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Blake Snell a trade target or not

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:02 PM
I would personally be happy to offer up Kirilloff and a few other prospects for him!!! What do you guys think he would cost and would you...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:18 PM
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

Other Baseball Yesterday, 07:17 PM
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

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 04:47 PM
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 Free Agent Targets: Starting Pitchers

At spring training, we were all excited about the Bomba Squad with Josh Donaldson. How many runs would the offense score? Instead, to all of our surprise, the Twins success in 2020 largely came as a result of very good pitching. The team has a Big Three going into the offseason, but how might they replace Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill in their starting rotation?

Free Agent Starting Pitchers at a Glance


The Need: The Twins have Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios and Michael Pineda at the top of their 2021 rotation board. Randy Dobnak had one of the best ERAs in baseball through the first five or six weeks of the season. While the likes of Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer are options for the team’s fifth starter job, and the Twins have some very intriguing, exciting prospects getting closer, there would appear to be a need for one, and maybe two, starting pitchers this offseason.

The Market (This list is not comprehensive):

  • Trevor Bauer
  • Masahiro Tanaka
  • Marcus Stroman
  • James Paxton
  • Jake Odorizzi
  • Jose Quintana
  • Robbie Ray
  • Kevin Gausman
  • Mike Minor
  • Alex Wood
  • Julio Teheran
  • Tyler Chatwood
  • Garrett Richards
  • Rick Porcello
  • Rich Hill
  • Mike Fiers
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Drew Smyly
  • Brett Anderson
  • Taijuan Walker
  • Michael Wacha
  • Brad Peacock



Our Targets:


Mike Minor
Age: 32
Former Team: Oakland
2020 Stats: 56.2 IP, 5.56 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Coming off of an All Star 2019 campaign with the Rangers, Minor struggled to a 1-6 record despite a career high in strikeout rate. The former first-round pick from Vanderbilt features four pitches. He saw his velocity dip a bit in 2020.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $10 million

Marcus Stroman
Age: 29
Former Team: NY Mets
2019 Stats: 184.1 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 (opted out in 2020)

Why He’s a Fit: Stroman stayed on the Mets roster (Injured List) just long enough so that he could opt out and still become a free agent. The former top pick from Duke debuted in 2014 has consistently put up solid numbers and, when healthy, he eats innings. His 7.8 K/9 in 2019 was easily the best of his career, but he gets good fastball movement and gets a lot of ground balls.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $13 million

Trevor Bauer
Age: 29
Former Team: Cincinnati
2020 Stats: 73.0 IP, 1.73 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 12.3 K/9, 2.1 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Because he is one of the Top 3-4 pitchers in baseball. Bauer should be the NL Cy Young winner for 2020 when he put up the remarkable stats for the Reds. He will still be just 30 years old in 2021. There is the perceived Derek Falvey connection as well. Basically, how would a rotation of Bauer-Maeda-Berrios-Pineda-Dobnak look? That said, could the Twins do anything else this offseason if they signed Bauer?

Estimated 2021 Salary: $30 million

Drew Smyly
Age: 31
Former Team: San Francisco
2020 Stats: 26.1 IP, 3.42 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 14.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Smyly came up as a top prospect of the Tigers, got traded and then the injuries came. He missed the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons. He returned in 2019 with a 6.24 ERA over 114 innings, though he struck out 120 batters. He pitch adjust 26 1/3 innings in 2020, but he had an incredible 42 strikeouts. His fastball velocity was up nearly three mph compared to the rest of his career.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $4 million

Kevin Gausman
Age: 29
Former Team: San Francisco
2020 Stats: 59.2 IP, 3.62 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Gausman was a top pitching prospect from LSU when he was the 4th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He spent years in Baltimore unable to take his talent to a next level. In his time with the O’s, he topped out at 8.7 K/9, a solid number. The last two years, that number has increased to 10.0 K/9 in 2019 and 11.9 K/9 in 2020. He’s always had good control and he still throws 95 mph with the fastball and throws four pitches.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $10 million

Robbie Ray
Age: 29
Former Team: Toronto
2020 Stats: 51.2 IP, 6.62 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 11.8 K/9, 7.8 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Ray had a rough 2020 season posting an ERA and a WHIP well worse than anything previously in his career. However, his K/9 rates since 2016 are 11.3, 12.1, 12.0, 12.1, and it was still 11.9 in 2020. Ray threw 93.7 mph fastballs, consistent with his entire career. He threw 31% sliders and 16% curveballs, so I am quite intrigued by what Wes Johnson and the Twins pitching gurus might be able to do with him.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $10 million

