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Article: What Would Happen If MLB Held An Expansion Draft?

brian dozier joe mauer stephen gonsalves nick gordon trevor may
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:45 PM

The NHL announced expansion to Las Vegas last week. With that came news of an Expansion Draft. You may have seen AJ Mansour’s article at Vikings Journal where he asked What Would Happen If The NFL Held An Expansion Draft? It was a very interesting article, and of course, it got me thinking about what the Twins would do in the event of further expansion.

The last time MLB held an expansion draft was in November of 1997 when the league expanded to 30 teams. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks joined the league the next year. Both teams were able to pick 35 guys from other organizations. The draft went three rounds:
  • Round 1 - the 28 current MLB teams were able to protect 15 players from the entire organization (40-man or not). Each team could only lose one player in the round. (14 players drafted by each of the expansion teams)
  • Round 2 - each team can protect three more players and then the same guidelines apply. (14 players drafted by each of the expansion teams.
  • Round 3 - each team makes seven more selections.
In that November, 1997 draft, the Twins lost Outfielder Brent Brede in the first round. In the 2nd round, Damian Miller was the selection of the Diamondbacks. Of course, he went on to a terrific career catching the likes of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson to a World Series championship.There were some exceptions, players that could not be selected. Players drafted in the previous two drafts could not be selected. Neither could players signed the previous year when they were under 18. Players who were free agents were not eligible for the expansion draft, which makes sense since, they are free agents at the time of the draft.

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So, let’s pretend for a moment that there was going to be MLB expansion and a draft held following the World Series this fall. Which 15 players would (or should) the Twins protect?

First, let’s look at the players who would not have to be protected without fear of losing them.

Players the Twins drafted this June. So, they wouldn’t have to worry about losing Alex Kirilloff or Ben Rortvedt or Tom Hackimer.

Players the Twins drafted last June (2015). So, they don’t have to protect the likes of Tyler Jay, They wouldn’t need to protect LaMonte Wade, Trey Cabbage or Travis Blankenhorn. Guys signed internationally in 2015 would also not need to be protected. In other words, the Twins don’t have to decide whether or not to protect 17-year-old Wander Javier, who they gave $4 million just one year ago.

Players who signed in 2014 under the age of 18. This includes international signings from that year like Huascar Ynoa, Lachlan Wells, Jean Carlos Arias, Brusdar Graterol and Jorge Munoz.

I lumped in guys who could be non-tendered following the season into the free agent exception. I’ll include Fernando Abad, Tommy Milone, Kevin Jepsen Trevor Plouffe, Juan Centeno and Kurt Suzuki in that group that won’t need to be included. You can also probably add the likes of Buddy Boshers and Darin Mastroianni to this group as well as they are likely be be free agents by the end of the season.

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There are still a lot of players who will be eligible to be selected if not added. There are some givens to protect but after that, there are going to be some really tough decisions.


THE FIFTEEN I WOULD PROTECT

I’m just going to start by posting all fifteen that I would protect. Some are quite easy choices. Others take a little more thought. And, even with that, there are another few dozen I wish I could protect too.

Let’s start with The Givens. As we know, the phrase “Givens” means different things to different things to different people. However, in my mind, it would be inexplicable for the Twins to not protect the following 11 players. In other words, I saw that these guys would be eligible to be selected, I immediately put them on the list to protect (in alphabetical order).
  • RH SP Jose Berrios
  • RH RP Nick Burdi
  • OF Byron Buxton
  • RH RP JT Chargois
  • 2B Brian Dozier
  • OF Max Kepler
  • 1B Joe Mauer
  • RH RP Trevor May
  • IF Jorge Polanco
  • RH RP Ryan Pressly
  • 3B/OF/DH Miguel Sano
I guess some may read a name or two on that list and be a little surprised. First, let’s get this out of the way, Joe Mauer would most likely need to be protected due to his 10-and-5 rights. Brian Dozier is really the only other veteran presence on this list. He’s been the Twins best player, or right there, the last three years. So even if you plan to eventually trade him, you protect him.

Other than that, there are young players who the organization has deemed the building blocks. Whether or not they all pan out is not known, but they must be protected. That includes the likes of Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Berrios and Polanco.

I’d put Pressly and May in the same category, along with Chargois and Burdi. We have seen the value of a strong bullpen and those four could be a great start to that over the next couple of years. By having several of them, if you’re the GM you could still push for May to start.

