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Thread: Suzuki: Extend or Trade?

  1. #41
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Parker analyzed this. Stance less open. Quicker to the ball. More aggressive.
    Yeah, read it, and am a fan of his work. My point was that the 'It's not a hot streak, Player X totally changed stuff and improved at an age where most players don't' thing is as obligatory and infused with useful information and objectivity as a State of the Union address.

    That's not a knock on Parker and his nice writeup, that's just how they almost always turn out. Happy for Zukes that he's off to a great start. But if he sustains anything like this level as the primary catcher until the trade deadline or beyond, it should create more questions about what's up with Pinto and the rebuild as it does about what to do with Suzie.

  2. #42
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    Got a dog named Sport?
    Does 'Sporty Spice' count? No, but neighbors recently named theirs 'Kirby'. Felt awful that it wasn't considered in naming ours until remembering she's a girl dog. But spoiled, yes.

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  4. #43
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    Extend him while hes performing at his best?

    Have we not learned? Just look at Joe Mauer (after his one power year), Doumit (he was doing well once to start the season). I can probably think up more ill advised extensions given time.

    Looking back, there could have been significant savings there. Wait and see, is the best approach right now.

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  6. #44
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drock2190 View Post
    Extend him while hes performing at his best?

    Have we not learned? Just look at Joe Mauer (after his one power year), Doumit (he was doing well once to start the season). I can probably think up more ill advised extensions given time.

    Looking back, there could have been significant savings there. Wait and see, is the best approach right now.
    Jared Burton.

  7. #45
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    In agreement with Kab and Jokin on several points.

    Surprised and very, very pleased by Suzuki so far. No doubt he will have a difficult time maintaining what he's done so far. Even for this year, hard to see it continuing to next season. But not only has he done a fabulous for the team this year in many respects, including still allowing Pinto to come along, but there is no sense at this time that his trade value would be worthwhile.

    FYI, Gladden made a comment over the weekend that Suzuki had some hand issues the past couple of seasons that may have limited his ability to hit properly. Now, in reference to Suzuki's trade value, I mean no disrespect to him. He's an experienced, quality veteran player well thought of. But I believe his value to the Twins is greater than what a return may warrant. I may be wrong, but a few down years hitting before this season, not a power hitter, could the Twins really receive a quality, high-end prospect to make a trade worthwhile?

    I think the Twins have some pretty good C prospects in the lower minors, but not ready yet. And as I've stated, I'm a Herrman fan. Again, don't feel he's ready yet as he's done a lot of yo-yo-ing the past couple of seasons. Not only has Pinto been very productive this season, but I think he's been decent behind the plate. Hopefully he continues to grow and learn and is indeed ready to take over by next season. But you still need a solid backup. I'm not sure what it would take to extend Suzuki. But considering the Twins positive financial situation, it would hurt nothing to sign him for another year or two at another 2.5 or 3M per would it?

  8. #46
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Twins Twerp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Whenever a thirty year old .255 career hitter bats 50 points over that for a month or two to start the season, there has to be an interview question that explains what changes he made to cause real, sustainable improvement at an age where most hitters begin to decline, and many below-average ones fall off a cliff.

    The answer to 'whaddaya doin' different?' has a list of usual suspects. Stance more open or closed, leg kick higher or lower, hand positioning, distance from the plate, various other 'adjustment' and 'approach' and 'stuff Bruno told me' generic fixes, offseason workout changes, higher fiber, brightly-colored batting gloves...

    What you can't attribute it to is a current BABIP that, like his batting average, is about 50 points over his career norm, and that he is enjoying it while it lasts. That answer isn't as entertaining, and lends doubt to the theory that a backup catcher has suddenly morphed into a borderline All Star at an age where most of his peers begin to regress.
    Are you insinuating steroids? If he doesn't get caught...fine by me.

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  10. #47
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
    Are you insinuating steroids? If he doesn't get caught...fine by me.
    I... what? Well played.

  11. #48
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    What you can't attribute it to is a current BABIP that, like his batting average, is about 50 points over his career norm, and that he is enjoying it while it lasts.
    In the stats business, I believe that is called "gettin' lucky".

  12. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
    Are you insinuating steroids? If he doesn't get caught...fine by me.
    Great message for any kids out there.

  13. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    A little more perspective from two Twins catcher slash lines, with BABIPs

    Player A: .335/.384/.388 .386 BABIP

    Player B: .209/.293/.261 .230 BABIP

    If you chose to extend Player A, 30 year old Junior Ortiz, well, you just locked up Player B, who is Junior Ortiz the following season. His career slash was .256/.305/.305. Zukesie's career line: .255/.312/.377, with the advantage of over a thousand more PA's in his prime than Junior.

    So offensively, Suzuki is very likely still just Junior Ortiz with a little power. Ortiz was a career backup who averaged about 200 PA's per season, like most backup catchers.

    The message is that small samples are especially deadly when it comes time to consider contracts. If Zukes and the Twins are both happy with him as a backup for a couple of years and the contract reflects that role, it wouldn't be a terrible thing. But if the deal pays him like a .300 hitter instead of a guy batting .300 in May, huge mistake.
    I don't get it.

    Junior Ortiz had a .600 career OPS while Suzuki's career line is .690. Locking up a .600 career OPS hitter is a huge mistake (like you say). Locking up a catcher with .700ish line for 4-5M/yr for 1-2 more years is not a huge mistake. Especially when the depth behind Pinto/Suzuki would make Junior Ortiz look like a good hitter.

    Nobody is saying that they should approach Suzuki tomorrow about an extension but this is something that should be done in the 2nd half of the season.

