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Twins Pitching For More Pitching

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are in the midst of a pretty good offseason. They’ve rebuilt the bullpen, added a starting pitcher, and bolstered the line-up with a powerful left-handed bat. In fact last week, I wondered if the addition of Logan Morrison might have fixed Minnesota’s biggest flaw.

It’s under three weeks until Opening Day and the Twins might not be done adding pieces. Is the front office pitching to add some more pitching?
Image courtesy of Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Change of Heart?
When the Twins traded for Jake Odorizzi, the message from the front office was pretty clear. It didn’t sound like the Twins were happy having only Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi leading the rotation.

Santana will miss the first month of the following surgery on his finger. This means the rotation would currently be rounded out with the likes of Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, and Adalberto Mejia. With extra off-days built into the early schedule, the Twins only need a fifth starter a handful of times while Santana is on the DL.

With some of the best free agent pitchers still unemployed, the Twins front office might have had a change of heart in recent weeks.

Lowballing Lance Lynn
Mike Beradino of the Pioneer Press is reporting the Twins made Lance Lynn a 2-year, $20 million deal. This is seems like a lowball offer from Minnesota as the front office continues to try and be “opportunistic.” Beradino makes it sound like the deal didn’t gain any traction and rightfully so if you’re in Lynn’s shoes.

Lynn missed all of 2016 following Tommy John surgery. In his first year back, he had a 3.42 ERA and a 124 ERA+. Those numbers were a little higher than his career 3.38 ERA but that can be expected coming off major elbow surgery. With expected improvements in his second year removed from surgery, Lynn could slide into the back of Minnesota’s rotation and add some depth to the rotation.

Show Me The Money
Coming off a playoff appearance, the Twins are currently set to open the year with a club-record $118 million payroll. Minnesota lost out on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes but they were rumored to have offered him a contract worth over $100 million. This could mean the team still has money in the bank to put towards adding other pieces.

With big contracts from Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier coming off the books, the club has little invested in guaranteed money beyond next season. Phil Hughes, Addison Reed, Michael Pineda and Jason Castro are the only players with guaranteed money for 2019. There is currently no guaranteed money for 2020.

Obviously, young players like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios will start to get more expensive. Buxton might already be in the beginnings stages of a long-term deal. Young talent is cheap but it doesn’t stay cheap forever.

Do the Twins need to add another starting pitcher? Will Lynn even negotiate with the Twins after they lowballed him? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


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39 Comments

Couple points:

1) While it may seem like a low ball offer, certainly nobody else has offered enough for him to sign as of yet.

2) Could the offer have been a casual inquiry to feel Lynn and his representation out rather than a "here, take this" offer?

3) At some point, Lynn, Cobb and Arietta may have to accept lowering their initial demands and expectations, or consider a 1 year deal.

I guess I'm just saying the FO is at least interested in another addition, but not sure we know enough about all the factors and conversations involved.
    • gil4, spanman2, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
We need another starter. Too many question marks on staff at the moment. I have zero faith in Gibson, Berrios and co.

 

We need another starter. Too many question marks on staff at the moment. I have zero faith in Gibson, Berrios and co.

I have faith in Berrios and Odorizzi, and that's it. I want to trust Mejia but he's got a lot to prove.

    • Twins33 likes this
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nicksaviking
Mar 07 2018 10:07 PM
Falvey can keep his phone turned off for the agents, none of the available pitchers appeal to me.

Keep it on for the GM's, I'm still up for more trades.
    • mikelink45 and Ben Noble like this

Every day recently I log on here, hoping for a Lance Lynn signing.I'm not going to hold out hope for the playoffs unless I see him in Twin-stripes.

Come on, Falvine!A pennant may be out there yet!

    • adorduan likes this
With Ervin out for opening day and more this is Jose’s chance to step up and be the player we all believe he can be. He’s got great stuff and looks outright nasty at times. Just don’t put to much pressure on yourself bud. And have a lot of fun beating the damn yanks!
    • mikelink45, DocBauer and Original Whizzinator like this
I'm confused with the lowball offer. Unless Lynn isn't receiving anything near that from other clubs.

I would expect his price to be a bit higher, and at least a 2-year offer more towards $25-30 million with a third-year option.

But maybe...he just isn't worth it.

I mean, Jamie Garcia ALMOST got that much per year.

