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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:01 PM
BIG title right? But I think MLB is sitting at a unique precipice right now, and we, as baseball fans, should be concerned about everythi...
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Minor Leaguers to get a Raise

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:56 PM
https://apnews.com/1...a2641244e0c00fd     Players at rookie and short-season levels will see their minimum weekly pay raised...
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Astros Being Investigated for Using Tech to Steal Pitchin...

Other Baseball Today, 07:54 PM
I can no longer say I want the Twins to emulate the Astros. Bush league maneuver to use cameras in order to steal signs.
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Target Field Ranked #7 in MLB in Craft Beer Offerings

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:53 PM
Great article in the Athletic:   https://theathletic....beer-offerings/   Even at #7, we're only 4th in our division.Tigers are...
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Article: Twins Acquire Jake Odorizzi From Rays For Jermai...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:43 PM
According to multiple reports, the Twins have acquired RHP Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for shortstop prospect Jerma...
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What's Next for the Twins After Signing Josh Donaldson?

In case you haven’t heard, the Twins added a pretty good bat to their lineup. They signed Josh Donaldson to the largest contract in team history, but is the offseason over for the Twins? I looked at what could still be done to improve the roster.
Image courtesy of © Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
The offseason is coming to an end with spring training rapidly approaching and the Twins just shocked the baseball world by signing Josh Donaldson to a four-year contract worth $92 million. The lineup went from being one of the best in baseball to simply being the very best in baseball. This has become a successful offseason with many moves made.
  • Jake Odorizzi: 1 year/$17.8 million
  • Michael Pineda: 2 years/$20 million
  • Alex Avila: 1 year/$4.25 million
  • Sergio Romo: 1 year/$5 million
  • Tyler Clippard: 1 year/$2.75 million
  • Homer Bailey: 1 year/$7 million
  • Rich Hill: 1 year/$3 million
  • Miguel Sano extension: 3 years/$30 million
  • JOSH DONALDSON: 4 years/$92 million
These deals leave the Twins with a payroll of around $135-$140 million which is not something you typically see from this team. While the lineup is elite, the pitching still has a couple of question marks that could be addressed, which is something I think we have been saying for over a year now.

Done adding to the bullpen?

I would be extremely surprised if the Twins add another arm to their bullpen group. Rogers, Duffey, May, Romo, Clippard, Littell, and Stashak are relatively locks to make the roster and that leaves one open spot. With everything we have seen from this team in recent years, they like to try out different guys in the bullpen to see what sticks so I expect Wisler, Romero, Alcala, maybe Graterol and more to get a lot of opportunities in the bullpen. That is the strategy that allowed the Twins to see how good Duffey, Stashak, Littell, and Graterol could be.

Starting pitching: Add one more starter.

The Twins have one of the best lineups ever. It really can’t be overstated how good that group will be. There is still one main problem with the team, and it is the same problem the offseason started with. The Twins need a starting pitcher as good or better than Jake Odorizzi. The additions of Homer Bailey and Rich Hill are certainly intriguing and I think they could both be really good, but they’re long shots.

The Josh Donaldson signing actually makes me more confident the Twins will add an impact starter. Why add Donaldson if you’re going to leave the rotation with Homer Bailey, Lewis Thorpe, and Randy Dobnak in the final three spots? Falvey and Levine have now shown this window is wide open and I expect them to capitalize by also adding a starting pitcher. Maybe they want to open the season to see what the rookies can give them and then add the starter at the trade deadline, but I think the best option is to get that starter now. Some of my favorite options include Matthew Boyd, Joe Musgrove, Jon Gray, Robbie Ray, and the entire Marlins pitching staff.

What do you think the Twins still have to do this offseason? Maybe you want them to stand pat, or add another pitcher similar to Homer Bailey to fill out the rotation? Let me know how you like the offseason so far, and feel free to comment how excited you are about Josh Donaldson.

