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Are the Twins on the wrong path?

Posted by beckmt , 08 March 2017 · 1,561 views

We have all seen the divide in posters here with the comments on which starters should be with the Twins. It is still early or midway in spring training and this article is not so much of that debate, but a question of how the Twins should approach the next 2 years.

Starters: Only Santana and Hughes will have contracts into the 2019 season. The best crop of Free Agent pitchers will be on the market after the 2018 season. I feel that the Twins by that time need to know what holes in the rotation need to be filled. Given another article yesterday by Oldgoat_MN that showed the top 8 WAR teams for the starters all made the rotation this is a very vital area.
Problem: I do not feel that any of the current starters can average 3 WAR a year, and the Twins at this time do not have an ace to raise the average. There is also the issue of Molitor wanting to be manager and his contract runs out at the end of this year.
Solution: If you feel or want to give a number of the younger pitchers(Berrios, Gonsalves, Mejia, May) a chance, see what you can get for any starter but Santana the last week of spring training(clubs with pitching injuries will be looking). If you can get something of reason trade them, if not start the season with them and watch the market.
Also give Molitor an extension if you feel this process is not fair to him. Do not agree with this, but you have to cut the cord to solve the problem.

Bullpen: Weakest area of the team in my opinion at this time. Expect Kinzler to be the closer with Beilise, Breslow, Rogers, Chaigos, Pressley, Haley to be the rest with one spot TBD. Need to have stability here so do not see many youngsters up to start. By midseason hope performance and trades bring up several of the younger pitchers but this area is murky at best.
Problem, No frontline closer, not a great shutdown pen with punchout ability.
Solution: Maybe Perkins returns to health and is a factor, maybe Burdi and other of the young bullpen force there way up. See this as more of a season long process unless pen implodes.
Catcher: Castro is a given, Garver should start at AAA for atbats. Would prefer Murphy up, with Giminez in AAA if Murphy fails again.
Problem Castro is here for 3 years no clear line after.
Solution: One of Garver or Murphy is able to step up to become the starter and the kid the Twins drafted last year from Wisconsin is ready a year or two after that.

Infield. Current time it is Mauer, Dozier, Polonco, and Sano. 2019 it could be Mauer(at a very reduced price, if at all),otherwise Park or Vargas, Dozier or Polonco if Dozier traded or not resigned, Polonco or Gordon, and Sano(because I do not see a thirdbase replacement in 2 years, with Polonco or TBD as the utility infielder.
Problem: Do you resign Dozier, is Gordon the real deal, what to do with Mauer.
Solution: Trade Dozier at midseason if you are convinced that Gordon is for real. Tell Mauer at the end of his contract, that Jake cannot be considered for manager if Joe is playing and encourage his retirement. Move Sano to first if Park and Vargas cannot fill the hole. You may have to find a stopgap 3rd base replacement in this line. Maybe Goodrum short term.

Outfield: The one area of strength. No problems or solutions here unless either Rosario or Kepler do not pan out. Granite or pickup can be the 4th outfielder for a couple of years.

Notes: Short term until about 2020 or 2021 this team should be cheap. Signing pitchers to larger contracts will not be a payroll issue short term.
Solution is to go young over the next year, if Molitor does not handle the younger players or does not like this line, fire him(probably should anyway). This gives you the best chance to compete by 2019 and on from there. If you do not give you position players some hope, you will have a issue resigning without overpays, because everyone likes to play on a winner.

  • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Nice plan. Covering all the bases. Gotta plan for signing some real pitchers.

I like your main argument that there's no point in starting veterans who will be gone in two years anyway, when all they do is prevent us from seeing which youngsters will be building blocks when the good times come. I'd have no problem trading any veteran for prospects. It's better for the future when they mature, and better for development and evaluation of the young players now.


However I am skeptical that any of the top free agent pitchers will ever come here. They wouldn't want to, but more to the point, Pohlad would never outbid the Yankees for an ace pitcher. Or rather, outbid every singleteam in both leagues? Not gonna happen. And probably just as well -- we couldn't afford to eat a contract like that if they failed, which they do almost half the time. So I don't share your sense of urgency in cleaning house to make room for a free agent ace, though I do share your opinion that veterans can clog the openings for youngsters.


But it's not just Molitor that wants to mix in veterans. In that interview with Falvey Myah linked to, he says, "Our goal is to build around that young core," but then says, "So we want to make sure we surround the young players with the right veteran talent and guys that will fit to build the culture we’re looking for" and mentions Belisle and Castro as people who help make "a nice mix."


 I'm sure they would happily swap Santana for top pitching prospects though. Realistically, that's their only hope of getting an ace. They're not going to sign someone like Price or Zimmerman or Greinke. And that may be just as well.


Their best bet might be to sign or promote people to the closer role, inflate their statistics with meaningless saves, and swap them for young starters. The mystique of the "proven closer" is one of the last true market inefficiencies, and they should be doing everything they can to exploit that. Maybe they could even swap a mediocre reliever all puffed up with save stats for astud young catcher or a starting shortstop. I vaguely remember things like that happening before...

    • beckmt and Oldgoat_MN like this
Walter's Whites
Mar 08 2017 02:36 PM



The Twins have caused a lot of fear, anger, hate and suffering the past 6 years. Perhaps we are on the wrong path.

Nice breakdown. Thank you.

Our OF looks to be the best defensive OF the Twins have had in many years. Offensively there are still questions. None of the 3 have established themselves as someone the opposing team fears. Hopefully that will come. If not, OF are among the easiest to pick up in FA.


I, too, am looking forward to see who of Romero, Berrios, May, Gonsalves, Mejia, Thorpe and Melotakis could pan out. If two of them do then you sign a FA pitcher and *poof*, you are competitive.


Ah, baseball!

Nice breakdown. Thank you.
Our OF looks to be the best defensive OF the Twins have had in many years. Offensively there are still questions. None of the 3 have established themselves as someone the opposing team fears. Hopefully that will come. If not, OF are among the easiest to pick up in FA.
I, too, am looking forward to see who of Romero, Berrios, May, Gonsalves, Mejia, Thorpe and Melotakis could pan out. If two of them do then you sign a FA pitcher and *poof*, you are competitive.
Ah, baseball!

That is even forgetting Jay, Jorge, and Stewart. It will take the full 2 years to evaluate of the these pitchers. It also doesn't include the relievers.
As for none of the FA pitchers will come here, money talks as does a young good lineup. Many players live to win a World Series, I would hope this group takes us there. You will get a good FA pitcher to come here with the lineup talent and money. The question will be if it is the correct pitcher.
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

What is scary is looking waaaaay ahead. Who on the current 40-man roster do you expect to be here in 2019. Who in 2020.


After you eliminate about half the names at the least, then you start looking at the prospects that will make the call this season (few) or in 2019 (many) and 2020 (hopefully everything is pretty set).


Then you figure out the revenue you will have fielding the current team and the team of 2018 and who you might be looking at as a free agent, or better yet trade some of these prospects that MAY not pan out for the expensive guys early.


Man, I look at the 62/63 names that opened spring training camp and the list that I expect to be here is 2018:



























Hey, I have my 25-man roster! For 2018. 


    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
Do not think Slegers will be here, but Burdi might or another reliever, Glad you send Gibson packing.