06-17-2014, 07:59 AM #1
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How close do we need to be a month from now?
There has been progress this year, it is the middle of June and we are talking about meaningful baseball games. We are in the middle of the road trip from hell at 3-4, hoping to split the last two games.
As exciting as this may be, I am pretty sure this is not the year the Twins make the playoffs even though I would like to be proven wrong. So the question is, how close do we need to buy instead of sell at the deadline. I would like to see the Twins within 3 games of the division lead (too many teams involved in the wild card race) before we become buyers. Even at that point, maybe we become buyers and sellers.
1. Correia is the easiest person to replace, so even if we are in it, I would trade him and replace him with one of the AAA pitchers. He won't be here next year no matter what.
2. Willingham: If we are in the race, we owe it to our fans to keep Willingham. I doubt we are going to get that much for him but if we lose his bat, we probably don't have a chance to contend. If we drop 6-7 games out by the deadline, I would move him then. If he is still around at the end of the season, would you keep him for one more?
3. Duensing. He seems to have OK stats, but all I can remember now is ineffective outings. I say he has to stay if we are in it, but probably the easiest guy to move, since as TK has always said, he's left handed and breathing. Even if we do keep him, I beleive he has become too expensive for the outings he is producing anyways, so letting him go in the offseason is a possibility.
4. Morales. This is the most interesting trade chip. I believe he fits like a glove in our lineup. Hits for average and power and has shown that in non-hitters parks like Safeco. The question is whether he is willing to stay here and sign an extension? Is he blocking Vargas if he stays? In any event, he stays if we are in the race, but could be a sought after trade chip if we fall out of it.
5. Suzuki. This feels like the ultimate sell high player. However, we have no options at all for catcher in the near future. If we are in it, he stays. We certainly would have to sign a FA in the offseason. If we fall out of it, I would maybe try to dangle a two-year extension, and if he doesn't sign, then trade him. Who knows, maybe we could trade him and get him back a la Aggie.
The Twins will have some chips to trade at the deadline, however, I believe they owe it to our fans to go for it if we are within 3 games. The question is, will we hurt our future if we gamble and fail? I don't think so. All five of the above options need to be signed in the offseason or at least tendered a contract, so these players may not be back anyways. The only player we really don't have a replacement for right now in the minors would be Suzuki.
While I do expect the Twins to fall out of it by the end of July, it certainly has been fun to watch meaningful baseball, and will continue to watch since I expect May and Meyer up if the Twins do fall out of contention.
06-17-2014, 08:23 AM #2
I guess the follow up question to all of this is, would it be worth making the playoffs and being bounced out immediately? Or is the team better off accepting that they should be building to make a "serious" attempt several straight years of playoff runs by selling as high as possible on the veteran assets they have now.
I'm sure the fans (myself included) would be overjoyed by seeing another playoff game at Target Field this year - but would it be at the expense of seeing a World Series in 2016 or 17 because the Twins kept some of these players this year (or traded assets for "rentals")?
06-17-2014, 08:42 AM #3
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Given the randomness of playoff games, yes, they should want to be in the playoffs with a chance to win, and not assume they'd get bounced if they made it.
I really have no idea what they will do. They've already surprised me a few times this year with their strategy, so I don't know I can predict their moves anymore.
What would Mike do?
1. If they aren't at or over .500 at the ASB, I'd be willing to deal.
2. Only Hughes, Gibson, Dozier, Arcia would be "untouchable" to me (of the MLB players).*
3. If they are over .500, I'd try to add a piece, as long as I was not giving up a top 5-7 prospect to get that piece. The team has been bad for a long time, and if it has a chance, I think they should go for it. But, adding a middling upgrade, that might not really be an upgrade? I'd not do that. Either go for the win, or don't, but part way is the worst way to me.
*I'm sure I forgot someone.....Lighten up Francis....
06-17-2014, 08:47 AM #4
I agree with all of that - I do think that once you're in the playoffs, the odds go out the window. The Twins have had some bad experiences in the postseason under Gardenhire, but I think it's as likely that they could turn the tables on someone in a short series this time around.
