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Article: Game Thread: Twins@Mariners 5/25 9:10PM

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:54 AM
The Twins kick off a 3-game series in Seattle tonight and I’m going to be serious for once in my life.I’d like everyone’s attention as I...
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Interesting article about Buxton

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:53 AM
I enjoyed the article linked below about Buxton. As you can see, the Twins and lots of other folks seem to think that he could be a hall...
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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Top Prospect Timelines

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:52 AM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a new weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respo...
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Hanley Ramirez DFA'd

Other Baseball Today, 09:48 AM
Red Sox DFA'd Hanley, Thoughts?   https://www.mlb.com/...ent/c-278245918
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Article: Did Minnesota Just Summon the Ghost of Christmas...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:54 AM
In the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts.The last of these phantoms, the Ghost of C...
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Twins To Sign Lance Lynn

The Twins offseason puzzle is now complete. Jon Heyman reported that the Twins were closing in on a deal for free agent starting pitcher Lance Lynn. That report was confirmed by Jon Morosi, who added it's a one-year pact worth $12 million. Phil Miller of the Star Tribune was first to report that the Twins have released Anibal Sanchez to make room on the 40-man roster.
Lynn, 30, was considered one of the four best starting pitchers on the free agent market. After missing the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, the right-hander bounced back strong in 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals to post a 3.43 ERA over 186.1 IP. He is considered a reliable middle-of-the-rotation arm, though it’s worth noting that his ERA last year would have ranked second on the Twins staff.

He is part of a trio of free agent starting pitchers that have been victimized by an historically slow free agent market, as estimates last October predicted he would likely get a deal as high as $60M over four years. Just last week it was reported that he turned down a two-year deal from the Twins for $20 million. The one-year, $12 million deal is likely a compromise. It allows Lynn to explore the free agent market next year and gets the Twins a solid starter at a reasonable rate with no long-term commitment.

A lot has changed over the course of this offseason, but you'd still be hard pressed to paint this deal as anything other than an incredible bargain for the Twins. When it was announced Ervin Santana would miss the beginning of the year due to an injured finger, it would have been easy for Derek Falvey and the rest of the front office to panic and overpay the first free agent starting pitcher they could get to sign on the dotted line.

Instead, they signed veteran Anibal Sanchez to a low-risk deal (again, he has now been released) and traded from a position of depth to acquire Jake Odorizzi. Those moves afforded the front office the ability to take a hard stance on the rest of the free agent market, waiting for a good deal to land in their laps.

Lynn is not completely without concerns. His strikeout rate was down (7.4 K/9) and his walk rate up (3.8 K/9). He limped to the finish line last year with a 9.20 ERA over his last four starts. He also had the lowest BABIP among all qualified pitchers at .244, which is a far cry from his career mark of .297. Furthermore, he had by far the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.96) of his career, which has been entirely in the National League.

While there are certainly some red flags, it's important to remember that was Lynn's first season back from Tommy John surgery. Also, among the 144 pitchers who logged at least 500 innings from 2011-16, Lynn ranked 21st in FIP (3.36). That's a great track record upon which to rely when he is completely recovered.

Lynn most likely joins the Twins starting rotation plans immediately. That looks to be Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Lynn, as the tentative plan is for a four-man rotation at the beginning of the season, with a fifth starter only necessary a handful of times before mid-May. The Twins best pitcher last year, Ervin Santana, will likely return late April or early May to take the permanent fifth spot.

It remains to be seen how prepared Lynn will be to join the Twins on Opening Day. He reportedly has been working out in Jupiter, presumably building his pitch count. Most Twins pitchers are at the 60 pitch mark as of today, leaving about three more starts to get them to the 90-100 pitch mark. Depending on where Lynn is in his routine, he could begin the year with a few shorter than usual outings.

Since Lynn had the qualifying offer attached to him, the Twins will forfeit a draft pick. MLB Pipeline is reporting that'll be the No. 95 overall pick in the draft.

The signing puts the Twins payroll near $130 million for the year, up about $25 million from last year and the highest payroll in team history. Here are the details:

Attached Image: Payroll after Lynn.PNG

Here's a live stream on Twitter, if you're interested. I talked for 18 minutes, getting into some details about Lynn's aggressive TJ rehab schedule and usage by the Cardinals in 2017, as well as the rotation and 40-man roster fallout.

