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Thread: Article: The Elephant in the Room

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: The Elephant in the Room


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    Senior Member Double-A BrentMpls's Avatar
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    Which route do you think they will go Nick?

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Hard to say. Ryan has been very vague when discussing his offseason plans. If they're serious about keeping payroll steady going forward, though, I don't see how it would really be possible to not at least make a modest effort at fielding a decent team. They'll have around $25M to spend and few holes to fill outside of the rotation.

  4. #4
    I think they'll stick in the grey area between the two unfortunately. I see them picking up a veteran starter this offseason who has the potential to and has been in the past a number 2 type starter but will most likely produce as a number 3 starter but I also see them making a trade for promising pitcher who won't be MLB ready till the 2014 or 2015 season. I'd really rather them go at one or the other with gusto but the Twins don't tend to make and sort of organizational moves with gusto. My pessimism tastes sour.

  5. #5
    They weren't willing to build a championship team when they had Mauer, Morneau, Santana, and Nathan as centerpieces, what makes you think they'd do the appropriate things when the really only have Mauer as someone who can be counted on to be well above average at his position?

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    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    It seems to me that they need to play the cards that are dealt as time passes.

    There has been lots of talk in the forums about signing Greinke and other starters who will be coveted by the Yankees and other free spending teams. I think that is pure fantasy. The Twins don't get into bidding wars against the high spending teams. Their favored approach seems to be looking for players who are undervalued, like the Hammer. If they can get a pitcher who they feel is undervalued, then I think that they will go for him. That pitcher might turn out to be as good as Pavano was in his first year with the Twins or as bad as Marquis was this year. Or maybe they will get lucky.

    For me the good news is that the home-grown pitching for next year may be at least at league average. In my opinion:

    -- Diamond seems fairly solid. I would be happy if he could start the first postseason game next year,

    -- Deduno may be a disaster waiting to happen (with his WHIP of 1,58), but he is a joy to watch and if he can fix his "fastball" and cut his walk rate, he could be a legitimate #2.

    -- DeVries is not flashy but he is getting the job done -- WHIP of 1.12.

    -- Kyle Gibson may be ready to contribute next year.

    -- Blackburn will be in a contract year and may get his act togther.

    -- Hendriks could use a strikeout pitch, and maybe he just needs to learn to relax and just throw the damn ball like he does at AAA.

    -- P.J. (the "Wall") Walters has shown flashes of competence.

    -- Esmerling Vasquez (now in Rochester) has a WHIP of only 1.13 and has more strikeouts than Hendriks (77 strikeouts in 81.1 innings for Vasquez versus 72 strikeouts in 92.1 innings for Hendriks). Vasquez is almost 30 years old, but maybe he could have a few good years in the majors as a #4 or #5 starter.

    These are all pitchers who I would like to see given a chance next year. And remember that if Butera becomes a pitcher next year, then he will bat only in interleague games.

    Nick, am I wrong to have hope that at least 4 or 5 of these guys could be equal or exceed league average next year?
    Last edited by glunn; 08-10-2012 at 12:28 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    It seems to me that they need to play the cards that are dealt as time passes.

    There has been lots of talk in the forums about signing Greinke and other starters who will be coveted by the Yankees and other free spending teams. I think that is pure fantasy. The Twins don't get into bidding wars against the high spending teams. Their favored approach seems to be looking for players who are undervalued, like the Hammer. If they can get a pitcher who they feel is undervalued, then I think that they will go for him. That pitcher might turn out to be as good as Pavano was in his first year with the Twins or as bad as Marquis was this year. Or maybe they will get lucky.

    For me the good news is that the home-grown pitching for next year may be at least at league average. In my opinion:

    -- Diamond seems fairly solid. I would be happy if he could start the first postseason game next year,

    -- Deduno may be a disaster waiting to happen (with his WHIP of 1,58), but he is a joy to watch and if he can fix his "fastball" and cut his walk rate, he could be a legitimate #2.

    -- DeVries is not flashy but he is getting the job done -- WHIP of 1.12.

    -- Kyle Gibson may be ready to contribute next year.

    -- Blackburn will be in a contract year and may get his act togther.

