07-20-2012, 11:56 AM #1
Shooting for 90+
As the Twins approach the trade deadline, they will do so with an eye on the future in mind.
I see these options as they build towards 90.
Option 1: Seek players who can contribute next year and go for 90 wins.
As they look at their roster with the current budget, can they reasonably expect to build a 90+ win team next year?
If so, they need to add pieces that will help next year.
They will need to choose lower upside AA/AAA players rather than a higher upside A Ball player.
They will need to retain players under contract who can contribute next year (Span, Willingham, Doumit for example).
Consider trading high upside A-Ball prospect for players ready to play in 2013
Option 2: Seek players to complement the wave of younger prospects.
If expecting a 90+ win team isn't reasonable in 2013, they can try to build for the future 90 win team
They seek higher upside players further from the majors.
They retain players who are likely to contribute in 2014-2015.
They sell high players in their 30s that can be expected to decline by 2014.
They need to invest at bats in younger players with the knowledge that they will struggle as they develop
Option 3: Shoot to build a competitive team (Instead of shooting for 90, shoot for 81)
I think the goal of the 2013 team was to be competitive.
They need to keep the upside prospects.
They need to sign players entering decline to team friendly contracts.
They need to trade pieces that are not under team control for 2013
I don't think 90+ wins is a reasonable expectation for next year. I would build for 2014 and beyond. I would see high players that have value and are over 30.
In the context of the AL central, the option of building a competitive team is the direction I expect them to take again. A compeititive .500 level team will sometimes win 88 games. They also might win 73. It is very possible to enter a cycle of mediocrity when trying to patch together a competitive team year after year. On the other hand, someone will win the AL central next year. It is likely that team will not advance in the playoffs. If we hadn't had a taste of the playoffs for several years, I would advocate for this direction.
I want them to build the next Twin team to win a playoff series. I think the quickest route to that win given their current midmarket budget is to build long term and trade high their valuable players this July. I can endure a poor 2013 season if there is more hope for the future.
07-20-2012, 12:09 PM #2
I try not to think in terms of wins... I try to think "competitive" or "not competitive". The playoffs are a crapshoot. The best teams usually win but that's not always the case. If you think you can get to the playoffs without looting the farm, I believe in trying to do it.
Put yourself in a spot to be competitive as often as possible and then in years where a piece is missing, you shore up the team at the deadline. Building up for a "run at it in 20xx" has the tendency to lead you down the path of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals.
With that said, everything depends on what Ryan has for a budget in 2013. If he thinks he can afford a good starter or two, then this team might be competitive next season. But I think that's unlikely.
That doesn't change my opinion on trading Span, though. The Twins are starting to build a logjam in the high minors. Span is expendable at this point and that's how mid-market teams stay competitive... You trade off excess when possible to keep the farm healthy. One of Parmelee/Hicks/Benson/Arcia is going to be ready relatively soon and picking up a stop-gap for 2013 if they aren't ready is one of the easier things to do in baseball.
07-20-2012, 12:44 PM #3
Option #2 all the way. They can't even think about contending until they have an idea of what the rotation will look like beyond even next year.
07-20-2012, 01:47 PM #4
07-20-2012, 01:49 PM #5
07-20-2012, 02:23 PM #6
I'm glad to see this was a glass half-full post. Negativity had set in and I thought it was going to be a glass half-empty post in referrence to an expected 90 loss season.
07-20-2012, 02:35 PM #7
07-20-2012, 04:27 PM #8
The Twins can sign a FA or two but the plan has to be on building for a run 2014+ and avoiding long contracts to 30 something year old average (now) pitchers.
07-20-2012, 06:57 PM #9
So we have 50% for winning the ALDS, 25% for winning the ALCS and 12.5% for winning the World Series (just math).
So if the dice were not loaded, a team that reached the post-season 6 times (like the Twins this millennium), would have gone to the ALCS 3 times, to the WS one or two and would have been a World Champion 1 time. That is what should have happened if it were a crapshoot.
Looks like the Twins' dice are loaded. Maybe the Manager of the Millennium is the reason. But something's got to change.
If you look at the Yankees' run from 1996-2004, you'd see an example for Dice loaded the other way.
not a Crapshoot.
There are teams that are built to win in the postseason. The Twins have not been one of those and unless things change and people realize that it is not "luck", nada is going to change...
Last edited by thrylos98; 07-20-2012 at 07:08 PM.
07-20-2012, 07:58 PM #10
And I would contend THIS is complete bull.
