At least wait till the season is, mathematically, a lost cause. Punting from Day 1 to get that pesky 7th year, when they guy is your best CF and leadoff option, is laughably premature.
And, in the unlikely event that the TWins are any good this year, then they can wait till he sprains an ankle or goes 3-40. Send him down for 2 weeks to find his stroke or to rehab.
I just can't stand any of this big planning. Nothing ever goes to plan.
I rest my case. It's way too early to worry about arbitration years. When was the last time the Twins even let a good player get more than a couple years into arbitration? They bought out most if not all of Koskie's, Guzman's, Hunter's, Mauer's, Morneau's, and Span's arbitration years. They traded Pierzingski, Mientkievizc, and Revere before it was an issue.
If Hicks is anything like the player we expect, he'll never make it to arbitration with the Twins. They'll sign him to a long-term deal the first year he's eligible.
That's why I was focused on the Super two status. If they can at least prevent him from becoming a Super Two, they can delay the long-term deal by a year.
Interesting talk about Hicks and what the best strategy of delaying arbitration is; please compare that to the Angels' worries and action about delaying arbitration for Mike Trout and the Nats' issues with delaying arbitration for Bryce Harper and you will have a glimpse into part of the problems in the Twins' organization, and their fans' expectations. Frankly, I expect the Twins to bring the best 25 up north. Period. Like winning organizations do. I do not care about arbitration. I care about the Twins winning. Should not be an issue for an organization that made Drew a super 2 (heck, that rhymes.)
You're 100% right. It's that they get an extra year to make that decision. I think that's important.
Originally Posted by cmathewson
Although I will constantly advocate keeping a player down 1 month to keep them from being a free agent for a year, the Twins are not a team who really worries about it despite so many fans on this site thinking they do.
Originally Posted by thrylos98
1.) When the Twins had a prospect the caliber of Trout and Harper (Mauer), they called him up for Opening Day, not worrying about what that would cost them long term.
2.) Chris Parmelee and Liam Hendriks were both on the Opening Day roster in 2012, so clearly the Twins don't worry about such things.
3.) The Nationals called up Harper to make his debut on April 28. He will be a Super 2 eligible The Angels called Trout up on April 28th as well, but he has 1.070 years of service, so he won't be a Super 2.
I don't care about the arbitration portion of it, avoiding super-2 is largely irrelevant. With the way the payroll is heading and their obvious reluctance to spend any significant money in free agency, that first year of arb isn't going make any difference to the financials. Who else are they going to be paying in those years? Mauer, Worley, and a bunch of minimum wagers.
Great points Seth. This is what I've been trying to say. We need to distinguish between the theory of the CBA and the practice of managing a roster in relationship to it. In practice, I can count on one finger the times the Twins apparently took an inferior player north to save service time (Bartlett). It was nearly disastrous. They will likely take the best 25 guys north and let the contract issues take care of themselves.
Originally Posted by Seth Stohs
Service time might be used to break ties, however. If Mastroianni and Hicks are equal coming out of spring training, they'll go north with the Maestro. This is the way they seem to be leaning right now, because Gardy loves Maestro and doesn't want to put too much pressure on Hicks. But if Hicks is clearly the better player, he will go north, with Maestro as the fourth outfielder. I might be alone on this board in arguing that Hicks is clearly the better player right now. I base my opinion as much on OBP skills as range in the outfield. With Willingham and Parmalee on the corners, they need an above-average center fielder. Maestro is average at best.
Benson is the wild card. If they send Hicks down, Benson becomes the fourth outfielder. This might not be in his best interests, considering the year he had last year. He needs to play everyday (as does Hicks). Maestro is a good bench player and not the future center fielder. Long term it makes sense to have Hicks and Benson starting in center field in Minnesota and Rochester. Between Benson and Hicks, Hicks is the clear favorite right now, especially since they need an OBP guy at the top of the order, not a free-swinging power hitter.