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Thread: Article: The Case for Stephen Drew

  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
    The enthusiasm for Drew mystifies me greatly, sure he would be an upgrade over Florimon but I'd rather see them beef up the hitting at other positions, good teams get by with weak hitting shortstops, see the great Baltimore teams with Belanger at SS. Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster, it will be Polanco, Santana, Goodrum or a shortstop they may draft this June. Get your hitting from the outfield or corner positions as most of the MLB teams do, pretty simple, isn't it?
    Mystery? Drew's numbers have been presented in these threads in black and white. For an offense this anemic, you have to consider all your options, and particularly considering the ones easiest to implement without upsetting the long-term master plan. In FA available options and in the scenario of future Twins prospects being blocked by going after corner OF and 3B, the biggest and easiest opening for upgrading the team offense is by acquiring Drew or Hardy. They can certainly also consider upgrading the DH position through FA, Morales and Young are out there. And by considering a trade for either Weiters or Castro Astro at Catcher.

    Plus by the time the Twins are ready to contend neither Florimon or Drew will be anywhere near being on the roster,
    Why would anyone automatically assume this to be true? All of the SS options you mentioned are still encumbered with question marks, and Turner may or may not be available at #5. If we can get Garza or one of the other top 3 starters, the chances of becoming at the very least a fringe wild card contender go up dramatically- even in 2014. Given the admission and commitment from the FO to rebuild the Starting Rotation from the ground up- and finally emphasizing quality throwers over scrapheap rag-arm tossers, if Drew is here for 3 years, I think most people would feel that something will have gone seriously wrong if the Twins weren't "ready to contend" by or before 2016.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #162
    Like so many, I don't like Drew on a long-term deal. Other articles have pointed out that his market is limited because few teams need a SS, and only one of those (Mets) are likely to shell out long-term $. There are further issues involved, and this team thinks long-term, whether we want them to or not. I grant that even those who favor Drew largely promote the idea as a 1-year deal or 1 with an option, and talk about the ease of trading him mid-contract, which I'm not sure would be as easy as we hope.

    1. Questionable whether we contend in the next two seasons, and if we do, we'll do it with some young players who will probably suffer before they prosper.

    2. I read somewhere that several of the top minor league prospects are middle infielders, meaning they will need to displace others to make teams, and that means there will be more (and cheaper) middle infielders available, starting as soon as mid-season.

    3. We still hold out hope for a variety of players - Rosario at 2nd and Dozier moving over; Polanco, Escobar, Beresford, even the improvement of Florimon.

    While some will look to SS as the most obvious place for improvement on this team (offensively) and back it up nicely with numbers, the philosophy of this team on the offensive side seems to be not to block anyone in the minors. By saying that I'm not suggesting our SS minor leagues are stacked - only that we don't know right now what holes we'll need to plug and it depends to a large degree on the progression of several minor leaguers and rookies. Given that SS seems to be a place where there will be more and less expensive replacements on the horizon (mostly from other teams, but potentially from our own) I just don't see Drew happening.

    I think it is going to be Escobar. But the short fact is that we don't know, and the Twins are not going to throw a 3-year deal at Drew when the fishing is only going to improve over time and we might have our limit already in the boat (or the bucket, given that it's ice-fishing season).

  3. #163
    Senior Member Triple-A Reider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    How on earth can you rationalize saving a starting spot for Florimon but mention centerfield as an "open spot"? Aaron Hicks has TEN TIMES the potential of Pedro Florimon and is three years younger.

    You save roster space for the Aaron Hicks of the world, not the Pedro Florimons.
    I'm not rationalizing anything, I"m stating facts. CF and DH are essentially vacant. I know that Hicks has all of the tools to be a fantastic outfielder and hitter. I've already stated that much on this website. I can tell just by watching Hicks play that he could be a great one.

    However, I am getting the impression from Stephen Drew advocates (yourself included) that they want the team improved RIGHT NOW, in 2014! All I am saying is that DH, CF, 3B, Catcher are also options and that SS isn't the only position.

