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Front Page: Absorbing Risk Is Twins Next Decision

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:00 AM
101 wins, an AL Central Division crown, and a trip to the postseason. That’s what the Minnesota Twins accomplished under first-year manag...
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The Trade Route

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:59 AM
Ive heard rumblings of the Twins swinging a trade with the Tigers for a big name pitcher, and I have to assume it would be Boyd.   A...
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How high would you go for Cole?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:57 AM
Let’s say Cole would sign if we gave him enough money. How high would you be willing to go? What if we could get him for 8 years, 300 mil...
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Teams Inquiring On Eddie Rosario

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:00 AM
Per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, teams have been contacting the Twins about the availability of Eddie Rosario but so far they have been rebuf...
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Still waiting...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:48 AM
Per MLB Trade Rumors:   We’re closing in on the one-year anniversary of these memorable words from Twins GM Thad Levine: “The best m...
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Twins Non-Tender Cron and Hildenberger

Ahead of Monday's deadline, the Minnesota Twins announced they won't be tendering a contract to first baseman C.J. Cron, who was the biggest question mark among their group eligible for arbitration. Reliever Trevor Hildenberger is also out.

The remaining nine arbitration-eligible players are all slated to return (barring trades), including utilityman Ehire Adrianza, who agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million contract.
Image courtesy of Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Cron, who was projected to earn around $7.5 million next year via his final turn at arbitration, was always a dubious bet to be locked in at that rate, despite the solid production in his first year with the Twins. His fate seemingly became sealed in recent weeks, with GM Thad Levine noting that the 29-year-old's postseason wrist surgery was "significant."



Minnesota still has the option of bringing back Cron at a lower rate, and they may very well explore it, but for now, a wealth of possibilities open up. Among them: shifting Miguel Sano to first base and adding a new third baseman (or going with Marwin Gonzalez at one of those spots).

Meanwhile, the decision to non-tender Hildenberger falls into a different category. He wasn't eligible for arbitration, but the Twins elected not to tender him a 2020 contract, thus making him a free agent and clearing his spot on the 40-man roster. Like with Cron, the Twins have the option of pursuing Hildenberger on the open market (and I personally hope they do).

The rest of the arbitration-eligible pack was tendered, including: Trevor May, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Taylor Rogers, Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Matt Wisler, and Ehire Adrianza. The latter, Adrianza, inked a one-year deal worth $1.6 million – a modest $300K raise for a versatile player coming off his best offensive season.

We'll now have to wait and see how salaries shake out for those other players, who can exchange numbers with the club up until the January 10th submission deadline. Usually teams and players find middle ground smoothly (we estimated where those figures might land in the Offseason Handbook), but differences in perceived value can emerge and cause friction. I've suggested this may happen with the Twins and Rosario. We'll see.

Intriguing non-tenders from elsewhere around the league include A's reliever Blake Treinen and D-backs starter Taijuan Walker. With Cron and Hildenberger removed, the Twins now have five open spots on the 40-man roster.

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27 Comments

Taijuan Walker is definitely worth a look I hope the Twins kick the tires.

    • glunn, PseudoSABR, Sconnie and 3 others like this
Good choice. Money for a first baseman is money not for pitching.
    • beckmt and operation mindcrime like this

The interesting thing about the Adrianza deal is that, unlike other arbitration deals, it is guaranteed. 

 

Maybe doing that made him more willing to sign for a little less than his projected arbitration amount?

    • glunn, DocBauer, dbminn and 7 others like this
I think those were both good moves. Cron will likely have issues getting back to where he was and the Twins have options for 1st base as it is and potentially freeing up that money hopefully helps us get some pitching.


Hildenberger just hasn't been good enough to take up a forty man spot for a team that is looking to compete for the playoffs and beyond.


Gives the FO lots of options to make the roster better. Hopefully they take advantage of the opportunity.
    • bighat and wabene like this
I am not surprised about Cron, but I'm also not on the bandwagon that it's such a great idea. I liked him. An injury doesn't mean he wasn't worth what we hoped. Hildenberger ran out of magic. A gimmick pitcher his limited.
    • Twins33, dbminn and SF Twins Fan like this
Help me I think I just reposted the same comment multiple times.
    • dbminn likes this

This means Marwin to 3B, which is a pretty good idea. That should improve the defense.