    -- Hendriks could use a strikeout pitch, and maybe he just needs to learn to relax and just throw the damn ball like he does at AAA.

    -- P.J. (the "Wall") Walters has shown flashes of competence.

    -- Esmerling Vasquez (now in Rochester) has a WHIP of only 1.13 and has more strikeouts than Hendriks (77 strikeouts in 81.1 innings for Vasquez versus 72 strikeouts in 92.1 innings for Hendriks). Vasquez is almost 30 years old, but maybe he could have a few good years in the majors as a #4 or #5 starter.

    These are all pitchers who I would like to see given a chance next year. And remember that if Butera becomes a pitcher next year, then he will bat only in interleague games.

    Nick, am I wrong to have hope that at least 4 or 5 of these guys could be equal or exceed league average next year?
    You are crazy unfortunately. Diamond has a decent shot at being average and the rest will need a miracle to be average. If Twins rotation consists of only 1 league average starter and a FA in the Liriano mold we will lose 90 for the 3rd year in a row.

    Who cares about Mauer? If you ever want to actually win a playoff game you need to endure the pain o blowing this thing up and building thru the minors. Stuck in the middle is the worst place to be.

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    Would if really be an injustice to Mauer, hell the team has fielded playoff caliber teams with or around Joe on them in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010. Hell he's missed the postseason in 3 outta the 8 seasons he's been in the majors...pretty good run even if they **** the bed everytime in October.

    If they Twins want to gear up for a run and not just a AL Central run that involves winnings actually postseason games I think it's gonna take a few years to aquire all the pieces needed for that.

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    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
    Stuck in the middle is the worst place to be.
    Are there Clowns to your left, Jokers to your right, here you are?

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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    It seems to me that they need to play the cards that are dealt as time passes.

    There has been lots of talk in the forums about signing Greinke and other starters who will be coveted by the Yankees and other free spending teams. I think that is pure fantasy. The Twins don't get into bidding wars against the high spending teams. Their favored approach seems to be looking for players who are undervalued, like the Hammer. If they can get a pitcher who they feel is undervalued, then I think that they will go for him. That pitcher might turn out to be as good as Pavano was in his first year with the Twins or as bad as Marquis was this year. Or maybe they will get lucky.
    I think that you hit it on the head, it will be a 'cattle call' of starting pitchers next spring, all the guys you mentioned plus a couple of marginal free agents, and hope that several will step up. Thats the way the Twins have always done it, they've never had powerhouse teams, their margin for error is always slim, if most players don't have good years, with a couple of great ones thrown in, and they don't avoid injury, they lose.

    I think the real elephant in the room is Target Field, the Twins brass has seen what happened in Cleveland, the new stadium draws people for a few years, but without a competitive team, they don't draw fans. And that means less $8 beers and $6 hotdogs sold. They're not going to blow up the team, they've got a pretty good nucleus, adding a couple of good starters will go a long ways to making them competitive.

    My prediction is that Terry Ryan will do what he always has done, trade from a position of strength, which is the glut of outfielders, he'll trade one of them, most likely Span, for a starting pitcher.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
    If Twins rotation consists of only 1 league average starter and a FA in the Liriano mold we will lose 90 for the 3rd year in a row.
    You do realize that there's a pretty good chance the Twins won't lose 90 this season, right?

  12. #12
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    Joe Mauer has never played in a playoff game the Twins won. Not saying it's his fault but it does indicate how long ago Henry Blanco was the catcher in the last win, and AJ the win before that. I think Blackjack has it right they will attempt to field a team that can stay close next year, they want people to stay interested, buying tickets and beers.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    My hunch is that the Twins will look to free agency for that 1-2 starter, stand pat with Mr. Diamond, hope for Mr. Kyle Benjamin Gibson's arm to hold up, and pray for a bunch of rain-outs. If they wanted to gut the team for a bunch of young arms, they would have done so before the trade deadline. It would also be nice to upgrade the middle infield.

    It won't be pretty, but the Central is a weak division. The Twins should finish third this year, and perhaps less than 10 games out. I just want our boys to be playing meaningful games in August and September. I love to troll for walleyes in the evening and listen to a competitve game on the radio. This year they were out of it before I even got my boat in the water...

