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2019 2020 (non-Twins) off season

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:12 PM
My first prediction is that WA signs their two big possible FAs to extensions.   My next is that Cole goes to LAA.   The White...
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Bremer’s FSN Sidekick 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:07 PM
So with Seth confirming Morneau calling 60 games this year, how do the rest of the games break down? Morneau - 60 Bert - 20? Smalley...
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Baby Blues Are Back!

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:02 PM
I'm so happy!       Here is the press release:     TWINS RETURN TO HISTORY, UNVEIL BABY BLUE ALTERNATE UNIFORM...
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Front Page: Running Down the Hall (of Fame Ballot): 2020...

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:12 PM
Baseball and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America can spur plenty of debate, especially when it comes to candidates for the Hall...
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Post-Donaldson Trade - Status of Top Prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 09:19 PM
Lewis and Kirilloff are blocked by Donaldson, Polanco, Arraez and Sano. Without a trade or an injury, I don’t see an opening for our top...
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Rundown: Chirinos, 2020 Rotation, Trade Targets and More

Are Willians Astudillo's days numbered?

Jason Castro will be back, Mitch Garver is still around and yet the Twins have shown interest in free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Hmm ... is there some kind of a way to maneuver four catchers on the same roster? Well if Ron Gardenhire couldn't do it, that must mean it's impossible.
Image courtesy of © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Chirinos, 34, is coming off a season in which he hit .222/.338/.419 (.757) with 18 home runs and 108 games caught for the Rangers. The Twins already have plenty of catching options, but Garver's 2018 season behind the plate was cut short due to a head injury. It seems signing Chirinos would almost certainly mean the end of Astudillo's time with the Twins.

This is a move I cannot endorse. Personal reasons.

Derek Wetmore of ESPN 1500 shared his thoughts on both Chirinos and another reported Twins target, J.A. Happ.

I talked about the possibility of the Twins signing Happ and the future of the team's rotation in a live stream on Twitter Friday evening. Here's a shorter version of it that I edited down:

Speaking of pitching, David O’Brien of The Athletic Tweeted that the Twins are believed to be showing interest in former Reds manager Bryan Price as a candidate for their vacant pitching coach position. Price served as a pitching coach for the Mariners, Diamondbacks and Reds prior to making the jump up to managing. He was fired this April after Cincinnati got off to a 3-15 start.

Phil Miller of the Star Tribune highlighted the correlation between offense and success in the American League last season and hinted that the Twins could target power hitters this offseason.

Morosi also shared five takeaways from the GM Meetings, among them was the impression that the White Sox are ready to spend. Uh oh. Chicago is still a long way from building a competitive roster, but they could definitely obstruct the Twins in their pursuit of free agents. Some of the veteran hitters that would make a lot of sense for the Twins – Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson – would also seem to fit nicely on the White Sox.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com shared 10 names that created a lot of buzz at the GM Meetings. Among them were a few free agents that could make sense for the Twins, but he also listed trade candidates James Paxton and Sonny Gray. Paxton had a 3.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP for the Mariners last season and comes with two years of team control, but I’d imagine it’d take quite an impressive haul to acquire him. The Twins have enough depth to put together a package without completely crippling the system, but it’s not clear they’re ready to make that kind of a splash yet. Gray would be much easier to get, but he was nowhere near as good for the Yankees (4.90 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) and only has one season before he becomes a free agent.

Twins GM Thad Levine was quoted in a New York Times piece. The article revolved around new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen transitioning from being an agent to in a front office. Levine made it sound like there’s a very buddy-buddy atmosphere across the league.

“There’s more camaraderie in this industry than there once was. You see all the G.M.’s are together, there’s some collegial component and we all compete.”

Those GM Meetings after parties must have been lit.

Jim Bowden listed logical free agent and trade targets for all 30 teams over at The Athletic. Among the 23 possible free agent targets he listed for the Twins were Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi, Daniel Murphy, Steve Pearce and DJ LeMahieu. Among the 12 trade targets were Justin Smoak, Carlos Santana and Jean Segura.

Over at Zone Coverage, Brandon Warne listed 38 potential trade targets for the Twins. Also, Mike Berardino welcomed former Blue Jays scout Kimball Crossley on the Midwest Swing podcast for an interesting inside baseball discussion about the type of things scouts are typically up to this time of year. They also discussed some free agent options that may make sense for the Twins.

Baseball America shared its Twins draft report card. The thing that most caught my eye was that Josh Winder, who was the team’s seventh-round pick, was their choice for best fastball in the class. Winder went from sitting 88-92 mph at VMI to 90-94 after the draft. He had a 3.72 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings for Elizabethton.

SB Nation conducts a giant GM simulation each offseason in which 30 of its writers assume the role of their team’s GM and they go through the entire offseason. Check out how TJ Gorsegner of Twinkie Town did.

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The more I think about it, the Twins would be best served by not offering arbitration to Doorizzi and Grossman. That money could be better spent elsewhere. Of course, I would not rule out the trade value of either, but I don't see Odorizzi getting $9 million in the free agent market place.


In that case, Astudillo then gets a spot on the Twins. I like the guy because he can catch and also play a lot of positions adequately and also be a solid bench bat...maybe. There are still questions, but like what I saw.


