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Article: Twins Need To Be Buyers Next Winter

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#101 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:51 AM

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. 

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#102 KirbyDome89

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:04 AM

 

The difference is if I endorse a 7 year 150M contract I accept the reality and long term ramifications. I know it's basically a one time deal that will limit further spending for a decade. I do so knowing we have a finite payroll and that deal has major long term implications.

Do you? Or does it remain as easy as ever to complain about payroll?

See, I also have been vocal in my criticisms, but I'm also very grounded. It's less about how much and more about how the money is spent.

I think a lot of the push for signing a front of the rotation starter IS about how the money is spent though. The Twins have been moderate players at best in FA, I don't think that has to change if they open it up and sign an ace type pitcher. Given the current state of the pitching staff and performances by pitching prospects it isn't crazy to think the only young arm they have with a chance to be that #1 starter is Gonsalves and hes still a long shot. They need to do something to fix this horrendous pitching. They've been unable to move Dozier and if they refuse to dip into the market to sign top tier FAs the only other option for bringing back top end talent is trading away their own top young talent. Personally I would rather endure a 7 year 150 million dollar contract than watch former Twins prospects turn into quality major league players with other teams. 


#103 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

I view front line starters as championship pieces. Right now, I'm looking at "not terrible" pieces.

I think this team would benefit more from two 4/$75m contracts than a single 7/$150m contract.

Lots of bad players on this team. More could be gained from two 4 WAR players than one 7 WAR player who will likely fade to a 2-3 WAR player within a few seasons. And it's a lot less risky to sign those two good players than a single great player.
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#104 TwinsFan23

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:11 AM

First time poster here. 

 

First, when the time comes (assuming they continue to develop), we need to retain our young hitters like Buxton, Sano, and Kepler. I think we can all agree on that.

 

Second, the pitching has to improve. Again, stating the obvious here. We have a few guys that look promising such as Fernando Romero and Gonsalves, but we need more. Hopefully whoever we draft first overall this season (Hunter Greene, please) pans out and will be ready for the majors within a few years. We need Berrios to finally break through this year and be the guy we thought he would be. We need Mejia to be serviceable. I know we are unlikely to land Arrieta, Tanaka, Darvish, etc, but in my opinion we need to at least try. We have a ton of cap space available going forward, and I think it makes more sense to pay a guy who has proven he is an ace than it does to sign a few Ricky Nolasco types and hope for the best. 

 

Third, and semi off-topic to this discussion, but I think Molitor needs to be shown the door. Let Falvey bring in his own guy. In my opinion, Molitor has not helped the development of our young players. Obviously not all of this falls on him, but I think a lot of it does.

 

Last, I want to get you guys' thoughts on something. If Dozier has another good season and we don't move him at the trade deadline for prospects, do you think we should/would extend his contract? I wrestle with what the right move is regarding Dozier all the time. Part of me thinks that we are missing our chance to sell high on our best asset. The other part of me thinks that if we aren't going to get a good enough offer to deal him, then we need to extend him. If we don't trade him and he leaves in free agency, I think it is a complete waste.

 

Just my two cents. Let me know what you guys think!

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#105 USAFChief

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

Tom:  "I actually don't think the org is trying to get younger and build. I think they're trying to win."

 

Concur.And I support that approach.I have no interest in a "rebuild," which really is more of an excuse than a strategy anyway.All it does is push off trying to get better players far into the future while giving ownership another reason not to spend money.Start getting better players now.

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#106 Willihammer

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:44 PM

 

 

Last, I want to get you guys' thoughts on something. If Dozier has another good season and we don't move him at the trade deadline for prospects, do you think we should/would extend his contract? I wrestle with what the right move is regarding Dozier all the time. Part of me thinks that we are missing our chance to sell high on our best asset. The other part of me thinks that if we aren't going to get a good enough offer to deal him, then we need to extend him. If we don't trade him and he leaves in free agency, I think it is a complete waste.

 

Just my two cents. Let me know what you guys think!

The Twins have a decent track record when it comes to first extensions, and a terrible one when it comes to second extensions, so I'm probably biased. But I wouldn't extend Dozier a second time for the kind of deal I think he'd want- something in the 4 year 60+m range I reckon. Too many times it seems to bite us in the ass (Morneau, Mauer, Perkins, Hughes come to mind.)

