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Thread: Where should the Twins go from here?

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    Where should the Twins go from here?

    We now have 3/5 rotation spots determined. We also know (somewhat at least) what is coming down the prospect pipe in the next few years. How do you think the Twins should handle things from this point on?

    Future Commitments
    2014 2015 2016 2017
    ?
    ?
    Kevin Correia
    Ricky Nolasco Ricky Nolasco Ricky Nolasco Ricky Nolasco
    Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Phil Hughes

    As you can see the Twins now have the back half of their rotation filled for several years. Whether you think Nolasco/Hughes will be 3/4 or 4/5, at this point the Twins are missing top of the rotation pitchers.

    Prospects
    Here is what is coming down the pipeline. Feel free to switch the years around if you think I'm wrong somewhere, this is just a guideline to help people not as familiar with the organizational depth. The years listed are when I think pitchers will start the season in the rotation, they might earn call-ups mid-season or in September the year before. The numbers beside their name is a guess at where they will fit into a rotation. So Alex Meyer (2/3) means I think Meyer will end up as a #2 or #3 starter. Keep in mind that not all of these pitchers are going to pan out. Some are going to fail.

    2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
    Gibson(3/4) Meyer(2/3) Berrios(3) Stewart(1-3) Thorpe(2/3)
    Deduno (4/5) May (4) Eades (3/4) Gonsalves (???)
    Worley (4/5) Jorge (???)
    Diamond (4/5) Landa (???)
    The Twins also have a slew of pitchers that could potentially fit into the back of the rotation: Darnell, Baxendale, Duffey, Summers, Melotakis, Bard, Wimmers, Lee, Boyd, Sulbaran, etc...

    2014 FA Pitchers
    Pitchers available in 2014 FA that fit in the front half of the rotation possibly: Scott Baker, Bartolo Colon, Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, Hiroki Kuroda, Shaun Marcum, Ervin Santana, Johan Santana, Masahiro Tanaka. Obviously some of those are long shots, hello Johan, Halladay and Marcum! But they would also be just 1 year contracts.

    2015 FA Pitchers
    2015 FAs that might be front of the rotation material. Keep in mind that some of these guys will sign extensions and never make it to free agency. (O) means he has an option year that would have to be declined. (#) is the age they will be. Brett Anderson (O-27), Homer Bailey (29), Johnny Cueto (O-29), Dan Haren (34), Hisashi Iwakuma (O-34), Josh Johnson (31), Clayton Kershaw (27), Jon Lester (31), Justin Masterson (30), Max Scherzer (30). That's quite the list right now but a lot can happen in the next year.

    Trade Possibilities
    Rumored trade targets in 2014. David Price is in arbitration through 2015. Homer Bailey is a FA following the season and the word is he doesn't want to sign a long term extension. It's possible a Cardinal or Red Sox pitcher could be available due to their depth. The A's have been willing to part with their players in the past. There are also several minor league pitchers that might be available for trade, though prospect for prospect trades are rare so Perkins might have to be your trade bait. These include Tyler Skaggs and Robert Stephenson that the Twins might matchup with.

    Payroll Considerations
    At this point the Twins still have between $20 and $40 million to spend for 2014. They have another $16-20 million coming off the books after the season. Payroll shouldn't be a problem, though you might want to save some for positional players as well.

    Your Turn
    So, how do you proceed? What is your plan to bring the Twins back to the playoffs and make a push for the World Series?

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    I appreciate the effort, thoughtfulness, and formatting, but you're totally discounting the notion that the Twins might have scouted the market for value and Hughes and Nolasco are worth more than the 4 and 5 starters you give them credit for.

    It's like asking, "Now, that Obamacare has failed, how do you think the government should proceed in allowing people to choose their own health insurance?" Your analysis seems that predisposed to its preferred conclusion.

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    Senior Member All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    To answer your question: I'd holdfast on the pitching front, continue to evaluate in house options, and put eyes on next years' FA market and/or in-season trade market. I'd take advantage of the near-future trade market, shopping emerging players like Kepler, Polanco, and Rosario. I'd focus on getting a longterm defensively minded short stop with a non-negative value bat (really, just non-negative value). I'd look hard at Gardy and Molitor, and make a choice. I'd talk to a lot of medical people. Doctors, researchers, athletes, trainers. I'd talk and pay people to talk and o research for me. I'd hire people, even as redundancy to assess and facilitate the health of my players. I'd do everything I can to make sure the young minor league arms have enough reps, take the right precautions, and receive the best off-field advice. I'd hope for the best, and practice getting lucky.
    Last edited by PseudoSABR; 12-01-2013 at 01:26 AM.

