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Thread: Twins will seek 'affordable pitchers'

  1. #121
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    I will continue to occasionally compliment posts that I think took a lot of effort and thought as I see fit, but I appreciate your suggestion
    I could research the holy hell out of the migratory patterns of bats and it doesn't mean a thing if we're talking about football. The fact is, from what I see, it's a well researched turd that he polished up nicely and got a compliment from you. So I'll feel free to point out your appreciation of shiny turds as well.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I could research the holy hell out of the migratory patterns of bats and it doesn't mean a thing if we're talking about football. The fact is, from what I see, it's a well researched turd that he polished up nicely and got a compliment from you. So I'll feel free to point out your appreciation of shiny turds as well.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Not sure why a simple compliment of a post inspired such effort by you to chastise a person you don't even know. I guess manners takes a backseat to trying to force one's opinion on to someone else. Your opinion of his post is just that, your opinion...nothing more. Perhaps some tolerance of other people's opinion is in order...or you actually debate HIM on his post rather than chastising someone for making a simple compliment.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kobs View Post
    ...and what the Pirates and Royals have been doing for twenty years.
    Still a weak comparison. The Pirates and Royals were completely inept orgs that were terrible at drafting and player development. In addition to that they were consistently going cheap in the draft and not taking the best players. Additionally they never had money available to spend on FA's when they started putting together a young core of players. The Pirates and Royals finally understood how to build a farm system and there is finally hope for their franchises. The Twins have shown that they will spend in the draft and internationally. they also have a lot of money to spend once they start putting a decent team together. In the meantime they don't even need to go really cheap in FA. they just need to avoid big mistakes like the Wilsons, Lowes, Burnetts, Lackeys, etc...
    So, the Twins are a smart organization who know how to build a farm system (despite the awful production from their farm system in recent years), but they're destined to be the Cubs or Mets if they spend money on the major league club? Brilliant.

  4. #124
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Not sure why a simple compliment of a post inspired such effort by you to chastise a person you don't even know. I guess manners takes a backseat to trying to force one's opinion on to someone else. Your opinion of his post is just that, your opinion...nothing more. Perhaps some tolerance of other people's opinion is in order...or you actually debate HIM on his post rather than chastising someone for making a simple compliment.
    kab is doing just fine at that. A poor argument is a poor argument, no matter how spiffy you think the source material is.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
    Just for fun I took a look at all starters signed over the past 5 years to contracts over $50 million in value and return on investment is not that bad.

    Attachment 2524

    If you compare the salary they have earned to what Fangraphs projects as their value you are looking at a 88.44% return on investment which is not great but is not the really bad number I was expecting.
    So, when I read this chart, I interpreted it to mean it was saying that CJ Wilson was worth 11M this year. Buehrle less than 10M this year, Yarvish worth 22.9M this year, Lackey less than 8M a year over the last 3 years, Burnett less than 11M per year overt the last 4 years, Lowe less than 10M over the last 4 years and so on.

    Of course those are averages, some years they were worth more and some were worth less. Did they explain this was based only on pitchers who had already hit the free agent market and what was to be expected value of pitchers on the free agent market as opposed to all pitchers?

  6. #126
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    I am seeing a lot of disagreement with the Fangraphs value indicator. I agree that it is not perfect but at least it is impartial. Just out of curiousity, what value would any of the recent posters put on AJ Burnett over the past 4 years and how would it differ from Fangraphs:

    Season Team W L G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR VALUE
    2009 Yankees 13 9 33 33 207 8.5 4.22 1.09 0.295 75.90% 42.80% 10.80% 4.04 4.3 4.23 3.5 $15.70
    2010 Yankees 10 15 33 33 186 7 3.76 1.21 0.319 68.80% 44.90% 11.60% 5.26 4.8 4.49 1.3 $5.40
    2011 Yankees 11 11 33 32 190 8.2 3.92 1.47 0.294 70.00% 49.20% 17.00% 5.15 4.8 3.86 1.4 $6.50
    2012 Pirates 16 10 31 31 202 8 2.76 0.8 0.294 74.10% 56.90% 12.70% 3.51 3.5 3.4 3.4 $15.20

    I actually think it looks reasonably on. I would pay $15 million each for the 2009 and 2012 seasons while I might pay lower ($3-4 million) for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

    One other note, there was a comment above that these guys would be lumped in with Nick Blackburn if they were on the Twins. Fangraphs has Nick Blackburns total value under his current contract (2010-2012) at $1.7 million dollars for those 3 seasons with a negative $3.4 million this year.

