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The Minnesota Twins just announced that RH RP Matt Magill has been DFAd. Kohl Stewart recalled, likely in a new role.    
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Article: Twins Trade Deadline Deep Dive: Teams Pondering...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:08 PM
The rumor mill has been pretty dry lately, so Bob Nightengale’s recent story with trade talk rumors was a tall glass of water. The revela...
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Article: Twins Game Recap (7/17): Mets Blow Out Twins, Co...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:08 PM
Things started out great for the Twins, who had the lead until the sixth inning, after yet another quality start by Martín Pérez. But ter...
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Twins stuff from around the Web (Fangraphs, Twitter, Athl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:45 PM
Per request.....new thread! this seems like a really odd post to start with, which makes sense for a thread about the Twins and Internet....
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Twins World Series Hopes Rest Behind the Plate

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:45 PM
"Hot catchers are a lot like goalies standing on their heads in hockey - once you get on a roll in the postseason, you tend to stick with...
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Using Derek Falvey and Thad Levine's Past to Forecast the Minnesota Twins' 2019 Trade Deadline

Welcome to the final day of the All-Star break! The Home Run Derby has concluded (shout out to Pete Alonso for Justin Morneau-ing the hell out of Vladdy Jr.) and the All-Star Game came and went. Now we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of my favorite time of the season: trade season. After the All-Star game, every beat writer in America with any sort of following dusted off their phones, confirmed their “sources” and now keep Twitter even closer than before in the hopes that they might be the first to drop some juicy news regarding the potential interest of a team in another team’s player.
Image courtesy of © Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sport
For the Twins, they find themselves solidly on the other side of the table this year as they will not be looking to shed veterans for prospects but instead they will be adding veterans in exchange for their much-coveted prospects. Essentially, this will be the first deadline under the new front office headed by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine where their play is obvious and on the spectrum that involves making a World Series contender instead of aiding another team in their efforts to win the title. I phrase it that way with the odd 2017 deadline in mind where Jaime García was acquired just to be shipped off to the Yankees a week later and Brandon Kintzler was sent to the Nationals. But that was hardly a team looking to become true World Series contenders and the fact that they made the playoffs that year at all was a minor miracle.

This year is different, the fruits of Falvey and Levine’s efforts (along the many coaches and players) have blossomed and the Twins sit at the top of the AL Central with a 5.5 game lead. Since the introduction of the new front office, basically everything that was ever synonymous with Twins’ baseball has been stomped on and thrown out the window. Long gone are the days of small ball and pitching to contact and in are the days of slugging and striking out other batters. The results have been pretty decent if you ask me as Stage 1 of the plan has been a success but Stage 2 emerges and the question now is; how will the Twins attack the trade deadline?

We all have our own personal beliefs for whom the Twins should acquire (I say a top-tier starter, a top-tier reliever, and a mid-tier reliever for depth but that’s a different topic), but as I mentioned before, we are heading into uncharted territory as the Twins go into the deadline as kings with a vast bounty in front of them to choose from, something that has not happened under this front office. Shoot, the last time you could really even say they were in a similar place was 2010 when they last took the division, but even that team was only at 58 wins at the deadline (the current Twins are already at 56) and the only big move at the deadline then was the addition of Matt Capps which was… Yeah let’s just leave that topic alone.

Without any recent Twins history of deadline moves as World Series favorites, I looked to the history of Derek Falvey during his tenure with the Indians and Thad Levine when he was with the Rangers in order to get a good feel for how those teams acted when they were in a similar spot as the Twins are now and then use that information to predict what they will do in the coming weeks.

Derek Falvey
Falvey first joined the Indians in 2007 but was promoted to co-director of baseball operations after the 2011 season so that is where I will start my investigation. In the season immediately following his promotion, the Indians won just 68 games as they continued to wander aimlessly through the baseball landscape like the Israelities when they left Egypt but with fewer curses, or maybe more actually ... anyway, they were bad for a while.

It was a different story in 2013 for the Indians, as they won 92 games and made it to the Wild Card game. They would eventually lose that game but they finally reversed course toward a successful future and the groundwork was set. At the deadline the Indians were at 59 wins and their lone move was acquiring reliever Mark Rzepczynski who definitely made me check my spelling no less than four times when typing his name.

The Indians were really boring for the next two years so let’s skip those.

The 2016 Indians is where stuff gets really fun. That team won 94 games and not only won the division but made it to Game 7 of the World Series where they lost in heartbreaking fashion, a shame. That Cleveland team had 60 wins at the deadline and shocked the baseball world by acquiring a little known reliever named Andrew Miller at the deadline. They also were on the verge of acquiring catcher Jonathan Lucroy but he exercised his no-trade clause and the trade died.