You do have to look at the bigger picture. You lose a draft pick (these guys refused a qualifying offer of an outrageous salary for a season), plus you more than likely ALSO lose a player that you remove from your 40-man roster, in exchange for a known commodity who may/may not produce as expected in your home field.
    • mikelink45 and snap4birds like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 08 2018 06:42 AM

 

I want to trust Mejia but he's got a lot to prove.

I don't trust Mejia so much as I believe he can fill out the back of a rotation and do okay for himself while gaining experience. It's okay if Mejia scuffles a bit because he's a future investment. You have five more seasons of control over the guy.

 

It's the other guys that worry me, the guys you need to perform today because you don't really care about their future performance.

    • Twins33, Danchat, DocBauer and 2 others like this
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Original Whizzinator
Mar 08 2018 07:41 AM
In many parts of the world bargaining is SOP. Here not so much. I have noticed some get offended with lowball offers. I say it's business, a starting point. Anyway if you have zero faith I the rotation this year must have been less than zero last year :) . Mejia is young and lost 16lbs to drop in to the 260's! That's progress.
    • HitInAPinch, RaymondLuxuryYacht and howieramone2 like this

How long before Lynn tells his agent to call the Twins back?Their $20mm for two years was a starting point.Expect that his agent could negotiate that up a few million. 

 

What kind of position is a starting pitcher in if he misses all/most of spring training?I will be shocked if there isn't movement during the next week.And the 40-man spot is easy if the Twins sign one of these guys...release Sanchez.

    • Twins33, DocBauer and howieramone2 like this

Berrios and Odorizzi are locks - Santana will be back by June.Mejia and Gibson seem to be given spots, but I still hold out hope that Gonsalves and Romero move into the rotation and we build rather than plugging in Lynn and others who at the moment would be fillers.We would hope that Lynn will improve from his TJ - well I hope Gonsalves and Romero improve with opportunity and move to a higher level that they are capable of.   

    • DocBauer likes this

His 2017 numbers weren't too bad for a first full year back from TJ.He would certainly help solidify the rotation.Maybe he will reconsider and agree to a two year deal with mutual third year option.That would be beneficial for both sides i think.

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

I'm confused with the lowball offer. Unless Lynn isn't receiving anything near that from other clubs.

I would expect his price to be a bit higher, and at least a 2-year offer more towards $25-30 million with a third-year option.

But maybe...he just isn't worth it.

I mean, Jamie Garcia ALMOST got that much per year.

 

Jaime gets $8 million this year, plus a $2 million buyout if they don't pick up the option.So $10 mil guaranteed.If they pick up the option for 2019, he gets $18 mil guaranteed.Plus, up to $2 million per year in bonuses. Depending on the details of the 2/20 offer, Garcia could even earn more $ than what the Twins offered Lynn.

 

Somehow Garcia wrangled a pretty nice contract in this weird free-agent season.Lance Lynn, Arrieta, Cobb, etc. should hire his agent.

 

 http://www.espn.com/...1-year-contract

    • gil4, howieramone2 and Original Whizzinator like this

Can we start using the term "Fake News" around the Twins, or no?  

 

:o

I would like to see Lynn offered a three year deal, $15 mil per, give him an opt out after 1year, the third year a vesting option with 2 mil buyout. Third year vests if he throws 400 innings in the first two years. My guess is he would opt out after one year if he had a typical Lance Lynn type of season.

One would have to imagine that the pitchers will eventually sign somewhere. Or maybe their egos are so large that they don't think they need to take a lower salary. There will be injuries and other unforeseen events, so these guys will likely get scooped up eventually, but at what point do they need to accept what they can get just so they can pitch? Seems logical to me, then again, I'm not the one getting low-balled, so it's easy for me to say.

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Kelly Vance
Mar 08 2018 10:56 AM

$ 10 million a year is not as low ball, especially for a NL pitcher who has had no other action and is  crossing over to the AL and having had a recent TJSurgery.  It was an opening offer that any non-idiot would counter. Thing is, unless they are staying in shape, they could sign late, get injured and end up sucking this year. 

 

Lynn can't play hardball at this point. These FA pitchers should sign one year make good deals. I suspect that Lynn just doesn't want to pitch for the Twins. OK. I saw somewhere that Odorizzi has been lobbying for an offer to Cobb. 

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HitInAPinch
Mar 08 2018 10:58 AM

 

In many parts of the world bargaining is SOP. Here not so much. I have noticed some get offended with lowball offers. I say it's business, a starting point. Anyway if you have zero faith I the rotation this year must have been less than zero last year :) . Mejia is young and lost 16lbs to drop in to the 260's! That's progress.

