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Who do you think is the Twins best/worst Free agent that...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:35 AM
Who do you guys think is the one who got away? Was a free agent and the Twins let them walk? No not Johan Santana as they traded him, I...
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Pitchers and Catchers Report Date?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:51 AM
What is the current status of Spring Training, and the start of the season? Is there a schedule?
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Today, 12:09 AM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Feinsand: Twins Interested in Marwin Reunion

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:32 PM
The Twins reportedly have expressed interest in re-signing free agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand shares the repo...
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Toby Gardenhire will manage AAA St. Paul Saints

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 06:28 PM
I'm surprised no one has posted this in this forum already. Here's the story from Phil Miller of the Strib.   https://www.startrib.....
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What Does the Francisco Lindor Trade Mean for the Twins?

Francisco Lindor has exited the American League Central. What does this mean for the Twins and the cost of a trade for Trevor Story or Javier Báez?
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
BLOCKBUSTER EMERGES

News broke Thursday that the New York Mets would be acquiring Lindor, the electric 27-year-old whose best baseball is seemingly ahead of him. This move was inevitable. Cleveland shopped Lindor to the Dodgers last offseason but couldn’t strike a deal, spurring the 2020 World Series Champions to acquire Mookie Betts from the Red Sox.

This time around, Cleveland wouldn’t be denied. There was no chance they were going to pay Lindor an estimated $19.5 million in his final year of arbitration after a year with lost revenues. It was equally implausible for the pocket-clenching Indians to extend the face of their franchise for what he believes he’s worth.

Twins fans can first breath a sigh of relief. Since his debut in 2015, no player has more hits against Minnesota than Lindor (112). He’s hit 17 homers off the Twins, tied for second-most with Josh Donaldson. He ranks second in runs created (64.6) to only teammate José Ramírez (65.8).

In the most polite way possible, see the door, Mr. Lindor.

COOKIE CLEARS OUT

Lost in the galore of Lindor is the other player heading to Queens. Carlos Carrasco, who posted a strong 3.59 FIP and 29% strikeout rate in 2020, will join Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and eventually Noah Syndergaard atop the Mets’ rotation.

Cleveland cut their 2021 payroll to a dwindled $40 million. Ramírez, the A.L.’s 2020 MVP runner-up, is their highest paid player at $9.4 million.

Cleveland has flipped Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and now Lindor and Carrasco within 18 months.

The Mets sent four players with a combined 20 years of team control in return. Perhaps the most exciting of the bunch, shortstop Andrés Giménez projects as a glove-first starter, if not an offensive liability.

Amed Rosario, once a top prospect, will look to discover in Cleveland what made him so desirable as a youngster. 20-year-old righty Josh Wolf will enter Cleveland’s mad pitching lab that seems to create aces on call. The youngest player in the deal, 19-year-old Isaiah Greene projects as a centerfielder with some upside at the plate.

Simply, Cleveland received two major-league ready middle-infielders in Giménez and Rosario and two younger prospects in Wolf and Greene. MLB Trade Simulator says it was an equally valuable deal.

Screen Shot 2021 01 08 At 12.32.58 AM


The idea that Lindor could join the Twins was always far-fetched. Cleveland would have to be blown away by an offer to surrender such talent to their divisional foe.

There are other shortstops, though, who could shift Jorge Polanco to a utility role in 2021 before Royce Lewis hopefully fills the position permanently in 2022.

Among free agents: Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons and Didi Gregorius. For trade targets...

EL MAGO

Cubs star Javier Báez. The brother-in-law of José Berríos also has only one year left before free agency. Báez is projected to make just under $11 million, a very reasonable price for his upside.

The Puerto Rican slugger is also one of the best defenders in the game. Báez has saved more runs (33) than any shortstop in baseball over the last two seasons.

Among 30 shortstops who’ve spent at least 200 games at the position since 2016, Báez ranks 3rd in slugging (.490) and home runs (108) and 6th in bWAR (18.0).

Even with a poor 2020 season, Báez has an extremely favorable outlook. He isn’t as good as Lindor but also costs nearly $10 million less. His price in a trade would likely require one of the Twins’ top five prospects or a slew in the 6-15 range.

STORYBOOK ENDING

Trevor Story's fate is easier to predict. The Rockies aren’t competing and would probably love to save $18.5 million for 2021. Story is a premium athlete with a huge bat. He’s slugged a monstrous .585 in five years with Colorado while saving 45 runs defensively, good for third among shortstops during that span.

MLB Trade Simulator is much more realistic on his value in a trade than they are on Báez’s. One year of Story is valued as almost the same as six-plus years of Alex Kirilloff or four-plus of Max Kepler.

In a quantity-over-quality deal, the Rockies or Cubs may seek a package with 18-year-old OF Misael Urbina, who hit .279/.382/.443 in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. Joining Urbina could be Keoni Cavaco, the toolsy shortstop picked 13th overall in the 2019 draft. Maybe RHP Blayne Enlow is involved, too.

