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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

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Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

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Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Twins Spotlight Episodes

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I'm going to try to keep a running list of all of the Twins Spotlight episodes here. Feel free to discuss any of them, ask questions or l...
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Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

Other Baseball Today, 09:05 AM
I've been to 41 MLB parks with 40 since 1993. I missed 5 or 6 starting in the early 1990s when I landed my first computer job and then jo...
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Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk 22 Nov 2020
I thought I should set up a thread for minor league signings. Use this thread to post when the Twins sign a minor leaguer or when a forme...
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Twins Claim RHP Ian Gibaut, LHP Brandon Waddell

There has been a flurry of roster decisions made by all 30 MLB teams in the days since the end of the World Series. Today, the Twins announced that they have claimed right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut from the Rangers and left-hander Brandon Waddell from the Pirates.
Image courtesy of Chris Brown, USA Today
Since the completion of the World Series, the Twins' roster has already seen change.

On Wednesday morning, their impending free agents became free agents. That includes Nelson Cruz, Alex Avila, Ehire Adrianza, Jake Odorizzi, Rich Hill, Tyler Clippard, Trevor May.

On Wednesday, the Twins bought out the final season of Sergio Romo's 2021 contract, making him a free agent as well.

On Friday, the Twins claimed two recently DFAd players, RHP Ian Gibaut and LHP Brandon Waddell. That puts the current Twins 40-man roster at 34 players.


IAN GIBAUT

The right-hander was the Rays 11th round pick in 2015 out of Tulane University. He made his MLB debut with one game for Tampa in 2019. Before the July trade deadline, he was sent to the Rangers. He pitched in nine more games out of the Texas bullpen. This season with the Rangers, he pitched in 14 games, though just 12 1/3 innings.

In his 24 MLB games, he is 1-2 with a 5.84 ERA. In 24 2/3 innings, he has walked 17 but struck out 28 batters.

Gibaut is a big kid, standing 6-3 and weighing in at 250 pounds. He throws a fastball that has averaged 95.3 mph. He also throws a slider in the mid-to-upper 80s, and a mid-80s changeup.

Here is a 6 1/2 minute review of ONE of Gibaut's pitches in the big leagues.



BRANDON WADDELL

The southpaw was the fifth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015 from the University of Virginia. He split both 2018 and 2019 between AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis. He made his MLB debut in 2020 with just two games and 3 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up just one run on two hits and a walk, and he struck out two batters.

While there isn't much big-league sample, his fastball clocked in at 93 mph. He throws a lot of sliders (41%) at 86 mph, and also throws a changeup.

Here is some video of Waddell's MLB debut:



Both pitchers are 26-years-old. Clearly the Twins scouts and research and development group like something they see. Now they will get the opportunity to work with Wes Johnson and his coaching staff to see if they could be the 2021 Matt Wisler.

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22 Comments

Assume they need to go on the 40-man?

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milldaddy35
Oct 30 2020 02:24 PM

 

Assume they need to go on the 40-man?

They were added. Currently at 33, per Dustin Morse

Always seem to be some pitchers that a change of scenery and a different pitching coach can make a big difference. Twins FO always seems to be looking for the right type of pitcher to fit the organization's philosophies. Good luck with the Twins Ian and Brandon.

    • mikelink45 likes this

The Twins need to make a decision on Rosario. And also Cruz. If they jettison both, you basically have Kirilloff, Garver, Sano, Rooker working between the OF/1B/DH Not a horrible thought, and you cut $20 million in salary.

 

The Twins have a bullpen of Rogers, Thielbar, Thorpe (out of options), Alcala, Duffey, Stashak, Wissler. You still have Littell in the mix if you add him back on the 40-man.

 

When you can troll for guys like Waddell and Gibaut, I guess you don't need to bring back Clippard, Romo or May.

 

The Twins could spend BIG on a starter, and leave the fifth spot to Dobnak, Smeltzer (and Thorpe) until a prospect emerges.

 

Backup infield could be Blankenhorn and Gordon. If not those two, you don't need them on the 40-man.

    • wabene likes this

I Guess if they think they are going to lose May and or Rogers and or Clippard and they like something they see in these guys the move makes a lot of sense.I always get a little nervous when guys with little to no track record have to stay on the 40 man.

 

The Twins schooled me on Wisler but I feel like I knew better on the Tyle rKinley move.The Twins have a good track record of getting the most out of relievers that they grab so I here's hoping they continue that trend.There are not a ton of ready arms in the minors.I count Colina and Chalmers as guys that might work out early other than that it is hard to say who might be ready next year.So this is likely they best build the pen back if they are not planning on paying much for relievers this year.

Zero risk to a DFA claim in October when you have 33 on the roster.

 

Worst case for the Twins is they drop them later (which is, of course, less than ideal for the player).

    • ashbury, Danchat, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

There it is. Now the Twins are a World Series team!

    • h2oface likes this

Zero risk to a DFA claim in October when you have 33 on the roster.

 

Worst case for the Twins is they drop them later (which is, of course, less than ideal for the player).

Two pitchers for whom control seems to be the weak link. Maybe the Twins think they have a secret sauce to fix that particular failing. Or, these two will just hold a place until the 40-man fills back up and the team hopes they will be able to pass waivers then.
 