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    zchrz (12-01-2013)

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    Here is how I would attack the problem of the Twins rotation.

    2014
    I would attempt to trade for Brett Anderson. He has 2 option years left ('14-'15) and is paid a pittance. When healthy he is a front of the rotation starter, though staying healthy has been very hard for him. His 6.04 ERA in 2013 and injury concerns might make him available relatively cheaply. I would dangle Perkins in the trade. He is a luxury a losing team doesn't need and his $4 million salary matches up perfectly with what Balfour was paid in 2013. The Twins have several potential closers in their pipeline. Meyer, May, Z. Jones, Tonkin, just to name a few. If that trade doesn't work out I would try and sign a 1 year high upside contract. Bartolo Colon fits the bill nicely. Money isn't an issue so I would pay what was necessary. The rest could go to fix holes in the lineup. I would still look to move Perkins. If Anderson doesn't work out I would look into some of the minor league pitchers with top of the rotation potential.

    2015
    If I traded for Anderson and he had a nice bounce back year I would exercise his option then try to extend him. He will only be 27. If he didn't bounce back or I couldn't swing the trade I would sign one of the top tier FA's that could be available in FA. If there aren't any to sign I would look at making a trade for one.

    So my chart would look like this:
    2014 2015 2016 2017
    Anderson/Colon Anderson/FA Anderson/FA Anderson/FA
    Correia/Meyer Meyer Meyer Meyer
    Worley/Deduno/Gibs Gibson Gibson Gibson
    Nolasco Nolasco Nolasco Nolasco/Stewart
    Hughes Hughes Hughes/Berrios Berrios

    I think this sets up a real nice balance of present possibilities with long term strength. If things break right 2014 could be a very nice rotation. If Anderson and Gibson turn things around there's a legitimate chance the Twins have a #1 and #3 starter with Meyer, a potential #2, coming up at some point and taking Correia's spot. In 2015 there is a decent chance the Twins have legit pitchers 1-5. In 2016 Berrios could be ready to fill in where needed and in 2017 Stewart could be. There's also a slew of pitchers with potential that could be ready at some point in 2017. If there are injuries the Twins have a bunch of pitchers with back of the rotation potential to fill in where needed.

    This also sets up nicely financially. Anderson or the FA is going to get paid nicely starting in 2015 but Gibson and Meyer will be making minimum. Hughes $8 million is coming off the books in 2017 just as Gibson is hitting arbitration. Same thing in 2018 with Nolasco's $12 million available when Meyer is hitting arbitration. Anderson/FA's salary is freed up right around the time that Berrios and Stewart are hitting arbitration.

    All told that rotation should cost $35-$40 million dollars per year leaving $70-80 to fill out the rest of the team. That should be plenty since other than Mauer most of the players will be pre-arbitration for the foreseeable future.
    Last edited by Oxtung; 12-01-2013 at 01:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    I appreciate the effort, thoughtfulness, and formatting, but you're totally discounting the notion that the Twins might have scouted the market for value and Hughes and Nolasco are worth more than the 4 and 5 starters you give them credit for.
    I think you missed this statement right at the beginning:

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung
    Whether you think Nolasco/Hughes will be 3/4 or 4/5, at this point the Twins are missing top of the rotation pitchers.
    Unless you think Nolasco and Hughes could be #1 or #2 starters?

