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Rusney Castillo

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#61 jokin

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:34 PM

In Cabrera's specific case, sure it's a hindsight argument.

 

But the Twins under Terry Ryan NEVER signed a major international prospect.  By the time TR left in 2007, the Twins MLB payroll was $71 million, and the RECORD HIGH international amateur prospect (non-Cuban) bonus at that time was still only $2.44 million.

 

Nor did they ever pay a higher than expected draft bonus.

 

Both problems have been somewhat mitigated by new slotting/cap rules, but it's silly to pretend that the Twins and TR were not way behind the curve here, with really no one but themselves to blame.

 

(As an aside: do you have a source for the Twins being the 2nd highest bidder for Cabrera? I know they had a bid, but I do not believe it was that competitive.)

 

The Twins FO are masters at feeding well-after-the-fact info to folks like Doogie, ie.,  that they were "right there" at the end of negotiations and in the running for the latest missed FA signing that ended up doing well for another team,  this little snippet then gets reinterpreted and semi-mythologized, eventually becoming "common knowledge" as the Twins fighting the good fight and just missing out, as the  "2nd highest bidder". 


#62 jokin

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

I recommend the Effectively Wild podcast from today, they do a good job of covering this signing.They had an interesting take on Cuban free agents that are currently in the DR, basically asking for six figures for guys that are worse than senior signs in the draft and banking on the continually expanding Cuban bubble.

 

One of these guys will pop it, could be Castillo. But they obviously said the same thing about Abreu and especially Puig and those have been great signings.

 

Bubble burster, maybe, but Tomas might be better than Castillo, and four years younger.

 

Whatever the case, it's a safe bet that the Twins won't be in on most of these Cubans in the DR, unless it's the "quantity over quality" type, that they seem to prefer.

Edited by jokin, 25 August 2014 - 03:37 PM.


#63 Monkeypaws

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:45 PM

Would have loved to see this guy in a Twins uniform. Still, I don't think the Twins will ever be players in the mad-money category. Not making excuses for the tightwads...er, Pohlads, but seriously, if you think the playing field is level in MLB between the Twin Cities, KC, Cleveland, and NY Chicago, LA, you are sorely mistaken. The teams that do best in our tier are well-run, and ahead of the curve, like we were in the MacPhail/Kelly years. Oakland, Tampa Bay, even St. Louis, they don't run with the big boys in money too often, and neither will the Twins.


#64 The Wise One

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:59 PM

How about we wait and see what the guy actually signs for before throwing TR under a bus.....again.  

I hear a schoolbus with a reving motor just waiting for Ryan to get back from Rochester.


#65 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 06:18 AM

I tend to be overly-optimistic about the Twins  (I thought at the beginning of the year they could have a winning record this season), so how's this for a rose-colored glass prediction?

 

The Twins did not seriously pursue Rusney Castillo because they are more interested in the younger, higher updside talent of Yasmani Tomas.

 

If it turns out that TR or Rob Antony tells the press "We don't want Tomas" - well, then, I got nothing.

 

Looking just at this specific case of Castillo signing for $72MM, I have to say that I would be really nervous bringing that player in given that he hasn't played a single Major League game.

 

I think Cespedes is a bit overrated, but his contract was still a great value. Puig's contract also looks good in hindsight, and Abreu's is probably right where it should be. Those three guys managed to surprise the league, but I don't know how often that can happen.

 

The Red Sox certainly paid a premium to find out.

 

Tomas will probably be seeking at least as much $$ as Abreu, being younger also means he might be looking for a shorter contract to start so he can sign another one in a few years as a free agent. Any guess on what the terms of that deal would be? 4 years, 15 MM per year? more?


#66 Beezer07

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:17 AM

For a fanbase that wrings its collective hands over Mauer's contract at every turn, people here sure are willing to spend $72MM on a guy who has never played in MLB before solely because he comes from the same country as a few guys who have been successful (in extremely limited time). Abreu has been great for one season. Puig has been great for just over one season. Cespedes(?) has been greatly overrated for two season and pretty good for one. 

 

I look forward to the "I was wrong. It was good the Twins didn't sign <insert Cuban player here> posts" when these guys start turning into busts.

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#67 drjim

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:14 AM

For a fanbase that wrings its collective hands over Mauer's contract at every turn, people here sure are willing to spend $72MM on a guy who has never played in MLB before solely because he comes from the same country as a few guys who have been successful (in extremely limited time). Abreu has been great for one season. Puig has been great for just over one season. Cespedes(?) has been greatly overrated for two season and pretty good for one. 