    Hicks is potentially the future, but remember, he got sent down to AAA because he wasn't ready yet. If he is not ready in 2014, then CF would be an empty position that we can upgrade until Hicks etc.. are ready.

    DH and CF are both empty until some player proves otherwise.

    So I guess my question to you is, do you want to improve the team right now or are you just wanting to improve the team in positions where we do not have "future prospects" in the minors? Remember, they are just prospects and there is no guarantee that they will turn into quality MLB players.

    In that case, I can see your point for wanting to sign Drew, but how is the team going to compete for a playoff spot in 2014 if the Twins don't fill CF, 3B, and Catcher with bona fide players as well? I know Drew would help the team offensively, but signing him alone to improve the offense isn't going to make a big enough difference.

    If the Twins just sign Drew, but don't address the other positions, I'd rather they pass on Drew and try and find someone else in the next year or two. If they sign Drew, i'd like them to go all in and try and get a couple of more good bats as well.
    Last edited by Reider; 01-08-2014 at 11:12 PM.

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
    So you don't want to replace a 27 year old with zero track record of success, yet you want to find a CF when we have two top prospects coming up in that position?
    See my last post to Brock for clarification on that.

    In what world is Drew not a better baseball player than Florimon?
    You are correct. Overall, Drew is a better baseball player than Florimon, when he's healthy. I'm just saying that defensively, Florimon has the tools to be a #2 SS in the MLB and for the $, I"m not sure Drew would be worth the upgrade as a short term replacement. I think I'd rather give Florimon another year and find a different SS to replace him in the future if he doesn't show any improvement.

    Florimon is a 27 year old who put up a .675 OPS in the minors and you feel he has a higher ceiling? By age 27 Drew had already put up 3 separate seasons of .800+ OPS in the majors.
    Defensively, Florimon has a much higher ceiling. He was arguably a top 5 SS last year and has the tools to be a #2 if he limits those "easy" mistakes he made in 2013, which I believe is a mental thing and can be corrected.

    Offensively, I have to admit, I don't believe Florimon will surpass Drew's career AVE / OBP etc.. but my issue comes down to value. At 20-26x the price + a 2nd round draft pick, I'd rather Florimon be the SS in 2014 and the Twins find another SS of the future over the next year or two. The Twins did have a good one in JJ Hardy, who they traded away. I have faith that they can find another SS who will be a good fit. It seems like people feel like it will be the end of the world if the Twins don't sign Drew.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
    I'm not rationalizing anything, I"m stating facts. CF and DH are essentially vacant. I know that Hicks has all of the tools to be a fantastic outfielder and hitter. I've already stated that much on this website. I can tell just by watching Hicks play that he could be a great one.

    However, I am getting the impression from Stephen Drew advocates (yourself included) that they want the team improved RIGHT NOW, in 2014! All I am saying is that DH, CF, 3B, Catcher are also options and that SS isn't the only position.

    Hicks is potentially the future, but remember, he got sent down to AAA because he wasn't ready yet. If he is not ready in 2014, then CF would be an empty position that we can upgrade until Hicks etc.. are ready.

    DH and CF are both empty until some player proves otherwise.

    So I guess my question to you is, do you want to improve the team right now or are you just wanting to improve the team in positions where we do not have "future prospects" in the minors? Remember, they are just prospects and there is no guarantee that they will turn into quality MLB players.

    In that case, I can see your point for wanting to sign Drew, but how is the team going to compete for a playoff spot in 2014 if the Twins don't fill CF, 3B, and Catcher with bona fide players as well? I know Drew would help the team offensively, but signing him alone to improve the offense isn't going to make a big enough difference.