    Quote Originally Posted by PsuedoSABR
    It's like asking, "Now, that Obamacare has failed, how do you think the government should proceed in allowing people to choose their own health insurance?" Your analysis seems that predisposed to its preferred conclusion.
    I full admit, and admitted in the original post, that much of that is my impressions of how things play out. If you're not happy with them feel free to change them as you see fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    To answer your question: I'd holdfast on the pitching front, continue to evaluate in house options, and put eyes on next years' FA market and/or in-season trade market. I'd take advantage of the near-future trade market, shopping emerging players like Kepler, Polanco, and Rosario. I'd focus on getting a longterm defensively minded short stop with a non-negative value bat (really, just non-negative value). I'd look hard at Gardy and Molitor, and make a choice. I'd talk to a lot of medical people. Doctors, researchers, athletes, trainers. I'd talk and pay people to talk and o research for me. I'd hire people, even as redundancy to assess and facilitate the health of my players. I'd do everything I can to make sure the young minor league arms have enough reps, take the right precautions, and receive the best off-field advice. I'd hope for the best, and practice getting lucky.
    I like your idea about the SS, however finding one on the FA market is next to impossible. Earlier this off season I looked at potential trade partners and the most intriguing one to me was Perkins for Tyler Skaggs (LHP) and Chris Owings (SS) from the Diamondbacks. The Twins might have to throw in something to balance that out a bit.

    Owings played very well at AAA last season and appears ready for the majors but the Diamondbacks have Didi Gregorious blocking him at SS and Aaron Hill at 2B. Hill has posted an OPS+ of 130 each of the last 2 seasons and is signed through 2016. Given all that there doesn't seem to be a good spot for Owings.

    Skaggs is a former highly touted prospect that just hasn't panned out yet. He has all the tools in the world but can't put them together. This is his last option year and their rotation looks set. In addition they have top 10 prospect Archie Bradley starting this season at AAA. Perhaps they're ready to recoup what value they can still get out of Skaggs.

    If Owings isn't available or you don't like his defensive profile you might be able to trade for Gregorious instead. Not sure you could get Skaggs tossed in as well though.
    Last edited by Oxtung; 12-01-2013 at 01:57 AM.

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    I think you're so close it's scary, but I'm going to nit pick anyway. I would go Bailey/Hellickson/Anderson at the top spot in 2015 and flip flop Eades and Berrios.
    Last edited by howieramone; 12-01-2013 at 09:39 AM.

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    I think the Twins are done adding pitching in 2014 and baring injury 2015. Gibson is going to get a spot in 2014 and probably 2015. In 2015, Meyer will most definitely have a spot, and I half expect him to end up with one in 2014 as well. The Twins will leave one spot open in 2014 for tryouts, and my gut says Worley, Darnell, and Deduno will be the first tried out. In 2015, with Gibson, Meyer, Nolaso, and Hughes, that last spot will be open for May, Darnell, and a few others.

    The Twins will need help at SS long term. Goodrum might be an answer there (and if Rosario hits after the suspension, I still see Dozier headed back there), but Goodrum is still a bit away. I could see a targeted FA acquisition here. 3B is filled long term with Sano who will probably get a taste in 2014. 2B is filled in the short term with Dozier. 1B is Mauer. In the OF they will have Willingham, Pressley, and Arcia this year for 2014. In 2015, Willingham will be gone and I suspect Buxton and Hicks will be manning the OF that year, and at C I think Pinto is going to be the guy for a while.

    To me, that really means the Twins biggest need will be DH. In 2014, I see Parmelee doing a lot of that as well as spelling the OFers. Plouffe is auditioning for that long term as well. Both need to see their bats come around or both will find themselves off the roster in a years time. The one that hits stays.

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    Jacoby Ellsbury......CF for 1.5 years, followed by LF. Great defensive OF, high OBP guy.....really solidifies the lineup for the next 4 to 6 years. Imagine Ellsbury, Mauer, Buxton, Sano, Arcia as your first five hitters.......

    as for pitching, Meyer is in the rotation this year, with Stewart in 2-3 years. Get lucky on Gibson being good, and the two they just signed.....you are covered for a few years.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    I like a Correia. I think he has been well worth his small contract.

    I also think it will be a good sign when he takes the 6th starter/bullpen role this year.

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    I think what the Twins should do depends on how they feel about Gibson. If the Twins feel Gibson is an answer they should be done for the offseason if not then They should sign someone like Pelfry or Capuano to a 1 or 2 year deal for around 5-6 million per. I suspect Meyer will be ready around June / July so we can trade Corriea if need be or replace an injured player or Gibson if he isn't cutting it. The rotation shapes up for 2014 this way.

    Nolasco
    Hughes
    Corriea
    Deduno
    FA or Gibson

    Diamond/ Worely/ Hendricks/ Albers/ May / Johnson
    of the above listed pitchers Diamond or Worely could be lost since they are out of options but one of these guys is the likely 6th and 7th starter next year I suspect that why we got Johnson.

