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Thread: ESPN: Twins Optimal Year Of Contention is 2016

  1. #141
    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    If they are to somehow reach .500 this year, won’t we be wondering why they didn’t pick up a decent free agent at a position of need this offseason?

    I understand the argument that the team is likely to become better and better positioned for success moving forward, as their top prospects get older and start entering the fold. But there are also things that can change for the worse going forward. What if Morneau and Pelfrey have good seasons and then leave as free agents, creating new holes? What if one of the young pitchers they’re counting on blows out his elbow next spring and misses the 2014 season? What if this year is Willingham’s/Doumit’s last healthy and productive one in a Twins uniform?

    I just don’t understand making no real effort to improve the immediate quality of your product when you’ve got a 30-year-old Joe Mauer making $23 million, and a bunch of pretty good players around him. Makes absolutely no sense to me. There are times where it’s logical to throw the towel in on a season before it begins but this isn’t one of them.
    Agreed. There are holes on every AL Central teams, and the season is long and injury exposed for all teams. The greatest causes of the last two horrible seasons were twofold. One, the absence or poor performance (due to injury) to the core players in Mauer and Morneau; and two, injury and/or piss poor performance from the pitching rotation.

    Now, with Mauer and Morneau back and playing well (fingers crossed), that leaves the rotation as the major source of why the team loses a lot of games again. Fix the damn rotation to an about average rotation and you've got a contender in the AL central at least. Of course there are other problems and holes that need to be addressed, but just fixing these two major problems makes this team watchable again and perhaps even contending into September.
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  2. #142
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    I think you exaggerate, it could also be said it's annoying that anything contrary to your opinion is a bane on this board.
    Cute, I don't deny this group is a minority, but it's a vocal one. And it's one of the most obnoxious things about sports - that fan that believes that if you're down 19-1 with two outs in the ninth and you aren't doing the "we're still going to win this one!" dance you somehow are disqualified from fandom.

    Sometimes being a fan means being passionate about your disappointment too. I'm excited about the team's future, but I'm very skeptical about their willingness to go outside the organization for meaningful help.

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
    Agreed. There are holes on every AL Central teams, and the season is long and injury exposed for all teams. The greatest causes of the last two horrible seasons were twofold. One, the absence or poor performance (due to injury) to the core players in Mauer and Morneau; and two, injury and/or piss poor performance from the pitching rotation.
    To me, there is a third factor. Horrible, horrible position players all over the field. Mauer and Morneau alone did not cause the team to go from giving 10% of their plate appearances to <650 OPS hitters in 2010 to 39% in 2011. Their return in 2011 only brought that number down to 21%.

  4. #144
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Physics Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Brock, let's at least be fair. Koskie and Hunter were arguably more productive than we can expect Mauer and Morneau to be next year. It's certainly more than just Lawton. Joe Mays and Brad Radke are likely better than anything the Twins can expect to have until 2015.

    I understand what you're suggesting, but the point was that if Pseudo's argument was to be taken seriously he'd have to suggest that 2016 would be a different situation than our current one. (i.e. payroll not being reduced because of consecutive losing seasons) I think it's hardly unrealistic to think the Twins may be heading down a path of a series of losing seasons prior to 2016. So the suggestion that by then the payroll should be ticking up doesn't hold water to me. At least not with such a degree of certainty. There is a good chance most of this current roster is either gone or still earning low arby checks by that time. Until I see payroll heading a different direction, it's hard not to see what Ryan has done throughout his career and cringe at the idea of anyone claiming with certainty that the payroll will be above 60M. Even if 2015 is a jump upwards (which is a stretch considering it's like to be many of these key player's first or second seasons) it's not going to be dramatic enough to think payroll is going to do any major jumping.

    I'm hopeful it will be, but sure as hell skeptical.
    I agree that the 2001 Twins were much more than Lawton/Radke. I'm also glad you said "arguably" because I would argue that Mauer and Morneau are likely to exceed Koskie and Hunter from 2001. They may not get the HR/RBI totals but their rate stats should be better (and were last year). Isn't it reasonable to conclude that Morneau's numbers should increase at least incrementally?

