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How close do we need to be a month from now?

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#1 TKGuy

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:59 AM

There has been progress this year, it is the middle of June and we are talking about meaningful baseball games. We are in the middle of the road trip from hell at 3-4, hoping to split the last two games.

As exciting as this may be, I am pretty sure this is not the year the Twins make the playoffs even though I would like to be proven wrong. So the question is, how close do we need to buy instead of sell at the deadline. I would like to see the Twins within 3 games of the division lead (too many teams involved in the wild card race) before we become buyers. Even at that point, maybe we become buyers and sellers.


1. Correia is the easiest person to replace, so even if we are in it, I would trade him and replace him with one of the AAA pitchers. He won't be here next year no matter what.

2. Willingham: If we are in the race, we owe it to our fans to keep Willingham. I doubt we are going to get that much for him but if we lose his bat, we probably don't have a chance to contend. If we drop 6-7 games out by the deadline, I would move him then. If he is still around at the end of the season, would you keep him for one more?

3. Duensing. He seems to have OK stats, but all I can remember now is ineffective outings. I say he has to stay if we are in it, but probably the easiest guy to move, since as TK has always said, he's left handed and breathing. Even if we do keep him, I beleive he has become too expensive for the outings he is producing anyways, so letting him go in the offseason is a possibility.

4. Morales. This is the most interesting trade chip. I believe he fits like a glove in our lineup. Hits for average and power and has shown that in non-hitters parks like Safeco. The question is whether he is willing to stay here and sign an extension? Is he blocking Vargas if he stays? In any event, he stays if we are in the race, but could be a sought after trade chip if we fall out of it.

5. Suzuki. This feels like the ultimate sell high player. However, we have no options at all for catcher in the near future. If we are in it, he stays. We certainly would have to sign a FA in the offseason. If we fall out of it, I would maybe try to dangle a two-year extension, and if he doesn't sign, then trade him. Who knows, maybe we could trade him and get him back a la Aggie.

The Twins will have some chips to trade at the deadline, however, I believe they owe it to our fans to go for it if we are within 3 games. The question is, will we hurt our future if we gamble and fail? I don't think so. All five of the above options need to be signed in the offseason or at least tendered a contract, so these players may not be back anyways. The only player we really don't have a replacement for right now in the minors would be Suzuki.

While I do expect the Twins to fall out of it by the end of July, it certainly has been fun to watch meaningful baseball, and will continue to watch since I expect May and Meyer up if the Twins do fall out of contention.

#2 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

I guess the follow up question to all of this is, would it be worth making the playoffs and being bounced out immediately? Or is the team better off accepting that they should be building to make a "serious" attempt several straight years of playoff runs by selling as high as possible on the veteran assets they have now.

I'm sure the fans (myself included) would be overjoyed by seeing another playoff game at Target Field this year - but would it be at the expense of seeing a World Series in 2016 or 17 because the Twins kept some of these players this year (or traded assets for "rentals")?

#3 mike wants wins

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:42 AM

Given the randomness of playoff games, yes, they should want to be in the playoffs with a chance to win, and not assume they'd get bounced if they made it.

I really have no idea what they will do. They've already surprised me a few times this year with their strategy, so I don't know I can predict their moves anymore.

What would Mike do?
1. If they aren't at or over .500 at the ASB, I'd be willing to deal.
2. Only Hughes, Gibson, Dozier, Arcia would be "untouchable" to me (of the MLB players).*
3. If they are over .500, I'd try to add a piece, as long as I was not giving up a top 5-7 prospect to get that piece. The team has been bad for a long time, and if it has a chance, I think they should go for it. But, adding a middling upgrade, that might not really be an upgrade? I'd not do that. Either go for the win, or don't, but part way is the worst way to me.

*I'm sure I forgot someone.....
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#4 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:47 AM

I agree with all of that - I do think that once you're in the playoffs, the odds go out the window. The Twins have had some bad experiences in the postseason under Gardenhire, but I think it's as likely that they could turn the tables on someone in a short series this time around.

A .500 record seems like a reasonable measure to say "buy/stand pat" or "sell"

#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:59 AM

I think the Twins end up as sellers. Morales will probably be the big prize we can move but Willingham and others might get us a few decent pieces too.

#6 JB_Iowa

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:03 AM

Sell.

And I don't believe "anything can happen in the playoffs".

