Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

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

Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 06:56 AM
I thought I should set up a thread for minor league signings. Use this thread to post when the Twins sign a minor leaguer or when a forme...
Full topic ›

Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:34 AM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
Full topic ›

Kim Ng - First Woman to be Hired as GM in Baseball History

Other Baseball Yesterday, 06:34 PM
Monumental hire by the Marlins. Congrats to them and good luck to HER!
Full topic ›

Twins drop Rochester as AAA affiliate, Pensacola also may...

Twins Minor League Talk 21 Nov 2020
This is a piece by LEN III lifted from the StarTribune web site. https://m.startribun...ment/573034791/
Full topic ›

Offseason Outlook: Cody’s 2021 Twins Blueprint

Every offseason comes with a fair share of decisions. Last year, the Twins went looking for a starting pitcher on the open market and came up empty. This allowed the team to shift their focus to signing Josh Donaldson and trading for Kenta Maeda. With decreased revenues expected across baseball, here is the plan that the Twins should follow using the Twins Daily Payroll Tool.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Filling Out the Line-Up
Alex Kirilloff is going to be a big part of the 2021 Twins even if he isn’t in the line-up on Opening Day. The Twins thought highly enough of him to put him into the playoff line-up in a do-or-die situation and there have been other glowing reports out of the Twin Cities. He slides in nicely to the spot vacated after the Twins non-tender Eddie Rosario. Kirilloff is cheaper and has the potential to produce at a similar level for a fraction of the cost.

Nelson Cruz has been amazing in a Twins uniform, but there are no certainties surrounding a player over the age of 40. Marcell Ozuna seems like a better option to fill the designated hitter role. He is a decade younger than Cruz and he is coming off a season where he hit .338/.431/.636 while leading the NL in home runs, RBI, and total bases.

With Ozuna’s big contract, money is saved with the reserve players. Jake Cave can come back as a starting outfielder to begin the year before Kirilloff becomes the regular player. Travis Blankenhorn takes over the role vacated by Marwin Gonzalez as the super utility player. Ehire Adrianza steps back in as the back up player at multiple positions and Ryan Jeffers starts the season as the backup catcher with a good chance to be used more regularly than Garver.
Attached Image: My Blueprint.JPG
Rotation Roulette
Three out of the five rotation spots for the Twins are decided with Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, and Michael Pineda penciled in. This leaves decisions to make in the back half of the rotation. One strategy would be to sign someone big for the fourth spot in their rotation and leave the fifth spot to someone else already in the organization.

The Texas Rangers already announced they would decline the option on Corey Kluber and it seems like a no-brainer for the Twins front office to be interested. Derek Falvey, Minnesota’s President of Baseball Operations, worked with the Kluber when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians. Kluber was a three-time All-Star with Cleveland and won two Cy Young awards.

The back of Minnesota’s rotation can easily be filled with a cornucopia of players from within the organization. Randy Dobnak seems like the logical first choice, but there are plenty of other options including Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe, Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic. Teams don’t need a lot out of the fifth spot in the rotation and these players can more than fill that role.

Completing the Bullpen
Bullpens have become so important in the modern game especially with starters pitching fewer innings. This year’s playoffs were a prime example with the Dodgers and the Rays riding their bullpens to a thrilling World Series. While these teams relied on a variety of arms, the Twins strategy might need to change if they spend on the players mentioned above.

The bullpen outlined above might be worse than last year’s conglomeration with Sergio Romo’s option declined and other players pushed into different roles. Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala will be absolute weapons in late innings. The Twins can hope for a bounce back year from Taylor Rogers. The front office might also be able to find another Matt Wisler type player from another organization.

Do you think this blueprint pushes the Twins to the next level? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • mikelink45 likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

16 Comments

I like the Ozuna addition. He seems like a guy who can still play in the outfield, which is fine since Buxton is usually hurt. Probably not a CF though. We need a bat like his to replace Cruz.

 

Kluber for $10M?! He was already on the decline once Cleveland moved on from him, then he had shoulder surgery... I don't know if I'd give him anything more than a minor league deal. I would not be a fan of the bullpen if they trot this unit out with zero additions. Smeltzer and Waddell opening in the pen? Yikes. 

 

 

    • mikelink45 likes this

I don't think the payroll will be anywhere near 125 million. 

