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And then there were two.

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#1 ppearson50

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:49 AM

Ervin Santana signs with the Braves for one year. Twins apparently tried to come in late and get him at a bargain (3 years $33 million) but failed. Still two major free agents left with qualifying offers. Stephen Drew, SS, and Kendry Morales, 1b or DH.
Our presumed starting shortstop Pedro Florimon has no at bats this spring after getting his appendix removed. Our presumed DH, Jason Kubel, is 2 for 17 with one home run this spring after hitting .216 last year.

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:10 AM

The Twins handled the Santana and Garza situation correctly, IMO. Lowball them late in the offseason and if one bites, great. If not, that's fine. I think they should be focusing on offense at this point anyway.

Hopefully they feel the same way.

#3 Trautmann13

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:16 AM

At this point it is not worth bringing in either of these guys and loose that mystical draft pick. If one was to be signed, I would rather it be Drew because I have lost all faith in Florimon's bat. Get Drew on a 3 year deal, give the job to Danny Santana from there after.

#4 Winston Smith

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:18 AM

I don't understand that. If you think the player can help your club why do you have to low ball the guy? They have plenty of money if you want a guy do what it takes.

He does nothing to help the club if you don't sign him and the money does nothing to help the club in Pohlads bank unspent.

I'm not sure I would want the guy but if you do a few extra million isn't going to kill the team.
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#5 cmathewson

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:25 AM

I don't understand that. If you think the player can help your club why do you have to low ball the guy? They have plenty of money if you want a guy do what it takes.

He does nothing to help the club if you don't sign him and the money does nothing to help the club in Pohlads bank unspent.

I'm not sure I would want the guy but if you do a few extra million isn't going to kill the team.


I don't know how much of a low ball this was. In both cases, it was more about years than dollars. Garza wanted four or more years. The Twins were only comfortable with three, for health reasons as much as anything. Santana ended up wanting a one-year deal. That is tough to swallow. It's tough giving up a draft pick for a rental in a rebuilding year.
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#6 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:45 AM

Well, I'd guess that means they are done. I don't see them signing Drew and giving up a guy that is unlikely to ever have more than 3-5 total WAR in his life. They aren't winning anything this year, not with question marks at LF, CF, 3B, SS, DH, C, maybe even 2B and RF.
Lighten up Francis....

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:47 AM

I don't understand that. If you think the player can help your club why do you have to low ball the guy?


Because you don't like the guy that much.

Santana is coming off what could easily be a career year for him. Just two years ago, he was a pretty awful pitcher.

I don't see a reason to give that guy four years. There will be pitchers available next offseason should you need the help (and let's hope the Twins do not need the help).

Lowball the guy, be happy if he accepts, don't look back if he doesn't. Take advantage of market inefficiencies, don't spend money just for the sake of spending money.

#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:51 AM

Better to pocket the money than to make the team better.
Lighten up Francis....

#9 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:58 AM

I don't know how much of a low ball this was. In both cases, it was more about years than dollars. Garza wanted four or more years. The Twins were only comfortable with three, for health reasons as much as anything. Santana ended up wanting a one-year deal. That is tough to swallow. It's tough giving up a draft pick for a rental in a rebuilding year.


Agreed, Garza's offer was certainly not a low ball. Santana on a 1 year makes no sense for the Twins (though it does in the moment for the Brew Crew). If it was 2 years from now I'd have easily given Santana that contract to play in MN, but not now.

Edit: I am still uncertain about Drew. Would it be smarter to run with Flori until Santana is ready? Should we try to move Dozier back when Rosario comes in? Hard to make a savvy decision when there are so many unknowns. On the other hand, I was counting on Sano's bat in the lineup by the ASB...so an offensive upgrade should probably move up the priority list some. Just a difficult call.

Edited by Joe A. Preusser, 12 March 2014 - 08:03 AM.


#10 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:06 AM

Better to pocket the money than to make the team better.


Better to make savvy decisions than throw money at the wall and see what sticks. But hey, it's not our money, so why should we care right?