I believe "anything can happen in the playoffs as long as you have good pitching". I don't think the Twins are there yet.

#7 jorgenswest

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:13 AM

I think they need to be on pace for 85 wins. To get there they will need to go on some kind of good streak similar to the a Royals. It is going to take a couple of really good stretches to get in real contention. One needs to be in the next month. If not, there will be too many teams to pass.

#8 Dman

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:56 AM

Sell.

And I don't believe "anything can happen in the playoffs".

I believe "anything can happen in the playoffs as long as you have good pitching". I don't think the Twins are there yet.


I agree pitching is the difference maker when it comes to the playoffs. I don't see that we stack up well with other teams pitching staffs. It is also why I don't think the Twins will be in the playoff hunt much longer.


I would be happy to be sellers if we get something decent. Not sure what C level prospects bring to a very deep farm system.

#9 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

I believe "anything can happen in the playoffs as long as you have good pitching". I don't think the Twins are there yet.


Agree, completely.

I don't think the Twins will be sellers. I think the team will be close enough that the FO won't want to sell, but not close enough for them to go all in and reach for a guy like Samaraja (SP?) or Price.

I just hope the team continues to battle. They seem to be confident they can score runs, even when they get down by 4 or 5 runs early. I like that. It makes the games more enjoyable, but I'm not sure they have enough to make a real run at post-season glory, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to risk the greatness of future teams for a wild-card berth.

#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:57 PM

Given the randomness of playoff games, yes, they should want to be in the playoffs with a chance to win, and not assume they'd get bounced if they made it.


This is like the 3rd time in 2+ years, but MWW and I agree on this one!

#11 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:58 PM

I don't think they will be sellers either. They can hang around .500 most of the year and hopefully catch fire at some point. 85 wins might win the Central.

#12 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 05:20 PM

I still can't imagine a hot streak by Detroit that pushes them over 90 wins. Of course the mediocrity of the league and second wild card lends to the possibility of an 84-86 win team making the playoffs.

#13 Kwak

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 09:45 PM

Agree, completely.

I don't think the Twins will be sellers. I think the team will be close enough that the FO won't want to sell, but not close enough for them to go all in and reach for a guy like Samaraja (SP?) or Price.

I just hope the team continues to battle. They seem to be confident they can score runs, even when they get down by 4 or 5 runs early. I like that. It makes the games more enjoyable, but I'm not sure they have enough to make a real run at post-season glory, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to risk the greatness of future teams for a wild-card berth.


This is called "half-in, half-out", and yes, I agree with you that this course is the most likely to happen.

#14 old nurse

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:32 AM

A near .500 team at the deadline could have a lot of ground to make up. Ryan probably would not make a short term trade at around 10 games out. On the other hand, in that situation I don't think he would ship out the players that help the team win now for what is called a C prospect. He has enough of those. Any of the 4-5 pitching starters he has or role players would be gone for a prospect. Any player brought in I think would be brought in for their long term potential. A pending free agent would be rented with the try them out before you buy them to see how they fit.

#15 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:40 AM

I believe "anything can happen in the playoffs as long as you have good pitching". I don't think the Twins are there yet.


While that's true, here is some information that might rattle that cage a little bit:

Last 5 World Series teams:
2013
Boston: Best Pitcher: Lester (Expected) St. Louis: Wacha (Unexpected)

2012
Detroit: Anibal Sanchez (Unexpected) San Fran: Vogelsong (Unexpected)

2011
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) St. Louis: Carpenter (Expected, but of a bad bunch)

2010
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) San Fran: Cain (Expected)

2009
NYY: Sabathia (Expected) Philly: Lee (Expected)

What you see when you look back is how many completely out of left-field performances teams that win World Series get from guys you wouldn't expect. You're no more likely to have your ace pitch like an ace than you are to have your former NPB guys like Lewis and Vogelsong.

#16 Thegrin

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:23 AM

The Twins have a (usually) lights out closer and 3 starters who can pitch a shutout on any given day. Of course we want to make the playoffs and see if we can catch 87 in a bottle.

