For what it's worth...
TR didn't wait til Winter Meetings to get jiggy with it. Some posters thought he would wait and this was the reason he "hadn't done anything yet." Obviously I ate a big serving of crow over the Thanksgiving break, but while I was eating, I was thinking.
It looks like TR is looking to build a team that will compete this year from the 70-80 win range, depending on rebounding players and when prospects move up the chain.
I think his next three moves could be significant.
The first move I see him making is filling the catcher spot. From what I have heard him say, IMO it seems like he thinks that Pinto needs another year before being handed the full-time starting Catching job. LaVelle has been hinting that AJ is near a deal with us, and I see that happening in the near future. Terry has shown his colors to potential FA's and the color is green. He is no longer waving the white flag, Minnesota has become attractive to FA's because of the money available and now it appears TR is willing to make moves to compete now. AJ is signed for 1 year 5 million.
The second move I see coming is going to be quite a surprise to Twins nation. The Twins are definitely in need of improving their offense. While most of us expect that improvement to come from players rebounding and our very good prospects to make their way into the league as regulars, we still need to add a little offense for this upcoming season. I think other than Catcher and SS the position of need that will have the least chance of blocking one of our up and comers is an outfielder. I think their is a strong chance that Terry Ryan has some hidden interest in free agent Rajai Davis. Now I realize Davis isn't a major weapon for our offense, but he will provide speed, strong defense and a steady stick. I believe we need an actual outfielder until Hicks and Buxton emerge into the scene on a full-time basis. Rajai Davis signs 2 year 8 million dollar contract.
The 3rd deal is going to set up this franchise for a competitive 2014 season. As of today, 60% of our rotation is set. This still leaves 2 open spots, even though some are considering names like Diamond, Deduno, Albers, Hendriks and Worley to be in the running for those final 2 spots, I really don't see that happening. I think both of those spots will be filled out of house one by a signing and one by trade, but I'll only predict the signing. The Twins can't be satisfied with the performance of these guys, outside of Deduno, but lord knows Gardy cannot stomach some of his ups and downs during an outing. Scott Kazmir signed 2 years 14 million.
My gut tells me Terry Ryan will make a trade for either Hellickson or Samardzija, but it's too unpredictable, so if that deal doesn't happen, Twins give Deduno 5th spot, cut bait with Duensing and hand the other LH relief role to Diamond. Worley is going to have to start the season in the pen if he doesn't beat out Deduno for #5 spot.
Pressly and others will also need to start out the year in AAA unfortunately. This needs to happen to allow guys without options to try and stick. A month in if they are struggling, it will probably be time to cut bait.
Pressley, Parmelee, Escobar, Fryer
By June: Pinto for Fryer, Hicks for Pressley
By July: (if competing) Sano for Escobar and it's possible to see Buxton for Parmelee.
I'd love to see one more bat added. I'd like to see Salty instead of AJ because it shores up the position for a few years if Pinto isn't good, but I'm okay with AJ. I am under the impression that we won't see a ton of progress with our offense until Sano and Buxton arrive later next year hopefully.
This would put our payroll right about 85 million for next year. Allowing us to be able to add another pitcher or hitter next off-season.
I would be pleased with merely trading Doumit and Willingham for C+ prospects and being aggressive with prospects in general.
Who plays left field?
Originally Posted by Shane Wahl
I didn't think we'd see anything before the Winter Meetings because... Well, because little happens before the Winter Meetings, particularly in the case of pitchers like Nolasco. Hughes isn't as surprising, much like Vargas. A questionable pitcher who is going to look for a specific spot and/or money and once he gets a good offer, he's going to take it because the market could quickly evaporate under him as the teams with money snatch up the better guys and fill holes. Guys like Jimenez, Nolasco, Garza, they are usually in demand by several clubs and use the Winter Meetings to leverage demand and then sign between the Winter Meetings and Christmas.
Originally Posted by twinscowboysbulls
Kudos to JR for, like Don Corleone, making Nolasco an offer he couldn't refuse.