    2001
    Koskie 26 HR, 103 RBI, .276/.362/.488 121 OPS+
    Hunter 27 HR, 92 RBI, .261/.306/.479 102 OPS+

    2013
    Mauer 10 HR, 85 RBI, .319/.416/.446 141 OPS+
    Morneau 19 HR, 77 RBI, .267/.333/.440 113 OPS+

    I'll admit I've stayed out of most of the discussion regarding payroll and chose not to read most of the banter, but I have an honest question for those arguing that payroll should be higher or those complaining that it will be too low. Why does payroll necessarily have to be high for the team to be successful? By 2016 it is possible that only Mauer will have a large contract. A low payroll could mean simply that a large number of our prospects worked out and will only be reaching arbitration years. Worley, Diamond, Hendriks, Plouffe, Parmelee and Dozier will be in their arbitration years but not yet FA. Hicks and Arcia could be in their first year of arbitration. Isn't there a situation where the Twins can have both a good team and a low payroll? I am sorry if this has been addressed already. I just don't have the energy to go through the entire thread at this point.

  5. #145
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physics Guy View Post
    Isn't it reasonable to conclude that Morneau's numbers should increase at least incrementally?
    I'm optimistic about that, no doubt. My point is that it isn't so lopsided as Brock was making it out. Bear in mind that the production we got from Koskie/Hunter also came with excellent defense at valuable positions. Morneau is a 1B and Mauer is a part-time catcher now, so to me it's close. I may lean Morneau/Mauer, but I think it's closer than people remember.

    Isn't there a situation where the Twins can have both a good team and a low payroll? I am sorry if this has been addressed already. I just don't have the energy to go through the entire thread at this point.
    I don't disagree at all. Part of why I'm skeptical about 2016 being a certainty to be above 60-70M is precisely that. They MAY be pretty good with a very cheap lot of players contributing. The question is, does the roster get added to from outside (to a considerable tune to even reach 60M IMO) via FA or trade. And I hardly think it's a given that we will. Ryan seems to like to play more on the periphery of both of these and is unwilling to invest large chunks of money in a few players in favor of spreading it out to more reliable options. To me, if things go as we think they will leading to 2015 and 2016, means a VERY low payroll compared to what they should financially be able to afford. That is, unless Ryan changes his mindset significantly from what all evidence thus far has pointed to. Not impossible, but hardly certain.

    It would be nice to feel like if there is a bunch of good, young, cheap talent that they might take some of that massive revenue pile they are getting from TF and make their product even better. I just can't at this point.

  6. #146
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    How can anyone know exactly what "the plan" is when the Twins FO talks out of both sides of their collective mouth? The watchword shoud always be, "watch what they do, not what they say". This has demontrated itself eminently this offseason.

    I, as one of many, knowing full-well the Pohlad's reluctant ownership history of the Twins, had chosen to believe them when they began the back-channel whispering campaign that they were embarking on a multi-year process of cutting payroll, in the latter half of the 2011 season. This of course, was patently absurd on its face- with conceivably 2 of the best players in the game in their prime, and locked up in high dollar contracts just recently inked- but fit in well with the "commitment" level that the club had made to the community in getting Target Field built. Nice "plan"!

    So far, notwithstanding what has amounted to PR White Noise to the contrary, the trend is clearly heading South- ultimately to a payroll in the $50-60M range by 2015. Anyone remember the last time someone in the FO talked about the 50% of revenue for payroll "rule"?

    Someday someone may figure out exactly how much the Twins do take in each year. I still argue that 50% of $100 million is a lot different than 50% of $200 million. That 50% you keep is being spent on what?
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  7. #147
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Physics Guy's Avatar
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    I think if Ryan adds to the payroll it will be by extending players he trades for rather than signings through FA. If enough of our prospects work out, I am hopeful of him trading away some of it for a couple of solid regulars that a team that is looking to rebuild wants to dump. Examples this year might be Annibal Sanchez, Wandy Rodriguez, Blanton, Dempster ... I think TR would be more willing to sign one of those guys if he's already traded for him and had a chance to see him with the team for part of a season. Keep in mind I said "hopeful" he might do this, not that I expect it.

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I am with chief. If a team has always acted a certain way, until they actually act differently, I would expect them to act the same. That seems fairly logical in approach. Not sure why that makes some people so angry.
    So how many years in a row did the payroll go up? 1999it was 16.4 million, had a dip after Hunter and Santana were gone, and proceded to go up until the 2011 season. So thus the team has not always cut payroll. So using your line that if a team has acted in a certain way, you would expect them to act the same way. After 2008, they attempted to add talent in Joe Crede, Orlando Cabrerra. Payroll went up. Next year they resigned Pavano

  9. #149
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    [QUOTE=jokin;77899]Now I know you're trolling.[/QUOT
    Trolling=someone disagrees with you. I have seen the numerous posters allege this to people that are not agreeing with them.

