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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Today, 12:09 AM
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. ...

Pitchers and Catchers Report Date?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:47 PM
What is the current status of Spring Training, and the start of the season? Is there a schedule?

Feinsand: Twins Interested in Marwin Reunion

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:32 PM
The Twins reportedly have expressed interest in re-signing free agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand shares the repo...

Who do you think is the Twins best/worst Free agent that...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:10 PM
Who do you guys think is the one who got away? Was a free agent and the Twins let them walk? No not Johan Santana as they traded him, I...

Toby Gardenhire will manage AAA St. Paul Saints

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 06:28 PM
I'm surprised no one has posted this in this forum already. Here's the story from Phil Miller of the Strib.   https://www.startrib.....


Minnesota Twins Extend Affordable Ace Phil Hughes

Posted by GoGonzoJournal , 22 December 2014 · 3,240 views

phil hughes terry ryan ervin santana david price jon lester

Poll: Do you like the Phil Hughes extension? (3 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the Phil Hughes extension?

  1. Yes (3 votes [100%])

    Percentage of vote: 100%

  2. No (0 votes [0%])

    Percentage of vote: 0%

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Minnesota Twins Extend Affordable Ace Phil Hughes Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins extended Phil Hughes through 2019, effectively making his contract a five-year, $58 million deal. He will earn $9.2 million in 2015 and 2016 before earning $13.2MM annually from 2017 to 2019. Considering his 2014 numbers, the $11.6 million per year average salary is more than reasonable.

This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.

If you consider the Twins’ recent signing of Ervin Santana, the extension looks even better. Ryan cut a check to Santana for four years and $55 million – a reasonable price to pay for a proven middle-of-the-rotation starter. But that’s roughly $2 million more per year for a guy whose numbers weren't in Hughes’ ballpark. Santana’s FIP (3.39), xFIP (3.47), and SIERA (3.63) indicate he was better than his ERA (3.95), but not nearly as good as Hughes.

Hughes had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball history last season at 11.63, allowing less than a walk per game. He gave up as many homers (16) as walks in 2014. His 3.52 ERA was inflated due to terrible outfield defense and below-average infield defense. In fact, Hughes’ sabermetric numbers make him look like a god. FIP (2.65), xFIP (3.18) and SIERA (3.17) all show that Hughes was a lot better than his ERA. He finished seventh in the 2014 Cy Young voting, however, most wouldn't consider him an ace, despite finishing tied for fourth among all pitchers with 6.1 Wins Above Replacement last season. The two guys he tied, David Price and Jon Lester, will both make more than Hughes next season. Price made $14 million in arbitration last year, and Lester signed a monstrous six-year deal worth nearly $26 million per year on average.

The extension includes a limited no-trade clause allowing Hughes to block trades to three teams each year, so if Hughes can repeat his ace-like 2014 season, Terry Ryan will have an excellent trade chip with a team-friendly contract. If Hughes gets hurt or takes a step back, the deal doesn't look as good, but given his strategy of limiting free passes and forcing harmless fly balls in big Target Field, I don't think it’s likely he regresses. He’s a new man in Minnesota.

I mostly like the deal except I would have waited until after the 2015 season to do it. Hughes was set to make just $8 million next year, but the difference between $8 million and $9.2 million or even $11.6 million is negligible. Also, Hughes could have performed even better in 2015 and priced himself out of Minnesota, so Terry Ryan hit it out of the park with this deal. Hughes and Santana look to be the veterans that will lead this young Twins squad into the future, and if they're still around when Byron Buxton roams center field, their numbers will look even better. Let’s just hope Ryan doesn't fail to trade Hughes or Santana when they're most valuable.

Let’s just hope Ryan doesn't fail to trade Hughes or Santana when they're most valuable. And therein lies the problem! TR has very little if any history of selling high. It seems his theory is to try and win the most amount of games possible. On its face value, that looks like a great idea. But in reality if you are not in the picture for a playoff spot, its little more than a number. It will be interesting to see what happens this year with the pitching. He has kind of painted himself in a corner. If the three high buck pitchers don't perform, he can't trade them. And unless something has drastically changed he won't eat salary. Many might not agree with me, but I see TR structuring a roster as if he has an almost contender, instead of what he really has! A team to be completely rebuilt in 2015!

But "trading high" has the corollary risk that after awhile you accumulate a collection of players you can't trade because they aren't performing.


I don't think a GM can go in with a strategy of trying to outfox his peers on the other teams, unless he is *very* confident in his talent and assessment.Because with one or two exceptions, the other guys know who is playing over their heads too.