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Is It Too Early To Start Thinking About Free Agency Moves For Next Year?

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#1 DocBauer

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:02 PM

Amidst all the trade discussion and promotion speculation, I don't think it is.

At this point, it might be very difficult to speak of players individually, but despite a plethora of outstanding prospects on their way up, some who will yet audition this season for 2015, some who gain the opportunity next ST, the simple truth is there will be some holes on next year's club that will have to be filled.

Types of players, ages and contracts are all very debateable. Does the age and future relevance of a prospective FA signing have merit if they'll raise the level of play and winning percentage of our beloved Twins really matter? Or are smart signings to put a quality product on the field, augmented by quality players already on the club, or soon to be, the real point?

Again, there will be holes to fill. Despite being aggressive in FA last season, the Twins didn't shoot their complete financial load by any stretch. Even if you don't include the prorated contract of Morales, the loss of Willingham, Correia and Burton alone decreases the payroll another 16M. Then there is another 2-3M from Kubel and Barlett. (Shudder) As of this writing, Suzuki is a 2.5M mystery. The whole point being, the Twins had/have money to work with, plus another 16-20M. And if I missed something more, my apologies.

FA for 2015 could/should see the Twins make anywhere from TWO to FIVE significant signings.

CF=Buxton simply isn't going to be ready. Do you roll with Santana here while still getting time at SS? If you bring back Fuld, he's a 4th OF type. Do you trust Hicks? Rosario...see Buxton. So there is, again, a real need, potentially, for a quality ML fill in CF option.

LF=RF is in Arcia's hands, and still should be at this point. So who plays LF next season? Parmelee has actually shown life signs of being an actual, viable, contributing ML player. But a contributing, full time ML RF next season? Come on now. Walker is in A ball, and while CF options could provide quality LF alternatives....errr...ummm...see CF again. This could be a 1-2 year option. Then again, with payroll flexibility, what if there is a younger, longer term option that doesn't break the bank?

DH=Many teams in the AL posses a quality, everyday DH. The Twins do not. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as a well rounded roster can roll various players in to the DH roll. I don't know that the Twins will have a well rounded roster next season, but, with enough overall depth on the roster in young talent, perhaps a veteran DH is a luxury. Then again....

RHRP=The Twins still have Fien, and my guess is they still will next year. And he's been a real surprise. But is he your veteran, proven setup man next season? The Twins have a nice group of potential relievers sitting at AAA right now, with Pressly just promoted. I doubt you trust one of them, initially at least, over Fien. So again, do you sign a quality setup man to deepen your bullpen?

SP=After signing Nolasco and Hughes this past offseason, Gibson's emergence, and May and Meyer about ready to get their shot, plus the possibles of Darnell, Pino, Deduno and Pelfrey, I really doubt the Twins do anything in this area. BUT...what if Nolasco's elbow strain suddenly turns out to be something more serious? Considering some of the recent bad luck the Twins have had, you never know. Then what?

There are some real holes that have to be considered for next season. How we fill them is open to debate.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#2 goulik

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:38 PM

I hope Ryan spends big on an OF. Bringing in two OF with one being a place holding CF would be great. How about Span in Center and Hunter in Left? ( are they both free agents or am I remembering that incorrectly?)

I don't think there will be free agent signings for DH or RHRP.

There is a possibility of a starter signing as TR said several times "you can never have too much starting pitching" but I hope we run with what we have and prospects. I want to see a lot of Meyers and Mays starting next year with Gibson, Hughes and a resurgent Nolasco... Ok maybe we need one more.

The area you missed is Catcher... I think we will need a veteran catcher. I say we sign Baltimore free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki to a two year contract

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:04 PM

Seems to be another weak class - here's a report from mlbtraderumors on the best available: http://www.mlbtrader...rankings-4.html


#4 The Wise One

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:07 AM

They will need to find a righty for out of the pen. Let the pitchers down on the rarm fill the other roles, but a team usually needs two solid righties for 7/8 duties if the team is actually ahead.
Offer Scherzer enough money to make it hurt for Detroit to sign him. He won't sign here but it could hamper Detroit into weakening somewhere else. If he signs here, great. Remeber that the Twins have been helpful to Boras with Pelfrey and Morales. Steering a little quality this way could be a nice payback.
There is still a lot of time to figure out if Arcia, Hicks, Parmelee, and Santana are major league capable. Escobar may have proved himself major league ready. I wouldn't worry about MI or OF yet. Resign Fuld for a back up. It is not great, but he is having a career year.
Catcher. Pitch framing has a very low correlation to runs scored. However, it wouldn't hurt to give Martin a 2 year offer
There is not a 3B better than Plouffe as a free agent. There wasn't much there. Headley for a one year contract to rebuild his worth? It is the thing Ryan likes.

