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Sickels Twins Prospect Update

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:57 AM
Mid season update from Sickelshttps://www.minorlea...d-season-review
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Article: First Half Review: Injuries And Frustration

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Article: Dozier’s Days Numbered, Then What?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:49 AM
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Bryce Harper and Manny Machado

Other Baseball Today, 11:42 AM
Harper is on pace for 1 bWAR this year. (WAR doesn't like his defense). Going into the season, he and Machado were going to be the darlin...
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2018 Vikings Off-Season Thread

Minnesota Vikings Talk Today, 11:42 AM
Lots of questions to answer... QB - They need to make the right decision here. I won't claim to know what the right decision is after wat...
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Sizing Up The 2017-18 Offseason

Turnarounds like the one we saw from Minnesota this season are rare, but not unprecedented. Derek Falvey knows this as well as anyone.

Fresh off his first year as Twins Chief Baseball Officer, Falvey is working in familiar territory. He understands from experience that the hardest part isn't going from irrelevance to contention, but taking the next step.
** Before we get started on this overview of the coming offseason, I'll make a quick pitch for your quintessential Hot Stove guide: The 2018 Twins Daily Offseason Handbook is now available for preorder. Click the link to claim your copy, and you'll get it as soon as it's ready, after the postseason concludes. Same deal as last year: name your price. Recommendation is $5, but you can pay as little or as much as you wish. We appreciate any and all support! Plenty more details are on the way in the coming weeks. You can check out last year's edition for an idea of what to expect. **

Midway through Falvey's tenure in Cleveland's front office, the Indians made a leap similar to the one we just saw from the Twins. After finishing in fourth place with 94 losses in 2012, Cleveland improved by 24 wins, earning a Wild Card berth in 2013 but losing to the Rays.

In that case, the sudden emergence was followed by two years of treading water. The Indians won 85 and 81 games the next two seasons, finishing third both times, before rising to win the AL Central and pennant in 2016. This year, of course, they won 102 games and took the division again, but were ousted by the Yankees in the ALDS.

For Falvey and his general manager Thad Levine, the goal is to unseat the current Central champs by following a similar path, but skipping the stagnation. Given the makeup of this roster as we head into the offseason, that's a reasonable objective.

And in fact, while there's been much talk of a measured approach aligning with the big picture, one can argue that the front office should be making a very emphatic championship push in 2018 specifically.

END OF AN ERA?
Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer are both in line to return next year, and we can only hope they'll be as effective as in 2017.

Sustained performance is no given; Mauer turns 35 next April, Dozier 31 in May. Age can become a factor at any time. There's also the matter of their contracts, which both expire after next year. The Twins certainly could bring them back, but it's hardly assured. This may well be the last chance to make a run with both longtime staples as key contributors.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Here are some important dates worth keeping in mind as we survey the offseason landscape.

Three Days After End of World Series: Contract Options Due. The Twins only have one and it's a no-brainer: they'll exercise a $700,000 buyout to decline the $6.5 million team option for Glen Perkins.

Five Days After End of World Series: Deadline to Make Qualifying Offers to Free Agents. For the five days after the postseason concludes, MLB teams get an exclusive negotiating window with their own free agents. During this time, they can make a qualifying offer, which brings the player back on a one-year (~$18M) contract if accepted, and yields draft pick compensation if they decline and sign elsewhere.

None of the Twins' internal free agents – Matt Belisle, Bartolo Colon, Hector Santiago, Dillon Gee – are worthy of a QO, and it's highly unlikely Minnesota will sign any before the market opens up.

Six Days After End of World Series: Free Agency Open for Business. We don't know much about how this front office will operate yet, but if their first major move was any indication, they are going to be aggressive in pursuing their top targets. Last offseason, the Twins made their interest in Jason Castro known very quickly, and had him signed before the end of November.

Once free agency officially gets underway, we should start hearing rumblings pretty quickly about players that Falvey and Thad Levine are keen on. This is the first offseason where they've had a chance to fully set up a plan going in, so they undoubtedly already have some names in mind.

