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The Twins have had one of the worst 5 offeseasons so far???

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#1 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

On Hardball, Bill Baer ranks his top 5 and bottom 5 offseasons so far and has the Twins in the bottom 5.

http://hardballtalk....seasons-so-far/

While I can see why some aren't extremely positive about the future of any of our free agent signings, I don't understand how what they've done can be considered bad. He suggests we should have saved the money from signing all 3 starters and gone after Tanaka. That's fine, but the money from those 3 combined won't be anywhere near enough to sign Tanaka and even if we did save money to make him a big offer where would we be if he got a bigger offer elsewhere or just doesn't have any interest in playing in MN? Doing that seems like it would be similar to what Seattle did with Cano and he ranks them last for trying to improve by spending all their money on one player.

With where our payroll is and the prospects we have coming up, I just don't see where any of our signings made us worse or tied up money that we will need in the near future.


P.S. While I'm ranting, his list of the top 5 offseasons is even more baffling to me.

http://hardballtalk....seasons-so-far/

He seems to be basing most of his top 5 (excluding the Cardinals at #1) rankings on two things:
1. Assumptions that the Yankees and Tigers are still going to sign more players. (I'm sure the Yankees will, but I don't know how he factors into current rankings).
2. Teams that have been successful in the past must be smart now. He seriously questions much of what the Rays, Tigers, or Rangers have done, but figures it will work out because they have solid teams. I agree all 3 have great teams, but I don't know that it makes their offseasons great.

#2 Danchat

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:11 PM

Hmmmm... while we haven't had a top 15 offseason, I can't say we had that bad of an offseason. $84 Million tied between three mediocre pitchers is a lot, but they are the only thing that is going to get this team back on track. Sign Josh Johnson or Tanaka he says? Those are worse calls!

#3 TwinsTerritory

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:15 PM

I actually wouldn't have minded it if they had signed Johnson, but it sounds like he really wanted to go to the west coast so we probably would have had to overpay to get him in MN. Then Baer would have ripped the Twins for overpaying for another mediocre pitcher.

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:16 PM

That is one incredibly lazy analysis of the Twins' offseason.

#5 rikker49

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:44 PM

First....you are going to need the kind of team that top FA's want to come to. Until then...you get to overpay for mediocre talent. It is a process back to being a legitimate contender...

#6 DocBauer

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:50 PM

Quality MLB ball players, not necessarily all stars, just quality players, hit their strides at different times in their careers, whether it be almost immediately, after a couple of seasons, and in some cases, after a few years. This often more true for pitchers as even some very good, solid SPs take a few years to really understand the art and approach to pitching vs throwing and trying to over power or attempt to fool everyone.

To say the Nolasco, coming off possibly his best season to date, only 31, and helping stabilize the worst starting staff in baseball was not a good signing is short-sighted if not blind. Even if he isn't coming n to his own a bit late n his career, if he only pitched to his career average norms he is a vast improvement and stabilizing force that gives the Twins a chance to win any given day.

Granted Hughes has never reached the heights predicted for him, not close, nor has he found real consistency. However, he's definitely young enough to improve and yet harness at least some of that talent and potential. For some seasons, and parts thereof, he has shown flashes. This, combined with a change of scenery, and removing him from perhaps the worst ballpark he could have pitched in for half his career, (the various numbers and splits have been gone over extensively to this point), is also a quality signing, and again, only a broken crystal ball could possibly tell you this was some sort of mistake at this point.

Not getting in to the debate here about Pelfrey vs Correia being somehow redundant of a signing as each is nothing special, both eat innings, should only keep one of them, etc, etc. But Pelfrey is an inning eater vet, signed to only 2 years, and to not a very large contract to muck up payroll. He is a good teammate, and offers improvement potential now stronger and better recovered from surgery.

These two guys provide depth and OPTIONS for the Twins. Depth and options that were previously filled the past couple of seasons by AAA filler.

Again, not a bad signing for these stated reasons.