 

I look forward to the "I was wrong. It was good the Twins didn't sign <insert Cuban player here> posts" when these guys start turning into busts.

 

Good luck with that. People clamor for every free agent, say I told you so on the few that work out and remain silent for the majority of signings that ultimately don't work out as expected. It's the benefit of being a fan.

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#68 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:14 AM

Um, no, that is unfair. Plenty of people admit they were wrong on these boards. My personal stance is that if you are afraid a FA will bust, so you never take the chance,..... that that leads to years of being terrible. It is better to try and fail, than to sit around paralyzed by fear. Others live their life taking little action, and that is fine. It is not how I live, and not how I want the Twins to live.
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#69 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:18 AM

Good luck with that. People clamor for every free agent, say I told you so on the few that work out and remain silent for the majority of signings that ultimately don't work out as expected. It's the benefit of being a fan.


You know what would be an interesting exercise? Pick a date out in the future, maybe 7 years to cover all of Rusney's new contract. Then compile the total WAR for him, Puig, Abreu, Cespedes, and. Tomas over the time period. Now, cherry-pick the Five Twins drafted or signed in the same rough timeframe with the best production and compile their cumulative WAR. The list might be Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Vargas, and Rosario, who knows. The Cuban group should have the higher cumulative WA R, right? After all, not even mike wants wins expects them to sign more than four of these guys. ;) Now add up the cost for each group. Be respectful and pretend it's OK for even rich people to make wise financial decisions and then ask yourself which route made more sense?
I'm not defending the Twins for pulling out of the hunt for these guys or any future guys. To the contrary, I fault them for not being more aggressive based on the evidence that they were not reported as players for these guys past the early stages if at all. But signing these Cubans is being portrayed as the only, or at least the best way to skin the cat. I get the timetable piece. But can you see the possible wisdom of taking much more palatable risks in search of the same albeit slightly delayed outcome?

#70 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:39 AM

In Cabrera's specific case, sure it's a hindsight argument.
 
But the Twins under Terry Ryan NEVER signed a major international prospect.  By the time TR left in 2007, the Twins MLB payroll was $71 million, and the RECORD HIGH international amateur prospect (non-Cuban) bonus at that time was still only $2.44 million.
 
Nor did they ever pay a higher than expected draft bonus.
 
Both problems have been somewhat mitigated by new slotting/cap rules, but it's silly to pretend that the Twins and TR were not way behind the curve here, with really no one but themselves to blame.
 
(As an aside: do you have a source for the Twins being the 2nd highest bidder for Cabrera? I know they had a bid, but I do not believe it was that competitive.)


You're absolutely right about their pre-2007 international ineptitude. By then, they had acknowledged this mistake and were taking very aggressive steps behind the scenes to correct this huge deficiency, knowing they were going to remain behind the eight ball for some years to come. They expanded their international budget several-fold and began building the infrastructure. Billy Smith was put in charge of establishing the Venezuelen Academy and the Dominican operation, and Ryan put the people in place.

The past is in the past. Presently, they have a well-above average international budget and a larger international staff than most teams in baseball and than every other team in the AL Central I'm guessing based on activity and results. Although KC and Cleveland re definitely very competent internationally. Chicago moved aggressively on Abreu probably in large part because they've been behind the eight ball about as much as the Twins were in 2007. Only the Sox' ineptitude extends to the entire pipeline, not jut the foreign talent.

#71 spycake

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:41 AM

For a fanbase that wrings its collective hands over Mauer's contract at every turn, people here sure are willing to spend $72MM on a guy who has never played in MLB before solely because he comes from the same country as a few guys who have been successful (in extremely limited time). Abreu has been great for one season. Puig has been great for just over one season. Cespedes(?) has been greatly overrated for two season and pretty good for one. 

 

I look forward to the "I was wrong. It was good the Twins didn't sign <insert Cuban player here> posts" when these guys start turning into busts.

You really think Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu are going to "bust"?  That's a really weird argument.  Cespedes has been the "worst" of the three, and he's averaged 3.5 rWAR per season the last 3 years already, and he's only under contract for one more.  Puig and Abreu are on pace for 5 rWAR seasons this year -- they could both "bust" and still be the best position player on the Twins roster.

