You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...-Compete-Again
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...-Compete-Again
As is clear in my blueprint, they should roll out with significantly better pitching with two FA acquisitions, a deeper bench, and then see what happens. If it doesn't work out and the A+/AA/AAA players develop properly, then sell off at the deadline (Span and Morneau would headline that). The point is that the Twins should try to compete and win the division every year, but that also selling at the deadline does not mean giving up on the following season. There is no necessary either/or with regard to 2013 and 2014.
Depends on the budget. I also believe they are going to need 2 - 3 pitchers, most of whom will be acquired by trade. FA market will probably be too high for more than one upper middle type FA (my choice is Marcum), they also need more bullpen help(hope you do not think Alex Burnett is the answer) and a middle infielder. To bridge the pitching gap they will need to trade an outfielder and possiblly Parmalee for some major league ready pitching. Twins will need to spend the money as after 2014 and the all star game, the bottom could drop out if they are not making progress. When you have 4 - 5 outfielders who may be here in the next 3 years, it is time to start making room.
pseudo-White Sox scenario from last off-season, trade away some aging veterans, bring in some low-risk/high-reward guys off down seasons and let the young kids play. make a run at it. When the trade deadline rolls around you'll ether be in or be out, but either way you can make trades accordingly. I'd like to see them bring in 2 FA pitchers for the rotation or trade Span/Morneau for one of those and/or prospects, preferably Span as I think based on Morney's second half that good things will be happening for the big (well, not so big anymore) Canadian in 2013
Why is the payroll dropping? If they cannot compete next year, they should deal willingham, span, morneau, Burton, maybe Perkins. The A's, unlike Ryan, are willing and able to deal good players.
the only thing keeping them from competing is a willingness to spend on pitching next year.
There is an outside chance to compete next season. It will require a whole lot of luck and a fair bit of smarts to happen.
1. Sign Baker and get a healthy, productive season from him.
2. Sign one of Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez/etc. and get a healthy, productive season from him.
3. Gibson progresses and get a healthy, productive season from him.
4. The offense stays mostly healthy with Morneau and Mauer coming back strong.
5. Willingham doesn't regress too much.
6. The middle infield is not embarrassing.
7. Diamond doesn't regress too much.
Quite a tall order.
1. The Twins have a few tradeable assets this offseason without purging the team. We have an extra leadoff hitting OF. We even have several replacement candidates ready or almost ready with the type of hitter we need. Parmelee, Arcia, then Hicks. What the offense needs is one of those guys to step in and be a solid hitter.
2. We also need for either Plouffe to be able to have a .750+ OPS next year with 25HRs or a solid hitting replacement waiting in the wings to take over. So who would be a solid hitting bench 3b that can play elsewhere too and not cost more than 2 million per? Signing a player like that would probably give us one of our deepest benches ever too as Mastrionni, OF Prospect(take your pick), Doumit...not bad.
3. This one is a biggie. We need a SS. We get a solid hitting SS and the offense is practically set.
4. On pitching we have a solid bullpen with several arms waiting in the minors for a chance. Maybe sign a bullpen arm or go dumpsterdiving again for relief depth.
5. The rotation has developed several solid depth starters this year. 5th, 6th, and 7th starters And a solid #3. So at this point if we resign Baker and can get 2 solid starters with 1 being a #2 quality starter we should be able to compete next year.
In Short 1 SS, 1 3b-IF bench bat, 3 SP, and relief depth....This seems extremely possible especially since the hard part SP can be GIbson, Baker, and Hendriks and there is a deep rotation. The hard part is going to be getting a capable SS in my opinion. If only the team would be willing to take a chance and go back to the 100 million 105 million payroll number.
The Twins, if they are smart, should be competitive next year in a weak central... not sure if they would win it, but a fringe contending team is a reasonable possibility if they make the right additions, but it they plan on going into 2013 with 4 of 5 starters being people already in this organization, they are in trouble. To answer the question in the article, I tend to say 2014 is the goal they should be shooting for. The offense looks to be there now (with some help needed in the middle and on the bench), but pitching is the question mark. They are going to need to add good starters whether they want to compete in 2013 or 2014, so TR would be wise to do some shrewd trading/FA pickups sooner than later. Since the pitching market is deep, getting at least one or two starters via FA and perhaps getting a 1 year prove it type gamble might be wise. What I'd do:Sign Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson to 1 year prove it deals.Go hard after 2 second tier starters, might consider working something out with Baker as well. Trade Span for some AA or MLB ready pitching talent.Bring in an affordable bench bat
Trade for Josh Johnson, sign Scott Baker, trade Span for Andrus. Sign some veteran pitching on a 1 year deal and you are looking at a 90 win team. Book it.
