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Front Page: Free Agent Faceoff: Madison Bumgarner Is Not...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:33 AM
With Zack Wheeler coming off the board, Twins Territory seems to have attached to Madison Bumgarner as the must-have free agent of the of...
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Minnesota and Big Contracts

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:25 AM
For more than 2 decades I have listened to Minnesota Twins fans complain that the Pohlads never give out big contracts. This is mostly bu...
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How high would you go for Cole?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:45 AM
Let’s say Cole would sign if we gave him enough money. How high would you be willing to go? What if we could get him for 8 years, 300 mil...
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Chasing Madison Bumgarner Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:14 AM
Looks like the market is heating up for Bumgarner now, and the Twins are in. Post rumors and thoughts as they arise, please:  
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Front Page: Twins Villains: 3 Free Agents Who Love Terror...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:42 AM
As the Twins survey the open market, there are three gut-wrenching players who may have them losing their appetite. The Twins should cons...
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Will Minnesota Be a Fit for Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel?

Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel are almost done waiting. Two of the biggest names on last year’s free agent market are still unsigned, but that will likely change in the next week. On Monday night, the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft is scheduled, and this means the draft pick compensation tied to these two players will no longer be in effect.

Could either of these arms end up in Minnesota?
Image courtesy of Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota’s Changing Perspective
Before spring training started, Minnesota wasn’t exactly sure of what this season would bring. The front office was happy with the additions of players like Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, CJ Cron, and Martin Perez. However, it was tough to know if the Twins were going to be able to outlast Cleveland in a division the Indians have dominated for the last three seasons.

Flash-forward to the present and Minnesota has a very clear view of the division and of their current roster. The Twins entered play on Saturday atop of the AL Central by 10.5 games. Cleveland, the division favorite this spring, sits tied with the White Sox for second place and they are actually closer to the bottom of the division than the top of the division.

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have also seen the strengths and weaknesses of the current roster. Minnesota offense is one of the best in the game. There doesn’t seem to be a weak spot from the top to the bottom. On the pitching side, Minnesota’s has outperformed many of the expectations entering the season but Kimbrel or Keuchel would certainly be welcomed in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Rumors
Locally, Judd Zulgad of SKOR North said the Twins could be in on one of the pitchers once draft pick compensation was no longer part of the equation. Kimbrel might be a better fit in Minnesota even though he’s coming off a postseason where he had a 5.91 ERA in nine appearances. He has over 330 career saves and an ERA under 2.00.

It remains to be seen if Kimbrel would be willing to accept a non-closer role on a playoff contending team. Minnesota hasn’t used a traditional closer this year and they may not want to mess with a good thing. There are also questions about how long it will take for either pitcher to be prepared for pitching in a big-league game.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman also listed the Twins as a possible destination for Keuchel. He also included other teams like the Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Rays and Yankees. Last season in Houston, Keuchel made 34 stars and went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA. Scouts have been watching Keuchel throw simulated games in the weeks leading up to the draft.


Other Rumors
As recently as Saturday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cubs are showing interest in Kimbrel. One of the difficulties for them is their lack of payroll flexibility, because Chicago wants to stay under the luxury tax thresholds. Other teams might be able to outbid the Cubs or Chicago would need to get creative with Kimbrel’s contract.

Jim Bowden of SiriusXM reports that the Braves have legitimate interest in both free agent pitchers. Atlanta currently sits in second place in the AL East and they are tied with San Diego for the second Wild Card spot.

Tampa Bay, Minnesota’s opponent this weekend, is also interested in adding Keuchel or Kimbrel. Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino report the Yankees remain interested in Keuchel. The AL East can be a beast especially with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays all vying to be the king of the hill. Kimbrel is well familiar with the AL East, and he might want a revenge tour against Boston. Tampa is usually a little strapped for cash, so this might not be the best fit.

Do you see either pitcher ending up in a Twins uniform this week? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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30 Comments

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jorgenswest
Jun 01 2019 12:45 PM
I assume they have seen them pitch.

Is Kimbrel throwing high 90s or mid 90s? Pay up for the high 90s.

Is Keuchel commanding all of his pitches? Does his slider look like the effective slider he had prior to 2018? If so he is a playoff pitcher.
    • DiscGolfer likes this

When the season started - No.

 

Now - Yes.

