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The Darvish Contingency Plan

Twins fans might not want to hear it but Yu Darvish is heading to the Chicago Cubs on a six-year deal that could be worth up to $150 million. Minnesota had made a formal offer to the top free agent pitcher but Darvish’s camp wanted clubs to stretch the deal to six years. The Cubs were willing to make that jump.

Now that Darvish picked another club, Minnesota’s front office is going to have to act fast. There will likely be a domino effect with the first big name comimg off the board. That being said, there are a couple of different paths the Twins could take to solidify their rotation.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Other Free Agent Options
The second tier options for free agency include names like Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. National baseball writer Jon Heyman reported that “Alex Cobb is believed to be [the Twins] fallback choice for the rotation” after Darvish passes. Minnesota is reluctant to go past four or five years for any free agent pitcher so that also changes their approach with other free agent arms.

Minnesota has been in contact with the other free agent pitchers but MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger says “their interest in Cobb has been a bit overstated.” Plenty of other teams have expressed interest in signing Lynn but most clubs believe his asking price is too high at this point.

There may be some other options to add depth to the back-end of Minnesota’s starting rotation. Chris Tillman is coming off of shoulder surgery and could be a strong bounce-back candidate. Another option would be reuniting with Jaime Garcia, who made one start for the Twins last season before being dealt to the Yankees.

Searching The Trade Market
The Twins are considering a variety of options with Darvish off the market. 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson gave fans an update on the Darvish situation. In his podcast, he mentions the Twins are “maintaining regular trade talk” with the Rays. Tampa Bay has multiple pitchers who could be dealt and each one is going to come at a different cost.

Chris Archer is the most coveted Rays pitcher. The former All-Star is signed to a team-friendly deal through 2019 with team options for 2020-21. He won’t turn 30 until next September so Tampa isn’t exactly in a hurry to have him pack his bags. Minnesota might have to deal multiple top prospects and maybe some young major league assets to acquire Archer.

Another option could be Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi who has compiled a 3.71 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over the last three seasons. He is in his second year of arbitration eligibility so that means he won’t be a free agent until 2020. According to Wolfson, the Rays have a lot of interest in outfielder Max Kepler. Kepler turned 25 this weekend and he could be poised for a breakout season in 2018.

With Darvish heading to Chicago, what’s the team’s next best option? Another free agent pitcher? Making a trade with Tampa Bay? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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195 Comments

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NewClearHarley
Feb 12 2018 04:57 PM

If we are considering out of the box options to look at acquiring I'd suggest inquiring with Miami as to what it would take to lure Dan Straily and Adam Conley here. 

 

If we are considering out of the box options to look at acquiring I'd suggest inquiring with Miami as to what it would take to lure Dan Straily and Adam Conley here. 

Why not just sign Cobb or Lynn and keep the prospects?

    • howieramone2 likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Feb 12 2018 10:46 PM
Shouldn't Cobb have been signed by now, or was that going to be a cakewalk too?
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NewClearHarley
Feb 13 2018 02:20 PM

 

Why not just sign Cobb or Lynn and keep the prospects?

I'm in favor of signing Cobb too - not really a fan of Lynn. Cobb and Straily coming here would give us some proven depth and I like both better than the Jaime Garcia/Jason Vargas types. No harm in finding what the AAA Marlins are asking.



I liked Lincecum back in 2011!
    • Carole Keller likes this

I liked Lincecum back in 2011!


And a $110 mil outlay won Darvish's services back in 2011 too! Coincidence? I think so!
    • ashburyjohn, Vanimal46 and GP830 like this
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birdwatcher
Feb 13 2018 02:55 PM

 

Fair enough, your last paragraph is a part people really don't seem to get:

 

The big markets were largely non-factors this season.It's not like we went into the usual FA fight armed with a butter knife against the tanks of NY and LA.Everyone came to this fight with sporks and we couldn't even muster up the courage to get out the butter knife.

 

 

Was it a lack of courage? Link please?

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TheLeviathan
Feb 13 2018 09:16 PM

 

Was it a lack of courage? Link please?

 

We balked, at least partially, at an opt-out clause did we not?On the basis of it being too "advantageous" for the player. 

 

We also balked at a 6th year, but that was the expectation for Darvish in November and we didn't seem to be balking then.  

 

Neither of those strike me as particularly courageous.  

 

They made good signings with Pineda, Reed, and Rodney.I tip my cap to them.But they deserve no shade here - their comments before and after have made this situation very questionable and should be approached with skepticism that reflects that rather than lining up excuses.  

    • Sconnie likes this
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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 10:25 AM

 

But they've always known that they'd have to pay more than the glitzy teams to get the same player.

So why make a spectacle all off season if they werent planning on making the significantly best offer?

That wasn't a spectacle, they were merely doing their jobs. After losing the Darvish derby, Falvey and Levine, went home, kissed the wife and kids, played with dog, and are now back at it. Everybody who's anybody, loses one now and then.

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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 10:34 AM

 

The Twins need an ace!!!!

 

Another #3 or #4 guy won't help the current club. To max out the prime years of Buxton, Sano, and company, the front office needs to step up and go get one. That's why I was so excited about potentially landing Darvish. He's the kind of arm that means World Series contender, not wild card game fodder typical of this franchise.

 

Now that Darvish is gone. the only ace left out there within the trade realm is Archer. Cobb and Odorizzi and Lynn wouldn't push the Twins over the top. Go get Archer!