They have been "committed to rebuilding" through the minors and young, cost controlled major leaguers for two decades. They have done as you recommend--sell off any and all real major league talent for minor leaguers and/or questionable major leaguers who happen to be young. They have done as you recommend...primarily stay out of the middle or high end of the free agent market, and gotten predictable results. The Royals "signed a FA or two" as part of a plan to contend "down the road" with Meche, who wasn't worth it at the time, and everyone including the Royals knew that.
What do they have to show for it?
Planning to "build for a run in 2014" is as much, if not more, than gambling on getting what you need to be competetive now. There is no guarantee "building for a run in 2014" will be successful in any way, shape or form, not to mention thinking the Twins minor league system is going to turn this into a WS contender by 2014 is pretty damned optomistic. Who in the Twins minor leagues is going to be an above average major league starter by 2014?
The most likely result of your plan is to punt 2013-2014 intentionally, in the vague hope that somehow the 2015 team will be cured by osmosis.
There is no reason the Twins can't do both. They have money. They can stretch payroll. There will be pitching available this winter that will still be around in 2015. The minor league magic that you're counting on for 2015 won't cost much, so that pitching they sigend this winter will still be affordable.
07-20-2012, 08:37 PM #11
07-20-2012, 10:14 PM #12
Baseball is more of a crapshoot than any other sport. It's why the best teams win 60% of their games instead of 80-90% like other sports.
Getting to the playoffs is the most important step. If you do it enough times, you're going to break through and win in baseball.
07-20-2012, 10:18 PM #13
so your logical conclusion should be that since the Twins did not break through and win in the post-season, there must be something wrong with them. Correct? Unless 6 times in 9 years is not "enough".
So, if you are there enough times and did not break through? Gotta do something? Maybe? And add the cherry of 2 90 plus loss seasons after doing nada with the enough times, and sometimes maybe one gotta stop being Minny nice... Or something.
07-20-2012, 10:34 PM #14
07-20-2012, 10:46 PM #15
The Royals have been in a perpetual rebuilding cycle for well over a decade. They haven't tried to buy their way out of anything. They get a few good players and squander them on a crappy team before trading them off. The Mets and Cubs are in the positions they're in because neither team has bothered to draft actual Major League players in the past decade, not because they spent too much money.
You can't expect all your prospects to magically hit the majors at the same point and then suddenly become a good team. Part of building a good team involves using FA to your advantage and knowing when to double down and when to retreat. Right now, the Twins have several good young players (Diamond, Plouffe, Revere, Span, Perkins), several good vets (Doumit, Willingham), and a superstar in his prime (Mauer). What happens if you wait until 2015 or later? All of that is gone, except now you have an aging superstar who makes the same amount he made in his prime and eats up 1/4 of your roster salary.
The AL Central is awful nearly every year. It barely takes a winning record to compete in this division. But if the Twins can't compete in 2013, I'm fine with that. JR has said he's trying to get high upside guys over ready-for-the-show guys and I think it's a smart move. But you don't fold your hand if it's not necessary and I'm not convinced it's necessary yet. Not when you have a decent core of young players and a star player in his prime.
07-20-2012, 10:48 PM #16
07-20-2012, 10:59 PM #17
07-20-2012, 11:17 PM #18
to compete in 2013 the Twins need at least 2 starting pitchers, a second baseman, one outfielder to produce from our minor leagues(assuming Span is traded). This assumes Linarno is traded or leaves after this year. 1 qualitity second baseman will not come cheap and two starting pitchers will cost between $25 and $30 million a year. Poland's will have to go the route of having to spend money to make money.
Even doing this will not guarantee 90+ wins.
If Terry Ryan sells this argument, he will be a mircle worker.
Best case is that the trades net 4 class A higher end prospect pitchers, outwise why make the deals. This would give the Twins the depth to have a possible decent rotation by 2014 - 2015. I would support this line.
More patching holes(recommended by some above is a losing proposition).
Take shots at will.
07-21-2012, 02:33 PM #19
The way the Brewers have been run of late is a good model, even if not perfect. They actually pursue frontline players both through trades and FAs, in spite of their expense. The Giants, Nats and Cards are others. I like what Colorado tends to do, but they ****ed up their pitching in inconceivable ways. TB and Atlanta are world class, but part of their success is continuity and they really never put themselves in the position to rebuild...
07-22-2012, 10:36 AM #20
Other than the Nats you didn't mention any teams that rebuilt recently. The rest of the teams have had good teams for quite awhile and have been bringing up impact players from the minors. The Twins are not and have not for awhile.