I suspect they'll be shopping for three things in particular: starting pitchers, relief pitchers and right-handed bats. You can get a deep look at what's available in each of those categories with our Free Agency breakdowns in the Offseason Handbook.

November 13th-16th: GM Meetings. Today's general managers communicate through many different channels to negotiate trades (much of the action happens on Tinder, Levine has joked) but there's still something to be said for an old-fashioned face-to-face discussion. All 30 GMs will be in the same place during this week, with the annual GM Meetings taking place in Orlando. It'll be an opportunity to lay the groundwork with other execs as well as agents.

Falvey and Levine haven't been shy about pulling the trigger on deals thus far, and started up extensive talks with the Dodgers over Dozier last winter around this time.

December 10th-14th: Winter Meetings. One month later, the baseball world will converge once again in Orlando for the Winter Meetings – typically the most active period of the entire offseason. What kinds of shakeups might we see from the Twins?

EXTENSIONS, EXTENSIONS, EXTENSIONS
Some of the biggest storylines of this offseason will surround potential long-term contracts for a number of different players. Last week, John wrote about the merits of locking up Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario ahead of their arbitration years. A day later, Seth pondered what an extension for Dozier might look like as he looks ahead to a walk year. This week, he also took a deeper dive on how a Buxton extension could take shape.

Here at Twins Daily, we'll of course have plenty more coverage of Hot Stove season as it gets piping, with all of the speculation, analysis and up-to-the-minute news you expect. But I promise you this: you are going to want a copy of the Offseason Handbook as a handy resource along the way. Please consider preordering yours now to ensure you receive it the moment it becomes available.

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44 Comments

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TwinsTakes-RD
Oct 17 2017 07:50 PM

Ordered with a 100% tip because you guys RULE!!! It's Happening!!!!

    • Carole Keller, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and 3 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 17 2017 08:14 PM

I have to admit, it's been a while where excitement going into the offseason was merited. This is a team on the rise missing a few good pieces. Smart moves, and this team could be competing for a few years.

Question is which smart moves, and how much is Pohlad willing to open the checkbook.Twins need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. 

Could happen through trades, depending on how the new FO values some of the prospects or signing FA pitchers.Should be a busy offseason.

I know I will be disappointed if it is not.

"they'll exercise a $700,000 buyout to decline the $6.5 million team option for Glen Perkins."

 

A nice going away present for Perkins!!! I think I could feed my family on that for awhile!!!

 

Its amazing how the salaries of pro athletes has gotten into the Monopoly money range (see Wiggins, Andrew).Baseball is the same way.

 

 

Question is which smart moves, and how much is Pohlad willing to open the checkbook.Twins need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. 

Could happen through trades, depending on how the new FO values some of the prospects or signing FA pitchers.Should be a busy offseason.

I know I will be disappointed if it is not.

 

The 'how' they improve is going to make for an interesting off-season.Do they do trades, sign free agents, stand pat, or a combo of the above. 

 

"they'll exercise a $700,000 buyout to decline the $6.5 million team option for Glen Perkins."

 

A nice going away present for Perkins!!! I think I could feed my family on that for awhile!!!

 

Its amazing how the salaries of pro athletes has gotten into the Monopoly money range (see Wiggins, Andrew).Baseball is the same way.

It's a drop in the bucket compared to the owners.

 

    • Seth Stohs, BK432, Mike Sixel and 2 others like this

Payroll is the big question. I think we'll have a payroll around 110m which gives us about 20m to play with in free agency. But someone posted Forbes estimates of revenue for the Twins and if that was correct and if Twins still use 52% of revenue for payroll (as opposed to all monies spent on salaries such as draft and international bonuses) then our payroll could be closer to 140m.

 

 

Payroll is the big question. I think we'll have a payroll around 110m which gives us about 20m to play with in free agency. But someone posted Forbes estimates of revenue for the Twins and if that was correct and if Twins still use 52% of revenue for payroll (as opposed to all monies spent on salaries such as draft and international bonuses) then our payroll could be closer to 140m.


