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2019 priorities. Literally, a group wide priority list

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Offseason Blueprint: Changing the Course

Take a look at the American League -- not just the Central -- and ask yourself if the Twins could realistically build a World Series contender for 2019. Is the next real competitive window now, or sometime in the future?

I’m of the mind that there’s no place worse to be than in the middle of the road. I also believe the foundation of a World Series team is in this Twins organization right now, but to realize that potential the front office and developmental departments are going to have to play their cards just right.
Image courtesy of © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The way I see it, the Twins have two options: 1) Try and go for it again in 2019 and build around the current roster, or 2) work to set things up better for 2020 and beyond.

Sure, there are some moves that would accomplish both of those things, but I don’t envision the Twins signing a Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

Instead, I believe the best way to realize that eventual World Series potential is to continue to stockpile depth for 2020 and beyond while at the same time creating more opportunities for the young players who either debuted in 2018 or were in the high minors showing signs that they were close.

I can already hear the groans as I’m typing this. I understand why a lot of Twins fans won’t take kindly to this blueprint. When the rebuilding will ever stop? I’m more curious if it ever truly started in the first place.

The most frustrating thing about the Twins under Derek Falvey so far has been all the half measures taken. The first offseason, the team’s biggest need was addressed in the signing of a catcher, but there were no other efforts to upgrade the club. Then there was the buy/sell move at the trade deadline later that season, one of the biggest examples of indecisiveness I can ever recall by any front office.

Last winter (and even into spring), there was another honest effort to upgrade the team, but primarily in the short term. Given that was the case, it was all too easy to tear down the roster at the deadline.

Even how they’ve treated the manager situation has been very half-hearted up to this point. Falvey had no choice but to accept Paul Molitor as manager, but the three-year deal he signed after the 2017 season appeared to have been a commitment to stability in that spot. We all know how that turned out.

I’m not saying I disagreed with all those moves, but taking a look at the big picture, you’re certainly left with an image of a leadership group that’s done a very poor job at committing to anything. Flexibility can be a valuable attribute, but at some point this front office is going to need to pick a lane and stay in it.

The next big wave of Twins talent is topped by Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis and Brusdar Graterol. It’s conceivable all three could be September callups this coming season, but it is more reasonable to expect all three arrive in 2020. But those are just the headliners. There will be plenty of other prospects who will blossom between now and then.

There will be a ton of seeds all continuing to germinate in the high minors next season. Not all of them are going to maturate, but It seems likely the foundation of the next great Twins team will come from that crop of players. As we’ve seen with the current wave of homegrown Twins, there will be some who surprise and some who experience more growing pains than we expect.

But where does that leave the current team?

The great news is several of the players on the team right now will still be under team control long enough for there to be some overlap with the next wave. Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano will be around through 2021. Jose Berrios, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Taylor Rogers will be around through 2022.

Before we get going, this blueprint is in some ways a companion piece to the article I wrote for the Offseason Handbook. You may understand where I’m coming from a little better if you read that piece. OK, let’s get into my moves. Brace yourself, this might hurt.

Love me tender.
Everybody gets tendered a contract! I'm going to be both removing some outfield depth and some veteran leadership, so Robbie Grossman still makes plenty of sense on a one-year deal projected to be around $4 million. With Ehire Adrianza, the Twins are so shallow in the infield right now that I think he’s worth hanging on to for the projected $2 million.

Free agency? No thank you.
I’m going thrift shopping, and not for the Lance Lynn/Logan Morrison types. We’re talking bottom of the barrel. There have been some real valuable pieces acquired over the past several offseasons among the players who were non-tendered or became minor league free agents.

The Twins saw both sides on the coin in terms of minor league free agents last year. They lost Dereck Rodriguez to the Giants, but added Willians Astudillo. You’re really mining for diamonds in the rough in this universe of players, but when you hit it’s an incredible value. You get multiple years of team control on a player who’s going to be affordable. You’re probably not going to find stars among the guys in this market (though it does happen), but a multi-year role player or bullpen piece would be a really savvy pickup.

