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Inside the Twins’ meeting rooms this winter, plenty of discussion will be focused on starting pitching. However, third base should be a s...
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This offseason the Minnesota Twins chief focus is going to be on acquiring impact pitching. The front office has suggested as much, and w...
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Plan to reduce minor league teams

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2019 MLB (Non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

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Here's thread for general (non-Twins) 2019 MLB postseason discussion!
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Twins' Payroll Analysis: Three Pitchers, $70M

It is rare that the offseason machinations of a billion-dollar team can be distilled down to a Twitter hashtag, but the headline says it all: #3Pitchers70Million. The Twins have a nearly empty starting rotation and, even by their modest standards, a lot of money to spend. This essay could end right now, and you would know enough to follow developments this offseason.
But let’s give a little more. For a complete breakdown, make sure to grab a copy of the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook which you can pre-order today. There you’ll find names, amounts, contracts and details on the decisions that the Twins will likely make. Plus, you get a handy worksheet where you can figure out how you’re going to fit your dream rotation into the Twins starting staff. Honestly, just dreaming through that is worth the price of admission. But here’s a high level breakdown.

The Lineup - $50-55M committed
Essentially, the only decisions are whether to offer arbitration to C.J. Cron and whether to entice Jason Castro or another catcher back to the Twins. The rest of the decisions are no-brainers. Even without Cron and Castro, all of the positions are covered, provided you’re not trading anyone away for some pitching (and then maybe even if you are). The total cost of all those players will be about $50-55M.

The Rotation - $5M committed
Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Michael Pineda and Martin Perez are all either free agents or likely to be, though there are some decisions the Twins need to make. Jose Berrios sticks around, gets a raise due to arbitration, and one spot at least is probably saved for a competition between Devin Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe. That leaves three spots to fill and $55-60M spent.

The Bullpen - $10M committed
The youth that filled up the Twins bullpen will likely fill it up, but they’ll need to decide whether to try and retain (and pay) Sergio Romo who will be a free agent. If you think they do, or need to add another big arm to the bullpen, you need to add to the committed payroll, but without that they are only spending $65-$70M and can fill all the slots on the 25-man roster.

Payroll Space - $60M - $75M available
Two years ago, the Twins had about $130M payroll for their Opening Day roster. Last year it shrunk down to $120M, reflecting decreased interest in ticket sales due to a disappointing 2018. This year, the opposite is true; anything less than $135M should be considered gross negligence.

That leaves about $70M to spend on three pitchers. Maybe that means signing a free agent, like Gerrit Cole, whose price tag will be $30-35M/year. Maybe that means trading for a veteran whose salary has become an albatross. (Could the Nationals be in teardown mode yet?) Or maybe that means acquiring a high-end pitcher by trading some top prospects (or even everyday players) and backfilling them with free agents.

The story of the offseason will be how the Twins attack their top three problems: pitching, pitching and pitching. They have a lot of work, but all the resources they should need to get the job done. It sounds crazy to say this as a Twins fan (and it probably is) but payroll really should not be a limitation.
 We’ll follow their progress (or lack therof) every day here at Twins Daily. If you would like to get a head start, preorder the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook.

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78 Comments

 

Because gone are the days of starters going six innings most days. Go look at the list of starters on leader boards.... There aren't many you want more than Odo, and even less that will be available.... It's all about the QO. If there is none, he'll get fifteen a year, imo

I understand the days are gone of going 6, what I am saying is the smart teams are going to figure out you don't pay Odo 19 million a year to go 5 innings and leave the rest of the game up to rookies, has beens and never will be's.

I assume they are paying good money to analysts to figure out what the right price is to pay for an inning of pitching, then figure out how to fill those innings in a budget. And paying Odo 118K an inning is probably not the best money spent.

And if they aren't paying somebody this I have back ground in Data and will happily accept the job.

 

Our favorite team picked up 2 solid relievers at the trade deadline for little or nothing. They have enough prospects to get what many, including some of the national experts will view as good starters.