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#107 Riverbrian

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

 

 

 

Last, I want to get you guys' thoughts on something. If Dozier has another good season and we don't move him at the trade deadline for prospects, do you think we should/would extend his contract? I wrestle with what the right move is regarding Dozier all the time. Part of me thinks that we are missing our chance to sell high on our best asset. The other part of me thinks that if we aren't going to get a good enough offer to deal him, then we need to extend him. If we don't trade him and he leaves in free agency, I think it is a complete waste.

 

 

Great first post! Welcome to TD

 

Yes... We are missing our chance to sell high on Dozier based upon the numbers he produced last year and length of contract remaining.

 

However... it is clearly not our chance to sell high based upon the market.

 

It seems natural to extend Dozier if his market never materializes... I mean why give him away.

 

However... if his market value never materializes that means that he has very little value and shouldn't be extended because value is value when it comes time to make those decisions.  

 

Supply and Demand

 

He's great... but if everyone has got one? That means he can be replaced at less cost. 

 

In the end... I think the 2B Market will shift favorably and he will get moved before he hits free agency. 

 

 

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#108 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

 

I think a lot of the push for signing a front of the rotation starter IS about how the money is spent though. The Twins have been moderate players at best in FA, I don't think that has to change if they open it up and sign an ace type pitcher. Given the current state of the pitching staff and performances by pitching prospects it isn't crazy to think the only young arm they have with a chance to be that #1 starter is Gonsalves and hes still a long shot. They need to do something to fix this horrendous pitching. They've been unable to move Dozier and if they refuse to dip into the market to sign top tier FAs the only other option for bringing back top end talent is trading away their own top young talent. Personally I would rather endure a 7 year 150 million dollar contract than watch former Twins prospects turn into quality major league players with other teams. 

 

See, I'd MUCH rather deal a few prospects for something known.  We're talking in hypotheticals here because the truth is, we don't know if next offseason we'll have a team that warrants making a big splash.  

 

So let's look back at when the team did warrant that splash.  When the Twins were at their peak 7-8 years ago and needed that cherry (as Brock described it), I'd have much rather traded for Cliff Lee than sign CC Sabathia.  And for me, it's not even close.  

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat and here's what I see: If you sign a 150M-200M contract for some FA - you will have that turn into a glaring negative at some point with near certainty.  There isn't nearly as great a chance of having your move backfire if you trade.

 

All that said, I'm not opposed to venturing into that market at some point.  But if I do it's either for a hitter or if I think one piece over the first 1-3 years of that contract might land me a title.  Short of that?  The negatives are far too great for me to take that route.


#109 DocBauer

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

Just to be clear, I am not advocating a rebuild, nor am I stating Falvey or Levine are looking for one either. This team is already full in the midst of a rebuild with all the young talent currently on the roster.

When I reference getting younger, I am referencing the rotation in particular vs additional 30yo veteran types. Thus, a healthy Hughes and Gibson, a couple young guys like Berrios and Mejia hopefully becoming established this season, I am arguing/contemplating running with one of many potential 5th starter options or possibly a trade for a top SP rather than the length and cost of a FA contract.

I should have been more clear.
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#110 jud6312

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:56 PM

Looks like Big Pelf and Garza will also be on the market next offseason.

 

http://www.spotrac.c...arting-pitcher/

 

I'd kick the tires on Pineda and Darvish, and probably Cobb, too, depending on health.

 

Like several mentioned, I wouldn't necessarily spend just to spend, however.

 

Can we just save up all of the Twins' pennies to make a run at Shohei Otani? Sure, Asia hasn't been kind yet to the Twins, but one will have to stick at some point, right?

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#111 KirbyDome89

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:32 PM

 

See, I'd MUCH rather deal a few prospects for something known.  We're talking in hypotheticals here because the truth is, we don't know if next offseason we'll have a team that warrants making a big splash.  

 

So let's look back at when the team did warrant that splash.  When the Twins were at their peak 7-8 years ago and needed that cherry (as Brock described it), I'd have much rather traded for Cliff Lee than sign CC Sabathia.  And for me, it's not even close.  

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat and here's what I see: If you sign a 150M-200M contract for some FA - you will have that turn into a glaring negative at some point with near certainty.  There isn't nearly as great a chance of having your move backfire if you trade.

