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Article: Sizing Up Cody Allen

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Article: Where Are We Now?

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Waiting Game to Play Out Differently in Minnesota?

We’re nearing the middle of January and there are still plenty of high-caliber free agents on the open market. The Minnesota Twins have committed over $30 million to a foursome of players that should all be expected to help this club. There’s still another $30 million the front office could choose to allocate (more on that here), but the question is whether they’ll fall into advantageous situations like 2018.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Both Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison were coming off strong showings during the 2017 season. Any indications that they’d need to settle for bargain basement deals in the final hours of the free agency cycle were not apparent throughout the winter. The Twins were able to take advantage of both players and the market last season, but the deals went poorly for all involved. There’s an opportunity for things to be different this time around, and it’ll be worth monitoring to see what the reaction is.

After Lynn and Morrison flopped, story lines down the stretch emerged that the Twins would shy away from one-year deals or rogue agent type players. After being non-tendered, Minnesota’s first two acquisitions, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron, were both brought in on one-year pacts. All things are not always created equal however, and this is an instance of that. Cron had a career year in 2018 but was sent packing by the Rays. Grabbed by a system owning familiarity with his background, it had to feel like a nice spot for C.J. And Schoop is on a one-year bounce back opportunity after being an All Star in 2017.

More with something to prove rather than a level of scorn, guys like Schoop, Cron, and even Parker could funnel that energy into a Twins club that has improved over the course of this offseason. Given the decline in talent that the Indians have seen, any level of motivating factors outside the field of play may serve to close the gap.

There’s still just over a month until pitchers and catchers arrive at sunny Fort Myers for spring training. Obviously, the biggest names should have new homes by then, so things will have to start moving sooner or later. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren’t taking one-year deals because teams may be waiting them out, but Minnesota could end up striking late again on someone like Dallas Keuchel or Cody Allen.

Should the Twins emerge as a landing spot for a bigger name, I’d imagine it would come in the form of a price drop but still a longer-term pact. Allen or another reliever could be acquired on a one-year deal that wouldn’t come with baggage if the money ends up being right. For the former Cleveland closer, there’s probably a good deal of relationship equity in place with this Twins organization.

When the dust settles, I’d certainly hope that Minnesota has another move in them. If they learned anything from last year however, grabbing the guys who feel the process did them a disservice isn’t a good bet. The clearance rack is a fun place at Target, but we’ve seen how human commodities work out at Target Field. Jumping in on a market for guys who shouldn’t still be angling for a role, and compensating them at a level that suggests you believe they’ll advance their own and your cause, may be the bow this team needs to place on jumping the gun into relevancy.


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18 Comments

"Jumping in on a market for guys who shouldn’t still be angling for a role and compensating them at a level that suggests you believe they’ll advance your cause may be the bow this team needs to place on jumping the gun into relevancy."

 

This last little bit left me a little confused

    • Minny505, bighat and MN_ExPat like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 10 2019 06:17 PM

I think they'd be smart to get a guy on a 2-3 year deal. Big mistake they made last year pouncing on that was apparently the one year deals that brought in some salty players.

That's why I like the idea of salary and contract flexibility - some see it as lack of sustainability or something, but being free of anchor contracts makes an organization limber and able to adapt to changing times, kind of like we are seeing now. The UFA market isn't what it used to be.

 

I know, there is no salary cap in baseball, and the owners are obscenely wealthy, etc. However:

 

Risky contracts for the hell of it are opportunity cost. IMHO, Falvine are proceeding appropriately, given the unknowns on the Twins roster. I wouldn't go all in after a losing season and unloading a contract like Mauer's just yet. If Buxton and Sano fulfill some of their potential, and they post a winning record in 2019, they will be in excellent position to add pieces for a push in 2020.

 

"We shoulda signed so and so" ignores the fact that the Twins are 1 of 30 teams, all equally motivated, and all in the same business of winning ballgames.

 

 

 

 

    • birdwatcher, Dman, DocBauer and 4 others like this
How do you figure they have $30 million more to spend?
Last year was inflated from one time BamTec payment. They have about $9 million left to spend, by my accounting.
    • Dman and Minny505 like this
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howieramone2
Jan 10 2019 07:07 PM

IMHO this was a weak free agency market this season. As of this moment, the market for starting pitching looks much better next year. I'm still hoping we trade for at least a solid 3, and pick one more solid reliever. Two more solid moves to go with the 4 solid moves we have already made.

 

We are in good draft position, few teams do as well as we do in IFA, and we have seen 2 years in a row, they will be very active at the trade deadline. Time to open up the farm system for trades.

 

 

 

 

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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 10 2019 07:51 PM

 

I think they'd be smart to get a guy on a 2-3 year deal. Big mistake they made last year pouncing on that was apparently the one year deals that brought in some salty players.

