You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...ta-Twins-glass
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...ta-Twins-glass
I think the answer lies somewhere in between the two scenarios. I think we need to trade our depth (OF) for our weaknesses (SP and Middle infield). And also I would say trade Morneau and let Parmalee handle 1B next year. His value probably won't get much higher so trade him now Ecspecially with a weak 1B crop of FA's. Keep willingham though he's a true power threat in the middle of our order.
It seems to me that the best path would be to target 2015 or 2016 as the year to build for, and be willing to trade players who don't fit into that time frame. This would mean another dismal two or three years in terms of not contending, but the top prospects (Sano and Buxton) need time to ripen, and the Twins need some good young starters who they develop in house, because they will never pay for really good free agents.
I think the Twins glass is full, but I wouldn't trade anyone. You lose more than you gain by trades. Twins lose by letting players walk too. I would
go after 2 or 3 key free agents. One big name and maybe 2 key guys like last year. The fans would be happy and I think it would payoff huge
for the Twins as well.
It depends what our ambition is. If the goal is to return to the playoffs, then we are closer to half-full - a few changes could turn this into a contending team (especially in the AL central). If the goal is a Yankees-style domination of baseball, then it is definitely more half-empty.
I would personally opt more for half-full - seeking to improve incrementally. The more radical the changes you seek, the greater the chance for failure as well. I'd hate to blow everything up, only to find that instead of having a World Series champion in 2017 we have instead three years of wasted baseball followed by one that is good but not great (which is all too likely). I guess I'm content with a competitive team and would appreciate but do not require a dominant one.
Half full. Any team has a chance to compete as long as they have a solid core line-up like the Twins have. A couple of veterans that surprise like a Colon(uggh) or Kuroda did this year, or a younger reclamation project like Jason Hammel this year, and you've got a fighting chance. And maybe Gibson comes on midseason ala a Kris Medlen, and Baker comes back strong. I'm optimistic.
And maybe you pull a Montero for Pineda type trade with either Hicks or Arcia.
Counting on a bunch of guys 25 and under, along with an aging Joe Mauer, to compete in 2015 is just as big a crapshoot as trying to compete next year. And the marketing phrase "wait until the year after the year after year after this year" probably won't sell many tickets.
Half-full. I'll be disappointed if we don't make any trades this offseason, but I can certainly see how keeping that lineup intact might offer the best hope for a good season. But with our ridiculous need for SP, I think whatever of Span, Revere, Morneau, Willingham, and Parmelee you can get the best SP (or MI) return from you go with. I'll hate to see any of them go, but our best players are kinda bunched at the same positions, and we need to start distributing the talent around a little better.
I see three glasses, my friends, stare with me into your computer screen and imagine not one, but three glasses...
Pitching: Almost empty
Defense: 1/2 full
Offense: 3/4 full
Pitching: We will need to gain two starters via trade or free agency, and hope that the mixed bag of Gibson, Devries, Deduno, Walters and Hendricks will distill into something that will fill out the back end of the rotation, and top off our glass. The bullpen will be fine.
Defense is suspect up the middle of the infield. Plouffe is improving at third. The outfield is above average. Can Florimon, Dozier, or that guy we picked up in the Liriano Garage Sale solidify the defense? Not sure. Oh, for the likes of J.J. Hardy... as I wistfully stare into my glass not full...
Offense: Perhaps the middle infield is where we can improve our offense too. It wouldn't take much to improve on Alexi Casilla's .279 on base percentage, Dozier was anemic, at .271 and Florimon is at .278 after 42 games with the Twins. Escobar has played in 48 games between Chicago and Minnesota, earning a slightly more respectible .285 OBP. This number should be over .300 for whoever occupies second and short. If the rest of the lineup can drive them in, then we'll be full to the brim... groan...:(
It's half full, but the problem is I don't see how they're going to fill the rest of the class with some halfway decent starting pitching. It's unrealistic they can fill out the rotation via free-agency and I think we need to be realistic about what the Twins can get back via trade. Teams with pitching hold on to it. So what do the Twins do? Blowing the team up leaves no guarantee of future results and would cause fan interest to evaporate. The best they can do is patch a rotation together somehow and keep the team competitive for a couple years until some of the younger pitchers step up.
