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Cleveland MLB team reportedly considering name change

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:57 PM
This is an AP article I lifted from the StarTribune web site.   https://www.startrib...sure/571623572/
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I think I miss baseball

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:11 PM
So I just picked up OOTP 21 on the Steam Summer Sale, and I played my first game.   It was a 21 inning game.I played it pitch by pit...
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Twins remove Calvin Griffith statue

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:31 PM
because TEAR EVERYTHING DOWN!
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LG Twins Thread

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:50 PM
Baseball is coming back to ESPN. Tonight. Come tomorrow, there will be Twins baseball. Live and on the air. Since we are all, by some tra...
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Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:40 PM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
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The Show Must Go On: Deadline Decisions

In our interactive simulated 2020 season, the Twins are tied with Cleveland for first place as we reach the end of July. With the trade deadline days away and a critical juncture in the schedule ahead, stakes are high. Accordingly, I've got some blockbuster trade proposals ready to put up for vote.

Let's get to it.
Image courtesy of MLB The Show 20, Sony
To get caught up on what we're doing here, you can check out the introductory post in the series for an explanation of the premise and setup. But the quick version is this: We're playing a progressive simulated Twins season on MLB The Show 20 on PS4, and y'all are helping guide the ship. In each installment I'll update you on what's happened since the last, and put at least one key decision up for vote.

Date In Game: 7/27
Team Record: 62-46
Leading OPS: Luis Arraez (.918 in 329 AB)
Leading ERA (SP): Kenta Maeda (3.36 in 128.2 IP)
Leading ERA (RP): Tyler Duffey (1.52 in 47.1 IP)

LATEST RESULTS (4-6)

Gm 99 @ TEX: L 3-2 (Berrios 7 IP, 2 ER)
Gm 100 @ TEX: W 5-0 (Odorizzi 6 IP, 0 R, W)
Gm 101 @ TEX: L 7-1 (Maeda 5 IP, 5 ER, L)
Gm 102 @ ARI: L 7-2 (Bailey 4.1 IP, 6 ER, L)
Gm 103 @ ARI: L 6-0 (Pineda 4 IP, 5 ER, L)
Gm 104 @ ARI: W 4-2 (Arraez pinch-hit GW single)
Gm 105 vs CWS: W 7-3 (Odorizzi 7 IP, 0 ER, W)
Gm 106 vs CWS: L 2-0 (Sano, Kepler, Rosario: 0-13)
Gm 107 vs CWS: L 6-4 (Bailey 4.1 IP, 4 ER, L)
Gm 108 vs CWS: W 6-3 (Arraez 3-3, 2 RBI)

AL CENTRAL STANDINGS


Attached Image: alcstandings727.jpeg


THE RUNDOWN

Our Twins rode a hot streak into the All-Star break but have stumbled a bit on the other side, dropping six of 10 games while Cleveland went 7-3 to pull back into a first-place tie.

Naturally, right after I said last time that the offense was fine and we needed to address pitching, the units flip-flopped over these 10 games. The rotation delivered several outstanding performances while the lineup sputtered, scoring two or fewer runs five times including a pair of shutouts – one a complete game by Arizona's Madison Bumgarner, the other a collective effort from Chicago led by Gio Gonzalez. Our team seems to have some issues with lefties?

The tough stretch puts us back under the gun as the trade deadline arrives and Cleveland shows no signs of relenting. We are at a pivotal moment in the season. The next three series on the schedule, all at home: Dodgers, Astros, Indians. Titans are about to clash at Target Field, and we need to power up for it. I've been exploring possible deals to add starting pitching, and will run through the possibilities shortly, but first wanted to mention that we were offered a trade by another team.

The Angels, running away with the AL West and leading the majors in wins (71), interestingly came calling for Jose Berrios. Their offer was enough of a nonstarter that I went ahead and rejected without even bringing it up here for a vote.


Attached Image: joseberriosoffer.jpeg


Now, I will say that if the Twins were out of contention, this might be a deal worth considering. Canning is a legitimately good young pitcher with many years of cheap team control. Jones is a solid prospect. Anderson is a reliever with a big arm. And the Twins would benefit financially from this trade.