We don't know who will be non-tendered yet and I haven't scoured the list of minor league free agents to be, so I don't have specific names, but this is definitely an area in which the Twins should be aggressive.

Trade away Max Kepler, Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi.
Here’s the knockout blow. This would hurt. Gibson was a rare bright spot from the 2018 season and one of the most likable guys on the team. That level of attachment isn’t there with Odorizzi, but he had a very nice season and turning over two-thirds of the established rotation would be very tough. On the other hand, Gibson, Odorizzi and Michael Pineda (more on him in a minute) are all set to become free agents after this upcoming season.

Dealing away Kepler has the kind of disaster potential that could get somebody fired. It could end up being Aaron Hicks all over again. So why deal him? Well there’s already an argument to be made that Jake Cave deserves regular playing time over Kepler in 2019, but this has as much to do with making room for Alex Kirilloff than anything. It seems highly likely Kepler will be passed up one way or another.

Why Max? Eddie Rosario is already what I think we all believe Kepler could be at his peak and trading Byron Buxton has even more disaster potential, mainly because his value is so low right now. Cave showed promise, but his track record is too short to garner any real trade value at this point. Trading Kepler has the best balance of potential risk vs. potential reward among the current crop of outfielders.

The Twins have invested more than 1,600 plate appearances in Kepler and have seen very little progress at the plate. Being a strong and versatile defensive outfielder who is affordable and has upside, Kepler still figures to have plenty of trade value despite his lack of progress to this point.

Make sure you grab a copy of the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook, which features an excellent article on Kepler written by Aaron Gleeman.

The primary reason for listing these guys as trade bait is because they’re valuable. This isn’t a knock against them, if anything it’s quite the opposite. I think they could be flipped for additional pieces that help usher in a glory run in Twins Territory.

So what would I be looking to acquire in these deals? Primarily infielders and high-velocity pitchers. The closer to the majors the better. The Twins don't really have a second baseman right now and I'm not sure anybody believes that Miguel Sano is going to stay at third base long term.

On the pitching need, velocity isn’t everything but it sure helps. Plenty of pitchers are effective in the low 90s, but if you watched the postseason you know the Twins are seriously lacking in high-velocity options.

Throughout the entire year, only a grand total of four pitches were thrown 98.5 mph or harder by the Twins staff, three of which came from guys who are no longer in the organization (two from Pressly and one each from Fernando Rodney). In the five World Series games there was a grand total of 97 pitches thrown at least 98.5 mph.

Alright, let’s get into specifics. It’s nearly impossible for me to sit here and try come up with actual trades that make sense. The trade market is a mysterious beast. I did my best. My general theory was to take what I think the Twins could get, then lower that expectation a bit.

Max Kepler to the Angels for Jahmai Jones, Keynan Middleton and Jake Jewell
A consensus top 100 prospect last offseason, Jones hit .239/.337/.380 (.717) between High A and Double A. He was primarily a center fielder prior to being converted to second base last season. He still has some things to iron out at the keystone, but I love the fact that he has some flexibility. Jones doesn’t have a single tool that projects to be below average. He’s currently turning heads in the Arizona Fall League.

Middleton, a right-handed reliever, has the ability to sit 96 mph and topped out at 99 for the Angels last year. He has a 3.43 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and has even racked up nine saves in 76 major league innings over the past two seasons. He's a guy that could finish off games for years to come. The catch? He had Tommy John surgery in May.

Another right-handed reliever, Jewell is also coming off an injury. He suffered a fractured fibula while covering home plate, but should be recovered sometime in December. He made his MLB debut for the Angels this year and topped out at 97 mph. He hasn’t posted big strikeout rates in the minors despite the velo, but Jewell gets a ton of ground balls with his hard sinker.

Every year you have a Mike Trout in your organization is a year you need to be going for it, so the Angels have that incentive to improve. Shohei Ohtani had Tommy John surgery, but for now they’re expecting him to be available to DH next season. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. The Angels do have Jo Adell, one of the top outfield prospects in baseball, but Kepler is a guy they can bank on to at the very least deliver similar production to what he’s given the Twins the past three seasons. There’s a lot of value in that to a team like the Angels who have question marks.

