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Game Thread: Twins @ Pale Hose, 8/1 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:11 PM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy with a 50-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature aro...
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Is Deduno getting a fair shake?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:09 PM
OK, for some this ship has sailed for various reasons. And I get it. And I know some will blast me for even bringing this topic back up....
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Eduardo Nunez

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:32 PM
Does he look like a guy the Twins should keep on the 40 man roster? At 27 years old and nearly 1000 major league plate appearances, this...
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Your Lineup/rotation The Rest Of The Way

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:50 PM
The Twins obviously aren't going to be making a playoff push, so what regular lineup and rotation would you like to see from here on out...
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September's Predicted Team

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:50 PM
Here's what I'm guessing the Twins will look like on or about September 1 (when rosters expand):   Lineup: Santana SS Mauer 1B Dozie...
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The Store

Pitching and Playoffs: Farm, Free Agency, or Trades?

How did the most successful teams of 2013 make it to the playoffs? Was it through the Farm System/Draft, Free Agency, or Trades? Any guesses which was the most expensive of the 3 areas? And which was the most successful (regardless of salary)?

Attached Image: Wainwright_Adam_champagne_US_720.jpg Below are the 2013 rotations which are ordered by post-season rotation order and then secondarily, for the #4 & #5 starters, by their contributions during the regular season. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

Boston Red Sox

  • Jon Lester – Farm system – $11.625M – 15-8 W-L 3.75 ERA 213.1 IP 177 SO
  • John Lackey – FA - $16.5M – 10-13 W-L 3.52 ERA 189.1 IP 161 SO
  • Clay Buchholz – Farm system – $5.5M – 12-1 W-L 1.74 ERA 108.1 IP 96 SO
  • Felix Doubront – Farm system – $519K – 11-6 W-L 4.32 ERA 162.1 IP 139 SO
  • Ryan Dempster – FA – $13.25M – 8-9 W-L 4.57 ERA 171.1 IP 157 SO

Detroit Tigers


  • Justin Verlander – Farm System - $20M 13-12 W-L 3.46 ERA 218.1 IP 217 SO
  • Max Scherzer – Trade - $6.7M – 21-3 W-L 2.90 ERA 214.1 IP 240 SO
  • Anibal Sanchez – Trade - $8.8M – 14-8 W-L 2.57 ERA 182 IP 202 SO
  • Doug Fister – Trade - $4M – 14-9 W-L 3.67 ERA 208.2 IP 159 SO
  • Rick Porcello – Farm System - $5.1M 13-8 W-L 4.32 ERA 177 IP 142 SO

Oakland Athletics


  • Bartolo Colon – FA - $3M – 18-6 W-L 2.65 ERA 190.1 IP 117
  • Sonny Gray – Farm system - $490K – 5-3 W-L 2.67 ERA 64 IP 67 SO
  • Jarrod Parker – Farm System (trade w/ ARZ as Class AA, #26 Overall Prospect) - $495K - 12-8 W-L 3.97 ERA 197 IP 134 SO
  • AJ Griffin – Farm System - $493K – 14-10 W-L 3.83 ERA 200 IP 171 SO
  • Dan Straily – Farm System - $493K – 10-8 W-L 3.96 ERA 152.1 IP 124 SO

Tampa Bay Rays


  • David Price – Farm System – $10.1m – 10-8 W-L 3.33 ERA 186.2 IP 151 SO
  • Matt Moore – Farm System – $1M – 17-4 W-L 3.29 ERA 150.1 IP 143 SO
  • Alex Cobb – Farm System – $502K – 11-3 W-L 2.76 143.1 IP 134 SO
  • Jeremy Hellickson – Farm System – $503K – 12-10 W-L 5.17 ERA 174 IP 135 SO
  • Chris Archer – Farm System - $500K – 9-7 W-L 3.22 ERA 128.2 IP 101 SO

Atlanta Braves


  • Kris Medlen – Farm System - $505K – 13-9 W-L 3.21 ERA 204.2 IP 181 SO
  • Mike Minor – Farm System - $2.6M – 15-12 W-L 3.11 ERA 197 IP 157 SO
  • Julio Teheran – Farm System - $490K – 14-8 W-L 3.20 ERA 185.2 IP 170 SO
  • Paul Maholm – Trade - $6.5M – 10-11 W-L 4.41 ERA 153 IP 105 SO
  • Tim Hudson – Trade - $9M – 8-7 W-L 3.97 ERA 131.1 IP 95 SO

Los Angeles Dodgers


  • Clayton Kershaw – Farm System - $11M – 16-9 W-L 1.83 ERA 236 IP 232 SO
  • Zack Greinke – FA - $19M – 15-4 W-L 2.63 ERA 177.2 IP 148 SO
  • Hyun-jin Ryu FA - $6M – 14-8 W-L 3.00 ERA 192 IP 154 SO
  • Ricky Nolasco – Trade - $11.5M – 13-11 W-L 3.70 ERA 199.1 IP 165 SO
  • Chris Capuano – FA - $6M – 4-7 W-L 4.26 ERA 105.2 IP 81 SO

Pittsburgh Pirates


  • Francisco Liriano – FA - $1M – 16-8 W-L 3.02 ERA 161 IP 163 SO
  • AJ Burnett – FA - $16.5M – 10-11 W-L 3.30 ERA 191 IP 209 SO
  • Gerrit Cole – Farm System - $490K 10-7 W-L 3.22 ERA 117.1 IP 100 SO
  • Jeff Locke – Farm System (Trade w/ Braves when in Class A) - $498K – 10-7 W-L 3.52 ERA 166.1 IP 125 SO
  • Charlie Morton – Trade - $2M – 7-4 W-L 3.26 ERA 116 IP 85 SO

St. Louis Cardinals


  • Adam Wainwright – Farm System (trade w/ Braves as Class AA, #18 Overall Prospect) - $12M - 19-9 W-L 2.94 ERA 241.2 IP 219 SO
  • Shelby Miller – Farm System - $490K 15-9 W-L 3.06 ERA 173.1 IP 169 SO
  • Michael Wacha – Farm System - $490K 4-1 W-L 2.78 ERA 64.2 IP 65 SO
  • Joe Kelly – Farm System $493K – 10-5 W-L 2.69 ERA 124 IP 79 SO
  • Lance Lynn – Farm System - $513K – 15-10 W-L 3.97 ERA 201.2 IP 198 SO

So if you were tallying, you would get this breakdown of the rotations by team:
Attached Image: 2013 Playoff Starting Rotations Breakdown.jpg

All but two had their ace come through their farm system. Bartolo Colon and Francisco Liarino have proved to be one-year wonders. And at $3M and $1M respectively, they were steals, but hardly predictable contributors.

Apart from those two free agent finds, six free agents combined for a 61-52 W-L record, while having a combined price tag of $77.25M. Add Liriano and Colon back to the mix and it's 95-66.

Here's a look over the past 4 years of FA starting pitcher to back up the post-season numbers from this year.
Attached Image: Free Agency - Pitchers Breakdown.jpg
One could run a little optimization application to figure out the optimal price to pay for Free Agent Pitching. (I'll run this later)

Lesson: Don't overpay for Free Agents. Only in 2011 did the highest paid free agent starting pitcher, Cliff Lee, have the most wins.

So what's the best method for teams, including the Twins, in 2014 (and beyond) to develop a pitching staff?
  • Farm System
  • Cheap FA flyers
  • Continue to add more power arms via 2014 MLB Draft
  • Trades that yield prospects

Maybe, just maybe, Terry Ryan doesn't sound like such a stooge anymore.


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