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Thread: Best Free Agent (hitter) signing since Chilli Davis?

  1. #1
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Best Free Agent (hitter) signing since Chilli Davis?

    I know its early in regards to the Willingham signing, but currently this is looking like the best free agent signing the Twins have made in a very long time. Am I forgetting anyone? (Existing playes who resign don't count ie Puckett)

  2. #2
    Two things:

    1. Willingham will bat .265, 345, .475, okay, but not exactly a star. The way noise works is that someone has to perform much better at the beginning, and someone has to perform much worse. To take a look at the guy that's "high" and pretend you have something special is a pretty fallacious line of thinking. He will put up Cuddyer numbers. More HRs, less everything else. Oh, and not enough more HRs.

    2. Still, you may be right, not because JW is so good, but because the Twins haven't really signed a FA hitter, except off the scrap heap. So to say he's the best FA hitter since Chili isn't saying, well, anything. If the Twins have signed more than one other "good" player still close to the prime of his career, let me know. I doubt JW's season will be better than Molitor's, but it could be.

  3. #3
    Well what about Paul Molitor? He batted .341 with the Twins in 96. You don't just pick up .340 hitting free agents off the scrap heap every day.

  4. #4
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would say Paul Molitor, but then I would say that Josh Willingham would be probably next, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ryan DOumit is #3 on that list. The Twins (wisely) prefer to stay out of free agency, so their venture there with two hitters this offseason is kind of unusual.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    I have been pretty underwhelmed by Doumit's offensive prowess so far

  6. #6
    Its FAR to early to be getting a doughy eyed over Willingham just yet. He's hitting fantastic right now, yes. But he's a .262 career hitter and his best year he hit .277 in 2006. If he hit .277 and 25 HR this year it would be a great signing, but he's not going to be an All-Star.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
    Two things:

    1. Willingham will bat .265, 345, .475, okay, but not exactly a star. The way noise works is that someone has to perform much better at the beginning, and someone has to perform much worse. To take a look at the guy that's "high" and pretend you have something special is a pretty fallacious line of thinking. He will put up Cuddyer numbers. More HRs, less everything else. Oh, and not enough more HRs.
    2. Still, you may be right, not because JW is so good, but because the Twins haven't really signed a FA hitter, except off the scrap heap. So to say he's the best FA hitter since Chili isn't saying, well, anything. If the Twins have signed more than one other "good" player still close to the prime of his career, let me know. I doubt JW's season will be better than Molitor's, but it could be.

    So what are you saying?

    A. He's not the best FA hitter the Twins have signed in a long time?

    B. 16 years isn't a long time ago?

    C. He's not the best FA hitter the Twins have signed in a long time because he's not the best FA hitter in MLB history?

    Which is it? And where did you find the crystal ball that tells you what a player's batting line will be 5 months from now?

  8. #8
    Wow, didn't live here in '91 (and was, like, 10 years old), but that was a hell of a year for Chili. Don't think "The Hammer" will match that.

    Still, Willingham's been great. Don't expect him to be anything more than he is. The guy was paid on the basis of a season where he struck out 150 times, but hit 29 HR's as a RH dead pull hitter. The Twins have NEEDED that in their lineup for years, even more than they needed what guys like Cuddyer and Kubel brought to the table.

    His average will come down, there will be rough stretches, and his defense in LF will make us cringe at times. But if he ends up with a .800+ OPS (which he's done every full season of his career) and 20+ HR's, the Twins and their fans should be completely satisfied with that production.

  9. #9
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Too early to know. Let's get a larger sample size before we have any coronations.

    (I like what he's done and he got me a lot of points in pick to click last week but we haven't even finished 10% of the season -- lots of ups and downs for every player yet to come.)

  10. #10
    Molitor. Thome's 25 HRs in 2010 for the million or so they spent on him was a pretty good deal.
    "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains."

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Dave Winfield too
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    twitter: @thrylos98

  12. #12
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougmancaveitch View Post
    Its FAR to early to be getting a doughy eyed over Willingham just yet. He's hitting fantastic right now, yes. But he's a .262 career hitter and his best year he hit .277 in 2006. If he hit .277 and 25 HR this year it would be a great signing, but he's not going to be an All-Star.
    I'm not sure why you are focusing half of your argument on batting average, Willingham is a power guy, his OBP and Slug have been pretty solid throughout his career and posted a 125 OPS+ over the past 3 years (including one year in very pitcher friendly Oakland)

    Obviously no one expects him to hit .300 this year, but a .870 OPS and 27+ HR is hardly out of the question. Honestly, at the very least if healthy he should put up at least a .830 OPS and 25 HR.

    Molitor definitely had a nice season for the Twins in 1996, but then was decidedly average or below average during the rest of his tenure.

  13. #13
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
    Two things:

    1. Willingham will bat .265, 345, .475, okay, but not exactly a star. The way noise works is that someone has to perform much better at the beginning, and someone has to perform much worse. To take a look at the guy that's "high" and pretend you have something special is a pretty fallacious line of thinking. He will put up Cuddyer numbers. More HRs, less everything else. Oh, and not enough more HRs.
    If you see my earlier comment you will see that I do realize all this, at no point did I ever say best FA signing in history, best FA signing in the MLB, or the fact that Willingham was going to hit .330 with 40 HR.

    I just found it interesting that it seems that it has been a really, really long time since the Twins got a bat worth while in the free agent market. Thome was one I forgot, but he was a part time player. Lord knows they tried to bring in other bats, and the majority of which failed.

    Either way, its clearly looking like Willingham is a bargain at 3/21 when you compare what Cuddyer and Kubel both got. (And this isn't even including the 3 draft picks), As much hate as Ryan gets-I think somewhat unjustly, he deserves a good amount of praise (thus far) for this smart pick up.
    Last edited by SpiritofVodkaDave; 04-19-2012 at 11:07 AM.

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