 

I think they bring back Cruz and Adrienza and find a starter late when spring training starts. 

 

I hope they go out and sign Brad Hand, and move Rogers back to the Set up role where he can match up with guys. 

 

I think people keep throwing out these numbers of guys signing for 10+ million, I don't think it happens! I think you take what guys would normally get and cut it in 1/2.teams aren't going to spend $ and there is going to be a lot of quality players on the market. 

 

    • USNMCPO and LA VIkes Fan like this
Photo
yeahyabetcha
Nov 03 2020 06:43 AM
$125 budget is too high, teams are going to be in money saving mode. This will upset the players union. A normal full season is unlikely and no season is a decent chance.

Worth noting. If the season gets shortened, that $125M would be reduced proportionally. So while they ARE guaranteed contracts, the full amount wouldn't be owed.
 

For example: The Twins were only on the hook for $52M in payroll in 2020.

 

I know people know this, but I feel like it gets a little ignored in the thought process of "how much will the Twins spend on payroll in 2021"

    • dbminn likes this

I would prefer Odorizzi over Kluber, even if his cost is a few million higher.

 

Will be surprised if the opening day payroll is the $123M you project, my guess would be at least $5M-$10M lower, maybe more.

 

Don't know why so many are slotting Blankenhorn in as a utility guy on opening day. What did he have last year, one game? Maybe some day, but not opening day next year.

 

Also don't see the Twins spending $18M for any free agent next year. My guess is if they don't resign Cruz, the DH spot will be filled by several current Twins rotating thru the position, Sano, Garver, Jeffers, Kirilloff, or Rooker.

    • dcswede, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this

This offseason has the potential to be the most unique of our lifetime. CBA coming to an end after the 2021 season and the unknown of a pandemic. Can't imagine we'll ever see this kind of combination of variables ever again. Teams willing to keep their payrolls close to what they would've been in a normal year and risk taking losses financially next year have huge advantages.

 

Mid-market teams like the Twins could build big-market rosters for 2021 if they are willing to take the risk on attendance numbers. Meeting with local government and getting a feel for the attendance rules you may be facing in 2021 is vital. With no in-person games last year teams have to expect a jump in typical attendance if fans are allowed back with no numbers restrictions in 2021.

 

If the Twins have inside info and feel comfortable with the fact that fans will be back in 2021 (I'd guess there'll be some number of fans as I just don't see our society being willing to follow lockdowns for an entire year beyond what they have) I think $125 mil for a budget is not only reasonable, but perhaps even low. If the Twins see this as a chance to take advantage of a crazy situation and go after guys who'd typically be out of their price range on 1 year deals as players hope the market gets back to normal after 2021 they could make some drastic improvements. 

 

There are going to be plenty of teams who cut payroll pretty aggressively and the Twins are in position to take advantage. Easy for me to say since it isn't my money, but loading up on 1 year deals for players who were hoping for massive long term deals would be my strategy going in. Cruz, Ozuna, Bauer, Kluber, Morton, Archer, LeMahieu, Hernandez, Wong, Didi, Turner, Brantley, Pederson, Springer, Tanaka, Stroman, Odo, Walker, Lester, Hendriks, Colome, Hand, Alvarez, etc. There's a bunch of guys out there and they won't all get the long(ish) term deals they were expecting going into 2020. Some because of the financial "struggles" of the league in 2020 and some because of down years. I'd let them all know we'll pay normal market rate on a 1 year deal and see what combination of guys I can bring in to fill out my roster.

    • dcswede, TopGunn#22, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
Photo
LewFordLives
Nov 03 2020 01:17 PM

I like this article, although I really think the Twins will have to spend at least some money on the bullpen, even at the expense of a DH. They are losing May, Romo, and Clippard. None of those guys were lights out, but they made a lot of appearances in the shortened season.Add the fact that we don't know what we'll be getting with Rogers next year.

    • TopGunn#22, Danchat, alphanumeric and 2 others like this

With the recent changes in the offseason here's my updated look at how the Twins can fill out their team while keeping to a 10% payroll cut. I tinkered with the numbers a bit (raising SP amounts, lowered Rogers figure, manually entered Gyorko) based off of what Fangraphs and MLB Trade Rumors put forth on contracts and arbitration.

