Thank you all for adding to the discussion. Just a quick side note to any sailors out there, as far as I'm concerned you can drink as much as you like and spend your money how you see fit. No judgments coming from me ...
Who has done this? I don't mean to be snarky, but I literally can't think of a single prospect for prospect swap that included a player with elite upside.
These deals weren't all prospects, but the Twins kinda tried to do this with the Delmon Young, Alex Meyer and Trevor May trades. They were trading away young players before they hit free agency to get even younger players with more control. Good idea in theory, but those deals did not end up well. I'd also throw out the Josh Donaldson deal as an example of a team flipping a young player for multiple prospects. That has not worked out for the A's, though maybe Franklin Barreto turns out to be a star.
Falvey was their choice because he worked with a similar budget and found alternative ways to boost their pitching other than spending $150 MM on the open market.
This is a good point, but I would be really surprised if the Twins were able to attract both Falvey and Levine without assuring them they would have at least some payroll to work with in the future. It'll be a few years before all the young position players start making big money, if they don't add anything by the time Mauer's contract expires, the payroll is gonna be minuscule. That's just not going to look good after the team said having a new stadium will allow them to increase spending.
A quote from MLB Trade Rumors today speaks for me:
"Just over a year removed from the 2015-16 offseason, nine of the top ten contracts handed out last winter are already looking problematic, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Only Johnny Cueto turned in a vintage season in the wake of signing his pricey deal with the Giants last winter, while the other nine (David Price, Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen and Mike Leake) ranged from slight to complete disappointments in their first seasons with their new teams."
Did they live up to their salary? No. But even at their reduced production levels, each of those pitchers would have been a massive upgrade to the Twins rotation.
Is this really that hard to see or expect? Is it really outlandish to see these 4 ready for 2018? That leaves 1 rotation spot to fill.
If you have one open spot, you realistically have like three. The really good teams stack up seven or eight legit starting options these days. Plus, even if that foursome pans out, I think you still need the old elite Twins defense and a great bullpen in order to be a good team. Maybe that's possible, but we're tallying up a lot of ifs.
Aren't we trying to get better and younger and build something? Do you include some of these guys, and others, and make a major 4 for 1 kind of deal for a starter? Or do you still look at a major 5 or 6 year deal for a FA starter?
I actually don't think the org is trying to get younger and build. I think they're trying to win. If they were planning on giving the young guys a shot, Santiago would have been non-tendered, Belisle wouldn't have been signed, Dozier and especially Erv would have been traded by now and they would have gone with a higher upside arm than Haley in the Rule 5.
Looking at all the quotes from Jim Pohlad and Derek Falvey, I don't think the Twins have any interest in a full-scale rebuild. If you're not going to rebuild, then you need to build ... build. Upbuild? You need to start adding better players.