    With this lineup, and the 15-20 more wins that two good starters could bring, we'll be okay--maybe make the playoffs--or duplicate a once-in-a-lifetime, catching lightning in a bottle postseason like 1987. Or, maybe .500. That's about all...

  14. #14
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    "Cattle call" was precisely what the Twins did for their bullpen this year. They kept Burton and Maloney (didn't pan out, now had TJ surgery), but weve also seen Deduno (as a starter), Perdomo, and Fien. I liked what the Twins did and if they can snare a guy by signing minor league free agents, sign one higher profile guy and get help from the farm (Hendriks, Gibson) they can be OK. I'll grant that is a lot of "ifs", but I do believe that after everything had gone wrong for about 18 months, the Twins were/are due a bit of good fortune. This is probably Terry Ryan's real strength--finding hidden nuggets in other people's systems--so perhaps there is a little better shot because of that.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    Hard to say. Ryan has been very vague when discussing his offseason plans. If they're serious about keeping payroll steady going forward, though, I don't see how it would really be possible to not at least make a modest effort at fielding a decent team. They'll have around $25M to spend and few holes to fill outside of the rotation.
    I think they can do the best of both worlds on this one. I suspect Ryan is going to trade one of Morneau, Span, or Revere this offseason for some starting pitching help, though I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that's a higher upside AA type starter as opposed to a ML ready one now. The Reds seem to be a bit of a natural fit here as they could definitely use one of Span/Revere and have a surplus of pitching. The drop off to losing one of these guys should be minimal, and if Parmelee shows he isn't a fluke, we might even see a small upgrade in the lineup.

    In the free agent market, I suspect he's going to plow a good chunk of that 25M into a decent starters, but at the same point, he's going to have to sign a few one year prove it type deals to guys like Baker, potentially bedard (though I think he might get a multi-year deal), or other high upside pitchers... He may go takea flier on a MI player too...

  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Vasquez (he has been very good since a bad April) working as a starter now does add to his value and I would like to see him get a chance. It *is* true that 2-5 next year (at least by June) could be Gibson-Diamond-Hendriks-Vasquez (or Walters). I would guess that the Twins will go that route and spend legitimately on one very good starting pitcher (Marcum, for instance). I would prefer two of them though. One option in between a $10+ million and a AA prospect who won't be ready in 2013, is to trade instead for guys in their arbitration years right now who have been good this year. The Twins could perhaps get Marcum for $4/50 and one younger arb pitcher for $2/$4 million . . . etc. or whatever.

    Pitchers in arbitration, team, year of FA:

    Chris Sale, CHW 2017
    Jarrod Parker, OAK, 2018 (?)
    Matt Harrison, TEX, 2015
    Tommy Milone, OAK, 2018
    Jason Hammel, BAL, 2014
    Jeremy Hellickson, TB, 2017

    Jordan Zimmermann, WAS, 2016
    James McDonald, PIT, 2016
    Wade Miley, WAS, 2018
    Lance Lynn, STL, 2018
    Vance Worley, PHI, 2018
    Clayton Richard, SDG, 2015

  17. #17
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I think they can do the best of both worlds on this one. I suspect Ryan is going to trade one of Morneau, Span, or Revere this offseason for some starting pitching help, though I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that's a higher upside AA type starter as opposed to a ML ready one now. The Reds seem to be a bit of a natural fit here as they could definitely use one of Span/Revere and have a surplus of pitching. The drop off to losing one of these guys should be minimal, and if Parmelee shows he isn't a fluke, we might even see a small upgrade in the lineup.

    In the free agent market, I suspect he's going to plow a good chunk of that 25M into a decent starters, but at the same point, he's going to have to sign a few one year prove it type deals to guys like Baker, potentially bedard (though I think he might get a multi-year deal), or other high upside pitchers... He may go takea flier on a MI player too...
    I hope you are right. I just don't see the Twins ever investing the money and years to "buy" a #1 starter. If I'm right about that, they have to find another way to acquire a #1 -- since kidnapping is probably out, that means trade or draft. I hope that he can somehow finesse his way through trades over the next 1 1/2 years to get a couple of prospects with #1 - #2 potential (hoping that one pans out).