 

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

Cody, nothing inherently wrong with your roster. But I choose to disagree on a few points.

1] Ozuna is a real talent. You and MLB Traderumors agree at $18M per. He's probably worth that under normal conditions. But we are facing anything but normal right now. I see very few teams willing to commit that kind of $. And we have a whole roster to consider. While I'd love to have him, I reflect on the following ideas:

A] Cruz for 1yr at $12-15M...tops...or something like $12-13M with a $10-12M option and a nice $3-4M buyout. You save $ for the roster, aren't handcuffed financially, and have some potentially great bats not only knocking at the door, but ready to break it down.

B] Brantley doesn't have Cruz's or Ozuna's pure power, but is probably just as good of a "hitter" with proven veteran production and should come with a cheaper price tag than Ozuna. I'm reading $14M per, but I'm still not sure that will be reality when the smoke clears.

2] Blankenhorn, IMO, is a guy nobody should sleep on. He is athletic and versatile position-wise with a decent bat that has power and he can run a bit. POTENTIALLY, he can play 5 spots decently as a 10th man while bringing something to the offense. The Twins added him to the 40 man, added him to the taxi squad, and promoted him for a game for a reason. But to bank on him to begin 2021 as their 10th man? I don't see it. Even with this expected crazy and unpredictable off-season, the Twins are fortunate that there are a number of very interesting super-utility types available from Cabrera to Profar, etc. I have a tough time believing all of these various options will garner $6-7M contracts. Depth of options should allow someone to be available in the $4-5M range and give Blankenhorn a little more time to be ready.

3] I absolutely LOVE the idea of Kluber on a flier! But that's where I draw the line. He COULD be the biggest SP steal of the 2021 FA class. But at 34yo and injured and virtually invisible for 2yrs, I simply can't see a $10M deal. I think he is at best $4-5M with bonuses that could reach $12M. Again, LOVE to take a shot! But the Twins best rotation options seem to be a half season or so away. And I don't believe they, or most teams, would gamble that much guaranteed cost on a healthy flier considering current conditions financially. Odorizzi, for example, is a safer but lower ceiling bet.
    • TopGunn#22 and alphanumeric like this
Photo
Major League Ready
Nov 04 2020 06:39 AM

 

 

There are going to be plenty of teams who cut payroll pretty aggressively and the Twins are in position to take advantage. Easy for me to say since it isn't my money, but loading up on 1 year deals for players who were hoping for massive long term deals would be my strategy going in. Cruz, Ozuna, Bauer, Kluber, Morton, Archer, LeMahieu, Hernandez, Wong, Didi, Turner, Brantley, Pederson, Springer, Tanaka, Stroman, Odo, Walker, Lester, Hendriks, Colome, Hand, Alvarez, etc. There's a bunch of guys out there and they won't all get the long(ish) term deals they were expecting going into 2020. Some because of the financial "struggles" of the league in 2020 and some because of down years. I'd let them all know we'll pay normal market rate on a 1 year deal and see what combination of guys I can bring in to fill out my roster.

 

I think we might see the Mets sign a couple deals similar to what you have described above. That's what happened when the Dodgers were bought. That strategy failed for them and they radically changed their approach but the Mets may still try to buy a team. The Yankees are badly in need of starting pitching.We could see them spend aggressively and then try to reset their luxury tax next year. I don't see any chance of a mid-market or small market team following this strategy. 

 

I think we might see the Mets sign a couple deals similar to what you have described above. That's what happened when the Dodgers were bought. That strategy failed for them and they radically changed their approach but the Mets may still try to buy a team. The Yankees are badly in need of starting pitching.We could see them spend aggressively and then try to reset their luxury tax next year. I don't see any chance of a mid-market or small market team following this strategy. 

I would be shocked if the Mets aren't a major player this winter. They have the bones of a solid team and the new owner will want to make a statement by surrounding those guys with a few splash signings. I'm not predicting the Twins will follow this strategy, but it is one the front office should present to the Pohlads and see if they can sneak a few extra dollars out of them for a big swing this season. The Reds would be another team who desperately wants to be a threat in the playoffs and could look at bringing in a few 1 year guys.