#17 The Wise One

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:56 AM

While that's true, here is some information that might rattle that cage a little bit:

Last 5 World Series teams:
2013
Boston: Best Pitcher: Lester (Expected) St. Louis: Wacha (Unexpected)

2012
Detroit: Anibal Sanchez (Unexpected) San Fran: Vogelsong (Unexpected)

2011
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) St. Louis: Carpenter (Expected, but of a bad bunch)

2010
Texas: Colby Lewis (Unexpected) San Fran: Cain (Expected)

2009
NYY: Sabathia (Expected) Philly: Lee (Expected)

What you see when you look back is how many completely out of left-field performances teams that win World Series get from guys you wouldn't expect. You're no more likely to have your ace pitch like an ace than you are to have your former NPB guys like Lewis and Vogelsong.


The origional point you highlighted was about having good pitching, not just an Ace.
Wacha had a great half year not unexpected unless you were not paying attention to the Cardinals
Vogelsong had a very good year, not unexpected for him to pitch well. Yes you would have expected Cain to outpitch him but Vogelsong's performance wan no surprise.
Sanchez pitched as what was expected of him. That leaves Colby Lewis as your only "unexpected" star pitcher.
So in context of the OPyour post really more proves the point you need to have good pitching. Multiple pitchers and not just an Ace and 3 others with a pulse.
It also takes a good bullpen and offense as the 2002 ALCS would prove.

Edited by The Wise One, 18 June 2014 - 07:04 AM.


#18 Winston Smith

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:22 AM

Right now only one AL team has fewer wins. 12 teams have better records and we are one win worse than last year at this time. Maybe talking playoffs should be put on hold until they improve their record to at least mediocre.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#19 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:25 AM

The origional point you highlighted was about having good pitching, not just an Ace.


Did you miss the part where I said "While that's true"? Yes, you need good pitching. The point is that if you think you add Cliff Lee you get an ace might be true sometimes (2009 Phils) and sometimes you might not. (Philly 2011 or Texas in the WS 2010)

The point is that while you need good pitching, the odds of who is going to give you that good pitching is a crap shoot. Which is precisely "anything can happen".

#20 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:26 AM

Right now only one AL team has fewer wins. 12 teams have better records and we are one win worse than last year at this time. Maybe talking playoffs should be put on hold until they improve their record to at least mediocre.


i do not think they have much shot, but this thread isn't about that.....
Lighten up Francis....

#21 The Wise One

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:01 AM

Did you miss the part where I said "While that's true"? Yes, you need good pitching. The point is that if you think you add Cliff Lee you get an ace might be true sometimes (2009 Phils) and sometimes you might not. (Philly 2011 or Texas in the WS 2010)

The point is that while you need good pitching, the odds of who is going to give you that good pitching is a crap shoot. Which is precisely "anything can happen".


The only pitcher on your list that did not have a very good to great regular season was Lewis.

#22 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:06 AM

The only pitcher on your list that did not have a very good to great regular season was Lewis.


The point is that none of those unexpected best pitchers were the best pitchers on their team. JB's point was that the playoffs are not about "anything can happen" and that just isn't true. Aces choke every year. Former Japan-guys like Vogelsong and Lewis go ace-mode.

While it's true that good pitching is necessary, it comes in all sorts of forms and rarely predictable. The playoffs truly become an "anything can happen" situation.

#23 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:20 AM

The point is that none of those unexpected best pitchers were the best pitchers on their team. JB's point was that the playoffs are not about "anything can happen" and that just isn't true. Aces choke every year. Former Japan-guys like Vogelsong and Lewis go ace-mode.

While it's true that good pitching is necessary, it comes in all sorts of forms and rarely predictable. The playoffs truly become an "anything can happen" situation.

You still have to get there.

And once you do, having an ace and a couple guys who might perform like one for a short time is better than just hoping someone steps up, IMO.

#24 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:39 AM

While it's true that good pitching is necessary, it comes in all sorts of forms and rarely predictable. The playoffs truly become an "anything can happen" situation.


But even if it comes from somewhere unexpected, it doesn't happen if you don't have good pitching. And frankly, while it may occasionally come from somewhere unexpected, it rarely comes as a complete surprise.

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:46 AM

But even if it comes from somewhere unexpected, it doesn't happen if you don't have good pitching. And frankly, while it may occasionally come from somewhere unexpected, it rarely comes as a complete surprise.


This is purely hindsight. Vogelsong going Maddux for the Giants was absolutely a surprise. Look up and down the past WS winners and you will find scrubs turned heroes. Aces and all-stars with garbage performances.

The very nature of playoff performances are a small sample size which, by the very nature of small sample sizes, are prone to all sorts of wonky results. Which, frequently, results in all sorts of unexpected things happening. Basically, if you don't believe that the playoffs are "anything can happen" then you might as well put stock in small sample sizes too.