Kyle Gibson to Milwaukee for Lucas Erceg
Erceg, a left-handed hitting third baseman, is coming off a disappointing 2018 season in which he had a .688 OPS for the Brewers Double-A affiliate. He dealt with back issues in spring training, then was hit in the head by a pitch in April. Not sure if those things caused a slow start but they certainly couldn’t have had a positive impact. He played much better over his final 57 games of the season, posting a .761 OPS while slugging eight of his 13 homers on the season. In more than 500 plate appearances, Erceg had just 82 strikeouts, and there are no questions about his defense or especially his arm strength at third base. I think he’s also going to hit for power.

Milwaukee had an incredible run this past season, but they need starting pitching help. Erceg is among their better prospects, but even with Mike Moustakas hitting free agency they still have Travis Shaw to play third base. Again, Gibby's only under contract for one more season.

Jake Odorizzi to Oakland for Eli White
White posted an .838 OPS in Double A last year while playing second base, shortstop, third base and even a little bit of center field. He has an advanced approach at the plate, but his tools aren't loud. Seems like the type of guy who, if he develops, could be a nice utility player. He's putting together a strong run in the AFL right now.

Oakland’s already pretty stacked on the infield, but they could really use some more starting pitching. Billy Bean has indicated that payroll room won’t be an issue for the A’s in 2019, so they should have no trouble finding room for Odorizzi’s salary. This would be the fourth time Odorizzi would be traded.

Trade Jason Castro, Michael Pineda and Addison Reed at the deadline.
Unlike the names I mentioned above, this trio needs to build up value before teams are going to give up anything of significance to acquire them. All three need to prove that they’re healthy.

Castro needs to show his knee is fully repaired and ready for the rigors of catching. Pineda’s arm should be recovered, but he’s now coming off knee surgery. Reed ended last season on the active roster, but his velocity dip is a huge red flag. All those question marks may dissolve with a few good months, and if that happens these guys could be hot commodities at the 2019 trade deadline.

Depending on how things are progressing, at some point it would probably also make a lot of sense to trade away Trevor May, who’s only under team control through 2020. Ouch. That hurt to say too.

What about all that money coming off the books? The big concern with implementing a plan like this is the message you’re sending to the guys you want to keep around. The best way to ease their minds would be to engage in extension talks with virtually every player you see fitting into the big picture, long term.

You’re not going to work out a deal with all of them in one winter, but if you sign a couple extensions and at least show the other players you’re willing to invest in them further, I think the tear down becomes an easier pill to swallow. With this blueprint, it would definitely be possible to front load some extensions, providing guys with significant raises right away. I'd have to think that would be a nice motivational tool. I'm going to avoid throwing out any specifics here. If the trade market is a mysterious beast then projecting extensions is a mythical creature.

With that said, let’s take a look at my projected 2019 Opening Day roster:

Rotation: Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Adalberto Mejia, Fernando Romero and the winner of the fifth starter spring training battle royale.
Bullpen: Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, Addison Reed, Oliver Drake, Gabriel Moya and Jake Jewell.
C: Jason Castro
1B: Tyler Austin
2B: Nick Gordon
3B: Miguel Sano
SS: Jorge Polanco
LF: Eddie Rosario
CF: Byron Buxton
RF: Jake Cave
DH: Robbie Grossman
Bench: Mitch Garver, Ehire Adrianza, Willians Astudillo

Among the candidates for the fifth starter would be Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Aaron Slegers, Lewis Thorpe and any of the bargain free agents. Out in the bullpen, Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Matt Magill and Andrew Vasquez would all also be in the mix plus any of the thrift shop additions.

This team might honestly get the Twins into hot water with the MLB because the payroll would be so ridiculously low. At the same time, I also think this team could probably still finish second in the AL Central in 2019. If Cleveland collapses and this team somehow finds itself in first place at the deadline, the front office would have both the payroll room and prospect capital to make some massive moves if they saw fit.

