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Front Page: Find the Next Gerrit Cole? Twins Have Shown t...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:23 PM
Fresh off a Cy Young-caliber campaign and dominant postseason run, Gerrit Cole hits the free agent market as top prize among starting pit...
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Front Page: Women's Baseball Experience Part 2: Women...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:12 PM
When you sign up for the Women’s Baseball Experience, they only have “Program and Women in Sports Panel *Please check back for panel list...
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Front Page: Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:05 PM
The Minnesota Twins have announced that right-handed pitchers Jhoan Duran and Dakota Chalmers, infielder Travis Blankenhorn and outfielde...
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Sign Yasmani Grandal, be open to trading Nelson Cruz if M...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:49 PM
Mitch Garver had a tremendous home run rate in 2019. If he is anything close in 2020 to the hitter he was in 2019, the Twins' have a spec...
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Front Page: 8 Players the Twins Need to Add to the 40-Man...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:43 PM
Re-post as the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster is 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20.  Between now and March, there ar...
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Twins Can Spend Themselves Into Uncharted Territory

Going into the offseason the Minnesota Twins are positioned knowing exactly what they need to add. With four openings in the starting rotation, pitching is going to be at the forefront. When the snow and ice thaw before next spring, how Rocco Baldelli’s club enters the 2020 season will largely depend on the receipt they carry to Fort Myers.
Image courtesy of © John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into last season Minnesota took a step backward in the payroll department. After being just shy of $130 million in 2017, they began 2018 with a $114 million tab suggesting that the next step was largely reliant on seeing what they then had. We are now in a position, for the first time in nearly a decade, that the Minnesota Twins know exactly what they have. This organization has a forward-thinking front office that has hired an infrastructure designed to push development. They have a manager capable of getting execution at the highest level. They have a prospect stream filled with both quality and quantity. Maybe most important, they are division winners with a clear path to opportunity both immediately and into the future.

It is in that perfect storm that you can adequately gripe about payroll needing to be where revenues suggest it should be.

Now let’s apply this to actual commodities and what the dollars represent. Despite making a silly suggestion that Zack Greinke didn’t win the Astros a World Series, the reality is that the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals played on the biggest stage because they both employed three pitchers that could trump virtually any competition. The Twins hit a boatload of bombas in 2019, and the lineup will continue to play, but the rotation must be filled with arms capable of competing against the upper echelon.

For the first time in franchise history the Twins have handed out a qualifying offer (there was an argument to be made that a second could have been made) insuring Jake Odorizzi will agree to nothing worse than a one-year, $17.8 million deal. That’d be a strong start to free agency for Minnesota, but if he rejects the offer in the next nine days, working out a long-term deal with the help of draft pick compensation warding off other suitors would be a fine result as well.

Different publications have tied Minnesota to a handful of options, but there have been suggestions of arms starting with Bumgarner and Wheeler, and trickling down from there. Although Falvey needs to be a player on the Cole and Strasburg market, they both could very well have more exciting destinations in play. Regardless of how the four rotation spots are accounted for, a final tally of something near $70 million should be enough to create a strong group.

If Minnesota can’t allocate all their funds to the pitching market, then supplementing with an offensive addition is hardly an egregious ask. Holding back some of the discretionary dollars a year ago made some sense but making sure every effort possible is made for 2020 and beyond now should be in all systems go mode. There are more than a few ways for the Twins to tack on significant money while avoiding risk and poor contracts, and this is their opportunity to do it.

$140 million would be a bit north of $10 million into the uncharted waters territory. While $135 million is a nice bump from 2019, the $140MM mark would likely land them just outside of the top 10. At this stage of the cycle Minnesota could comfortably be closer to $150MM than $130MM and things would be just fine. No matter how they get there though, the training wheels need to come off this time around.

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35 Comments

I remember when Yu Darvish was going to sign on the west coast because that had the most Japanese food options...
    • ChrisKnutson likes this
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Cap'n Piranha
Nov 07 2019 11:55 AM

 

That's probably the case with the Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ervin Santana types whose offers are going to be so divergent that they need to make a life altering decision AND are on a shorter term deal.