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:07 AM

Better to pocket the money than to make the team better.


That's not my argument and you know it. I'm all for taking a flyer on Drew, though I won't scream if the organization doesn't agree.

Santana is a question mark. Sure, he had a good season. He's also had his fair share of clunkers. He's not a guy I'd give four years, particularly with Gibson and Meyer on the way.

There's a reason why no other team wanted to give him a four year deal. On a three year deal, sure, you try to grab that guy in a soft market. If he wants a one year make-good deal instead, well, nothing you can do about that.

#12 JB_Iowa

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:07 AM

I don't recall seeing anyone campaign for Santana to the Twins on a one-year deal. It wouldn't have made sense for this club -- to suggest that many (if any) were pushing for Santana on a one-year deal is an unfair characterization of the discussion that did take place.

The discussion centered around whether Santana would take a 1-year deal vs. a 3 year deal and on how much the Twins should offer/would need to offer to sign Santana to a 3-year deal.

I'm okay with what happened because I wasn't convinced they should sign Santana anyway but I still believe that if the Twins really wanted Santana (rather than just trying to steal a bargain), their offer should have been more in the $39m/3 year range.

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:09 AM

Better to make savvy decisions than throw money at the wall and see what sticks. But hey, it's not our money, so why should we care right?


edited because I can't type this am....

As fans, I don't know why anyone does......but there is no right way to be a fan, so feel how you want to feel. Many fans want their teams to win, and don't care if the owners make zero dollars or $30-50MM per year in profits. I have no idea why anyone cares.

Edited by mike wants wins, 12 March 2014 - 08:14 AM.

Lighten up Francis....

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:10 AM

Edit: I am still uncertain about Drew. Would it be smarter to run with Flori until Santana is ready? Should we try to move Dozier back when Rosario comes in? Hard to make a savvy decision when there are so many unknowns. On the other hand, I was counting on Sano's bat in the lineup by the ASB...so an offensive upgrade should probably move up the priority list some. Just a difficult call.


Yep and yep. I think Drew is a pretty decent gamble at the dollars he's likely to get.

On the other hand, I won't throw a fit if the Twins don't agree. There are so many variables in the organization right now that I don't fault the Twins for playing it close to the vest and letting things play out before committing to a long-term deal.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

As fans, I don't know anyone does......but there is no right way to be a fan, so feel how you want to feel. Many fans want their teams to win, and don't care if they owners make zero dollars or $30-50MM per year in profits. I have no idea why you care.


I don't care one bit if the Twins make money or not.

What I do care about is that one dollar spent today is one dollar that cannot be spent tomorrow.

If we were talking one year deals without draft pick compensation, sure, spend that money like a trailer park lottery winner. But when you're committing money to 2015 and beyond, you should be doing a risk analysis on every acquisition.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:28 AM

Yep and yep. I think Drew is a pretty decent gamble at the dollars he's likely to get.

On the other hand, I won't throw a fit if the Twins don't agree. There are so many variables in the organization right now that I don't fault the Twins for playing it close to the vest and letting things play out before committing to a long-term deal.


Drew on a two-year deal makes a lot of sense to me. Beyond that, I'm not so sure. I project a decline over the next two years to the point where there has to be something better than him in 2016, either internally or externally.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the money either way. I just want them to put together a winner. I don't think you put together a winner by signing every marginal free agent just because you can. You have to consider the risks. You'd hate to be saddled with an aged player on a big deal that prevents you from getting a better player at that position. Worse yet, you'd hate to prevent the next star from developing at his natural pace because you have Juan Castro in the way.
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#17 gil4

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:31 AM

I don't care one bit if the Twins make money or not.

What I do care about is that one dollar today is one dollar that cannot be spent tomorrow.


That was why 2010 was so disastrous. The Twins spent and then crashed and burned, and there was no flexibility to do anything about it until this year. Now the hole is so deep it will take a couple of years to patch it up, if the process works, which is not guaranteed.