 

I wouldn't mind a Kepler, Romero, Gordon package. The Twins farm system would have replacements ready to fill their voids within the next couple of years while the parent club remains almost entirely intact (losing Kepler would be tough, but figure the Twins could find a decent fill-in on the FA market yet this year to help supplement a Grossman-Granite tandem. Lamonte Wade and Brent Rooker are also fast approaching callups that could fill the position long-term).

 

I feel like this could be a franchise-deciding move. If KC could leverage the farm for Shields and then Cueto and get their club a ring, why can't Minnesota.

If we could sign two 3's on short term deals, I would get hot and bothered.

What's a contract offer to Cobb look like??

 

How many years?How much money?How many opt outs, any incentives?etc...

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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 10:40 AM

 

https://www.twinciti...-darvish-derby/

 

Berardino's piece regarding missing on Darvish. The quote that I don't like:

 

“By definition doesn’t a player stay with you if he’s performing at a value less than what you’re paying him and he’ll walk if he’s performing at a value above it?” Levine said. “So I don’t know where the benefit is to the club. It seems to me very, very advantageous to the player and would have to take something unique in a negotiation to feel like that’s the right move.”

 

The benefit to the club is that you got the player you wanted. I was really hoping with the new regime we were over the idea that the team had to "win" every trade and free agent signing.

They had better not ever get over that idea. 

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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 10:48 AM

 

Gonsalves and Romero are nice prospects. They are not Sano, Buxton, or even Berrios or Gibson as prospects. Gonsalves has hardly cracked a top 100 list in his career. Ditto the Romero, although this site seems to hold him in much higher regard than others. These aren't blue chippers. I don't think anyone would bet on either of those two being better than Darvish over the next six years. There's a solid chance that neither of the two will have a season as good as Darvish's worst season over that same stretch. But more to the point, we're trying to win this year. World Series runs take talent and luck. Giving up seasons where you could have enough talent to get lucky is disappointing.

I'm concerned that we're gearing up to be sellers at the deadline at this point.

My sources tell me they are squabbling over who will give them the best deal on printing playoff tickets this season.

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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 10:53 AM

 

What’s the worst case scenario? The player isn’t performing, and continues on with the contract, just as if there WASNT an opt out clause?

Because that’s what would happen.

And if the player DOES opt out, you’ve gotten two years of him exceeding expectations and now don’t have to pay for the last couple years of the original contract. And I needn’t remind you, those last couple years of a long contract are cited here daily as the big scary boogie-monster to be avoided at all costs.

If he's great, he's here for 2 years. If he sucks he's here for 4 more.

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howieramone2
Feb 14 2018 11:01 AM

 

Fair enough, your last paragraph is a part people really don't seem to get:

 

The big markets were largely non-factors this season.It's not like we went into the usual FA fight armed with a butter knife against the tanks of NY and LA.Everyone came to this fight with sporks and we couldn't even muster up the courage to get out the butter knife.

The Cubbies are a large market team. I read rumors the Darvish group was waiting for the Dodgers to dump Kemp and the Yankees to dump Ellsbury. Some people just don't like it in the land of the cattle and the wheat and the folks that can't be beat.

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TheLeviathan
Feb 14 2018 11:09 AM

 

What's a contract offer to Cobb look like??

 

How many years?How much money?How many opt outs, any incentives?etc...

 

I'm guessing something in the neighborhood of 4/50 or 4/60.I always thought Cobb was the more likely target and possibly even a better value, but we haven't seen the team particularly attached to him so far this offseason.  

 

I think signing him could still do a world of good, but I would probably still get at least one other arm.

    • Twins33 likes this
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jorgenswest
Feb 17 2018 02:48 PM
I am hopeful that the current staff is able to get more out of the talent on hand.

Does Gibson start this season where he ended last season? Can Duffey’s performance move closer to his peripherals? What can they get out of Mejia? How do they help the pitchers that are close in AAA advance that next step?

 

They had better not ever get over that idea. 

 

I really try to give the front office the benefit of the doubt. I'm trying not to assume that they drew a line in the sand with Darvish and lost him over a drawn line when you consider what it takes to land the player you want in Free Agency against competing teams.  

 

If the 5 Year 100+Million is true and that was indeed the formal offer. If I knew for sure (I don't) there was any indication that going to 6 years in January would have gotten the deal done... This is what I would say to Falvey and Lavine with all due respect:

 

Moses and Jesus were playing golf. Moses steps up to the tee and drives the ball down the center of the fairway. Jesus is next and he takes a half swing and the ball slices into a pond. A fish then surfaces with the ball in his mouth... an eagle swoops down and grabs the fish in his talons... flies over the green and the ball falls out of the fish and lands in the cup for a hole in one. 

 

Jesus smiles at Moses and Moses says... Do you want to play golf or are you just going to screw around? 

 

So... Derek and Thad... Do you want to play golf or are you just going to screw around? 

 

Again... If... the reported numbers are correct... If a 6 year contract would have gotten the deal done... if they don't have an sensible executable plan B that is better than Anibal Sanchez and at least close to what Yu Darvish would potentially bring. That's would I would say. I get stared at a lot when I speak so I assume they would both stare at me as I'm ushered out of their office. 

 

 

 

 

    • Sconnie likes this
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ashburyjohn
Feb 17 2018 04:08 PM

Psst, Brian. I think most here would be delighted if Derek and Thad just screwing around resulted in the baseball equivalent of a hole-in-one. :)

    • Riverbrian and Sconnie like this

 

Psst, Brian. I think most here would be delighted if Derek and Thad just screwing around resulted in the baseball equivalent of a hole-in-one. :)

 

I'll wait for Plan B but It may be the only hope.:)

    • ashburyjohn likes this

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