 

I actually have no problem with passing on Rusney Castillo at $72 mil, or passing on any of these deals in isolation -- but I'm really scratching my head why the Twins never ponied up a mere $2-$3 million for ANY elite amateurs before Sano.  Or even $30-40 mil for elite Cuban players before their market exploded.  And I'm not trying to harp on the past -- I think the same thinking/strategy that informed those decisions is the driving force behind the Twins current actions, NOT the market or the talents of the individual players.  Which is a disappointing way to run/build/re-build a ballclub, from this fan's point of view -- I want the best baseball minds identifying and pursuing the best baseball talent they can find, not simply the best talent they don't have to aggressively bid for.


#72 Rosterman

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:44 AM

Yu have to fail in signing free gents occasionally. Sadly, this was a bad year for Terry Ryan. Happily Morales was an expensive rental and maybe got something in exchange. Willingham sucked for two of his three years and just play the game and trade a guy after a good season instead of hoping he'll do the same (like Suzucki...he is actually more valuable this winter than dueing the summer with a solid two-year contract. If he does halfway as well next season, start cutting bait.

 

The Twins took a hit on Pelfrey. Especially since they hardly got worth out of him the previous year, too. (Maybe we should be happy we didn't sign Scott Baker back). The Nolasco contract hurts. He still has value and you might be able to get out his contract if runs off a few good starts at the right time. But this is one management will point to hen talking free agency tomorrow.

 

And you have to watch stuff like Toshi, who made us lose Hardy in the process, too. 

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#73 JB_Iowa

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:45 AM

Um, no, that is unfair. Plenty of people admit they were wrong on these boards. My personal stance is that if you are afraid a FA will bust, so you never take the chance,..... that that leads to years of being terrible. It is better to try and fail, than to sit around paralyzed by fear. Others live their life taking little action, and that is fine. It is not how I live, and not how I want the Twins to live.

Partial proof of that is, I think, in the relatively small amount of hand-wringing there has been over the Nolasco situation.  He may come back and provide decent value on that contract.  He may not and most of the dollars paid him may be lost.

 

But for the most part people have been pretty rational about what happens.

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#74 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:50 AM

The Twins FO are masters at feeding well-after-the-fact info to folks like Doogie, ie.,  that they were "right there" at the end of negotiations and in the running for the latest missed FA signing that ended up doing well for another team,  this little snippet then gets reinterpreted and semi-mythologized, eventually becoming "common knowledge" as the Twins fighting the good fight and just missing out, as the  "2nd highest bidder".


This is not at all true and it's a cheap shot. You're the one perpetuating myth, my friend.

#75 spycake

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:53 AM

You're absolutely right about their pre-2007 international ineptitude. By then, they had acknowledged this mistake and were taking very aggressive steps behind the scenes to correct this huge deficiency, knowing they were going to remain behind the eight ball for some years to come. They expanded their international budget several-fold and began building the infrastructure. Billy Smith was put in charge of establishing the Venezuelen Academy and the Dominican operation, and Ryan put the people in place.

The past is in the past. Presently, they have a well-above average international budget and a larger international staff than most teams in baseball and than every other team in the AL Central I'm guessing based on activity and results. Although KC and Cleveland re definitely very competent internationally. Chicago moved aggressively on Abreu probably in large part because they've been behind the eight ball about as much as the Twins were in 2007. Only the Sox' ineptitude extends to the entire pipeline, not jut the foreign talent.

They acknowledged something in regards to this back in 2007?  Do you have a cite?

 

What exactly highlighted this problem to them, considering it was the same people in charge at that time (and basically the same people principally in charge today)?

 

The "above average" international budget for academies and scouting, while nice, is irrelevant to actually competing for and signing elite level talent.

 

Outside of Sano, I see no real evidence they pursued a different class of player in the amateur markets from 2007-2011 (before the draft/international spending caps were put in place).  Someone mentioned Kepler, but his bonus was only $800k and the Twins have never had a problem in markets with little competition (Australia and Europe).


#76 twinsfan34

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:00 PM

Speaking of Ponying up $$ for Cubans, Jorge Solar, the Cubs top prospect, has been called up. 22 years old. He signed a 9 year, $30M contract back in 2012.

 

http://www.csnchicag...ler-triple-iowa

 

The Cubs are doing great. Never high on Baez, he's on pace to do about what I thought he'd do: hit .220-255, 30-40 HR, 180-220 strikeouts.

 

They've done very well this year. Bryant will start with the Cubs next year, he's not on the 40 man roster, so not called up this year, but he's killing AAA, 21 HR .302 AVG in 222 ABs, 43 HR overall and has 6 games to go.