  7. #127
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
    Affordable options = not going to invest in the team to make it better.
    Affordable for a poor man does not mean the same as for a Rich man. And the Twins are not poor. Did the 1500 crew challenge him/follow up on this? (I doubt they have the balls to do this)

    This is beyond annoying to me. If the twins go the Affordable route, many people in MN will start looking for other "affordable" options to spend their entertainment money.
    The residents of Hennipen county should ask for their money back.

    This is a really good point. Not every player at every position has to exceed their "projected value". Younger players (before the last year of arbitration) should provide significant value above their contract amount. Then you should have somewhat older players who should meet or exceed their contracts (e.g. Denard Span). That should allow you to take some risks in acquiring other players.

    And, starting pitching seems to be the area where the Twins MOST need to take those risks. It may not work out but the team should have enough projected value from other players to cushion any blows.

  8. #128
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    Fangraphs uses FIP (fielding independent pitching) to determine how many wins (above replacement) a pitcher was worth. Each WAR is worth X amount (4-5M). I use fangraphs and FIP (and xFIP) for a lot of things but I don't blindly trust numbers. It's really, really hard to come up with these numbers and there really isn't a perfect method. Some limitations to FIP for this kind of analysis is not taking into account park factors and league factors. There is another issue with using FIP. Some pitchers routinely underperform their FIP. That means that they consistently have a higher ERA indicating that for whatever reason that FIP cannot determine they allow more runs than expected.

    it's not a bad idea to use fangraphs, FIP, xFIP or other stats to determine but you also need to use your common sense. Lowe, Burnett, and lackey are pretty clear cut colossal failures in FA. If the Twins signed 1-2 pitchers for 50-75M and they pitched as bad as this trio this board would give them the Blackburn treatment. About the only thing this trio can claim is that they pitched better than the AAA filler that the Twins depended on this year.

  9. #129
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    I'll reorganize my FA starting pitcher summary to make it a little easier to understand for those that don't know the history of every player in the last decade. For the most part I'm not looking up stats but just going by memory since I don't want to spend a lot of time on this since I have a neverending pile of important writing to do. If someone wants to go back further than 2006 FA signings feel free to add them in (only if you do all signings though). mlbtraderumors has an easy to search database that included all of them back to 2006 and some before that.

    I will exclude the top 6 (studs, Japanese and 2012 signings) from the analysis for what should be logical reasons.

    This pretty clearly shows that you are not getting what you are expecting when you shop in the 35-80M range. You should be getting a solid #2/3 pitcher but out of the 11 starters left in this list there were only 2 solid starters that performed up to their contracts. 9 of the contracts were simply terrible. that is a horrible success rate and not even the best GM's are going to make good choices.

    Why don't the pitchers meet expectations? Some were not very good in the first place and were paid too much because starters almost always get paid too much in FA. A lot of them suffered injuries or went into age related decline. This shouldn't have been shocking since most FA starters are in their 30's. As a general rule of thumb teams should avoid long term contracts to 30 somethings. This should be common sense.

    Should the Twins avoid FA to add pitching? No. They should avoid anything beyond 3 years so that the damage doesn't last too long. The Twins are not poor and they can handle a short term 10M dead contract. 25-30M/yr until 2017 could be devastating. Luckily there are a lot of decent but not great starters on the market this year. They should be able to grab a #3 for 3/30. I would also contend that there really isn't a pitcher aside from Greinke (5/100 imo) that stands out from the FA pitchers. it's likely that the 3/30 signings could outperform the 5/60+M signings.

    studs that were signed as studs - I like this category of signing as long as you have the money and the pitcher is actual stud
    CC fort knox
    Lee 5/120