  10. #150
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer FrodaddyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    So how many years in a row did the payroll go up? 1999it was 16.4 million, had a dip after Hunter and Santana were gone, and proceded to go up until the 2011 season. So thus the team has not always cut payroll.
    The 1999 example is poor because they would have been hard-pressed to spend less on a team in 2000 without fielding less than 25 men on the roster. Ditto for the following few years, when virtually the entire team were still indentured servants.

  11. #151
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
    . Fix the damn rotation to an about average rotation and you've got a contender in the AL central at least. .
    I think that single bizarre sentence defines the incoherence of the homerific clan on this board better than any other slice of crazy I've read.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 01-23-2013 at 12:40 AM.

  12. #152
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I'm optimistic about that, no doubt. My point is that it isn't so lopsided as Brock was making it out. Bear in mind that the production we got from Koskie/Hunter also came with excellent defense at valuable positions. Morneau is a 1B and Mauer is a part-time catcher now, so to me it's close. I may lean Morneau/Mauer, but I think it's closer than people remember.
    Except that you said "best case" scenario. A best case scenario is that Hicks and Parmelee put up the Koskie/Hunter production while Plouffe covers Mientkiewicz's production. Not likely but not impossible, either. Hunter only had an OPS+ of 102 in 2001.

    The 2001 Twins didn't have anyone who could put up anything close to a 140 OPS+ season. If Mauer stays healthy, he's close to a lock to do it. If Morneau rebounds at all, he should easily clear 120 OPS+ (he posted a 113 OPS+ in 2012, IIRC) and could approach 130 or better with a solid season. The 2001 Twins didn't have a Willingham or Doumit on the roster, either.

    Again, I'm not arguing the payroll point at all, merely the timeline. If things break right for the Twins, they'll be competitive in 2013 or 2014, not 2016.

  13. #153
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Except that you said "best case" scenario. A best case scenario is that Hicks and Parmelee put up the Koskie/Hunter production. Not likely but not impossible, either. Hunter only had an OPS+ of 102 in 2001.
    C'mon. If you want to interpret things that way then you might as well cite MVP Butera blowing A.J. out of the water too by 2015. Your point continues to be that the Twins in 2015 have a much better core to build around and my point is that core is unlikely to so overly outproduce 2001 that the comparison is pretty meaningful. The problem with your argument is that you believe two guys can carry an offense. At this point we have blackholes all over this club that aren't getting filled anytime soon. There is no one on the horizon that is even going to give this team Guzman until probably late 2014. Which means 2015 is a far more reasonable target as those guys are rookies. So 2015 breaking through as a near 90 win team with a bunch of rookies feels pretty best-case to me. People are counting far, far too many chickens before they've hatched.

    Most of the group we expect to be helping us long term won't even arrive until 2014 at best. Expecting us to have a fairly deep club (like 2001) composed of rookies in 2015 that pushes for the playoffs is a scenario I like to believe can happen, but feels pretty damn rosey to me.

  14. #154
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physics Guy View Post
    I think if Ryan adds to the payroll it will be by extending players he trades for rather than signings through FA. If enough of our prospects work out, I am hopeful of him trading away some of it for a couple of solid regulars that a team that is looking to rebuild wants to dump. Examples this year might be Annibal Sanchez, Wandy Rodriguez, Blanton, Dempster ... I think TR would be more willing to sign one of those guys if he's already traded for him and had a chance to see him with the team for part of a season. Keep in mind I said "hopeful" he might do this, not that I expect it.
    When has Ryan ever shown a penchant for making big trades like that for established, veteran players? Again, that's part of the issue here. We've had a long track record for Ryan and it shows him as being supremely gun shy and reliant upon strong organizational development. I'm skeptical about this break in character just like others that have been suggested in this thread. Which is why I'm skeptical about payroll going forward.

  15. #155
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    C'mon. If you want to interpret things that way then you might as well cite MVP Butera blowing A.J. out of the water too by 2015. Your point continues to be that the Twins in 2015 have a much better core to build around and my point is that core is unlikely to so overly outproduce 2001 that the comparison is pretty meaningful. The problem with your argument is that you believe two guys can carry an offense. At this point we have blackholes all over this club that aren't getting filled anytime soon. There is no one on the horizon that is even going to give this team Guzman until probably late 2014. Which means 2015 is a far more reasonable target as those guys are rookies. So 2015 breaking through as a near 90 win team with a bunch of rookies feels pretty best-case to me. People are counting far, far too many chickens before they've hatched.