    If the Twins just sign Drew, but don't address the other positions, I'd rather they pass on Drew and try and find someone else in the next year or two. If they sign Drew, i'd like them to go all in and try and get a couple of more good bats as well.
    I have faith that they can find another SS who will be a good fit. It seems like people feel like it will be the end of the world if the Twins don't sign Drew
    Going all in is my vote, I want to improve the team right now without disturbing the long-term plan.....Besides signing Drew or the Cuban SS....(Not signing Drew is not, as you asserted, the end of the world, but it would be a strong statement from Ownership and Management that this is the Beginning of the End of the stale and sclerotic culture aound the Twins 2011-2013, raising every player's expectations and personal accountability for success from this day forward. The "let's play it safe and slow and shoot for relevancy by 2017!!!" crowd is pretty cavalier about wasting 3 or 4 more years of Joe Mauer on a rebuilding squad).

    The Twins can still sign a DH, going big (Morales), or small (Young or Reynolds) without blocking the long-term plan.

    The Twins could be creative and bring back Pods or Grady Sizemore to play CF on an inexpensive and temporary basis.

    Trade for a Catcher. Weiters and Castro are on the market.

    The only thing you lose from this scenario is whatever you must give up in trade for a Catcher- preferably a ML player's roster spot and someone not in the top 5 prospect group- but even Rosario should be considered if you can get either one of these as your Catcher for the rest of the decade.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 11:42 PM.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Let me pile on here and note, the allegedly "health-challenged" Stephen Drew played in all but 2 games in August and all but 2 games in September right up until the day the Red Sox clinched home field advantage on September 22.

    Here are Drew's hitting stats, the opposite of health-challenged:
    1st half .722 OPS
    2nd half .837 OPS
    From July 27 on: .880 OPS
    How was Drew's hitting in the playoffs when all of the chips were down?

    Let me help you out:

    At Bats: 54
    AVG: .111
    OBP: .140
    OPS .344
    Strike Outs: 19
    Strike out ratio: 35%

    His playoff numbers weren't great in 2012 either. The last time he performed, when the chips were down, was in the 2007 Playoffs.
    Last edited by Reider; 01-08-2014 at 11:53 PM.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
    How was Drew's hitting in the playoffs when all of the chips were down?
    SSS numbers (Drew postseason career OPS of .611) are a pretty meaningless measurment of a player's value and you're mixing apples and oranges here- I was referring to the fact that Drew was more than healthy enough to be in the lineup consistenly in a pennant race and into the postseason . We could similarly inaccurately diminish Joe Mauer's career ( net postseason OPS of .673...., .432 in '06, .1000 in '09, .558 in '10 ) and other great Twins lack of playoff production if we wish to go down that road.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 11:59 PM.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    SSS numbers (Drew postseason career OPS of .611) are a pretty meaningless measurment of a player's value. We could similarly inaccurately diminish Joe Mauer's career ( net postseason OPS of .673...., .432 in '06, .1000 in '09, .558 in '10 ) and other great Twins lack of playoff production if we wish to go down that road.
    If you look at the trend from 2007 to 2012 to 2013, his playoff numbers have been regressing.

    In the 2013 regular season, Drew had a career high # of strike outs (124) even though he had less at bats than the years he had 100 or more strike outs.

    Drew's batting average over the last 3 seasons has been below his career average.

    If you take into consideration the questions surrounding his health, his price tag, and the law of diminishing returns factor in signing him, I think playoff performance regression is just another thing to consider before offering him a contract.

  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
    If you look at the trend from 2007 to 2012 to 2013, his playoff numbers have been regressing.

    In the 2013 regular season, Drew had a career high # of strike outs (124) even though he had less at bats than the years he had 100 or more strike outs.

    Drew's batting average over the last 3 seasons has been below his career average.

    If you take into consideration the questions surrounding his health, his price tag, and the law of diminishing returns factor in signing him, I think playoff performance regression is just another thing to consider before offering him a contract.
    The other stats you cite are statistically valid and worth considering- and they certainly should have a team of Mayo Clinic's best Athletic Medicine Physicians going over his ankle situation before signing him, but the tiny number of PAs in postseason shouldn't really give anyone pause and isn't much of a trend- again Joe Mauer's playoff OPS number collapsed in half from 2009 to 2010- 50 or less PAs are at best, statistical noise. And he had been playing either injured or coming back from a catastrophic injury during much of the last 3 seasons, so that BA dropoff can be a bit explained away in part (lack of infield hits, weight shift issues in the batters box, etc). Interestingly though, the Batting decline is primarily from a collapse vs. LHP.