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Old Twins Cap
Dec 02 2019 08:45 PM

Some on this Board may think it's sexy to have a 3B at 6' 4" 280 lbs, and he did make some remarkable plays last year, but, reality is reality, and the metrics and the eye-test and the risk of injury all demonstrate beyond a doubt, that Miggy is, was and always should have been -- Joe Mauer excepted -- a 1B.

 

Get on with it Twins.

    • h2oface and wabene like this
I'm afraid this is going to turn in to yet ANOTHER Sano to 1B debate and that really shouldn't be the case. Not directly. What should be discussed is simply what makes the 2020 Twins best overall.

Of course you don't make a commitment to Cron right now. I have little doubt he'll be sitting there come mid to late January simply because of his surgery and recovery.

IMO, a healthy Cron at 1B and Sano at 3B is the most productive combo we could have. Without Cron, who else do you get? Kendrick? Moreland? Thames?

So Sano maybe moves to 1B and you sign Moose, not because Sano can't play 3B, but simply because that combo may simply be the better and more dangerous option available to you.

That will cost you another $5-6M than keeping Cron, but that cost is not prohibitive in the grand scheme. I still like Cron, but the more I think about his injury and recovery, and I read comments about his injury being "significant", you have to pick a direction and move with it. You can't just sit and wait on this one.
    • h2oface likes this

Help me I think I just reposted the same comment multiple times.

you can say that again.

Hahahaha I kill me.

For the record, you posted the same comment 11 times. No worries ... not even a TD record.
    • Nick Nelson, glunn, gil4 and 5 others like this

It's not what I would have done, but I'm not upset about it either.

 

.....IMO, a healthy Cron at 1B and Sano at 3B is the most productive combo we could have. Without Cron, who else do you get? Kendrick? Moreland? Thames?

So Sano maybe moves to 1B and you sign Moose, not because Sano can't play 3B, but simply because that combo may simply be the better and more dangerous option available to you.

 

Moose goes to Cincy. No reason not to sign Rendon. Or Donaldson. But go for the gold. Rendon is so steady. This front office just might surprise us. Probably not. But maybe. I still can't condition myself to something like this can never happen, regardless of the history.

 

I think they won't sign top tier pitchers. But second tier, yes. Their MO is to get good pitchers and hope to make them better. May as well get the best offense, with good D. Trade for Chapman? I think that will be a higher price than just $.

 

I like the non-tender of Cron and Hildenberger.

I think Harper should be non-tendered, too.

Let the "stories" grow somewhere else, and bring a championship to Minnesota.

    • wabene likes this

I wish Hildy the best, first watched him pitch in Cedar Rapids and was always a nice guy to talk to and for autographs.I hope he can get back on track with another team, or resign with the Twins and figure it out in the minors.Decent firstbaseman are a dime a dozen, I like Sano at third while exploring the 1B surplus out there on a one year deal basis until Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach, etc. are ready.

The Cron move does give the Twins flexibility. They can look for a 3rd baseman OR a 1st baseman in this scenario.

 

Anyone ever thought that the Twins might just go after Greg Bird to play Cron's old part?

    • wabene likes this

This is not fantasy baseball, where you can switch Sano to first base and not worry about the lack of his experience in the position.A team with aspirations to compete deeply into the postseason will need a good fielding first baseman, esp. since the rest of the infield is young.

    • scottz, DocBauer, PDX Twin and 5 others like this

 

The Cron move does give the Twins flexibility. They can look for a 3rd baseman OR a 1st baseman in this scenario.

 

Anyone ever thought that the Twins might just go after Greg Bird to play Cron's old part?

Bird could be interesting if the dude could just. stay. healthy.

    • bighat likes this
Photo
stringer bell
Dec 03 2019 08:37 AM

 

Help me I think I just reposted the same comment multiple times.