    I think once the Twins sign a Catcher they will be done for the offseason though I would like to see them sign a better hitter than Doumit if there is one available for the DH spot. Mark Reynolds comes to mind as someone we could sign inexpensively to play some 3B/ DH/ 1B. He would cost what maybe 1-2 million with some incentives at most. He would be a huge power upgrade but comes with low average and lots of k's so it wouldn't be a huge upgrade or bug deal if we didn't get him. Maybe Buxton can be up by the allstar break and push Willingham to DH too.
    Last edited by Brandon; 12-01-2013 at 10:44 AM.

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    My crystal ball is completely clouded beyond 2015, but I am in favor of accelerating the advance of the top pitchers in the minors. If drafted at 18, a taste at 21-22, with the plan that at 23 in the rotation or washed-out (converted to RP, traded, or cut). College pitchers get two years or suffer the same fate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
    I think you're so close it's scary, but I'm going to nit pick anyway. I would go Bailey/Hellickson/Anderson at the top spot in 2015 and flip flop Eades and Berrios.
    I think those are both interesting names as well. Hellickson is a nice bounce back candidate and you could possibly buy low. Though you'd still have to trade with the Rays and that is always tough. The Rays have a bunch of young pitching right now so they probably would be able to replace Hellickson. Something would have to be worked out with Bailey ahead of time for me to make the trade. Word is he doesn't want to sign a long term extension the season before he hits the FA market.

    Several of you mentioned a need for an upgrade at SS. Here is what's available for FA's in 2015. Asdrubal Cabrera (29), Hanley Ramirez (31), JJ Hardy (32). Jimmy Rollins (36) has an option that could get turned down.

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    Senior Member All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Unless you think Nolasco and Hughes could be #1 or #2 starters?
    I'm going to dodge this question, and answer another. Do I think Nolasco and Hughes can make up the top part of playoff rotation? Sure. Hopefully with some combination of Meyer, Gibson and our very young arms. It may end up being a rotation of 2s, 3s, and 4s, but our offense may be special enough to offset any lack of dominance in the rotation. Is that wishful thinking? Sure. But no more so than believing that the Twins can readily acquire ace pitching from outside the organization.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    I think that Nolasco is a solid #2 and Hughes a solid #3 starter. Hopefully Gibson would be the #4 to allow Correia to be a #5. They still need a #1. It could very well be Meyer or an arm they sign.

    The biggest issue I have with the Twins rotation as it appears to set up for 2014 and the next few years is that the best LHSPs in the organization is of #5 or so quality. That's why a Kasmir signing for 2-3 years (or a trade) might go long ways...
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    I kind of agree that i would sit back now and let the pitcher's market come down a bit. Maybe they can get a Kazmir for a good 2-3 year deal unexpectedly. But I really want the Twins to give Gibson and Deduno and later Meyer and May an opportunity in 2014.

    I'd go with a Navarro at catcher, someone on a one year deal. Then some minor league signings and call it good.

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    How is Brett Anderson cheap 2 years remaining $20M? I would rather keep the prospects and add one of the following Kasmir, Colon or Arroyo.

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    I think that they stop pursuing free agent starters, but I'd like to see them pull a trade for one like Skaggs. The problem with that is Rosario is probably the most interesting thing we could trade them and he's suspended. They are rumored to be shopping 2B Aaron Hill at age 31, so a top 5 2B prospect would be good for them. I'm terrible at judging trade value, but does Rosario, Kepler, and Fien for Skaggs seem somewhat fair for a 22 year old, strikeout artist potential #2?

  23. #19
    someone talk about the twins need help at Short stop long term if the twins owners are willing to spend the money why not package up a deal with diamond or Worley with prospects or all three to the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki he would help at short long term and yes his contract big just a thought.

  24. #20
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    The Twins shouldn't even consider trading prospects at this point. They have too many holes, too many needs, and not enough sure things in the minors to start dishing them off for expensive players that will be in a decline phase by the time Buxton, Sano, and Arcia are raking.

    Besides, their two best (possibly expendable) trade chips, Rosario and Kepler, are low value right now. Rosario is suspended and Kepler struggled. Now is not the time to trade either.

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