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Twins struggle with free agency

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:46 PM
What's going on with Twins struggle to sign anyonesignificant in free agency? Do players not want to come to Twins team? Last year Twins...
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Jake Odorizzi, What's going on w/ him?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:13 PM
Since the beginning there was a lot of FA talk surrounding Jake &thattherewas a lot of interest from various teams. Thought he'd be g...
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J.A Happ?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:13 PM
According to Mlbtraderumors the Twins have reached an argeement with J.A. Happ.I feel we need someone better, but need to see the terms b...
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One less Grove to pick from...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:45 PM
Joe Musgrove to the Padres...who else   https://www.mlbtrade...e-musgrove.html   Feel free to rant, rave, bemoan, lament all th...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Yesterday, 04:20 PM
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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Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Stay

The Twins essentially cut ties last night with left fielder Eddie Rosario, perhaps the most polarizing Twins’ player since he joined the team six years ago. Here are three reasons it was a bad move.
Eddie Is Who He Is
Eddie is a solid hitter and left fielder. Sure, his RBI stats are inflated a bit by batting in the middle of the order, but his last three full seasons he’s averaged 27 home runs. His career OPS is 788. He’s consistently played in 135+ games. And his defense in left field – outside of 2019 when he clearly played hurt – has been above average per Ultimate Zone Rating every year.

Is he a middle-of-the-order bat? He’s probably stretched in that role. But a player doesn’t need to bat fourth to be worth $10M. In fact, being pried into that role, while helping his RBI totals, may have hurt his reputation with fans, who were frustrated that he wasn’t the cleanup hitter they wanted. But it’s not Rosario’s fault he wasn’t in a more suitable spot in the batting order.

He Drives Opponents Crazy
He’s maddening, but he’s been effective. He led the team in RBI the last three years. Granted, he had a lot of opportunities, but someone still needs to cash those chips. Eddie did.

He also had a nose for the huge play. Sometimes it was a baserunning play that made no sense but somehow worked. Sometimes it was a walkoff home run. Or (swoon) that throw in Boston. He has deserved his reputaion as a fan-favorite. (By the way, those links are worth clicking on. They are the best of the Eddie Rosario Experience.)

He’s Not That Expensive
Arbitration aamounts after this shortened season are less clear than previous years, but Rosario would likely make around $10M if the Twins offered arbitration. First, that’s not a lot of money for a starting corner outfielder. In this pandemicized MLB market, it might be a little more than he’s worth, but the Twins are in a competitive window where they should pony up for quality regulars.

Finally, it’s only effective to cut salary if the team spends it on an upgrade. This year, with $40M or so to spend on free agents, that likely means chasing some high-profile free agents. The Twins haven’t been linked to many outside of trying to re-sign Nelson Cruz.

Bottom Line

Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team holds onto. He’s good at his job, he has a nose for the big play, he’s expensive but not crazy expensive, and he deserves a chance to see the rebuild (that he was a part of) pay off. Rosario may not be the difference between the Twins winning a championship or not in the upcoming few years. But he also might be. That should've be reason enough to hold onto Eddie.

Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Leave

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10 Comments

Just ran the numbers on other outfielders who are making similar amounts of money:

 

Rosario 2019-20: .271/.305/.494 (.798 OPS) 38 HRs 127 RBIs (per 162) 2.6 total WAR (BBref)
Avisail Garcia 2019-20 @ $10M: .270/.332/.427 (.759 OPS) 21 HRs 80 RBIs (per 162) 1.6 total WAR
Aaron Hicks 2019-20 @ $10M: .231/350/.431 (.781 OPS) 26 HRs 82 RBIs (per 162) 1.8 total WAR
A.J. Pollock 2019-20 @ $12M: .270/.322/.506 (.828 OPS) 36 HRs, 94 RBIs, 0.8 total WAR
Josh Reddick 2019-20 @ $13M: .267/.318/.401 (.718 OPS) 15 HRs, 65 RBIs, 0.7 total WAR 
Wil Myers 2019-20 @ $13.8M: .254/.331/.477 (.808 OPS) 26 HRs, 72 RBIs, 0.9 total WAR

 

If this was a normal market, $10-12M for Eddie would be very reasonable.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Just ran the numbers on other outfielders who are making similar amounts of money:

 

Rosario 2019-20: .271/.305/.494 (.798 OPS) 38 HRs 127 RBIs (per 162) 2.6 total WAR (BBref)
Avisail Garcia 2019-20 @ $10M: .270/.332/.427 (.759 OPS) 21 HRs 80 RBIs (per 162) 1.6 total WAR
Aaron Hicks 2019-20 @ $10M: .231/350/.431 (.781 OPS) 26 HRs 82 RBIs (per 162) 1.8 total WAR
A.J. Pollock 2019-20 @ $12M: .270/.322/.506 (.828 OPS) 36 HRs, 94 RBIs, 0.8 total WAR
Josh Reddick 2019-20 @ $13M: .267/.318/.401 (.718 OPS) 15 HRs, 65 RBIs, 0.7 total WAR 
Wil Myers 2019-20 @ $13.8M: .254/.331/.477 (.808 OPS) 26 HRs, 72 RBIs, 0.9 total WAR

 

If this was a normal market, $10-12M for Eddie would be very reasonable.