The 10 duplicate entries are deleted. Sometimes it does take a while for a posting to happen, particularly when on a phone. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

you can say that again.

Hahahaha I kill me.

For the record, you posted the same comment 11 times. No worries ... not even a TD record.

It happens when I go from my phone - someday I will learn

 

 

Bird could be interesting if the dude could just. stay. healthy.

611 ABs, 211 Pct, 725OPS - I am not interested in Bird. He has batted below 200 for three years in a row - I consider him a bust

 

    • Danchat, SF Twins Fan and Jeff_M like this

I suspect the Twins will piecemeal internal options for 1B and spend more than they want on a single good pitcher. I'd like to say they'll spend more than they want on two good pitchers, but I don't think they will. Too many teams want the same players.

Also, a quick shout out for the Reds. I don't love everything they've done since last summer, but they are being aggressive in their moves. I hope to see them in the playoffs next year.

    • Jeff_M likes this

I am not surprised about Cron, but I'm also not on the bandwagon that it's such a great idea. I liked him. An injury doesn't mean he wasn't worth what we hoped. Hildenberger ran out of magic. A gimmick pitcher his limited.


Going to have to disagree on part of this one Mike. I won’t disagree that Hildy was having issues with his control and that he was really struggling. However, just because a pitcher throws sidearm, does not mean that it’s a “gimmick”. At the end of the day, if it works... it works. I do t care who you are or how you throw, if you leave the ball over the plate (which he was doing with alarming regularity last year) it’s going to get crushed at any level.

I like Cron, but this is a perfectly reasonable move. His production is fairly easy to replace, it's one of the easiest positions to fill in MLB, and the Twins have a variety of internal options, plus there's a reasonable question about what his health looks like (you can be ready for spring training without actually being "ready"). I don't think there's going to be a big market for him, so even if the Twins want him back they should be able to do it at a lower number.

 

Hildenberger sucked this year. And sucked the second half of 2018. He's a marginal player; even fWAR has him as a replacement level guy. I don't think he was cut for $, I think he was dropped for the 40-man spot and that spot is unfortunately more useful than Trevor Hildenberger. It's easy to suggest that he was overworked and that's why he fell off in 2018...but was he, really? 73 appearances and 73 innings isn't some absurd number. (for example, the hated Yankees had 2 relievers make 72 & 73 appearances last year) Maybe the real answer is, he got figured out. That he's just another guy in the 'pen. Hate to say it, but that's probably the reality on Trevor Hildenberger.

 

I like Adrianza at $1.6M, especially if last year's performance at the plate wasn't a fluke. Positional flexibility, switch-hitter...he's a nice asset as a utility guy.

    • Dman and wabene like this

 

This is not fantasy baseball, where you can switch Sano to first base and not worry about the lack of his experience in the position.A team with aspirations to compete deeply into the postseason will need a good fielding first baseman, esp. since the rest of the infield is young.

 

Someone watched Moneyball. 

 

Just about any MLB player can handle first base. Especially a passable third baseman. Not that he's going to be great there, but he'd be fine. 

 

Plus, he has played 223 career innings at 1B.

    • USAFChief and wabene like this
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Nick Nelson
Dec 03 2019 11:54 AM

 

This is not fantasy baseball, where you can switch Sano to first base and not worry about the lack of his experience in the position.A team with aspirations to compete deeply into the postseason will need a good fielding first baseman, esp. since the rest of the infield is young.

I think this is an overblown concern. Countless MLB players have transitioned smoothly to first base, many with less experience there than Sano, who has started a few dozen games at 1B over the past 3 years and looked fine. 

 

The bigger point is that a team with aspirations to compete deeply into the postseason needs a good defensive infield. Moving Sano to 1B and replacing him with a superior glove at 3B would represent a clear defensive upgrade for the unit IMO.

    • USAFChief, raindog, Danchat and 2 others like this
After seeing what Moose got it's frightening to think what Rendon and Donaldson are going to get. Is the free agent market going to have a bounce back this year? Pohlad better dust off the checkbook!

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