But the idea that our first-place club would trade its best starter to the only AL team with a better record, in exchange for prospects, is laughable. Nice try Billy Eppler, but no dice.

WHO'S HOT

Berrios, for one. Which makes the above trade offer all the more easily dismissed. Berrios delivered a pair of quality starts and dating back to the beginning of June, he has now delivered eight of them in nine starts while posting a 2.24 ERA over 64 1/3 innings. Berrios has his ERA for the season down to 3.38, trailing rotation leader Kenta Maeda (3.36) by just a hair.

Jake Odorizzi has been a bit more up-and-down this summer, but he too came racing out of the gates in the second half, firing 13 scoreless innings against the Rangers and Diamondbacks. His ERA now sits at 3.42, so the top three starters are all right in the same neighborhood.

Offensively it's been a bit of a trudge, with the typical exception of Arraez. Among AL players he trails only Mike Trout in average (.334) and on-base percentage (.432), and the second baseman's latest sample included a crucial pinch-hit two-run single in the ninth to help Minnesota avoid a sweep in Arizona.

WHO'S NOT

Plenty of hitters, but that's not my concern right now. The biggest problem on this team has become Homer Bailey, who's managed to collect 10 wins despite mostly pitching rather terribly. His struggles have gotten out of hand lately; in the most recent stretch, he went 0-2 in his two starts while failing to get through five innings in either. Add in his clunker against Toronto just ahead of the All-Star break, and Bailey has coughed up 16 earned runs on 20 hits in 11 1/3 innings over his past three turns, with as many walks (7) as strikeouts (7).

For most of the first half, he was a decent enough stopgap for the back of the rotation. But it's clear that he needs to be replaced. Let's see how we might go about that ...

DECISION TIME: PULLING THE TRIGGER ON A BLOCKBUSTER

In our last edition, voters dictated that starting pitching would be our top priority in terms of deadline upgrades. Following this direction, I've made some inquiries around the league and come up with four proposals that I think we could get through. I've arranged them here into tiers of magnitude, and you can vote for your favorite(s) in the comments section.

Tier 1: Trade LF Eddie Rosario and SP Jordan Balazovic to Rays for LHP Blake Snell

From my cursory exploration of the market, Snell seems to be the best pitcher that could feasibly be had. I'm not exactly sure why the Rays would be compelled to trade him, but, you know. It is the Rays. And they'd be getting back a nice haul.

Attached Image: blakesnelloffer.jpeg


The Upside: Snell is an ace. Perhaps the very one we need. His ERA in 122 2/3 innings with the Rays this year is 3.52, which puts him in the same range as our current top three, but Snell's rating in the game (93) is vastly higher than any current Twins starter (Berrios, Odorrizi and Maeda are all 81s). Best of all, Snell is 27 and under reasonable team control for four years.

The Downside: Losing Rosario and Balazovic would hurt, a lot, both now and in the future. Rosario is tied with Donaldson, Rogers and Sano as the highest-rated Twin (85). Rosie's been a crucial piece of the lineup with 16 homers and 67 RBIs. Meanwhile, Balazovic is already our organization's fourth-highest rated starting pitcher (75) and he's a 21-year-old rookie. (With 72 strikeouts in his first 68 MLB innings, I might add.) Balazovic is certainly the key to this deal in Tampa's eyes and I'd be wary of moving him.

Tier 2: Trade CF Byron Buxton and RF Alex Kirilloff to Mets for RHP Noah Syndergaard

Naturally, I went to revisit this fizzled discussion from the 2019 deadline. New York's demands haven't changed much since then: They want a star-caliber center fielder (Buxton) and another top-tier prospect for their flame-throwing righty. In real life, I'd view this Buxton + Kirilloff package as far more indispensable than the Rosario + Balazovic package proposed above, but in our virtual sim world, that's not so clear.


