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Thread: Article: The Case for Stephen Drew

  1. #121
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Kevin Slowey says Hi. I know Scott Baker was 2003, but he was a good second-round pick. Also, since the team has been picking high the last two years, I have high hopes for the guys they selected in those years. And that does make a difference. The 35th pick is a lot better than the 65th pick. Or, in the age of long sandwich rounds, the 120th pick.
    I mentioned Baker in the post.

    Swarzak or Slowey, take your pick. Those are the only two second rounders who had any kind of impact in the past ten seasons. Slowey had a better single season, Swarzak looks to have a more significant long-term impact.

    In the past decade, the Twins have had 13 second round picks. Together, they have combined for a 6.6 career WAR. If people are that concerned about losing a second round pick for a legitimate MLB player, they need to re-read the first two sentences of this paragraph.

  2. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I didn't miss the point at all. You're comparing giving up a bonafide impact MLB player for two years of another MLB player to giving up a second round pick, which rarely pan out to be impact players. In the past ten years, the Twins' biggest second round success story has been Anthony Swarzak.

    No one is arguing that the Twins will contend in 2014. We're simply saying that given a couple of breaks, this team could be a fringe contender and that Stephen Drew could help that scenario come to fruition. Besides, it's not as if Stephen Drew goes away after 2014. He could easily help this team return to relevance in 2015 and 2016. He's not an old man and he doesn't hamstring this team's payroll significantly. What you're paying Drew in 2015 is offset by Willingham and Correia leaving after 2014, which still gives the Twins payroll flexibility going into next offseason.

    What it boils down to is this:

    1. Pedro Florimon is not a good baseball player. He is at the age where improvement is very unlikely.

    2. The Twins have no internal prospects on the horizon that will improve the position significantly.

    3. The Twins need better baseball players. Stephen Drew is a better baseball player than Pedro Florimon.
    I prefaced the statement with they two scenarios were not the same but the general premise of get better next year or build a contender is still present.

    I also said I was on the fence but for a variety of reasons this is not a no brainer. If it was, Boston would not have let him go in the first place. And, If it is was just Boston that was stupid someone would have picked him up by now.

    I think it boils down to that Drew is the best solution right NOW and some of you want an immediate solution. There are likely better solutions on the horizon. I would much rather see them pony up for a good international FA who can help long term. That does not happen if they sign Drew. Dozier to short and Rosario to 2nd is still a possibility. A viable trade may present itself in the next year. Perhaps Dozier or Rosario as part of a trade for a SS. If they draft Turner, he would likely be at the ML level by 2016.

  3. #123
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
    I think it boils down to that Drew is the best solution right NOW and some of you want an immediate solution. There are likely better solutions on the horizon. I would much rather see them pony up for a good international FA who can help long term. That does not happen if they sign Drew. Dozier to short and Rosario to 2nd is still a possibility. A viable trade may present itself in the next year. Perhaps Dozier or Rosario as part of a trade for a SS. If they draft Turner, he would likely be at the ML level by 2016.
    It's almost impossible to read through my post history and draw the conclusion that I am a "win now" advocate at the expense of longterm contention.

    Any international FA signing is not going to help for several more years. That doesn't conflict with Drew. A free agent next year is a possibility, but the Twins are looking at giving up a first round pick next offseason if they need help. If you're balking at giving up a second round pick now, I can only imagine how you'll feel about giving up an 11-20 pick in 2015. Anything involving a trade for an established player will have the Twins dealing off a prospect far more valuable than a mid-30s draft pick.

    Dozier is not an MLB shortstop. We saw how that worked last season. He's a capable 2B. The Twins should let him continue to fill that role.

    Looking through those options, they're more expensive to the longterm health of the team than giving up a second round pick in 2014.

  4. #124
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer amjgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
    No, I don't know with CERTAINTY but I can assess the PROBABILITY. Have you looked at Detroit's roster? What kind of odds will Vegas give the Twins of winning the division? Let's say the Tigers are riddled with injuries. They likely don't beat KC or Cleveland. And, if that somehow happened, what kind of Odds would we have against the A's, or Rangers or several other teams for the wildcard.

    You missed the entire point with the KC scenario which was managing assets beyond a 1 or even two year window.
    Auburn was 500/1 to win the national championship. Just saying.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Again, calling Drew a platoon player is ignoring that he's very strong against RHP. 70% of a typical player's PAs come against RHP. Platoons are not equal. The RHP-masher is far more valuable than the same guy against LHP.