Agree!It's the beginning of a conversation.It's also getting late in the off-season, so I'm pretty sure Lynn's agent is still listening.And shopping around....

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howieramone2
Mar 08 2018 11:03 AM

I'm just glad we are still in the hunt. The new regime is relentless.

I would never say "don't get any more pitching". That would be absurd. But I do have to ask...if Santana were fully healthy, would this even be discussed at this time after the Odorizzi trade?

As Brock mentioned, I'm fine with Mejia learning on the job a bit as the #5 man. He's LH, has some solid stuff, and he's an investment in both the near and long term future of the team.

Probably comes down to Gibson and is the FO and staff confident he is the guy they saw the second half of 2017?
    • Twins33 and nicksaviking like this
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nicksaviking
Mar 08 2018 11:37 AM

 

Probably comes down to Gibson and is the FO and staff confident he is the guy they saw the second half of 2017?

 

I agree, which makes the team's interest in Lynn a little puzzling. Gibson improved in the second half when he started using his 4 seamer more and really reduced his sinker usage.

 

Lynn did just the opposite and went super heavy on the sinker all season but late in the year in particular. Unlike Gibson, Lynn doesn't really have a change or curve to use as offspeed pitches either.

 

Does the front office think they'll be able to get Lynn to reduce his sinker? Do they think they can give him a usable offspeed pitch? 

There are no clear ace free agents right now.

 

in 2018 the Twins have under contract:

Berrios

Odorizzi

Santana
Gibson

May

Hughes

Mejia

Romero

Gonsalves

Littell

 

in 2018 the Twins have under contract:

Berrios

Odorizzi (*)

Santana (*)

Pineda (x)
Gibson

May

Hughes

Mejia

Romero

Gonsalves

Littell

 

Adding yet another to their horde of number 3+ pitchers will do no service to the Twins. If anything they need to subtract from their current options.They will be better off to try to swing a trade for a number one or two, using players on their current horde (in addition to other prospects), because that will be an addition they need, plus a reduction of movable assets that might just go away...

 

(*) Options

(x) under contract in 2018 but unlikely to play

    • DocBauer likes this
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howieramone2
Mar 08 2018 11:55 AM

 

I agree, which makes the team's interest in Lynn a little puzzling. Gibson improved in the second half when he started using his 4 seamer more and really reduced his sinker usage.

 

Lynn did just the opposite and went super heavy on the sinker all season but late in the year in particular. Unlike Gibson, Lynn doesn't really have a change or curve to use as offspeed pitches either.

 

Does the front office think they'll be able to get Lynn to reduce his sinker? Do they think they can give him a usable offspeed pitch? 

I'm not puzzled at all. If we have the money, Lynn is obviously a better option than Mejia. You can never have too much pitching. 

 

To look ahead a bit, it appears we are positioning ourselves to be buyers and sellers at the trade deadline. We may well have an excess bullpen arm or so, and with Pineda coming aboard next season, we have starting pitching options. 

 

We made solid deals this off season, but don't overlook, we barely touched our deep farm system, and few teams going forward have our payroll flexibility.

    • NewClearHarley likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 08 2018 12:30 PM

 

I would never say "don't get any more pitching". That would be absurd. But I do have to ask...if Santana were fully healthy, would this even be discussed at this time after the Odorizzi trade?

As Brock mentioned, I'm fine with Mejia learning on the job a bit as the #5 man. He's LH, has some solid stuff, and he's an investment in both the near and long term future of the team.

Probably comes down to Gibson and is the FO and staff confident he is the guy they saw the second half of 2017?

The reason I'm in favor of a two year Lynn/Cobb signing is that it gives you insurance on Santana. If he's bad, you decline his 2019 option and let Lynn/Cobb slide into his role next season. If he's good and you have confidence in either Pineda or one of the prospects, then you dish off Santana or Lynn/Cobb for a prospect.

 

At the money we're talking here, there just isn't much downside.

    • Twins33, DocBauer and howieramone2 like this
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ashburyjohn
Mar 08 2018 01:24 PM

What kind of position is a starting pitcher in if he misses all/most of spring training?

I seem to recall reading that the Players' Association had set up a mock spring training camp for unsigned players, so as to give them reasonably professional facilities to get into playing shape. It wouldn't be the same, but actual game play is arguably not a crucial aspect of spring training. I don't know whether Lynn is one who has taken part.

 

Lynn can't play hardball at this point. 

Then I don't think we, or anyone, will sign him. :) *groan*

    • gil4 likes this

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