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Three-Bagger: Darvish Meeting, Sano Fallout, Ice Cold Stove

It’s hard to believe that spring training is around the corner with icy cold weather throughout chunks of the United States. The Twins Caravan will soon be starting their routes and Twins Fest will follow shortly afterwards. You also have the opportunity to join Twins Daily at the 2018 Diamond Awards. Baseball is close to being back and with it comes the hope of a new season where anything is possible.

There have been a few Twins stories swirling around this week. Here are a few updates on meeting with Darvish, the fallout from Sano, and a look at the “Hot Stove” that has been pretty cold.
Image courtesy of Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Meeting With Darvish

Yu Darvish and his team certainly seem to be doing their due diligence. The top free agent pitcher on the market has already met with multiple clubs as he looks for his next team. Minnesota has not been one of those organizations. It’s hard to know if he is avoiding the Twins or if he’s actually familiar with the organization’s front office so a meeting isn’t necessary. He might also be trying to avoid the cold in Minnesota.

For those worried about Darvish not coming to the Twin Cities, local baseball writers have also chimed in. It sounds like he might already know everything he needs about Minnesota. This might be enough to sway his decision. In the meantime, fans will have to sit back and wait for more news from the Darvish camp.

Sano Fallout
Miguel Sano was in the news for all of the wrong reasons last week. Major League Baseball started its review process of the situation as soon as the allegations were brought to their attention. It’s hard to know how long the process will take. This is the first major allegation against an MLB player since the #MeToo movement has come to light.

In 2016, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was suspended 30 games for allegedly choking his 22-year-old girlfriend and firing eight shots in the garage of his home. He was never prosecuted by law because there were conflicting account and not enough evidence. Will the Chapman suspension be the baseline for Sano’s potential punishment?

Ice Cold Stove

There hasn’t been much action on the free agent market so far this year. In fact, it’s the coldest “hot stove” over the last half of a decade. Eric Hosmer, a former AL Central foe, has been offered seven year deals by the Padres and the Royals. The St. Louis Cardinals are also rumored to be interested in Hosmer’s services. As one of the top available free agent bats, his signing could set-off a series of other signings.

The Rockies have been busy signing multiple pieces for their bullpen. A “super bullpen” might be the wave of the future. One has to wonder if the Twins will be able to improve some of their relief pieces for 2018. Young players like Trevor Hildenberger and John Curtiss could figure prominently in Minnesota’s plans. Tyler Jay continues to lurk in the minors and could be the team’s wild card in the second half of 2018.

Do the Twins need to meet with Darvish? How fast will the Sano situation be resolved? Will the hot stove ever heat up? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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43 Comments

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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 04 2018 09:31 PM

wonder if the SP market is cold because no teams want to commit to more than 4 years.

    • bluechipper, twinssouth, bighat and 1 other like this

I doubt there will be much fallout to the Sano situation due to his race and nationality. The subtle racism of low expectations. I do feel bad for posting this, but I'm pretty sure it is how things will work out.

If allegations are true, which from anecdotal evidence seems likel, he should be punished.
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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 05 2018 08:50 AM

 

I doubt there will be much fallout to the Sano situation due to his race and nationality. The subtle racism of low expectations. I do feel bad for posting this, but I'm pretty sure it is how things will work out.

 

I don't think it's quite like that. Fallout will be low because it's he said/she said with no witnesses, hospital information, or bullet holes. This isn't the NFL. He may get a token suspension, but I doubt he gets the 30 games Chapman got.

    • Jerr, pbrezeasap, dgwills and 2 others like this

It's a slow off season, but if you look at that tweet again, there's been a steady decline in early signings.Teams and/or players seem to be holding out longer and longer in the hope of getting a better deal.

Would love to see the Twins sign Darvish. With Big Erv and Yu at the top of the rotation, who needs a bullpen anyway!?!?