Suzuki in place of Doumit for back up C? I'd take Suzuki all day long.

Even a healthy Bartlett and Kubel are inexpensive, low risk signing that may prove much ado about nothing. But there is potential for a return on either of them in some helpful capacity. And I don't believe TR and the Twins are done yet.

But as was pointed out by TwnsTerritory, what else were they to do? Put all their eggs in one long-shot basket, cross their fingers and hope?

#7 Badsmerf

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 09:06 PM

This guy is an idiot. I'm not sure how anyone can call the Twins offseason bad. It hasn't been amazing, but easily a top 10 if not top 5. Just because they aren't going to go from worst to first doesn't mean they haven't improved.
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#8 Jim Crikket

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

It's incredible to me that someone would actually pay for garbage analysis like that. I think we just write this one off to, "consider the source," and move on.
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#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

I fully acknowledge that the Twins took some risk. Four years for Nolasco is a risk. Hughes is a huge risk for three years. And, we all know how we feel about Pelfrey. However, no one would/should question that the Twins need pitching. Even with some prospects getting close, having some veterans is a good thing. Getting Tanaka would have certainly helped 20% of the rotation.

Has it been a turn-around offseason to this point? No. But, have they made themselves better? Absolutely. And they've done it without hurting/touching the great minor league system and depth. Is it Top 5? No, but it's certainly nowhere near the bottom five.

But, I agree with the thought that the teams that have the perception of doing things right and such are high on the list. Tampa is certainly not a #2 at this point just because of signing Loney.

#10 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

It's incredible to me that someone would actually pay for garbage analysis like that. I think we just write this one off to, "consider the source," and move on.


That's a kind way to put it. I'd be more inclined to use more profanity and wage internet campaigns to stop anyone from ever reading his tripe again, but to each his own.

Seriously, this has been a B+/A- offseason for the Twins. The signings they made will make us a much, MUCH better team. And TR did them in a way to keep maximum flexibility going forward (1 FA pitcher coming off the books each year for 4 years). How you could denigrate his efforts is entirely beyond me.

#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:05 PM

He's a hack with no credibility. Josh Johnson took a discount to play with the Padres, what were the Twins supposed to do? Even if the Twins make the highest offer to Tanaka he's not coming. So basically the Twins should save their money for a wing and a prayer. I don't know why NBC would pick up this clowns blogs. All his stuff that gets picked up is ludacris and makes the site look like a joke.

Edited by nicksaviking, 30 December 2013 - 08:41 AM.


#12 syves

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:23 PM

Articles like that and the comment sections on other baseball related websites make me happy Twins Daily is around.

There are some people out there who are just the wrong side of average.

#13 Monkeypaws

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

84 million is a lot, but that does buy 9 seasons' worth of starting pitching.

Hard to say addressing your primary need with a couple of the better pieces out there for sane contracts is bad.

#14 old nurse

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:01 AM

Baer calls Choo a platoon player at best in one spot, a great hitter in another. His writing leaves a lot to be desired.

#15 BigTrane

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:21 AM

Yeah, saw that and just had to scratch my head, especially when the next thing I read was a very optimistic analysis by Christina Kahrl:
http://espn.go.com/b...se-team-of-2014

Not so sure I would go that far... but it is credibly written, at least.

I'm willing to give credit for the moves made so far as a step in the right direction. Pelfrey is a bone of contention for many, seemingly a 'return to form' for TR. That just makes reports that TR is still in on Arroyo and even in the mix on Tanaka all the harder to square.

Feels like another move or two might be possible, so grading now feels premature. Still, the Twins addressed their most glaring needs in a pretty realistic way. That alone merits a positive, and in no way can be seen as 'bottom 5'. What a joke.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:30 AM

2. Teams that have been successful in the past must be smart now. He seriously questions much of what the Rays, Tigers, or Rangers have done, but figures it will work out because they have solid teams. I agree all 3 have great teams, but I don't know that it makes their offseasons great.