The Other Four

So, I have to come up with four more names to protect, and this is where it gets difficult. How do you pick? Does salary come into it? What will the expansion team draft? Prospects or proven players? Maybe some combination, but it’s so hard to know.

So, here are the four players that I would (probably) add to the protected list before a (hypothetical) expansion draft.

12. Tyler Duffey

13. Taylor Rogers

14. Nick Gordon

15. Stephen Gonsalves

So as you can see, I’m choosing to protect pitching and prospects. I’ll briefly touch on each.
  • Tyler Duffey - I don’t know if he’ll be a starter long-term, or if he’ll eventually (maybe likely) wind up in the bullpen. I do know that he’s done enough to show that I want him in the future plans of the organization.
  • Taylor Rogers - I think he can be a long-term, left-handed reliever with the ability to really dominate left-handed hitters.
  • Nick Gordon - There just aren’t a ton of shortstop prospects who people believe can stick at shortstop. Gordon can be a solid, every day shortstop who will play solid defense and hit too. He’s two years out, but you don’t want to lose a guy like this.
  • Steven Gonsalves - There are several pitchers who fit into this range. Gonsalves has produced at each level he’s pitched at, and he just made the move to AA.
Who Is Left Unprotected (in my scenario)?

As a reminder, following the first round, in which the Twins would lose no more than one player, they will be able to protect three more players. At most, the Twins would lose three players. It wouldn’t be the end of the world. But, they would lose two or three players and the hope would be that you’ve protected the right people. But it’s very likely you’ll lose someone who will become a solid major leaguer.

The High-Priced Pitchers - I’ll lump Ervin Santana, Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco and now probably Glen Perkins though he will miss time next season and isn’t making an excessive amount. I would be very surprised if an expansion team would take on these salaries. They would not get selected, and frankly, if they did, would we be disappointed?

The Prospects - There are a bunch of quality prospects that I believe are not protected and eligible to be selected in my fake expansion draft scenario. Here is a list of prospects that I would unfortunately leave unprotected.



Kohl Stewart, Fernando Romero, Randy Rosario, Yorman Landa, Mason Melotakis, Pat Dean, Alex Meyer, Adam Brett Walker and many more.

There were many other tough decisions too. For instance, would you protect Kyle Gibson as he is coming off of injury and will go to arbitration for the first time in the offseason? How about Michael Tonkin? With all the power arms in the system, would he be one you’d protect? Eddie Rosario is still pre-arbitration and plays good defense, but will his lack of plate discipline mean he isn’t on your list?

What about the Eduardos, Nunez and/or Escobar? How about Byung Ho Park? Do you protect him one year after investing about $25 million on him? How about a catcher? Would you want to protect John Ryan Murphy? Maybe Mitch Garver or Stuart Turner?

This is not an easy exercise, but it can be a lot of fun. Thinking about 2016 and going forward. What are the priorities? Which players are automatic protect guys for you?

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YOUR TURN
OK, now it is your turn. Considering everything you’ve read above, which 15 players would you protect? Let’s discuss.

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#2 shs_59

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:07 PM

1. Berrios - a nice building block but no #TOR arm.

2. Buxton - not saying he's going to be a superstar, let alone a star, but even if he's close to a RH  version of Matt Lawton with better D i'd take that.

3. Sano  - terrible defensively but maybe slightly above average offensively

4. Dozier  - an absolute gem at the 2nd base position, the Twins should of locked him up when they  had the chance (instead they bought out exactly 0 YRS of ARBitration,  WHY exactly?)

 By a pure WAR basis i wouldnt be surprised if Dozier puts up the most WAR in his career on this whole  list. Twin or not.

5. Duffey.

6. Rosario .............................. wait of it ................. , Randy

7. Jorge Polanco

8. Trevor Hildenberger

9. J.T. Chargois

10. Max Kepler

11. Stephen Gonsalves

12. Tyler Jay

13. Kyle Gibson

14. Ryan Pressly , or maybe Griffin Jax

15. Nick Gordon (athough Engelb Vielma is giving him a better run for the money at the moment)

 

 

 

The only thing is that leaves us in a flux for catching; hopefully the Roertvedt kid from Wisconsin pans out OR we're going to need to hit on 1 of the following: Raines Silva, Kidnay Silva, A.J. Murray.