    • Carole Keller, pbrezeasap and BJames like this
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Matthew Lenz
Jan 05 2018 10:37 AM

 

I doubt there will be much fallout to the Sano situation due to his race and nationality. The subtle racism of low expectations. I do feel bad for posting this, but I'm pretty sure it is how things will work out.

Am I misunderstanding this?Are you saying he will be "let off easy" because of his race?

 

If so, I think Aroldis Chapman (30 games) and Jose Reyes (51 games) are very recent examples of the MLB dropping the hammer on these players who are different nationality but pretty much the same "race" as Sano.

    • Carole Keller, pbrezeasap, PseudoSABR and 3 others like this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Jan 05 2018 11:57 AM

I'd love to see Darvish in a Twins uniform. But I also question the wisdom of a long-term contract for any pitcher.

 

I think we should offer him a 4-year deal, for say $20 million a year plus three option years which would automatically kick in (one at a time0 if he pitches at least 150 innings as a starter, or 50 innings as a relief pitcher the previous year. So his 2018-21 seasons would be guaranteed; his 2022 season would be guaranteed if he pitches 150 innings in 2021, etc.  or would be a team option. I'd be OK with a 3-year player opt-out as well.

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bluechipper
Jan 05 2018 01:22 PM
7 years for Erik Hosmer? Now I kinda hope KC brings him back.
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Tom Froemming
Jan 05 2018 01:38 PM

Me: Hello!?!? Amazon? I'd like to have two copies of the book He's Just Not That Into You sent to the offices at Target Field ... Is this damn thing even on?

Alexa: That's now how this works. That's now how any of this works.

    • Doomtints and Vanimal46 like this
Not real optimistic on Darvish.

This is one of those "I'll believe it when Insee it" things. There is nothing outside of hope to indicate that the Twins would the commit the resources necessary to sign him, or any other high-impact free agent.

This feels like a minority opinion, but...I hope they don't sign Darvish.At least not for the money he's going to get.My opposition is about the qualities needed in a #1 starter; he doesn't have it, even if his numbers suggest it.#1 starters need to have ... swagger, steel nerves, leadership qualities, something besides great stuff. If the Twins are going to commit huge dollars to a pitcher, it should be someone they feel can be a #1 starter, with all that goes with it.I just don't think Darvish is that.Rather they keep their powder dry and look to spend that money later on someone who has the potential to be The Guy on a championship team.

Your thoughts?

 

This feels like a minority opinion, but...I hope they don't sign Darvish.At least not for the money he's going to get.My opposition is about the qualities needed in a #1 starter; he doesn't have it, even if his numbers suggest it.#1 starters need to have ... swagger, steel nerves, leadership qualities, something besides great stuff. If the Twins are going to commit huge dollars to a pitcher, it should be someone they feel can be a #1 starter, with all that goes with it.I just don't think Darvish is that.Rather they keep their powder dry and look to spend that money later on someone who has the potential to be The Guy on a championship team.

Your thoughts?

Darvish may not be an ace, but he'd probably be as close as the Twins are ever going to sign in free agency. There is a 0% chance we're going to land Kershaw next year in free agency and then the next best potential options in 2018 are David Price and Gio Gonzalez and I certainly don't consider either of them aces either. Kershaw is also likely to make 1.5x as much as Darvish, so it isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison of "huge dollars". For the price of a true ace like that in FA, you're talking about paying as much as it'd cost to sign Darvish and some additional quality players.

 

Beyond that, your FA options are limited. Real aces don't make it to free agency all the time and when they do, everyone wants them. And when it comes to a pure money bidding war on someone like Kershaw, we aren't going to win. Thats the unfortunate truth of the situation. If we want good pitching we're either going to have to sign high end, non-ace guys like Darvish or we're going to have to trade the farm, because we're certainly not doing a very good job of developing any ourselves.