 

The Twins have a playoff caliber core and need to win a playoff game soon. Even the Pohlads understand that. They could definitely lean on the local government and get some assurances that there will be fans in the stands in 2021. If they know they'll have 50% capacity allowed they have to assume they'll fill that capacity every game as fans crave the chance to get back out to games and back to "normal." I'm not suggesting they go out and spend 200 mil on payroll, but if there's ever a year worth taking a risk this is it. They have young players almost ready or ready for the show that they believe in but don't want to rely on completely. They need bridge veterans on 1 year deals to provide insurance and allow for some growing pains. With the market depressed things are lining up perfectly to snag some guys they normally couldn't get on 1 year deals. Nothing in their history suggests the Twins will take a financial risk, but if there was ever a year to do it this is it and I hope Falvine is pushing for something like this.

    • tony&rodney likes this
Photo
Major League Ready
Nov 04 2020 08:57 AM

 

I would be shocked if the Mets aren't a major player this winter. They have the bones of a solid team and the new owner will want to make a statement by surrounding those guys with a few splash signings. I'm not predicting the Twins will follow this strategy, but it is one the front office should present to the Pohlads and see if they can sneak a few extra dollars out of them for a big swing this season. The Reds would be another team who desperately wants to be a threat in the playoffs and could look at bringing in a few 1 year guys.

 

The Twins have a playoff caliber core and need to win a playoff game soon. Even the Pohlads understand that. They could definitely lean on the local government and get some assurances that there will be fans in the stands in 2021. If they know they'll have 50% capacity allowed they have to assume they'll fill that capacity every game as fans crave the chance to get back out to games and back to "normal." I'm not suggesting they go out and spend 200 mil on payroll, but if there's ever a year worth taking a risk this is it. They have young players almost ready or ready for the show that they believe in but don't want to rely on completely. They need bridge veterans on 1 year deals to provide insurance and allow for some growing pains. With the market depressed things are lining up perfectly to snag some guys they normally couldn't get on 1 year deals. Nothing in their history suggests the Twins will take a financial risk, but if there was ever a year to do it this is it and I hope Falvine is pushing for something like this.

 

It would be great if this was viable but there is absolutely no chance the "local government" is going to commit to allowing fans. We are talking about public health and safety in the midst of a pandemic. Baseball is a very long way from an essential service. 

 

The only hope we have of a semi-normal off-season would be if the players agreed to a salary structure that accounted for attendance. I don't think that is going to happen given the stance they took last year.

I just want to comment that any projection of money and payroll is going to be difficult at this point.Teams are cutting payroll all over the place and think some FA will be needing to take much less than in a normal year. 

Photo
Andrew Bryzgornia
Nov 04 2020 02:29 PM

Kluber's going to get more than a minor league deal. 

 

I like the Ozuna addition. He seems like a guy who can still play in the outfield, which is fine since Buxton is usually hurt. Probably not a CF though. We need a bat like his to replace Cruz.

 

Kluber for $10M?! He was already on the decline once Cleveland moved on from him, then he had shoulder surgery... I don't know if I'd give him anything more than a minor league deal. I would not be a fan of the bullpen if they trot this unit out with zero additions. Smeltzer and Waddell opening in the pen? Yikes. 

 

    • DocBauer likes this

Kluber's going to get more than a minor league deal.


Agreed! But 34yo, barely pitched at any level for 2yrs, I just have a hard time seeing $10M. I'm just guessing, but I'm thinking half that with incentives for GS, IP, etc.

I am thoroughly intrigued! But I don't know that I'd sign him with the idea of being my #4 SP.
    • dbminn likes this
Photo
tony&rodney
Nov 05 2020 04:11 PM

This winter there will be plenty of options available but the understood obstacle is still a budget in consideration of the ongoing problem of our friend, Covid.

The Twins have the core to win and their decisions must be directed toward that end.

How would contracts to Hill for $6 million and Kluber for $7 million look for SP?

I'm curious whether management would think about Liam Hendriks at 3/$33 million.

If the budget falls below $130 million, which many of you are reasonably predicting, the Twins will need to get real young. My hope is that the long view comes into play and payroll settles around $135-145 million. This seems optimistic, but the money is there. Whether we want to discuss it or not, The Twins have the money.

    • DocBauer likes this

Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , Yesterday, 07:47 PM
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 20 Nov 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 12 Nov 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 09 Nov 2020
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 05 Nov 2020
Photo