 

http://mlbfarm.com/p...layer_id=592178

 

They're basically experiencing what I hoped the Twins would have this year in their Minor Leagues.

 

And they absolutely fleeced Billy Beane in the Addison Russell trade. A marginal #2/#3 starter for a perennial all-star SS in Addison Russell PLUS Billy McKinney, the best HS bat in the 2013 draft class.

 

Reminds me of the time Billy Beane gave up Carlos Gonzalez and a bunch of prospects to get Matt Holiday for 3 months. And traded him for what ended up being Michael Taylor and his -0.3 WAR. oof.


#77 spycake

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:04 PM

I think this tends to be a bit more of a hindsight argument.  29 other teams passed up Cabrera at that price, and the Twins had the 2nd highest bid on him

I am genuinely curious: do you have cite for that claim (that the Twins had the 2nd highest bid on Cabrera)?  I've heard it before, but was unable to find anything to back it up.  The only thing I could find was this from Bleacher Report (which erroneously listed Cabrera's bonus as $1 mil instead of $1.8 so I'm not sure how much to trust it), claiming the Twins offer was only one-fourth that of the Marlins:

 

http://bleacherrepor...national-affair

 

The Twins were not among the teams listed as high bidders in this news account of the signing at the time:

 

http://articles.sun-...outs-dombrowski


#78 Beezer07

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:19 PM

You really think Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu are going to "bust"?  That's a really weird argument.  Cespedes has been the "worst" of the three, and he's averaged 3.5 rWAR per season the last 3 years already, and he's only under contract for one more.  Puig and Abreu are on pace for 5 rWAR seasons this year -- they could both "bust" and still be the best position player on the Twins roster.

 

I actually have no problem with passing on Rusney Castillo at $72 mil, or passing on any of these deals in isolation -- but I'm really scratching my head why the Twins never ponied up a mere $2-$3 million for ANY elite amateurs before Sano.  Or even $30-40 mil for elite Cuban players before their market exploded.  And I'm not trying to harp on the past -- I think the same thinking/strategy that informed those decisions is the driving force behind the Twins current actions, NOT the market or the talents of the individual players.  Which is a disappointing way to run/build/re-build a ballclub, from this fan's point of view -- I want the best baseball minds identifying and pursuing the best baseball talent they can find, not simply the best talent they don't have to aggressively bid for.

 

I should have been clearer and said "these guys" means "free agent Cuban players generally," but it's absolutely possible that those three players turn into busts, although Cespedes is somewhat protected by that because he only has a year left on the contract.


#79 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:23 PM

I should have been clearer and said "these guys" means "free agent Cuban players generally,"

 

but it's absolutely possible that those three players turn into busts,

 

although Cespedes is somewhat protected by that because he only has a year left on the contract.

 

It seems to me it's "absolutely possible", in the same way it is absolutely possible for every single FA signing to bust.  Why do you only single out "Cuban players generally" for special treatment?


#80 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:31 PM

I am not mad about this particular signing, I'm disappointed they never seem to sign any elite free agent players (since McPhail left). until this year, they didn't even spend money on good ones.

 

Frankly, their track record in signing FAs stinks the last few years.......so maybe I should just not want them to sign anyone, and hope that every single prospect magically works out on the same timeline...../s

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#81 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:35 PM

Um, no, that is unfair. Plenty of people admit they were wrong on these boards. My personal stance is that if you are afraid a FA will bust, so you never take the chance,..... that that leads to years of being terrible. It is better to try and fail, than to sit around paralyzed by fear. Others live their life taking little action, and that is fine. It is not how I live, and not how I want the Twins to live.


Agreed, that wasn't a fair portrayal. But mike, if your superiors stopped by your cubicle, told you to turn off TD and step into a performance review, how fair would you think it was if they told you that, not only do they find most of what you do disappointing, but proceeded to tell you that you don't try because you fear failure, you sit around paralyzed by fear, and that you live taking little action, wouldn't you find that to be an unfair and hurtful portrayal of you?

Edited by birdwatcher, 26 August 2014 - 01:22 PM.


#82 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:46 PM

I didn't say the Twins did that. I was replying to people saying they should not sign FAs because they might bust. I have no idea why the Twins refuse to sign Cubans or elite FAs. 

 

Several people posted that the next Cuban or the next one would bust, that they are too expensive, so the Twins should not sign them. I don't think the Twins live in fear, they dealt two starting CFers for minor leaguers. Again, I have no insight into why TR does what he does.

Lighten up Francis....