    • ashburyjohn and Twins33 like this

 

I don't think it's quite like that. Fallout will be low because it's he said/she said with no witnesses, hospital information, or bullet holes. This isn't the NFL. He may get a token suspension, but I doubt he gets the 30 games Chapman got.

I think you're right. Just happened to watch this https://www.youtube....h?v=iAAJYpg9xWE shortly before reading this article.  It may have affected my judgment.

Sano, again?For real?Hasn't this been discussed to death and beyond the last few weeks?

 

The process is under way.There are no news about it, until there are news about it.

    • Carole Keller and bighat like this
I don't believe Sano is going anywhere. I doubt there is a suspension, (small if there is one), due to time, no charges filed, lack of evidence. I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins mandated some sort of counseling, however. Can they do that? Considering how well the team played without him last season, with such a high ceiling OF, a quality INF with Escobar able to handle 3B OK, Gordon on the way, it might be the question, however, what could the Twins receive back for someone like Sano? Theoretically speaking.

 

This feels like a minority opinion, but...I hope they don't sign Darvish.At least not for the money he's going to get.My opposition is about the qualities needed in a #1 starter; he doesn't have it, even if his numbers suggest it.#1 starters need to have ... swagger, steel nerves, leadership qualities, something besides great stuff. If the Twins are going to commit huge dollars to a pitcher, it should be someone they feel can be a #1 starter, with all that goes with it.I just don't think Darvish is that.Rather they keep their powder dry and look to spend that money later on someone who has the potential to be The Guy on a championship team.

Your thoughts?

Santana has two years in a row of better run prevention than Darvish and is not considered an ace by many. Berrios was almost identical to Darvish last year and my favorite target from the get go, Cobb, was better last year. I think Darvish is the most likely to have the best season of the 4 but I wouldn't take the odds of him against the field and that is just one season.I don't get too hung up on the term ace. If I felt good that he could give us 6years of 3.5 ERA I would say fine. I really don't feel the overpay for the over years is worth the risk but I won't criticize the Twins if they go for it.

BTW, you might be in the minority now, (though not the lone voice), but watch if Darvish is signed and blows out his arm in the 2nd game.Posts will be filled with people saying they were against it from the start.

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ashburyjohn
Jan 06 2018 09:21 AM

If I felt good that he could give us 6years of 3.5 ERA I would say fine. I really don't feel the overpay for the over years is worth the risk but I won't criticize the Twins if they go for it.

If more than one big-market team felt their forecast on any pitcher was solid enough to predict this, the six-year $160M contract that MLBTR predicted for Darvish back in November would get obliterated.

 

It's hard to keep up with how rapidly the price has gone up for players who control their own destiny. An ERA you mentioned would be something like 3-4 WAR if at a starter's full workload. Estimates of the going rate in free agency have been in the neighborhood of $10M per WAR lately. And six years of solid performance like that, regardless of the pitcher's age, is a whale of a long time. $200M would probably be a cheap outcome for the team that wins the bidding.

 

MLB is raking in the dough. Top players are getting their cut.

 

If Darvish does go for the mid-$100M range, it won't be with the performance expectation you laid out.

    • Dantes929 likes this

 

If more than one big-market team felt their forecast on any pitcher was solid enough to predict this, the six-year $160M contract that MLBTR predicted for Darvish back in November would get obliterated.

 

It's hard to keep up with how rapidly the price has gone up for players who control their own destiny. An ERA you mentioned would be something like 3-4 WAR if at a starter's full workload. Estimates of the going rate in free agency have been in the neighborhood of $10M per WAR lately. And six years of solid performance like that, regardless of the pitcher's age, is a whale of a long time. $200M would probably be a cheap outcome for the team that wins the bidding.

 

MLB is raking in the dough. Top players are getting their cut.

 

If Darvish does go for the mid-$100M range, it won't be with the performance expectation you laid out.

