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Who Was The Twins Best Free Agent Signing?

joe mauer josh willingham minnesota twins ryan doumit
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#1 BBWriterMan

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:26 PM

I don't think it's too soon to look back on 2012, and debate who was the Twins' best free agent signing from last winter?

We clearly can't overlook what Josh Willingham did this year, but I said Ryan Doumit at the time of his signing and I think that held true. Simply put, the Twins needed someone that could catch, be little if any dropoff offensively from Mauer and make for a better offensive lineup on the days Mauer did not catch. Doumit fit that bill, and allowed Mauer to have a healthy season by being able to play first base and DH more often. Playing left field on occasion, even though he is clearly not suited to being an outfielder, enhanced Doumit's value even more.

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:39 PM

Great question because, like you said, Willingham has the incredible numbers, but Doumit has been incredible. Maybe it's a 1 and 1a kind of thing... add in Carroll, and Fien and Burton as a minor league free agent and it was a good offseason. Hopefully Mr. Ryan can have another similarly successful offseason this year, focusing on some starting pitching.

#3 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:05 PM

As crazy as it sounds, Im a little irritated with Doumit (mainly how he was used so this is a Gardy rip I guess). I know its nitpicking, but....
Doumit was my #1 choice this past offseason to be the backup C to Mauer so I was elated to sign him.
However, MN never saw him as a backup player from day 1 & decided he's an everyday player. Fine. They got their wish with Ryan having 134gms & 484ABs. His production of 18HRs 75RBI is pretty solid, but not spectacular. This was his career year. Goin forward, I think MN should shoot higher than that production out of an everyday player/DH.
every Sept AB I saw him get in LF reminded me that it should have been Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia out there.
Gardy rants about defense but he continually puts Willy/Doumit/Parm on the corners as in the past with Cuddy/Kubel. Do you want defense or offense out there??
Drew Butera got 30 starts at C this year when Doumit was supposed to be the backup but they wanted to keep him fresh by DHing him in many of those (w/Joe at first or some combination).
Just play him at C & forget about the OF or being the fulltime DH.

#4 beckmt

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:46 AM

Butera was the personal catcher for Pravano and Liarino. Once they departed Butera's starts came less frequently. I think the measure for the Twins next year will be whether players like Butera, Casilla, and some of the pitchers are with the club. That being said Doumit was probably the most important signing because it allowed Mauer to stay fresh by not catching as much and his hitting the last couple of months did not tail off as it might have if he had been a full time catcher

#5 Twins Twerp

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:31 AM

Should be no debate...Josh Willingham is the right handed power bat we have needed for over a decade. If we would have had the hammer back in 2010, we would have beat the Yankees and possibly been in the World Series. Doumit overproduced and stayed healthy, but come on. 35 hr's and over 100 rbi. The guy is a beast. He will also pull some serious prospects when we suck at the deadline next year. Doumit would be a better bench player on a good team than an everyday guy on a bad one.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

As crazy as it sounds, Im a little irritated with Doumit (mainly how he was used so this is a Gardy rip I guess). I know its nitpicking, but....
Doumit was my #1 choice this past offseason to be the backup C to Mauer so I was elated to sign him.
However, MN never saw him as a backup player from day 1 & decided he's an everyday player. Fine. They got their wish with Ryan having 134gms & 484ABs. His production of 18HRs 75RBI is pretty solid, but not spectacular. This was his career year. Goin forward, I think MN should shoot higher than that production out of an everyday player/DH.
every Sept AB I saw him get in LF reminded me that it should have been Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia out there.
Gardy rants about defense but he continually puts Willy/Doumit/Parm on the corners as in the past with Cuddy/Kubel. Do you want defense or offense out there??
Drew Butera got 30 starts at C this year when Doumit was supposed to be the backup but they wanted to keep him fresh by DHing him in many of those (w/Joe at first or some combination).
Just play him at C & forget about the OF or being the fulltime DH.