#83 Monkeypaws

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:50 PM

Um, no, that is unfair. Plenty of people admit they were wrong on these boards. My personal stance is that if you are afraid a FA will bust, so you never take the chance,..... that that leads to years of being terrible. It is better to try and fail, than to sit around paralyzed by fear. Others live their life taking little action, and that is fine. It is not how I live, and not how I want the Twins to live.

 

Along with failed draft picks, injuries, letting the wrong players go, etc.


#84 Boom Boom

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:51 PM

I didn't say the Twins did that. I was replying to people saying they should not sign FAs because they might bust. I have no idea why the Twins refuse to sign Cubans or elite FAs. 

 

Several people posted that the next Cuban or the next one would bust, that they are too expensive, so the Twins should not sign them. I don't think the Twins live in fear, they dealt two starting CFers for minor leaguers. Again, I have no insight into why TR does what he does.

 


Indeed, the Twins are just not players in the Cuban market.  There may be good reasons for that, but the only one I've ever heard is that "they're just too expensive".

 

There's a lot of good young players in Cuba, and many of them are proving to be (relatively) worth the money they get.


#85 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:10 PM

They acknowledged something in regards to this back in 2007? Do you have a cite?

What exactly highlighted this problem to them, considering it was the same people in charge at that time (and basically the same people principally in charge today)?

The "above average" international budget for academies and scouting, while nice, is irrelevant to actually competing for and signing elite level talent.

Outside of Sano, I see no real evidence they pursued a different class of player in the amateur markets from 2007-2011 (before the draft/international spending caps were put in place). Someone mentioned Kepler, but his bonus was only $800k and the Twins have never had a problem in markets with little competition (Australia and Europe).

Sorry, no cite for you, but I'm sure if you wanted to get to the truth of it you could. My first conversation on the topic and most thereafter, were with Ryan's predecessor, who was and is a personal acquaintance, and it was towards the end of his tenure that the problem was "highlighted". From what I was told, with abundant humor, it took a lot of convincing to get the Old Man to pony up, and it probably wouldn't have happened if his boys didn't help the baseball people gang up on him. I recall there were some short articles about what they were up to. The beat writers with access back then were a very weak lot, led by Sir Sid, so not much was written. But it was a big deal, a watershed change, in the organization.

There were probably only paltry signs of improvement in results in the first few years. They expected this to be the case as scouts made connections, reputation got built, etc. And sure, they had decided back then to avoid Japan, which was the hotbed for stupid spending for awhile, and instead established a beachhead in Australia. You seem to want to criticize them for that. Why? And for employing more assets than any other club on Europe as well and paying a record amount to a European kid? Why focus on the fact that the bonus was a mere $800k? What is that supposed to tell us?

And why is spending on infrastructure and scouting talent and travel budgets and the like irrelevant? That's a nonsensical and misguided opinion in my view. These foreign kids are still controlled by their sponsors, and while things are changing, up until now having those competent and connected scouts in place to nurture and manage relationships and maintain a visible presence has been extremely relevant. Your best prospects aren't coming from BA's list, you know. There 's no draft order here. Whether BA ranks them or misses on them or doesn't know they exist (the most probable thing), they're being scouted and approached by many teams. They're being courted by teams for years in many cases.

And exactly what do you mean by a "different class of player"? Exactly what class are Arcia, Pinto, Santana, Sano, Rosario, Vargas, Polanco, Kepler, Jorge, Thorpe, Minier, Diaz, Romero, Rosario, Landa, Beresford, Vielma, Ortiz, Ramirez, and Hu in? Can you name me three teams in all of baseball with a clearly superior talent pool of foreign prospects than these 20 guys?

Edited by birdwatcher, 26 August 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#86 spycake

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:48 PM

And why is spending on infrastructure and scouting talent and travel budgets and the like irrelevant? That's a nonsensical and completely misguided opinion. These foreign kids are still controlled by their sponsors, and while things are changing, up til now having those competent and connected scouts in place to nurture and manage relationships and maintain a visible presence has been relevant. your best prospects aren't coming from BA's list, you know.

And exactly what do you mean by a "different class of player? Exactly what class are Arcia, Pinto, Santana, Sano, Rosario, Vargas, Polanco, Kepler, Jorge, Thorpe, Minier, Diaz, Romero, Rosario, Landa, Beresford Vyielma, Ortiz, Ramirez, and Hu in? Can you name me three teams in all of baseball with a clearly superior talent pool of foreign prospects than these 20 guys?

