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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

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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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Milldaddy's 2021 Offseason Blueprint

Posted by milldaddy35 , 03 November 2020 · 2,170 views

What's up everyone? You may know me from the forums as I have created and introduced multiple game threads throughout my time spent at TwinsDaily, and have also created offseason blueprints in the past. This year is the hardest one I will have done, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and it's affect on spending both on the Minnesota Twins, as well as baseball as a whole.

The Twins spent what would have been 135M on their payroll in 2020, before being prorated. I am going to assume that that numbers stays fairly steady, but to be on the safe side, am going to project between 125-130M for the 2021 payroll.

First thing first, and that is arbitration estimates, which come from MLB trade rumors.

SP Jose Berrios - 5.3M (Tender)
CF Byron Buxton - 4.4M (Tender)
RP Tyler Duffey - 1.7M (Tender)
C Mitch Garver - 1.8M (Tender)
RP Taylor Rogers - 5.5M (Tender)
LF Eddie Rosario - 10M (Non-Tender)
RP Matt Wisler - 1.4M (Tender)

Total - 20.1M

I don't think any of these decisions will shock you, and I don't think very many are up for debate besides Eddie Rosario and Taylor Rogers. Rosario is an above-average OF who swings at a TON of pitches out of the zone, and doesn't provide + defense in left field. In a normal year I think Eddie is non-tendered, and in this messed up year I can almost promise you that he will be non-tendered. Rogers struggled throughout the year, but his peripherals looked good, which is promising. The only hesitation on this is what we saw Cleveland do with Brad Hand. However, Taylor is due almost half his salary, and is a better pitcher. Sign me up.

Guaranteed Salaries:
Donaldson - 21M
Sano - 11M
Pineda - 10M
Kepler - 6.5M
Polanco - 4.3M
Maeda - 2.5M
23 players making the league min. -13.2M

Total - 88.9M
To spend - 36.1M

Now lets project the locks to make the roster (pending trade):
C - Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers
1B - Miguel Sano
2B - Luis Arraez (L)
3B - Josh Donaldson
SS - Jorge Polanco (S)
LF - Jake Cave (L)
CF - Byron Buxton
RF - Max Kepler (L)

This leaves us with the following holes in the lineup:
Backup SS
Utility IF
Right Handed OF
Designated Hitter

Now for the pitching side:
SP - Kenta Maeda
SP - Jose Berrios
SP - Michael Pienda
SP -
SP -

RP - Taylor Rodgers (L)
RP - Tyler Duffey
RP - Matt Wisler
RP - Jorge Alcala
RP - Cody Stashak
RP-
RP -
RP -

This leaves us needing:
Starter
Starter
Reliever
Reliever
Reliever

Reminder, we have between 36-41M to spend on these holes.

Now for the fun part; lets spend some money and fill in some holes!

Starting Pitcher (2)
Internal options:
Randy Dobnak - I think Randy Dobnak slots somewhere into the Major League club, and that is exactly what I am going to do. We saw him start off real strong, being on the leaderboard for ERA. However, he faltered quickly, and lost his job. I believe he has what it takes to bounce back, and we're going to make him the #5 starter on the squad.
Devin Smeltzer - I don't think Smeltzer is a MLB starter, and has a career ahead of him being a long guy out of the bullpen. He'll start at AAA.
Lewis Thorpe - Thorpe seemed to have issues with the front office, being sent down with the first waive of players in ST 1.0, but eventually got a shot at the club. He did not pitch well, and I see him filling a role similar to Smeltzer
Jhoan Duran - Duran is an intriguing young arm, but for a club wanting to contend, not the type of guy you can roll into the year with. He'll start at AA or AAA.


Sign Robbie Ray to a One Year, 6M dollar deal
Robbie Ray was widely regarded as one of the best SP's hitting the market this year, but then his 2020 season happened, which was not pretty. However, I think Ray has the potential to be an upside signing for a team with good pitching development, which is what the Twins have in place. If they can harness the control (7.1 BB/9 in 2020, 4.6 career), he can be a good starter in the Central. If he doesn't work out as a starter, he can fall back to a bullpen role, and pitch well from the left side.