Yes, I'm basically going to dare Nick Gordon to take over as the everyday second baseman. I know he had a terrible end to 2018, but that seems to be a bit of a trend for him. Adrianza is there and in this scenario you'd also go out and acquire another bargain bin insurance option a la Gregrio Petit.

New additions Jahmai Jones and Eli White would be back in the high minors to start the year, but could pushing for promotions in the second half. If Gordon falters, one of those guys is next up. If nobody sticks come July ... Royce Lewis time?!?! Lucas Erceg would also be knocking at the door and would push Miguel Sano to a 1B/DH role upon his arrival. Out in the bullpen, Keynan Middleton would join that unit sometime in the second half once he was recovered from TJ. Even with trading away Kepler, there's still enough outfield depth that allows LaMonte Wade to start the year back in the minors. Brent Rooker would also be waiting in the wings for a shot at 1B/DH.

This team would look a heck of a lot different after the trade deadline.

There’s no way the Twins would do anything similar to what I’m suggesting here, right? Well, two moves made later this past season indicate to me that this front office already has 2020 vision. If they thought this team was going to be a legit contender next season, I don’t think they would have traded away Ryan Pressly and they would have prioritized getting Buxton more plate appearances in September over gaining another year of team control.

Throughout the coming days there will be more blueprints offered up by others here at Twins Daily. I bargain that most of them will focus on how to build this team up to compete in 2019.

I’m looking forward to seeing what everybody comes up with, and it’s possible that I’ll fall in love with someone else’s blueprint even above my own. Again, the one thing I want to see from the Twins going forward more than anything else is decisiveness. If they’re going to go for it, dive in head first. No more half measures.

Please let me know what you think of this blueprint. If you’d like to take a crack at building a blueprint of your own, I think I speak for the entire Twins Daily community in saying we would love to read it. The best place to do that would be in the blog section or in the forum thread Nick started.

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89 Comments

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nicksaviking
Oct 31 2018 12:12 PM

I'd like to think they can trade and sign for players to compete next year, in which case I'd still trade guys like Kepler and Odorizzi; not for a handful of prospects but along with prospects for real MLB talent.

 

But if the front office is convinced that the organization's foundation was so irreparably damaged that they still have more work to do before they can compete, I guess this is the way they have to go.

 

I absolutely agree that this team cannot continue treading in mediocrity, intentionally aiming for a .500 season is how you get stuck in MLB purgatory.

    • Mike Sixel, beckmt, caninatl04 and 1 other like this
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nicksaviking
Oct 31 2018 12:15 PM

 

Tom you said "I’m more curious if it ever truly started in the first place"

I have to say, Kepler, Roasario, Polanco, Buxton, Sano, Berrios, and a bunch of relief pitchers was the rebuild.

That is the whole outfield,half the infield, and at top end rotation starter.

All under the age of 25, they brought in FA veterans to fill the other spots and had a couple of guys ready to go in the minors.

 

OK, but compare the Twins Under 25 players to the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees Under 25 players. They're still way behind the talent needed to win a championship.

    • Mike Sixel, caninatl04, jkcarew and 1 other like this

 

OK, but compare the Twins Under 25 players to the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees Under 25 players. They're still way behind the talent needed to win a championship.

I don't buy it.

Red Sox (Benintendi, Devers, Rodriguez)

Astros (Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa)

Yanks ( Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez,Miguel Andujar)

 

The guys over 25 on those team have more talent, sure.

 

If the only option for the Twins is to have the most talent, well then it is time to shut the team down, because that isn't going to happen for multiple reasons. First the top Free Agents don't want to be here and second the ownership is un-willing to pay for the top talent.

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Kelly Vance
Oct 31 2018 01:42 PM

I don't believe in the tear down approach, especially when we were so snakebitten by injuries to Sano and Buck and Castro.  Don't over react

 

Buck and Sano need to return to their 2017 abilities. Sano hit 28 homers in a shortened season and Buck was the best fielder in the majors at any position.These are not throwaway guys. We need coaches who can improve these guys. 

