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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

 

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

I have enjoyed your responses to my posts.I love to write posts that might agitate and get discussion going.Thank you for reading what I write and responding with interesting and challenging posts.

 

    • IaFan1 and MN_ExPat like this

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?


Good question. I never thought they had much of a chance to sign him, similar to Ohtani.
    • Twins33 and Oldgoat_MN like this
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jorgenswest
Feb 10 2018 05:31 PM
At this late point hopefully they get a pitcher at a little less cost than originally expected. Some team might react and overpay but if the Twins get Lynn/Cobb for 3 years instead of 4 or 5 or Garcia/Tillman on a 1 year deal they get help this year and still can pursue that starter in trade.

It is critical that a couple of prospects take a big step forward towards top 20 mlb so that the Twins have the currency to make that deal.
    • DocBauer, HitInAPinch and howieramone2 like this

The Cubs offered a good contract and Darvish has the chance to play for Joe Maddon on a team that won the World Series just a couple of years ago.

 

I have to believe players looks for more than just dollars when it comes to signing a contract.

 

    • Twins33, Riverbrian, beckmt and 3 others like this
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Winston Smith
Feb 10 2018 05:57 PM

 

What does he deserve?

$126 mill I think.

    • Carole Keller, Blake, Riverbrian and 4 others like this

After looking at Greinke's remaining contract I am even more disappointed that the Twins didn't get Darvish.

 

While Greinke is a better pitcher he's not $10M more per year better and we also miss the early years with the highest probability of great seasons. Oh yeah, we also have to give up prospects. Remind me how this is better than just signing Darvish?

 

I guess at this point I'd like the Twins to .... I don't even know. None of the options are appealing at this point.

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Dave The Dastardly
Feb 10 2018 06:17 PM

 

What does he deserve?

May we get what we want, may we get what we need, but may we never get what we deserve.

    • ashburyjohn, Deduno Abides and jimmer like this
Disappointed and upset. As I stated in the other post, we'll never know the final offer or if Darvish really wanted to come here at all. (Honestly, I never thought he wanted to). Shame on the Twins if they close and didn't blink.

That being said, I'm OK with a trade. I actually think I like Odorizzi more than Archer. Either way, I'm really not in on trading Kepler, and not just because I really believe in his game and potential. I'm also not sure there is anyone close to replacing him, which opens up another can of worms. To me, a trade is 4 or maybe even 5 quality prospects and keep the ML team intact.

I much prefer money be spent at this point on either Lynn or Cobb. Honestly, I'm torn between both of them. They are not Darvish, but as I've stated before, they move the needle. 3 or 4 year deal or a 1 year to enter the market again? That's a different question.

But I make the move for one of them. I then try for a 1 year deal on Garcia. Not interested? Then go to the next 1 year option. At this point, you lose a draft pick in the upper 20's. The system can afford that. You keep the roster and milb system intact for depth, competition, promotion and trade depth this year, next offseason, and you STILL deepen your rotation.

You steel yourself for the temporary loss of Santana and any lingering issues, if they surface, and await a return of May. If nothing else, you help build a bridge to gain more time for Gonsalves and others to get ready.

Can you imagine a couple positive signings and come mid season the Twins actually have enough depth to trade a pitcher, (Gibson or Mejia as possibilities), or milb players, relievers, or a combination thereof to add an important piece or two?

Make a couple signings. Keep the system and ML roster intact. You help move the needle and build more depth. THEN you make additional moves as you can.

 

If they overpay TB in terms of prospects to get Archer or Odorizzi rather than overpay Darvish straight cash homey I'm going to be upset.

Youcan't overpay for someone who doesn't want to come here. Up to $150M. Not sure the terms since they are not public yet.

 

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. 

 

I wonder if Boston is regretting the David Price contract? 7 years $217M ouch. There should never be a team giving any pitcher over 30 a deal longer than 5 years tops. Sad part teams will over pay and get burned in the last 2 years if not more.

Sure, teams sign guys that don't work out. They also hope every prospect will work, or make bad trades. Doing nothing carries risks in the win loss side, if not the budget side
    • USAFChief, Blake, Twins33 and 7 others like this
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Twinfan & Dad
Feb 10 2018 06:44 PM
I guess time will tell whether we missed out on Darvich or not. Just my opinion but I think we'll be glad we didnt pay him. Yes he would of provided us a true #1 when not on the DL but this also allows us to usher in our young pitchers and get the ball to May when he is ready. Santana will only miss a handful of starts so our rotation of Berrios Gibson Meija Gonsalves? Duffey? Or new signing??? vs. 2017 of Santana Santiago Hughes Meija Gibson (Berrios was called up in May) looks in as good as shape to me to start the year. Keep the faith Twins fans all is not lost! Gonsalves and Romero have a lot of UNPROVEN talent so add them to Berrios and we will see the makings of a young core that we can grow with hopefully sometime in 2018.
    • Dave The Dastardly likes this
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pierre75275
Feb 10 2018 06:48 PM
The Twins are a big loser in this missed opportunity to sign Darvish. With 3 teams rebuilding next year Darvish would have given the Twins the opportunity to go deep into the playoffs. The Twins could have taken a huge step to control their own destiny, instead they decided to lay up and hope for the best. Lynn, Cobb and especially Arrieta are not going to be worth anywhere near what they will get.