Chief is right, the regular season is easier to plan for and team building for that is important, but there are a lot of ways to skin that cat.

#26 Rosterman

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

The Twins sell pretty much no matter what.

Willingham is not worth the extension, unless it is a SWEETHEART deal. Yes, it is nice to have an older DH who can play another position. But if the Twins can get something decent in return, and because he can play a position, he will be a candidate for trade.

Correia you should be marketing right now and hope (pray) that he doesn't pull a string of bad starts. He is replaceable. Heck, if Nolesco starts to shine and you can get out from under his contract for a good prospect or two, I would do it, too.

Suzuki is interesting. You need someone to catch, not just catch. The Twins would be doomed with Fryer and Pinto/Herrmann backing him up for the rest of the season. Yes, Pinto could be the future. Playing everyday behind-the-plate NOW is good for him and the Twins. Suzucki could be traded up thru August depending on who would lay a waiver claim on him and if a deal could be worked out. Again, don't see him in the plans for beyond this season. If you need another veteran catcher, you gop out and find one in 2015.

The Twins have numerous bargaining chips in the bullpen. No one wants Burton, but who knows...package him with another player and maybe you get something. Duensing has no worth to the Twins as a short man, sorry. If he can pitch 2-3 innings consistently, then maybe he is worth next year's arbitration. But he has value right now as a lefty out of the pen and dangle him. Swarzak is not necessary long-term either. Will egt too expensive. Could be replaced by Pressley. Or maybe Deduno. Or possibly Pino. Thielbar still works and is under control (Duensing light). You have so many arms in the minors right now: Oliveros, Tonkin, Achter, Guerra, Iberra, Kris Johnson, Logan Darnell, just to name a few, that can rotate in and probably hold their own in relief. Heck, you can resign Albers next year!

The Twins also have to address the need to keep Nunez, what to do about Florimon and Parmelee (Parmelee and Burton for someone, anyone).

No one, I repeat no one, will bring stellar minor league guys (Top 10 from a team). You might be able to swing someone possibly going off the 40-man of another team (which is a risk...keep them or lose them).

But all of this is pending if the Twins would be willing to give nams like Rosario, Romero, Vargas, even Kepler and Burton shots on the major league roster before the season ends, and if the Twins will settle for a 70 or so win season.

Even in the hunt, like now, five games behind and five games under...they should sell and go with youth and play for the future. Unless Detroit totally collapses, the Twins aren't making the playoffs.
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#27 cmb0252

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:04 AM

The Twins will do nothing at the trade deadline like every year. Maybe they make a minor trade of a veteran for a 28 year old career AAAA bull pen arm. The team isn't good enough to go all in but it also isn't bad enough to blow it up.

#28 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:30 AM

I could see the Twins still in the race near the deadline (say, within 5 games of the AL central lead) and be "Buyers" while still trading away some combo of Correia, Willingham or Morales, Duensing or [name your bullpen arm not named Perkins].
I think Kevin Correia in particular is just sticking around as long as he's building trade value once July rolls around.

#29 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 12:43 PM

Most recent trades at the deadline are for marginal prospects. They will involve relievers or corner players, players with a lot of money left or rentals. The supply of these kinds of players is larger and the return is small.

The players that get the best return in trade have positional value. Starting catchers, shortstops, center fielders and middle to the top of the rotation starting pitchers. They get the good return. It is difficult to make trades when you don't have the assets that get a good return.

So much has been made of the Twins failing to trade Willingham at the 2012 deadline. If you look at the trades that summer, there were few trades where the other team would have taken Willingham. The best return for a corner player involved Hunter Pence. Would the Giants have taken Willingham over Hunter Pence? It was reported earlier that spring that Willingham wasn't comfortable in RF. Playing RF at AT&T is very difficult. If the Giants had the option, they certainly chose the right player. The good prospect in the Pence deal was Tommy Joseph. He is not a top 100 guy and is in AA two years after the trade and struggling in AAA last year. So maybe the Twins missed out on Tommy Joseph. It is hard to blame the organization for sticking with Willingham.

If the Twins become sellers this year, they will have little to trade as they have little the previous few years. Fans will be disappointed. It would be so nice to acquire a player like Jean Segura or Nate Eovaldi. It takes a Zach Grienke or Hanley Ramirez to get that return.