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Article: Deal or No Deal: Considering Contract Extensions

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#21 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

Twin DHs combined for a 280/370/490 slash line before Morales joined the roster. The 860 OPS production they were getting from DH was significantly better than any other position. Second was 2B production at 784.

Teams don't have to have a dedicated DH. Rotating players through that spot can help keep the roster healthy while giving reasonable production. Without Morales, Willingham would have been used more at DH after his return. The days off in the field might have helped him keep his production at a higher level of performance.

If a team is going to devote a roster spot to a DH, they better find someone that can put up the production of an Ortiz or Thome. Is that what we can expect from Morales?

#22 Brian Mozey

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:07 PM

Just to let you know Suzuki wasn't a starter in the All Star Game. He caught one inning and didn't even bat.

#23 TRex

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:08 PM

My problem, Nick, is we differ on the one basic premise that holds your suggestions together: That Pinto is the long term solution at catcher. I just see no evidence of that, either from Pinto when he's been behind the plate or from anything the front office has indicated about their thinking.


... and do you really want your up-and-coming studs (May, Meyer, and maybe Berrios next year) pitching to someone they may not have confidence in? Young pitchers have a hard enough time throwing strikes and not nibbling on the corners.

#24 TCisNotaBear

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:28 PM

Disagree on Dozier. I think you lock him up cheaply. You can always move him, and he's looking like a player that will be in high demand at that point.


What is cheaply? Or better what is realistic?

#25 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:32 PM

Suzuki
As I've said previously I'm not dead set one way or another (trade him or extend him). I am dead set on doing SOMETHING by the end of August (and I'd really prefer it be by the trade deadline). A two year extension doesn't bother me. Three years makes me gulp. I freely acknowledge that the Twins would be buying high but in terms of $$$, I don't really think that matters.

But I will probably throw something through the TV or computer screen if they sit on their hands and don't do SOMETHING with Suzuki before 8/31.

Morales

I'd prefer he be dealt if there is any type of decent return. I will concede the possible advantage of mentoring the up and coming Latin players. I'm just not sure it outweighs the need for flexibility with the DH position as the roster is constructed.

Willingham
So long, Josh. I've enjoyed your HRs at TF.

Dozier
I don't see him ever moving back to SS. If they could get a fabulous return, the Twins should be open to a trade (I think they should ALWAYS be open to the possibility of a trade for any player). But I really don't see it happening. I also don't see any need for a mid-season extension. If they want to talk about buying out years this fall/winter, that's fine.

#26 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

More than anything else, Glen Perkins comment about Pinto seemed to sway the public opinion on Pinto. It went from needing some more work to will never be a catcher. The needing more work makes sense. He had very little time in AAA. We saw how well that went for Hicks and Parmelee.

Stating that Pinto can never be a major league catcher is quite a leap for a young player with little time to learn above AA. The Twins staff must think differently. They never tried to move him to a different position while in the minors.

It is hard to find evidence in the data that he will not improve enough defensively so that his bat can make up the difference.

He was given the job of Deduno's personal catcher this year and about half of his starts at catcher are with Deduno pitching. He didn't fare very well with Deduno. Is that surprising? An inexperienced catcher receiving a pitcher with little command. It is astounding to me that Gardenhire would think this is a good match. Deduno is a wild pitch machine and Suzuki is one of the better wild pitch preventers in the league. Matching Pinto with Deduno set both up for failure and helped to change the perception of Pinto.

If you are interested you can look at how Pinto did with other pitchers this year.

http://twinsdaily.co...ming-by-Battery

The full data is available to anyone on the Baseball Prospectus site.

After that visit Baseball Savant and look at some of the data and graphics. You can sort pitch fx data in every way one might imagine.

http://baseballsavant.com/index.php

I have captured some graphics comparing Pinto and Suzuki receiving pitches in the bottom third of the strike zone over their career. They look more similar than dissimilar. They are clearly better than Doumit. Clearly weaker than an average framer like Butera and significantly worse than a good framer like Lucroy.


Good stuff.
Papers...business papers.

#27 Willihammer

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:04 PM

It is hard to find evidence in the data that he will not improve enough defensively so that his bat can make up the difference.


Statcorner says Pinto costs the Twins -2.87 strikes per game. They use Mike Fast's weights of about .13 runs/strike. Therefore, Pinto's bat would need to make up for over a third of a run per game.

For reference, the median catcher with >100 PAs at this point is Wilin Rosario, whose wOBA is .306.

In 241 PAs, Pinto's wOBA is .357 (about 1/3 are as DH)

He's also got a 19% HR/FB ratio (to go with a roughly average BABIP).

It all depends on where you think he'll settle as a batter I guess. Or how much you think he'll improve with the glove, but a .357 catcher is good for .204 additional runs compared to a .306 catcher, for every 4 PAs. Netting out somewhere around -.17 runs/game

Edited by Willihammer, 18 July 2014 - 02:18 PM.
math


#28 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:20 PM

Just to let you know Suzuki wasn't a starter in the All Star Game. He caught one inning and didn't even bat.