My best guess is that you're right with #1, though I'm not sure it will be AJ, and if it is AJ I think he'll cost a few million more than $5M. I also think it will be more than a 1-year deal - either 2-years or with reachable incentives for a 2nd year.
The other two I would doubt, though I wouldn't be shocked if they pick up some bench position. But they're already kind of jammed on the bench and in the starting rotation as is.
Not sure why people are higher on Diamond than Duensing, but neither would entice me to pass on Kazmir if TR was willing to go get him.
We have a number of pitchers who may never be more than AAAA, but which one or two can be more? Tough call at this point.
I like your ideas. Not optimistic that these moves will happen, but TR has surprised the hell out of me just lately.
P.S. how was your crow? Mine was bittersweet.
Not bad ideas. Thanks for sharing. I definitely think a catcher will happen. Newest word has the Jays signing Navarro, so that leaves AJ and Salty as the preferred choices.
Davis has plus speed obviously, but can't hit righties and hasn't posted a decent OPS since 2009. He's been platooned consistently and could be an option to pair with Presley. He'd basically be replacing Mastroianni (ironically, the same Mastroianni that Toronto sent to waivers due to Davis's presence). I wouldn't support signing him unless he was going to be platooned. Not a lot of better options out there though other than Choo, Ellsbury, and Granderson for big money and a move to a corner for Buxton eventually. Pretty unlikely and I think I'd literally poop myself if it happened.
I would be stunned by a third SP. It would need to be someone who makes it easy to justify releasing one of our current guys with no options remaining. I think Kazmir would qualify.
I think you're right about the aggressiveness. I expect him to sign one more pitcher and a catcher. I like your call on Kazmir. I remember when the Twins played Cleveland and TR was in the booth with Dick-N-Bert. He said he seriously considered taking a flyer on Kazmir in the offseason, "in hindsight, that's one I missed." So he likes him. And the rotation could use a decent lefty.
As for AJ, LaVelle is rarely wrong about these things. I was just hoping for a little better. Pinto is a good looking prospect, but he might be more than one year away from being able to start at the major league level. I could see a two-year deal, or one year plus an option. As long as you're doing that, you might as well go for the next layer up, someone like Salty. I can dream.
Not sure about CF, though. Hicks should regress (progress?) to the mean. Presley is a reasonable stop gap, at least until Buxton is ready. But you make a good point about lead-off. The way the team is constructed, the CF pretty much has to lead off. And neither Presley nor Hicks is a good enough lead-off hitter for them to compete.
If they do sign someone, I wouldn't be thrilled with Davis. I don't think he's much of an upgrade over Presley. He has a .316 career OBP. He steals a lot of bases, but he gets caught a lot--double digits in four of the last five years.
The more I look at the CF FA class, the more I think they can't do much better than Presley unless they want to spend lavishly for Ellsbury or Choo. So I say they stand pat in center. Buxton is closer to being ready than Pinto, mostly because it takes so long for catchers to learn how to handle pitching staffs. But also, he's Buxton.
If it comes down to Diamond vs Duensing, here is why I take Diamond.
Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN
1: Duensing has been a disappointing player in my eyes. Has never truly exceeded expectations and has rarely met them. He failed as a starter, and IMO he hasn't done much better as a reliever.
2: Diamond has a very good curveball, I'm not sure I would consider it a plus, but i'd consider it closer to a plus pitch than anything Duensing throws. Relievers can have great success while exhibiting 1 PLUS pitch. Duensing has that above average fastball that doesn't really blow anyone away and a slider(if i remember correctly) that doesn't seem to be very effective(not looking up numbers on it).
3: Diamond is going to cost this team less money and is controllable for longer.
4: Duensing is going to be overpaid for the job he is expected to do, when there are guys capable of doing it for less.
5: If you disagree, it's probably because you see Duensing's 8 K/9. If you look back to when Duensing was starting it was similar to Diamond's lower K/9. Duensing's fastball played up a little bit out of the pen and I'd hope for the same results for Diamond.