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258 Comments

Who gets axed on the 40 man?
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Winston Smith
Mar 10 2018 05:03 PM

Giving up the draft pick is just blue sky, long shot at best. Much better than giving up a semi proven prospect or two at the trade deadline for two months. 

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bluechipper
Mar 10 2018 05:08 PM

I'm very happy with the move, especially just for one year.

 

I like Lynn, but if it doesn't work out, I'm glad we don't have to worry about a Jordan Zimmerman type situation longer term with the jump to the AL.

    • gagu and SF Twins Fan like this

 

Hope this doesn't turn out like when the Twins signed Kendrys Morales.

 

The biggest questions will be what has he been doing since pitchers & catchers reported? Is he behind & will he be ready for opening day without much of any Spring Training?

I'm not worried about that happening, Lynn still has a few weeks before the season starts. Morales signed in May, when the season was around 33% progress.

 

 

Who gets axed on the 40 man?

I would hope Sanchez or Kinley, but maybe it'll be Vargas. The only reason he's still here is just in case Mauer/Morrison gets hurt, which I think they can risk. If not, Slegers/Enns might be next up because they don't project to be anything more than AAAA pitchers.

And one of the best parts of the signing is no more threads addressing if and when and who the Twins may sign for the rotation.LOL

 

    • Twins33, Craig Arko, twinssouth and 4 others like this

 

Given how this front office has plucked guys like Odorizzi, Morrison, Reed, and now Lynn this offseason for peanuts, I’d be enraged if I was a fan of one of the other 5-7 fringe contender teams in baseball.

It feels really good to be on this end of things for once.

 

The Twins finally bit the bullet, threw out the stultified parts of the "Twins Way" mythos, and (evidently) went out and got the right guys to run the front office (and loosened the pocket books a little in the process). 

 

Enjoy the ride while it lasts, folks. The big money teams' headhunters will likely be coming after Falvey/Levine in the years just ahead.

    • blindeke likes this

This is not Terry Ryan's team any more, for sure.

    • Blake, Twins33, jokin and 14 others like this

I have to admit, I was not excited about Hughes or Sanchez.

 

I suspect the FO wasn't really excited about either either.

    • Twins33, jokin, Danchat and 1 other like this

Wonderful job!

    • jokin, TheLeviathan and laloesch like this

The Twins finally bit the bullet, threw out the stultified parts of the "Twins Way" mythos, and (evidently) went out and got the right guys to run the front office (and loosened the pocket books a little in the process). 
 
Enjoy the ride while it lasts, folks. The big money teams' headhunters will likely be coming after Falvey/Levine in the years just ahead.


LOL, why? The team still has a tremendous amount of money coming off the books the next two seasons. Mauer, Lynn, Dozier, Santana, Hughes, etc. Even with these signings they still will have tremendous flexibility in the years ahead and haven't given up any prized prospects in the process. I say high fives all around.
    • Danchat, DocBauer, jimmer and 3 others like this
I applaud the effort this front office had made to improve the team. I have no idea what to expect from any of these pitchers, but I am confident we won't see as many terrible starts as recent years. With luck and health, this team should be in the wild card hunt all year.
    • USAFChief, diehardtwinsfan, Twins33 and 17 others like this

 

I applaud the effort this front office had made to improve the team. I have no idea what to expect from any of these pitchers, but I am confident we won't see as many terrible starts as recent years. With luck and health, this team should be in the wild card hunt all year.

The FO had a very, VERY good offseason.I mean, yeah, Darvish would have been great and Cobb would have been better than Lynn, but the EFFORT put forth by this FO has to be commended and I think this team got much better.

    • Twins33, jokin, TheLeviathan and 6 others like this

 

Hope Berrios still gets Opening Day.

 

Looks like Odorizzi will get the Opening Day with Berrios the home opener in order to be able to pitch in Puerto Rico

    • John Bonnes, Oldgoat_MN, Hosken Bombo Disco and 3 others like this
The competitiveness of this team depends so much less on things ‘breaking the right way’ or players ‘taking the next step’ or ‘returning to form’. The floor for this team has risen substantially. That’s freaking exciting!
    • USAFChief, luckylager, jokin and 12 others like this

Color me impressed!Falvey and Levine have put together the most solid Twins starting rotation that I can remember. Can't wait til opening day!