What can be learned from this? Well, unfortunately there was only one year where the Indians were in a position much like the 2019 Twins. But what is really interesting is the addition of Andrew Miller as he proved to be a key cog in their bullpen and was an instance where the Indians bought high on a controllable reliever who would help the team that year and a few years down the road. What possibly is frightening is that the one weakness of that Indians squad was their bench depth that was half-heartedly addressed by adding Brandon Guyer and journeyman Michael Martinez who of course happened to be the final out of that World Series. The 2019 Twins currently hold a better bench than the 2016 Indians, but it will be pushed to the limit in every capacity during the playoffs and Derek Falvey would be wise to remember what happened in 2016.

Thad Levine
Thad Levine was brought on as an assistant to the general manager for the Rangers following the 2005 season. Since he was there was that many years ago, I’ll cut out some seasons that amounted to nothing, you’re very welcome.

For the first few years, the Rangers really didn’t do much winning but in 2010 they won 90 games and made it all the way to the World Series. With 61 wins heading into the trade deadline, the Rangers were big buyers, as they traded for starter Cliff Lee and reliever Mark Lowe along with some depth pieces like Bengie Molina, Jeff Francoeur, Jorge Cantu, and Christian Guzmán during July and August. Cliff Lee was a hired gun as his contract was up after the year, Mark Lowe was a controllable reliever who stuck around for two years following the 2010 season and the other players mostly didn’t stick around long.

What I find very interesting is that the Rangers in 2010 had no previous history of success leading into the season but saw what unfolded in front of them and were very aggressive in acquiring the pieces necessary to make a run not just that year but for years in the future. They covered all their bases (pun most certainly intended) and just happened to run into the buzzsaw that was the Giants that year in the World Series. Speaking of the future, though …

The 2011 Rangers didn’t like losing the World Series in 2010 so they went and made it again! This year they won 96 games and had another aggressive trade deadline by acquiring relievers Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, and Mike Gonzalez in order to boost a bullpen that was the third worst in baseball by fWAR before the deadline (it was then the sixth best bullpen by fWAR in baseball after the deadline). The Rangers after the deadline were again a very well-rounded squad but just couldn’t seal the deal against a scrappy Cardinals club and they again lost the World Series.

What I really like is that the Rangers again showed that they were willing to aggressively attack what they saw as the biggest weakness on the team in order to put themselves in the best place possible to win a championship.

The next two years, the Rangers still fielded good teams but not quite good enough to make more deep playoff runs and they made a number of trades for veterans in which they gave up prospects who eventually would become quality players in a desperate attempt to continue their run (guys like Kyle Hendricks, Carl Edwards Jr., and Leury Garcia). Their contention window with that core was over after 2013.

Now knowing how each team conducted their deadline when in a position to succeed, I am even more looking forward to the deadline as it could be a combination of the Indians' pragmatism in 2016 for quality players who would stick around for more than just that season (Andrew Miller and almost Jonathan Lucroy), and the Rangers' aggressiveness in 2010 and 2011 where positions of need were identified and addressed and depth was made a priority in order for their squad to best make their playoff run. I can’t know for certain what the plan is, but I am damn excited to see it unfold.

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85 Comments

I think this is hugely misunderstood. I don't know what the other ownership regimes they worked under were like, but I think people mischaracterize the Pohalds.

Let me start by saying I loathe what the Pohlads stand for in many ways. Since the next generation took over, however, they have made it clear that they are not "baseball people", and say it regularly in front of staff and even fans.

They always delegated the responsibility of payroll to Terry Ryan or Billy Smith, who were running the team under the mindset Carl ran the team on, when they were far less profitable.

They continue to delegate all responsibility to their new regime, and that regime says they spend whenever asked on infrastructure and development (I asked this directly of them at a STH meeting).

The problem with them is that they don't exude a desire to win to the fans. When the people they delegate to are budget conscious, it makes them look bad, and they have literally zero PR skills as an organization outside of cheesy feel good marketing campaigns.


Well for starters, we have a Twins Daily writer, in a different thread, confirming that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment, something 23 other teams did last year, even though it would only cost them a $1 million penalty.
    • Mike Sixel and gunnarthor like this

I'm not from Minnesota. What is it that the Pohlads stand for which is so lothesome?


Might have something to do with conspiring with Bud Selig to attempt to contact the franchise.
    • gunnarthor, FishingMN, nicksaviking and 4 others like this

 

Well for starters, we have a Twins Daily writer, in a different thread, confirming that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment, something 23 other teams did last year, even though it would only cost them a $1 million penalty.

 

which if true is sadly embarrassing.

 

Might have something to do with conspiring with Bud Selig to attempt to contact the franchise.