That brings the rotation to:
SP - Kenta Maeda
SP - Jose Berrios
SP - Michael Pineda
SP - Robbie Ray
SP - Randy Robnak

Remaining budget: 30M

Relievers (3)
Internal options:
Brandon Waddell (L) - Just claimed on waivers from the Pirates, a Matt Wisler type arm from the left side. I don't see him breaking North on opening day.
Ian Gibaut - Another waiver claim, this time from the Texas Rangers. Ian also comes from the Matt Wisler mold, and throws plenty hard to compliment his breaking ball. I think he finds a role on the opening day roster, and we will slot him into the front end of the bullpen.
Edward Colina - We saw him debut in his only game of the year for the Twins, going very poorly. I think he is probably starting the year off at AAA, but we will see him sometime in 2021.
Dakota Chalmers - Has yet to see MLB action, acquired along with Sergio Romo in the 2019 trade. AAA to start the year.

Pending free agents:
Sergio Romo - We've seen Romo's wicked slider do his tricks for the Minnesota Twins, but his option was declined by the FO. There could be interest in bringing him back, but combine his age with his antics, and I think it's time to move on.
Tyler Clippard - Clippard was effective for the Twins in 2020, and I see no reason to not bring him back.
Trevor May - I love May, but I think he will probably find a spot where he can have a cemented late inning bullpen role. The Twins can't offer that, and for good reason.

Resign Tyler Clippard to a 1 year, 2.5M dollar deal
Clippard was set to make 2.7M with the Twins his first go around, and I am willing to give him a very similar deal. He is aging, but he has a pitch profile that doesn't rely on velocity, and can get both righties and lefties out.

Sign Joakim Soria to a 1 year, 6.5M dollar deal
Take the money that you had set aside for Sergio Romo, give it to Soria, and add a little bit on to sweeten the pot. Soria throws an effective slider similar to Romo, getting a whiff rate of over 30% in 2020. He doesn't rely on his fastball, which averaged between 92-93 MPH in 2020. He adds a veteran presence to the bullpen, and can pitch in high leverage innings as the setup man.

That gives us a bullpen of:
RP - Taylor Rodgers (L)
RP - Tyler Duffey
RP - Matt Wisler
RP - Jorge Alcala
RP - Cody Stashak (L)
RP- Tyler Cippard
RP - Joakim Soria
RP - Ian Gibaut

Remaining budget: 21M

Now onto the hitters, where the holes are backup SS, Utility IF, Right handed OF, and DH.

Backup SS
There is really only one option here for me, and that is resigning Ehire Adrianza to fill in this role again for the Minnesota Twins. He is cheap, good on defense, and can hit enough for his role. This is an easy choice.

Resign Ehire Adrianza to a 1 year, 1.5M dollar deal
This is a nearly identical deal to what Ehire got in 2020, and should suffice for both sides. The only holdup is if Ehire believes that he is good enough to start somewhere in the MLB. If this is the route that Ehire chooses to take, then a clear internal option is either Royce Lewis (not happening), or Nick Gordon.

Utility Infielder
Internal options:
Travis Blankenhorn (L) - We saw Travis a lot during the Summer Ball scrimmages, and also saw him for a brief time with the Twins in 2020. He looks like a tank, and can play 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. However, he hits from the left side, which is not what the Twins need.
Royce Lewis - Former #1 pick who is widely regarded as a top 50 prospect around the league. I think Royce needs more seasoning, and when he is brought up, it will be as an every day role.
Nick Gordon - Lost an entire year of playing time due to COVID-19, which makes him hard to evaluate. Just to be on the safe side, I am going to assume he either a. starts in the minors, or b. is DFA'd.

Sign Jonathan Schoop to a 1 year, 6M dollar deal
I would love to see the former Twin back in town as a utility infielder, and he fits the exact mold of what the Twins need. He has a strong arm at 2nd base, which should allow him to play 15-20 games at third base if the Twins need him to. He has a career OPS vs lefties of .726, and can hold his own against righties.