    • jokin, laloesch and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
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John Bonnes
Mar 10 2018 05:32 PM

Last I saw, Vegas had given the Twins an over/under of 82.5, which would leave them just out of the second Wild Card spot, held by the Angels with an over/under of 84.5. This should close that gap.

 

But the larger point is that the Twins are on the fringes of competitiveness, and that's when it makes sense to bite the bullet and spend a little extra money to help out that postseason appearance. This doesn't guarantee anything, but it helps it along. The Twins chances of another postseason appearance were helped quite a bit today. 

    • luckylager, Circus Boy, DocBauer and 6 others like this

 

LOL, why? The team still has a tremendous amount of money coming off the books the next two seasons. Mauer, Lynn, Dozier, Santana, Hughes, etc. Even with these signings they still will have tremendous flexibility in the years ahead and haven't given up any prized prospects in the process. I say high fives all around.

 

Nothing funny said on my part. I think there is an issue of misunderstanding here. I come here to praise Falvine, not to bury them.

 

In a sense, my post was to emphatically state high fives all around are in order!

 

But... if we're heading for some type of major success as appears to be the case, Falvey and Levine will be near the top of the wish lists when executive openings occur at the high dollar teams.

    • luckylager, laloesch and jud6312 like this

 

Last I saw, Vegas had given the Twins an over/under of 82.5, which would leave them just out of the second Wild Card spot, held by the Angels with an over/under of 84.5. This should close that gap.

 

But the larger point is that the Twins are on the fringes of competitiveness, and that's when it makes sense to bite the bullet and spend a little extra money to help out that postseason appearance. This doesn't guarantee anything, but it helps it along. The Twins chances of another postseason appearance were helped quite a bit today. 

 

Perhaps the braintrust is holding off on biting those bullets until June/July player rental season?

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OldManWinter
Mar 10 2018 05:37 PM
One source said #75 Winston S.

Nothing funny said on my part. I think there is a issue of misunderstanding here. I come here to praise Falvine, not to bury them.

In a sense, my post was to emphatically state high fives all around are in order!

But... if we're heading for some type of major success as appears to be the case, Falvey and Levine will be near the top of the wish lists when executive openings occur at the high dollar teams.


Maybe this is true of Levine, but Falvey is already president of baseball ops. Not saying it's impossible for another team to lure him away, but any move would be lateral. There aren't many of these jobs to begin with.
    • ThejacKmp, MN_ExPat and Original Whizzinator like this
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ashburyjohn
Mar 10 2018 05:41 PM

New CBA...player cannot be QO'd more than once

D'oh! You are quite right.

 

I blame my fact-checker. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    • tvagle and MN_ExPat like this

Nothing funny said on my part. I think there is an issue of misunderstanding here. I come here to praise Falvine, not to bury them.

In a sense, my post was to emphatically state high fives all around are in order!

But... if we're heading for some type of major success as appears to be the case, Falvey and Levine will be near the top of the wish lists when executive openings occur at the high dollar teams.

Yes, i agree. I'm impressed with what they've done so far. It would have been nice to land Darvish but everything else has made up for that in a fairly well rounded team. The key this offseason was to address the pitching staff and they have certainly made significant strides in the right direction even if some of the deals are short (Pineda and Lynn). What i do like about it is there were no albatross multi year costly mistakes made such as the Hughes extension or Nolasco signing.
    • jokin, DocBauer and twinssouth like this

 

I applaud the effort this front office had made to improve the team. I have no idea what to expect from any of these pitchers, but I am confident we won't see as many terrible starts as recent years. With luck and health, this team should be in the wild card hunt all year.

 

You nailed it, Mike. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have the prospect of a rotation that gives you a decent shot at winning nearly every single game. Barring a monster season from somebody like Texas, Seattle or Toronto, it looks like this acquisition puts the Twins as a front-runner for a wild-card, at worst.

    • Minfidel, gagu, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

 

Maybe this is true of Levine, but Falvey is already president of baseball ops. Not saying it's impossible for another team to lure him away, but any move would be lateral. There aren't many of these jobs to begin with.

 

Agreed completely with your analysis. But if one were to open, the prospective position would be far more lucrative than Minnesota.

There should be absolutely no bitching about the offseason by the FO
    • Twins33, jokin, PseudoSABR and 5 others like this

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