Don't forget the stupid moving to North Carolina saga

    • Mike Sixel and Doctor Wu like this

This feels like it was written by the Twins PR department.

Until the Twins show that they'll make significant payroll additions, we should correctly assume they won't. This FO refused to add to a playoff caliber team two years, so, until they do, we should assume they won't.

My guess is that the Twins do a few minor moves to bring in bullpen help - maybe even taking on a little salary - and losing some prospects in the 15-30 range but nothing bigger than that. I think we'll hear rumors that the Twins are interested/close to making a big move but it won't pan out.


The 2017 team was ok but certainly not playoff caliber, in my opinion. They snuck into a wildcard game and got pounded, and stood little chance of winning a playoff series even if they advanced.

I believe in pushing in the chips when the time is right, and I think that time is now. I don’t think 2017 was the right time to buy expensive rental players. And I believe Falvey and Levine will get multiple players who are going to help this team. Plus, without the luxury of August trades, it raises the chance of more moves happening.
    • Doctor Wu likes this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 11 2019 04:27 PM

 

Well for starters, we have a Twins Daily writer, in a different thread, confirming that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment, something 23 other teams did last year, even though it would only cost them a $1 million penalty.

Link?

Link?


http://twinsdaily.co...e-3#entry875138

Steve's post on this page.
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Tom Froemming
Jul 11 2019 04:41 PM

 

http://twinsdaily.co...e-3#entry875138

Steve's post on this page.

"Impression from his (Darren Wolfson's) responses I have got, was that the Twins do not have permission to spend over their draft pool."

 

Painting that as a Twins Daily writer confirmed that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment is a bit of a stretch.

 

Here's a link to that original Tweet. Nowhere is it stated that the Twins/Pohlads refuse to go over the slot allotment. 

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What was the price they paid for their new players would be interesting to know. Who were they and how highly regarded/ranked were they? Maybe that would give us Falvey and Levine s risk reward tolerance to project what they would be willing to give up.

Now that would have been a great addition to the article. Unfortunately my knowledge of Texas Rangers prospects from 2010 is limited but the full trade was Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, and Matt Lawson for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe. Smoak was a pretty good prospect at the time if I recall correctly but I can't speak about the other guys.

 

The Andrew Miller trade on the other hand was Cleveland giving up great prospects in Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield along with some throw ins in Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen. It would be like if the Twins traded Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, and more for Felipe Vazquez. 

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Tom Froemming
Jul 11 2019 04:49 PM

 

... the full trade was Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, and Matt Lawson for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe. Smoak was a pretty good prospect at the time if I recall correctly but I can't speak about the other guys.

Justin Smoak entered the 2010 season as the No. 13 overall prospect according to Baseball America and No. 17 per Baseball Prospectus. 

    • Danchat likes this

"Impression from his (Darren Wolfson's) responses I have got, was that the Twins do not have permission to spend over their draft pool."

Painting that as a Twins Daily writer confirmed that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment is a bit of a stretch.

Here's a link to that original Tweet. Nowhere is it stated that the Twins/Pohlads refuse to go over the slot allotment.


I mean.... Have they ever gone over their draft allotment in team history?

 

I'm not sure that's true. Cleveland sold off parts and reduced payroll this offseason despite being the defending division champs and the favorites to repeat.

Cleveland indeed lowered payroll, but I don't think they did it by "selling off parts", at least not in a negative way -- their 3 big offseason trades are pretty easy to justify as "baseball moves" too:

 

- traded Yan Gomes (58 OPS+)

- traded Encarnacion (117 OPS+) and Yandy Diaz (117) for Carlos Santana (149) and Jake Bauers (89)

- traded Alonso (55 OPS+)

 

I think they'd like Diaz back with that production, but it's hard to argue with what Santana is doing right now, cheaper and more flexible than Encarnacion. And the other two deals are the kind that some folks here have applauded the Twins for making the past couple years.

 

On the free agency front, yeah, they definitely should have tried harder to bring back Michael Brantley -- that was the clear, questionable money-conserving move. But otherwise, letting Allen and Miller go seem like more solid baseball moves.

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Tom Froemming
Jul 11 2019 05:38 PM

 

Cleveland indeed lowered payroll, but I don't think they did it by "selling off parts", at least not in a negative way -- their 3 big offseason trades are pretty easy to justify as "baseball moves" too:

 

- traded Yan Gomes (58 OPS+)

- traded Encarnacion (117 OPS+) and Yandy Diaz (117) for Carlos Santana (149) and Jake Bauers (89)

- traded Alonso (55 OPS+)

 

I think they'd like Diaz back with that production, but it's hard to argue with what Santana is doing right now, cheaper and more flexible than Encarnacion. And the other two deals are the kind that some folks here have applauded the Twins for making the past couple years.