That kind of infrastructure spending is great, but it is irrelevant to signing known potential elite level amateurs.  We apparently had a Venezuelan academy where Miguel Cabrera played -- didn't matter one whit when teams were bidding $2 mil for him, and we offered substantially less.

 

And I have no problem with scouting/signing in Australia and Europe, but it was a VERY poor substitute for being aggressive and spending a little cash in Latin America.

 

Also, my primary criticisms are pre-2012 (when the amateur spending caps were put in place).  Obviously, since then, we are more or less on equal footing with other teams in this regard (see Buxton and others), but I think the conservative "avoid bidding like the plague" philosophy still informs many other decisions (mainly MLB FA, Cuban/Asian FAs).


#87 spycake

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:53 PM

Sorry, no cite for you, but I'm sure if you wanted to get to the truth of it you could. My first conversation on the topic and most thereafter, were with Ryan's predecessor, who was and is a personal acquaintance, and it was towards the end of his tenure that the problem was "highlighted". From what I was told, with abundant humor, it took a lot of convincing to get the Old Man to pony up, and it probably wouldn't have happened if his boys didn't help the baseball people gang up on him. I recall there were some short articles about what they were up to. The beat writers with access back then were a very weak lot, led by Sir Sid, so not much was written. But it was a big deal, a watershed change, in the organization.

That just doesn't sound right.  The "Old Man" gladly approved $3.5 mil for Ramon Ortiz, etc., but would NEVER sign off on a $2 mil bonus for an elite amateur?

 

Maybe the "Old Man" resisted investing more in international scouting and academies, etc, which is great to see reversed, but it has almost nothing to do with competing for guys like Miguel Cabrera.  The whole world wanted Miguel Sano, it didn't take an academy or an army of scouts to sign him, it took an aggressive cash bid.


#88 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:04 PM

Maybe it was the old man, maybe it was the Dome-Era budget, but in the past the Twins Front Office did not have a choice to be bidders on the open market. Finding the inefficiencies in the market and signing players without much or any outside competition was how they build their minor league system.

 

It should be a different story going forward, assuming the younger Pohlads are willing to increase payroll to sign these players. It could be some of that old time philosophy lingering in the minds and words and deeds of Terry Ryan. Why spend 70MM on a guy when you can instead spend 70,000 on a guy no one else has heard of? 

 

I hope I'm wrong, but with each big contract being bigger than the last, it might actually make the Twins less likely to jump into the Cuban player Market.

 

The Cubs signing Soler is interesting because they were able to get him right before the rules changed. If they hadn't signed the contract that week, they could not have offered him $30MM, they would have been restricted to only pay $2.9MM, which means he may have waited until he was older to leave Cuba and sign with an ML team.


#89 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:19 PM

That kind of infrastructure spending is great, but it is irrelevant to signing known potential elite level amateurs.  We apparently had a Venezuelan academy where Miguel Cabrera played -- didn't matter one whit when teams were bidding $2 mil for him, and we offered substantially less.
 
And I have no problem with scouting/signing in Australia and Europe, but it was a VERY poor substitute for being aggressive and spending a little cash in Latin America.
 
Also, my primary criticisms are pre-2012 (when the amateur spending caps were put in place).  Obviously, since then, we are more or less on equal footing with other teams in this regard (see Buxton and others), but I think the conservative "avoid bidding like the plague" philosophy still informs many other decisions (mainly MLB FA, Cuban/Asian FAs).


If you insist that having people with relationships and connections, scouting and nurturing relationships for years, has nothing to do with successfully signing these Latin players, then it doesn't make a lick of sense to talk further on the subject.

So, you're dead right.

#90 drjim

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:20 PM

That just doesn't sound right.  The "Old Man" gladly approved $3.5 mil for Ramon Ortiz, etc., but would NEVER sign off on a $2 mil bonus for an elite amateur?

 

Maybe the "Old Man" resisted investing more in international scouting and academies, etc, which is great to see reversed, but it has almost nothing to do with competing for guys like Miguel Cabrera.  The whole world wanted Miguel Sano, it didn't take an academy or an army of scouts to sign him, it took an aggressive cash bid.

 

For context, do you know how many international free agents had a bonus larger than Cabrera when he signed? It was less than ten, an I think he was top 5 all time.

 

To complain about the Twins not spending more at the time is to complain that they never signed one of the top 5 all time bonuses, which, considering the financial situation they were dealing with at the time, seems a little unfair.

Papers...business papers.