Attached Image: noahsyndergaardoffer.jpeg


The Upside: Syndergaard's UCL is intact in the game. So that's a plus. Not only is he healthy, Thor has been up to his usual tricks, with a 3.06 ERA and 120-to-37 K/BB ratio in 118 innings for the Mets. And while giving up Buxton and Kirilloff might seem like a hard pill to swallow, both are (IMO) a bit underrated in the game, and both are relatively replaceable, with Max Kepler able to play center and Trevor Larnach alongside Kirilloff at Triple-A.

The Downside: Syndergaard's got a lower rating (87) than Snell, though he'd still instantly become our best player. Thor is also due for free agency at year's end, meaning we would be giving up Buxton and Kirilloff for a rental. We can certainly try to re-sign Syndergaard, but budgetary constraints are a thing. Then again, it's a video game so who really cares about the future?

Tier 3: Trade SS Nick Gordon, SP Devin Smeltzer, and SP Griffin Jax to Tigers for LHP Matthew Boyd

A good ol' quantity-for-quality trade. Since Boyd's name has frequently been the subject of trade rumors, I went and inquired about him, and it seems he could be had for a palatable prospect package.


Attached Image: mattboydoffer.jpeg


The Upside: We're not really giving up anything that hurts too much, and Boyd's a solid arm, with an 82 overall rating that edges any current Twins starter. He's arbitration eligible for two more years after 2020.

The Downside: It's a big step down from the two game-changing options above. And while Boyd is rated well, his performance this year hasn't backed it up: He's 6-12 with a 4.80 ERA in 22 starts.

Tier 4: Trade SS Nick Gordon and SP Tyler Wells to Dodgers for LHP Alex Wood

Among starting pitchers that are actually on the trading block, Wood is the best available. Since he's being shopped, I figured the lefty might be available for a smallish return and, yep, that is the case.

Attached Image: alexwoodoffer.jpeg


The Upside: Not giving up much, and Wood's having himself a year, with his 2.53 ERA through 20 starts ranking third-best in the National League. Sorta begs the question of why the first-place Dodgers are trying to trade him, but that's not for me to worry about.

The Downside: His overall rating is 81, so while he'd be a clear improvement over Bailey (73), Wood is just another guy at the same tier as Berrios, Odorizzi, and Maeda. He probably helps us win a few more games in the regular season, but does he make a difference in the playoffs?

I'll list these four proposals in the comments. Whichever one gets the most support, that's the trade we'll make. And I'm not opposed to swinging multiple deals.

COMING UP

7/28 vs LAD
7/29 vs LAD
7/31 vs HOU
*TRADE DEADLINE*
8/1 vs HOU
8/2 vs HOU
8/3 vs CLE
8/4 vs CLE
8/5 vs CLE

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS

Part 1: We Can Build This Thing Together (0-0)
Part 2: 10 Games In, 6 Games Back (4-6)
Part 3: Roaring Back (11-9)
Part 4: Over the Hill (17-13)
Part 5: Checking In at the Quarter Point (23-17)
Part 6: Rising Power (30-20)
Part 7: First Place! (Barely) (34-26)
Part 8: Drafting and Dropping (38-32)
Part 9: Cruz Control (45-35)
Part 10: Pulling Ahead (52-38)
Part 11: Bashing into the All-Star Break (58-40)

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY

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13 Comments

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Nick Nelson
May 14 2020 07:25 PM

Option 1: Press "Like This" on this comment (or voice your support below) if you want us to trade LF Eddie Rosario and SP Jordan Balazovic to Rays for SP Blake Snell, losing a key hitter and our top pitching prospect but gaining an elite starter with extended team control.

    • ashbury, twinsfanstreif, Wookiee of the Year and 4 others like this
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Nick Nelson
May 14 2020 07:25 PM

Option 2: Press "Like This" on this comment (or voice your support below) if you want us to trade CF Byron Buxton and RF Alex Kirilloff to Mets for RHP Noah Syndergaard, losing our starting center fielder and a top prospect but gaining Thor's hammer.

Photo
Nick Nelson
May 14 2020 07:25 PM

Option 3: Press "Like This" on this comment (or voice your support below) if you want us to trade SS Nick Gordon, SP Devin Smeltzer, and SP Griffin Jax to Tigers for LHP Matthew Boyd, giving up three quality prospects but gaining an established impact starter with team control.