Are you sure? Is Dyson really a solid reliever?

 

 

What three relief pitchers that have had good seasons in EACH of the last two seasons are free agents?

I’ll hang up and wait for your answer.

Will Smith, Will Harris, Steve Cishek, and a few others. There are also others that may not have been great last year but have been pretty good in the past.

Also getting relief pitchers aren't only acquired in FA.

My point really was I think 19 million could be better budgeted then on a pitcher that pitches one out of five games and only give you 5 innings in that game.

 

I will say this, if they told Odo we will give you a QO, the expectation is that you average at least 6 innings and we don't care how many pitches it takes to get there. I would back that. Maybe him only pitching 5 innings isn't on him, I mean they only let him get to 100 pitches 9 times. Maybe that is on Rocco or the front office and if that is case, that completely justifies not giving him that type of money.

 

 

Something a little outside the box I would like to see is the Twins go after Yu Darvish on a trade.He ranked 7th among all starters in K% and 10th in xFIP.His ERA and FIP were inflated due to uncharacteristically high HR% which may be solved by leaving Wrigley and can help reduce his trade cost. he is down to 4Y/$81M on his contract which helps reduce the risk.  

    • Dantes929 and TL like this
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yarnivek1972
Oct 09 2019 02:04 PM

Will Smith, Will Harris, Steve Cishek, and a few others. There are also others that may not have been great last year but have been pretty good in the past.
Also getting relief pitchers aren't only acquired in FA.
My point really was I think 19 million could be better budgeted then on a pitcher that pitches one out of five games and only give you 5 innings in that game.

I will say this, if they told Odo we will give you a QO, the expectation is that you average at least 6 innings and we don't care how many pitches it takes to get there. I would back that. Maybe him only pitching 5 innings isn't on him, I mean they only let him get to 100 pitches 9 times. Maybe that is on Rocco or the front office and if that is case, that completely justifies not giving him that type of money.


None of those three are going to sign for $5-6 mil per year. More like $8-$10 mil per. So, your $ 19 mil gets you about 130 IP as opposed to 160 from Odo.
    • SwainZag likes this

 

None of those three are going to sign for $5-6 mil per year. More like $8-$10 mil per. So, your $ 19 mil gets you about 130 IP as opposed to 160 from Odo.

you're absolutely correct, you asked "What three relief pitchers that have had good seasons in EACH of the last two seasons are free agents?"

 

It was my bad to assume you meant three pitchers that have good seasons in EACH of the last two years that will sign for 5 - 6 mil per year, I have no idea how I could have missed that in your post.

 

I could have said Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen,Yusmeiro Petit are three relief pitchers that have been pretty good and would more than likely cost less than Odo.

 

But then I probably would have missed that you were really asking for 3 relief pitchers that were good the last two years, that will accept the money and be smart for the Twins to sign.

 

Not my job to figure that out, that is for the high priced front office employees, I was suggesting they probably could get three guys (that average about 5 - 6 mi a year) for that cost to coverage more games and innings.

 

I understand the days are gone of going 6, what I am saying is the smart teams are going to figure out you don't pay Odo 19 million a year to go 5 innings and leave the rest of the game up to rookies, has beens and never will be's.
I assume they are paying good money to analysts to figure out what the right price is to pay for an inning of pitching, then figure out how to fill those innings in a budget. And paying Odo 118K an inning is probably not the best money spent.
And if they aren't paying somebody this I have back ground in Data and will happily accept the job.


I'll ask again.... Look at the leaderboards, and tell me who will be available that is better, that won't cost a lot more? And I said fifteen, or is that the difference here?

I'd love to see a list of free agent starters that will be on the market. I know some of the big names - admittedly I haven't paged through the entire 3 pages of this thread to see if someone's posted them.

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MMMordabito
Oct 09 2019 03:23 PM

None of this matters

I expect the Twins reputation as cheapskates will scare off free agent pitchers, even if offered a premium salary. Players will want to play for a good team - I can't imagine anyone wants to sign a big dollar contract and find it offset by filling the roster with rookies and cast-offs. 