 

*if you get lucky Roll with Eddie Rosario , Daniel Palka, Garver / Turner and Danny Santana too.

Edited by shs_59, 27 June 2016 - 09:28 PM.

Twins Prospects? 1 S. Gonsalves  2. N. Gordon  3. Tyler Jay

4. A. Kirilloff  5. Romero, Fernando  6. Mejia, Alberto  7. K. Stewart

8.J.T. Chargois  9. Wells, Lac. 10. D. Palka  11. Wade, LaM. 12. Nic Burdi


#3 Han Joelo

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:11 PM

Interesting premise.  I know I am maybe holding them in to high an esteem, but I'd have a hard time losing Stewart, Romero, or Jorge in order to save medium upside (though relatively proven) relievers like Rogers and Pressley, maybe even May.

 

Other than that, I can't argue with your picks.

 

Seems like if you essentially "have" to protect Mauer because of his rights, you shouldn't actually have to, if that makes sense.  Seems like those guys would be exempt from a process like this.

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#4 Rosterman

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:14 PM

Again, you totally look at where you are going.

 

You don't have to protect high salaries. The team has to pay them. Having paid the expansion fee, how many sheckles are there in the money vault, and is it better to wait until free agents come on board.

 

But, they are also building at least two years of a minor league system So you would definitely lose those 25th and 41st guys fer sure, if you aren't position heavy already.

 

Of course, don't have to keep any possible non-tenders or high level arbitration dollars.

 

You do not keep marginal guys like Pressly. Or Duffey. Or Rogers. Or even Gibson. Again, remember, the other team will be drafting for guys to come on board in 2018 and even 2019. So you do have to worry about the Gonsalves, the Stewarts and such.

 

Also, with free agency and non-tenders and waiver wire guys, an expansion team might take a fair share of tradable prospects. 

 

So, it is a tough call. Out of the Twins Top 40 (or 50) what 19 do you protect, along with anyone no longer a prospect (Sano, Buxton). 

 

If this draft happened today, a team like the Twins might even be looking down at the expansion teams if they would lose 2 or 3 pieces of their future, while keeping the Mauer, Park, Dozier or others.

 

I'm sure stuff would have to be worked out regarding the 10/5, draft bonus dollars, and other things. 

 

But I would expect that the Twins would lose three prospects like a Gonsalves/Stewart, Burdi/Reed and even a Polanco out-of-the-chute.

 

Now this is the mindset the current Twins front office should be looking at as they go forwards and evaluate their players. Not only who is valuable to current teams, but who would be valuable if someone could cherry-pick your organization after setting aside 15 guys, then 19 guys.

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#5 shs_59

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:19 PM

Seth, in our Scenerios we can both kiss Byung Ho-Park good -bye

 

Eddie Rosario good-bye as well.

 

Kyle Gibson in You're Scenerio

 

and Nick "can he stay healthy" Burdi in mine

 

**I just get the Bullock, Slama, Delaney, even Adam Johnson vibe from Burdi

 

 

*ok just Billy Bullock and how about Luke Bard? ....even Madison Boer?

 

all flopped; although if you include Burdi amongst those names , 1 name is clearly not like the other.....

Edited by shs_59, 30 June 2016 - 01:48 AM.

Twins Prospects? 1 S. Gonsalves  2. N. Gordon  3. Tyler Jay

4. A. Kirilloff  5. Romero, Fernando  6. Mejia, Alberto  7. K. Stewart

8.J.T. Chargois  9. Wells, Lac. 10. D. Palka  11. Wade, LaM. 12. Nic Burdi


#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:47 PM

 

 

and Nick "can he stay healthy" Burdi in mine

 

**I just get the Bullock, Slama, Delaney, even Adam Johnson vibe from Burdi

 

There's no comparison between Burdi and those three. Maybe Bullock since he was a high draft pick who threw in the upper-90s, but Slama and Delaney weren't high prospects and they didn't throw hard. Johnson was a starter.  

 

If Burdi doesn't make it, it'll likely be solely about health.


#7 Teflon

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:52 PM

 

Seth, in our Scenerios we can both kiss Byung Ho-Park good -bye

 

Eddie Rosario good-bye as well.

 

Kyle Gibson in You're Scenerio

 

and Nick "can he stay healthy" Burdi in mine

 

**I just get the Bullock, Slama, Delaney, even Adam Johnson vibe from Burdi

 

In other words, you're saying "Bye Bye Burdi?"