What I meant is that he won't want to be a backup considering that he's been a starter for most of this season and made the All-Star team in that capacity. Sorry if that was confusing.

My problem, Nick, is we differ on the one basic premise that holds your suggestions together: That Pinto is the long term solution at catcher.


He might not be, but I would take my chances on him over the next several years rather than Suzuki. He's way younger, he's going to be a much better hitter, and I don't believe the defensive difference will be THAT great when you account for the fact that Pinto is still learning and Suzuki (who I don't view as a top-notch backstop) is aging into his 30s.

#29 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:28 PM

Statcorner says Pinto costs the Twins -2.87 strikes per game. They use Mike Fast's weights of about .13 runs/strike. Therefore, Pinto's bat would need to make up for over a third of a run per game.

For reference, the median catcher with >100 PAs at this point is Wilin Rosario, whose wOBA is .306.

In 241 PAs, Pinto's wOBA is .357 (about 1/3 are as DH)

He's also got a 19% HR/FB ratio (to go with a roughly average BABIP).

It all depends on where you think he'll settle as a batter I guess. Or how much you think he'll improve with the glove, but a .357 catcher is good for .204 additional runs compared to a .306 catcher, for every 4 PAs. Netting out somewhere around -.17 runs/game


It is possible to go deeper on BP or baseball savant. How much of the stat corner is related to catching Deduno? It can be isolated with more detail. I tried to show that with the split by battery.

#30 h2oface

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:31 PM

I love it. Suzuki playing great at an iron man 30, a leader, and might slink back to .274 (or even .250 let's say). How many times have I wished the Twins had a catcher that would hit that other than Mauer is off the scale. I say deal..... and if you must, trade Pinto. I see Mitch Garver as the future Twins catcher, with Stuart Turner in the back up maybe as soon as 2016. Both Johnny Bench finalists in 2013 with Turner the winner. Real catchers. Garver has the bat, though, as well. Pinto still hasn't proven he can hit in the show, or catch very well...... and how about those throws to second? Pinto will be a DH at best, and if the Twins really do have the studs as promoted and believed by all of baseball....... they will need the DH to keep some of those guys in the order when not on the field.

Morales...... playing horrible, and a tubby out of shape 31...... but he is a keeper? Not in my book. Get all you can for him. Hopefully other GM's will think the same thing as Nick, but I think they are wrong, and Kendrys has shown the best he has and is on a quick regression out of the game.
To keep him seems a lot like Gardenhire's thinking coming out of spring training. Unfortunaltey for this fan..... Nick's predictions are probably right, even if it is for all the wrong reasons for me.

Dozier has been amazing, but "already become a great player"? Great is taking on a new meaning in this twitter age, i guess. I have to reserve great for greatness, and that only comes with consistent performance over a much longer span of time. There is plenty of time to decide what Dozier's future is, and he will have his own decisions to make as well.

Edited by h2oface, 18 July 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#31 frightwig

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 02:49 PM

I don't think I'd extend any of them, unless the Twins really could sign Kendrys for 1-2 years at a bargain price.

Dozier seems like exactly the kind of guy you don't want to bet on, more than a couple years out. He was a 25 year-old rookie, established as a decent regular at 26, looking like an above-average 2B in his breakout year at 27. That alone would make me suspect "short peak," but when a guy has a .242 avg (and batting .227/.338/.400 against RHP) at age 27, what is he going to look like when he's a little older, a little banged up, and his bat starts to slow down even slightly?

A 2B hitting .242 is fine as long as he's drawing walks, hitting homers, and playing decent defense. Pretty good, actually. But if he's hitting .225, and .205 vs RHP, or maybe even worse... Dozier's early 30s could be a lot like Dan Uggla's. That might even be optimistic.

I think the Twins would be wise to pay Dozier year-by-year for as long as he's under club control, and either trade him sometime in the next few years, or just let him go when he becomes a free agent, and collect a draft pick.

#32 Willihammer

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 03:03 PM

How much of the stat corner is related to catching Deduno? It can be isolated with more detail. I tried to show that with the split by battery.

I'm not convinced Deduno should be singled out (his pitches are repeatable and his command of them isn't that terrible - Pinto is also no better catching Mike Pelfrey who throws nothing but straight fastballs), but for the sake of argument let's assume Deduno is the problem.

Of the 1175 non-Deduno chances Pinto is -37.1 strikes. A rate of -3.2% strikes vs. the -5.4% catching Deduno.

On a per game basis he is -4.12 strikes/game catching Deduno and -2.45 strikes/game catching everyone else.

So, he would still need to make up for .32 runs/game with the bat. He would need to carry an .377 wOBA just to break even.

#33 Dantes929

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

Suzuki

The only guy worth paying full price. The vibes I get convince me that the Twins don't see Pinto as "the guy", and I'm inclined to agree. Make him the backup come September and all of next season. If Pinto can convince people he's a #1C, it will be easy to trade Suzuki.

Morales

What has he done that screams sign me? A .58 OPS screams "you lost your bet on me!" If the Twins believe they need a power hitter--get an OFer! The need is great and the in-house OFers are at best "iffy", generally AAAA-types. Let that collection of nags "duke it out" amongst themselves to fill the other corner--including the use of a platoon.