 

I keep Gibby and Odo and try to turn the 5th spot into a #1 or #2 starter, rather than wait for a #5 to emerge. Unless Romero is ready (which he is probably not quite) 

 

Lucroy at C. Couple stud relievers (Allen and Kelly)  and a stud SP will help immeasurably. 

 

Keps may be pushed by Cave, but we need 4 outfielders and Robby is not a good outfielder

 

Polanco and someone not named Ehire can handle the middle. Austin/Sano at 1b/DH

 

Which leaves Sano/??? at 3b.

 

I don't see a rebuild. We need one good SP and two or maybe 3 strong BP arms and a relief 3b and new 2b. 

 

 

 

 

Tom, this is definitely something I can back if the FO thinks we’d be better off. However, Cleveland is not a super team, they are slowing falling into the mediocre category and their window is closing, our window opened in 2017 imo. If we do retool, and say spend two more years doing so, Chicago’s window will have probably opened and we’re facing more competition that’s younger than Cleveland and primed for long term success. Fortunately for the Twins, we likely don’t have to worry about the Tigers and Royals till at least mid 2020’s

You're right, Tom...I'm groaning.

I have zero interest in yet another "wait till 3 yrs from now" approach.


Concur concur concur. The Tigers and White Sox aren't going to wait around and continue to suck forever.
    • Jerr, Twins33, beckmt and 3 others like this
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RatherBeGolfing
Oct 31 2018 02:00 PM

Contending for a central title vs. contending for a world series are two very different things. Sure, with a good offseason we could on paper compete for the central but in no way is this team even remotely close to being world series contenders

    • nicksaviking, caninatl04 and jkcarew like this

Contending for a central title vs. contending for a world series are two very different things. Sure, with a good offseason we could on paper compete for the central but in no way is this team even remotely close to being world series contenders


I’d slightly disagree, I do believe that the best teams are projected to be winners, but typically the hottest teams going into the playoffs are the ones that go the deepest. It’s honestly hard to predict who that’s going to be.
    • beckmt, LA VIkes Fan, Hosken Bombo Disco and 3 others like this
Do we have a better bat or glove than Mauer at 1b?

Buxton was awesomish in 2017, Sano and Castro were good, and the team won a whopping 85 games. With ESan being the best he could possibly be. Oh, and where is the Dozier season coming from on this roster? This team isn't close to being great, not even a little.

 

All I want is a choice, go in some for this year, but with an eye on teh future (stop only signing 1 year FA deals......), or tear down more than they have.

 

Nothing about last off season made me think this FO thought this was close to a very good team....all of their moves were short term, and on the margins.

 

So, I could get behind this practice, under 2 conditions.

 

first: They are SUPER AGGRESSIVE with promotions and letting young players fail so they can learn and get better. If Kiriloff is killing the ball, and not in MN, then this plan is not for me. Because there is talent enough to be really good in 2020, but only if some of it gets experience this year.

 

second: They are aggressive about adding MLB talent in 2020 and 21, in FA and trades, to fix whatever holes exist. If they just sit on the money, well, good luck.....

 

I would be better with this plan if they kept Gibson or signed Corbin (pipe dream, he's going to a huge market with a huge budget). But, I would be ok if they didn't do that, not thrilled, but ok.

    • Han Joelo, markos, ken and 2 others like this

Contending for a central title vs. contending for a world series are two very different things. Sure, with a good offseason we could on paper compete for the central but in no way is this team even remotely close to being world series contenders


I was alive and have vivid memories of 1987. I remember the Cards in 2006 and the Giants and the Royals. Any team that makes the playoffs can win it and have. In not just baseball but Hockey and Football as well. If we keep trying to win the game on paper first... we might as well give up now. 😃
    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, beckmt and 5 others like this