#18 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

The Twins did the right thing, bringing in Santana on a one year deal would have made no sense (no not because of the draft pick, they would have gotten one back the following year) but because anyone they sign now should be able to help in 2015 and 2016.

I'd definitely go out and give Drew a 3 year contract at this point then trade for De Aza, then call it an off-season. I would be very satisfied if they can pull that off.
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#19 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:06 AM

Because you don't like the guy that much.

Santana is coming off what could easily be a career year for him. Just two years ago, he was a pretty awful pitcher.

I don't see a reason to give that guy four years. There will be pitchers available next offseason should you need the help (and let's hope the Twins do not need the help).

Lowball the guy, be happy if he accepts, don't look back if he doesn't. Take advantage of market inefficiencies, don't spend money just for the sake of spending money.


OK, fine. But at this point how can they look us in the eye and go into the season with this lineup? Its insulting. I could be wrong, but is kubel really guaranteed $8 million if he makes the team? Thats insulting. Going into the season with the current SS situation is insulting. They have the money. And a bad team in an arctic climate is gonna have to overpay, but dont they owe it to their loyal fans? Now Sano is out. Gardy is already bad mouthing Hicks. He aint making the team. They have to do something to improve this offense.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:12 AM

[quote name='Marta Shearing']OK, fine. But at this point how can they look us in the eye and go into the season with this lineup? Its insulting.[/quote]

The problem with the Twins lineup is that there aren't many good position players available. Really, there's Drew and that's about it (which is why I'd like to see them pursue him). I don't blame them for not pursuing a DH-type on a multi-year deal at this point.

[quote name='Marta Shearing']I could be wrong, but is kubel really guaranteed $8 million if he makes the team? Thats insulting.[/quote]

You're very wrong. Kubel will make $2m if he's on the Opening Day roster. He can earn another $1m in incentives.

[quote name='Marta Shearing']Going into the season with the current SS situation is insulting. They have the money. And a bad team in an arctic climate is gonna have to overpay, but dont they owe it to their loyal fans? Now Sano is out. Gardy is already bad mouthing Hicks. He aint making the team. They have to do something to improve this offense.[/QUOTE]

The Twins haven't had to overpay (at least, not vastly overpay) for the free agents they've acquired in recent years (though most have been bad). There's no reason to start doing so now.

#21 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:21 AM

No, 2010 was disastrous because they had no good players on the roster, and no one in AA or AAA ready to come up and help. There was no lack of flexibility in payroll in 2011, 12, or 13. There was a lack of talent. That is partly due to drafting, development, trades, and lack of FA signings that really helped the team in that time frame. It had nothing to do with payroll inflexibility.
Lighten up Francis....

#22 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:25 AM

Brock , I'm sure you're right on Kubel, but I could swear I read just recently in the Strib that Antony negotiated Kubel's $8 million contract. But who knows, I could have been having a mental lapse.

#23 tobi0040

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:43 AM

That's not my argument and you know it. I'm all for taking a flyer on Drew, though I won't scream if the organization doesn't agree.

Santana is a question mark. Sure, he had a good season. He's also had his fair share of clunkers. He's not a guy I'd give four years, particularly with Gibson and Meyer on the way.

There's a reason why no other team wanted to give him a four year deal. On a three year deal, sure, you try to grab that guy in a soft market. If he wants a one year make-good deal instead, well, nothing you can do about that.


My guess is Santana would have received 4/50 if that is what he was asking for in November. The Twins would probably rather have signed Ervin over Nolasco. But he was asking for 5/80 then and everyone moved on.

Big picture, I think Ervin would have taken 3/36 with a vested 4th year at $12M or a $2M buyout now, over the 1/14 year deal. We won't know for sure, but I think this deal would have been better than what will be available next year (to the Twins). You do that and trade KC, our rotation gets much better this year and over the next few. Prospects that we care about are not really blocked.

Ervin had a terrible 2012, well chronicled. But he was 9th in ERA in 2013, 14th in 2011, and 24th in 2010 (All AL only).