I see it more in the $120 range, enough to add a starter, a reliever or two, and perhaps a cheap vet bat.

With that they'll have some space to add money in season and it would also set them up with some flexibility going forward to lock up most of the young core.
    • DocBauer, howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 18 2017 07:58 AM

 

I see it more in the $120 range, enough to add a starter, a reliever or two, and perhaps a cheap vet bat.

With that they'll have some space to add money in season and it would also set them up with some flexibility going forward to lock up most of the young core.

 

Honestly, they need a starter and a reliever... not sure on the bench bat. I'd argue for a second reliever before another bat personally. I don't care much about the total number, but I do care if they are well under and haven't done much to meet the org's needs.

 

This team was a playoff team with some very glaring issues. It shouldn't take much to go from fringe to favored.

Twins were at $108 last season. It would be pretty disappointing if they more or less stand firm on payroll considering the unexpected success last season (and additional revenue gained) and the expectation to compete this year.

 

But I also don't expect them to go crazy and lock into multiple big money contracts for several years, they do need some flexibility to lock up the emerging core.

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Honestly, they need a starter and a reliever... not sure on the bench bat. I'd argue for a second reliever before another bat personally. I don't care much about the total number, but I do care if they are well under and haven't done much to meet the org's needs.

 

This team was a playoff team with some very glaring issues. It shouldn't take much to go from fringe to favored.

 

That may be true. I'm thinking a RH DH, but that is also a luxury item compared to bullpen upgrades. Also, solid bats are generally available at the deadline for minimal prospect cost if you take on the salary (another reason to keep some flexibility).

    • birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

They tried pretty hard to get a veteran DH last year. I expect them to try again. Is there one that can sometimes play 3B, if needed, or RF if needed?

    • DocBauer likes this
There is an abundance of 1B on the market, so i think they can find a bat at a reasonable cost. Pitching will be interesting. We will definately have better depth with several starters ready in AAA next season. Once we find one starter the bullpen will be the big concern.
I expect the front office to strike fast for a starter. That will set them up to wait out the offseason for a hitter and they would just be on the hunt for relievers.

That Darvish dude would look pretty good on our team.

    • adjacent and Don Walcott like this

 

That Darvish dude would look pretty good on our team.

 

Are you ready to commit to him until he's 38 at $25 million a season?

Based on baseball today - the bullpen should have priority over the starting pitching.KC started this trend and the Yankees have adopted it.

    • gocgo likes this

 

Are you ready to commit to him until he's 38 at $25 million a season?

I would say yes. The core of this team is young, so it would be in place for 5-6 years minimum. If not now, then when?

    • Don Walcott and tvagle like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 18 2017 11:25 AM

 

Are you ready to commit to him until he's 38 at $25 million a season?

 

Well, it's not my money :)

 

Personally, I'd rather buy than trade. It's not that I don't mind trading, but I'd rather keep the assets. I know front loading is frowned upon to some extent, but the core is going to be pretty cheap the next few years, so spending big now makes sense

 

A  guy like Darvish should be pretty good for the first few years of the contract. I'd be fine with that knowing/hoping that the farm has ample replacements when he's in the Phil Hughes portion of his contract... that's just me.

 

I think Falvey and Levine would have less of an issue than TR did about giving the quick hook when it was necessary.

    • DocBauer and Original Whizzinator like this

Based on baseball today - the bullpen should have priority over the starting pitching. KC started this trend and the Yankees have adopted it.

agreed, bullpen is important, but disagree that the Twins need to add more to the bullpen than rotation.

The Twins have a lot more upper minor league talent that is, or could be high-end bullpen talent than they have upper minor league high-end rotation talent.

Starters become relievers but not vice-versa.

Relief Corps does need help, but it might already be in the system, but I don’t think the starting help is already in the system.
    • Mike Sixel, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 1 other like this

 

Well, it's not my money :)

 

Technically, yes, it is your money.

If you go to games.

If you buy Twins merchandise.

If you visit their webpage or assist them in fulfilling any other revenue stream.

Your just forking over some of your hard earned cash to the Pohlads and Falvey to put a baseball team on the field.

