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Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:21 AM
The Minnesota Twins will enter 2021 as one of the best teams in baseball, and whether they’re projected to win the AL Central or not, a f...
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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:08 AM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: Recap

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:36 PM
What did we learn while updating our annual Twins top prospect rankings after a year that offered no minor-league games, and very little...
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A Good Comp for Jhoan Duran and His Splinker

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Getting one’s head around the unusual profile of Twins pitching prospect Jhoan Duran can be tricky. It might be helpful to use a starter...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #7 SS Keoni Cavaco

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Yes, we are still high on Keoni Cavaco, our #7 Twins prospect for 2021. Let's take a look at what's to like (a lot), what's to work on (a...
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Recent Blogs


Report: Twins To Sign LHP J.A. Happ

Several reports from national writers report that the Twins have agreed to terms with veteran left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ.
Image courtesy of Brad Penner, USA Today
On Wednesday afternoon, the Twins were back in the news, making a second major-league move. The team added a veteran with a lot of experience and a lot of success.



Happ turned 38-years-old in October. 2021 will be his 15th season in the big leagues. In 2020, he went 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in nine starts for the Yankees. In 49 1/3 innings, he walked 15 and struck out 42 batters. He has had an ERA under 4 in five of the past six seasons.

According to Jon Heyman, the one year deal will be worth $8 million.



The deal leaves the Twins with a rotation consisting of:

Kenta Maeda
Jose Berrios
Michael Pineda
J.A. Happ
Randy Dobnak

Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe are still in the picture, and Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran and maybe Dakota Chalmers also could see time in 2021.

This shouldn’t come as too big a surprise, as the Twins were interested in Happ the last time he was a free agent. Twins Daily’s Tom Froemming uncovered this interesting bit of information regarding Happ last week:



That information is available on Happ’s Baseball Savant page. Happ ranked third in the league in HR-xHR with 2.9 in 2020 and was second in that stat at 9.3 in 2019. He’ll surely embrace a change of scenery.

Last season, Happ threw his 91 mph fastball 66% of the time, his slider 19% of the time and his changeup 14% of the time. He’ll also mix in a curveball sparingly. Information below also via Baseball Savant.

Attached Image: Screenshot 2021-01-20 at 4.40.30 PM.png



The $8 million deal matches what Toronto signed Robbie Ray for earlier this offseason. MLB Trade Rumors had Happ as their 41st ranked free agent and predicted he'd get a one-year, $6 million deal. FanGraphs had him ranked 45th and their Craig Edwards predicted he'd get this exact deal.

Happ had a $17 million option that would have been triggered had he made 10 starts or pitched 61 1/3 innings last season. The Yankees made sure he only made nine starts, and Happ wasn't too pleased about it.

(Tom Froemming contributed to this article as well)

SEE ALSO
Where Can the Twins Add the Most Value?
Why Didi Gregorius is the Best Shortstop Fit for the Twins
The 10 Best Twins Targets Among Remaining Free Agents
Free Agent Faceoff: Kiké Hernández vs. Tommy La Stella

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98 Comments

It's Happ-ening.

    • nicksaviking likes this

Happ-y days are here again.

    • nicksaviking likes this

This is pretty similar to the Homer Bailey signing, just a guy to fill the #5 spot in the rotation. He won't move the needle much. Here's hoping for a Sonny Gray / Luis Castillo trade, or something in that vein.

    • peterb18, alphanumeric, mikelink45 and 5 others like this

Was hoping a rookie would take the number 5 spot, or a series of rookies until one stuck......

    • denarded, peterb18, h2oface and 4 others like this

I was hoping more for a Paxton signing (at least we have a LHP in the rotation).

If they had to pay Happ at 38 yrs old $8 million what is Paxton worth/asking for ? 

I know we're all hoping for something BIG but this is about what the Twins ALWAYS do

 

With the exception of Donaldson.

 

 

    • peterb18, beckmt, Shaitan and 1 other like this

I think this is a solid depth signing. He wasn't bad for the Yankees last year and isn't far removed from being really good. but we'll see how much he has left in the tank. I thinkyou always need depth in starting pitching, and this helps. price seems about right?

    • Otwins, Dman and wabene like this

They get me almost every year.Someday though, someday I'll learn.

 

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    • Mike Sixel, ScrapTheNickname, alphanumeric and 2 others like this

And also ...