#5 JustcallupSANO

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:32 AM

CF- Denard Span on a one year deal as a fill in player till Buxton"s arrival in 2016.

LF- Bring back Torii Hunter... Fan Favorite (one of my all time favorite twins), Good clubhouse guy, can teach Buxton things when Buxton gets here in 2016, and finally Torii is a Twin period not an Angel and definitely not a Tiger so let him retire a Twin. Two year deal with an option for a third.

C- Russell Martin is a good catcher with both the bat and on the field. Two year deal.  Add a possible backup on a minor league deal?

SP- If he's not a lefty don't bother. Twins need an Ace, the best kind of Ace's are lefties. Add Jon Lester hopefully we could be a dark horse and snatch him up for the future. I think Lester would like those big fences too. Six year deal.

3B- Just stick with Plouffe but if you feel like his defense is bad then make him the DH and sign Chase Headley I guess.


#6 freshinthehouse

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:27 AM

I would spend some $$$ on a time machine, go back and stop the Nolasco deal from happening, then throw a mega-deal at James Shields.  Much rather him at, say, 20 mill a year, than Nolasco at 12-13.

 

I second the idea of going after Hunter on a 1-2 year deal.  I know in the past Hunter has said he was amenable to resigning with the Twins, so make it happen TR.

 

Gerald Laird as a backup catcher.  Dude has been around, is supposed to be a good clubhouse guy, and I can't imagine he'd put up big enough numbers to push himself ahead of Pinto as the #1 catcher.  I wanted Pinto to get the rest of this season and next season to prove he can be the guy.

BYTO R.I.P.

#7 ScottyB

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:12 AM

If we're looking for free agents, we'll probably have the following to pick from:

 

Catchers - AJ and Ryan Doumit (and maybe Suzuki)

1B/OF - Michael Cuddyer

IF - Alexi Casilla and JJ Hardy (Nicky P has an option with the A's)

OF - Hunter (Span has an option with the Nats), but Kenny Wilson appears to be available on waivers every couple weeks

DH - Kendrys and Delmon Young

SP - Francisco Liriano

Relievers - LaTroy Hawkins (has option with Rox), Jesse Crain, Craig Breslow (has option with Bosox), Pat Neshek and Jose Mijares

 

On minor league deals we could offer Kubel, Bartlett, Guerrier, Burton, Carl Pavano, Matt Tolbert

 

:roll:


#8 The Wise One

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:18 AM

Maybe the could see if Rod Carew has anything left. Maybe since he has had a few years rest, Mudcat Grant could stage a comeback

#9 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:17 AM

I don't expect much in the way of significant signings.  I could see a 3 year deal to a a decent corner OF, but the CF/DH positions are going to be one year deals with guys like Buxton and Vargas needing a bit more time.  I could also see them rolling the dice with Parmelle in LF for a year as well.  I don't expect any SP signing.  With the number of decent high minors relievers, I'm not even sure they do much in that area.


#10 drjim

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:33 AM

I expect they go big on a SP and add a corner bat and catcher in more modest deals. If they trade Fein, probably take a flyer on a RHRP. They would also sign a stopgap CF if possible, but they won't go 2 years and that player rarely exists in FA.
Papers...business papers.

#11 DocBauer

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:47 AM

Goulik, you are correct, I did not include a catcher. That is due to Pinto waiting in the wings, and a possible ML ready replacement. And, Suzuki re-signing is, at this moment, still a real possibility.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#12 kdrupp09

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:55 AM

I think if they sign a CF it will be on a one year deal because if Buxton is healthy and able to rake at AA, he will be up around the All Star break next season anyway.  That being said, I say roll with Santana playing CF and resign Fuld as your 4th OF and hold down the fort until Buxton is ready.  Plus, the Twins would have a hard time getting a decent CF to come here because of Buxton.


#13 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:01 AM

Span would make a ton of sense if he comes available.

 

I'd love to see them gamble on Rasmus too.


#14 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:08 AM

You guys are trolling on Hunter, right? He can barely field right now at all. This wouldn't be an issue if they'd have signed a cuban or two the last few years.......

 

I see a RP (instead of using young players from the farm), and a stop gap, bad, OF in their future. Maybe a catcher too.

Lighten up Francis....