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41 Comments

Is the entire Marlins staff better than Odorizzi? If so they should be a good team.
    • Steve Lein, mikelink45, JoshDungan1 and 4 others like this
The Twins have one of the best lineups ever. It really can’t be overstated how good that group will be

Can we slow the roll a little here. So many variables involved going forward. This kind of hyperbole makes me doubt the credibility of TD
    • Highabove, TNTwinsFan and SpicyGarvSauce like this

The Twins have one of the best lineups ever. It really can’t be overstated how good that group will be Can we slow the roll a little here. So many variables involved going forward. This kind of hyperbole makes me doubt the credibility of TD
A majority of the lineup returns after hitting THE MOST HOME RUNS..EVER. oh...and they added one of THE best third basemen to that prolific lineup...it is in now way hyperbole. On the pitching front, they were not as bad as some folks want to believe they were. Homer Bailey may have found something, Hill is somehow making things work at an advanced age, and we have a couple of Lookers in the minors. I know you Minnesotans are perpetually pessimistic about your sports teams (and for good reason) but, it's ok to let yourself feel some optomisim for this team.
    • Steve Lein, Puckett34, Mike Frasier Law and 9 others like this

For now I expect a minor league signing of a vetran bounceback starter. Drew Smyly type. I do not expect a major trade right now.But I did not expect the Twins to sign Donaldson either.

    • Brandon and Doctor Wu like this

What is the story on the tendon in Cruz's wrist? The ruptured extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon. I guess it is still not a problem, eh? I haven't heard anything. 

This team should have enough to be leading the division come July. I would not add another pitcher in the offseason and instead wait to see what they need and what is available. There may be guys on teams that currently think they are going to content this year that become available. This approach also let’s those other teams carry the injury risk through the first half of the season. How badly would it suck to give up our top prospects now only to have a Gray, Boyd or whomever blow out their elbow in April when we could have waited until closer to the deadline?
    • Steve Lein, birdwatcher, Dman and 2 others like this
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Andrew610i3
Jan 16 2020 05:36 AM
Right. For example, the Mets have their hearts set on contending right now. Wait for them to fall out of contention and revisit the talks for Thor.
    • birdwatcher, Mike Frasier Law, Brandon and 2 others like this

I still cannot call the off-season a success when your major need is starting pitching and your biggest acquisition is a 3rd baseman. If you spend $7M on Bailey, $3M on Hill and $23M on Donaldson wouldn't it have been better to spend the collective amount of those 3 of $33M on an Ace? Pitching wins Championships..... Viola and Morris are the biggest examples. All we can do now is hope for a trade.

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tony&rodney
Jan 16 2020 07:32 AM

The only aces available were Cole and Strassburg. Those didn't happen. LAD and Buehler - not happening ... and so on. We all wanted pitching. Time to move on and look for a trade in the summer when one or more teams are ready to change directions or see a trade as beneficial. 

The Twins look really good on paper right now and their ability to improve also looks good.

A little patience is warranted. I don't expect the Twins to win 102 games again, but i believe they are a better team and they will win the division. It is a long season and it all starts with optimism.

    • Mike Frasier Law, Brandon, woolywoolhouse and 4 others like this

I am for letting this mix play out and seeing what Graterol and the other rookie arms can bring to the table.During the Yankee runs in the sixties they always had good players blocking good prospects.When a good player went down a good prospect took their place.Then they could choose and trade.  

 

I expect at least one of Lewis, Larnach, Kiriloff to be traded, but not sure which should go and if it is now, mid season or next off season.

    • MN_ExPat, MMMordabito and tony&rodney like this
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Doctor Gast
Jan 16 2020 08:04 AM

 

Is the entire Marlins staff better than Odorizzi? If so they should be a good team.

 I really doubt that! Although thee Marlins might have 1 or 2 that would be nice & hopefully they`re open to trade. The Pirates have Archer & Stratten which would be great project for Wes Johnson. Both clubs have last year Twins coaches which could facilitate the deals. Ray & Gray could be available towards the end of the deadline

 

This team should have enough to be leading the division come July. I would not add another pitcher in the offseason and instead wait to see what they need and what is available. There may be guys on teams that currently think they are going to content this year that become available. This approach also let’s those other teams carry the injury risk through the first half of the season. How badly would it suck to give up our top prospects now only to have a Gray, Boyd or whomever blow out their elbow in April when we could have waited until closer to the deadline?

 

Exactly my philosophy at this point. You already won the division in the regular season thanks to the lineup, they certainly can do that again. Work to improve your playoff chances in July, because that's when you can do the most with higher confidence (https://www.mlb.com/...ades-c283986762)

 

And what happens when you wait for the deadline, is more guys in theory, become "available." I'm also in general against trading prospect capital in the offseason in part because of the reasons you mention.

