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Article: Market Inefficiency: Creativity Needed

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#21 jokin

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 07:30 PM

I have seen this post in various forms all winter. You seem to be conceding that Drew may not be able to hold off even what is likely to be a fairly mediocre shortstop like Santana in a year or so, that Drew is unlikely to remain healthy, and even if he does he is not going to much more than mediocre himself. So why exactly do you want Drew? It doesn't seem you think that Drew is so much of an improvement on Florimon, Escobar or Nunez that he will make a dramatic improvement on the Twins or the shortstop position. I would be very surprised if that were the case.

So exactly what does Drew bring to the Twins that we should want him? I personally believe that adding Drew might actually get in the way of a long term solution, but I do understand that many of you don't feel that way. I know the Twins have money, and I am aware that the fail rate of 2nd round picks is high enough that losing the pick shouldn't be a huge factor. My problem is that I just don't think Drew is likely to be good enough, for long enough to be worth the cost. Personally, I would just go with Florimon until someone shows enough to move him aside. Or failing that, make a trade this offseason.


You simply can't go with Florimon any longer.....his hitting is epically bad....epically. Permanent psychologically epic damage unplayably bad.

And why make a trade in the offseason, which would certainly be costly, when all you "trade" is money (and a chance to recoup the pick in the compensation draft should Drew work out well). Just one lower level example here: trading for Didi Gregorius, who got beat out for the job in Arizona, would cost you Josmil Pinto, do we really want to go that route?

The Twins may or may not have their SS in the organization, but that consideration should be separate to stabilizing the situation now, and in the intermediate term of 1-2 more years with Drew.

Edited by jokin, 27 April 2014 - 10:33 PM.


#22 AM.

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 07:39 PM

I suspect that such a trade would go against the CBA and the compensation plan for free agents. A one sided trade with a tacit agreement to conduct another transaction would likely draw attention from the commissioner's office and be voided, and/or another team who wants Drew after the signing deadline would file a grievance.


You may be right. At a minimum, they would need to seek and gain approval for it from the commissioner's office. However, something similar, at least, was explored in the past:
http://arizona.diamo...t=.jsp&c_id=ari

#23 big dog

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 07:53 PM

The various posters here and in other threads seem to hold one of three views:
1. The Twins are going to be historically bad and need to get rid of all veterans and build for the future (that camp seems to have diminished since spring training).

2. The Twins are going to be a decent team this year but they still need to figure out who to keep for the next couple of years.

3. The Twins are much better than expected and a quality shortstop will push them into the range of being a possible playoff contender.

I think you can only justify signing Drew if you belong to group 3. He certainly doesn't fit with group 1's expectations, and if you are in group 2 you ought to be nervous about how he will be (or if he'll be a Twin) in 2015 or 2016.

And if you are in group 3...well...all I can say is I hope you're right, but I'm not going to Vegas to bet on it.

#24 ashburyjohn

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:24 PM

The NBA does sign and trade deals frequently. Is there a reason why Boston's GM and TR/RA can't come to a compensatory trade? If the deal goes through, the Twins send prospects X,Y and Z to Boston, in exchange for Drew, and TR then negotiates the contract with Boras and Boston GM, Boston GM signs the deal and then Twins and Red Sox make the trade.


From http://www.thecubrep...xport/html/3506

5. An MLB Article XX-B free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series has an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. The player can waive this right, but if he does he can be traded only for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.


I guess most players in the low minors will fit this limit.

#25 jokin

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:48 PM

The various posters here and in other threads seem to hold one of three views:
1. The Twins are going to be historically bad and need to get rid of all veterans and build for the future (that camp seems to have diminished since spring training).

2. The Twins are going to be a decent team this year but they still need to figure out who to keep for the next couple of years.

3. The Twins are much better than expected and a quality shortstop will push them into the range of being a possible playoff contender.

I think you can only justify signing Drew if you belong to group 3. He certainly doesn't fit with group 1's expectations, and if you are in group 2 you ought to be nervous about how he will be (or if he'll be a Twin) in 2015 or 2016.

And if you are in group 3...well...all I can say is I hope you're right, but I'm not going to Vegas to bet on it.