#15 iTwins

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

I'm all for bringing Span back to bridge the gap to Buxton. I'm not so sure about Hunter, from the looks of things he may already be at the end of the line...I don't know if he'd have enough left to help the Twins. I like Russell Martin at catcher - he can split time if Pinto is ready, or start most of the games if not. I'd like the Twins to go after Brandon McCarthy as well. One more pitcher certainly wouldn't hurt things...

 

To recap, I'd vote for:

 

CF: Span

C: Martin

SP: McCarthy


#16 mike wants wins

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:59 AM

McCarthy is just another guy to block May and Meyer. Assuming Nolasco is healthy....you have him, Hughes, Gibson, May, Meyer, with Berrios closing fast and 3-4 AAA guys around to fill in when needed. Either sign an ELITE SP, or use the farm.

  • nicksaviking, beckmt and JustcallupSANO like this
Lighten up Francis....

#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:09 AM

McCarthy is just another guy to block May and Meyer. Assuming Nolasco is healthy....you have him, Hughes, Gibson, May, Meyer, with Berrios closing fast and 3-4 AAA guys around to fill in when needed. Either sign an ELITE SP, or use the farm.

 

Agree.  I don't buy McCarthy's 1.5 point jump in K/9 in his contract year.  He was terrible in AZ, he was mediocre to terrible in OAK and CHI, his three nice starts in NY aren't going to convince me.  Even 10 nice starts aren't going to convince me that he won't turn into a pumpkin again once after his contract year is over.

 

Go for upside or go home with free agent pitchers. 

Edited by nicksaviking, 29 July 2014 - 09:10 AM.

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#18 tobi0040

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:25 AM

I would like to see at least one bat added.  Whether it be a corner OF or DH, we need some consistency.  After four years of praying guys like Colabello or Parmelee step up, the fewer spots we set aside for guys like that the better.  Nelson Cruz, Victor Martinez, or Pablo Sandoval.  I get this will cost us $$$ but we should have some. Maybe Torii would sign as a DH.  He would be a stable bat, good mentor to Buxton when he is up, and good in the clubhouse.  We need a righty.

 

The best catcher option would be Russell Martin, but unlikely.

 

As far as a pitcher goes, I would rather see nothing than another filler guy like Pelfrey or Correia. I would love to see Jon Lester, but that is very unlikely.  The best option may be a trade. 

Edited by tobi0040, 29 July 2014 - 09:27 AM.


#19 Brandon

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

Pino is the next Corriea.  Or more specifically he's this generations Fred Toliver or Les Straker.  he could turn out to be more but these guys had a nice run with the Twins and Pino appears to be on that same run too.  and for that no starting pitcher needs to be signed this winter.

 

I think Santana/ Fuld/ Escobar work as the CF / SS combo with Santana going back and forth while we wait for Buxton.  We might sign a AAA CF that could play up here as a depth move.  We could also go get Span if his option is not picked up on a 1 year deal but I think he can still get a 2 or 3 year deal out there just less than 9 million per season. 

 

Hunter or Cuddyer for the OF on a 1 or 2 year deal.  Hunter needs 2 more seasons to put his career statistics into Hall of Fame category.  He'll have over 1300 RBI at the end of this year and 1500 is a bench mark for the Hall Of Fame.  He also is tied for most Gold gloves for a career OF.  Finishing his career a Twin could give him an edge since this is where he is known from.  Especially if we are able to win one of these years.

 

Bullpen is optional I think we loose Swarzak and maybe Burton this offseason.  I think we'll keep Deunsing.   I think we also keep Deduno another season.  We have a few arms ready to step in and Burdi on the way so I think at best we could sign  reliever on the cheap for depth which I why I think we may bring back one of Swarzak or more likely Burton. 

Edited by Brandon, 29 July 2014 - 09:28 AM.


#20 tobi0040

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:38 AM

If we're looking for free agents, we'll probably have the following to pick from:

 

Catchers - AJ and Ryan Doumit (and maybe Suzuki)

1B/OF - Michael Cuddyer

IF - Alexi Casilla and JJ Hardy (Nicky P has an option with the A's)

OF - Hunter (Span has an option with the Nats), but Kenny Wilson appears to be available on waivers every couple weeks

DH - Kendrys and Delmon Young

SP - Francisco Liriano

Relievers - LaTroy Hawkins (has option with Rox), Jesse Crain, Craig Breslow (has option with Bosox), Pat Neshek and Jose Mijares

 

On minor league deals we could offer Kubel, Bartlett, Guerrier, Burton, Carl Pavano, Matt Tolbert

 

:roll:

This was the funniest post I have read in awhile.  I would add Valencia and jason Repko.