 

All that said, I'm not opposed to venturing into that market at some point.  But if I do it's either for a hitter or if I think one piece over the first 1-3 years of that contract might land me a title.  Short of that?  The negatives are far too great for me to take that route.

Performance risk doesn't discriminate between a trade or FA signing. Yes, the last years of big contracts rarely are good years, but they also aren't counted on to be stellar seasons in terms of performance. No team signs a player to a seven year deal and expects all those seasons to be elite, its just like you said they're paying for roughly 3-4 years solid performance and the rest of the contract is the price for those good years and keeping their young talent. Personally I would rather the Twins use cash instead of prospects to bring in talent. The rebuild is centered around drafting and developing (insert joke here) players. Giving those players up via trade feels a lot like robbing peter to pay paul. If they were a pitcher away from a WS then I could understand it, but right now they need all the young talent they can get. 

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#112 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:34 AM

 

David Price was still very good last year. Not sure why they included him on the disappointing list.

I have to agree with you. He did well. Perhaps they listed him because he is having elbow problems this spring?

Edited by ScrapTheNickname, 20 March 2017 - 12:38 AM.


#113 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:59 AM

So now we make a decision on 7 year deals after 1 year? So, if the players had been great for 1 year, the deals would have been good deals?

 

 

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#114 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:01 AM

 

Performance risk doesn't discriminate between a trade or FA signing. Yes, the last years of big contracts rarely are good years, but they also aren't counted on to be stellar seasons in terms of performance. No team signs a player to a seven year deal and expects all those seasons to be elite, its just like you said they're paying for roughly 3-4 years solid performance and the rest of the contract is the price for those good years and keeping their young talent. Personally I would rather the Twins use cash instead of prospects to bring in talent. The rebuild is centered around drafting and developing (insert joke here) players. Giving those players up via trade feels a lot like robbing peter to pay paul. If they were a pitcher away from a WS then I could understand it, but right now they need all the young talent they can get. 

 

To be clear, I'm talking in very general terms about what strategies I would use towards free agency.  Where we are in a year is anyone's guess at this point.  We may be just as easily looking to tear this sucker to the studs again as wee are buying starting pitching.  

 

As for my more general beliefs - many prospects fizzle.  Cash always has value.  So would I choke down blowing cash on the back half of a giant contract in hopes that the first half gives me what I want?  Perhaps, depends.  But I'm far more interested in dealing prospects for immediate help.  Think about how little we would have missed Aaron Hicks if we had dealt him for Cliff Lee for example.  

 

I much prefer that route.  

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#115 Vanimal46

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:14 AM

 

As for my more general beliefs - many prospects fizzle.  Cash always has value.  So would I choke down blowing cash on the back half of a giant contract in hopes that the first half gives me what I want?  Perhaps, depends.  But I'm far more interested in dealing prospects for immediate help.  Think about how little we would have missed Aaron Hicks if we had dealt him for Cliff Lee for example.  

 

I much prefer that route.  

 

As do I. Prospect's values are almost always higher than where they actually end up after a year or 2 in the league (if they're fortunate enough to make the show)... I'm of the belief that a prospect can easily peak in value before they get to the majors. For example, I think the White Sox traded for peak value of Giolito. Jay's peak was probably the beginning of 2016 when he (I think?) made a top 100 prospect list and was still thought of as a starter. 

 

I truly do hope that is the route the new regime goes with. Not all of Gonsalves, Stewart, Romero, Mejia, Jorge, etc. is going to work out. It sure would be nice to find out their value for immediate help. 

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#116 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:00 PM

 

To be clear, I'm talking in very general terms about what strategies I would use towards free agency.  Where we are in a year is anyone's guess at this point.  We may be just as easily looking to tear this sucker to the studs again as wee are buying starting pitching.  

 

As for my more general beliefs - many prospects fizzle.  Cash always has value.  So would I choke down blowing cash on the back half of a giant contract in hopes that the first half gives me what I want?  Perhaps, depends.  But I'm far more interested in dealing prospects for immediate help.  Think about how little we would have missed Aaron Hicks if we had dealt him for Cliff Lee for example.  

 

I much prefer that route.  

Of course I agree, if they're ripping it down there isn't value in the 3-4 year window. The signing is only viable if Buxton, Sano, Kepler, ect take more steps forward and it looks like a core is forming. 