A .500 record seems like a reasonable measure to say "buy/stand pat" or "sell"
06-17-2014, 08:59 AM #5
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I think the Twins end up as sellers. Morales will probably be the big prize we can move but Willingham and others might get us a few decent pieces too.
06-17-2014, 09:03 AM #6
And I don't believe "anything can happen in the playoffs".
I believe "anything can happen in the playoffs as long as you have good pitching". I don't think the Twins are there yet.
06-17-2014, 09:13 AM #7
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I think they need to be on pace for 85 wins. To get there they will need to go on some kind of good streak similar to the a Royals. It is going to take a couple of really good stretches to get in real contention. One needs to be in the next month. If not, there will be too many teams to pass.
06-17-2014, 09:56 AM #8
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I would be happy to be sellers if we get something decent. Not sure what C level prospects bring to a very deep farm system.
06-17-2014, 05:49 PM #9
I don't think the Twins will be sellers. I think the team will be close enough that the FO won't want to sell, but not close enough for them to go all in and reach for a guy like Samaraja (SP?) or Price.
I just hope the team continues to battle. They seem to be confident they can score runs, even when they get down by 4 or 5 runs early. I like that. It makes the games more enjoyable, but I'm not sure they have enough to make a real run at post-season glory, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to risk the greatness of future teams for a wild-card berth.
06-17-2014, 05:57 PM #10
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06-17-2014, 05:58 PM #11
I don't think they will be sellers either. They can hang around .500 most of the year and hopefully catch fire at some point. 85 wins might win the Central.
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06-17-2014, 06:20 PM #12
I still can't imagine a hot streak by Detroit that pushes them over 90 wins. Of course the mediocrity of the league and second wild card lends to the possibility of an 84-86 win team making the playoffs.
06-17-2014, 10:45 PM #13
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06-18-2014, 05:32 AM #14
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A near .500 team at the deadline could have a lot of ground to make up. Ryan probably would not make a short term trade at around 10 games out. On the other hand, in that situation I don't think he would ship out the players that help the team win now for what is called a C prospect. He has enough of those. Any of the 4-5 pitching starters he has or role players would be gone for a prospect. Any player brought in I think would be brought in for their long term potential. A pending free agent would be rented with the try them out before you buy them to see how they fit.
06-18-2014, 06:40 AM #15
Last 5 World Series teams:
Boston: Best Pitcher: Lester (Expected) St. Louis: Wacha (Unexpected)
Detroit: Anibal Sanchez (Unexpected) San Fran: Vogelsong (Unexpected)
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) St. Louis: Carpenter (Expected, but of a bad bunch)
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) San Fran: Cain (Expected)
NYY: Sabathia (Expected) Philly: Lee (Expected)
What you see when you look back is how many completely out of left-field performances teams that win World Series get from guys you wouldn't expect. You're no more likely to have your ace pitch like an ace than you are to have your former NPB guys like Lewis and Vogelsong.
06-18-2014, 07:23 AM #16
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The Twins have a (usually) lights out closer and 3 starters who can pitch a shutout on any given day. Of course we want to make the playoffs and see if we can catch 87 in a bottle.
06-18-2014, 07:56 AM #17
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Wacha had a great half year not unexpected unless you were not paying attention to the Cardinals
Vogelsong had a very good year, not unexpected for him to pitch well. Yes you would have expected Cain to outpitch him but Vogelsong's performance wan no surprise.
Sanchez pitched as what was expected of him. That leaves Colby Lewis as your only "unexpected" star pitcher.
So in context of the OPyour post really more proves the point you need to have good pitching. Multiple pitchers and not just an Ace and 3 others with a pulse.
It also takes a good bullpen and offense as the 2002 ALCS would prove.
Last edited by The Wise One; 06-18-2014 at 08:04 AM.
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06-18-2014, 08:22 AM #18
Right now only one AL team has fewer wins. 12 teams have better records and we are one win worse than last year at this time. Maybe talking playoffs should be put on hold until they improve their record to at least mediocre.This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.
06-18-2014, 08:25 AM #19
The point is that while you need good pitching, the odds of who is going to give you that good pitching is a crap shoot. Which is precisely "anything can happen".
06-18-2014, 09:26 AM #20
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