This is my favorite aspect of the article(s). The Rays retained a 2.7 WAR first baseman, a guy coming off his best season since 2007. They, uh, picked up a couple of relievers as well. Relievers. Yay.

Great pickups, obviously the second best in all of MLB this offseason! Because the Rays are GREAT! Obviously, retaining Loney was smart because the Rays are smart, right? Right? There's no way a smart team could make a bad bet on a guy after a bounceback season. That's unpossible.

The guy should be embarrassed for himself. Talk about letting the tail wag the dog. Decent pickups by good teams become great pickups because the team is good. Decent pickups by bad teams become bad pickups because the team is awful.

Obviously, the Twins should have pursued Tanaka. They were a 66 win team. At that point, you don't try to shoot for respectability as the farm matures. You lay it all on black and go big; that's why Zack Greinke has so many championship rings. The cornerstone of any good franchise is an ace pitcher, particularly a guy who will command $100m+ and hasn't thrown a pitch in an MLB game. He's basically a lock for the HoF at this point.

The amount of facepalm I'm feeling right now is hard to capture in words. Such a travesty of an article from front to back.

#17 beckmt

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:52 AM

This is a case of a writer writing something because they have to produce and probably from a coast standpoint. The Twins had to take players who would come here, and do not have the money to make major mistakes(Tanaka who will probably be good, but would have to be great to justify the money he is going to get). Twins got decent intermediate pitchers to improve a rotation that was the worst in baseball. Will all of the signing work(probably not), but if 2 of the 3 pitchers signed have decent seasons, major strides will have been made.

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:48 AM

Twins got decent intermediate pitchers to improve a rotation that was the worst in baseball. Will all of the signing work(probably not), but if 2 of the 3 pitchers signed have decent seasons, major strides will have been made.


There's more to it than that... If the Rays played in Target Field and made these same pickups, Baer would probably be all over the moves, praising their ingenuity and taking good bets on promising players.

My issue with this article is that he's allowing his perception of these moves to be changed by the team that signs the player. Nolasco and Hughes were smart pickups by the Twins; guys who have underperformed various metrics through their careers and could benefit greatly from Target Field and a quiet Minnesota media spotlight.

Will these players work out for the Twins? No one can say but that doesn't mean they're not good gambles with upside that improve one of the worst rotations in baseball. To suggest that the Twins, a team that needed three starting pitchers, should go after Tanaka instead of shoring up the rest of the rotation is comically bad analysis. You can argue that they should also go after Tanaka but arguing that one (potentially) very good starting pitcher is worth more than 2-3 mediocre/good ones on a team that won 61 pythagorean games last season is worthy of all the derision it's receiving in this thread.

Really, I can't get over just how awful these two articles are from an analysis standpoint. They're easily two of the worst baseball articles I've read in quite some time. Just horrible.

#19 kab21

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:54 AM

The Tigers, Rays and Yankees have not had good offseasons so far.

The Rays gave multiple years to Loney and signed Dejesus to an extension. And the Yankees have spent most of the their money without getting one starter (other than Kuroda) if they actually plan to stay under the luxury tax (talked about for years). And they will be starting Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez in the infield.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:02 AM

The Tigers, Rays and Yankees have not had good offseasons so far.

The Rays gave multiple years to Loney and signed Dejesus to an extension. And the Yankees have spent most of the their money without getting one starter (other than Kuroda) if they actually plan to stay under the luxury tax (talked about for years). And they will be starting Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez in the infield.


I can't help but laugh at the fact that he put the Yankees at #5 after signing Ellsbury to a seven (!) year contract, a guy who has posted an OPS+ over 100 twice in his career, but put the Mariners at #30 for signing Cano to a ten year deal, a guy who has posted an OPS+ under 100 just once in his career.

I wouldn't want either of those guys under contract but if I had to take one of them, it'd be Cano because he's basically guaranteed to be a superstar player for another 2-4 years if healthy.

