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Yet Another 2020 Blueprint: Wheeler and Ray, Let's Play!

Posted by Long Live La Tortuga , 14 November 2019 · 1,584 views

Throw another log on the off-season blueprint fire because here's one more opinion about how the Twins should approach the winter. I believe this game plan is realistic and it would make the 2020 Twins a more complete team than the 2019 Twins. This off-season is all about adding quality pitching (hopefully a lot of it!), and my blueprint does just that.

Assume that I was named honorary GM for the winter and let's fast forward to March 2020 to look at what I did before handing the keys back to Falvey and Levine:

Major transactions - offense:
1. Non-tendered CJ Cron
2. Signed Mitch Moreland to a 1 year/$7M contract with an option for 2021
3. Signed Brock Holt to a 2 year/$12M contract
4. Signed Alex Avila to a 1 year/$5M contract

I gladly moved on from both Jonathan Schoop and Jason Castro. Non-tendering Cron was not an easy decision, but I liked adding Moreland for his defense and left-handed bat. A rotating platoon of Moreland, Marwin Gonzalez and Miguel Sano makes sense at first base. Holt is a versatile player who has played multiple infield and outfield positions and has a lot of winning experience from his days in Boston. I'm not entirely sure that he fits in 2020 but I've long liked him as a player and couldn't say no when he price tag was reasonable. Also, he will replace Gonzalez in 2021 as the Twins' super utility player. Avila is likely just a one-year fill-in at catcher, but his left-handed bat should form a solid offensive platoon with Mitch Garver.

The Offense:
C Mitch Garver 575,000
1B Mitch Moreland 7,000,000
2B Luis Arraez 575,000
SS Jorge Polanco 3,830,000
3B Miguel Sano 5,900,000
OF Eddie Rosario 8,900,000
OF Byron Buxton 2,900,000
OF Max Kepler 6,250,000
DH Nelson Cruz 12,000,000
UTIL Marwin Gonzalez 9,000,000
UTIL Brock Holt 6,000,000
C Alex Avila 5,000,000
OF Jake Cave 575,000
IF Ehire Adrianza 1,900,000
Total Position Players 70,405,000

Major transactions - pitching:
1. Jake Odorizzi accepted the qualifying offer and signed a 1 year/$17.8M contract
2. Signed Zack Wheeler to a 5 year/$110M contract
3. Traded Trevor Larnach and two minor leaguers to Arizona for Robbie Ray
4. Traded two minor leaguers to Toronto for Ken Giles

I watched in horror when Cody Stashak pitched in the sixth inning of a one-run playoff game, and when Randy Dobnak STARTED a playoff game, and vowed that such silliness would never happen again on my watch. The winter started with Odorizzi accepting his qualifying offer, which was a win for both sides in my opinion. I called Kyle Gibson's agent and said that I have no interest in a reunion no matter the contract. I moved quickly and signed Wheeler while other potential suitors were busy talking to Cole and Strasburg. I believe that the Wheeler contract could prove to be a good value to the Twins, as he is still fairly young and may have untapped potential.

I read the rumors back in July 2019 and knew that the Twins had been in contact with both Arizona and Toronto about potential trades, so I picked up the phone and re-ignited those conversations. I reluctantly agreed to trade Larnach to Arizona, but I was happy to acquire Ray without giving up any major league players in the trade. I am in win-now mode, and believe that trading a player like Eddie Rosario may actually weaken the 2020 club more than it may strengthen it. The Toronto trade talks began a little frosty, as I chewed out their front office for never calling the Twins back last summer before trading Marcus Stroman to the Mets. But we got past it quickly, as the Blue Jays were eager to shed Giles' salary and receive two low-level minor league prospects in return.

The Pitching:
SP Zack Wheeler 22,000,000
SP Jose Berrios 5,400,000
SP Robbie Ray 10,800,000
SP Jake Odorizzi 17,800,000
SP Brusdar Graterol 575,000
RP Ken Giles 8,400,000
RP Taylor Rogers 3,900,000
RP Trevor May 2,100,000
RP Tyler Duffey 1,100,000
RP Zack Littell 575,000
RP Lewis Thorpe 575,000
RP Cody Stashak 575,000
Total Pitchers 73,800,000

Other:
Martin Perez buyout 500,000

Total Team Payroll 144,705,000

Jim Pohlad wasn't thrilled that I pushed the payroll to nearly $145M but I reminded him that the window for winning is wide open in 2020. If my roster meets expectations, the Twins will win the AL Central again and will be positioned for a deep playoff run.

  • nclahammer and Tom Froemming like this



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TwinsO'Holic
Nov 14 2019 03:12 PM

This is a great blueprint. Awesome job. I would be 100% on-board if this is what our roster looked like on Opening Day 2020. I especially appreciate the jab at Toronto's front office for "not calling the Twins back" on Stroman at the deadline. 

 

Wheeler. Ray. Let's. Play. 

    • TopGunn#22, LA VIkes Fan, nclahammer and 1 other like this
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Long Live La Tortuga
Nov 14 2019 03:14 PM

 

This is a great blueprint. Awesome job. I would be 100% on-board if this is what our roster looked like on Opening Day 2020. I especially appreciate the jab at Toronto's front office for "not calling the Twins back" on Stroman at the deadline. 

 

Wheeler. Ray. Let's. Play. 

Thank you TwinsO'Holic!!

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LA VIkes Fan
Nov 14 2019 03:25 PM

Love the end result; hate losing Larnach. How long is Robbie Ray's contract? 

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Long Live La Tortuga
Nov 14 2019 03:32 PM

 

Love the end result; hate losing Larnach. How long is Robbie Ray's contract? 

He's a FA after 2020 but if he pitches like I think he will, this trade was made assuming that the Twins would extend him long term.

I think you overpaid for 1-year of Ray some -- at least for an off-season trade. Also, I think the D'backs will be in contention and not so likely to trade Ray.

 

Who are you trading for one year of Giles?

 

Who is your backup Shortstop? Araez?

Overall, I like the blueprint. I do think, however, that paying $22.475 million on the bench is a little excessive. 

Yes Lonestar !Getting Giles to be the RH complement to Rogers is a great move.BUT...who are we giving up ?What is a reasonable price for Giles ??Ray and Wheeler are my targets for the pitching staff as well.One FA and one thru trade.In my mind, I was always trading Eddie for Ray.I think Larnach and Kiriloff are going to be better hitters than Eddie, maybe even fairly early in their careers.BUT...will they be better in 2020 ??They won't have the power, but they might get on base more consistently.Moreland is good as a LH 1B to platoon and the defensive upgrade is excellent.Avilia is O.K. as a LH complement to garver, but 5-million seems a bit rich for him.Brock Holt is very intriguing.He's very much like marwan without the power and I like your idea of having him after we part ways with Marwan.Great ideas !!

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sweetmusicviola16
Nov 16 2019 11:17 AM

I'm for trading for Giles. Care to drop any names on who the players we trade are? I'm not for the Ray trade. Too little return for Larnach. I'd rather see us pursue Matthew Boyd from Detroit for a lesser price. I think Boyd would give a great return on a better team.