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WARNE: In an Offseason Game of Poker, Falvey and Levine Make out Like Bandits

Posted by Brandon Warne , 12 March 2018 · 635 views

minnesota twins logan morrison lance lynn addison reed
Impatience is a natural tendency. That’s especially true for fans of a team that, despite making the postseason last year, had obvious flaws.

So in a sense, it was understandable when Minnesota Twins fans were annoyed that the team came home from the winter meetings just before Christmas with a 40-year-old closer and a broken down starter who gives up too many homers.

Little did they know what would lie ahead for the winter. In fact, it was another month before the Twins did anything substantive.

For Twins fans though, it was worth the wait.

From that point on, the Twins have made the following moves:
  • Jan. 13 – Signed Addison Reed (two years, $16.75 million)
  • Feb. 16 – Signed Anibal Sanchez (one year, $2.5 million*)
  • Feb. 17 – Traded for Jake Odorizzi
  • Feb. 25 – Signed Logan Morrison (one year, $5.5 million)
  • March 10 – Signed Lance Lynn (one year, $12 million)

*since released with a payment of under $500k

In the span of just under two months, the regime of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine added four significant players as well as a taken a flyer on a has-been. That’s not meant to be a slight on Sanchez, either; it’s certainly better to be a has-been rather than a never-was. Those types have been all too familiar on the roster in recent seasons.

It’s hard to know how early the Twins brass saw that this would be a slow-developing market, but they stayed away from two key tenets that we see a lot of fans cling to:
  • Address your biggest weaknesses first
  • Address your weaknesses quickly
By waiting out the early wave of free agency, the Twins managed to beef up their roster impressively while remaining on a strict budget. That’s not to say that these players couldn’t have provided value at much higher contract prices, but when given the choice between paying sticker price or waiting for a markdown, executives — and especially owners — are going to pick the latter.

As a brief aside, we don’t want this to sound like we support the system depression of contract values in an effort to maximize profits for ownership. We aren’t here to bang the drum for owners — directly or indirectly — but rather are hoping this is a market correction that exchanges long deals that frequently become albatrosses for perhaps shorter deals with higher average annual values.

For instance, if Bryce Harper signed next offseason for five years and $200 million ($40m per, but only through his age-30 season), as opposed to 15 years and say…..$450 million ($30m per, but through his age-40 season). That could theoretically be the happy medium between the bottom falling completely out of the market — Let’s be honest, Neil Walker for $5 million and year? That’s ridiculous — and the contracts that feature extremely player-friendly opt-outs like those in the deals of Jason Heyward (not great!) and Giancarlo Stanton (probably fine, but the Yankees get all the downside risk).

With that said, the Twins are slated to — assuming they’re finished shopping — head into the regular season with a payroll of $126.576 million according to Cot’s Contracts on Baseball Prospectus. That’s a new club record.

Please click through to Zone Coverage here to read the rest of the story.

  • dbminn and howieramone2 like this

The Twins need to be applauded for going after certain relief pitchers, pulling off a trade, and staying in touch with agents of free agents and making an offer, which many other teams didn't. Stop to think...if another team WANTED Lance Lynn, could they have ahd him for $12,500 million plus incentives? Not sure what gives in the marektplace and why Lynn didn't get a multi-year offer for $12+ million, but it is the Twins gain.

Picking up Logan Morrison was a dream DH grab.

Watching what is happening, though, you truly wonder what kind of salary a Mauer or Dozier would be had for in 2019. Donaldson MAY clean up, but who knows. Maybe it is time for players to realize that paychecks ALWAYS don't go up with age and experience.