Brett Anderson
Age: 32
Former Team: Milwaukee
2020 Stats: 47.0 IP, 4.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Anderson has always been an intriguing pitcher going way back, but he just was unable to stay healthy most years. In 2019, he made 31 starts. It was just the third season in which he had more than 19 starts since his debut season in 2009. And in 2020, he made ten starts. It sure sees he’s been around forever, but he’ll spend the entire 2021 season at age 33. He rarely hits 90 mph (though that’s not new) and his 6.1 K/9 was higher than all but one of his previous six seasons.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $4 million

Tyler Chatwood
Age: 30
Former Team: Chicago Cubs
2020 Stats: 18.2 IP, 5.30 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 12.1 K/9, 4.3 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: It’s fair to say that things didn’t go as he’d hoped when he signed a big, three-year contract with the Cubs. That first season, he walked way too many. The next season, he worked out of the bullpen. In 2020, he made just five starts before experiencing a forearm/elbow injury. So, why is he a fit? I mean, those strikeouts were nice.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $6 million

Mike Fiers
Age: 35
Former Team: Oakland
2020 Stats: 59.0 IP, 4.58 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9

Why He’s a Fit: Veteran of 10 big league seasons has gone 21-7 over the past two seasons, though his numbers in 2020 with the A’s were not great. He throws strikes, and he is a veteran. He could be a Homer Bailey type signing for veteran leadership, but will his “tattling” on his former Astros teammates hurt him in the industry now that he is a free agent? Could that bring down his asking price, and if so, he’s not a bad #5 starter for any team.

Estimated 2021 Salary: $5 million

Let us know in the comments who you like at these positions, or if you'd rather stick with Rosario and Cruz. In the meantime, check out previous episodes of Offseason Live and see what's upcoming:


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12 Comments

Great job last night Seth and others. Agree with going for SP with some upside, don't like aging pitchers or too many injury concerns. One thing not discussed was Twins only have Pineda signed for one more year, would be great to find a midrange FA with some upside that could be the #3 pitcher after next year. Wes and the Twins have good eye for pitchers that need a little tweaking to upgrade their performance.

Interesting read, Seth. Add me to those who are excited for this year's Hot Stove League to begin.

 

Would be fine penciling Dobnak into the #5 slot as long as there was some competition for that spot. Don't know what to think about Thorpe and Smeltzer. Liked both a lot in 2019, not so much last summer. Ok to bring back, but need more competition for the #5 slot and depth. Could come from one of the younger prospects, a AAAA pitcher or two, and possibly a veteran reclamation project like Hill last year. Heck, who knows it could be Hill for the right dollars.

 

A lot of people are saying most teams lost north of $100M last year. Doubt the Twins lost that much, but expect it was closer to $100M than break-even. So we don't know what type of budget the FO is going to be working with, especially with no one knowing if fans will be back and how many? Will they have +/-$5M to work with, $10M or more? Doubt there will be the $30M needed to go after Bauer.

 

The pitcher I would be most interested in is on your list but not one of your targets, Odorizzi. Would be very comfortable with him back as our #3 or #4. Fill out the rotation with Dobber and the staff should again be a strong part of the 2021 Twins. That's assuming there is a season in 2021. 

Nice list to start. Others will continue to make the list soon enough. This winter is going to be brutal for non-tenders. Charlie Morton’s option was declined today by the Rays.

The Twins, and collectively Twins Daily, will have months upon months to analyze the names.
    • SF Twins Fan likes this
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Major League Ready
Oct 30 2020 11:13 AM

Anyone care to predict what happens if fans are not present next year or if 25% of capacity is allowed? Are we going to have another 60 game season?No season at all?Is it possible the teams and union are discussing this without the fact they are negotiating leaking out to the public.I doubt it but I can't imagine both sides have not recognized the need of addressing this issue. How do they determine a budget with a revenue swing of up to 40%. I would think spending is going to be extremely limited for most teams unless an agreement is reached that considers attendance.