 

On the free agency front, yeah, they definitely should have tried harder to bring back Michael Brantley -- that was the clear, questionable money-conserving move. But otherwise, letting Allen and Miller go seem like more solid baseball moves.

Would you agree with this?: "One thing that the Indians and Rangers didn't/don't have is an ownership group like the Pohlads. That is the one factor that I think we need to remember as being in play."

 

Would you agree with this?: "One thing that the Indians and Rangers didn't/don't have is an ownership group like the Pohlads. That is the one factor that I think we need to remember as being in play."

 

I'm not sure I see a real difference between MN and CLE ownership in terms of payroll over the years. What difference do you see?

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Tom Froemming
Jul 11 2019 06:10 PM

 

I'm not sure I see a real difference between MN and CLE ownership in terms of payroll over the years. What difference do you see?

Me neither, I'm mainly just trying to figure out what Spycake is trying to say.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Jul 11 2019 06:29 PM

 

Don't forget the stupid moving to North Carolina saga

I know Don Beaver, the guy who was trying to buy the Twins. Since I live in North Carolina about 45 minutes north of Charlotte, I was pretty excited about the possibility of having my Twins actually move to within an hour's drive of my home. Alas for me, it was not to be. This doesn't make me a bad person in TD's eyes does it?

    • Doctor Wu likes this

"Impression from his (Darren Wolfson's) responses I have got, was that the Twins do not have permission to spend over their draft pool."

Painting that as a Twins Daily writer confirmed that the Pohlad's refuse to authorize the FO to overspend their draft allotment is a bit of a stretch.

Here's a link to that original Tweet. Nowhere is it stated that the Twins/Pohlads refuse to go over the slot allotment.


This isn't a court of law.
Steve's impression is good enough for me, especially considering they've never gone over, when the only penalty is money.

Would you agree with this?: "One thing that the Indians and Rangers didn't/don't have is an ownership group like the Pohlads. That is the one factor that I think we need to remember as being in play."


No, I just wanted to correct the common misconception that Cleveland "sold off parts" this past winter for primarily budgetary reasons, that's all.

If you just want to disagree with that poster, I would simply say the Cleveland payroll and FA spending has tracked pretty close to that of the Twins in recent years.
    • Tom Froemming likes this
The weak link in this article is that neither Falvey or Levine were the primary decision makers. We have no idea what their opinions were of the decisions.
    • nicksaviking, Rigby and Doctor Wu like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jul 11 2019 08:01 PM

 

I'm not sure I see a real difference between MN and CLE ownership in terms of payroll over the years. What difference do you see?

The Twins never cut payroll in the middle of a period of contention. That's a pretty big difference right there.

    • nicksaviking and DocBauer like this
It is kind of stunning to read so many withering criticisms of current ownership. Most of the “supporting” examples reference Carl Pohlad’s ownership. They do not appear relevant as the Twins have clearly been run differently since Jim took over. To me it seems as if virtually every unproductive philosophy the “old Twins regime” had has been thrown out. Hard to believe all of the negativity when we are watching one of the best Twins teams ever, brought to you by people hired by current ownership.
    • birdwatcher, SwainZag, Danchat and 3 others like this
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ChrisKnutson
Jul 11 2019 09:56 PM
While having a significantly better bench than the 2016 Indians definitely increases our chances at a lengthy postseason run, I believe it’s of the upmost importance that we don’t aquire just any reliever, but our own Andrew Miller, and the only guy that I think fits that profile is Felipe Vazquez. It may cost us both Larnach and Gordon, but I think that’s an appropriate price for a team that’s got serious WS aspirations.
    • DocBauer likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Jul 12 2019 03:24 AM

I know Don Beaver, the guy who was trying to buy the Twins. Since I live in North Carolina about 45 minutes north of Charlotte, I was pretty excited about the possibility of having my Twins actually move to within an hour's drive of my home. Alas for me, it was not to be. This doesn't make me a bad person in TD's eyes does it?


I think I speak for everyone here when I say:

Yes.
    • gunnarthor and tarheeltwinsfan like this

The Twins never cut payroll in the middle of a period of contention. That's a pretty big difference right there.

The Twins cut payroll in 2008, when we traded Johan and let Torii walk. And they kept it below 2007 levels in 2009 too.

https://legacy.baseb...innesota-twins/
    • Mike Sixel and gunnarthor like this

 

I know Don Beaver, the guy who was trying to buy the Twins. Since I live in North Carolina about 45 minutes north of Charlotte, I was pretty excited about the possibility of having my Twins actually move to within an hour's drive of my home. Alas for me, it was not to be. This doesn't make me a bad person in TD's eyes does it?

Do you live near Statesville?Have spent a few nights there when on our annual trek to Hilton Head each fall.


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