    • MN_ExPat and wabene like this

Trade Rosario & prospects for a starting pitcher?

Exactly my philosophy at this point. You already won the division in the regular season thanks to the lineup...


Good to know.

Have Cleveland and Chicago been informed?

How does this work? Do we still go through with the formality of the regular season?
    • ashbury, Mike Sixel, woolywoolhouse and 6 others like this

 

A majority of the lineup returns after hitting THE MOST HOME RUNS..EVER. oh...and they added one of THE best third basemen to that prolific lineup...it is in now way hyperbole. On the pitching front, they were not as bad as some folks want to believe they were. Homer Bailey may have found something, Hill is somehow making things work at an advanced age, and we have a couple of Lookers in the minors. I know you Minnesotans are perpetually pessimistic about your sports teams (and for good reason) but, it's ok to let yourself feel some optomisim for this team.

Hyperbole might be a little strong, but unbridled optimism may fit.No doubt 2019 was an impressive year, especially for solo home runs.How much of that was aided by the juiced ball is unclear, but it certainly had some impact.My bigger concern is the likelihood of not reaching optimistic projections for a number of the key components, for the following reasons:

 

Age - Cruz turning 40, Donaldson starting a 4 or 5 yr contract at an age where position players normally begin dropping off.

Likelihood of Injury - Cruz, Sano, Buxton

Sophomore Jinx/Outlier Season - Arreaz, Garver

 

That being said, there are some reasons for being optimistic for improvement. 

 

A healthy season from Sano and Buxton could be a sight to behold.

30+ home-runs and 100+ RBI's was a disappointing year for Rosario. What does a good year look like?

Polanco and Kepler seem to be establishing themselves as legitimate stars.

There are young players who, with an opportunity (injury) could force their way in.

 

My optimistic take:The "Bomba Squad" vanishes, with home-runs dropping off by 20%; still leaving them with a healthy 240 to 250 home-runs.Situational hitting improves as does plate discipline; partly influenced by Donaldson.Runs scored increase, as does run distribution; i.e. fewer blowouts with 5 or 6 home-runs, but more games where a big hit at the right time makes the difference.

 

So if you a thinking adding Donaldson means a new home-run record, eclipsing the 307 from last year, prepare to be disappointed.If you are looking for an exciting team that has a better chance of competing in the fall, I hope you will be satisfied.

    • TiberTwins, PDX Twin, wabene and 1 other like this

 

Good to know.

Have Cleveland and Chicago been informed?

How does this work? Do we still go through with the formality of the regular season?

 

I mean, your quote was followed up by "they certainly can do that again," so you've purposefully taken that first part out of context.

 

Of course they have to play the games.

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, gagu and wabene like this

Gray and Ray are intriguing but we don't really know that either are available at this time.Those teams would likely like to see if their team gels and can compete until the end of the season so it would take a major, major overpay to get those guys.I doubt either one is worth it. Same goes for Boyd and that is an in division trade and I just don't trust what pitcher Boyd is at this time seems like a terrible risk to take to me. 

 

Personally I think the young guys we have are as good as the entire Marlins pitching staff and Musgrove.I know it is a small sample size but Smeltzer's stats look eerily similar to Alcantara's and Musgroves.Would those guys really be upgrades?Again small sample size but Dobnaks's 1.59 Era and 1.13 WHIP beats every pitcher named so far.Granted he doesn't have the K9 of Gray or Ray but it sure looks like his stuff might play as well as any of the other guys mentioned.

 

Honestly the only guy on this list I would consider is Gray.He might move the needle for this staff but here's the thing between Thorpe, Smeltzer, Dobnak, Graterol and Duran we might have the impact pitching we need right in our own system.Again I know small sample size but it is all I have,Smeltzer pitched as well as anyone on the Marlins staff and his stats look better than most of the guys on this list.I think Thorpe will improve he has the stuff he just needs some time to settle in IMO. Dobnak is a bit of wild card as I just don't understand how he gets the results he does but he could be one of those guys that could be a pseudo ace in the making.Graterol likely can't pitch in the rotation the whole year but could give us the jump start we need until all the vets are up and running.Same could be true for Duran if Graterol isn't up to the task.The other wild card is Poppen who had good enough stuff to get added to the 40 man so if he catches fire then there is another arm to see if he has that IT factor.