 

I get the prospect volatility aspect, but they're also necessary. Not all prospects are created equal and its often the elite ones (lowest chance to bust) that must be moved to bring back established talent. No, nobody misses Hicks, but those deals go both ways as well. I'm certain the D-backs would redo that Miller/Swanson trade in a heartbeat. 

 

If they had a glut of young talent in the minors or if they were a respectable MLB team then yeah it would make total sense to me to deal some prospects for a starting pitcher. I just see the Twins lacking in so many areas right now that for me, spending cash to keep some of the talent they do have is the lesser of two evils. 

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#117 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:41 PM

 

Of course I agree, if they're ripping it down there isn't value in the 3-4 year window. The signing is only viable if Buxton, Sano, Kepler, ect take more steps forward and it looks like a core is forming. 

 

I get the prospect volatility aspect, but they're also necessary. Not all prospects are created equal and its often the elite ones (lowest chance to bust) that must be moved to bring back established talent. No, nobody misses Hicks, but those deals go both ways as well. I'm certain the D-backs would redo that Miller/Swanson trade in a heartbeat. 

 

If they had a glut of young talent in the minors or if they were a respectable MLB team then yeah it would make total sense to me to deal some prospects for a starting pitcher. I just see the Twins lacking in so many areas right now that for me, spending cash to keep some of the talent they do have is the lesser of two evils. 

 

I'm not advocating they clean out the farm when the time comes, it's just my preference.

 

Your argument that they have needs in so many areas would work against the case of dropping 20+ on one guy.  


#118 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

 

I'm not advocating they clean out the farm when the time comes, it's just my preference.

 

Your argument that they have needs in so many areas would work against the case of dropping 20+ on one guy.  

Not sure where that implication came from but yeah I know.

 

If baseball was capped then yeah it would. However, its the same thing I said in a earlier post; they're moderate players in FA at best so a large deal shouldn't change how they're operating. That big signing only "hurts," them as much as they allow it to. 

 

Do I believe they'll spend that money? Not a chance....

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#119 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:49 PM

 

Not sure where that implication came from but yeah I know.

 

If baseball was capped then yeah it would. However, its the same thing I said in a earlier post; they're moderate players in FA at best so a large deal shouldn't change how they're operating. That big signing only "hurts," them as much as they allow it to. 

 

Do I believe they'll spend that money? Not a chance....

 

That's simply not true.  A large deal does eat away at available resources.  Any time you are handing 1/25 of your roster 1/10 (or more) of your available payroll, it absolutely has side-effects that can be negative.

 

This is where people lose me.  I get it, it's easier to spend someone else's money and demand they spend to whatever degree you deem is ok, but that's not reality.  Do I think the Twins can spend more?  Yes.  But I also know that their payroll is mid-market at best, possibly much less given their own bungling of their cable contract.  And a team in that market range has to be very careful about handing out 20M+ per year deals because it will have ramifications for other spending the team has to do.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 20 March 2017 - 04:49 PM.


#120 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:52 PM

 

That's simply not true.  A large deal does eat away at available resources.  Any time you are handing 1/25 of your roster 1/10 (or more) of your available payroll, it absolutely has side-effects that can be negative.

 

This is where people lose me.  I get it, it's easier to spend someone else's money and demand they spend to whatever degree you deem is ok, but that's not reality.  Do I think the Twins can spend more?  Yes.  But I also know that their payroll is mid-market at best, possibly much less given their own bungling of their cable contract.  And a team in that market range has to be very careful about handing out 20M+ per year deals because it will have ramifications for other spending the team has to do.

It absolutely is. The available payroll is what they decide to make it.  

 

 The idea that this franchise can't afford to pay a player $20 million per season moving forward is where people start to lose me. They're definitely a mid market team, but they prefer everybody to treat them as if they're small market. They're sitting at a little over 30 million dollars under the league average team salary right now. Mauer comes off the books after next season. MLB revenue continues to increase, meaning more sharing is generated. Somehow despite all this the Twins payroll has been decreasing over the last few seasons and now they can't even afford to hand out a contract close to Mauer's without drying up the well? I think the reality is that it is just easier to believe that this franchise can't spend above an imaginary line because they've refused to do it for so long...

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