Three of the comps you offered saw significant innings in center field. There is a premium in contract value for that ability.

 

I'm not sure Reddick's team would commit to that same contract, if they had to do it over again.

 

Myers's contract was pretty controversial when it was signed, wasn't it?

 

No one is saying Eddie's not a major leaguer. But the money he's due from arbitration looks pretty rich for his skill set, and these comps reinforce my view rather than change it.

 

Our FO probably views it as a close decision - but at the end of the day they have to decide - they can't do a blend of yes and no. As has been speculated elsewhere, putting him on waivers could be a last attempt to actually keep him, due to the weird financial rules in the sport.
 

    • DocBauer and heresthething like this

 

Three of the comps you offered saw significant innings in center field. There is a premium in contract value for that ability.

 

I'm not sure Reddick's team would commit to that same contract, if they had to do it over again.

 

Myers's contract was pretty controversial when it was signed, wasn't it?

 

No one is saying Eddie's not a major leaguer. But the money he's due from arbitration looks pretty rich for his skill set, and these comps reinforce my view rather than change it.

 

Our FO probably views it as a close decision - but at the end of the day they have to decide - they can't do a blend of yes and no. As has been speculated elsewhere, putting him on waivers could be a last attempt to actually keep him, due to the weird financial rules in the sport.
 

Wow, I didn't realize Garcia played so much CF for the Rays. He's not fit for that role, he's clearly a corner OF. Pollock played more LF than CF in 2020, but he was likely signed as a CF guy.

 

I'm totally fine with them letting him hit the market, but I still think $10-12M is a good deal to get a guy who can hit like he can. Maybe put him in LF in a smaller stadium or pair him up with a speedy CF like they did with Buxton. But with payroll contracting it makes sense to go with the young guns.

    • ashbury likes this


They have until 7 PM tonight to offer him a contract.
    • ashbury likes this

They have until 7 PM tonight to offer him a contract.

4ooi04.jpg
 

Thanks, John.

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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Dec 02 2020 02:46 PM

 

 

I'm not sure Reddick's team would commit to that same contract, if they had to do it over again.

 

Myers's contract was pretty controversial when it was signed, wasn't it?

 

And at least two of those players - Pollock and Reddick - were playing on contracts they signed as unrestricted free agents and when they were perceived as being at the height of their value. 

 

That Eddie isn't perceived as at the height of his value says something about how the valuation of players has changed since those contracts. But also he's just at a different point in his travel through baseball's financial landscape (regardless of how fair or unfair that landscape may be) than several of these players were.

John, everything you stated in your OP is 100% correct and spot on. But the key quote that I wanted to highlight is the following: "He led the team in RBI the last three years. Granted, he had a lot of opportunities, but someone still needs to cash those chips. Eddie did." To me, that is the most salient point. You simply can't plug anyone in to an RBI spot and just expect results. It still takes a hitter who has the mentality to accept that role and produce. I'm reminded many years ago of Manny Ramirez not wanting that role with Cleveland initially. He had been very productive as a 6-7 hitter and had misgivings initially being the cleanup man. Obviously, he ended up accepting the role and grew in to it exceedingly well. The bite is, even with 3 top/good prospects all seemingly ready or near ready, anything close to "normal" in the baseball world right now would have brought Eddie back for another year while the kids earned their playing time and forced their way in to the lineup. Rosario MIGHT have been traded during the season if said prospects really stood out. And if things were "normal" and the Twins still wanted to move forward, Eddie and his 2021 salary would have at least some trade value now. But we are not in normal times. And so this move gets made as position-wise, it's probably the easiest spot to fill and save $ for other needs. But no contending team can just lose their primary #3 and #4 hitters at the same time. So while I don't knkw if Eddie will be back on a smaller deal, or Cruz retained, SOMEONE will need to be brought in if both are gone.
    • Rigby, Vanimal46 and tony&rodney like this
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IndianaTwin
Dec 02 2020 08:47 PM

Count me among the people who were hoping he would be back. That noted, I've said on multiple occasions that the two dominant themes I see in this front office are: 

 

1. Focus on winning each decision by a little bit, knowing that the sum of all the decisions is what matters, not the splash of a single move. So while I'd rather have kept him, I'm going to withhold judgment, assuming that they will find a sneakily efficient way to redeploy the salary.*

 

2. Allow maximum flexibility, and don't paint yourself into a corner with expensive and/or long-term contracts that you'll regret. I think this checks the box. Since the decision had to be made at the beginning of the off season, I can understand them saying, "Let's free up the cash to be able to jump on a sneakily efficient signing/trade when the opportunity arises." If this decision was being made in March, after the dust settles elsewhere, they may have handled it differently. 

 

 

 

*And the "sum of the parts" approach is why I'm not going to get hung up on any single decision they make. 

    • DocBauer likes this

Wouldn't it suck if Rosario went to Boston and killed it for 6-8 years.....


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