Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: Johan Santana Elected To Twins Hall of Fame

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:42 PM
This afternoon at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins announced that Johan Santana has been elected to the Twins Hall of Fame.Santana is th...
Full topic ›

Yahoo Sports Says Both Twins and Cardinals Pursuing Trade...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:04 PM
Just read it on Yahoo Sports.Apparently, the Twins want to see if they can sign Yu Darvish first.I'd rather have the younger Chris Archer...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Weekly for Jan. 12-18: Reed All About It

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:34 PM
Welcome to Twins Weekly. This feature intends to help readers discover anything they may have missed, encourage prospective writers to ge...
Full topic ›

Article: Why I Believe The Twins Are Going To Sign Yu Dar...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:07 PM
Call it a hot take. I'm fine with that. It's been cold out, and the frozen state of affairs this offseason is only deepening the chill.Bu...
Full topic ›

Article: Three Prospects To Watch In 2018

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:16 PM
If you haven’t heard yet, the 2018 version of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is now available. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed wh...
Full topic ›

Supplementing the Twins: A Bat for Hire

As free agency is now fully underway for the Minnesota Twins and the rest of Major League Baseball, eligible players will begin signing deals with new teams in the days ahead. For the hometown club, the focus will undoubtedly be on pitching, and we’ve looked at both starting and relief options. If there’s a cherry to be added on top however, a right-handed bat makes some semblance of sense.
Image courtesy of © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Robbie Grossman will go down as one of the Twins better acquisitions in recent memory. Cast off by both the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians, the corner outfielder was picked up off the scrap heap, and proved invaluable to Minnesota during his tenure here. He’s been an on-base machine, a clubhouse presence, and a somewhat steadying presence at DH.

Coming off a season in which they made an unexpected Wild Card berth, the Twins goal will be to take the next step in 2018. While Grossman could be a part of that roster, he’s also the type of player you’d like to see expanded upon for overall roster advancement. Getting either more power or better defense from someone who can hit from the right side and play either first base or outfield is a good path to travel down. With that in mind, what are the Twins options?

Easily the best name on this list, and likely the most sought after, is Carlos Santana. The former Indians first basemen is adept in the field (he should’ve won a Gold Glove this season if it wasn’t going to go to Joe Mauer), and his bat is more than capable. As a switch hitter, he’s hit from both sides well over the course of his career, despite being better from the left side in 2017. An .842 OPS with 57 homers over the past two seasons is something Minnesota would gladly inject into the lineup.

Derek Falvey already has a certain level of rapport with Santana, and while that’s not going to net him much of a discount (if any), it gives them a place to start. After making $12 million in 2017, and playing 2018 at 32, he’ll be looking for a payday. While he’s not an ideal answer in the OF, Santana can spell Mauer at 1B and handle DH duties on an everyday basis. This is a splash that would be a big difference maker.

A step or so down from Santana comes in the likes of a former Twins divisional foe. Todd Frazier doesn’t check off the box of an outfielder, but he’s a right-handed power bat Minnesota could give a look to. Having played the hot corner for the vast majority of his career, Frazier has also ventured over to 1B previously, and could take on a DH role.

Traded to the Yankees for the stretch run, Frazier left the AL Central after just one and a half seasons with the White Sox. He last posted an .800+ OPS in 2015, and that was only the second time doing so over the course of his career. While his average sagged heavily in 2017, the .344 OPS (and .365 across 66 games with the Yankees) were very impressive. For a guy who can routinely lose 25+ balls in the seats, while getting on base, Minnesota could have interest if the money is right. Frazier could play third if Miguel Sano is forced into a permanent DH situation, and that also adds another wrinkle to the Twins intrigue.

On the lowest rung of this totem pole, we find Target Field killer Jose Bautista. Coming off a terrible season and now 37 years old, it’s entirely possible the one-time Blue Jays bat flipper is cooked. What’s also a possibility is that there may be just enough left in the tank for a team-friendly deal to make sense.

