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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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FlauerPauer
Feb 10 2018 03:45 PM

I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

 

I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

 

Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

 

I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

 

Since Ryan obviously perfected his own model are we to assume the absolute pinnacle of this model is winning a weak division only and quickly bowing out of the playoffs?

Since that didn't happen in the Ryan era either, I'd say the best case scenario is winning the world series.

 

We have an incredible nucleus of talent right now with some decent AA/AAA depth behind it. Yeah, I'm bummed but I never expected ownership to step up. This team will win b/c of development and trades. We still might make a trade, who knows. But we aren't going to sign guys like Darvish. It's too expensive and too risky for the Twins.

 

It looks like the FO did a nice job of improving the bullpen and they probably aren't done yet with the rotation but it'll probably be a smaller move than we all are hoping for.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Feb 10 2018 03:52 PM

I think I'm more upset by the terms... 6/126 was a lot lower than most of us expected, with most saying 5/125 was reasonable. That obviously wasn't on the table or Darvish would have taken it.

    • USAFChief, Twins33, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this
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Dave The Dastardly
Feb 10 2018 03:55 PM

 

I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

 

I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

 

Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

 

I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

You want to throw in a plow, too?

    • rdehring likes this
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Dave The Dastardly
Feb 10 2018 04:00 PM

Now that we've been knocked out of the Darvish Derby, I hope we don't make a deal just to make a deal so the front office can claim a "win" in free agency. I'm thinking about a couple past Rule 5 moves here...

    • curt1965 likes this

 

I get that nobody really wanted to hand out that 6th year, I really do.

 

That said, it's a down market where the big spenders (Boston, NY, LA) weren't competing for Darvish. The Twins have a desperate need for a top of the rotation starter, and $21 M annually plus incentives seems like a very agreeable price. It feels like missed opportunity.

 

Heres to holding out hope for a trade.....  

Didn't the Dodgers offer a 6 year deal as well? It sounds like (who knows if it's true) we were one of a handful of teams that offered $100 million + contracts. I don't see how people are upset with that. He chose the Cubs over us and those other teams. I don't fault our FO and I don't fault Darvish for going the Cubs. Why wouldn't you want to? 

That being said, we better get on it and sign a FA pitcher or two, or this is going to be a tough year. 

    • BigSkyTwinsFan, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 1 other like this

If you havefollowed my posts (rants) I am not unhappy.Good luck Cubs.I do not know about the other pitchers - of course on an early posting I said why Garcia is an absolutely nooooooo for me.One good year - 2015, lets go young.See what our minor league pitchers can do and look at 2019 if they cannot perform.  

 

Lynn or Cobb for one or two years is okay, not my choice, Archer is preferred, but make sure we can afford him and trading Kepler is okay.  

 

The best thing is, I do not have to read anymore Darvish essays.He did not want us and I did not want him.  

    • Oldgoat_MN and Franz like this

Listen, I wanted the Twins to sign Darvish.  If we offered basically what the Cubs did, then I am happy.  Anything more, I think would have been irresponsible.  I think Darvish will be good, not great, for 3 to 4 years of that contract.  I am not going to be mad at the FO, for Darvish choosing the better club.

 

Lots of speculation about the twins now trying to make some trade with the D-backs or Rays on this site.  Call me skeptical.  I believe in our FO, but I also don't think they have the stones to trade our high end stuff and an MLB asset for a pitcher.  Most of our newly ranked upside is our young players, who are unproven for the most part.  If they can find someone willing to take those folks with a Kepler, I am good with that.

 

I just don't think it's reality.  I am disappointed but not mad.  If we get Cobb or Lynn, fine, just don't think we are going to get an archer or a Grenkie type player in a trade.

I hope Berrios will improve (which I think he will), and scrap heaps like Gibson can build off the month plus he had of quality pitching (which he won't).

 

I hope I am wrong on all accounts

    • howieramone2 likes this
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Carole Keller
Feb 10 2018 04:24 PM

 

 

The best thing is, I do not have to read anymore Darvish essays.He did not want us and I did not want him.  

There will still be Darvish threads to read (or ignore). Three so far today have been started ...

    • Oldgoat_MN, tarheeltwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this

I think it would be pointless for the Twins to spend millions in dollars or prospects for anyone who doesn't slot in as staff ace.I only see three possibilities to do that now.

 

Chris Archer - Would definitely cost Kepler and at least a couple high-value prospects.Not ideal.

 

Jake Arietta - Maybe for a high dollar 1-year deal to prove his value, but I think there's a reason the Cubs have barely spoken to him and gave his money to Darvish.

 

Zach Greinke - Owed $138.5milover the next four years, I think the Twins would have to commit to at least 100 of that but he could probably be had for a less than expected return.Maybe Gordon and a lesser prospect.

 

Otherwise they're probably better off taking a chance on someone like Tillman on the cheap and seeing what the new regime's changes to our pitching development operations can produce in year #2. 

    • DocBauer likes this

 

I’d rather look for really short-term deals and hope someone steps up.

 

If I know Twins baseball, that's what they're going to do.

 

Trevor Cahill

Andrew Cashner

Jaime Garcia

Ubaldo Jimenez

Wade Miley

Edinson Volquez

Anibal Sanchez

 

I'm 99% sure the Twins are gonna sign one of those guys. They've got "Twins 1-year deal" written all over them.

    • HitInAPinch, Vanimal46, Carlos Figueroa and 1 other like this

Why hasn't anyone brought up making a trade with Houston for a starting pitcher? Once they traded for Gerrit Cole they have 7 starting pitchers on their team.