 

But if Cole is debating a 6 year 200M offer from his preferred destination and a 6 year 210M offer from Option B, I have a hard time seeing him picking option B.

 

Saying that, maybe the Twins can swing some excellent sales pitches to make Minneapolis a preferred destination. There's got to be a lot of smooth talkers they could borrow from all those Fortune 500 companies right?

 

Sure, I get, LA winning a tiebreak over MSP all else being equal.That's why I'm proposing the Twins do 7/$250 with an opt-out after 5.Hell, make it after 4 if need be.I'm not Gerrit Cole, so I can't say how much "living" in LA during the season is worth to him, but if the Angels go 7/$224 with no opt-out, I struggle to think Cole would pass on $26M/the option to re-up closer to his prime, rather than after it, if at all.

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Don Walcott
Nov 07 2019 12:24 PM

Although I'd be cautious about trading with the Astros given our recent history, I think this would be a good time to see what they want for Greinke. They probably don't want much, and would prefer to use their resources to keep Cole. Greinke looks better and better as his contract gets shorter and shorter (I wanted the Twins to get him last year or before as well). At this point, there are only two years left on his contract. I would love to have him for those two years, as we have the money to spend and the team to compete in the playoffs.

 

Although I'd be cautious about trading with the Astros given our recent history, I think this would be a good time to see what they want for Greinke. They probably don't want much, and would prefer to use their resources to keep Cole. Greinke looks better and better as his contract gets shorter and shorter (I wanted the Twins to get him last year or before as well). At this point, there are only two years left on his contract. I would love to have him for those two years, as we have the money to spend and the team to compete in the playoffs.

Presumably Greinke still has the Twins on his no-trade list.

 

Plus. the Astros probably prefer Greinke over Cole for the shorter/cheaper contract too.

We can go off recent history and have a pretty good idea that whoever offers the most money wins the bid.

It was reported Manny Machado was offered 8/240 by the White Sox. They even hired his brother in law! Weirdly enough, he signed with the team that offered the most years and total money.

Bryce Harper turned down multiple 8-9-10 year offers from the Nationals, Cubs, and White Sox. So weird that he would end up in Philly who offered the most total money.

It's the off-season, so there's nothing wrong passing the time talking about where Gerrit Cole lives and goes to church. It's all a moot point if the Angels don't offer him the most money.


The very fact his last post game was NOT as a member of the Astros and was wearing a Boras corporation hat tells me a lot about him. (My opinion).

He could absolutely decide he loved his time in Houston and would love to return. And he could absolutely decide the pull of playing in CA isn't as big of a deal as playing with a chance to win for a quality club. But I think $$$$ wins out.
    • Vanimal46 likes this
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IndianaTwin
Nov 07 2019 09:06 PM

 

Pretty sure it's in his binders, somewhere...

 

Fourth tab, section 3.7.4, subpoint C.1.a.

 

Or something like that.

 

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LA VIkes Fan
Nov 08 2019 09:45 AM

 

If Cole's best offer were 6/200 and we offered him 6/225, he'd be ours. It's that simple IMO. I don't think we will get him. But if we are the highest bidder, I'd bet we do.

 

Might not be the best investment towards the end of his deal, but I don't agree that players turn down more money very often to play somewhere they feel the weather is nicer, etc.

I think this misses the point. Cole and Strassburg will get the money they want wherever they go. It would require stupid money for us to outbid the competition. This FO isn't going to do that. 

 

I hope they are going hard after Wheeler and either Bungarner or Hamels. There, contract structure or dollars might swing the decision. AND we have a good story to tell of a young team on the rise with an open window that's likely to stay open for at least 2-3 years. Let the big boys fight over Cole and Strasburg and try to get these guys early in the process before the Yankees, Dodgers, etc. turn their attention to the second level. I'm reading that Atlanta - similar team, similar finances - is already going heard after both Wheeler and Bumgarner. I think its a great strategy to be early in on the second tier.