Despite a .674 OPS in 2017, Bautista posted an .817 OPS a year prior, and hadn’t dipped below an .800 OPS since 2009. He’s been an MVP candidate, Silver Slugger, and an All-Star while being a bomber who can hold his own in the outfield. Bautista didn’t hit anyone last year, and he’s actually been a reverse splits guy (hitting righties better) for the past few seasons. At this juncture, Baustista’s bargaining chips are fading which could make him appealing if the right situation presents itself.

Summarizing this Supplementing the Twins series as a whole, my ideal offseason includes the acquisition of a starter and two relievers. Beyond that, a second starter and a bench bat would follow suit in order of preference. The reality here is that the Twins are entering a period in which they should be able to make a sustained run at the postseason. The more ground work they do to support the internal developments that have been made, the more they stand to gain. We don’t need to see them break the bank, but we’ve embarked upon the “Go for it” moments of this thing, and there are actions that can be taken to reflect that.

  • Cory Engelhardt, Oldgoat_MN, Broker and 1 other like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

47 Comments

Photo
Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Nov 10 2017 02:55 PM

It's not that I wouldn't like to get almost any of these guys, but i doubt it will happen. We need a pitching ace, two relievers (including a closer), and maybe a back-up catcher. Yes, a right-handed bat who could play 3B might be desired. But not over the other needs. By the time the Twins are ready to acquire a RH bat, they will have already acquired a starting pitcher 9or two) and a couple relievers. That will leave precious little left to spend tens of millions of dollars on Santana, Frasier, Bautista, or any other high-value RH bat. It just won't happen. They may set their sights on a lower-cost alternative, but likely none of the big four.

I think it's a little easy to be harsh on Kennys Vargas.

Everybody wants the David Ortiz of 2016, but this is where Kennys ranks in the stats among the 23 players who had 100 PA or more in 2017 as DH:

 

wRC+.... 10th

OPS........ 8th

WAR........ 9th

Above average in each of these stats.

Not Chili Davis, but not Jason Tyner, either.

    • Thrylos likes this
I'd love Santana, and he'd be a great fit on most any team. But, assuming this team doesn't pony up via trade or FA for a true #1 SP...unlikely as there just aren't many available first of all...were talking, roughly, $11-15M for Lynn, Chatwood or Cobb. Add in a couple really nice bullpen arms at $5-7M each, and we're hitting $120M-ish.

Santana puts us the $130M category. Very affordable, overall, with more money coming off the books the next couple of seasons to help pay for extensions, etc. Even with a Mauer and Dozier re-sign, we end up netting additional dollars. But to jump that far, that fast toward $130+M just seems unreasonable. And I also agree that I don't think Cleveland would let him walk anyway.

Frazier? Maybe. But would he really be an upgrade over Escobar at 3B if there is a Sano playing in the field situation?

I think a good, solid, useful player for less money is really warranted. Maybe Kenrick. And while it might seem overly optimistic, if Grossman could just settle in as a player between his 2016-17 years, he could be very useful at either the top or bottom of the order.

Carlos had a pretty good July - August, but he was toast April through June. Sure, it can happen to anyone, but my bet is that last half year was his last hurrah. I think his slide is coming hard.

Not sure why anyone thinks Frazier would be a good acquisition. Just because he can play 3B if Sano can't is a poor reason. Escobar proved he is more than capable of filling in. In fact, in 2017 Escobar almost matched Frazier in Home Runs per AB, hit 40 points higher than Frazier, is just as capable defensively, is younger, and cheaper. 

As for Santana, why would the Indians let him go, especially to a division rival, and on top of that he isn't going to replace the Golden Boy at 1st or at DH. If Sano can't play 3B then you got too many bats vying for the 1B/DH spot.

Bautista at this point would be another dumpster dive as his BA and HR stats have declined the last 3 years. He's toast. Better to spend money elsewhere.