    Most of the group we expect to be helping us long term won't even arrive until 2014 at best. Expecting us to have a fairly deep club (like 2001) composed of rookies in 2015 that pushes for the playoffs is a scenario I like to believe can happen, but feels pretty damn rosey to me.
    No, two guys can't carry an offense. Thankfully, the Twins have four veterans who can post an OPS between 110-140+ (the 2001 squad had four of those guys, period). They have enigmas in Plouffe and Parmelee. They have guys who can help in 2013 in Hicks and Arcia. They have a couple of wildcards in Gibson and Hendriks. Again, you said "best case". The best case is that 3-4 of those guys click in 2013 and the Twins post an 80+ win season. Likely, no. Possible, absolutely.

    The 2001 team only won 85 games. The team had a lot of potential but the on-field product was just a little north of mediocre.

  16. #156
    Super Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Cute, I don't deny this group is a minority, but it's a vocal one. And it's one of the most obnoxious things about sports - that fan that believes that if you're down 19-1 with two outs in the ninth and you aren't doing the "we're still going to win this one!" dance you somehow are disqualified from fandom.

    Sometimes being a fan means being passionate about your disappointment too. I'm excited about the team's future, but I'm very skeptical about their willingness to go outside the organization for meaningful help.

    Well there's exhibit A on your penchant for exaggeration, I'm not saying that. I think it's the contrary, you, however rightfully so you might be, are very skeptical about Ryan changing his past patterns on bringing in outside players, but if someone chooses to have a more wait and see attitude they are relentlessly mocked for being a homer fanboy with no concept of reality. That's just as offensive.

    I've expressed lots of disappointment in some of the things Ryan and the team has done or not done, I just don't get too caught up in being disappointed about things he hasn't done 2 or 3 years from now.

  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
    So how many years in a row did the payroll go up? 1999it was 16.4 million, had a dip after Hunter and Santana were gone, and proceded to go up until the 2011 season. So thus the team has not always cut payroll. So using your line that if a team has acted in a certain way, you would expect them to act the same way. After 2008, they attempted to add talent in Joe Crede, Orlando Cabrerra. Payroll went up. Next year they resigned Pavano
    Years payroll went down from previous years since '99: '00, '04, '08, '12, '13. (Source: USA Today's Salaries Databases for MLB).

    Right now, when accounting for standard inflation, we're at '07 payroll. Of course, players payrolls haven't gone up by standard inflation rates...

    Just giving information.

  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
    The 1999 example is poor because they would have been hard-pressed to spend less on a team in 2000 without fielding less than 25 men on the roster. Ditto for the following few years, when virtually the entire team were still indentured servants.
    You totally missed wise guy's point. The claim that the payroll is going down is what the Twins have always done is as full of holes as can be. As Ryan built the team. The payroll grew. That is fact.
    Players indentured servants? Then, as now, the minimum salary and the ability to make more through arbitration makes the thought of a player being indentured rather funny. The indentured servant Delmon Young made over 18 million dollars before getting the opportunity for "fair market value". Personally I think they all should be free agents after 4 years but only able to sign one year contracts.

  19. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Years payroll went down from previous years since '99: '00, '04, '08, '12, '13. (Source: USA Today's Salaries Databases for MLB).

    Right now, when accounting for standard inflation, we're at '07 payroll. Of course, players payrolls haven't gone up by standard inflation rates...

    Just giving information.
    If you were associating baseball salaries to what is happening in the real world shouldn't you be comparing baseball salary increase to the general rate of growth for other jobs in this economy?

  20. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    If you were associating baseball salaries to what is happening in the real world shouldn't you be comparing baseball salary increase to the general rate of growth for other jobs in this economy?
    I was talking about the spending power of 71M ('07 Twins payroll) now equates to the spending power of just under 80M today (current Twins salary of '13) on just standard US inflation.

    If you wanna look at the difference in MLB pay. MLB minimumm in 2007 was 380K, to 480K in '12. MLB average pay went from $2,824,751 in '07, to 3,213,479.

    So, if you had a team of 25 getting paid league average in 2007, you'd sit at 70.6M. If you had a team of 25 getting paid league average in 2012, you'd have just over 80M. We were over that 80M last year, but we're under that this year so far.

    Since league average pay has gone up every year since 2007 (on an average of 77K a year), we're looking at league average for 2013 at about 82M. We're at just under 80M. That means we've dropped below our 2007 spending since the Twins were paying their team slightly above league average in '07 and and are now paying below even 2012 league average.
    Last edited by ThePuck; 01-23-2013 at 10:06 AM.

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