    • Strato Guy and rdehring like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Oct 30 2020 11:46 AM

 

Anyone care to predict what happens if fans are not present next year or if 25% of capacity is allowed? Are we going to have another 60 game season?No season at all?Is it possible the teams and union are discussing this without the fact they are negotiating leaking out to the public.I doubt it but I can't imagine both sides have not recognized the need of addressing this issue. How do they determine a budget with a revenue swing of up to 40%. I would think spending is going to be extremely limited for most teams unless an agreement is reached that considers attendance.

 

If owners are forced to take a large cut in revenue, such as 25% or less fan capacity, there is absolutely no way they will not pass that along to the players.It is (to a degree) up to the players on what form they want that to take.The players can agree to a one-time reduction in pay, or not agree, and watch as the owners decline options and issue non-tenders while turning to prospects, all while greatly increasing the chances of a strike/lockout one year from now.

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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Oct 30 2020 11:54 AM

The Yankees non-tendered JA Happ today too. I'm not sure there will be a lot of upside among the non-tendered players (position players or pitchers) but there probably will be more interesting names in that pool than in the usual offseason. Happ sounds more appealing than about half this list at first glance.

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Cap'n Piranha
Oct 30 2020 12:11 PM

Count me out on Bauer, unless that price comes way, way down.Yes, he's been quite consistent, but he's only had one season (excluding 2020) above 3.3 WAR.He's only had one season (excluding 2020) below a 3.88 FIP.I'm not ready to reward that track record with a deal worth only $6M less than what Gerrit Cole makes.Gerrit Cole had 3 seasons with a WAR above 3.3, and 6 seasons with a FIP below 3.33.

 

I also think Bauer's numbers from 2020 are likely to regress to the mean.His BABIP was .215, by far the lowest of his career, despite his hard hit % going up, and his GB rate plummeting to a career low, which suggests a fair amount of luck.This contributed to a strand rate of 90.9%, which is more than 10 percentage points above any other year in his career.His fastball velocity also decreased, which is worrisome since he threw his fastball almost 50% of the time, and is about to turn 30.

 

None of this is to say I wouldn't be good with Bauer on the Twins, just for nowhere near $30M.I'd much rather give Odo a 3 year, $39M deal, and then take flyers on Gausman (3 years, $30M with a mutual opt-out after 2022) and Smyly (1 year $5M with a second year option for $7M).If Bauer does get $30M, those three would be cheaper than Bauer, give the Twins a better rotation foundation in 2022, and provide fantastic depth (Smeltzer, Dobnak, Thorpe, Duran, and Balazovic can all stay in the minors until needed).And not for nothing, but Gausman's FIP was only .21 worse than Bauer last year, and his xFIP was actually better.

    • alphanumeric, DocBauer, joemama and 1 other like this
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tony&rodney
Oct 30 2020 02:58 PM

Is Kluber going to be healthy? If so, then he is our best bet. Duran/Balazovic/Dobnak/Thorpe can hold down the 5th SP slot.

Odorizzi on a good salary for the Twins also works. 

Personally, I have zero interest in those listed above except Bauer-he's too rich for us.

This is a pretty big list of names that are decent starters and in a normal off-season would be looking for some big money.However, we have seen teams not picking up options on a ton of players, some would have happened anyways, but my guess Brad Hand would normally been picked up, if for nothing else to look to trade him.  

 

I think any "normal" off-season thoughts on teams acting, and players signing deals will be out the window.The question is, how many players will take below normal value deals just to play and make some money versus holding out and ignoring the fact MLB owners lost money last year and will expect to lose money next season, unless something changes quickly with COVID.

 

I think many 1 year deals with options for additional years will be in play this season.I know many players will not want to do that, but if I was advising them, I would explain this is not a normal year.Not only do we have COVID revenue issues, but in future we have CBA coming up.This year showed how likely a strike/lockout will be.My guess many teams will not want to have long term contracts wrapped up in that time as well, not knowing how it may shake out after. 

    • DocBauer likes this

Bauer's 2020 numbers were assisted by the generally weak-hitting teams of the NL Central. Plus I'm not sure he's a good clubhouse presence. Most of the guys on the "target" list (maybe all except Fiers & Chatwood, but including Odo) are interesting to me and have shown they can be very good when healthy. I'd rather have two of them for $15-25MM combined than Bauer for $25-30MM.

    • Cap'n Piranha and DocBauer like this
Another tremendous podcast with outstanding thought and evaluation. Sorry I could only listen and not message in.

