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So....Time to make a call to Kimbrel?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:19 PM
I know it’s being discussed in the game thread but figured why not give it one of its own. Prety sure there haven’t been any prior thread...

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A Triple A doubleheader added an extra game to a full slate of action on Tuesday night, and if not for a hit parade from Cedar Rapids, pi...

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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:07 PM
After three encouraging starts to open the season, Michael Pineda was pounded in his fourth start today. He gave up as many runs in the f...

Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:20 PM
I had fun with the "Ex-Twins in the Box Scores" post last year. I know, it's too early for any games at this point in the year, but I hav...

Buxton Stolen Base Streak

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:20 PM
Back on May 23, 2017 in Baltimore, Byron Buxton led off the third inning with a walk off of Dylan Bundy. After a foul bunt pop-up out (c...

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Is the Twins Narrative Really “Punting on 2019?”

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 10 February 2019 · 671 views

minnesota twins derek falvey thad levine byron buxton miguel sano
For weeks we’ve seen news outlets and beat writers suggest that the Twins have instructed them the focus for 2019 has been in seeing what Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano bring to the table. In a sport with a 25-man roster, the front office has trotted out a narrative that suggests the year ahead rests solely on the shoulders of a once promising duo. The reality in all of this is that same suggestion could be turned in to Minnesota punting on the season ahead, and the constructs of that suggestion remain relatively similar.

When 2018 ended the Minnesota Twins were done paying Joe Mauer $23 million a season for a contract that he easily earned. Regardless of whether or not he retired, the organization had no substantial money committed anywhere for either the year ahead or those to come. Given that situation, the hope was that the front office would find a way to allocate dollars and acquire talent for the road ahead. New faces have been brought in, but the reality is that the finished product looks like a half-hearted job.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this week, a point in which the offseason was generally seen as concluded. Last season we watched as Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison joined the club after that point, and in 2019, the top three free agents are still homeless when it comes to a team for the year ahead. Although a significant amount of deals have been done, there’re impactful moves for plenty of organizations still to take place.
In Minnesota, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine essentially have sat on their hands and suggested they’re good with “just enough.”

Right now most projection systems have the 2019 Twins tabbed for somewhere in the mid-80s as a win total. With Cleveland coming in about 10 games higher than that, the division certainly will go through the Indians once again. Given the steps back Terry Francona’s team has taken on paper however, it’s beyond disheartening to see Minnesota giving up on an attempt to make things interesting.

There’s currently a $30 million deficit between year-over-year spending. Sure this market will never compete with the biggest in baseball, but the $128 million bill for the 2018 squad was hardly breaking the bank for anyone connected to the Pohlad’s. It was a reach to call it league average, and the revenues generated were still enormous. Given the payroll constraints for the current season and the next one, Falvey and Levine could legitimately pay any free agent $30 million on a one-year deal, or $60 million over two to join the Twins today.

You’ll hear the retort that players have to want to come to the Twins, but it’s a suggestion that should fall on deaf ears. That premise operates under the guise that Minnesota is being turned down despite being the highest bidder. Last offseason Yu Darvish was the apple of the front office’s eye, and they lost out after failing to match the years in Chicago. Obviously that’s a bullet dodged today, but Minnesota got beat by themselves as opposed to an offer that genuinely allowed the player to weigh a possibility. Yasmani Grandal signed with the Brewers this winter on an extremely friendly deal, and while the Twins were “interested” and made an offer, things never went anywhere.

So many things went wrong in Minnesota a season ago, and chief among them were the regression of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. The club still ended up winning 78 games in an equally bad AL Central and is operating as if that’s the expectation for the year ahead. If Minnesota’s front office sees this team as a 75 game winner, then there’s no amount of free agent firepower that will close the gap. As an 80 win team banking on a rebound by former top prospects though, choosing to balk at more talent is irresponsible.

Adalberto Mejia may start in the bullpen. Fernando Romero may transition to a reliever. Matt Magill could be the 25th man, and Rocco Baldelli could be served with a pitching staff filled with question marks in the season ahead. Or, those sitting atop the org chart at 1 Twins Way could throw their remaining cash at Keuchel, Kimbrel, Gonzalez or some other assets that sets things on a better foot, and we could let the chips fall where they may.

If and when this season goes sideways, the front office can point back to suggesting they were waiting on Buxton and Sano. In reality, everyone is starting with a clean slate, and no one did less to capitalize on theirs than those in charge of righting the ship at Target Field.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • Highabove and nclahammer like this



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howieramone2
Feb 10 2019 02:35 PM

Sid and spotrac said we spent $ 114.5.last season. 121M in 2017. I would think everyone would know better than to believe Gleeman. How can you believe a college drop-out?

 

Our favorite team is going for it in 2019! Be there or be square!

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Ted Schwerzler
Feb 10 2019 02:38 PM

 

Sid and spotrac said we spent $ 114.5.last season. 121M in 2017. I would think everyone would know better than to believe Gleeman. How can you believe a college drop-out?

 

Our favorite team is going for it in 2019! Be there or be square!

Those numbers are based off of contracts shed and buyouts more than likely. The Twins began the year with a $128MM payroll.

 

By the way, revering Sid and downplaying Gleeman in the baseball realm at this point probably isn't a credible stance.

    • nicksaviking, Danchat, nclahammer and 1 other like this

 

Sid and spotrac said we spent $ 114.5.last season. 121M in 2017. I would think everyone would know better than to believe Gleeman. How can you believe a college drop-out?

 

Our favorite team is going for it in 2019! Be there or be square!

So you believe a high school drop out?

 

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killertwinfan
Feb 11 2019 08:34 AM

I am glad you wrote this, but, to call a punt right now is premature.Clearly the FO did not make a strong effort to field a competitive team for 2019.What will be annoying is that that we have so many "maybes" on this roster that it is likely that 3 of these guys will pan out, not make a difference yet Falvine can declare victory and blame the lost season on an under performing core.I was patient with the start of this regime, but it is running out and I am not happy with roster as it stands.  

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howieramone2
Feb 12 2019 03:23 PM

 

Those numbers are based off of contracts shed and buyouts more than likely. The Twins began the year with a $128MM payroll.

 

By the way, revering Sid and downplaying Gleeman in the baseball realm at this point probably isn't a credible stance.

I've revered Sid since I learned to read by reading his column. I don't read Gleeman, but every now and then I hit the wrong button.

I have been frustrated for the last three years.These are two players - put together the best roster that we can and they can compete for a place on it and we can compete for a World Series - I do not just want to pass Cleveland who are going no where and have no WS chance.That is why I posted this blog last year.  

 

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Kelly Vance
Feb 12 2019 07:30 PM

Jim wants to buy Fox. That is where his money is going