 

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    • Lasorda_This_Out likes this

 

Was hoping a rookie would take the number 5 spot, or a series of rookies until o

 

Pretty disappointed. Seems like a lot of money
    • peterb18, Heistyman, Doctor Gast and 1 other like this

$8 mil for a 38 year old Happ? 

    • peterb18, Danchat, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this

it's strange to me that $8 million for one year of a left-handed starting pitcher who has had a sub-4 ERA in 5 of the last 6 seasons is an 'overpay', but so many people want to pay Nelson Cruz whatever he wants... 

 

I like this signing. He's probably the Twins #3. He could be their top guy. Yes, he's 38, but he's not reliant on velocity. If he stays healthy, which he has, I think this is a really solid signing for the Twins. 

    • Otwins, specialiststeve, mikelink45 and 10 others like this

 

 He's probably the Twins #3. He could be their top guy. 

 

If that's the case, they shouldn't even bother playing the season.

    • Mike Sixel, peterb18, mikelink45 and 6 others like this

I don't get being upset about it. At worst it's meh. He's basically Rich Hill without the post-season pedigree but far more reliable in the regular season.

    • adjacent and ToddlerHarmon like this
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Out State Twin
Jan 20 2021 05:24 PM

Good move as if the twins are out of the playoff hunt Happ can be traded for assets.

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drivlikejehu
Jan 20 2021 05:24 PM

The salary isn't excessive - in a vacuum. My concern is that the Twins are financially limited and shouldn't be committing so much money to a 'depth' signing. 

 

This would seem to preclude the Twins from really improving this off-season - they have money remaining to sign Cruz OR one of the shortstops, but probably not both. 

 

I'm not going to declare the off-season a failure because maybe they will spend more than expected, or maybe they will pull of a significant trade or two. But after having been unconcerned as of last week, I'm now pretty worried.

    • Mike Sixel, Heistyman, Dman and 4 others like this
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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Jan 20 2021 05:30 PM

Not excited by this signing, but two things I see going for it:

1. I had a vague impression of Happ as an older player at the end of the line, but some of the pitch data in this article above and this evaluation by Gleeman make me think there's more there

2. Last offseason, the Twins acquired more starting pitching than it looked like they needed. Some of those acquisitions were meant to raise the ceiling of the rotation and some were aimed more to raise the floor and to make sure there was depth on hand. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the latter kind of move, one that ensures another rotation spot is covered even if they don't get anyone else, but doesn't preclude a bigger addition.

    • mikelink45 and GNess like this
I'm OK with this move. I'm not great with it, but I'm OK with it. He's very solid, deepens the rotation and provides a bridge for the young guys.

I like the move even more if Happ is part 1 of 2 parts and someone else is being brought on board.
    • LA VIkes Fan, Dman, Vanimal46 and 5 others like this

Solid enough signing - a LH starter with a solid MLB resume. I am good with it. However, if this is the Twins' only SP move then the FO must really have confidence that one or more of Dobnak, Smeltzer, Duran or other youngster can produce. Not sure a team with world series aspirations would trust largely unproven SP to be central to the plan.

    • peterb18 likes this

Bummer. Another almost 40 year old starter to not be excited about. And they will pay him almost 2 million more than Berrios. Must make Berrios feel real valuable.

 

 

    • peterb18, Heistyman, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

There's the big move! Amazing job, FO

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specialiststeve
Jan 20 2021 06:03 PM

Solid fairly cheap signing for a 5th starter hopefully. Key is a 1 year deal that allows us to move on if our young studs are ready.... Get it we all want big names but this is decent for a 5th starter... 

    • DocBauer likes this
I will like this move more if we sign Oaklands former SS and Cruz. Then we are justified going lower cost on pitching. But Happy isn't a bad pitcher. Watch us resign him next offseason.
    • LA VIkes Fan, DocBauer and wabene like this

Makes me think of 2 things, Twins trying to get one more year out of aging arm or maybe Twins are bullish on their young pitchers, want another year of development. 

    • Brandon, DocBauer and wabene like this
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The Wise One
Jan 20 2021 06:18 PM

I think it is more prudent to spend money on Happ than Marwin Gonzales. They are only going to spend so much...

 

Left handers seem to have some struggles with pitching for the Yankees. For 1 year Paxton would be a better idea. I do believe that Boras is Paxton's agent. Better ideas do not happen very often to his clients. Often times it is a bad idea contract. 4 years of a contract that a healthy Paxton would be worth would be the goal for the agent. That is a bad idea for any team.