Willingham

!@#$ NO! Trade him for a useful part, or keep him if only junk is offered.

Dozier

I fully expect the Twins will offer him a deal, but it will likely be after next season. There isn't any rush.

It will not be easy to trade Suzuki when considering the amount we will need to pay to keep him here. He is having a career year. He is a solid guy but there is a reason we got him for 2 mil. He is a .255 career hitter. As tough as he looks and probably is he is not a superstar defensive catcher either.

#34 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 04:04 PM

I'm not convinced Deduno should be singled out (his pitches are repeatable and his command of them isn't that terrible - Pinto is also no better catching Mike Pelfrey who throws nothing but straight fastballs), but for the sake of argument let's assume Deduno is the problem.

Of the 1175 non-Deduno chances Pinto is -37.1 strikes. A rate of -3.2% strikes vs. the -5.4% catching Deduno.

On a per game basis he is -4.12 strikes/game catching Deduno and -2.45 strikes/game catching everyone else.

So, he would still need to make up for .32 runs/game with the bat. He would need to carry an .377 wOBA just to break even.


How does Suzuki fare?

How do they project? I assume that Pinto is young enough to improve at the plate and behind the plate. I also expect Suzuki's bat to regress and decline.

#35 kab21

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 04:42 PM

Suzuki - Deal. I don't think he will want an unreasonable amount. I like Pinto but the Twins have no depth at catcher and if Pinto struggles or gets injured the Twins won't be worrying if they catcher slinks back to a .260 hitter but rather they will be worrying if their catcher hits .160.

Morales - No Deal. I'm bullish on Vargas and Morales/Mauer completely block him. I think he's a guy whose body is older than his actual age. That injury a couple of years ago really messed him up.

Willy - Deal but not now. Trade him now but look to bring him back in the offseason. I don't see him getting a multi-year contract and despite the Twins depth of OF'ers in the minors they have almost nothing at OF in the majors. Another year of an experienced middle of the order bat would be nice.

Dozier - whatever. My preference would be a deal giving the Twins cost certainty during arb years and reward Dozier with some guaranteed money (perhaps a little more front loaded than his projected arb money). BUT THEY SHOULDN'T TRADE HIM unless they are completely blown away.

#36 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:17 PM

What is cheaply? Or better what is realistic?


Dozier could get the following with no contract:
2015 - 3M
2016 - 6M
2017 - 9M
2018 - FA

This assumes he stays healthy and produces. He trades for guaranteed dollars and gives a bit in security. Usually these get a 1 year or two of free agency. This typically would yield a 4/20ish contract (probably a bit higher) buying out a year of FA. If he continues to improve, that contract becomes immensely valuable. They may even be able to add an option for 8-10M for a fifth year.

#37 Jim H

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 07:04 PM

We have 70 games to look at these guys, unless there is a trade. I wouldn't be in hurry to extend any of them. Maybe Willingham gets traded, I doubt if anyone else on this list gets traded. So, let's get through the season, see how everyone did, and then make some decisions. I doubt if the Twins have ruled Pinto out as a fulltime catcher, why would they? I have no idea what the Twins should do with Morales, I doubt if they do either. Let's watch Suzuki for the rest of the season, maybe get Pinto back up in August sometime. Maybe things look a bit clearer at the end of the season.

I think the Twins like Dozier a lot. But there is no big hurry to extend him or trade him or do much of anything but let him play. At some point, maybe Rosario or Polanco will get close enough to the majors and show enough that the Twins will have to make some decisions. I don't think that point is now.

#38 goulik

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:06 AM

Suzuki- No Deal, sell high and hope (really try) to resign in the off season for two years. We have the money and need at the position for a veteran.

Willingham- No Deal, Thank You Josh but our time together is done, Bye bye

Morales- No Deal, find a veteran in the off season that can play OF and offer the same veteran experience for young players to look up to. I like your thinking Nick but we have holes

Dozier- let's talk, higher next two years than what he'd get in arbitration for 2-4 years cheaper than what he'd get after that at a reasonable rate that could be traded or built around? Deal. (Eg. 5-6 years with the 6th being a team and/or player option w/buyout option at 4-6 million per year) higher demands? We can wait to make that deal

Bull pen FA's- No Deal, plenty of guys deserving a call up to fill these positions on the cheap and possibly/probably better over all than what we have (and what we have overall really is good)

Correia- No Deal, With all the negatives I have heard on him he really has served his Pavano role that we hoped for with him. I prefer him over Pelfrey and Nolasco at this point but the problem is we do have them and its time to call up the future.

#39 jorgenswest

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:49 AM

The Twins are a mid market team. They can afford to pay the arbitration cost. The difference between that number and the negotiated number isn't going to be enough to matter.

Dozier is under team control until age 32. I look forward to the big dollars he will earn based on big performance.

#40 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

Agree on all four, Nick.

Minor quibbles: 1. I wouldn't complain if they extended Dozier. 2. I don't really care if it takes more money (2/$20?) to sign Morales. Money isn't now, and won't be for a while, a hindrance for this team.