Your description of the three camps is excellent. But if I may disagree, I think it's very justifiable to sign Drew for those of us in both Camps 2 and 3. I really don't see the need to be nervous in Camp 2. Having Drew around for 2015 and 2016 shouldn't be filled with dread. He's a left-handed hitter with an extreme postive split against RHP- this is extremely valuable in a platoon situation should a dropoff in Drew's play arise that necessitates limiting his playing time. He's already said he would be willing to fill a role other than SS, should it help the team. And if they get Drew for say, 3/$30M, that $10M annual nut that the Twins are responsible for shouldn't overly hamper them from further FA accquisitions. Correia, Hammer, Suzuki, Burton come off the payroll this year, and Pelfrey, and probably Duensing come off the payroll next year. Financially, it's a new day in Twins Territory, this isn't Budget Ball in a plastic dome any longer, time to disabuse ourselves of this mindset of one mistake crippling the franchise.

Edited by jokin, 27 April 2014 - 08:51 PM.


#26 big dog

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:57 PM

Your description of the three camps is excellent. But if I may disagree, I think it's very justifiable to sign Drew for those of us in both Camps 2 and 3. I really don't see the need to be nervous in Camp 2. Having Drew around for 2015 and 2016 shouldn't be filled with dread. He's a left-handed hitter with an extreme postive split against RHP- this is extremely valuable in a platoon situation should a dropoff in Drew's play arise that necessitates limiting his playing time. He's already said he would be willing to fill a role other than SS, should it help the team. And if they get Drew for say, 3/$30M, that $10M annual nut that the Twins are responsible for shouldn't overly hamper them from further FA accquisitions. Correia, Hammer, Suzuki, Burton come off the payroll this year, and Pelfrey, and probably Duensing come off the payroll next year. Financially, it's a new day in Twins Territory, this isn't Budget Ball in a plastic dome any longer, time to disabuse ourselves of this mindset of one mistake crippling the franchise.


That's fair. I agree that the money isn't a huge problem; I just don't think he's a very good bet as a reliable SS and would rather look elsewhere, ideally via trade for someone else's decent but younger SS. We have to do something before Florimon is hitting .050. I won't hold my breath until I turn blue if they sign Drew. I also won't expect anything more than a short-term stopgap. If they do sign him I will certainly hope to be wrong.

#27 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:59 PM

A few points on Drew:

1. I disagree that he will fall off massively due to age in the next 3 years. He just turned 31, a three year deal would be for his ages 31 through 33 seasons. Age is almost a non factor.

2. "Drew is mediocre" is wrong on it's face. He's a good defensive SS with a lifetime .764 OPS. But it's even more wrong when you compare him to the Twins alternatives. I posted this before, but it bears repeating...the difference between Drew and Florimon offensively is twice the difference between Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel. Think about that. Drew would have likely been a massive upgrade.

3. "Wait till next offseason and sign a free agent or make a trade" sounds good, but it's not that easy. You don't know which free agent SS's will be available, if they will sign with the Twins, and any available are likely older than Drew and/or not much better than what the Twins have. As for a trade...how many good, major league ready SS's do you think will be available this offseason, and at what cost? Sano?

4. All that being said, IMO the window of opportunity to make such an obvious move and sign Drew came and went, and the Twins passed. A few of us said as much last winter. Now we're stuck with Florimon or options that couldn't even beat him out for the job.

#28 AM.

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:47 AM

A few points on Drew:

4. All that being said, IMO the window of opportunity to make such an obvious move and sign Drew came and went, and the Twins passed. A few of us said as much last winter. Now we're stuck with Florimon or options that couldn't even beat him out for the job.


Well put, Chief, in terms of arguing that a Drew signing was warranted. While I agree the Twins had the opportunity to sign Drew and passed, I think the team's good start had opened the window back open at least a crack.

I am not completely convinced Drew is a great solution. But what bothers me about the Twins' approach (and the shoulder-shrugging "hang on another month or wait until next year" posters on this thread and site) is that the Twins have financial room to add a player, have a position of clear need, and yet aren't trying to do anything about it.

My understanding of the role of the front office is to take/set a budget, and piece by piece, marginal upgrade by marginal upgrade, squeeze as many wins as possible out of that budget (ideally, while not mortgaging the future to do so.). The ongoing presence of Pedro Florimon on the roster and in the lineup makes me feel like the front office does not have share that goal.

#29 Sconnie

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:12 AM

From http://www.thecubrep...xport/html/3506



I guess most players in the low minors will fit this limit.

Thanks for the clarification. It makes much more sense.

#30 Sconnie

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:27 AM

My understanding of the role of the front office is to take/set a budget, and piece by piece, marginal upgrade by marginal upgrade, squeeze as many wins as possible out of that budget (ideally, while not mortgaging the future to do so.). The ongoing presence of Pedro Florimon on the roster and in the lineup makes me feel like the front office does not have share that goal.