Man, that is crazy.3.5 isn't even what most on here consider ace production.Confident is still not a guarantee. There is still risk and I am not confident. Would be nice to see a guy confident enough to say pay me minimum and add 10 mil for every 1 WAR.No one will do it but if Dozier had on his last contract he would have made out well. 

This feels like a minority opinion, but...I hope they don't sign Darvish. At least not for the money he's going to get. My opposition is about the qualities needed in a #1 starter; he doesn't have it, even if his numbers suggest it. #1 starters need to have ... swagger, steel nerves, leadership qualities, something besides great stuff. If the Twins are going to commit huge dollars to a pitcher, it should be someone they feel can be a #1 starter, with all that goes with it. I just don't think Darvish is that. Rather they keep their powder dry and look to spend that money later on someone who has the potential to be The Guy on a championship team.
Your thoughts?

I understand the reluctance due to the money likely involved. However, I'd much rather the Twins sign a free agent then trade multiple top prospects at this juncture for one starter. They could sign Darvish and get halfway through the season and then decide they need something else to push themselves over the top. Having those chips still will give them flexibility in case they feel they need one more piece such as another starter or closer. I would rather hang onto Gordon, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Romero, Lewis, etc. at this point.

Paying 6 or 7 years 150+ million for Darvish does not scare me so much due to the fact that so much is coming off the payroll in 2019. The Twins have the flexibility. However, i wouldn't be opposed to having Lynn and or Cobb as an alternative to going all in on Darvish.

Darvish
Santana
Berrios
Gibson
Meija, Gonsalves, May

or

Lynn
Santana
Berrios
Gibson
Meija, Gonsalves, May

With Darvish, I'm wondering if the Twins can offer him a 6 year contract that is very front-loaded and includes a vesting option for the 6th year. That way, if the Twins are in a position where they need to trade him after the first 3 or 4 years, they can do so. 

 

Year 1: 30 million

Year 2: 35 million

Year 3: 30 million

Year 4: 20 million

Year 5: 15 million

Year 6: 10 million (vesting option for 160 innings pitched)

 

Total: 6 years, 140 million. 

 

30 million during year 1 basically covers all of the Twins open payroll space for this season.35 and 30 million years 2 and 3 takes over the Mauer and Dozier contracts which come off the books (Santana, too, during year 3).Then years 4-6 is when the Twins most need this contact to be affordable because that's when they'll be dedicating a good amount of their payroll to Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, Berrios, etc.  

 

Which side says no?

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drivlikejehu
Jan 07 2018 10:57 AM

I don't think it's realistic to have the annual amounts drop off quite like that. I do think it's possible a player would accept a slightly deferred signing bonus. Something like:

 

- $20 million per year salary for 6 years

- $40 million signing bonus payable in years 2-4 (say 15/15/10)

With Darvish, I'm wondering if the Twins can offer him a 6 year contract that is very front-loaded and includes a vesting option for the 6th year. That way, if the Twins are in a position where they need to trade him after the first 3 or 4 years, they can do so.

Year 1: 30 million
Year 2: 35 million
Year 3: 30 million
Year 4: 20 million
Year 5: 15 million
Year 6: 10 million (vesting option for 160 innings pitched)

Total: 6 years, 140 million.

30 million during year 1 basically covers all of the Twins open payroll space for this season. 35 and 30 million years 2 and 3 takes over the Mauer and Dozier contracts which come off the books (Santana, too, during year 3). Then years 4-6 is when the Twins most need this contact to be affordable because that's when they'll be dedicating a good amount of their payroll to Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, Berrios, etc.

Which side says no?


I think Darvish says no to that.
I don't think he'll sign less than 6 years guaranteed, and I can't see him agreeing to a vesting option that only pays $10 million.
    • Thrylos likes this

I believe it's pure fantasy to think the Twins will ever sign Darvish.

    • Doomtints likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jan 08 2018 01:45 PM
So, regarding the “ice cold” hot stove. Anyone hearing the “C” word? As in “ Collusion”?

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