    And if it's that big of a concern, platoon Escobar and Drew. That way everybody stays fresh and there is no significant defensive drop-off between the two players. It doesn't even force the Twins to carry an additional player. Escobar is probably there anyway.
    He does hit righties well, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he should not be on the field for 30% of the games, and that's without the consideration that he's almost surely going to miss 20-40% of the games anyway due to injury. I just don't see any good coming from committing 3/30 to a guy who is a part time player.

    If he does lose 30% of his games due to platoons and then 20% of his overall games due to injury the team is paying a guy $10 million over the next three years to play in just over half of the games. That's just not responsible.
    Last edited by nicksaviking; 01-08-2014 at 11:33 AM.

  6. #126
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer amjgt's Avatar
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    Losing the 45th pick (as a prospect) isn't ideal. I think we'd all agree on that. The degree to which it hurts is where there is a disagreement.

    Long term vs short term.... Twins 2nd round pick history.... Historic "hit rate" with the 41st - 50th picks.

    They point me towards Stephen Drew being more valuable than the 2nd round pick (as a prospect)

    The reason I keep adding "as a prospect" is because of another reason that I haven't seen anyone mention....

    Losing that 2nd round pick costs us the pick's slot money. Maybe that doesn't allow us to go over slot on our 1st round pick and we are "forced" to pick an inferior prospect. That could hurt. Also it might diminish our flexibility in future rounds and mean we are not able to sign a prospect. It also costs us $60,000 (5% of the $1,230,000), in potential over slot bonus money before we get penalized for going over our total pool of money.

  7. #127
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    He does hit righties well, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he should not be on the field for 30% of the games, and that's without the consideration that he's almost surely going to miss 20-40% of the games anyway due to injury. I just don't see any good coming from committing 3/30 to a guy who is a part time player.

    If he does lose 30% of his games due to platoons and then 20% of his overall games due to injury the team is paying a guy $10 million over the next three years to play in just over half of the games. That's just not responsible.
    Drew isn't a perfect player, no arguments here. One of the most interesting parts of him is his recent ineptitude against LHP. He was never a good hitter against southpaws but only in the last two years have his splits really turned ugly. Is that a trend or a blip in his career? Probably a trend but it's not necessarily a sure thing that he continues to post an OPS under .600 against lefties. It's something to cause a bit of concern, for sure.

  8. #128
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    Signing Stephen Drew to a 3 year deal makes me uneasy. I just don't like your odds of getting 3 productive seasons out of him. If we could get him for 2 years (or even better, one) I'd feel a lot better about it.

    That being said, I think I'd probably still sign him. I think we've seen about the best we're likely to see from Florimon. Excellent defense, really bad offense. Florimon is fine under ideal conditions (i.e., a relatively good hitting team in most other positions), but we're probably not going to have those ideal conditions for a couple more years. It's too much to expect all the young guys to really take off next year. Drew makes the team better. How much better is uncertain, but I'll take small upgrades at this point.

    The thing I'd be interested to try with Drew on the team would be giving Dozier some of the games against lefty starters to try out SS again. Dozier hits lefties really well, so hopefully he'd be comfortable at the plate those games and he'd be relaxed in the field as a result. If he can't hack it, so be it, we know he can play a great 2B already, but if he looked like he could play a decent short and throw up a good hitting line like the last four months of 2013, he'd become a very valuable trade chip or make Drew tradeable earlier.

  9. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
    How much better is uncertain, but I'll take small upgrades at this point.
    To me, replacing Florimon with Drew does not make a net improvement to the team. It is trading defensive ability (which tends to be stable) for offensive ability (which has its ups and downs).

    In the end, I don't think this would improve the team. Drew would have to be far more productive offensively than anyone would expect for this to be worth it.

  10. #130
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomtints View Post
    To me, replacing Florimon with Drew does not make a net improvement to the team. It is trading defensive ability (which tends to be stable) for offensive ability (which has its ups and downs).

    In the end, I don't think this would improve the team. Drew would have to be far more productive offensively than anyone would expect for this to be worth it.
    Stephen Drew's WAR over the past several years:

    1.6, 2.0, 4.7, 1.7, lost season (-0.3), 3.4.