    Here are Drew's career numbers vs. RHP .275 BA/.795 OPS
    And his numbers in 2013 vs. RHP: .284 BA/.876 OPS

    I don't detect any regression or "law of diminishing returns" against RHP in these numbers.

    The K% is certainly of concern, but as I stated, he still has a lower overall K rate than Pedro Florimon! And almost all of the cause for the increase in his K rate has been him disturbingly going over 30% K-rate against Lefties. This is why I am thinking some teams are avoiding him and why I advocate signing him primarily as a platoon player, one who we can get to potentially derive great value from exploiting his extreme platoon split to our advantage- maybe with a platoon partner like Escobar (.739 OPS career against LHP). Plus you finally would have a legitimate PH option on his off days.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-09-2014 at 12:58 AM.

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    The other stats you cite are statistically valid and worth considering- and they certainly should have a team of Mayo Clinic's best Athletic Medicine Physicians going over his ankle situation before signing him, but the tiny number of PAs in postseason shouldn't really give anyone pause and isn't much of a trend- again Joe Mauer's playoff OPS number collapsed in half from 2009 to 2010- 50 or less PAs are at best, statistical noise. And he had been playing either injured or coming back from a catastrophic injury during much of the last 3 seasons, so that BA dropoff can be a bit explained away in part (lack of infield hits, weight shift issues in the batters box, etc). Interestingly though, the Batting decline is primarily from a collapse vs. LHP.

    Here are Drew's career numbers vs. RHP .275 BA/.795 OPS
    And his numbers in 2013 vs. RHP: .284 BA/.876 OPS

    I don't detect any regression or "law of diminishing returns" against RHP in these numbers.

    The K% is certainly of concern, but as I stated, he still has a lower overall K rate than Pedro Florimon! And almost all of the cause for the increase in his K rate has been him disturbingly going over 30% K-rate against Lefties. This is why I am thinking some teams are avoiding him and why I advocate signing him primarily as a platoon player, one who we can get to potentially derive great value from exploiting his extreme platoon split to our advantage- maybe with a platoon partner like Escobar (.739 OPS career against LHP). Plus you finally would have a legitimate PH option on his off days.
    I see the value in Drew platooning with Escobar. But would the Twins do such a thing? Or at that price would they want him to be an every day starter? If this is the only significant move the Twins make on offense, I might still need some convincing, but if the Twins continue with their aggressiveness this off season and sign Garza and a good DH etc.. I'd be more in favor of going this route. I think it's possible to be aggressive with the offense without upsetting the future.

  11. #171
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    If we're concerned with cost benefit analysis, Mauer costs about 46 times what it would take to just let Parmelee play first.

    However, I don't think "cost benefit" is the best method to use when building a baseball team. I prefer the "better baseball player" method.
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  13. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    If we're concerned with cost benefit analysis, Mauer costs about 46 times what it would take to just let Parmelee play first.

    However, I don't think "cost benefit" is the best method to use when building a baseball team. I prefer the "better baseball player" method.
    Particularly when that additional cost comes in at $5-6m per win, which is the typical going rate for free agents.

    The problem with Reider's cost benefit analysis is that Florimon has little room to improve. That's not opinion, that's just sound analysis of players of his type, history, and age. He's probably close to as good as he'll ever get. Hell, there's just as good a chance that he will regress in 2014 as there is that he will improve.