That bring us to an infield of:
C - Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers
1B - Miguel Sano
2B - Luis Arraez (L), Jonathan Schoop
3B - Josh Donaldson
SS - Jorge Polanco (S), Ehire Adrianza (S)

Remaining Budget - 13.5M

Right Handed OF
Internal options:
Brent Rooker - We saw Rooker come up and mash in his first stint with the Twins before breaking a bone in his forearm, which is not exactly an easy injury for a hitter to overcome. If he recovers fully, I expect him to break North with the Twins. However, we are the Twins, so I am going to plan for the worst case scenario.

Sign Kevin Pillar to a 2 year, 12.5M Dollar deal
Kevin Pillar plays great outfield defense, and hits lefties well. In 2020, he had an OPS of .969 vs LHP, but was abysmal vs right handed pitchers, OPS less than .700. However, that is fine, as he is one of the better Center Fielder's on the defensive side of the ball, and has experience playing the corner outfield. He is a dream fit for the Twins, which makes me willing to give him a 2 year deal.

Remaining Budget - 7.25M

That's it, we did it, and we spared some extra cash. Now lets break things down.

C - Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers
1B - Miguel Sano
2B - Luis Arraez (L), Jonathan Schoop
SS - Jorge Polanco (S), Ehire Adrianza (S)
3B - Josh Donaldson
LF - Jake Cave (L)
CF - Byron Buxton, Kevin Pillar
RF - Max Kepler (L)
DH: One of Alex Kiriloff or Brent Rooker

SP - Kenta Maeda
SP - Jose Berrios
SP - Michael Pineda
SP - Robbie Ray
SP - Randy Robnak

RP - Taylor Rodgers (L)
RP - Tyler Duffey
RP - Matt Wisler
RP - Jorge Alcala
RP - Cody Stashak (L)
RP- Tyler Cippard
RP - Joakim Soria
RP - Ian Gibaut

This blueprint largely brings back the squad from 2020, with exceptions to Eddie Rosario, Jake Odorizzi, and Nelson Cruz + players around the margin. I think that this group has what it takes to win the Central, and win a playoff series (gasp). The rotation has a wildcard in it, but for a reasonable amount. The bullpen was largely kept in tact, but replaced one veteran presence with another. The lineup loses Nelson Cruz, but adds in young guys like AK and Brent Rooker, and expects bounce back years from some of: Mitch Garver, Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano, JD, and Max Kepler. They are supplemented with 2 lefty killers in Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Schoop.


Let me know your thoughts on this blueprint below!




Trade Taylor Rogers and bring in Brad Hand on a 2 year $15M.

Who's playing the other 80 games at 3B?

It looks pretty good, I think Jake Cave starting in LF is a huge drop from Rosario, whose has led the Twins in RBI the past 2 seasons.I pony up for Rosario for one more year, keep Cave as a fourth OF.

Nicely laid out and reasoned.I have a couple of changes, one of them big.

 

C Gaver & Jeffers

1BKiriloff

2BArraez Schoop

SSPolanco Adrianza

3B Donaldson 

OF Kepler, Buxton, Rooker, Cave

DH Cruz

SP Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Ray, Dobnak

RP Hand, Duffey, Rogers, Alcala, Wisler, Stashak, Clippard, Ed. Colina

 

In this scenario I trade Sano and put Kiriloff at 1B.I save 11.5 million.I'm not going to say WHO we trade Sano for, that could make for some good discussion elsewhere.But in not having Pillar, Sano and Soria we free up an additional 24.5 million.Rooker and Kiriloff are about 1.2 million total Brad Hand costs us 7.5 million.We still have about 7 million to play with.We could have a better backup SS, we could add another veteran piece to the bullpen or look for a bigger piece than Robbie Ray in the rotation.Having Rogers and Duffey for high leverage situations and a proven closer in Hand makes for a great bullpen. 

 

    • milldaddy35 likes this
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SF Twins Fan
Nov 09 2020 09:53 AM

Let's not spare $7.5M and sign some players who are actually good. There is no reason to go into the season that far below a budget. The Twins are in the contending years, so lets not waste it on signing players like Robbie Ray and Jonathan Schoop. Additionally, the Twins bullpen needs at least one major upgrade as you can't rely on a Rogers turnaround. 

Robbie Ray is off the market.Time to make another choice.

Who is that/where does that Robnak guy in the rotation come from?