    International FA's - originally excluded because of how I sorted at mlbtraderumors - both were around 100M guys with the posting fee. pretty much paid as studs.
    Darvish
    Dice-K - did not work out partly due to injuries

    too early to tell - can't really included since 75-80% of the contract remains. I'm not optimistic about these two pitching well in their mid and late 30's
    Buehrle 4/58

    Wilson 5/75

    somewhat decent guys that probably qualify as #3's
    Dempster 4/52
    Lilly 4/40

    most would consider these contracts brutally awful - Meche is the best in this group
    lackey 5/82.5 - pitched awful and had TJ in his 3rd season

    Ollie Perez 3/36 - was hurt for the entire contract and he was so bad when he did pitch that the Mets would have been better if he hadn't pitched
    Lowe 4/60 - he had ERA's between 4 and 5+ during his 4 seasons
    Burnett 5/82.5 - an alright first season but he was so bad in the next two that the Yankees paid the pirates to take him
    Silva 4/48 - he was beyond awful
    Zito - 7/126 - signed as a stud and performed as a #4/5
    Suppan 4/42 - he was a #3 before and he performed as a #5 or worse
    Meche 5/55 - had two decent seasons before he wrecked his arm. he actually retired a year early and forfeited the final year of his contract
    Schmidt - 3/47 - I don't think he ever threw a pitch for the Dodgers. Ironically the giants let him go so they could make a bigger mistake signing Zito.

  10. #130
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    About the only thing this trio can claim is that they pitched better than the AAA filler that the Twins depended on this year.
    Barely. Deduno and De Vries weren't awful and together, they would have only made $1m in 2012 over the course of an entire season. They're not acceptable options for a ML franchise that wants to compete but at least they're not $15m albatrosses.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    studs that were signed as studs - I like this category of signing as long as you have the money and the pitcher is actual stud
    CC 7/161 – Fangraphs Value = 103 million
    Lee 5/120 – Fangraphs Value = 52 million

    International FA's - originally excluded because of how I sorted at mlbtraderumors - both were around 100M guys with the posting fee. pretty much paid as studs.
    Darvish – Fangraphs Value = 23 million
    Dice-K - did not work out partly due to injuries – Fangraphs Value = 44 million

    too early to tell - can't really included since 75-80% of the contract remains. I'm not optimistic about these two pitching well in their mid and late 30's
    Buehrle 4/58 – Fangraphs Value = 9.5 million
    Wilson 5/75 – Fangraphs Value = 11 million

    somewhat decent guys that probably qualify as #3's
    Dempster 4/52 – Fangraphs Value = 56 million
    Lilly 4/40 – Fangraphs Value = 44 million

    most would consider these contracts brutally awful - Meche is the best in this group
    Fan Graphs & Kab Agree
    Ollie Perez 3/36 - was hurt for the entire contract and he was so bad when he did pitch that the Mets would have been better if he hadn't pitched – Fangraphs Value = -8 million
    Silva 4/48 - he was beyond awful – Fangraphs Value = 14 million
    Zito - 7/126 - signed as a stud and performed as a #4/5 – Fangraphs Value = 30 million
    Suppan 4/42 - he was a #3 before and he performed as a #5 or worse – Fangraphs Value = 7 million
    Schmidt - 3/47 - I don't think he ever threw a pitch for the Dodgers. Ironically the giants let him go so they could make a bigger mistake signing Zito. – Fangraphs Value = 0 million

    Fan Graphs & Kab Disagree
    lackey 5/82.5 - pitched awful and had TJ in his 3rd season – Fangraphs Value = 23.5 million
    Lowe 4/60 - he had ERA's between 4 and 5+ during his 4 seasons – Fangraphs Value = 40 million
    Burnett 5/82.5 - an alright first season but he was so bad in the next two that the Yankees paid the pirates to take him – Fangraphs Value = 43 million
    Meche 5/55 - had two decent seasons before he wrecked his arm. he actually retired a year early and forfeited the final year of his contract – Fangraphs Value = 46 million
    I think the interesting thing above is that Fangraphs and Kab actually agree most of the time. Pretty much all of the at the top are as he describes. The difference is once we get in to the brutally awful contracts. Again, Kab and Fangraphs agree on half of them. Perez, Silva, Zito, Suppan, and Schmidt were truly awful contracts. Where they begin to disagree is on Lackey, Lowe, Burnett, and Meche. The question is, what do you do when there is a disagreement? Do you disregard the numbers out of hand or do you take a second look? Take a second look at those guys and they are not as bad as you would expect:

    Lackey – A good first year with the Red Sox (4.40 ERA in Fenway and 200+ innings) followed by a bad year and a lost year. If he comes back well from Tommy John I think he still has potential to provide a %50-60 return on the Red Sox investment. Not good, but not truly awful. Fun Fact: Red Sox get a free season from Lackey due to a quirk in his contract so this is really a 6 year/83.5 million contract now.