When you are sitting here at an $82M payroll, you have to wonder if it is more about "getting deals", or common sense. We needed one blue chip guy (Nolasco). But after that I think Terry is trying to find value in both Hughes and Pelfrey as buy low types that could turn into values. We came back to Ervin and Garza when the market had moved on and they over-played their hands, therefore their value was suppressed. The Kubel deal is absolutely a value play. Same with Bartlett. Same with Matt G.

My question would be, is this is the right approach to turning around a 95 loss team? Upgrades were out there at catcher, DH, and SS and we would have had to pay a market value and we came away empty handed as far as I am concerned. Santana over KC would have made this team better as well.

Edited by tobi0040, 12 March 2014 - 09:48 AM.


#24 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:46 AM

Nope, I'm not losing my mind. I just googled "Rob Antony negotiatated Kubel's $8 million contract", and that's the headline that came up. It was Phil Miller's article from a couple days ago. He's since corrected it, but the google headline still shows $8 million.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:48 AM

I hope no one thought my hyperbole was aimed at Brock. I know he's not for the Pohlads pocketing money. It was a flip comment that was probably best left untyped, the kind I'd make as a joke in a bar.....which this isn't.
Lighten up Francis....

#26 cmathewson

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:49 AM

Big picture, I think Ervin would have taken 3/36 with a vested 4th year at $12M or a $2M buyout now, over the 1/14 year deal. We won't know for sure, but I think this deal would have been better than what will be available next year (to the Twins). You do that and trade KC, our rotation gets much better this year and over the next few.


I have a hard time believing he would take that if he rejected our 3/33 offer out of hand. If he was inclined to take a 3/36 deal with an option, they could have negotiated a compromise. Who knows what he would take? His demands all winter were way out of line with his market value. He took the one-year deal because he wants to improve his marketability next year. To me, that says he was unwilling to accept the reality of his market position.
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#27 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:50 AM

Morales at DH makes so much sense. As much as people hate Willingham in LF, it makes sense to leave him there for one more year, if for no other reason than to increase his trade value.

#28 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:57 AM

Morales at DH makes so much sense. As much as people hate Willingham in LF, it makes sense to leave him there for one more year, if for no other reason than to increase his trade value.


I could not disagree more. His trade value is what it is. They need OF defense with this flyball pitching staff. Put Hicks in LF, his possible long term position, and move on from Willingham in the OF. That's what I would do.
Lighten up Francis....

#29 tobi0040

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:00 AM

I have a hard time believing he would take that if he rejected our 3/33 offer out of hand. If he was inclined to take a 3/36 deal with an option, they could have negotiated a compromise. Who knows what he would take? His demands all winter were way out of line with his market value. He took the one-year deal because he wants to improve his marketability next year. To me, that says he was unwilling to accept the reality of his market position.


The deal I proposed would be 3/38 guaranteed and would turn into the same thing Nolasco received if he pitches something like 500 IP over the next three years. He has to get $24M over years two and three for a break even point. I think it would have been in his best interest to take that deal. He had UCL issues in 2009. If that comes back or if he has a year like 2012, 2009, or the other clunker he had in the past he does may not get 2/24 next off-season.

But the broader point is 52% of revenue would be something like $120M-$125M if you add revenue from the new cable deal, all-star game, etc. We are sitting here at $82M (heading down after this year) and 3 consective 95 loss seasons. Is the lottery ticket approach to SS, DH, and value and upside starters the right approach (excluding Nolasco)?

I can't find a single false statement below:

Ervin over Pelfrey or KC is an upgrade

Cruz or Morales over Kubel is an upgrade

Drew over Florimon or Bartlett is an upgrade

We have capacity to make at least two of these moves without hurting financial flexiblity long term.

None of these moves are blocking a prospect that we care about

Edited by tobi0040, 12 March 2014 - 10:06 AM.


#30 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:01 AM

I could not disagree more. His trade value is what it is. They need OF defense with this flyball pitching staff. Put Hicks in LF, his possible long term position, and move on from Willingham in the OF. That's what I would do.

Well he's the LF'er whether we sign morales or not.