 

BTW, I'm less excited about Ryu. I live in LA and Ryu is very inconsistent, injury prone and already 33. He's not a good place to spend $100m over 4-5 years. I think someone will give him close to that. I hope it isn't the Twins.  

Pretty sure it's in his binders, somewhere...

I'm 100% sure of that. I still don't think he shares the info widely. Probably only in heavily redacted form even to his clients. Only what he chooses to, to us fans.

 

We can go off recent history and have a pretty good idea that whoever offers the most money wins the bid.

We get snippets, as you suggested, but it's not in the teams' collective interest to paint a clear picture. Neither if they were the high bidder and got snubbed, nor if they were second highest and "missed it by that much." None of these scenarios or a similar one is positive PR.

 

it's only fitting, since none of the sides doing the negotiations offers transparency to any of the others. "This offer isn't going to get it done - I am expecting a higher offer than that this afternoon - but I can present your offer to my client and see what he says. I suggest you add that extra year, though." "We have a couple of other players in mind, if your client is really firm about that additional year." Etc etc yadda yadda.

 

So I retain serious doubts we fans have enough information to know these things. The teams themselves may not know whether they were second or third or whatever, though they at least can compare the particulars of their own offer to what got accepted.

 

I was responding mostly to the utter certainty - probably that word "Period" is what pushed past my inertia and prompted me to reply.

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Battle ur tail off
Nov 08 2019 12:50 PM

 

I think this misses the point. Cole and Strassburg will get the money they want wherever they go. It would require stupid money for us to outbid the competition. This FO isn't going to do that. 

 

I hope they are going hard after Wheeler and either Bungarner or Hamels. There, contract structure or dollars might swing the decision. AND we have a good story to tell of a young team on the rise with an open window that's likely to stay open for at least 2-3 years. Let the big boys fight over Cole and Strasburg and try to get these guys early in the process before the Yankees, Dodgers, etc. turn their attention to the second level. I'm reading that Atlanta - similar team, similar finances - is already going heard after both Wheeler and Bumgarner. I think its a great strategy to be early in on the second tier.

 

BTW, I'm less excited about Ryu. I live in LA and Ryu is very inconsistent, injury prone and already 33. He's not a good place to spend $100m over 4-5 years. I think someone will give him close to that. I hope it isn't the Twins.  

 

How does it miss the point though? My point is that, if you are top bidder, you will get them signed more than 75% of the time. I don't believe in this player or that player would take less money to be on the coast, etc. 

 

I'm fine with what you suggested by the way. Getting on that second tier early is probably the smartest play. There is realistically very little chance the Twins come away with Cole or Strasburg. They just won't commit the type of money needed to get them here. Make good offers to the best of the rest and let's get them before the Yankees or someone throws stupid money at them. 

 

I'm also with you on Ryu. Don't want him unless he would sign a 1-2 year deal, which he wont. 

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LA VIkes Fan
Nov 11 2019 10:17 AM

I guess I was thinking that we can't/won't be the top bidder on Cole or Strasburg, even if we wanted to be. I think whoever bids the most will set the market and the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels (for Cole), or Huston will meet it. We'll probably never know though since the Twins aren't likely to be that top bidder. 

 

I really hope you and I are right on the approach. Now is the time to have a shot at those second tier guys while the big boys are aiming high. Let's get in before they turn to the guys we have the best shot at. I would love to see us sign 2 of Odorizzi, Wheeler, Bumgarner and Pineda, plus either Hamels, Miley or Porcello. If we can't do that, let's trade for Chris Archer. I think he's a potentia change of league, change of scenery guy. Archer would have to be the 2nd or 3rd best guy we sign for it to work, though. 

 

My prediction - we re-sign Odorizzi and Pineda, plus Hamels or Miley. I also have this sneaking suspicion that the FO will call 2019 an aberration caused by the e coli and colitis and bring back Kyle Gibson on a one year 9-10m deal plus a mutual option at 13-15m. Not great overall, but not horrible.  


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