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  • Twins Avoid Arbitration with Duensing, Plouffe, Swarzak

    The Minnesota Twins have reached agreements on one-year contracts with all three of their arbitration eligible players, according to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. Brian Duensing, who was in his second turn at arbitration, will earn $2 million in 2014. Trevor Plouffe and Anthony Swarzak, both eligible for the first time, will earn $2.5 million and $935K, respectively.

    With that, the Twins have wrapped up one of their last internal procedures of the offseason. Now, the focus shifts to remaining free agent targets and preparing for spring training, which is suddenly only about a month away.

    The salaries for Minnesota's three arbitration eligible players are basically in line with expectations. The agreements serve as a reminder that in many cases compensation is determined more by role than effectiveness. Duensing and Swarzak both had better seasons than Plouffe, but as full-time relievers they received much smaller raises than the regular third baseman.

    One interesting wrinkle is that Swarzak's contract includes a $25,000 bonus if he makes 10 or more starts this year, another indication that the Twins may still view him as a starter despite his success in the bullpen.
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      I, like you, don't think there is much of a comparison with Ortiz and Cuddyer, although other posters in this thread brought up their names in reference to Plouffe.
      Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

      I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

      I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.
      Amen to that! One good month and get paid 2 million plus. What a racket. And my money is on a year from now everyone on this board will be wanting to cut bait with him.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Hence my confusion as to why you said there was.

      I'm not saying to cut bait on Plouffe, might as well give him one more chance, but there is some strange kool-aid in Twins-land that has this guy overrated a lot. Mostly because of one flukey 5 week stretch.
      Apologies for the confusion. Again, I do NOT think Plouffe is the Second Coming of Ortiz, or Cuddyer, for that matter.

      He could be a super-utility 3rd baseman/corner outfielder and an emergency shortstop if Gardy pinch hits Plouffe for Florimon/Escobar.

      As far as the five week power fluke, what's really telling is Plouffe's lack of power throughout the minors. http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=plouff001tre

      .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Amen to that! One good month and get paid 2 million plus. What a racket. And my money is on a year from now everyone on this board will be wanting to cut bait with him.
      That could be. But that time is not now. Give him a second full year at the position to say definitively whether he belongs or not. Maybe he's traded or nontendered after the year. Until then, we have need for him.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      Apologies for the confusion. Again, I do NOT think Plouffe is the Second Coming of Ortiz, or Cuddyer, for that matter.

      He could be a super-utility 3rd baseman/corner outfielder and an emergency shortstop if Gardy pinch hits Plouffe for Florimon/Escobar.

      As far as the five week power fluke, what's really telling is Plouffe's lack of power throughout the minors. http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=plouff001tre

      .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.
      Just so we're clear: I don't think anybody was comparing Plouffe to those players. As you say, he does not have the track record of either player. We were comparing the decisions the org has made with those two players to this one.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      .725 OPS over nine MILB seasons, and 15 homers twice (+8 more in the majors, 2011). His career year may have been 2012.
      100% agree. He hasn't shown that kind of power consistently ever. It's why I took such issue with some who were putting him at a minimum of 20 homeruns last year.

      I really hope they find use for him in a platoon like the one jay mentioned above, but I don't think there is any mystery left about Plouffe. One more year as a placeholder and then on to a valuable bench role.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Just so we're clear: I don't think anybody was comparing Plouffe to those players.
      Yes, with this qualification: Can Plouffe blossom like Cuddyer and Ortiz did, after their 27th birthdays? Cuddyer and Ortiz fall into a category of 'late bloomers.' However, they showed more promise than Plouffe during the earlier stages of their careers.
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