  14. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    Junior Ortiz had a .600 career OPS while Suzuki's career line is .690. Locking up a .600 career OPS hitter is a huge mistake (like you say). Locking up a catcher with .700ish line for 4-5M/yr for 1-2 more years is not a huge mistake. Especially when the depth behind Pinto/Suzuki would make Junior Ortiz look like a good hitter.
    To be fair, age and league context do put Ortiz in a more favorable light: through age 30 (Suzuki's current age), Ortiz had an almost identical slash line, minus 50 points of SLG (and thus about 10 points of OPS+).

    But yeah, Ortiz was born a backup catcher, so isn't a good comp.

    It's been a fun ride with Suzuki so far. He is still showing the same low power as his 2011-2012 seasons, though, so I'm not sure how sustainable/repeatable it is. He's dropped his K's which is helpful (and a welcome sight on this team!).

  15. #52
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    I don't get it.

    Junior Ortiz had a .600 career OPS while Suzuki's career line is .690. Locking up a .600 career OPS hitter is a huge mistake (like you say). Locking up a catcher with .700ish line for 4-5M/yr for 1-2 more years is not a huge mistake. Especially when the depth behind Pinto/Suzuki would make Junior Ortiz look like a good hitter.

    Nobody is saying that they should approach Suzuki tomorrow about an extension but this is something that should be done in the 2nd half of the season.
    Zukes hasn't had a wRC+ over 90 since 2009, and was below 70 the past two seasons. The only reason his career averages are substantively different from Junior's is that he had two nice seasons five and six years ago. Even with those two nice seasons, KS's wOba is only about 25 points higher than Junior's, and Ortiz was a pretty awful hitter.

    He's riding a nice hot streak but giving him a two year extension as a reward for two or three good months... can't see it. And if he's still on his ridiculous pace in July or even August (unlikely), he'll want more money and/or years. Committing 10 million over 2 years to a guy who's a backup on a contender doesn't sound good. Not the end of the world, just not good use of finite resources.

  16. #53
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Zukes hasn't had a wRC+ over 90 since 2009, and was below 70 the past two seasons. The only reason his career averages are substantively different from Junior's is that he had two nice seasons five and six years ago. Even with those two nice seasons, KS's wOba is only about 25 points higher than Junior's, and Ortiz was a pretty awful hitter.

    He's riding a nice hot streak but giving him a two year extension as a reward for two or three good months... can't see it. And if he's still on his ridiculous pace in July or even August (unlikely), he'll want more money and/or years. Committing 10 million over 2 years to a guy who's a backup on a contender doesn't sound good. Not the end of the world, just not good use of finite resources.
    Agreed. I only want Suzuki back if it's a one year deal with the expectation that Pinto will transition to the starting role during that period.

  17. #54
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    But yeah, Ortiz was born a backup catcher, so isn't a good comp.
    The point of the Ortiz comparison was mostly to illustrate the folly of small sample size. Almost any hitter can look like two different players depending on which 200 plate appearances you look at.

    Suzuki has been essentially a backup-level catcher for two years, and should be regarded as such unless he manages a full season well above replacement level. He's got a good start on that, but that's it.

  18. #55
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Other teams are not going to sell the farm for a hot-hand Suzuki and ignore his career stats up to this point.

    You can discuss a new contract with him after the season... or go after another FA catcher. NBD.

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  20. #56
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I'm just glad we didn't put ink on the Colabello extension back in April.

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  22. #57
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    "What's the rush"? So few games played to ascertain if Pinto should be the #1 catcher, nor enough to ignore Suzuki's past and proclaim him the #1 catcher for the next 3-5 years. Trade? That depends on who is offered. A contender who has just lost their #1 catcher might yield a juicy return--but that scenario hasn't happened (yet). Patience.

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  24. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Zukes hasn't had a wRC+ over 90 since 2009, and was below 70 the past two seasons. The only reason his career averages are substantively different from Junior's is that he had two nice seasons five and six years ago. Even with those two nice seasons, KS's wOba is only about 25 points higher than Junior's, and Ortiz was a pretty awful hitter.

    He's riding a nice hot streak but giving him a two year extension as a reward for two or three good months... can't see it. And if he's still on his ridiculous pace in July or even August (unlikely), he'll want more money and/or years. Committing 10 million over 2 years to a guy who's a backup on a contender doesn't sound good. Not the end of the world, just not good use of finite resources.
    25 pts of wOBA is really big actually.

    I think people have unrealistic expectations of how well starting and backup catchers hit in the MLB. A 90 wRC (2011) is actually pretty solid for a catcher. It would be a low end starter or great backup but when the next option behind Pinto is a 50-60 wRC type then Suzuki is pretty important even if he's only a 200 PA guy for the Twins.

  25. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    25 pts of wOBA is really big actually.

    I think people have unrealistic expectations of how well starting and backup catchers hit in the MLB. A 90 wRC (2011) is actually pretty solid for a catcher. It would be a low end starter or great backup but when the next option behind Pinto is a 50-60 wRC type then Suzuki is pretty important even if he's only a 200 PA guy for the Twins.
    I might be overestimating his trade value. Given his position, experience and performance, I think he is the most valuable (and possibly only valuable) trade chip the Twins have to play.

    I really hope that they will not extend him until after the trade deadline. Even after the deadline they need to go year to year. They don't need to dump him, but they need to seek a trade partner. Catchers are in short supply at the deadline.

  26. #60
    Interesting. I hadnt considered a trade. I think he might be too valuable to the Twins to trade unless they get blown away. He is a very good guy for chemistry as well. Somebody we should be extending is Dozier who is in last year making less than 600,000 bucks.

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