Give Baker an incentive laden contract with a team option for 2014. Sign Pavano to a minor league deal or one year incentive deal. Go get at least one if not two FA pitcher(s) like Jackson/Marcum/etc. As far as I concerned, only two pitchers should be a lock. Diamond and Duduno with Duduno having a short leash. Trade Blackburn and Benson to teams that have similar issues to these players and see if a change of scenery will help both sides. There has to be a major league pitcher with the same contract numbers of Blackburn. There also has to be some good prospects from other teams that had a bad year like Benson; lets trade with them. I think our offense is adequate. I think Morneau will have a break out year. If he does, now we move Mauer to the 2 hole where he should be. The bad thing, is higher payroll teams also need pitching and will outbid the Twins on the players that have been mentioned in many of the recent blogs.
I think they've worked themselves into a position where not competing next year isn't an option. As much as the baseball mega-nerds on TwinsDaily.com don't care about 80 wins and would happily trade off everything, accept another two seasons of awful play, and then try to turn it around with a 95-win World Series competitor, the consequences of fielding another 65-win team on the third year of a new stadium would be devestating. People would simply lose interest, profits would continue to fall, the payroll would continue to shrink, and the death spiral would be unavoidable. The Twins need to field a respectable team next year, even if it means only 80 wins, just so people find showing up at Target Field appealing.
I don't understand why people keep bringing up Baker like he can be plugged into the rotation day 1. Gibson had his surgery last yr late summer. He is now building arm strength 14-15 months after his surgery and he is several years younger. Baker had his surgery in late March? so on the same time frame as Gibson he'd be starting to pitch around the end of spring training. It would likely be late May or June before he'd be ready to help a rotation. Now if everything went perfect you might get 15-20 starts out of him in the second 2/3 of the season.
This rotation will need help when the season starts, in May or June they may already be out of it if the don't.
The Twins have four deep holes to fill. Two starting pitchers (#1 and #2 type) as well as shortstop and second base. The situation is both tantalizingly close and impossibly far.
Things seemed pretty dreary in 1990 too.
I think the Twins should be aiming for 2014. As others have stated, both Baker and Gibson will be coming back from major surgery. They won't be full-time starters in 2013, and they probably won't be very good in 2013 either. Pavano is done. Diamond looked solid at the end of the regular season, but that's your only "can't miss" guy on the current roster. 2013 is shaping up to be a lot like 2012.
Are we competing for .500 record/Division Title/World Series???
Im all for goin the OAK/CHI route & deal off Span/Morneau among others.
Id like to sign some veteran bench hitters like Eric Chavez & Cody Ross.
Release Drew Butera to get that out of the fans thoughts & have Ryan Doumit play a straight up backup C to Mauer.
Sign/trade for a minimum of one legit starting middle infielder.
Re-sign Scot Baker & unless they implode in spring training....start the season with both Hendriks/Gibson in rotation
Dont bring back Deduno or Walters...even to AAA deals
I go with competing in 2014 and planning for that now. The Twins have basically two tradeable players--Span/Revere (trade one keep the other as lead off CF) and Parmalee. Morneau is going into walk year with a big contract and concussion history--he will bring little. I would trade Justin for best offer (young prospect) and Span/Revere for pitching and keep Parmalee. Dont waste $$ on free agents--its a weak class--the top guys like Greinke wont come here. Jackson/Marcum not a big improvement.
Go with Florimon/dozier in the Middle INF. See what Plouffe gives us over a full season. Go with Gibson, Hendricks in the rotation and see if the are MLB pitchers. Second half of 2013--bring up Hicks, Arcia and Sano and see if they can be ready in 2014. If Gibson, Hendricks are non MLB ready--make trades at deadline and sign free agent pitchers next year.
And the free agent pitchers will be better next off-season? Sign two legit starters, deal for a good MIF prospect, and try to win while Mauer and Morneau are healthy. You can only write off so many seasons. Otherwise, blow it all up and start over.
With the way players' performance varies, it's foolhearty to build primarily with a view toward a future that might not arrive. You HAVE to try and compete EVERY year! To me, that means field the best team you possibly can build in 2013 without giving away much in the way of prospects. That ties your hands some. Too bad. It's not choosing 2013 or 2015, it's giving both proper weight in the decision, and next year always weighs more because it is much more of a known commodity.
Pretty simple APRIL.