This front office has not committed to anything yet and if I suspect they are not ready to yet either. While other clubs commit to group of players and build around them to try to put winning team together we have not committed to one player either young or old. Now we are coming to this year we have 2/3 of the rotation that will become free agents next year. we have heard of no talks with any players to extending them contract and only one that was offered longer term contract was Buxton on very team friendly offer last year. I my experience as baseball fan a team needs core of baseball players that you can construct team around not always most talented but nucleus that provides right club house and does thing that make team good. The Twins have not had this now for at least three years or more with the exception of Mauer who has been in last years of his career. The year the Twins signed Tori Hunter with Mauer they started winning what we heard how they led this young group of players. This past year we had Brian Dozier and Escobar but its hard to be club house leader when your Front office is trying to trade you and not committing to you beyond your contract. This brings to me this team now who do the Twins have as leaders for the future my answer is nobody everyone is playing for their next contract or just waiting to be traded. Rosario is probably best hitting player the Twins have but he doesn't appear to me a team leader. Buxton could become a team leader but question there is can he overcome his own problems to ever become that player. Sano is not team leader now and I have my doubts if he will ever become that type of player. Everyone is convinced here on the board we need to trade Kepler because he's at his peak but I think he's going to become monster of player in next few years. He is type of player that could become leader for this club he play's smart, works hard, versatile in where he can play, and his stats should be better than they have been for batting but seems to have been unlucky in getting hits. I think he could be core player and leader for the future of this club but time will only tell on that. But getting back to this front office its time for them to start committing to this team by deciding who and how they are going to build this team around. This where I believe they are very weak as front office they have all these theories but when it comes to building a team they lack experience and baseball eyesight to know how to build a team with a group of players. The analytical people are what somebody said other day on one baseball shows these are people if they were poker players are used to limited poker where the game is limited by statistics but people like Red Sox are playing unlimited poker they are betting even when stats say something else not saying they don't use analytical information but they are also using their baseball and people knowledge to construct their teams and how they play the game. The fault of previous Front office was they were behind on analytics but they did have people skills and eye skills to find baseball players now this front office is just opposite but they are inexperienced in running a club and so far shown they have lack of commitment to their team when they shown they can compete. I will hear how they signed all the free agents this past year but the plan was based on short term where they could sell their signees and still didn't commit to any player long term. We see how that played out and the now were left with no experienced players and whole lot of questions left on remaining players. Now we start with new manager that could be good manager but problem no matter how good manager you are you need a team to manage. Only saving grace for the Twins is there in divisions with three other clubs in the rebuilding mode but we will see of these three teams who rebuilds fastest my guess is by end of next season we will be wondering how were in last place.   

    • Mike Sixel likes this
Tom, an intelligent and well thought out and argued plan. But I am going to disagree with you none-the-less.

I DO believe the rebuild has begun, which is in the form of Sano, Buxton,Kepler, Polanco, Berrios, Garver, etc. Now, we haven't seen the desired results or consistent performances as of yet. Is that the players, the coaching, injuries, or system development, or dumb luck it's taking longer to hone their skills? That's the tricky part! And I dont have an honest answer.

I would add 2 quality bullpen arms. I would roll with Moya, Vasquez or Mejia as a 2nd LH arm with Roger's. Combined with May, hopefully a rebounding Hildenbeger creates a much better pen with auditions for the end spot(s).

I sign McCutchen to play OF and DH. He's productive, has a couple good years in him, and the lineup and roster become deeper and more flexible.

I'm OK with Lowry as a stopgap at 2B. But I'd prefer a trade for someone like Starlin Castro. He's got offense, is much younger, and could have value as a starter even after Lewis arrives.

We have 3 SP who could be gone after this year. But I'd re-sign Gibson. Odorizzi and Pineda could be kept, moved to the pen, or offered up in trade during 2019 if/when Romero, Gonsalves, Thorpe begin to step forward.

This is not a series of 1 year deals. Its 2-3 year deals to augment the current roster, a wait the second wave of prospects, and still have trade flexibility for the next couple of seasons.

Much depends still on continual development for Sano, Buxton and Kepler. (Along with some better health). But I see moves like this adding to the roster, not just fill ins.

First, I agree that the target is 2020 and not 2019.Second, I think resigning Gibson makes a lot of sense. 

 

Finally, and most importantly, a previous poster wrote:"when the most heralded prospects in recent vintage haven't consistently graduated to become what we thought/hoped they would be."

