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  • 2014 Minnesota Twins Offseason Blueprint

    In the Twins Daily 2014 Offseason Handbook, the writers' blueprint plans are one of the best parts. There are plenty of ways to go about trying to fix the Twins team but some patience might be required as the club waits for younger pieces to work their way through the minor leagues.

    Here is how I would go about trying to fix the team. Some of these ideas will happen and some won't but that's what makes this fun.


    Starting Line-Up
    C- Josmil Pinto- $0.5 million
    1B- Joe Mauer- $23 million
    2B- Brian Dozier- $0.5 million
    3B- Miguel Sano- $0.5 million
    SS- Pedro Florimon- $0.5 million
    LF- Oswaldo Arcia- $0.5 million
    CF- Aaron Hicks- $0.5 million
    RF- Trevor Plouffe- $2.0 million
    DH- Josh Willingham- $7 million
    -------------------------------------------------
    $35.0 million committed to nine hitters

    Breakdown: Sano has an impressive spring with the major league club and earns the starting third base job. Mauer's concussion concerns are enough to push him to spend more time at first base than catcher for the first time in his career. He could get some playing time behind the plate but the Twins need to protect their most important asset. Willingham's injury concerns last season make it much easier to move him to full-time DH to take some of the wear and tear off his legs.

    The outfield can be a little shaky with a couple young players. Hicks has the entire offseason to mull over his terrible 2013. This should give him the drive to earn back his starting job in center field. Plouffe shifts to right field with the emergence of Sano.

    Bench
    C- Ryan Doumit-$3.5 million
    IF- Eduardo Escobar- $0.5 million
    1B/OF- Chris Parmelee- $0.5 million
    OF- Darin Mastroianni- $0.5 million
    -------------------------------------------------
    $5.0 million committed to four bench positions

    Breakdown: Parmelee and Mastroianni will likely get at-bats at first base and in the outfield, respectively, so they will be semi-regular players. It will be a make it or break it year for Parmelee with some young prospects making their way toward Target Field. It would be nice to add some veteran catching depth but I think the Twins will use Pinto, Doumit and a sprinkling of Mauer behind the plate. Escobar is a nice piece to have and he has the ability to fill in at multiple positions.

    Starting Pitching
    1. Josh Johnson- $7 million
    2. Phil Hughes- $8 million
    3. Kevin Correia- $5.5 million
    4. Kyle Gibson- $0.5 million
    5. Johan Santana- $1.0 million (+ incentives)
    Johan insurance: Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, and/or Sam Deduno ($0.5 million each)
    -------------------------------------------------
    $22.0 million committed to top five/ $23.5 million with Johan insurance

    Breakdown: Target Field would be a perfect place for Johnson to rebuild some value on a short-term deal. Hughes signed to a two-year, $16 million deal to earn his place as a top of the rotation arm. Correia and Gibson can fit nicely in the middle of the rotation with less pressure to perform as top of the rotation guys. Does it make sense to sign a guy like Santana coming off his second shoulder surgery? Probably not but it would still be fun to see him back in a Twins uniform. Also, the team has other guys that could fit into the fifth spot if Johan doesn't work out.

    Bullpen
    Righties: Jared Burton, Casey Fien, Anthony Swarzak, Michael Tonkin- $5.5 million
    Lefties: Caleb Thielbar, Brian Duensing- $2.5 million
    Closer: Glen Perkins- $3.75 million
    -------------------------------------------------
    $11.75 million committed to seven relievers

    Breakdown: The bullpen was the best part of the 2013 team so there is no reason to make any drastic changes. It could make sense for the club to non-tender Duensing but the team might like having another lefty to go along with Thielbar. Tonkin has a chance to turn into a late-inning pitcher of the future but the Twins can rely on Burton and Perkins for the time being. If Minnesota can get any trade value for one of their veteran righties, the team could let Duke Welker take over a bullpen spot.

    Minnesota Twins 2014 Checkbook
    Starting Line-Up: $35.0 million
    Bench Players: $5.0 million
    Starting Pitching: $22.0 million
    Bullpen: $11.75 million
    -------------------------------------------------
    $73.75 million committed to Opening Day 25-man roster
    This article was originally published in blog: 2014 Minnesota Twins Offseason Blueprint started by Cody Christie
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      Well done. I think your prices on Hughes and Johnson are low. Personally I don't care what kind of spring Sano has, he is going to get more seasoning in the minors.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      I agree the prices are probably a little low on Johnson & Hughes, but clearly there's room in the budget to go higher on them. I'd be happy to go 3 years $27M on Hughes, whom I think would fit in very nicely at Target Field. I wouldn't waste time & effort to bring back Johan, whom I think would have too high expectations from the media and fanbase; moreover I think the team has options for a 5th starter in Deduno, Worley, and Diamond that work. It's only when we need them to be 2 or 3 starters that things look so ugly. If the Twins sign Johnson & Hughes the rotation improves massively.

      I doubt Sano starts with the club, but it sure is fun to think about it! I want Parmelee to succeed, but I'm increasingly of the belief that he's a replacement-level guy at best, a real AAAA talent. You can't count on him.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Just say no to Phil Hughes. He's essentially Kevin Correia and there is no reason to give him that kind of a contract. I like taking a flyer on Johnson because, if by some miracle he stays healthy, you actually have a top notch pitcher as opposed to another 3/4 type starter. I honestly believe Swarzak could put up Phil Hughes type numbers if given a chance (I know, let the ripping begin).