#21 clank2000

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

I'm sure we could work out a deal with the Sugar Land Skeeters for Roger Clemens.


#22 DocBauer

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:46 PM

Going to contribute to my own thread here to see what anyone thinks.

I didn't include a FA catcher as an option, as I stated, because in theory we may have an option available in Pinto, and because Suzuki could still be re-signed. I like the proposed idea of Martin as a possible signing. Always been a fan of his.

Between options and re-signings, as well as possible surprises, it's hard to say at this point, for sure, who might indeed be available.

I'm still thinking the Twins might bring in a quality setup man to work with Fein to keep the bullpen strong. Those 2, with Perkins, Thielbar and Duensing with Darnell, Ibarra, O'Rourke, Thompson, could be a very solid LH side to offer. That leaves Tonkin, Achter, Pressly, Swarzak, and possibly even Pino and Deduno as RH options for a strong pen. A healthy Nolasco with Hughes, Gibson, May, Meyer and possibly even Pelfrey, I just don't see a major SP signed.

I believe the real FA targets for 2015 will be at CF, corner OF, and possibly DH/bench bat.

I've seen Span mentioned, and I like that idea. He's never been a star but is a very solid ball player. He could still be backed up or share time with Santana, allowing Santana more time at SS as well, and offers a legit, veteran CF with an overall solid skill set to help at the top of the order and play solid defense. He wouldn't break the bank, and would pretty much replace Fuld.

While it would be amazingly cool for the Twins to find an under 30 yo corner OF who isn't stiff, can swing a legit bat with some power, and throw some real money at him, might it be more prudent and expected for a shorter term temp option? Work with me here, I'm not trying to play a game of "putting the band back together", but would Cuddyef, and possibly Hunter as well, be a realistic option to fill a role for a year, two at most?

Not saying they are the best or only options that will be available, but if both are healthy, they could split time in the OF and DH with Parmelee possibly. Cuddyer could also play some 1B. Cuddy has shown a solid bat since he left, and may still have some life left for a year or two. Hunter is down some this year. But does it mark the end? Or just a down year with a little gas left in the tank for a year or two as well? No question they'd bring a strong veteran, professional ethic to the team as the youngsters continue to develop and get promoted.

Again, while either or both would be a great "coming home" story, that's not enough reason to bring either on board, and they would only be short term options to fill a couple holes while giving the likes of Buxton, Hicks, Rosario, Vargas, Walker and Sano a little more time. And there may be other quality temp options out there. But am I nuts to think about these guys as possibles?

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#23 mike wants wins

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

Hunter is terrible this year, why are people suggesting him? How does he help in any way?

Lighten up Francis....

#24 Linus

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:00 AM

How come the Twins get ridiculed for bringing back former players and now this thread is filled with "bring back (fill in the blank with former Twin".


#25 goulik

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

There is a difference in bringing back a Span type player as a stop gap 1-2 year player who is still performing and bringing back a Kubel who was cut from his last team. (Cuddyer fits this profile as well)

#26 Mike Frasier Law

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:32 AM

What about SS? Are we all of the opinion that Santana will be the every day SS next year if we have a legitimate OF? If not, is there a FA available worth the money?

 

I wouldn't spend a dime on relief pitchers, and I think the Twins have enough confidence in developing from within on that front.


#27 drjim

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:57 AM

Like almost every year, very hard to find CF, SS or C in free agency of any value.

Papers...business papers.

#28 jorgenswest

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

They need to stop adding decline phase players to multiyear contracts. No contracts into the age 32 season unless the player is elite.

They don't need a good player to decline to mediocre at the end of the contract at the same time the younger players are taking a step forward.

Span is a perfect example of a player to avoid. Sign him to a three year contract and expect one good year and two other below average years due to injury or decline.

Once they have a foundation, signing guys like Span to help push them from 85 towards 90 makes more sense. The only thing it does for the Twins now is push them higher into the 70s but in the future it drags them down.

#29 Oxtung

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:41 PM

What about SS? Are we all of the opinion that Santana will be the every day SS next year if we have a legitimate OF? If not, is there a FA available worth the money?

 

I wouldn't spend a dime on relief pitchers, and I think the Twins have enough confidence in developing from within on that front.

I don't think Santana is a given for starting anywhere next year.  His minor league history says he will be a fringy hitter with bad plate discipline.  200 PA's don't change his expectations.  I think it's likely he craters at some point in the next few weeks.


#30 Oxtung

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 04:44 PM

Colby Rasmus is interesting at only 28 years old but his K% has been steadily climbing. 18% in 2009 to 32.5% this season.  That is a big red flag IMO.