Not sure why anyone thinks Frazier would be a good acquisition. Just because he can play 3B if Sano can't is a poor reason. Escobar proved he is more than capable of filling in. In fact, in 2017 Escobar almost matched Frazier in Home Runs per AB, hit 40 points higher than Frazier, is just as capable defensively, is younger, and cheaper.
As for Santana, why would the Indians let him go, especially to a division rival, and on top of that he isn't going to replace the Golden Boy at 1st or at DH. If Sano can't play 3B then you got too many bats vying for the 1B/DH spot.
Bautista at this point would be another dumpster dive as his BA and HR stats have declined the last 3 years. He's toast. Better to spend money elsewhere.


Frazier is a much better defender than Escobar.
I know Escobar can play multiple positions, and that versatility is nice, but he's a well below average defender.
Photo
The Wise One
Nov 11 2017 02:22 AM

If you want a DH the Cubs have one that stands out in LF. I would think an outfielder and a pitcher would work in trade,

I think it's a little easy to be harsh on Kennys Vargas.
Everybody wants the David Ortiz of 2016, but this is where Kennys ranks in the stats among the 23 players who had 100 PA or more in 2017 as DH:
 
wRC+.... 10th
OPS........ 8th
WAR........ 9th
Above average in each of these stats.
Not Chili Davis, but not Jason Tyner, either.

I would assume I am not the only one surprised by these numbers. And he gives Mauer a few days off. Sort of like the Robbie G. situation, but with some power. Hits somewhat, but the glove work makes one squeamish. EE provides temporary protection for Sano, but I imagine next summer will be the decision year on Sano. On field player? DH? Or trade for pitching? I think the Twins offense is sufficient enough to start the season somewhat as is. I like Carlos Santana, but he is not money well spent for this team, nor is Frazier.
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
This topic made me think of the Twins as a three legged stool, missing one leg. The pitching leg. You can keep adding to the other two legs all off season. But it's still gonna be missing that third leg come spring!
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
Photo
The Wise One
Nov 11 2017 06:44 AM

 

I think it's a little easy to be harsh on Kennys Vargas.

Everybody wants the David Ortiz of 2016, but this is where Kennys ranks in the stats among the 23 players who had 100 PA or more in 2017 as DH:

 

wRC+.... 10th

OPS........ 8th

WAR........ 9th

Above average in each of these stats.

Not Chili Davis, but not Jason Tyner, either.

Vargas's stats any other year would be 20th. For whatever reason it was a down year for DH. He was also ranked at 37 for his skills at 1B

I'd be ok with Bautista on a minor league deal. No interest in Frazier.

 

Frazier is a much better defender than Escobar.
I know Escobar can play multiple positions, and that versatility is nice, but he's a well below average defender.

Escobar had 6 errors in 79 games at 3B, Frazier had 13 in 133 games, very comparable. Maybe Escobar's range isn't quite as good but Frazier isn't getting any younger so his range will continue to deteriorate. 

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Nov 11 2017 08:43 AM

 

I'm speculating many of you, including the author don't watch other teams. Someone mentioned Frazer. So let's score these players, Frazer is a D player, power, terrible at bats. Santana, C-, a player who did what most do in their contract year, respectable. Vargas, for sure D, like one guy said, he's just not a good MLB player. The FA market is filled with "C" players that teams will overpay so people who don't follow baseball will think the team is trying to get good players whereby the GM is just trying to save his job. Why do you think they released Palka, Twins Trivia, how many teams has Adam Brett Walker been with? How about an on base guy, someone if you needed a bat who took walks, good singles hitter, go long in the count. You remember those players? Why pay 8 mill to a .220 hitter with 28.697% strikeouts?

 

You have some interesting standards... Vargas posted a .758 OPS in his age 26 season, making him slightly better than league average with the bat. Santana was an all around better player and will likely sign a very large multi-year deal. That's not a C- guy.

 

I'll simply note that we are talking bench bats here and a part time DH. Santana will want to be a starter, so again, I don't see how Santana makes any sense to this club. I'd be fine with Vargas and/or Park sitting around as a bench bat (though I really want Mauer taking some reps at 3B and RF this spring).

