

Herrera is the only name on this list I would want.Kelly is possible, but to this date at age 31 has not put it together and might want more money than the profile would warrant.The Japanese starter will have too many suiters and will command more money than he is probably worth, if you could get him at a reasonable rate go for it.

Looking more for the trade market for starters.Would call Arizona and see what they want for Greinke, if we were even in the ballpark.If Arizona is looking for full talent and taking all the contract, I would pass, but contract is doable if Twins only send marginal prospects back, or slightly better prospects if Arizona keep about $10 million a year for the contract. 

    • howieramone2 and Einheri like this

I don't see the appeal in Herrera, besides that he was a closer at one time. He hasn't been very good the last 2 years, including a year and half in the Central.

    • Twins33, Mike Frasier Law and DannySD like this

Among starters only Yusei Kikuchi intrigues me.I just don't see the rest having the upside that the Twins should be looking for.I'd take any of the relievers listed.

    • bluechipper and SF Twins Fan like this

I saw a story somewhere that Kelly changed his philosophy for the playoffs, stopped throwing his slider, or threw more sliders or something.Anyway, if you look at his playoff stats, that is the kind of guy you want in your bullpen.But is it sustainable over 60 games?With the velocity he has, I would think so.He may have unlocked a key to getting more strikeouts and that would presumably lead to better results. 

 

It makes him a little more interesting, but do you pay based on such a SSS?  

Clay Buchholz and Garrett Richards please. 

 

Both are affordable. Clay can pitch out of the pen or start...had a quiet great year last year. Richards can be our Pineda signing of last year. Pitching is at a premium right now-the top 15 guys are going to cost quite a bit. 

 

*Britton is not going to be a bargain, but signing two affordable guys like Buchholz and Richards will allow us to spend a little extra on him. 

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Kelly Vance
Nov 16 2018 11:05 AM

I would add Kelly for sure.Late season trends are tip offs that he figured something out

 

 

And I don't think Reed should be blamed for last year's BP issues.

Molly playedfavorites and burned out a few guys because he didn't seem to trust the others. That's on him.  

    • howieramone2 likes this
One bargain bin SP I'm interested in is Matt Harvey. I wanted the Twins to pick him up when he was waived by the Mets and he had a good rebound stint in Cincinnati.
    • DocBauer likes this
The Pohlad pocket protectors continue to blow my mind. I refuse to be bullied with passive-aggressive insults into accepting a falsehood (Pohlads aren’t cheap). It does not make one enlightened, or a higher-quality baseball mind to refute that the Pohlads are cheap. I’m sorry.

Please explain how they are not cheap. When your biggest free agent signing of all time is Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, and Jason Castro....you’re cheap. Since 2010, other teams have signed 56 free agents to contract larger than the Twins largest of all time (Santana at $55 million). Three of the five largest free agent contracts in Twins history are under $25 million. How is that not the definition of cheap?

Let’s keep in mind that this is during a period of decades of total ineptitude for the most part. It’s not like they had the luxury of being cheap, because they were stacked with young talent. Since 1992, they’re one of the worst franchises in baseball. Supplementing the roster with free agents was as necessary as it could ever possibly be.

I’m not even arguing they shouldn’t be cheap, or which approach is correct here. But, they certainly don’t spend a lot of money. Bonnes’ podcast cohost has even pointed out how they haven’t even lived up to their bargain of spending X percent of their revenue (50% or something, don’t remember the exact number).

We have loads of evidence in the form of player negotiations, actual contracts signed, etc, that they are cheap. There are giant holes on the team annually that never get filled with competent players available on the market (bullpen and rotation, namely). Where is the evidence that they aren’t?

The fact that they’re not dead least in payroll means nothing. Simply stating they aren’t cheap doesn’t create a tulpa version of Pohlad brother who wants to sign a front-line starter.

And let not forget the timeless gem of imploring tax dollars get used for a new stadium so they can compete for free agents. If a company like Amazon considered building a location in the Twin Cities (which they did) if the appropriate tax abatements were in place, promising to hire 5,000 people....don’t you think people would be upset if they only hired 500? Exact same scenario.

Not being upset that they’re cheap, or agreeing with that approach is one thing (and probably not the worst take, even though the big dollar spenders hav 95% of the success). But flat out calling the blue sky green is another.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program. I’m sure I’ll get banned for not having a take that’s agreeable to powers at be around here (because calling the Pohlads cheap is out of line, but berating those with those opinions isn’t). But, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to address this epidemic going around Twins Territory.
    • SF Twins Fan likes this
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Don Walcott
Nov 16 2018 01:35 PM

 

The Pohlad pocket protectors continue to blow my mind. I refuse to be bullied with passive-aggressive insults into accepting a falsehood (Pohlads aren’t cheap). It does not make one enlightened, or a higher-quality baseball mind to refute that the Pohlads are cheap. I’m sorry.

Please explain how they are not cheap. When your biggest free agent signing of all time is Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, and Jason Castro....you’re cheap. Since 2010, other teams have signed 56 free agents to contract larger than the Twins largest of all time (Santana at $55 million). Three of the five largest free agent contracts in Twins history are under $25 million. How is that not the definition of cheap?

Let’s keep in mind that this is during a period of decades of total ineptitude for the most part. It’s not like they had the luxury of being cheap, because they were stacked with young talent. Since 1992, they’re one of the worst franchises in baseball. Supplementing the roster with free agents was as necessary as it could ever possibly be.

I’m not even arguing they shouldn’t be cheap, or which approach is correct here. But, they certainly don’t spend a lot of money. Bonnes’ podcast cohost has even pointed out how they haven’t even lived up to their bargain of spending X percent of their revenue (50% or something, don’t remember the exact number).