I think the Twins are pretty much stuck with Jason Castros. He is a plus if he can catch more often than not and work with the younger pitchers on the staff. Let Garver catch Gibson and Pineda, if need be.


I would like to hope that the Twins could pull some trades for middle infield, maybe a DH bat. We will see. Otherwise, they could spend big on a one or two year deal. Actually, when you look at where the monies are tied up with the Twins (Gibson, Pineda, Odorizzi, Reed, Castro), the Twins really don't need any of those salaries if they could find takers. But, again, why would anyone WANT these players for their going rate when they can find sufficient replacement value players at a better discount.




Chirinos is worse defensively than Kurt Suzuki. Even in a vacuum, he only makes sense on the 25-man roster if Garver and Astudillo are unable to catch.

    • bluechipper and IaFan1 like this
Nov 10 2018 05:10 PM

I prefer Austidillo.By a lot.

    • Twins33, beckmt, bluechipper and 3 others like this

I prefer Austidillo. By a lot.


A move like that only makes sense if you have doubts about Castro's health. Even then, I think I prefer Astudillo.

I like what we have and the best 4th catcher AAAA type we can get on a milb deal.

Every other effort needs to be pitching, 2B/SS, and at least 1 really nice bat who can play a position.
    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this
I don’t quite see why this would be bad for Astudillo specifically. He has three options and can be shuffled to AAA when needed.

If Chirinos is signed, maybe that means Castro will be traded? They might not be counting on him for the 2019 season.
    • DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this

I don’t quite see why this would be bad for Astudillo specifically. He has three options and can be shuffled to AAA when needed.

If Chirinos is signed, maybe that means Castro will be traded? They might not be counting on him for the 2019 season.

I'd think being in AAA would be worse for Astudillo
    • Twins33 and TheLeviathan like this

Sign a Vet- DH/Outfielder, RH.Try to sign or Trade for an ACE.Sign a Middle Infielder, probably a Vet, good defence-solid ab's.Sign a closer.We have the rest covered. Unless we trade someone and then that spot would need to be filled.Let Grossman go. If we sign someone, it should be a for decent $$$ not thecheep filler type player, we have a AAA team for that.  

Nov 11 2018 09:09 AM


I don’t quite see why this would be bad for Astudillo specifically. He has three options and can be shuffled to AAA when needed.

If Chirinos is signed, maybe that means Castro will be traded? They might not be counting on him for the 2019 season.

Which, imo, wouldn't be the worst line of thinking in the world. Castro's a 31 year old catcher coming off knee surgery. I imagine having good knees is important, especially if you're a bit light with the bat.

Nov 11 2018 09:42 AM

The starting catching job should be Mitch Garver's to lose.Jason Castro as back-up. Don't sign more 3-5 level starters.  The Twins already have enough at that level and need to see what their young pitchers can accomplish (Romero, Gonsalves, Stewart). Here are more glaring needs:

1.3rd Baseman (Josh Donaldson???), while moving Sano to 1rst (with Tyler Austin as back-up) - or sign a stud 1B while keeping Sano at 3B

2.Sign a high quality starting middle infielder - having Polanco play the other position. 

3.Add more depth to the relief pitching staff.



I can't see why we would sign a free agent starting pitcher this year. We have a lot of options for next year and we will have more information on 2020 in 2020. Certainly there's an issue with quantity over quality, but that is the operating philosophy of our front office. Which really isn't a bad thing. We made big investments in Alex Meyer, Kohl Stewart, and Tyler Jay and they didn't really work out. Gibson was a pretty high pick and it looks like we will get a decent return on it. Berrios looks like he will work out, but he only cost a supplemental pick. 


Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.Along with a big bat for either 1B or DH.Twins need to move fast on this front.Waiting has 2 bad sides:

1.They will not get players near the top of the pile.

2.It will encourage the White Sox to move up their plans as both the Twins and the Indians may look beatable.White Sox have a top 5 farm system, with plenty of money to spend.Not a good combination if you wait to let the market come to you.

I have no idea what kind of health issues we are dealing with behind the plate. 


Castro (Knees)

Garver (Head) 


If there is any doubt at all... I applaud any conversation with any catcher under 4 million a year. 

    • DocBauer likes this

Lots to unpack in this article.When it comes to wins and offense.The statistic that is always the highest correlated is OBP.This is the first thing Billy Bean brought to Moneyball. 


By far, the best measure is something called adjusted batting average.A close approximation would be OBP + (1/2) ISP.


The shortcoming of SLG is that it treats, and I know you know this, a double as twice as valuable as a single, a triple as three times and a home run as four times as valuable as a single.It turns out, based on numbers that the loadings should not be 1, 2, 3, and 4, but more like 1, 1.3, 1.6 and 2.


Also, a Walk is worth just under 1.

Baseball America shared its Twins draft report card.

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Nov 12 2018 07:42 PM

All I say is keep Astudillo...for so many reasons, not the least of which is his personality.


All I say is keep Astudillo...for so many reasons, not the least of which is his personality.


And his fun-quotient is an 11.


When you consider that it runs on a 1-10 scale, it's really good.

    • Aerodeliria likes this


And his fun-quotient is an 11.


When you consider that it runs on a 1-10 scale, it's really good.


    • Mike Sixel, snepp and Aerodeliria like this