 

When I look at the Top Prospects list and see expected arrival dates of 2020-22, I, on the one hand, fantasize about a youth oriented, very inexpensive, very competitive team in 2022.However, given recent history, I have to wonder how many / few won't actually stall out like Gordon, Sano, Bux, Gonlsalves, etc., etc.

    • Mike Sixel, gagu and Tomj14 like this
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ChrisKnutson
Oct 31 2018 06:20 PM
Not interested in trading prospects, or any of our core players just yet, especially with the large amount of quality players available via free agency. Screw signing Machado or Harper, if there’s any offseason to go crazy on FA signings, it’s this one.

Here’s to hoping that the FO surprises us and signs Lowrie, Cruz, Freese, Herrera, Kelly, and Allen.

I can still hear the echoes of years past with a large contingent saying just wait until Buxton, Sano, Kepler, Polanco, Berrios get here. #1 Ranked Farm System in Baseball and all that. 

 

Now they are here and we have plans being made to wait until the next wave. 

 

giphy.gif

 

The Baseball Gods have a twisted sense of humor. It can't be denied. 

    • Jerr, Twins33, Platoon and 2 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Oct 31 2018 09:14 PM

BTW, I really do have a question about Moya since his name is being bandied about here on the list. His fastball speeds are around 85-87 and he's throwing change-ups and sliders in the 70s and low 80s. Is he like Tommy John or Greg Maddux or something? I would be scared right down to my socks to put him in during a tight game with this type of velocity. Am I wrong? (Remember, I don't get any chance to watch him unless the Twins are playing the Angels and the game is on the weekend, so I really haven't seen him pitch.)

Moya to me is a AAAA type player, and I could see Vasquez up and signing one of the very good LH relievers.Twins need 2 very good relievers to get to the next level, plus a SP and maybe a 2B, 1B among others.  

    • gagu and SF Twins Fan like this

To me, rebuilding would entail trading Buxton and Sano.  Trading Gibson and Kepler would be close, though.  

 

I agree with Tom, and think Michael Reed might be the biggest move of the offseason (yet.). I've never heard of any of the minor leaguers coming back in the proposed trades, so they aren't good enough.  Instead, of trading guys for other teams prospects that won't pan out, my plan would be playing the prospects we already have that won't pan out.

 

On the other hand, some roster churn might be in order.  

 

Buxton was awesomish in 2017, Sano and Castro were good, and the team won a whopping 85 games. With ESan being the best he could possibly be. Oh, and where is the Dozier season coming from on this roster? This team isn't close to being great, not even a little.

and in 2018 they won 7 less games, and got nothing from Sano, Buxton, Castro and Santana.

 

Do we have a better bat or glove than Mauer at 1b?

I posted on this thread and mentioned that no where was Mauer's name even mentioned and my post has disappeared. Evidently no one on this thread has heard of Mauer. I also said that the FO is no where near the level of planning expressed on this thread.

 

BTW ND Fan made another great post and he may as well have been peeing in the proverbial wind from any response he got (not). The guy just makes too much sense I guess.

 

It is also a fact that MLB in general, not just the Twins, has big problems as a result of the huge contracts with poor ROI, length of games, and lack of interest of the younger generation(s), and over exposure on TV and other media. The heyday is long gone.

I am completely with you on the theory that being caught in the middle is worse than either extreme. That was probably Terry Ryans biggest weakness, although he likely preferred the term "competitive"? I don't want the Twins to be able to possibly compete with Cleveland for the Central title, or for the #2 WC slot. I want them to be able to complete for the whole deal. Watching the teams involved this year leaves one with a clear vision of how far away we are from that goal. That is if we could see that far.

Don't cobble together something in 2019 for another faux playoff run. Hoping that another year of rebuild won't happen won't make the necessity for one go away. Nor will the Twins ever walk away with a major difference making FA. Wishing for, or operating on, that happenstance is both disappointing and foolhardy.

Take the time to build a solid foundation, draft and develop, and move pending FA for something more that lottery choices. That's the sensible process in this market. Which leave this remaining question: Can Falvine acoomplish it? To that matter, the jury is still out.
    • TheLeviathan likes this
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nicksaviking
Nov 01 2018 08:43 AM

 

I don't buy it.