Depends on what you want. If you want a winning type playoff team it probably means blowing it up. Morneau is gone after next yr, Willingham and Doumit a year after that. With 67-68 wins this year it would take a miracle to get 20 more wins next year and be in the race. So you patch things together get another 10 wins and what do we have? A 4th or 5th place team. You can see what good solid pitching can do, the Rays, A's, Mariners have weak lineups but win with pitching. Pitching wins in the playoffs (Giants) the goal should be to stockpile the most good young pitching possible imo. If that takes blowing the team up I'm for it.
Doesn't matter if the glass is half-full or half-empty if the milk is sour.
After a 7-21 start, the Twins are 59-73. Included in that was a ridiculous mid-August of 2-14. Outside those two stretches (the first plauged by starting pitching that made everyone vomit every game, the second plagued, I believe, by some injuries), the Twins were 57-59. A healthy and intact lineup with the current condition of the rotation would mean 76-80 wins. Adding just two second-tier starting pitchers could make that jump to 83-87. Finally, add bench depth and a solid rotation of players (including Parmelee on the roster does this) and the Twins are at 85-89. Add in a breakthrough from one or more of Gibson, Baker, Hendriks, Dozier, Arcia, Hicks, and Herrmann, and the Twins could be at or top 90 wins.
That is obviously a "half full" account, but it also isn't crazy. And it can be done with a payroll of $95-100 million.
I'm with those who are optimistic about the chances of making a run at the division next year but pessimistic about the chances of joining baseball's elite any time soon.
I'm probably glass two-thirds full on the former and one-tenth full on the latter.
This team is a long, long way from being a serious threat to win it all.
But frankly, I'll be disappointed if the Twins don't remain competitive in the division next year. Look at the state of it. For all that the Gardenhire division titles are dismissed with the "weak division" argument, there was always at least 1 and sometimes 2 other legit teams in there.
Next year, there may not even be that . For all the hype they got the preseason, the Tigers were exposed as a deeply flawed team that struggled to win the weakest division in baseball. The White Sox put together a respectable record by feasting on bottom feeders, but they are a thoroughly mediocre team poised for a fall and not likely to repeat that. They can't count on career years from AJ, Dunn and Rios again. The Indians are a mess. The Royals were supposed to take a step forward this year, but they're still stuck in their latest rebuilding project.
So it should not be all that hard to field a team capable of hanging in the race for a while. If TR can upgrade the rotation from atrocious to mediocre, that could be enough.
Now, such a team would probably be little more than first-round cannon fodder for the true big boy teams. But you never know what can happen in a short series, and even if it were as one-sided as expected, it beats the living hell out of suffering through another year of being out of it by Memorial Day and losing 90+ games.
If I've learned anything from the last two years, I'll take a competitive in the division team anytime over a team that may win a World Series once every 8 years and be poor 6 of the other 7 years. I remember that used to be a big question for many Twins fans back when the Twins were winning lots of division titles. Doesn't make the goal any less. Always trying to win every game, but can't get to the World Series without getting to the playoffs.
Is this a joke? half full or half empty?
How about damn near completely empty for the next season or two?
I don't think the Twins need to do a slash and burn rebuild. That is for really poor teams that don't have any talent anywhere. They should be trying to find some good deals on Morneau, Willingham and Span in the next year though. They can go out and sign a decent mid tier starter for around 3/30. The important thing is that they avoid a 5/75 contract for a MOR starter that could hamstring the team right when the team should be on the upswing. Luckily they've said that they aren't looking there.
I can see where Seth falls here because his "Half-Full" outline is realistic and his "Half-Empty" one is exaggerated.
Half-Full - The Twins rotation will be just fine. Scott Baker will be back and contribute all season, Kyle Gibson will jump right in and be a ROY candidate, and Nick Blackburn will be the Viagra Comeback Player of the Year, so no starting rotation additions are necessary.
More full than not. The team has a lot of strengths too.
1) Improve by eliminating stupid mistakes. 2) Take better at bats by being a little more patient so you actually do drive in runners who get into scoring position. 3) Build with Twins guys who want to be part of the future. 4) Find a couple key arms ... guys who can be serviceable. 5) Get lucky.
Don't assume that Baker, Pavano, and Blackburn are shot. Maybe more than one of those three can be some part of an answer.
It is not like they need a complete overhaul, they just need important help in key areas.
Problem I have trading Morneau or Span is it reminds me of McPhail trading Bruno for Herr. We let go of a team guy, a good performer who wanted to be here and received a highly discontented one in return.
Morneau and Span do not put personal needs ahead of team needs. Keep them and that type of player.