    As for next year, I don't think he'll spend $25 million unless he gets Morneau's salary off the books. If Morneau is on this team, I believe that he'll spend $15-$19 million (at most). Targeting one #2 -#3 type starter (a solid innings eater) for no more than 3 years. Plus taking a 1 year "flier" on someone like Bedard or Baker (although I have a hard time seeing Baker really ready before July).

    I understand their need to keep people in the stands but it is hard for me to see Ryan spending the money to acquire (2) #2-#3 types. I hope they are saying a lot of prayers -- and making some voodoo sacrifices -- to try to get what they have in the system to solidify.
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 08-10-2012 at 09:28 AM.

  18. #18
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    I think the Twins can make more Bullock/Diamond moves. Diamond is obviously a "Twins" pitcher and the Twins seem to have a good understanding on the importance of control type pitchers. Those pitchers seem to be underrated by other clubs (maybe Pedro Hernandez gets a shot next year). I could see Ryan trying to add one of those guys fairly cheaply.

    I do think he'll trade Span for one starter to go along with Diamond and Hendriks. Gibson will come up at some point next year but will be on limited innings, maybe he starts in the pen?. I'm not sure if Ryan will spend much on a free agent but he could get a guy like Joe Blanton. Obviously, I'd like the team to add Grienke, Marcum or even Sanchez but i don't think that's likely. I wonder if a guy like Dan Haren, injured, sorta bad year, might be available on a one year deal to get his value up.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    It seems to me that they need to play the cards that are dealt as time passes.

    There has been lots of talk in the forums about signing Greinke and other starters who will be coveted by the Yankees and other free spending teams. I think that is pure fantasy. The Twins don't get into bidding wars against the high spending teams. Their favored approach seems to be looking for players who are undervalued, like the Hammer. If they can get a pitcher who they feel is undervalued, then I think that they will go for him. That pitcher might turn out to be as good as Pavano was in his first year with the Twins or as bad as Marquis was this year. Or maybe they will get lucky.

    For me the good news is that the home-grown pitching for next year may be at least at league average. In my opinion:

    -- Diamond seems fairly solid. I would be happy if he could start the first postseason game next year,

    -- Deduno may be a disaster waiting to happen (with his WHIP of 1,58), but he is a joy to watch and if he can fix his "fastball" and cut his walk rate, he could be a legitimate #2.

    -- DeVries is not flashy but he is getting the job done -- WHIP of 1.12.

    -- Kyle Gibson may be ready to contribute next year.

    -- Blackburn will be in a contract year and may get his act togther.

    -- Hendriks could use a strikeout pitch, and maybe he just needs to learn to relax and just throw the damn ball like he does at AAA.

    -- P.J. (the "Wall") Walters has shown flashes of competence.

    -- Esmerling Vasquez (now in Rochester) has a WHIP of only 1.13 and has more strikeouts than Hendriks (77 strikeouts in 81.1 innings for Vasquez versus 72 strikeouts in 92.1 innings for Hendriks). Vasquez is almost 30 years old, but maybe he could have a few good years in the majors as a #4 or #5 starter.

    These are all pitchers who I would like to see given a chance next year. And remember that if Butera becomes a pitcher next year, then he will bat only in interleague games.

    Nick, am I wrong to have hope that at least 4 or 5 of these guys could be equal or exceed league average next year?
    That is a seriously underwhelming list of pitchers.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    I hold out hope that Ryan will sign one #2-3 starter via FA (Marcum type), trade for another #2-3 starter (Leake type), sign Baker, and fill out the rotation with Gibson and Diamond, leaving a very acceptable set of options in the wings: Hendriks, DeVries, Walters, Deduno, Bromberg, Hermsen...and? Nope, bye bye Blackburn. This would cost one of Span and Morneau, most likely. If Ryan settles for one #2-3 starter, I'll be dissappointed, and ready to criticize him as I did regarding this year's failed gamble with the rotation. If he gives us no new #2-3 starters, I'll join in the outcry for his head.

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