    The reason few want to pick up a centerfielder or a third baseman is because the Twins have legitimate "cost benefit" players in the organization at those positions. As soon as 2014, Miguel Sano could be a 3+ win player at the league minimum. Aaron Hicks is just as, if not more, likely to post a 2+ win season than Florimon for the league minimum. But in 2015 and beyond, Hicks has a ceiling of 3+ wins annually while Buxton has a ceiling of... well, the moon. It makes no sense to pick up players at those positions, and that's not even mentioning that no free agent in their right mind is going to want to sign with the Twins, knowing that Hicks/Buxton/Sano are champing at the bit to take away their position at a moment's notice. You could make the argument that Pinto is another cost benefit player, as he posted some impressive MiLB numbers and had a strong September (though I personally put no stock in that).

    That leaves one position on the diamond where the Twins have no players in the minors and a bad player on the MLB roster that is unlikely to improve in a meaningful way. That position is shortstop.

    This isn't about "winning now", though that could be a nice side effect. This is about replacing bad MLB players who have little or no chance of meaningful improvement at the position. Sure, Florimon might clean up a few of his defensive errors... But he's still going to be an awful hitter, which means he will always be a pretty bad baseball player. He would have to be Ozzie Smith defensively to compensate for his lack of a bat (though it should be noted that even Smith was a better hitter than Florimon by a pretty healthy margin).

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    Still waiting for someone to say which CF is available, and why they'd sign here.....or which corner OF is available, or which catcher is available for only money and a second round pick.....

    I'd deal for Castro from Houston, but it would cost A LOT more than a 2nd round pick, and cost a lot more money to secure him......but then, he's good. That's what happens when players are good, you need to pay them.

    As for "don't sign someone because they can't win anyway".....BS, imo. What else are they going to do with the money? Why do you/we care about whether or not contracts are "good" if they don't keep them from spending elsewhere? They are tens of millions below their 50% threshhold.....and Willingham and KC come off the books next year. I don't see how any 2-3 year deal constrains their ability to sign someone next year of the year after.
    Lighten up Francis....

  16. #174
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    I'd add if we're not signing players because the Twins aren't going to win in 2014, then it was wrong to sign the free agent pitching too, no?
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I'd add if we're not signing players because the Twins aren't going to win in 2014, then it was wrong to sign the free agent pitching too, no?
    Maybe they should release them all, then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I'd add if we're not signing players because the Twins aren't going to win in 2014, then it was wrong to sign the free agent pitching too, no?
    I agree but in signing these guys, I don't want someone who is going to HURT the team in 2015 and 2016. A SS on the wrong side of 30 who can't stay healthy and can only play against righties looks to be a liability by 2015 if not 2014.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Brock--nice post above and I agree with you. However, I just don't see Drew as much of an improvement. I would like to see a younger, more athletic SS with his best years ahead of him. Stephen Drew is not that guy IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Brock--nice post above and I agree with you. However, I just don't see Drew as much of an improvement. I would like to see a younger, more athletic SS with his best years ahead of him. Stephen Drew is not that guy IMHO.
    Which is a fair opinion. Hell, I'm not even sold on Drew myself.

    But Pedro Florimon is not an acceptable long-term starter at shortstop. Full stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Brock--nice post above and I agree with you. However, I just don't see Drew as much of an improvement. I would like to see a younger, more athletic SS with his best years ahead of him. Stephen Drew is not that guy IMHO.
    We'd all like to see a younger, better player, at every position -- the question is, where is that player going to come from? At SS, not from the Twins current minor league system, not in the next 3 years for sure. *Maybe* from the draft, but you can't really predict that (and it's dicey to draft for need), and it's doubtful a 2014 draftee would even be MLB ready until 2017 anyway.

    Free agency next year? Asdrubal Cabrera will be the big one, but how much will he cost? Will he even reach free agency? JJ Hardy is a decent alternative, but again, will he be available? What will he cost?

  24. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Free agency next year? Asdrubal Cabrera will be the big one, but how much will he cost? Will he even reach free agency? JJ Hardy is a decent alternative, but again, will he be available? What will he cost?
    And neither could be said to be any younger than Drew. Not of any significance at least.

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