    • TL, Rooster_7, Doctor Gast and 2 others like this
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Nick Nelson
May 14 2020 07:25 PM

Option 4: Press "Like This" on this comment (or voice your support below) if you want us to trade SS Nick Gordon and SP Tyler Wells to Dodgers for LHP Alex Wood, losing a pair of quality prospects but gaining a southpaw who's been one of the NL's most effective starters in 2020.

    • glunn, rukavina, Kevin and 4 others like this
I think you have to take 4 years of Snell. Helps you immensely this year and well beyond. I’m also trying to think of a reason to not take the Boyd trade. I’d probably do that too as he has, I think, 2 years after this one until free agency. Protects against losing Odo after this year and we aren’t giving anyone up that has a realistic chance to play a significant role on the Twins.
    • Wookiee of the Year likes this
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James Rivah Twins Fan
May 15 2020 06:13 AM

Nick, this is fun, great job. So I'm wondering whether the sim engine factors in past performance (momentum) for the next games(s) or are they truly random and so one game is independent of the previous games. The reason I ask is because Matthew Boyd may revert to the mean by getting better than he has performed so far whereas Alex Wood may revert the other way. If so, the Boyd deal looks better and the Wood deal looks worse. On the other hand, if momentum is a thing in the sim then I'd jump on the Wood trade.

Get both Wood and Snell, and get Kirilloff or Larnach to start in LF.

4 years of Snell is awfully close to a best case scenario for Balazovic.
    • Wookiee of the Year likes this
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Doctor Gast
May 15 2020 07:00 AM

I`m happy you turned down the Berrios trade, our objective in this game is to win it all. I like Snell but I hate to give up Rosario short term & Balazovik long & short. I like Syndergaard but we don`t have anyone to replace Buxton, losing him would hurt a lot. So that leaves option Boyd or Wood. What we give up in either trade is very doable. I`d question also LA motive in trading Wood so that`s why I chose Boyd. 

I like Gordon as a trading chip but we could throw in Bailey also, he doesn`t have a full season in him (I think the game probably has that baked into it) so he`s at the point of highest value & should be dangled out there. Kiriloff or Larnach are great prospects but are expendable & should be considered to try to get an upgrade in SP quality. I hate to trade away promising pitching prospects. Great work keep it up!

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Jeffrey Feuer
May 15 2020 10:47 AM

We need a pitcher like Snell.As you know, TINSTAAPP ("There is no such thing as a pitching prospect").Snell is a proven ace and Rosario has 2 replacements sitting at Triple A.Do the deal! I would also do the Alex Wood deal as Nick Gordon is really a failed # 1 pick (and we still have Royce Lewis), while Wood adds considerable pitching depth and a good LH arm to the rotation (given his new off-season FB improvement).You can never have too much pitching.

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Nick Nelson
May 15 2020 12:30 PM

 

Nick, this is fun, great job. So I'm wondering whether the sim engine factors in past performance (momentum) for the next games(s) or are they truly random and so one game is independent of the previous games. The reason I ask is because Matthew Boyd may revert to the mean by getting better than he has performed so far whereas Alex Wood may revert the other way. If so, the Boyd deal looks better and the Wood deal looks worse. On the other hand, if momentum is a thing in the sim then I'd jump on the Wood trade.

It's a good question and I had a similar thought. Given how much he's outperforming his rating, you do wonder if Wood has used up all his magic in the 1st half. This game definitely seems to have some streakiness, and guys who are struggling tend to make it up with hot streaks (+ vice versa) so I do think it's built in to an extent.

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strumdatjaguar
May 15 2020 02:32 PM

The most important part in the boxes posted above is the part referring to the Twins which says: Team is seeking: NONE. That 's right. I like what we have too.Present and future are both good. 

The trade for Snell for sure and the trade for Boyd isn’t giving up too much, so that one could work too
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Nick Nelson
May 18 2020 01:28 PM

Since the voting above (as of today) has Option 1 and Option 4 tied at 7 apiece -- + comments here and on social media mostly following suit -- I'm gonna pull the trigger on both.

I'll aim to have another update for y'all later this week. Thanks for participating!