 

If you're going to convince a top free agent to come to MN I think you need to start by trading for premium talent.Bump Berrios back to number 3 by trade and you might have a chance to bump him back to number 4 via free agency. 

 

Yes, it's expensive in both prospects and dollars, but I think it's the only way we sign a top free agent pitcher. 

 

My personal expectation is that the Twins are "in on" everyone, fail to sign a difference maker, and next year's rotation is no better than the crew that got blown out this fall. 

 

I expect the Twins reputation as cheapskates will scare off free agent pitchers, even if offered a premium salary. Players will want to play for a good team - I can't imagine anyone wants to sign a big dollar contract and find it offset by filling the roster with rookies and cast-offs. 

 

If you're going to convince a top free agent to come to MN I think you need to start by trading for premium talent.Bump Berrios back to number 3 by trade and you might have a chance to bump him back to number 4 via free agency. 

 

Yes, it's expensive in both prospects and dollars, but I think it's the only way we sign a top free agent pitcher. 

 

My personal expectation is that the Twins are "in on" everyone, fail to sign a difference maker, and next year's rotation is no better than the crew that got blown out this fall. 

 

Wow a whole team of rookies and castoffs that just won 101 games.Color me shocked.Can we get rid of this perceived reputation?They were a middle of the road of the salary team who had the best offense in baseball.

 

    • DocBauer, wabene, rdehring and 1 other like this
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Aerodeliria
Oct 09 2019 07:27 PM

Of course, if you can get a stud starter, you have to take him. It changes the outlook for the entire year; however, getting one is another matter. The Twins don't have a sparkling history when it comes to landing a stud.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

I agree with the intention of trading Rosario. Between Cave and Wade (and maybe Rooker or Kiriloff at some point in the year?), I'd feel pretty good with the corner OF spot heading into the season. A slight, downgrade, sure. But I'm worried we may have already seen the best of Eddie with his free swinging ways. A return of a #3 or #4 starter could be fine (random guy of Alcantara in Miami for instance?).

From there, try to sign Odorizzi for 2-3 years at $15M per year. Give Pineda the qualifying offer (he'll have to sit ~40 games next year so I'd guess there won't be a huge market for him). Then try to target Strasburg, Wheeler, Ryu (Cole unlikely imo). A guy like Alex Wood could be worth the same deal Perez had this year. A rotation of Berrios-Wheeler-Odorizzi-Alcantara-Wood/Pineda with hopes of Graterol joining at some point, and still having Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, etc available in a pinch is a nice starting point going into the year I'd think.

    • wabene likes this

 

Something a little outside the box I would like to see is the Twins go after Yu Darvish on a trade.He ranked 7th among all starters in K% and 10th in xFIP.His ERA and FIP were inflated due to uncharacteristically high HR% which may be solved by leaving Wrigley and can help reduce his trade cost. he is down to 4Y/$81M on his contract which helps reduce the risk.  

He was paid market value for performance he hasn't come close to in the last two years. I was already thinking, I wonder what it would take to get Darvish. I don't think you would need to part much in way of prospects and was also thinking the cubs might pick up part of the bill to get out from under. Worth a flyer anyway.

He was paid market value for performance he hasn't come close to in the last two years. I was already thinking, I wonder what it would take to get Darvish. I don't think you would need to part much in way of prospects and was also thinking the cubs might pick up part of the bill to get out from under. Worth a flyer anyway.

Darvish gave the Cubs 178 innings of 3.98 ERA, 1.1 WHIP pitching, with 11.5 K/9.

My guess is the Cubs aren't looking to get out of anything. If they are, the Twins should jump at it.
    • ashbury and wabene like this
Sorry, but I almost feel like a copy and paste since I've pretty much said these things in other threads, but my thoughts haven't changed, so here I go again.