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#8 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:57 PM

I think the best part of the expansion draft would be the wheeling and dealing. There are going to be players available that have never been available before... from the perspective of, "take this guy and we'll give you this guy and this guy" and you know the expansion teams would make those deals cause it gives you more assets.

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#9 The Wise One

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 12:35 AM

Duufey, Berrios, Stewart, Gonsalves, Jorge, Romero.
Buxton, Kepler, Sano Dozier, Nick Gordon, Rosario
Chagois, Burdi,
Flip a coin depending on Granite or Palka.

They are not going to take Mauer, any starting pitcher, anybody with an injury history. Whoever would be taken would be like the 29/30 pick

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:40 AM

An expansion team will claw Pat Dean from Terry Ryan's cold, dead hands.

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#11 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:53 AM

So, we're down to talking about fictional expansion drafts in June?  Season must be going well.....

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#12 hybridbear

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:58 AM

What is the 10 and 5 rule that would impact Mauer? I doubt he would be selected in an expansion draft at this point in his career so I'm not sure why he would need to be protected...


#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:19 AM

 

So, we're down to talking about fictional expansion drafts in June?  Season must be going well.....

 

Pretty much... and, it is fairly timely with the NHL announcement just last week. 

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#14 TheLeviathan

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:32 AM

I don't blame you Seth, I might suggest we bump talk of the Rochester Red Wings to the front page.....

#15 GMinTraining

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:34 AM

1) RH SP Jose Berrios
2) RH RP Nick Burdi  (flip a coin w/ health)
3) OF Byron Buxton
4) RH RP JT Chargois
5) OF Max Kepler

6) OF Eddie Rosario
7) RH RP Trevor May
8) 2B Jorge Polanco (best defender and hitter at 2B)

9) 3B Miguel Sano

10) RH RP Tyler Duffey
11) SS  Nick Gordon
12) LH SP Stephen Gonsalves

13) LH SP Tyler Jay  

14) SS Eduardo Nunez (he's been good for both years we had him)

15) RH RP Trevor Hildenberger (just gets it done)

 

Nobody is going to take Mauer's contract anyway despite the fact that he still has some gas in his tank.  Nunez personality and free spirit will become infectious with young core.  Dozier is holding back a better potential player in Polanco IMO.  Polanco never should have been experimented at SS.  He has always been a GREAT second baseman defensively and consistent hitter (11 doubles / 6 triples / 5 HRs - in AAA).  Second guessing myself on Rogers; Pressley; and Gibson only.


#16 nicksaviking

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:42 AM

I would bet an expansion draft today would be quite different than the past drafts. Teams are now statistically inclined and they just have a better idea how these things play out now. I would think a savvy expansion team would almost solely focus on drafting high upside prospects who aren't protected due to them still being a few years away.

 

The new clubs know they are going to stink coming out of the gates, but they also have a payroll of zero and can build most of a 25-man through free agency.

 

 

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#17 HitInAPinch

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:46 AM

What would happen with another Expansion Draft? 

 

Owners would get fatter..... ;) 

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#18 Tommygun921

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:49 AM

When I first starting reading this I thought it'd be much more difficult to decide on only 15 players to protect. But after looking at the your list and reasons for not protecting certain players it seemed almost easy. And if you figure in all the other 30 organizations unprotected players the likelihood of losing some of the 16,17,18.... players seems even lower.

#19 HitInAPinch

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:54 AM

 

 

An expansion team will claw Pat Dean from Terry Ryan's cold, dead hands.

Oh, pulezee.....

 

cold, dead, bony fingers.;-)

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#20 HitInAPinch

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 08:06 AM

 

What is the 10 and 5 rule that would impact Mauer? I doubt he would be selected in an expansion draft at this point in his career so I'm not sure why he would need to be protected...

I'm curious of the 5/10 rule, as well.From Wikipedia[yeah, kinda lazy this morning]

 

"5/10 Rule whereby players who have been with a club for 5 consecutive years and have been a major league player for 10 years cannot be traded without their consent."

 

How about exposed to Expansion Draft?

 

Why would an Expansion Team select Mauer?Veteran presence with only 2 (?) years left on contract?

 

Edit:Adding that, from the expansion team perspective,I personally wouldn't do this.I'd go after all the young prospect I could corral.

Edited by HitInAPinch, 28 June 2016 - 08:33 AM.

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