Kimbrel please, forthwith.
    • diehardtwinsfan, Twins33 and Brandon like this
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ChrisKnutson
Jun 01 2019 01:45 PM
Hopefully I’m wrong, but I really doubt Kimbrel ends up a Twin. Regardless of our league best record, I honestly feel like he has us 4th on his list of preferred teams, only behind the Phillies, Cubs, and Braves.

However, I do feel like we have a legitimate shot at landing Keuchel, but do we really even need him?
    • caninatl04 likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 01 2019 02:00 PM

 

Hopefully I’m wrong, but I really doubt Kimbrel ends up a Twin. Regardless of our league best record, I honestly feel like he has us 4th on his list of preferred teams, only behind the Phillies, Cubs, and Braves.

However, I do feel like we have a legitimate shot at landing Keuchel, but do we really even need him?

 

Last I heard, the Yankees were the ones very interested in Keuchel. Personally, I'm fine letting them have him. I'd rather trade prospects and get a starter that I'm a bit more comfortable with.

 

Kimbrel on the other hand. I think that's a smart move unless he's showing reduced speeds in his simulated games.

    • Twins33 and caninatl04 like this

Of the two my preference is Kimbral because our top 4 in the rotation are pitching great and that is good for a playoff rotation.The 5th spot can go back and forth with Smeltzer, Pineda, Kohl Stewart, and Mejia and others.  

 

If we sign Kimbral we may not need to make any other moves at the trade deadline as the whole roster is firing on all cylinders right now.  

Keuchel may turn out to be a steal for someone, but he isn't a clear enough upgrade for the Twins as it stands, IMO. I wouldn't be upset with the signing, but I wouldn't advocate for it.

    • Blake, 70charger, ChrisKnutson and 1 other like this

The attractive part with Kimbrel is that he will cost money not prospects and could be exactly what we need.The money should be available since the crowds will be very good the rest of the season. The hold up is the way he ended the season last year. I think that and his salary demands are what caused him to be unsigned this long. But if they signed Kimbrel now you would have until the end of July to decide if you should trade for additional bullpen help.I hope they go for it. 

Sign either of these guys and they'll wind up pitching only half a season. That's a good thing especially for high 90's Kimbrell, especially if Rocco puts him in the regular mix of relief arms, rather than just at closer. I like how Baldy has been spreading the load, both physically and emotionally. 

    • DiscGolfer likes this

 

Keuchel may turn out to be a steal for someone, but he isn't a clear enough upgrade for the Twins as it stands, IMO. I wouldn't be upset with the signing, but I wouldn't advocate for it.

Good way to look at it.

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ChrisKnutson
Jun 01 2019 04:39 PM

Last I heard, the Yankees were the ones very interested in Keuchel. Personally, I'm fine letting them have him. I'd rather trade prospects and get a starter that I'm a bit more comfortable with.
 
Kimbrel on the other hand. I think that's a smart move unless he's showing reduced speeds in his simulated games.


Yeah, I’m not so concerned about losing Keuchel either. However, after watching highlights of Kimbrel’s 2018 season, I’m fully convinced he’s the perfect fit, but if we happen to lose him to the Braves/Phillies, I’d immediately start making calls on both Doolittle and Iglesias.

The competitive window is wide open and attendance is up, so I hope the Twins front office goes all-in and is willing to pay Kimbrel (they should have the money to do it). I look at the Twins roster and the bullpen is the one area where I'm really not comfortable. Kimbrel would go a long ways towards making high leverage situations more solid.

    • Aichiman likes this

Yes

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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Jun 01 2019 08:16 PM
With payroll flexibility of $11.7M over last year (2019 = $119.7M, 2018 = $131.4M), I say raid this cookie jar first! Sign Kimbrel to a one-year "proove it" deal. Keep the prospects on the top shelf, out of reach until the trade deadline.
Sign Kimbrel to a pro-rated qualifying offer on June 3rd. Easy peasy.

Kimbrel, Will Smith, Marcus Stroman....and then let's fast forward to the ALDS.