    • gil4, DocBauer, VOMG and 3 others like this

Moves like this is why the Twins fall on their face in the Playoffs. Is it their goal to win Minor League Championships? It would be really good to move away from the Terry Ryan theory of Hope and A Prayer acquisitions.

 

Moves like this is why the Twins fall on their face in the Playoffs. Is it their goal to win Minor League Championships? It would be really good to move away from the Terry Ryan theory of Hope and A Prayer acquisitions.

 

Every team makes moves like these every offseason... 

    • ashbury, TwinsTakes-RD, Twins33 and 12 others like this

How exciting.

 

Especially an out of shape beanball pitcher.

    • MNT1996 likes this

How exciting.

 

Especially an out of shape beanball pitcher.

Every team makes moves like these every offseason...
 

    • DocBauer, rdehring and Seansy like this

Since Thielbar and Wisler shocked me last year I will reserve judgment or I would simply post - WHO?

    • dbminn likes this
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notoriousgod71
Oct 31 2020 08:55 AM

 

Since Thielbar and Wisler shocked me last year I will reserve judgment or I would simply post - WHO?

Since I expect serious regression for both of them, hopefully these additions can fool people for a June through September once the front office has given up on the first two.

    • mikelink45 likes this

I like the claiming of Waddell - he looks like the classic starter moved to reliever and got much better results. Once he moved to relieving in AAA in 2019, his K/9 jumped up considerably. He got hurt by the juiced ball of 2019, but they should keep working on him as a reliever and see if he can eventually pan out. He's got 2 options remaining, which is a very nice thing to have.

 

Gibaut looks like a bigger project to me, as he's always been a reliever from his first days in the minors, but he's consistently had problems with walks for a good chunk of his career. He's got one option year left, so that's nice, but it will be difficult to fix him.

 

There's really nothing to lose here with these two, and there's no guarantee they'll be on the 40 man roster all winter/spring. They should certainly not be treated as replacements to Clippard/Romo/May, but more of Littell. And thankfully neither are out of options, so they can be stashed in AAA if need be.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

There doesn't seem to be much here though Waddell could be ok. I can't see why they would let May go. I think that is a big mistake if they don't re-sign him. Clippard has the experience but generally doesn't do well but once every 3 seasons. I'm looking for bigger and better fish. 

Since I expect serious regression for both of them, hopefully these additions can fool people for a June through September once the front office has given up on the first two.


I think "regression" is the operative word here. I'm not sure I expect Wisler to put up the same numbers over a full season. If he threw 50-60 innings in 2021, with 2020 numbers guy would be an All Star. But the former top prospect is still relatively young for a RP and seemed to find real life with the Twins. Only partially in jest, I have commented previously, that he might be a young Romo. A guy who brings something very different and something very effective. Regression of some sort would be expected, but he could still prove to be very useful as well as effective.

I'm less certain about Thielbar. He absolutely re-invented himself. I'm still surprised Detroit didn't keep him. And again, I'd expect regression as his 2020 numbers were just outstanding. But I'm not sure he won't still be useful going forward. But I have less belief/faith in him than Wisler.

There doesn't seem to be much here though Waddell could be ok. I can't see why they would let May go. I think that is a big mistake if they don't re-sign him. Clippard has the experience but generally doesn't do well but once every 3 seasons. I'm looking for bigger and better fish.


To be fair, May isn't gone yet, despite being a FA. There are those who believe some team will offer him 2-3yrs at $5-6M per and he will be gone. And it only takes one team to like him that much for it to happen. But we are already seeing quality ML players being let go despite very reasonable $ numbers. I have reasonable hope and expectation...IMHO...that May's best offer will come in around $4M per. As much as I like him and want him back, as much as I believe at 31yo he has anotherlevel in him with just a bit more consistency, he's not a BIG TIME, PROVEN fireman, much less a closer. I think is a very good chance be comes back to the Twins still.

As to your comment about Clippard, I'm sorry but I think you are very wrong in your statement about him. He is a strange enigma as a RP. He seems to have built a career of bouncing around the league on short term and reasonable contracts, but has put up very consistent numbers most of his career. In fact, his career numbers are borderline sparkling. But he's never really been the high velocity 9th inning guy who grabs the headlines. All he does is perform.

I ABSOLUTELY want him back for around $3M per.
    • JLease and Seansy like this

Every team makes moves like these every offseason...


Every team uses multiple 40 man spots on waiver pickups every offseason?
At first I thought they brought back Bartolo Colon.

 

Every team makes moves like these every offseason...
 

 

Is this an echo? Not every team. Some actually get rid of guys like this.......

 

Every team uses multiple 40 man spots on waiver pickups every offseason?

 

It's not unusual to make the waiver claims. The question is whether these guys stick. Most of the time the move is going to be marginal, shoring up an area where you don't have a lot of depth in the upper minors or taking a flyer on someone you think you might be able to uncover. The last 3-4 spots on the 40-man are pretty fungible. I have no problem with the Twins making a grab on guys right now to see what they might be able to do.

 

This isn't going to significantly impact free agency; this is covering every option to make sure that your floor is handled.

 

Not sure either guy does much for me: Gibaut has some talent, but I think control is a tough one to fix. If they can, well, he has the stuff to compete. Waddell might be a bullpen option and will be easy to move on from if whatever they see in him turns out to not work out. Marginal moves, but I approve of the idea of constantly trying to make marginal improvements on the back end of the roster as part of your total strategy.

    • DocBauer likes this