#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:20 AM

yeah, I have to question the premise here. I don't get the reasoning though. The Twins definitely needed lots of help in the rotation. Saving up money for Tanaka has some significant risk to go with it as well, but from the sounds of it, he's going to be freaking expensive. I still think the Twins signed one guy too many (unless KC is traded), but this team needed significant help in the rotation... they addressed that.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:41 AM

Not sure how it bottom five, but the allocation of resources to Pelfrey and KC both, when the smartest GM ever just traded for Worley and you have Gibson and Deduno, and your offense is terrible, well, it is not an A offseason for me yet.

and, judging Ellsbury on OPS is pretty lazy Brock.
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#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:56 AM

Not sure how it bottom five, but the allocation of resources to Pelfrey and KC both, when the smartest GM ever just traded for Worley and you have Gibson and Deduno, and your offense is terrible, well, it is not an A offseason for me yet.

and, judging Ellsbury on OPS is pretty lazy Brock.


I've judged Ellsbury's contract on multiple occasions using far more than OPS. If you want me to rehash that argument for the twentieth time, I can do so.

For example, Ellsbury is a 30 year old signed to a seven year contract. Here are his WAR numbers by year:

1.4, 4.1, 2.1, 9.1, 1.4, 5.8.

There are way too many low numbers in there for a guy being paid over $21m a year through his age 36 season.

Hell, some around here crucify Mauer and his paycheck and he has posted a WAR under 3.0 twice in his career. His rookie season (injured) and 2011 (injured).

#24 cmathewson

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:21 AM

I don't know as much about other teams as I should. But I saw some ugly contracts. The Ellsbury one is one of the worst I've ever seen. That set the market for position players, so the Rangers signed Choo for way over his value. It seems like the writer is basing much of the analysis on what teams spent, not on the quality of their investments.

All I know is this is the best offseason the Twins have had in years. If this is a bottom 5 year, I wonder how 2008 or 2011 should be judged.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#25 mikecgrimes

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:25 AM

I need new flooring in my house. I purchased some middle of the road flooring. It was a bad purchase because it wasn't a new car.

#26 mike wants wins

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

Well, in fairness, you judged him on ops in this thread.......we all disagree on that one, clearly. Since the yanks have infinite money, the cost is really irrelevant. It is about how he does. That said, on topic of the twins......not top five, not bottom five. So far, they have not fixed the offense, and again effectively cut payroll, rather than going all in.

For those that say they should just pocket the money because they are not close, if you sign a good player two years ago, and then two good ones last year, you are "close".....and then your argument is moot. At some point, you should apply your resources. And right now, they are not fully doing so.
Lighten up Francis....

#27 Thrylos

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:43 AM

It's incredible to me that someone would actually pay for garbage analysis like that. I think we just write this one off to, "consider the source," and move on.


BINGO! (but I think it is free)

The other inane thing about this, is to try to judge off-seasons with 3 months plus left before opening day and arguably the top 5 SP FAs and a bunch of position player FAs still out there...
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#28 cmathewson

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:51 AM

Well, in fairness, you judged him on ops in this thread.......we all disagree on that one, clearly. Since the yanks have infinite money, the cost is really irrelevant.


I don't get that. The Yanks don't have infinite money. It is more than other teams, but it is finite. And his contract will limit what they do elsewhere.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#29 SweetOne69

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:40 PM

I don't get that. The Yanks don't have infinite money. It is more than other teams, but it is finite. And his contract will limit what they do elsewhere.


While it is technically true that the Yankee's don't have infinite money, for all practical purposes they do. They have $1B (yes that is a B as in Billion) in revenue, so they can spend as much as they desire. Their only true limiting factor is their stated desire to get below the luxury tax threshold.

#30 mike wants wins

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:17 PM

I don't get that. The Yanks don't have infinite money. It is more than other teams, but it is finite. And his contract will limit what they do elsewhere.


have you seen the Yankees be limited recently? You do know they have a billion or so in revenue? Two or three useless contracts won't stop them from doing what they want. Only a self imposed limit will......which would surprise me if true.
Lighten up Francis....