 

I would expect Charlie Morton & Collin McHugh would be available. Neither top tier but would not cost much in terms of prospects. As well Houston would be open to a trade to replenish prospects after making the Cole & Verlander trades.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

Yeah, the Astros still have a very good farm system

    • HitInAPinch likes this

 

I suspect we’ll dumpster dive again in the hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. And in the meantime, we can always fall back on “there’s always next year”

There is some talent on this team and appears to be some near ready talent in the minors and lets not forget that we have the same team we did last year except hopefully a year better and with better bullpen talent.That is why I am not giving up on this year but I am ok with "there is always next year".Its what I love about baseball. Ifelt it even after 87 and 91. Its the baseball fan anthem.

 . As for Cobb, I just see him as the next best FA to Darvish. Lynn would not be a fit here except maybe a short 1-2 year deal and Arrieta is toast. Cobb is not a difference maker, no, but he would be 1 of our top 3 starters.

Being one of our top three starters probably would place him in the difference maker category. I said as soon as the year was over that if we could just get Cobb and a reliever and be done I would consider it a success so I still feel that way.The true odds were that we wouldn't get that much. Same team as last year with a better starter added, a better reliever added, and May and some young guys waiting in the wings.The big downer for me wasn't losing out on Darvish but losing Santana for 12 weeks. I will say for Darvish though that my first sights of what it would take to sign him was 175/5 so I maybe could have swallowed 150/6.Is it wrong for me to hope he is a bust in Chicago?

    • DocBauer, howieramone2 and MN_ExPat like this

tenor.gif

 

 

 

 

RemorsefulSharpFowl-max-1mb.gif

    • USAFChief, Riverbrian, Oldgoat_MN and 5 others like this

We should've resigned Chris Gimenez!

 

    • Oxtung, tarheeltwinsfan and howieramone2 like this

Sounded like Darvish wanted "the big city", since he has been waiting for the Yankees and Dodgers.Guess he thinks that Chicago is the same as LA or NYC.He'll get what he deserves.

 

For the Twins should be Archer or bust.Nobody else out there is good enough for them to content deep into the post-season, and if they do not content deep into the post-season, they might as well, put out the for sale sign, shop Dozier and Santana (when his finger heals), and play the kids to see what they have...

 

He'll get what he deserves.

 

 

What does he deserve?

    • gunnarthor, Oxtung, TheLeviathan and 1 other like this
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NewClearHarley
Feb 10 2018 05:07 PM

 

I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

 

I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

 

Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

 

I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

I want archer a lot but even I thinkthat is too much. If that is what Archer commands - trade them something less for Odorizzi and sign Cobb. For Archer, I'd do Thorpe/Kepler/Gordon and offer to take on Denard's contract.

    • IaFan1 likes this

 

I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

 

I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

 

Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

 

I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

Archer is already a stud.

    • Twins33 likes this

https://www.mlb.com/...ubs/c-266253950

 

This article says the Dodgers offered a sixyear deal as well. We are not the only ones he passed up. 

    • ThejacKmp, Danchat and DocBauer like this
Taking a step back:

1. Really hard for Twins to outbid large market teams (who can eat dead years much easier).

2. Hard for the Twins to go 6 years on a really good, but not elite starter.

3. Darvish signed with a better, more competitive team, in a bigger market, and in the easier league. Bigger contract aside, seems kind of a no brainer.
    • birdwatcher, Kevin, Twins33 and 8 others like this
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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Feb 10 2018 05:20 PM

I'm not sure what to make of Darvish's reported contract vs. what the Twins could have offered, becausethe AAV clearly is lower than expected, and if they didn't offer more than $21M/year that seems like a big mistake - but would we have wanted them to top that total value if they weren't willing to go six years? That would have meant topping $25M/year over five years. And depending on how easy the reported incentives from the Cubs are for Yu to reach, the $21M/yr actually may not be the right point of comparison. In other words, there's a way to read these numbers where I understand why the Twins would balk.

 

Arrieta might be the most interesting domino to watch now. He seems to be perceived as the closest thing to Yu's tier among free agents, but also something seems to be keeping teams away, presumably more perceived risk of fast decline. With Darvish's deal known, I wonder if a shorter deal for Arrieta at slightly higher AAV would end up being a compromise - palatable to teams and ostensibly still a win for Boras.

 

The Twins' new pitching analytics guru came from the Rays. If they acquired any of Cobb, Archer or Odorizzi I would tend to trust their valuation of whichever one pretty confidently - though perhaps that would also help the Rays' case to get more value back in trade for one of the latter two, since the teams might be assumed to value these guys similarly.

 

I think I recall a stat geek wrote somewhere about Odorizzi having a high swing-and-miss rate that hadn't translated into great K rates or overall performance yet. That seems like an interesting indicator of some remaining upside.

    • DocBauer likes this
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nicksaviking
Feb 10 2018 05:21 PM

Taking a step back:
1. Really hard for Twins to outbid large market teams (who can eat dead years much easier).
2. Hard for the Twins to go 6 years on a really good, but not elite starter.
3. Darvish signed with a better, more competitive team, in a bigger market, and in the easier league. Bigger contract aside, seems kind of a no brainer.

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?
    • USAFChief, wagwan, TheLeviathan and 1 other like this
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Tommygun921
Feb 10 2018 05:21 PM
Only way I'd trade Kepler to TB is if it's straight up for Archer. I think sending Kepler, Gordon and either Gonsalves or Romero would be ridiculous.
    • Kevin, curt1965, HitInAPinch and 6 others like this

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