We have loads of evidence in the form of player negotiations, actual contracts signed, etc, that they are cheap. There are giant holes on the team annually that never get filled with competent players available on the market (bullpen and rotation, namely). Where is the evidence that they aren’t?

The fact that they’re not dead least in payroll means nothing. Simply stating they aren’t cheap doesn’t create a tulpa version of Pohlad brother who wants to sign a front-line starter.

And let not forget the timeless gem of imploring tax dollars get used for a new stadium so they can compete for free agents. If a company like Amazon considered building a location in the Twin Cities (which they did) if the appropriate tax abatements were in place, promising to hire 5,000 people....don’t you think people would be upset if they only hired 500? Exact same scenario.

Not being upset that they’re cheap, or agreeing with that approach is one thing (and probably not the worst take, even though the big dollar spenders hav 95% of the success). But flat out calling the blue sky green is another.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program. I’m sure I’ll get banned for not having a take that’s agreeable to powers at be around here (because calling the Pohlads cheap is out of line, but berating those with those opinions isn’t). But, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to address this epidemic going around Twins Territory.

I think you misinterpreted the comment. Nobody is saying "the Pohlads aren't cheap." Rather, this is one of many off-season blue print articles, some of which are about spending a lot of money, and this one is about not spending much money. It's not an opinion about how much money to spend, but about how to do it if you're not spending a lot of money. And I believe the author was simply relieved that he was able to conduct this exercise without it turning into a debate about whether the Pohlads are cheap, since that debate takes away from the productive conversation about how to go about not spending a lot of money (if that's what you want to do).

    • Sconnie likes this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 16 2018 03:50 PM

I refuse to be bullied with passive-aggressive insults into accepting a falsehood (Pohlads aren’t cheap). It does not make one enlightened, or a higher-quality baseball mind to refute that the Pohlads are cheap. I’m sorry.

Please explain how they are not cheap. When your biggest free agent signing of all time is Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco, and Jason Castro....you’re cheap. Since 2010, other teams have signed 56 free agents to contract larger than the Twins largest of all time (Santana at $55 million). Three of the five largest free agent contracts in Twins history are under $25 million. How is that not the definition of cheap?

Let’s keep in mind that this is during a period of decades of total ineptitude for the most part ...

Moderator's note: Look, this is a thread about bargain signings available in the 2018-19 off-season. It is not about the Pohlads. It is not about past off-seasons. Start a different thread if you want to discuss those things. Please don't use a side comment by the OP about the lack of thread-jacking, to justify thread-jacking.

 

Also don't thread-jack baseball topics to discuss moderation policy. That sort of thing is always fair game in the Questions About MinnCentric forum area.

    • glunn, howieramone2, Shaitan and 1 other like this
Just not excited about any of the SP options listed here.i would either spend the money elsewhere, or add to it payroll wise on a trade. The pen options are more interesting. I have seen Herrera anywhere from a 3 year at $24M to a 1 year at $8M. Comjng off injury could he be even cheaper on a 1 year deal with an option? His career suggests he could be a steal. Absolutely interested in Greg Holland as an addition based on his history, like Herrera, as long as they were a second signing.
    • Sconnie likes this

The free agent market for starting pitchers is such a luck of the draw, especially diving into these bargain bins. Last year I thought guys like Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would have been good picks, only to see them both have horrible years. Shows what I know! Then again, I also thought Edwin Jackson would be worth a shot, and he ended up being a crucial piece of the A's rotation. As for this year's list, there isn't a one the remotely excites me.

    • glunn likes this

Reed would have been fine if he was not over used so much early in the season.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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jorgenswest
Nov 17 2018 12:58 PM
I am not counting on Reed rebounding. They need to bring in three relievers to match with May and Rogers. If Reed gives them a sixth guy they can count on no one will be overused.

I am not counting on Reed rebounding. They need to bring in three relievers to match with May and Rogers. If Reed gives them a sixth guy they can count on no one will be overused.


I’m not counting on MayvorcRogers either. So yeah... bring in those arms.
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ashburyjohn
Nov 17 2018 04:30 PM

I’m not counting on MayvorcRogers either. So yeah... bring in those arms.

I hope your fingers weren't hurt when the cat knocked that dictionary onto your keyboard while you were typing. :)

    • glunn, Riverbrian, Sconnie and 2 others like this
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ChrisKnutson
Nov 17 2018 05:42 PM
I’m all in on Kelly and Allen, but I think bringing in potential bargains like David Phelps, A.J. Ramos, Boone Logan, and Drew Storen could be just as important when it comes to improving the pen.
    • Danchat likes this

 

I hope your fingers weren't hurt when the cat knocked that book onto your keyboard while you were typing. :)

 

Cell Phones and I haven't quite found our stride yet. 

    • ashburyjohn and glunn like this
I don’t want to see the Twins sign any free agent reliever to more than a two year deal and really don’t expect or want them to dive in to the free agent market on a starter. If they traded for a starter with some team control years that would be good, you could do that with a reliever but what they need there should be available on the free agent market without needing to spend prospects.
Going back to starters they have a lot there. While none of them seem to be elite beyond Graterol, Berrios, and possibly Romero they have a lot of potentially really good pitchers. The hope is that the new coaching staff can find something more in one or two of the others and get them to “elite.”
I like what the front office has done to the farm system and hope to see some pay off in the next few years both though trades and graduating prospects to the majors to build a winner.
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howieramone2
Nov 18 2018 12:54 PM

Reed has had too good of a career not to rebound. My biggest problem with Molly was overusing certain relievers. I think the pen is still a mess, even though we made solid moves last off season. 

 

We have decent starting pitching depth, and on my wish list is to package several, and get a 2/3 we can slot ahead of Berrios, Gibson, and Pineda. Also, I'm hoping Gibson or Pineda perform so well, they earn QO's.