      I would also make sure Willingham, Doumit and Plouffe all get plenty of at bats early and deal any / all of them as soon as they hit a hot streak and their value goes up some. Doumit could be dealt this winter as his value is likely to be the same. I would let Parmelee play first / right field a bunch with the idea that this is his last chance - he sinks or swims.

      Lastly, the question of when to call up the next wave is simple. When they are ready, bring them up; no need to rush them if they haven't handled AAA or no need to delay for service time reasons.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      How many wins for this team? I think that it is always important to ask this question. If the answer is less than 86, then more changes are needed.

      And this lineup and bench contain a whole bunch of people who were part of the problem the last couple years...
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      How many wins for this team? I think that it is always important to ask this question. If the answer is less than 86, then more changes are needed.

      And this lineup and bench contain a whole bunch of people who were part of the problem the last couple years...
      Therein lies the problem....when you have as far to go as the Twins do, it really is a multiple year process if you are going to replace them with better parts and still get something for them. That's why I am really hoping that Willingham starts fast so we can deal him. One of the things I am really looking forward to is a roster that doesn't have so many guys that are sub par defenders shuffling around between corner outfield, first base, DH, etc.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
      Just say no to Phil Hughes. He's essentially Kevin Correia and there is no reason to give him that kind of a contract.
      Hughes and Correia are nothing alike. Hughes is a flyball pitcher with a 20% K rate who throws a 92 mph fastball. Correia is a groundball pitcher with a 15% K rate and a 90 mph fastball.

      I'm not sold on Hughes, but I think the emphasis on groundball pitchers in a pitcher friendly park with a questionable infield defense is maybe misguided. I'd much prefer a guy who can manage a leage average strikeout rate even if it means more flyballs.
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Hughes and Correia are nothing alike. Hughes is a flyball pitcher with a 20% K rate who throws a 92 mph fastball. Correia is a groundball pitcher with a 15% K rate and a 90 mph fastball.

      I'm not sold on Hughes, but I think the emphasis on groundball pitchers in a pitcher friendly park with a questionable infield defense is maybe misguided. I'd much prefer a guy who can manage a leage average strikeout rate even if it means more flyballs.
      I didn't mean style of pitching rather results. Old Goat did a comparison in another thread (which I can't find, sorry) and it was rather remarkable how KC had better stats than Hughes across the board, traditional and SABR stats. The only thing that intrigues me about Hughes is his age, and how much better his stats are away from Yankee Stadium. If that doesn't translate to Target Field (which it should) he solves nothing for us.

      I think strikeouts are great, rather have them than not but its not the be all, end all. Plenty of effective pitchers out there getting guys out in a variety of ways.

      A quick nit to pick: I think our infield defense other than Plouffe is fine.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Cody: I appreciate your analysis, but disagree with it. I hope the Twins trade Plouffe, not shift him to RF. He's way too inconsistent at the plate, and not a good defender. The Twins need to trade him for an A level SP.

      Sano likely won't be ready on opening day, so Escobar will be needed there until Sano is ready.

      Everyone thinks Mauer won't catch next year. NEWS: Yes he will. He'll spend much of his time behind the plate and the rest at DH. Pinto will also be behind the plate and serve time at DH.

      I also prefer Colabello over Parmelee. Colabello should be at 1B.

      I like Hughes and Johnson, but the Twins will need a third FA SP – other than Johan Santana, I might add.

      And add Ibarra to the team's relief corps.

      That's what the Twins need to do.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Hughes and Correia are nothing alike. Hughes is a flyball pitcher with a 20% K rate who throws a 92 mph fastball. Correia is a groundball pitcher with a 15% K rate and a 90 mph fastball.

      I'm not sold on Hughes, but I think the emphasis on groundball pitchers in a pitcher friendly park with a questionable infield defense is maybe misguided. I'd much prefer a guy who can manage a leage average strikeout rate even if it means more flyballs.
      Thank you on Phill Hughes! Although besides Plouffe, who is a half season away from a bench role the middle infield defense is quite good.
    1. AussieTwin's Avatar
      AussieTwin -
      I wanna throw one CRAZY idea out there. If we've got all this money why don't we try and spend it in an outrageous way. Matt Kemp? provided it wouldn't cost us any ridiculous prospect package. They'll probably look for Rosario since they lack infield players
      Report: Dodgers listening on OFers, who has the most trade value? - CBSSports.com
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I can't see Aaron Hicks or Sano starting the season in Minnesota. In fact, I would give a better chance to Sano than Hicks. Sano is coming off a fine minor league season and has progressed each year. Hicks is coming off an, at least, disappointing season wherein he wasn't recalled from Rochester. Hicks was promoted to the big leagues after a successful season at New Britain, coupled with a very good spring training. Next year, he will be considered coming off a poor season. Even if he's outstanding in the spring, the Twins can't and won't repeat their mistake of promoting him without success at the immediate lower level (AAA). Presley starts the season as the CF probably basically platooning with Mastroianni. Plouffe starts at third with a pretty short leash and also dependent on the early season success of Sano in Rochester.

      I am also not a fan of Colabello. I don't think he'll ever be able to hit major league pitching and he's poor at first and brutal in the outfield.
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