I'm still not convinced it's the one year deals so much as the players missed Spring Training and entered the season rusty. By the time Lynn turned around, Molitor had broken the back of the bullpen through aggressive overuse of its best pitchers, Morrison had gone and injured himself, Dozier was directionless, and the wheels were already falling off.

    • birdwatcher, Danchat, dgwills and 6 others like this

I just went and looked at the list of unsigned pitchers and I have a hard time seeing why we would sign any of them instead of working with our own minor league prospects.Of course the list includes Pelfrey, Liriano, Belisle, Boyer, Colon, Garcia, Hughes, and Duke - any of them sound familiar?Go young or make a trade.These pickings are not worth pursuing.

    • caninatl04 likes this

"Minnesota could end up striking late again on someone like Dallas Keuchel or Cody Allen."

 

Yes, please.Either or both.

    • blindeke, Dr. Evil, gagu and 1 other like this

if you want someone... you go get him. That's how I think it should work.

 

Waiting for a bargain doesn't do much for me. 

    • USAFChief, Twins33, Monkeypaws and 4 others like this

 

if you want someone... you go get him. That's how I think it should work.

 

Waiting for a bargain doesn't do much for me. 

One method is deciding what player you want, and accepting the cost.

 

The other is deciding what cost you want, and accepting the player.

 

 

    • ashburyjohn, Twins33, Riverbrian and 9 others like this

I agree that patience, to a certain degree is good.But, if yah snooze...yah lose ! Cody Allen would be a GREAT pickup.And at his age, a 2 or 3 year contract would be justified.Someone like him at the back end means pitchers like May, Rodgers and Reed can be used in high leverage situations.For years we've read endless stories about all these young flamethrowers in the minors being groomed for our bullpen.These guys are all still MIA.Go get a Cody Allen and continue to see Romero as a starter.Keuchel would be a good consolation prize.But I'm concerned about his drop in velo.

    • ChrisKnutson and bighat like this

Apologies, but "(more on that here)" was intended to direct us where?

I don't really agree with the notion that free agents performed worse due to being "salty" about how free agency went for them.

 

What sense does it make for a player to slack off on a 1 year deal because they feel they were mistreated?That would only make the next offseason worse. 

 

I prefer the theories that Morrison was battling injuries and 2017 was a career year that he wasn't likely to duplicate over him being bitter about Free Agency.Also Lynn can point to the NL to AL switch as well as 2017 being a small sample size since his injury (5.10 ERA with the Twins last year isn't that far off from the 4.82 FIP he had 2017).

    • Danchat, blindeke and gagu like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 11 2019 09:34 AM

 

I'm still not convinced it's the one year deals so much as the players missed Spring Training and entered the season rusty. By the time Lynn turned around, Molitor had broken the back of the bullpen through aggressive overuse of its best pitchers, Morrison had gone and injured himself, Dozier was directionless, and the wheels were already falling off.

 

You may be right there, but it seems as though there was some recognition from the FO that a few folks were salty about said one year deals as well. 

    • birdwatcher and Minny505 like this
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ChrisKnutson
Jan 11 2019 11:44 AM
Just sign Cody Allen already!!! And if the FO doesn’t like the idea of overpaying to get him here on a 1yr deal, try giving him the length he wants (2-3 yrs), I’m pretty sure the price will drop as most players are just looking for security, especially the ones who’re coming off a down year like Allen.
    • howieramone2 likes this
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birdwatcher
Jan 11 2019 12:17 PM

 

I'm still not convinced it's the one year deals so much as the players missed Spring Training and entered the season rusty. By the time Lynn turned around, Molitor had broken the back of the bullpen through aggressive overuse of its best pitchers, Morrison had gone and injured himself, Dozier was directionless, and the wheels were already falling off.

 

 

Concur.

 

The length of a contract is basically irrelevant. Choose players who are positive and appreciative, stay away from players who are embittered by their circumstance. Sign players who solve a very specific problem. 

    • Major League Ready likes this
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birdwatcher
Jan 11 2019 12:25 PM

 

You may be right there, but it seems as though there was some recognition from the FO that a few folks were salty about said one year deals as well. 

 

 

When Levine made those remarks, he gave me a vague impression that he was alluding to the disgruntlement of Lynn and Morrison without naming names. Surely, Lynn was displeased with having to settle on both the AAV and length, Morrison too. Who knows, maybe Duke or someone else was a disruptive influence in the clubhouse too, but I'd very much bet those two guys in particular were the bad apples. They would not have signed a two or three year contract, I don't think, for the AAV they got on the one-year deals, and I think that's what Thad meant. 

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South Dakota Tom
Jan 11 2019 12:44 PM

 

Apologies, but "(more on that here)" was intended to direct us where?

http://twinsdaily.co...ns-excess-cash/


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