Couple quick points/thoughts:

1] The $60-$70M budget to work with is easy, and what I've been working with. That pretty much keeps the 2020 payroll static. That DOES NOT mean the payroll won't increase, it was larger in 2018. The FO is on record...with no set $ amount of course...as stating they would add when the window was open and it seemed right to do so. The mean for 2020, speculating, should be around $150M in MLB. I don't necessarily expect that as the FO undoubtedly is looking at additional extensions.

2] I absolutely believe the FO is willing to trade a handful of top 10-30 prospects in the right deal. And as deep as the system is, it would be able to handle a mkve like that easily. But they also want sustainability, and there is no way 2 major trades are made to gut the system.

All that being said:

A] Odorizzi will be targeted, initial QO or not. I see no reason why he wouldn't want to return. I also see no reason why a 3yr deal, possibly 4yr or an option year, at around $14-15M per wouldn't work.

B] While his suspension hurt the end of this season and will impact the start of the next, I believe Pineda will be brought back. And I like that idea. It makes sense, I'm uncertain of length but $12M sounds about right all things considered.

C] I think Castro is back, no big offer forthcoming from anyone else, for about $4-5M. Cron is also back for about $5Mm unless someone can show me a better alternative for the same $. And, I also bring back Romo on a 1yr for about $3-4M, small bump from this season and very fair.

Anyway you slice it, gives you approximately $30M to find another rotation arm you really need.

D] Does Cole really $30M or more? I'd like to see him in a Twins uniform, but 1/5th of total payroll for 1 SP and for 5-6yrs? I just don't know. Logic would tell me contact like that would only come from N.Y., L.A., Boston, etc. If offered something close, would he choose the Twins and Rocco and Johnson and Target Field and a strong team who's window just opened?

I'm saying it won't happen, even if the Twins really put themselves out there, due to many factors from bright lights to being from California, etc. So I move down a peg.

I like Wheeler. But Bumgarner is my next target. It's time for the Giants to rebuild, and time for MadBum to look elsewhere for $, a change of scenery, and a chance to win. I'm nervous about the number of IP and being 32yo in 2020. He is not what he once was. But everything I've read seems the velocity is still good, and peripherals are solid, despite a somewhat mediocre 2019. Is he nearing the end? Or was it just a down season and a new challenge, environment and pitching coach just what he needs? 2 or 3yrs or however options play in to it, he'd come in around $16-18M for career production mixed in with speculation.

Personally, I think it's about 50/50 the Twins sign someone vs making a trade.

E] Whether FA or smaller trade, I'd make a move for a 2nd LH for the pen.

All said and done, Cole and my LHRP meets or slightly bumps the 2020 payroll. Extensions bump it a little more, and we still don't hit the MLB mean. That allows even more flexibility for additions, etc. If it's a Bumgarner, Wheeler, Trade addition, even with said LHRP, the payroll stays about the same, even with extensions. And that's not necessarily bad!

**Notes: Not convinced Perez is back regardless, but could be in the Bumarner/Trade scenario. Unfortunately, Gibson is gone unless it's a small incentive laden deal. Dyson could be retained on a split 2yr deal for $750K-1M 1st year rehab and something like $4-5M 2nd year deal, but not figuring him in here for obvious reasons.

2020 STAFF, allowing for 26 man roster and POTENTIAL 13 man staff:

Rotation;

1 & 2] Berrios, Bumgarner/Trade (leaving Cole out)
3] Odorizzi
4] Pineda (after time served)
5] Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Graterol (Perez, Gibson, Fljer)

Bullpen:

1] Rogers
2] Duffey
3] May
4] Romo
5] LH FA/Trade
6] Littell
7] Smeltzer
8] Romero, Poppen, Flier, and about anyone and everyone else
    • wabene and rdehring like this

 

Darvish gave the Cubs 178 innings of 3.98 ERA, 1.1 WHIP pitching, with 11.5 K/9.

My guess is the Cubs aren't looking to get out of anything. If they are, the Twins should jump at it.

Thanks for the correction. I misread his stats. You are correct.He may be one of the rare suck to start the contract and then do great on the back end guys.