    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/ba...x-solution-201

    Lowe – 2 years of good ERA (4.00 and 4.67) and 2 years of bad (5.05 and 5.67) but his FIP never got above 4.59. Fangraphs says he was a %66 return on investment which seems about right. Not good, but not truly awful.

    Burnett – I put a table out above that shows 2 good seasons (4.04 and 3.51 ERA) and 2 bad seasons (5.26 and 5.15 ERA). I think a 4.04 ERA in Yankee stadium is pretty good and a 3.51 ERA is as well. I think if he has another good season in Pittsburgh that he will end up a %60-80 return on investment.

    Meche – He had 2 really good year with the Royals, 1 bad year, and 1 injured year. If you adjust his contract to 4 years/$44 million due to him opting out of the last year he actually gave the Royals almost equal value.

    I would truly be interested in the values that other posters on Twins Daily would assign to these pitchers performance. If Lackey is not worth $23.5 million his first three years, what is he worth? How far off are the Fangraphs numbers to ones you would assign? Thanks!

  12. #132
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    'I think the interesting thing above is that Fangraphs and Kab actually agree most of the time. Pretty much all of the at the top are as he describes. The difference is once we get in to the brutally awful contracts. Again, Kab and Fangraphs agree on half of them. Perez, Silva, Zito, Suppan, and Schmidt were truly awful contracts. Where they begin to disagree is on Lackey, Lowe, Burnett, and Meche.'

    Some will only trust info if it agrees with what they already believe and they'll discard it if it doesn't. Even if it's the same source. I'm not saying that's happening here, but you see it all the time.

  13. #133
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    I think your definition of good needs some tweaking. If the Twins paid big bucks for a pitcher and they were putting up 4+ ERA seasons with a couple of 5+ ERA seasons they would be regarded as a massive failure.

  14. #134
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    We did have a guy like Lowe on our team the past 4 years earning quite a bit of money (~$25 million). His name was Carl Pavano and he had 2 years of 5+ ERA like Lowe and 2 years of ERA at 4.30 and 3.75. Both Pavano and Lowe had truly bad seasons in 2012 and had a season where their ERA looked a lot worse then how they pitched (Lowe 2011, Pavano 2009) but I would say that both were not "massive failures" and both were worth $30-40 million during that timeframe. That happens to be above what Pavano earned so he was a good deal where that is %50-66 of what Lowe earned making him not a good deal but not a massive failure.

    Pavano
    Season W L G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
    2009 14 12 33 33 199.1 6.64 1.76 1.17 0.329 66.10% 43.40% 10.70% 5.1 4 3.89 3.7
    2010 17 11 32 32 221 4.76 1.51 0.98 0.281 74.00% 51.20% 10.60% 3.75 4.02 3.86 3.2
    2011 9 13 33 33 222 4.14 1.62 0.93 0.306 67.30% 50.60% 9.40% 4.3 4.1 4.14 3
    2012 2 5 11 11 63 4.71 1.14 1.29 0.329 56.90% 41.20% 10.70% 6 4.38 4.48 0.6
    Lowe
    Season W L G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
    2009 15 10 34 34 194.2 5.13 2.91 0.74 0.327 68.70% 56.30% 9.40% 4.67 4.06 4.14 2.6
    2010 16 12 33 33 193.2 6.32 2.83 0.84 0.307 74.20% 58.80% 13.10% 4 3.89 3.54 2.8
    2011 9 17 34 34 187 6.59 3.37 0.67 0.327 65.90% 59.00% 10.20% 5.05 3.7 3.65 2.6
    2012 9 11 38 21 142.2 3.47 3.22 0.63 0.326 66.40% 59.20% 9.10% 5.11 4.37 4.59 1.1


    Not to press the question again but if you disagree with my opinions and what Fangraphs states then what do you think their value is? If Lowe is not worth $40 million over the past 4 years then what is your number? What are you numbers for Lackey, Burnett, and Meche?