My thoughts:

I'm intrigued by Smyly if finally healthy. Injury history has me intrigued, however, as a 5th SP option. His arm talent, again if fully healthy, is there. And further removed from past injury makes him look all that much better. BUT, can he replicate 2020 results over a full season? That's why I view him as a 5th SP idea. And with payroll considerations, $4M with other young arms available and maybe other fliers may not make a fit with the Twins.

Gausman is one of those guys I always seem to forget about, though I recall some momentum for him here on TD over the last couple of seasons. I think he could be an ideal choice at 29yo for a multi-year deal, especially with Pineda only signed for one more. Not convinced the $10M is right as I'm still expecting bargains to abound. But he could be a bargain at that rate.

Robbie Ray HAS to deserve some extra love just because he's LH! I don't believe a staring staff is defined by having a quality LH option, but it sure is nice to have that option in your rotation! While there are a few pluses and minuses here and there, Ray and Gausman have almost identical career numbers across the board! And they are the same age.

My choice? Does it matter? The FO and Johnson know what they know and see what they see. I'd be happy with either of these two, but I would LOVE to see a quality LHSP option in the rotation so I'd like to see Ray as a choice here.

It's the Stoman vs Odorizzi debate where I get confused. Stoman has been connected to the Twins for some time now. And I wouldn't have a problem with his signing. But he and Odorizzi...as I posted in a different thread previously... are VERY similar to one another. They are only 1yr apart age wise. And if you insist on using WAR, Stoman has a slight advantage. But virtually EVERYTHING in their career numbers mirror one another from ERA to WHIP to BB/SO numbers. There is little separation between any of their numbers, except Oddo does have a higher K rate.

I have to lol a bit at the OP comment, sorry Seth, that Stoman is an "innings eater". He has averaged about 1 more out per over Odorizzi in their career. Just don't see how Oddo is limited as an IP per start pitcher but Stoman is an innings eater.

Somehow, someway, in a mystery payroll for 2021, the Twins need to add at least one more quality arm to the rotation. This could happen via trade. And the trade with the Marlins OP is very, very interesting. The idea that so many seem to be down on Odorizzi is surprising to me. And I will absolutely bow to the Twins management to make the final determination. But seems to me Oddo, Stoman, Gausman and Ray are all excellent choices to compete with Pineda for the 3/4 spot in the rotation for 2021.

My hope is, of course, they will pick the RIGHT ONE, and sign them for more than 1yr. Despite unknown financial situations, it seems to me any of these 4 could be great additions and may well appreciate some sort of financial security. And it would seem all 4 could be had for $10M TOPS for a 1yr. I'd like to hope the RIGHT ONE might consider the security of a reasonable 2-3yr deal.

Stroman is interesting...I wonder if he's a 1-year guy looking to rehab his value before gunning for a big contract in a more normal environment? If so, he could be a good fit for the Twins who would likely be comfortable with a 1 year deal, and Stroman might be interested in working with Wes Johnson.

 

Gausman is the guy I think I want; I was interested in him going into last season and getting him out of Balto almost immediately improved his standing. I'd love for him to get the proper coaching and support from the Twins over a couple of seasons...but I really don't know what kind of a deal he's looking for. But I would really look hard there.

 

I'm a big no on Bauer, who I think is a bad fit in the clubhouse and unlikely to match last year. I think someone is going to throw a lot of years at him too, and regardless of what he might be saying I think he'll take it.

 

Also a no is Ray, who looks like a mess. Fixing a player's control is a bigger challenge and Ray has never been strong in that area. age 26-28 seasons should be right in his prime...and he got progressively worse in those years: he may have peaked at 25. You can write off last year to COVID, but he wasn't great in 2019 and was only a little better (if less healthy) in 2018. So there's huge risk there and I'm not sure how much upside is there, despite the great K rates. The peripherals are only great in one area and there's plenty of red flags on this guy. He's literally had one really good/great season: outside of that, he's a 4th/5th starter. There's so much that needs fixing there that I don't think he's a great option. And with that trash control, he's not even a guy that you'd be all that excited about shifting to the bullpen if he falls apart as a starter.

 

Surprised not to see Kluber on this list. He's an interesting rehab guy. If he gets healthy, he could be a huge upside play and that move has worked out ok for the Twins before. 


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