Doumit has posted a 114 OPS+ this season. He's a fine player at almost any position, though his value drops off significantly when he's out from behind the plate.

His bat warrants playing nearly every day.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:21 AM

I guess I missed the memo that talked about 18 homers and 75 RBI in 484 PAs being poor. For $3 million, that's a steal!! and then for him to be willing to extend for two more years at just $7 million more is kind of just really nice. He was brought in because he could hit, and he could be a decent catcher. In reality, he became almost the #1 catcher, splitting time behind the plate with Mauer. However, like Mauer, they were able to keep his bat in the lineup because of his versatility. There is a ton of value in that for a team!

willingham was the best, and at $7 million, he was a steal too. But Doumit for $3 million was remarkable!

#8 kab21

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:27 AM

I'll also disagree with GGrules.

Doumit's offense is awesome from a catcher but it's still really good at DH. And he didn't have a career year other than he was healthy for the whole year. He's a .777 career OPS hitter and he had a .781 OPS this year. The Twins were smart to extend him and I hope they can quit finding ways to start guys like Butera with Mauer and Doumit on the roster.

#9 Willihammer

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:10 AM

Doumit's been solid but carrying 3 catchers is not ideal. Better to go with 2 catchers and use a lefthanded Thome type to 1B/DH and hit for a .100-.200 surplus OPS in a platoon role. And then roll with another bullpen arm. Morneau should prbably be that guy but the org. and/or Gardy seems to like him at 1B everyday for some reason. Hopefully this year's sub .600 OPS against LHP has sunk in. Clearly Morneau has found acceptance with ongoing concussion symptoms which have killed his effectiveness against LHP.

#10 kab21

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:26 AM

Usually those relatively cheap thome types hit an .800 OPS which is close to what Doumit did this year. I don't really like carrying 3 catchers but if 2 of them are playing everyday then it's not a big issue. there are still 3 bench spots available.

Why the hell do the Twins need a 13 man pitching staff?

#11 twinsnorth49

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:17 PM

Willingham, 100+ losses without him.

#12 notoriousgod71

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:31 PM

Great question because, like you said, Willingham has the incredible numbers, but Doumit has been incredible. Maybe it's a 1 and 1a kind of thing... add in Carroll, and Fien and Burton as a minor league free agent and it was a good offseason. Hopefully Mr. Ryan can have another similarly successful offseason this year, focusing on some starting pitching.


The depressing thing is that Ryan supposedly had a successful offseason and yet we still lost close to 100 games.

#13 beckmt

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:53 PM

As discussed in other threads, Twins had incredable bad luch with all 5 starting pitchers not finishing the year. This is unlikely to repeat, so some improvement should be expectes. However to get to average the Twins are still going to have to find 2 - 3 starting pitchers this winter. It is possible, but TR would have to hit on signings and trades much better than the average GM. My expectations for next year is a modest improvement to about 75 wins.

#14 Thrylos

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:12 AM

Great question because, like you said, Willingham has the incredible numbers, but Doumit has been incredible. Maybe it's a 1 and 1a kind of thing... add in Carroll, and Fien and Burton as a minor league free agent and it was a good offseason. Hopefully Mr. Ryan can have another similarly successful offseason this year, focusing on some starting pitching.


Hold it.
a. By no means leading (as a GM) a team to 95+ losses could be even remotely thought as a "success"
b. The Willingham and Doumit signings were great but the Marquis and Capps and Zumaya were not.
c. About a quarter of the MiLB FAs stuck, the rest ranged from Horrible (pick a Thompson) to mediocre. Just the sheer volume was there. For every Jared Burton there was a Jeff Gray and for every Casey Fien a Brendan Wise. (and then more.)
d. The Carroll signing was a luxury. A 99 loss team does not need an overpriced close to 40 utility infielder to be competitive. Carroll will end the season with around .660 OPS. Casilla's career OPS is around .640. I just do not see that as a "good singing" by any means.

So Ryan was on and (mostly) off with the free agents and the proof is in the Twins' record.
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