    Pedro Florimon posted a WAR of 1.3 last season, almost entirely on the back of his defensive play. To put it mildly, I'm skeptical of judging any player based entirely on his defensive WAR, particularly if it's not a full season.

    In short, Stephen Drew is an improvement over Pedro Florimon.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    He does hit righties well, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he should not be on the field for 30% of the games, and that's without the consideration that he's almost surely going to miss 20-40% of the games anyway due to injury. I just don't see any good coming from committing 3/30 to a guy who is a part time player.

    If he does lose 30% of his games due to platoons and then 20% of his overall games due to injury the team is paying a guy $10 million over the next three years to play in just over half of the games. That's just not responsible.
    I don't get the Drew-loathing. Drew doesn't just hit RHP well, he hits them great. And his health concerns are being unfairly drawn based on one severe ankle injury requiring major surgery, and his hamstring pull in 2013. Before 2011, he was virtually an Everyday Eddie.

    And the facts from 2013 on the state of Drew's health don't support your opinion. I don't understand how you derived your projected 50% absence rate for Drew at all. Drew played in 124 games, that's 77%. Besides missing the first 7 games of the season due to a concussion (that's an automatic and unavoidable league-mandated sanction these days- do we really want to go there with the Twins concussion history?), Drew had one stint on the DL, missing 23 games in total. That works out to 14% of games missed (as a healthy platoon player, that means he would have only missed around 16 games, which is more like missing less than 10% of the games due to injury).

    Furthermore, Drew was at his toughest and best-performing when the crunch time of the season hit. Drew played in 10 of 12 games once he was reactivated in July, 26 of 28 games in August, and 22 of the first 24 games in September, resting only once the Red Sox had clinched. Drew's best months of the season were from July 27th to season's end, OPSing @ .880 w/ a .292 BA. His 2013 ISO of .190 was ranked 2nd among all SS. By contrast, Florimon's ISO was a paltry .109 and he had the worst K% among all SS, even worse than Drew's.

    While acknowledging that there is risk on any 3-year deal, all indications are that Drew has regained his health and most of his pre-2011 form, thus, the math adds up that playing in 70% or more of his team's games is a more likely supposition than less than 50%. He had a 3.4 WAR playing in 77% of the games in 2013, something around $10M/yr seems like a pretty responsible risk to me.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 01:01 PM.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Stephen Drew's WAR over the past several years:

    2.9, 2.9, 4.0, 1.9, lost season (-0.4), 3.1.

    Pedro Florimon posted a WAR of 2.1 last season, almost entirely on the back of his defensive play. To put it mildly, I'm skeptical of judging any player based entirely on his defensive WAR, particularly if it's not a full season.

    In short, Stephen Drew is an improvement over Pedro Florimon.
    I have a slightly different take, I would drop the "n" in "an" and insert the word "major" between "an" and "improvement".

    And fWAR adjusted for Florimon's skewed and partial season stats, assigned him a WAR value of only 1.3.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 01:15 PM.

  13. #133
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    I have a slightly different take, I would drop the "n" in "an" and insert the word "major" between "an" and "improvement".

    And fWAR adjusted for Florimon's skewed and partial season stats, assigning him a WAR value of only 1.3.
    I was editing my post to reflect fWAR as you were responding. I like bWAR for pitchers (I prefer to gauge what actually happened over what *should* have happened when comparing performance) but when it comes to positional players, fWAR is the better metric, IMO.

  14. #134
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    He does hit righties well, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he should not be on the field for 30% of the games, and that's without the consideration that he's almost surely going to miss 20-40% of the games anyway due to injury. I just don't see any good coming from committing 3/30 to a guy who is a part time player.

    If he does lose 30% of his games due to platoons and then 20% of his overall games due to injury the team is paying a guy $10 million over the next three years to play in just over half of the games. That's just not responsible.
    Wait, you're saying Drew is worse against LHP than Florimon, the guy who went 1-38 against lefties to start the year?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  15. #135
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I was editing my post to reflect fWAR as you were responding. I like bWAR for pitchers (I prefer to gauge what actually happened over what *should* have happened when comparing performance) but when it comes to positional players, fWAR is the better metric, IMO.
    I'm not a fan of fWAR for either. It places too much emphasis on defense for my taste.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I mentioned Baker in the post.

    Swarzak or Slowey, take your pick. Those are the only two second rounders who had any kind of impact in the past ten seasons. Slowey had a better single season, Swarzak looks to have a more significant long-term impact.