 

Just like we thought we needed arms in the pen last year the FO believed in the guys they had and although it was a bumpy ride it worked out.This year I think they ride with the young starting pitchers and see what they have. If it all breaks down and they all stink or get hurt then sure trade for what you need.Until then though I would ride with what we have unless you can grab a true difference maker that would be better than what you already potentially have.

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singlesoverwalks
Jan 16 2020 09:01 AM
Leading the division in July is not automatic. Compare the April-May 2019 team to the April-May 2020 team. The 2020 starting staff will (likely) be _worse_. The lineup will add Donaldson and Arraez but subtract Schoop and Cron, who were pretty good for that time period. There's a chance the lineup could be better, or they could be worse. Donaldson has plenty of recent history of injury. Arraez could have a sophomore slump. Add in baseball stuff (i.e.,randomness) and the improved White Sox and, yeah, it would be hubris / jinx territory to type in a blog comment that we're assured of first place by July. You don't want to be responsible for this team's epic collapse, DO YOU?
    • Dman and PDX Twin like this
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howieramone2
Jan 16 2020 09:06 AM
The Indians and America's team will put up a brave front for the first month or so, but it will be over by the deadline. My biggest concern, is being able to afford the expensive beer and hot dogs at the ballpark. The ramone2 household took a big hit, when they started searching my wife's purse when we entered.
    • singlesoverwalks, wabene and Bomba2026 like this
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singlesoverwalks
Jan 16 2020 09:22 AM
Season-opening pitching staffs

2019 -> 2020
Berrios -> Berrios
Odorizzi -> Odorizzi
Gibson -> Bailey, Homer
Perez -> TBD (Rich Hill's arm hopefully good for more than 58.2 innings this year?)
Pineda -> TBD (Pineda back in June?)

Looks shakey to me. I'm not super optimistic about the existing options for TBD. Pitchers get off to a good start all the time before the league figures them out.

It is hyperbole because a lot of the Twins lineup had career years last year and will likely have some regression. I'm not saying they will suddenly suck this next year, but the perfect storm or Polanco, Kepler, Garver, and Buxton all coming into their own at one time is unlikely to repeat at the same level. I still think they will hit, and probably put up 250+ bombs, but there will be some regression. Cruz will also be hitting 40 years old and though he has done an amazing job keeping himself in shape and taking care of his body, it will be amazing if he can hit 35+ bombs again this year but it is probably more likely to be in the 30 range. I would still say this lineup is one of the top five in the league, but we are by no means a runaway for the best lineup of 2020. The season has not started though so conservative estimations of player regression could be blown to smoke and we could reset the home run record, lead the league in average, OPS, and runs scored, I am definitely hoping for this outcome! I've also always been a huge fan of Donaldson even when he was with our west coast cousin Athletics, I am so glad to see all the purple rain in Minnesota with him in our lineup now.

    • PDX Twin likes this

 

How badly would it suck to give up our top prospects now only to have a Gray, Boyd or whomever blow out their elbow in April when we could have waited until closer to the deadline?

How badly would it suck to have Donaldson blow out his knee in April? You can worry about future injuries for virtually every player in every sport.

    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, davidc3915 and 3 others like this

We might add a few vets on non-guaranteed contracts but the roster is pretty much set at this point. It's a good roster. Pitching could be better and we're a little light on depth but overall, this roster should win the AL Central again and have a puncher's chance against anyone (except the Yankees). 

 

Right now, the Twins shouldn't do anything. Ideally, they'll have some trade chips if needed at the deadline but for now, they should see what this lineup can do. I don't think we'll break the HR record again but we should lead the league in HRs as a team. A healthy Sano might lead the league in HRs this year. That would be awesome. 

    • Steve Lein and Dman like this

I just want to add that I think the Sano extension is going to go down as an extremely underrated move. You've got MVP potential in that bat. That is an absolute steal at 3/30

    • gunnarthor and wabene like this
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woolywoolhouse
Jan 16 2020 10:31 AM

It's a lot of pressure on the rookies, but eventually a Dobnak or Graterol is going to have to step up and solidify their spot in a rotation. It's how all future superstars start. Twins will probably see one-two bullpen games a week until Pineda joins, and then one-two every other week until Hill is healthy.


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