It could also be that the FO has yet to find a willing partner. It takes two to tango.

#31 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:30 AM

Here are the free agents for 2015 (this will be a smaller list by the time free agents are available for the Twins to sign, players may be re-signed or have contract extensions prior to becoming a free agent.

http://www.baseballp...gents-for-2015/

[FONT=georgia]Second Basemen[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Emilio Bonifacio[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Alexi Casilla[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Mark Ellis [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Rafael Furcal[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Chris Getz[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Kelly Johnson[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Nick Punto *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Brian Roberts[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Ramon Santiago[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Rickie Weeks *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Ben Zobrist * [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia][/FONT][FONT=georgia]
[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Shortstops[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Mike Aviles *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Asdrubal Cabrera[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Yunel Escobar *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Alex Gonzalez [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]J.J. Hardy [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Jed Lowrie[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]John McDonald[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Hiroyuki Nakajima *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Jimmy Rollins * [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia][/FONT][FONT=georgia](I'll add Stephen Drew here, assuming he signed a one-year deal)
[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Third Basemen[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Wilson Betemit [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Alberto Callaspo [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Eric Chavez [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Jack Hannahan *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Chase Headley [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Casey McGehee[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Donnie Murphy[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Nick Punto * [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Aramis Ramirez *[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Hanley Ramirez [/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Pablo Sandoval[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Ty Wigginton[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia]Kevin Youkilis[/FONT]
[FONT=georgia][/FONT][FONT=georgia][FONT=veranda](* – player whose current contract includes 2015 option.)[/FONT]
[/FONT]


Do any of these guys look like the answer long term?

I don't think the free agent route will solve the problem, maybe the Twins could shell out a big contract for Hanley Ramirez (past his prime years?)? Or Ben Zobrist, who is not primarily a Short Stop, but seems to play there enough to be worth a look? I think Jed Lowrie is worth considering too.

Ultimately, though, it's more likely that the Twins will roll the dice with developing an internal option.

#32 spycake

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:49 AM

From http://www.thecubrep...xport/html/3506



I guess most players in the low minors will fit this limit.


For some reason, I always thought the no trade until June thing only applied the free agents who switched teams, but I could well be wrong. Similarly, I know there used to be some extra trade protection for guys on multi-year deals too but I think that went away.

#33 Ctwink

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:49 AM

I've always thought the Twins should take flyer on Drew and then if the roof caves in, flip him before July 31. Now that the season has turned up rosier than than some of the most positive projections (with much of the starting rotation acting like blind fools), wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity? Give him a one year contract with a mutually approved option year (or years) and sign him up. Although you lose a pick (even if you couldn't work out the "magic" with Boston that's been discussed above), you've instilled the fans with a little of "Hey, the team is doing something to build on this success" optimism which would certainly be worth more at the gate that one draft pick. Then when reality sets in, you trade him and try to (further) recoup the 2nd rounder that you lost. Seems like win/win to me...

#34 mike wants wins

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

One market ineffiicency is to pay for the highest ranked non-US prospects you can, and to overpay for a year to get more of them. You know, like Sano......but that's not their plan either. Neither is trading prospects (or a 2nd round pick, that isn't likely to ever do much if anything at the MLB level) for a proven player. Not sure how to get out of this pickle, actually.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#35 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:28 AM

One market ineffiicency is to pay for the highest ranked non-US prospects you can, and to overpay for a year to get more of them. You know, like Sano......but that's not their plan either.


Instead, they're taking risks on signing more second-tier guys. It's not a bad strategy, all considering. It landed them guys like Lewis Thorpe.

Overall, I find it pretty hard to criticize the Twins' international activity over the past few years. Do I agree with every decision? No, not necessarily... but the Twins' strategy looks to be fundamentally solid.

#36 mike wants wins

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:08 AM

I think that's fair, Brock. It wouldn't be my approach, but it is their approach. We'll know if it works in about 4-7 years.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#37 SD Buhr

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:57 AM

Put me in the group that was on-board with signing Drew during the offseason, but sees no chance of it now. If you want him now, you have to sweeten the deal enough that he (and his agent) are willing to give up the bidding process that's almost certainly going to happen in June. That doesn't seem wise because it would likely involve more years and things like no-trade rights.

At this point, Drew's best bet is to simply wait another month and let any team with a need for him bid his price up. It seems like he and Boras overplayed their hand by not taking the QO, but I won't be at all surprised to see someone more than make up the money he lost once there is no longer draft pick compensation involved.

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