Red Sox (Benintendi, Devers, Rodriguez)

Astros (Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa)

Yanks ( Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez,Miguel Andujar)

 

The guys over 25 on those team have more talent, sure.

 

If the only option for the Twins is to have the most talent, well then it is time to shut the team down, because that isn't going to happen for multiple reasons. First the top Free Agents don't want to be here and second the ownership is un-willing to pay for the top talent.

 

Every one of those players listed were drafted, signed as an international free agent or traded for. Those all are alleys the Twins have equal access to. Add Betts, Bogaerts, McCullers, Osuna, Torres and Judge, sort them with the Twins young players and the Twins young players will nearly all be at the bottom of the list. I don't know if any of the Twins young players would even crack the top 10 of such a list. 

 

I think things are pointing up, but this team is a long way back talent-wise from competing for a title. I'd think the quickest way to the front would be for the new coaches, instructors and strength and conditioning people to propel the guys we already have to their fullest potential. If that's possible. There's still a considerable gap between them and their peers at the moment though.

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nicksaviking
Nov 01 2018 08:54 AM

 

I was alive and have vivid memories of 1987. I remember the Cards in 2006 and the Giants and the Royals. Any team that makes the playoffs can win it and have. In not just baseball but Hockey and Football as well. If we keep trying to win the game on paper first... we might as well give up now.

 

There were only four playoff teams in 1987 though. The 2006 Cardinals which had future HOFers Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen in their primes never had to win a play-in game. Today's game is asking the Twins to win FOUR different series against superior teams to take the crown.

 

I'd rather the team stop settling for the chip-chair-and-a-chance odds and start making their own odds by drafting, developing, signing and trading for an actual elite team so as they don't have to play the part of the scrappy little underdog all the time. In today's game I don't know that a team can do the chip-chair-and-a-chance method while they build for the elite team.

 

And I'm not even saying the team can't make the right moves to become elite this year. I just don't want them to take half measures and sacrifice a legit chance at winning it all in the coming years so we can cross our fingers for a .500 season and a measly AL Central crown this year.

There were only four playoff teams in 1987 though. The 2006 Cardinals which had future HOFers Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen in their primes never had to win a play-in game. Today's game is asking the Twins to win FOUR different series against superior teams to take the crown.

I'd rather the team stop settling for the chip-chair-and-a-chance odds and start making their own odds by drafting, developing, signing and trading for an actual elite team so as they don't have to play the part of the scrappy little underdog all the time. In today's game I don't know that a team can do the chip-chair-and-a-chance method while they build for the elite team.

And I'm not even saying the team can't make the right moves to become elite this year. I just don't want them to take half measures and sacrifice a legit chance at winning it all in the coming years so we can cross our fingers for a .500 season and a measly AL Central crown this year.


We agree that we should produce the strongest roster possible to increase the odds of surviving every stage of the playoffs but it sounds like we might disagree a bit on the approach.

I believe that if that scrappy team finds themselves in contention for a chip and a chair and a chance, it becomes the obligation of the front office to support those scrappy players at the trade deadline.

The players are the primary indicator if Jake Cave is leading us to a playoff berth. We shouldn’t be sitting here saying we have no chance because Jake Cave is not Mookie Betts because once the playoff starts It just might be Willians Astudillo who wins the MVP like Steve Pearce did while Jake Cave hits .210 like Mookie Betts did.

A wild card team needs to go 12-8 to win the title. The 2018 Baltimore Orioles were capable of going 12-8 if they were given a chip and a chair and a chance. The playoff are a small sample size.

I think it starts in the off-season. Load up the roster and let the players decide who is and who isn’t leading us onward and adjust accordingly.

It’s a two step process

Step one - Qualify for the playoffs

Step Two - Compete like your life depends on it for possibly 20 games.

You will never find me saying “we don’t have anybody who matches up to Clayton Kershaw so let’s not trade prospects for renting Someone who MIGHT be the guy who catches fire.
    • gagu likes this

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