The Twins only chance is to now trade for Archer and the only way to do that will decimate the farm system.

Words can not describe the disappoint that the Twins front office has decided to let this opportunity pass them by.
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bustedstuff88
Feb 10 2018 06:59 PM

I said it in another thread and ill say it again now: this is not the fault of the FO. 

 

YU DARVISH DID NOT WANT TO PLAY HERE.

 

Im sorry folks, thats the reality. All we can do now is re-group, go get the next in line and then hope come October we are facing Darvish in the WS and he implodes like he did in 2017.

    • Blake, BigSkyTwinsFan, bdodge22 and 6 others like this
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Deduno Abides
Feb 10 2018 06:59 PM
With or without Darvish, 2018 Twins will be more like 2016 Astros than 2017 Astros. I expect that all decisions are based on a long range plan, even though some will not work out. I hope they don’t take any kind of rebound action to “recover” from losing Darvish.
    • Carole Keller, Han Joelo, Blake and 2 others like this
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HitInAPinch
Feb 10 2018 07:08 PM

 

No idea if it is reasonable... But the D-Backs are my first phone call. Greinke for Hughes deal could free up enough money for them to sign JD Martinez. 

 

Unless the D-Backs try to tornado through our farm system in the process. 

I like the idea.But I think the Twins would have to try and get Greinke's contract re-negotiated.If I'm reading this correctly, $138.5M over 4 yrs. is still due to Greinke.$34.5M per year, I guess.  

 

I think the D-Backs would listen.

I was getting tired of reading about Darvish every other post. It's time to move on.

    • Danchat and howieramone2 like this
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FlauerPauer
Feb 10 2018 07:17 PM

 

I said it in another thread and ill say it again now: this is not the fault of the FO. 

 

YU DARVISH DID NOT WANT TO PLAY HERE.

 

 

I think this is ultimately what it comes down to. We don't know what the terms of the contract were and probably will never know. At the end of the day, Darvish is a human being and can decide to do what he wants. Maybe Minnesota isn't his cup of tea? Maybe he doesn't actually have a good relationship with Lavine or Falvey? Maybe he thinks he has two or three years of competitive baseball left in his arm and wants what he thinks is the best chance for him to win a title. Lots of factors going on here than simply money. The Cubs have shown the initiative to go out and make deals at the deadline to put their team over the edge; the Twins have not. The Cubs have the history on their side; the Twins do not. The Cubs have Wrigley Field; the Twins do not. I think he simply did not want to come here. Let's at least look at the fact that the Twins actually made an offer to the considered top player on the FA market which is something they have not done in the last 20 years. Let the boys regroup and let's see what happens. I, for one, am glad that Darvish didn't sign. Really have never been impressed with him as a pitcher.

 

No idea if it is reasonable... But the D-Backs are my first phone call. Greinke for Hughes deal could free up enough money for them to sign JD Martinez. 

 

Unless the D-Backs try to tornado through our farm system in the process. 

 

Was thinking this as well...might even keep Hughes on board if the prospect ransom wasn't too large

Does anyone actually have any evidence that Darvish didn't want to come here?
    • USAFChief likes this
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bustedstuff88
Feb 10 2018 08:03 PM

 

Does anyone actually have any evidence that Darvish didn't want to come here?

 

Turning down the Twins 5 year off er was my first clue.

    • Blake, BigSkyTwinsFan, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

Turning down the Twins 5 year off er was my first clue.


We literally have no idea what anyone offered, other than the Cubs.
    • USAFChief and Oldgoat_MN like this

Turning down the Twins 5 year off er was my first clue.


So the fact that he took the vastly better deal (with an extra year) makes you KNOW that he didn’t wanna play here?
In other words, "the actual plan."

We literally have no idea what anyone offered, other than the Cubs.

It was reported the Twins offered 5 years and a little over $100 million fwiw

But still didn’t match the cubs or really come that close.

Just a token effort to say “hey we tried! Ps enjoy the new 3 bars at target field and increased ticket prices to boot!”
    • mike8791 and Carlos Figueroa like this

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