The Twins' seventh, 10th, and 20th best prospects, plus perhaps one more piece could be enough to pry one of these expiring stars loose. This is simply framework speculation.

THE DIVISION

The Twins won seven of 10 games against Cleveland in 2020. Lindor hit .317/.341/.488 while scoring or driving in eight of the 26 runs scored (31%). Cleveland won't replace Lindor's production but it's not all doom and gloom.

Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and their never-ending growth of starters will keep them relevant. Franmil Reyes has undeniable power and Ramírez is a Twins-killing star. The outfield remains a mess, accumulating negative-1 fWAR in 2020, the second lowest in the A.L. The rotation is strong but won't make up for their massive flaws in lineup and roster depth.

Cleveland has officially waved the white flag on their divisional dominance.

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29 Comments

The Athletic asked for underrated prospects and wouldn't you know the Indians would list a pitcher - 

Cleveland Indians

Carlos Vargas, RHP
Age: 21 B: R T: R HT: 6-3 WT: 180

 

Scouting grades:
FB: 75 SLI: 65 CH: 40 CTL: 50 CMND: 40

 

Vargas throws 98-100 mph, which explodes at the strike zone like fireworks on the Fourth of July, with run and sink. He also has a nasty late-breaking slider that hitters consistently swing over. His changeup is below average and needs a ton of work. His stuff is so overpowering that he projects either as an impact closer or, if the changeup develops, a mid-rotation-type starter. How he’s not higher on prospect lists is beyond me with that ridiculous stuff.

 


It’s surprising Tampa’s success (Oakland too) would educate fans on the necessity for teams outside the top revenue markets to get something in return for top players they can’t possibly afford to retain. Also keep in mind that no other team in baseball shared the opinion that Lindor / Carrasco were worth more or they would have been traded somewhere other than NY. Also keep in mind that Rosario just reached 1500 ABs which is quite often the point where MLB players step up and Gimenez was on pace for 2.1 WAR in his Rookie campaign. There is a slot of upside in this deal for Cleveland while moving a 34 y/o SP and a guy with 1 year of control. Obviously, it's not as simple as adding up projected WAR but the guys running the show in Cleveland know what they are doing.

It might be necessary; that doesn't mean it will help them win on the field. Two different arguments. I also don't buy the idea that every trade is shopped extensively and therefore the winning bid is the best one. Other teams might have valued them much more highly but not had the assets to trade or the willingness to take on the salary; teams in the division might not have been allowed to trade; Lindor might have signaled to certain teams he would never re-sign with them if traded there; there's far too much going on behind the scenes to assume that trading markets automatically send assets to the team that is both able and willing to give up the most talent.

 

The simple question was how it affects the Twins. If anyone thinks the Indians are going to be better in 2021 because of this trade, I disagree. Does that make it a bad trade for the Indians to make? I don't care, I just think the Twins are in clearly better shape because of this trade.

 

The Indians might know what they are doing, as you say, but I don't think what they are doing is trying to win in 2021.

Photo
Major League Ready
Jan 09 2021 06:10 PM

 

It might be necessary; that doesn't mean it will help them win on the field. Two different arguments. I also don't buy the idea that every trade is shopped extensively and therefore the winning bid is the best one. Other teams might have valued them much more highly but not had the assets to trade or the willingness to take on the salary; teams in the division might not have been allowed to trade; Lindor might have signaled to certain teams he would never re-sign with them if traded there; there's far too much going on behind the scenes to assume that trading markets automatically send assets to the team that is both able and willing to give up the most talent.

 

The simple question was how it affects the Twins. If anyone thinks the Indians are going to be better in 2021 because of this trade, I disagree. Does that make it a bad trade for the Indians to make? I don't care, I just think the Twins are in clearly better shape because of this trade.

 

The Indians might know what they are doing, as you say, but I don't think what they are doing is trying to win in 2021.

 

Again, this is a bubble view. If they do nothing else, I agree completely, that they are less of a factor and the twins benefit this year. I doubt that is the case. Cleveland / Tampa / Oakland have all shuffled assets in this fashion in the past. It's a better buyers market in free agency than we have seen in a long time. They have the great pitching and a good infield with upside. Outfielders are the easiest asset to find in free agency and probably the most reliable.

 

There is a lot of off-season left. IDK what Cleveland will do but I think the outline I provided is very doable and within a very modest payroll. My bet is they take advantage of this market. Even if they don't, they substantially improved their team beyond 2021. Fans who put huge weight on the current year will have a fit but that kind of micro view is a good way to always be mediocre. GMs can't afford that point of view if they want to keep their job. I guess the bottom line is that at a minimum they will be better after this year. Best case scenario for them they land some very good players for the next 2-3 years via free agency and remain a contender now and into the future. 

 

 

As a Twins fan, I'm glad Lindor is gone.

 

As a guy that watched a lot of Twins/Indians games, I'm going to miss watching him play.Easily one of my top 10 favorite non-Twins. 

 

JcS