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OldTimeTwinkie
Jun 01 2019 09:40 PM
It seems to me that when a team has signed one of these types of players, i.e. halfway through the season, it turns out to be a lost year for them. You don't get the player from the year before. Better to get someone that has been playing via trade.
    • 70charger likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 02 2019 05:51 AM

 

With payroll flexibility of $11.7M over last year (2019 = $119.7M, 2018 = $131.4M), I say raid this cookie jar first! Sign Kimbrel to a one-year "proove it" deal. Keep the prospects on the top shelf, out of reach until the trade deadline.

 

I would definitely sign him first assuming he looks like the real deal in those simulated games... if the velo is down, I'd be a bit more concerned.

 

That said, even if they sign him, the smart move would be to take some of those prospects and go after a Will Smith type as well as a starter that can slot into the top of our rotation.

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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Jun 02 2019 06:33 AM
Agreed. The Kimbrel move, provided he's got the juice, can help set up the late July moves. A ten-game lead in the Central provides the luxury of time to evaluate internal talent (+Kimbrel who should be in form by then), while taking a longer analysis of external trade opportunities.
    • DannySD likes this

I just don't understand the idea that Kimbrel might have to accept a role other than our CLOSER.What in the heck are we talking about here?Compare his track record and pedigree with anyone else in our bullpen.It's not even CLOSE.Is this just dumba$$ speculation?Because no matter where the Twins are on Kimbrel's "LIST" if we were to torpedo our own chances by not making him the closer that would be just stupid.I wouldn't mess around.I'd make him a solid offer for 2 or 3 years.He's a STUD closer.If we expect to contend for several years (not just this year) having a guy like him to close games out would be essential.His presence has a chain reaction down the line for our bullpen and makes everybody better.And as someone else pointed out he only costs us money---no prospects.The other good point made earlier was this:Is he throwing mid-high 90's ??If so, RUN, don't walk to get this guy in the fold.

I just don't understand the idea that Kimbrel might have to accept a role other than our CLOSER. What in the heck are we talking about here? Compare his track record and pedigree with anyone else in our bullpen. It's not even CLOSE. Is this just dumba$$ speculation? Because no matter where the Twins are on Kimbrel's "LIST" if we were to torpedo our own chances by not making him the closer that would be just stupid. I wouldn't mess around. I'd make him a solid offer for 2 or 3 years. He's a STUD closer. If we expect to contend for several years (not just this year) having a guy like him to close games out would be essential. His presence has a chain reaction down the line for our bullpen and makes everybody better. And as someone else pointed out he only costs us money---no prospects. The other good point made earlier was this: Is he throwing mid-high 90's ?? If so, RUN, don't walk to get this guy in the fold.


I want guys used where they can be most valuable on a case by case basis. I'm sure that will often be the 9th inning for Kimbrel, but often times he'd be more valuable coming in earlier.

If Kimbrel cares more about his personal counting stats more than the team, then I have zero interest in him.
    • brvama and chpettit19 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 02 2019 02:39 PM

 

I want guys used where they can be most valuable on a case by case basis. I'm sure that will often be the 9th inning for Kimbrel, but often times he'd be more valuable coming in earlier.

If Kimbrel cares more about his personal counting stats more than the team, then I have zero interest in him.

 

Probably worth noting that if Kimbrel was here and saved for the 9th inning, Rodgers would have faced Meadows with the bases loaded... Not sure how the results would have happened, but I'd have much rather had Rodgers in that situation than pretty much anyone else.

    • USAFChief likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 02 2019 02:54 PM

Sure could have used Kimbrel today 9-7 The Rays almost caught up to a 7-0 Twins'lead.

Probably worth noting that if Kimbrel was here and saved for the 9th inning, Rodgers would have faced Meadows with the bases loaded... Not sure how the results would have happened, but I'd have much rather had Rodgers in that situation than pretty much anyone else.


Sure, like I said, case by case basis.
Assigning one guy to only pitch in the 9th inning is nonsensical and arbitrary.
You need to get 27 outs to win a game. I think the new staff is smart enough not to assign those outs before they know the context of them. The only surprising part to me is that it took this long for coaching staffs to realize it.

Again, quite often the best use of Kimbrel will be the 9th inning, that's fine. But if Kimbrel insists on being locked in to a rigid "closer" role, then I say thanks but no thanks.

If Kimbrel gets a contract its gonna be for a large amount of money. He shouldn't care if he's pitching the 9th inning or the 5th inning. I doubt he values having sole possession of the 9th over 15-20 million dollars.


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