    In the past decade, the Twins have had 13 second round picks. Together, they have combined for a 6.6 career WAR. If people are that concerned about losing a second round pick for a legitimate MLB player, they need to re-read the first two sentences of this paragraph.
    I'm not sure if this is going to play out that way. Isn't Swarzak's "value" of taking one for the team going to greatly diminish, what with the SP upgrades in 2014? Facts: Swarzak pitched nearly 75% of all his innings in low-leverage situations in 2013. In those innings, his bOPS was .580. In high-leverage situations, his bOPS was virtually .900. And those numbers are an apt reflection on his career as a whole. Thus, it remains highly problematic that greater value is yet to obtained from him- he is almost certain to have many less mop-up jobs in 2014. I have the gut feeling that the expected arb salary increases are going to eventually price him out of baseball.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 01:23 PM.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I'm not a fan of fWAR for either. It places too much emphasis on defense for my taste.

    Except that we have the statistical anomaly of Florimon being higher rated by bWAR over fWAR. And Brock thought that fWAR was the better metric for positional players.
    Last edited by jokin; 01-08-2014 at 01:25 PM.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
    I prefaced the statement with they two scenarios were not the same but the general premise of get better next year or build a contender is still present.

    I also said I was on the fence but for a variety of reasons this is not a no brainer. If it was, Boston would not have let him go in the first place. And, If it is was just Boston that was stupid someone would have picked him up by now.

    I think it boils down to that Drew is the best solution right NOW and some of you want an immediate solution. There are likely better solutions on the horizon. I would much rather see them pony up for a good international FA who can help long term. That does not happen if they sign Drew. Dozier to short and Rosario to 2nd is still a possibility. A viable trade may present itself in the next year. Perhaps Dozier or Rosario as part of a trade for a SS. If they draft Turner, he would likely be at the ML level by 2016.
    The key factor that you left out and the big difference between the Twins and the Red Sox is that the Sox have a legitimate SS in waiting (Bogaerts)....a guy who was ranked in 2012 by BA almost as high as Buxton and Sano are now. And the Sox aren't necessarily done with Drew by any means- my guess is they prefer a one-year "SS insurance policy" with Drew, and Boras is plying the waters to try to get a longer deal than that.

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  20. #139
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer amjgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post

    I also said I was on the fence but for a variety of reasons this is not a no brainer. If it was, Boston would not have let him go in the first place. And, If it is was just Boston that was stupid someone would have picked him up by now.
    If you're Boston, why in the world would you extend him mid-season? (I'm assuming that's what you mean by "would not have let him go." Because they did give him a qualifying offer.)


    That's the key for Boston, they wouldn't mind having him back for 1 year and $14M. The finances aren't an issue and worst case (for Boston) is that he accepts. Even if they didn't want him, they've got the money to deal with it. But that $14M gamble nets them someone's 1st or 2nd round pick.

    This is why I have been advocating short-term, high average annual contracts for players.

    Garza - throw a 2/40 offer at him. We've got the money to a) handle that contract, and b) give him a qualifying offer that he will probably not accept in the Winter of 2015.

    Drew - 1/16. Make him feel all warm and fuzzy about making a good decision to not accept the QO and puts us in the catbird seat next winter, when we will either a) walk away if he underperforms, b) have him accept a $14M QO, c) recoup the pick we lost by signing him this year, d) get him on the cheap because teams don't want to give up a draft pick.

    Edited to Add: Also, it keeps their trade values high and keeps them inspired to put up to put up numbers to earn their next contract.
    Last edited by amjgt; 01-08-2014 at 02:18 PM.

  21. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    The key factor that you left out and the big difference between the Twins and the Red Sox is that the Sox have a legitimate SS in waiting (Bogaerts)....a guy who was ranked in 2012 by BA almost as high as Buxton and Sano are now. And the Sox aren't necessarily done with Drew by any means- my guess is they prefer a one-year "SS insurance policy" with Drew, and Boras is plying the waters to try to get a longer deal than that.
    Yes, good point. It occured to me they had Bogaerts right after I hit send but I had a meeting and did not have time to edit the post. Bogaerts aside, it would appear the GMs with SS needs are not sold on Drew.

    Heck, I am not even saying it is a bad move. It just is not a move that clearly needs to be made.
    Last edited by Major Leauge Ready; 01-08-2014 at 02:54 PM.

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