    • DocBauer likes this
Cron was replacement level. Why are people wanting to bring him back on a team on a budget that wants to win?
    • markos likes this
People want two of these minute league guys starting for one forth the year? How is that a good idea? Plus, Pineda doesn't stay healthy

 

People want two of these minute league guys starting for one forth the year? How is that a good idea? Plus, Pineda doesn't stay healthy

 

With the way the Twins schedule sets up, they would only need a 5th starter 3 times in their 1st 40 games to still start everyone else on full rest.Plus....the Twins should have more than 5 guys capable of starting a ballgame anyways.They will have Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Stashak still in the system if they aren't on the major league club.All are capable of putting together a decent outing.

Hey, do we bring back Pat Neshek for 30-45 innings?

    • Nine of twelve likes this

"Can we get rid of this perceived reputation?"

 

That reputation didn't come from nowhere, it was earned. And when I say rookies and castoffs I'm not referring to the 2019 team. The Twins spent big on Mauer and what did they put around him? Little to nothing, certainly nothing in free agency. What assurance does a top free agent have that the owners won't revert to form? My point is that adding long-term assets via trade first may make it easier to convince potential free agents that the team is committed to winning, not simply being competitive enough to maintain ticket sales. 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

I'll ask again.... Look at the leaderboards, and tell me who will be available that is better, that won't cost a lot more? And I said fifteen, or is that the difference here?

I think there is a big difference between 15 - 19.

I am fine with bringing Odo back, but he is who he is, a 5 inning pitcher, and if the front office really understands that and realize a team with a bunch of 5 inning starters needs a damn good bullpen and stock and spend wisely on that as well that can work. But if they think going 5 innings and bringing 4 guys for 1 inning every night is going to work, they are probably wrong unless they plan on doing the shuttle to triple AAA all year and have room for an extra few relief pitchers with options on the 40 man.

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yarnivek1972
Oct 10 2019 11:48 AM

With the way the Twins schedule sets up, they would only need a 5th starter 3 times in their 1st 40 games to still start everyone else on full rest. Plus....the Twins should have more than 5 guys capable of starting a ballgame anyways. They will have Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Stashak still in the system if they aren't on the major league club. All are capable of putting together a decent outing.


Because postponements (and therefore doubleheaders) never happen in Minnesota, right?

Also, Berrios wore down this year. And last year. It stands to reason that the Twins are going to try to prevent this going forward. That could involve a “planned” DL stint and/or occasionally extra rest, particularly early.

If the Twins start the season with Smeltzer or Thorpe on the MLB roster, they will have failed the offseason yet again.
    • Mike Sixel likes this

We're all in favor of signing a FA starting pitcher. Saying that is easy. The questions are who and who do you keep? Here's my view in order of priority:
 
1. Re-sign Michael Pineda. 2-3 years, 12-15m a year. Pro-rate first year; now he's penalized enough.
 
2. Re-sign Odorizzi. 3 years, 45-50m. 
 
3. FA starter. Try for Cole (probably a no, he'll be in Houston or go home to SoCal).Go after Zach Wheeler or Dallas Kuechel. 3 years (2 for Kuechel if you can), roughly 15m a year. I'd love Syndegaard but he isn't a Free Agent and would require a trade. I'd be willing to trade Rosario but the price will be MUCH higher than that if the Mets even consider trading him. I don't think they will. 
 
4. Let Gibson go elsewhere. Starters 5-10 (you need 8-10 to cover injuries) are Perez, Dobnak, Thorpe, Smeltzer, and Graderol. Perez goes if we get a FA starter under #3. 
 
My 2020 rotations:
 
Berrios/FA starter
FA starter/Berrios
Odorizzi
Pineda
Donak/Thorpe/Smeltzer

This sums it up exactly. Very realistic. Cole is bonding big time right now on another post season run. What makes people think we can actually get him? Because we want him? I think we should try and exhaust all avenues but it would be wise to have contingency plans.