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Game Thread Twins @ Royals 6:05pm cdt 8/8/2020ad

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:02 PM
1. Dedication: If i were clever, i would dedicate this game thread to the pioneers of Twins Daily. But i wasn't around in the before time...

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Marco Gonzales: Underrated Target?

Posted by Cody Pirkl , 13 December 2019 · 1,644 views

Today I'm not going to try to sell you guys a top of the rotation arm that we could trade for. We've seen our fair share of coverage on David Price, Yu Darvish, etc. Instead I wanted to talk about an under the radar move for a valuable pitcher. Despite the criticism among fans for this team's failure to land the big fish, it's the exact kind of move that this front office loves to make. We need arms in this rotation. Not just for Pineda's month plus absence to begin the season, but down the stretch. Enter Marco Gonzales.

Marco Gonzales was acquired from the Cardinals by Seattle in 2017 and didn't have himself a banner year. The soft tossing lefty pitched to the tune of a 6.08 ERA in 40 innings combined between the two teams. However, he rebounded in 2018, throwing 166 innings with an ERA at 4.00 on the nose and peripherals that showed encouraging signs. In truly uncommon fashion in 2019, Marco Gonzales delivers the ball to the plate at just under 90 MPH, sitting at 89.3. Despite this, his sinker was his second best pitch at 3.8 pVAL. He complements this with a cutter, curveball, and his best pitch, the changeup. His 6.52 K/9 won't excite you, but his 1.02 HR/9 and near 41% groundball rate make for an excellent equalizer.

In 2018 and 2019, Gonzales was worth 3.4 and 3.7 wins respectively by Fangraphs measurements. His 2019 fWAR would have slotted him in as our 3rd most valuable pitcher behind Odorizzi and Berrios, and our 7th most valuable player on the roster. He may not push everyone in this rotation down one tier like we'd dreamed of at the beginning of the offseason, but he would likely be our 3rd or 4th best pitcher and has proven over the last two years that he can chew up innings with the best in the league. On top of all of his numbers, Gonzales also is paid $1m in 2020 and is controlled for the next 3 years.

Gonzales via trade may be better value than signing a Dallas Keuchel via free agency given what we've seen from the market, who actually had a worse year in 2019 despite a similar pitching style. The money could be allocated elsewhere whether it be bullpen or position help. Despite Gonzales being on top of the Mariners rotation, he should not cost a king's ransom via trade given his limited upside. We know the Mariners are in a rebuild, and they have Jerry Dipoto at the helm who would likely trade the family dog for AA arm he finds interesting. I think this addition would be unexciting for most, but extremely underrated. The Twins would have years of what appears to be an innings eater with a high floor and low ceiling, and would certainly become better as a team. Plus I would be 100% here for the angry Tommy Milone comps.

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John Bonnes
Dec 13 2019 10:28 AM

Interesting name. If the Twins had not signed Pineda, I'd be a little more interested in Gonzales. And I still might be interested if they lose out on Bumgarner and Ryu. But if they come out of this offseason swapping Gibson for Gonzales, I'm going to be at the front of the pack with my torch and pitchfork. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan and Cody Pirkl like this

 

Interesting name. If the Twins had not signed Pineda, I'd be a little more interested in Gonzales. And I still might be interested if they lose out on Bumgarner and Ryu. But if they come out of this offseason swapping Gibson for Gonzales, I'm going to be at the front of the pack with my torch and pitchfork. 

I could absolutely see the disappointment in this being the big pitching move. Gonzales seemingly lacks the floor we've seen from Gibson, but he undoubtedly lacks the ceiling. It's probably a better move for a season where we didn't have such a need for an upper tier arm, but in a vacuum I believe it would make the team better without much hit to the salary cap or minor leagues.

 

Interesting name. If the Twins had not signed Pineda, I'd be a little more interested in Gonzales. And I still might be interested if they lose out on Bumgarner and Ryu. But if they come out of this offseason swapping Gibson for Gonzales, I'm going to be at the front of the pack with my torch and pitchfork. 

Imagine seeing Boston sign Perez this week.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

The Twins need to get better than Gibson, circa 2018. Then they need to be better than Perez in anyway possible. And I will feel much better, then, about the Odorizzi and Pineda signings.

 

Don't get me wrong. It is probably WRONG to assume that players will consistently get better from season-to-season. The best you can usually hope for is that player declines will offset those that do excel. 

 

And that it the gamble you sometimes (ofttimes) take on someone like Marco, that he can only get better in the next 1-3 years, rather than sink into oblivion. But you don't know that.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Dec 15 2019 01:20 PM

 

Imagine seeing Boston sign Perez this week.

That was a head scratcher for me. If I were a Red Sox fan, I would be upset.

 

The Twins need to get better than Gibson, circa 2018. Then they need to be better than Perez in anyway possible. And I will feel much better, then, about the Odorizzi and Pineda signings.

 

Don't get me wrong. It is probably WRONG to assume that players will consistently get better from season-to-season. The best you can usually hope for is that player declines will offset those that do excel. 

 

And that it the gamble you sometimes (ofttimes) take on someone like Marco, that he can only get better in the next 1-3 years, rather than sink into oblivion. But you don't know that.

I would argue that Marco Gonzales has been more valuable than Kyle Gibson in each of the last two seasons, albeit he achieves his success with a much different style. He's not an exciting name, and doesn't get his outs in an exciting way, but he's a successful pitcher who is still young. Although I wouldn't expect him to get much better, I think he's a fantastic candidate to continue his success at least. In terms of Martin Perez, I can guarantee you Marco is better than him.