Unless the Twins dramatically overpay for a free agent, getting a number one starter is a pipe dream. The approach the Twins might have to take is finding an underperforming starter on another team and offer them trinkets to get them. The hope would be that that starter would turn into the Pavano of 2010, not 2012. If they are turning around their season with the Twins still not being contenders trade them at the trade deadline for a couple of stud prospects. Fixing the rotation long term lies in developing prospects. Injuries and bad trades (Garza) have derailed the recent hopes of developing a number one or two starter, but one still has to hold out some hope.
There have been some excellent comments in this thread.
In my opinion, the GM must decide first of all what his goal is ... to either try to keep fans in the seats in the short term, or build a team that will be very good in (hopefully) 2 or 3 years.
My preference would be to basically "clean house", and rebuild, watch youngsters compete and develop for a couple years.
If the decision is to just try to fill seats in the short term, that could go on for a long time.
Fixing the rotation Trade a relief prospect and an OF prospect maybe Guerra or Slama and Tosoni or Benson at most and take on the rest of his salary for Saunders in AZ, This gives AZ 2 potentially useful players for the bench, saves them about 3-4 million, and allows them to bring up Bauer. This guy is a left handed Pavano that can throw 200 innings around a 4.00 era for around 6 million. Then there will be 2nd tier FA this offseason. Sign one of the following Lewis, Marcum, Sanchez. (7-10 million per year) for the last pitcher you can go dumpster diving. Milwood Baker or Pavano on incentive contract, and or others that are available. (2-3 million base) Along with Blackburn, Hendricks, Diamond, and eventually Gibson and Zimmer we would have a solid but not great rotation 1-6 or 7 withou breaking the bank
Plus I just don't know how wise it is to give up any type of prospect for a 31-year-old middle of the rotation guy. Making $6 million this year, but I think he's still arbitration eligible next year. Tosoni has not value to me (or Arizona), but I wouldn't completely sell low on Benson right now, and Deolis Guerra is only 23 years old and may be reinventing himself as a reliever. His strikeout rate is decent, even if he's a bit inconsistent.
I just don't want us to get any older unless we're talking about an impact player will a few years of his prime left in return. You could put Joe Saunders on THIS team every 5th day for $6 million, and I don't think we'd be any appreciably better.
I agree that the Twins will not be in the running for a top tier starter. I do also agree that Anibel Sanchez, Shaun Marcum and possibly Brandon McCarthy could be had and would help the rotation. If everyone is looking at 2014 as they year when all the youngsters will be ready, we better start developing some pitching in the minors that will also be ready. By then Diamond, Hendriks and Gibson should be around but keep in mind, 2014 and 2015 could potentially be struggling years too as the younger position players adjust to life as a major leaguer. Look at KC and how they are struggling with Hosmer, Moustakas, Escobar, and the rest of their young core.
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
The master nails it again.
Does Luke Bard solve the long term problems of the Twins starting rotation because that is what my article was about. Do you still want Liriano signed to a 3-year, $39 million deal after the 2010 season? The master indeed nails it again.
I am not sure how the Twins are going to roll out in April next year, but I can see the following by June 1:
Ryan Dempster (seriously, please . . . if the Twins refuse to sign long term deals of more than 3 years, they should sign Dempster for 2 and an option)
And I think this will be a starting rotation superior to that which has been played out through this season. Yes, this means that Nick Blackburn either becomes the long reliever or is released because he is terrible. Or maybe they make him in to a Burnett-esque role and just deal with the overpaying of such a middle reliever who probably would be more effective there than in the starting rotation. God, he is terrible. And yes, that means Liriano, Pavano, and Baker are gone. Hopefully the first two can be traded at the deadline this year. Baker will just be lost.
Now maybe in trading the likes of Liriano, Capps, Doumit, Pavano (hopefully) and Casilla (hopefully) individually or in various packages will bring back some bonafide starter or AA/AAA prospect. That would shake things up. I do think the above rotation could get the job done for 2013, which is to develop into a .500+ team.
Jack, I believe Nick was referring to your prediction that Bard wont sign. He was drafted higher than expected and doesn't have much to gain and possibly a lot to lose by going back for his senior season.
They no doubt will. There is zero incentive to get him signed right away. He's still rehabbing and won't be on the mound til mid to late July at the earliest (from what I hear). As long as they are happy with the direction of his rehab, they have no reason to rush to sign him. And I doubt the Bard camp is in a hurry either. If they take it to the deadline and the Twins have extra pool money left over it gives them more leverage to push for an above slot deal. There was exactly 1 college senior drafted in the first round this year. Going back for your senior season is about the last thing a high college draft pick wants to do.
Dempster is not the answer and would get destroyed in the AL, plus some team will over pay for him for 2-3 years.