 

They aren't bad options, with the only real issue being defensive flexibility. With Granite in AAA, Adrianza, and Escobar, I think we are covered if we need defense and want some offense on the bench, so long as we make sure the pen has some better options allowing Molitor to have 5 bench bats.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

I'm hoping beyond hope the team DOESN'T put Mauer anywhere near 3B or the outfield.He's an exceptional fielder at 1B who saves the other IF (and by extension the pitching staff) and having him, at 35, try to tackle new positions would be disastrous with no benefit.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

You have some interesting standards... Vargas posted a .758 OPS in his age 26 season, making him slightly better than league average with the bat. Santana was an all around better player and will likely sign a very large multi-year deal. That's not a C- guy.

 

I'll simply note that we are talking bench bats here and a part time DH. Santana will want to be a starter, so again, I don't see how Santana makes any sense to this club. I'd be fine with Vargas and/or Park sitting around as a bench bat (though I really want Mauer taking some reps at 3B and RF this spring).

 

They aren't bad options, with the only real issue being defensive flexibility. With Granite in AAA, Adrianza, and Escobar, I think we are covered if we need defense and want some offense on the bench, so long as we make sure the pen has some better options allowing Molitor to have 5 bench bats.

Some excellent points, except for the Mauer thing.

    • jimmer and snap4birds like this
Photo
Winston Smith
Nov 11 2017 03:05 PM

It could work if you rotated Mauer and Santana at 1B and DH. Santana certainly is better than Grossman. Mauer could probably use more DH time as he gets older.

 

Problem would be if Sano isn't ready to play in the field, move him back to RF? (joke).

 

The Indians are kind of up against salary limits I've read so they may not have the money to re-sign him

If Sano was going to play 150 games at 3B then I would definitely like to get Carlos Santana. I have no confidence about Sano playing every day at 3B though so I don't think the Twins can add a full time DH unless that player can also play elsewhere (not 1B). 

 

Todd Frazier is a player that makes sense in some role of rotating at DH and 3B. The goal isn't to replace Escobar since his versatility makes him useful everywhere. Frazier is a much better defender at 3B and adds a very good RH'd bat to the lineup and he can play a defensive position (very well) unlike Vargas (limited to 1B) or Grossman (poor in the OF).

 

I am all for signing Frazier as long as the signing doesn't significantly impact any pitching moves.

    • drjim likes this

Escobar had 6 errors in 79 games at 3B, Frazier had 13 in 133 games, very comparable. Maybe Escobar's range isn't quite as good but Frazier isn't getting any younger so his range will continue to deteriorate.


Errors to games tells me next to nothing about quality of defense. There is so much more to defense than just errors. In fact, the player with more errors is often the better defender, because he makes an error on a ball that the other guy wouldn't have even gotten to.
Frazier was 1.5 defensive WAR better than Escobar last year, that is a pretty big difference.
Who knows what happens down the road, but right now their defense isn't comparable to each other.
    • kab21 likes this

Todd Frazier had 10 DRS (4th in MLB for 3B) and was 3rd in UZR. 

 

Escobar had -5 DRS and a negative UZR.He was as bad as Sano in pretty much the same amount of innings. 

 

The only thing Escobar had on Sano was range.26 3Bs had 650 or more innings played.Escobar ranked 20th in RZR, Sano was 25th.

I think you meant to write that Frazier had a .366 OBP, not OPS.

 

Carlos Santana plays the same position as Joe Mauer and this team needs 1/3 of the payroll paid to what are currently middle of the pack 1B.

In an average payroll Mauer's salary would only be a sixth of the total. If we had an average payroll we could be competitive.Until we do, we won't be. The problem is not Mauer, it's the missing pitchers.

    • jimmer likes this

In an average payroll Mauer's salary would only be a sixth of the total. If we had an average payroll we could be competitive. Until we do, we won't be. The problem is not Mauer, it's the missing pitchers.

Not only that, but 23 X 3= 69. Mauer's salary was more like 1/4 of the Twins payroll.

And yeah, Mauer wasn't worth 23M this year, but he was worth around 18M and I'm sure every IF and pitcher was happy to have his defense at 1B.
    • kab21 likes this

Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 11 Jan 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 09 Jan 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 03 Jan 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 28 Dec 2017
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 20 Dec 2017
Photo