Maybe I'm wrong, I just don't think Duensing will be worth whatever raise he will get for next season. Maybe he is someone we deal off this winter in a package.
Note that a release is not the only choice. Package up two or three of the "usual suspects" in a trade, and *boom* you've got roster space. Doumit plus Swarzak for... Diamond plus Parmelee for... doesn't have to be a can't miss prospect or a current MLB starter, something like another team's #8 prospect would be OK if your infusion of talent to the 40-man roster is great enough.
Originally Posted by jay
I hear you on Kazmir and he really fits what the Twins are doing this off season, but Rajai Davis? I used to really like him when he came up with Pittsbugh last decade, but he will be 34 and right now the Twins have Alex Presley and Mastroianni who both are probably better than Davis at this point.
I have mixed feelings about Pierzynski, both because he is what he is and because his ability has been diminishing. I'd rather see a Herrmann/Pinto platoon. One thing that most people do not know or ignore, is that Herrmann was listed as the Twins' organization best defensive C in the BA 2013 prospect list. I'd rather see the Twins spend the $ to improve their bench signing someone like Chavez as a 3B platoon/DH/PH and a corner OF bat like Jeff Francoeur (who believe it or not will be just 30) and go from there...
Good points, and a bit of outside the box with Davis. Thinking. Don't see it happening though. cmatthewson sums it up well, but I don't see Salty coming in for cheap- or for a short-term deal. Overpay. If Pinto has the upside, then give AJ 1yr/10mil and be done with it. No way we chase or sign Ellsbury or Choo- too expensive- not sure they're all that anyway. Help is on the way.
I made my crow into tacos , but it needed more garlic
Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN
I also dont understand the dunny hate? while no Ace or Closer he is a decent left handed option out of the pen and can throw multipul innings
You could even include a 5-30 prospect and seek a higher prospect back ....
Originally Posted by ashburyjohn
Right now Im high on Wisler and Smith from San diego, 1 or both would be nice starting in Rochestor and could be ready in a couple months or slightly longer
I thought this thread would be about the Buffalo Springfield.
I think this is a good point, with one exception...the acquiring team has to have a couple of roster spots to take a flyer on these guys. I could see Seattle taking a pitcher and a hitter to add to their mix, but I don't know their roster situation. You could add Worley, or Correia, or Hendricks, or Collabello, etc to list of players on the way out
Originally Posted by ashburyjohn
As for what I'd like to see the Twins do from here on out, I'd like them to pick up Arrenciba or Pierzynski at catcher. After that I'd like to talk to Franklin Gutierrez moreso than someone like Rajai Davis. Gutierrez has been outstanding in the outfield, and had flashes of having an ok bat, but has been injured and slow for 2 years. If he can bounce back, he could be anywhere from a bench player, to a starter in CF, to a starter in the corner. Mostly he provides some competition in the OF for Arcia, Presley, Mastroianni, Hicks, Parmalee, Collabello, Buxton, etc. Depending on the DH/catcher situation it also provides some competition for Pinto as well. I don't think the Twins should sign a starter for the OF/DH, but I don't think they should stand pat either. This gives them a guy with upside for a year, and fits as well as anyone.
Short of that, I'd keep dangling most of the borderline starters and Parmalee, Colabello and Doumit and see if there is any remotely interesting offer.
Arencibia had Butera numbers last year. His OPS was about .600.
Originally Posted by Craig in MN
Granted, that was at least 100 points lower than his last couple years, but do we think that he's a bounce back candidate?
Well, he a much lower BABIP last year than the rest of his career...if that bounces back to normal, then he's a bounce-back candidate. He's not a high AVG or OBP guy, but he also averages 20 HRs and has a good pitch framing reputation. He's good enough that you could start him, hoping for a bounce back, but not good enough that you have to start him, in case Pinto makes the case for starting. A decent defensive catcher with 20 HR power, who is under team control for 3 more years is worth a gamble on, I think.
Originally Posted by 70charger
According to the Score, the A's are set to sign Kazmir to a two-year, $22-million deal.
Mine was too. But now I'd like to buy you a steak dinner :)
Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN