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The Perfect Length of a Baseball Season?

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Game Thread: Twins vs Reds 6:10pm cdt 9/26/2020 ad

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You know, that C the Reds use as their logo looks strangely familiar... I confess, amongst the t-shirts i remember wearing as a kid was b...
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Twins' Front Office Finds Desired Balance in the Brusdar Graterol Trade

At TwinsFest in January, Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey was asked the golden question of the offseason: “Will you trade highly-touted minor league prospects for proven major league talent?”

“It’s always a balance when trading away young talent to get near-term talent,” Falvey said.
Image courtesy of © Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Falvey and general manager Thad Levine found that balance last week when they traded MLB Pipeline’s No. 83 prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers for veteran starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. Graterol was a consensus top five prospect in the Twins’ system and was slated to throw peas in Minnesota’s 2020 bullpen. Here was the finalized deal:


Maeda is an entirely serviceable mid-rotation arm with great strikeout numbers and postseason pedigree. In a division and league loaded with right-handed sluggers, the Twins may have pegged Maeda’s stout ability to get them out.



This isn’t a Royce Lewis-for-Noah Syndergaard type of deal. The Twins are both quietly and outwardly expressing their continued desire for sustained success. Maeda is under control for four more seasons at a base salary of $3 million per year. With the Dodgers sending $10 million, the Twins theoretically pay Maeda $500,000 in guaranteed yearly salary.

The incentives are the kicker. Maeda has averaged 26 starts, 147 innings and $8.25 million in the first four years of his contract. This is essentially a four-year, $34-42 million contract if Maeda stays healthy and effective. By penciling in José Berríos, Maeda, and Michael Pineda into the 2021 rotation, Falvey and Levine avoid repeating the daunting task of filling four rotation spots next winter.

This is absolutely an investment in the current 101-win core, but in the duo’s eyes, they are also adding to the floor of the future. There will be signifcant overlap with current assets into the next core of Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Jhoan Duran, and Jordan Balazovic. The more overlap, the higher the floor and ceiling. Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler are Twins through at least 2024, and Miguel Sanó, Maeda, and Mitch Garver are under contract through 2023. Lewis isn’t far away, Kirilloff was phenomenal at the end of 2019, and once you get a pronunciation tweet, you’re coming soon.




While the instant perception to any prospect-for-veteran trade is sacrificing the future for the present, this case may be different. Maeda provides sustained stability to a roster that may become too full of excelling regulars in the next few years. Graterol is an immense talent with an unknown future, and Falvey and Levine chose the sure thing in Maeda.

Josh Donaldson adds upside and flare to a team filled with consistent contributors. He is a prize for focusing on team-friendly, short-term deals since Falvey and Levine took over in 2016. Maeda is another piece with a considerable floor of four solid years, with maybe some untapped potential too. By creating cost control and seeking relatively "free" books, Falvey and Levine will be able to target high-profile free agents every single winter.

What do you think? Was the Graterol-for-Maeda trade more about 2020 or the future? Comment below!

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7 Comments

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ScooterDance
Feb 14 2020 10:46 PM
Not how my brain interpreted Balazovic.

Balosavich
Photo
Doctor Gast
Feb 15 2020 07:01 AM

This is a immediate response to an immediate need, Graterol could`ve been groomed to start possible to some extent at the end of this year if not ready can be used in BP. Graterol has great opportunity to be a future ace. Where we desperately in need to progress in the PS this season & seasons to come. We are blessed w/ great positional player that are set for years to come & have a great glut of positional prospects where we have a future problem of keeping of them all on the 40 man roster. 

 We need to trade from areas of excess not from areas of lack. This trade is a band-aid which is fine if hadn`t traded away possibly a part of the cure. LA loves to keep their pitching prospects, therefore keeping their stables full & cullings those which are inferior. My hope is that MN copies that philosophy. 

 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Not how my brain interpreted Balazovic.

Balosavich

Me too.

I got Jhoan wrong too.

 

In other news, I’m incredibly excited for this year and keep getting more and more excited!

I am looking forward to Duran and Balazovic in the rotation more than Maeda, Hill and Bailey.I see Cleveland and LA dipping into their prospect list (Plutko, Beuhler, Clevinger, Civale) and I like that.The Twins are finally getting to that position and I hope we do not trade any more of our high end young arms.

 

Which does not mean I will not route for the Twins new acquisitions.

    • DocBauer and biswrest like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 15 2020 08:49 AM

Nice article Nash. Thanks.

 

Not how my brain interpreted Balazovic.

Balosavich

 

I'm not sure to which Slavic country his ancestry belongs, but in all of the ones I know the ending "c" is pronounced "ts" if there is no accent and "ch" if there is an accent (whose shape varies among languages). And the "o" is always what we would think of as a long sound. It seems certain (to me) that his family has changed the pronunciation to fit the spelling rather than the other way around.

 

Based on very little analysis and only limited observation, it seems like changing the pronunciation and keeping the spelling is more common with languages that use the Roman alphabet (Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, and Croatian). This would make sense because their immigration documents would have that spelling and (apart from the annoying American/English habit of simply dropping accent marks) they would have to go through legal hassles to change the spelling.

 

Changing the spelling seems more common for those that use whose native languages use the Cyrillic alphabet (Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian). This also would make sense because the names on their immigration documents would have to be translated across languages, so it would be natural to, for example, substitute "ch" or "tch" (or "tz") for the ending "c."

 

Any linguists out there who can verify or correct this?

This trade absolutely about 2020. But it was done with the future still feeling secure.

Right or wrong, the FO determined Graterol's short term future was in the pen. If he has/had a future in the rotation, in their opinion, it wasn't now and might require some nurturing. Still, if they really believed he was a future stud SP, they would have traded someone else.

They clearly feel Duran and Balozovic are as good or better options as true SP vs Graterol and where they see him. For the Twins sake, you hope they are right.

They are not the only 2 options, but they are probably the top 2. The pen looks good with help on the way and on hand as well.