A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."
A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."
My sense is that Ryan senses an urgency this time around, after the risk he took with last year's rotation went so horribly awry. (Yeah, I know, many of you saw it coming, and he didn't. Congratulate yourself.) If Ryan fails to pick up one #2-3 FA starter (Marcum type), and trade for a second#2-3 starter (Delgado type), I will join the pitchfork and torch crowd, but I'm gonna wait to make my trip to Menard's for said items until all the winter horse swapping is over. There's no rule that says Ryan has to solve the problem exclusively via FA signings. He has trade chips and "payroll flexibility." For the first time in many years.
Baker's past history suggests a certain level of effectiveness. Whether he will regain that level immediately coming off TJ surgery is one question. It is also rather questionable that he will be able to pitch more than 120-140 innings at the major league level. As far as Feldman goes, he has been a slightlly more effective Swarzak to this point of his career.Quote:
That's a fine definition, not one I agree with, but fine. So pretty much 25 or so pitchers either a lot better, or about the same, if I read you correctly. Many of those will get more than 1 year, 6 million dollar deals. How many will get less, and be as effective?
As to the last part of your statement, it is likely that a great many of the guys commanding a lot more than $6 million and probably for multiple years, aren't going to be very effective. It happens every time guys are signed to long term or high paying contracts, that a large per cent don't perform to their contracts. That is one reason GM's look for free agent bargains.
Despite that, Ryan is going to have sign or trade for a couple of guys with large and probably multi year contracts. He will likely try to sign at least one more probably 2, "bargains" as well. I think he has the money to do that. That doesn't mean people won't complain about his choices, or what we have to give up to get whoever he choose.
At one time there was probably value in soft-tossing, control, durable pitchers. There's a Moneyball aspect at work, perhaps--in that the Twins valued pitchers who limited walks, while the rest of the league, perhaps, undervalued them. It's probably true that Radke was largely undervalued during his career.
I think where things began to break down for the Twins, was the notion that soft-tossing, control pitchers will stay healthier, or necessarily have better, more coachable attitudes. Moreover, that the Twins sense that they could draft and develop such pitchers was obviously overstated, and so was their capacity to milk the free agency or waiver wires for such pitchers.
Let's hope that's changed. I think our most recent draft is an example of that. Having pitchers like Gibson, Baker, Wimmers, Blackburn are assets only if their are combined with lots of other pitchers with a different skill sets.
I love how people are praising the Twins for not signing this contract. I'll repeat this again: This is FA. Pitching does not come bargain price. You can get bats fairly cheap, but teams spend money on pitching. Always have, always will. If you're sticking your fingers in your ears and humming to try and explain away your crazy "add three FAs" offseason predictions - just stop.
I'm guessing that this is a well-established Minnesota coping mechanism for why our teams don't spend money. Rather than complaining about a low risk one year deal for a starter, perhaps you should be asking why the Twins aren't willing to make the same gambles? Afterall, overpaying for one year for Feldman sure has a whole helluva lot less risk than giving Marcum (who I like a lot!) the kind of money he's going to demand. Ditto Edwin Jackson or anyone else. A team in this state should be looking to make low-risk short term deals, not huffing and puffing every time they have to fork over an extra million to get it done.
Again, I don't necessarily have faith that the Twins will sign quality pitching, but I'm not going to use Scott freaking Feldman as the soapbox for that argument.
If you want the Twins to get better in the offseason - stop worrying about the dollar amounts. You'll either be a hypocrite when they do sign someone finally or you've bought into the "Twins Way" of offseason spending hook-line-and sinker. (And, for the record, I'm not even saying the Twins Way is the wrong way. I'd much rather avoid FA altogether unless you can sign guys like Willingham, O-Dog, Doumit, Burton, etc.)
The Cubs are paying guys more than they are worth (let me introduce you to the past 20 years of FA history if you want an actual lecture on the absurdity of this) but they are doing it with low leverage deals that have upside. I would call that smart.
I will criticize them once they fail to sign a decent pitcher like Marcum etc, but at this point who has gone off the market thus far? Baker? (Overpaid and won't even be ready until mid season), Guthrie (Do you want to give that turd 3 years?) and Feldman (4.81 ERA enough said)
I agree, Leviathan, that the Cubs are smart for signing Feldman and Baker. But this would ONLY make sense for the Twins if they were supplemental signings. They need two #2-3 starters. Not much need for two more #4-5 starters. Diamond is better than both those guys, and we need two guys who are better than Diamond.
Personally, I'd rather swallow a short-term bitter pill than one that we'll keep tasting for potentially 3-4 years down the road. In either case, bad mouthing other contracts for being "too much" will just inevitably look silly when either a) they don't look that bad in hindsight or b) we sign one of our own.
Remind me the last time the Royals or Cubs were relevant? Fact is we should be doing nothing to emulate there lead, I don't care about Theo either who basically lucked into those teams (with Ortiz and Manny in the lineup) then gave out a bunch of ****ty contracts later on.
Until they prove otherwise I'm not going to trust either teams judgement on free agents. Let the trash teams over pay for the garbage on the market. (Baker won't be ready to start come April)
A couple of impolite alternatives... Ryan is the anti-empirical GM equivalent of a witch doctor, disdaining all but the most basic and outdated statistical analysis in favor of the insight provided by the same scouting sages who helped the Twins decide to give long-term deals to Tsyoshi Nishioka and Nick Blackburn. I don't believe that's true, but it would explain a great deal.
Another possibility is that Ryan is engaged in a long-range strategy involving a kind of contrarian, Moneyball 2.0 campaign to identify undervalued assets like strikeout-less pitchers and collect them at bargain prices. And maybe we won't see the shocking genius of it until it all comes together in the end, like Brad Pitt finding (spoiler alert!) his wife's head in the box at the end of the movie 'Se7en'.
So should I trust Philly and the Yankees, or maybe Texas? Those teams have been winners lately. Should the Twins emulate them? Taking a 1 year risk is less risky than a 4 year risk. I remain in the camp that I will not judge them until early January....unless a large number if pitchers go off the board before that. But I also remain in the group that will doubt something really good is likely to happen, given past performance.
Theo Epstein isn't the Cubs GM...just throwing that out there.
But that's ok....If (more likely when based on past history) Terry Ryan doesn't sign anyone and his reasoning is that none of the players were in a price range they felt "comfortable" with - just make sure you come to his defense.
Oh, wait, Epstein signed him after Ryan decided he had no use for a designated hitter who could actually hit.
But having All Stars like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz all make the team as walk-ons who just sort of showed up at spring training they way they did, Theo totally lucked out with those guys.
Hmmm. Come to think of it, he picked all of them in the first or second round of the amateur draft.
Sorry, totally meant to play along in your game of 'portray widely respected GM as lucky rube', but my examples weren't very good.