 

I'm intrigued by what this off season will bring.

Based on early 2017 I expected a fire sale of more than just Kinzler at the deadline. Dozier, Escobar, Castro, Grossman, Molitor, Belisle...had the Twins hit the expectation levels set in March, probably none would be here now.

Again, had results not been as good in 2017, I would have expected trades for young pitching talent. (see Indians rotation) As this year shows (34?), you can't have enough pitchers.

And we still don't have enough, so what do they do?

I would sign a veteran stop gap or two, but trade some young talented position players for more young pitching.

I see it more in the $120 range, enough to add a starter, a reliever or two, and perhaps a cheap vet bat.
With that they'll have some space to add money in season and it would also set them up with some flexibility going forward to lock up most of the young core.


Based on the ML payroll mean, money off the books, and the reported percentages of income vs expenditure, I'd also look for something more in line with $120M. The highest payroll in Twins history, if I recall correctly, was 7 years ago in 2010 and it was around $110M for a team expected to contend. Should we expect, and wouldn't it be logical, to assume the team could afford $120M going in to 2018?

We talk about payroll and FA contracts as well as signing all our young talent to extensions in the future. But don't forget, another $14M for Hughes comes off the books after 2018. And another $15M comes off after '18 or '19 depending on the final option year for Santana. That's nearly $30M additional for payroll. And let's assume, for the moment, that both Mauer and Dozier are extended. I believe they will combine for approximately $33M in 2018. An increase for BD and a lower contract for Mauer should still result in at least some additional savings there.

There is absolutely money to spend on the right couple 2 or 3 FA options without mortgaging future extensions, especially considering only one of said FA signings would be long term.
    • Don Walcott and tvagle like this

agreed, bullpen is important, but disagree that the Twins need to add more to the bullpen than rotation.
The Twins have a lot more upper minor league talent that is, or could be high-end bullpen talent than they have upper minor league high-end rotation talent.
Starters become relievers but not vice-versa.
Relief Corps does need help, but it might already be in the system, but I don’t think the starting help is already in the system.


I tend to agree here. Let's just make the bold prediction a starter is signed. The bullpen, IMO, really needs that one proven arm for talent, depth, production and leadership. Kintzler and Belisle added a lot to the club despite not being "top shelf" options. I believe some of that was a veteran stability.

And I don't think it's "safe" to just look at the talented young BP arms and simply assume we'll be OK. But on the other hand, Pressly, Duffey, Rogers, Hildenberger and Busentiz all offer a starting/building point with Curtiss, Reed, Bard, Jay as some that could be close, along with a return to health, eventually, for Burdi and Chargois sometime in 2018. What about Moya, Enns and maybe Melotakis yet from the port side?

I could easily see a second BP arm, but I wouldn't get carried away with years and dollars. There ARE options to build with, turn to, and on the way.
    • carlsonp, Original Whizzinator and Doctor Wu like this

They tried pretty hard to get a veteran DH last year. I expect them to try again. Is there one that can sometimes play 3B, if needed, or RF if needed?


I could still see them adding a bat, though it's much less a priority following the signing of a couple arms. I think we're all in agreement on that. But it's also less of a priority following the development of this young roster and the overall depth and versatility of such. In other words, someone taking a half day off because there is a solid reserve to fill in for a day or two.

I hate to say it, as it seems to be beating that poor dead horse carcass yet again, but do we really have a feel yet for how the FO and field staff feel about Vargas and Grossman? Is Grossman done developing? He's not anything special, but if he could "combine" his overall numbers the past 2 season's, with some pop and decent speed and his high OB%, he could be a viable, almost daily DH who can fill in the OF here and there. Do we yet know who and what Vargas truly is? Or can he at least be a decent backup 1B who can DH and provide some bench power? I'd sure like to know what the FO is thinking about these two.

 

Are you ready to commit to him until he's 38 at $25 million a season?

Why yes. I am willing to spend Pohlad's money on my happiness for a change. Mauer comes off the books after next year too.

    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, Sweetwater and 1 other like this

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