  15. #135
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    I think it's awesome how this thread has become 'Lowe/Lackey/Burnett/Meche weren't that bad'. The problem is that this is the likely result if the Twins plunge into FA looking for starters.

    Let me press on something then. Since this thread is basically about complaining that the Twins won't spend big bucks on non-elite starters then how would you feel if the Twins plowed 100-150M into two starters whose absolute best case would be Dempster/Lilly and the more likely case would be Lowe/Burnett/Lackey/Meche/Suppan/Zito/Suppan/Schmidt/Silva?

    My valuations. I will use ERA since that is a measure of what actually happened. the pitcher actually gave up that bases clearing double. he actually walked the bases loaded before giving up a HR. I'll give Burnett and lackey +5M for having to pitch in the AL East.

    ERA's
    3.50 - 15M
    4 - 10M
    4.50 - 5M
    5 - 0M - if you can't throw a 5.00 ERA then you shouldn't be in the rotation and you are hurting your team
    5.50 - -5M
    6 - -10M

    Meche - 20M on a 55M contract - I'm not including his gift of early retirement since injuries happen all the time but almost nobody has given their team a free pass
    Lowe - 14M on a 60M contract
    Burnett - Yankees get 15M in value plus 13M from Pirates on a 82M contract
    Lackey - -5M in value but it can still work out because they 34 yr old coming off of TJ surgery for 3 more seasons.

  16. #136
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
    Not to press the question again but if you disagree with my opinions and what Fangraphs states then what do you think their value is? If Lowe is not worth $40 million over the past 4 years then what is your number? What are you numbers for Lackey, Burnett, and Meche?
    It's an interesting thought experiment, but from my vantage point it's hard to take an argument seriously that suggests an ERA of 4.67 constitutes a "good" season.

  17. #137
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    If I understand this:
    It only pays to buy studs or international pitchers in the FA market.
    A few of the #3 types will work out, but most will not.
    Bottom scraping does not work.

    Interesting post.
    Other note. #2 or #3 pitchers have a better chance of working out if they are under 30.
    This leads to hope if the Twins sign a pitcher like Marcum or another younger FA Jackson?
    Other FA's must have a great track record to be considered.
    Trade markets leads to better chances.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Both Edwin Jackson and Shaun Marcum are affordable, if affordable means keeping with 2012 payroll.
    so if we signed these 2 , then traded span for shields and maybe throw in escobar hernandez and even hermsen to obtain scotty shields then we would have 4 solid pitchers to start with, and i believe ticket sales would once agian take us back over the 3, million mark. making them truely affordible, add in next years tv increase and morny coming off the books why not spend this year and save next year ?

  19. #139
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    Intl FA's weren't included because they really aren't comparable to MLB FA's since they don't have any MLB experience. If you included them then Dice-BB would add to the massive failures category while Darvish is a fringe stud although it's too early to tell.

    Peavy and Marcum are the two best starters on the market after Greinke. The problem with them is their injury history. They could easily be the next Jason Schmidt who never threw a meaningful pitch for the Dodgers. IF they can be signed for a 3 yr deal and the long term risk is minimized I'm fine (and even like) the idea.

    Anibal sanchez is one of the next guys on the list for me since he's younger. I think he's underrated by many. At least he was until the playoffs.

    Edwin Jackson is solid and I would be fine if they signed him for 3/30.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Both Edwin Jackson and Shaun Marcum are affordable, if affordable means keeping with 2012 payroll.
    so if we signed these 2 , then traded span for shields and maybe throw in escobar hernandez and even hermsen to obtain scotty shields then we would have 4 solid pitchers to start with, and i believe ticket sales would once agian take us back over the 3, million mark. making them truely affordible, add in next years tv increase and morny coming off the books why not spend this year and save next year ?
    You make an assumption that the Rays want to trade a stud pitcher for one player and a pile of nothing.

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