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Article: Offseason Primer: Twins Need to Be Prepared to Pivot from Buxton and Sano

byron buxton miguel sano
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#21 mikelink45

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:01 AM

The toe injury for Buxton seems to get less attention than it should.Check out how a toe injury ended the career of HOF Dizzy Dean - https://www.fangraph...injury-cascade/https://www.fangraph...injury-cascade/

 

I can only hope healthy bodies allow the team to coach the basics and concentrate on BB. 


#22 USAFChief

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:18 AM

 

Of 458 MLB players who had 90 PA or more, Buxton was 457th in OPS.

He was 458th in wRC+ and wOBA. Dead last.

He is a great fielder, but something extraordinary needs to happen with his bat in order for him to be an asset to this team. No team in the AL can afford to have an automatic out in the lineup.

 

*edit - he was 457th in all 3 categories. Alas...

So in the middle 99.99 percent. What's the problem?

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#23 Rosterman

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:37 AM

The Twins are building towards the Future. They have to be looking at who will be playing for them in 2020 and 2021.

 

The Big Three right now: Buxton, Kepler, Sano.

 

Sano. Where does he play. 1st Base or DH or both, of keep him at third (but until when). 

 

Buxton was injured. Yes. But he also wasn't hitting. The Twins had hitting coach James Rowson. Plus Buxton could call upon the services of Oliva, Carew and Torii Hunter. Not to mention the hitting skills of Paul Molitor. What is going wrong.

 

Kepler is just fine IF you are getting bigger production elsewhere. He shows some punch, hasn't settled into who he hits best against totally. You do want a better all around guy, sure.

 

The bigger question on all three of the above is what to do if they put together a premiere season in 2019. Do they become tradebait and someone else's problem for a long-term contract (Sell Soon, Future Payback) or do the Twins extend.

 

Do the Twins push rookies like Gordon? Will they add Wiel and Arraez to the 40-man. Can they fit into the mix in 2019?

 

Cave and Grossman will both be here in some capacity in 2019 because of cost and they pretty much earned a chance to stay and why throw money at more one-year contracts of free agents.

 

But right now 2019 is looking at a rebuilding year. 2020 is also a time we might see some of the guys at A+ ball from the last season. 2021 the Twins might be making a BIG free agent plunge. 2022 is when they should be winning fer sure.

 

Ugh? Well, that's baseball.

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#24 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:39 AM

It's a provocative point, but I just can't agree. If Buxton and Sano don't perform in 2019, the Twins will not be contending in 2019. Period, full stop. There's just no way a contingency plan for these two struggling next year can be strong enough to produce a playoff berth.

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#25 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:56 AM

It's a provocative point, but I just can't agree. If Buxton and Sano don't perform in 2019, the Twins will not be contending in 2019. Period, full stop. There's just no way a contingency plan for these two struggling next year can be strong enough to produce a playoff berth.

I agree. To acquire a free agent to fill either of these players' best roles, with an actual difference maker in terms of seriously contending, means a long-term financial commitment to an asset destined to decline. Then, if our two young guys prove to be solid after all, you have roster problems, because it won't be easy to trade the free agent you just acquired (auction winner's curse), and yet you probably can't get full value in trade for the young guy. A prospective free agent can see the same dilemma as we can, and will say no thanks unless overwhelmed by the financial package, and maybe not even then.

 

I don't know how to solve this dilemma, except for the FO's talent evaluation team to make a really hard decision in the coming month or so. Commit to Sano or trade him. Commit to Buxton or trade him. Two independent decisions. Moves afterward depend on those decisions.

 

Maybe a blockbuster trade for a young and controllable 3B or CF, in preference to a FA. That would ease the roster management later on - after things shake out, you could more easily make another trade.

 

I wish I had greater confidence in those talent evaluation processes, because the past couple of years has been pretty checkered.

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#26 Thrylos

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:58 AM

Sano and Buxton are two different cases and should not be treated the same. 

 

Sano's career numbers: 1612 PA, 117 OPS+, .347 wOBA, 116 wRC+. 

Buxton's career numbers: 1074 PA, 80 OPS+, .289 wOBA, 76 wRC+

 

Sano had a disappointing season, and despite that he has been a much above average major leaguer.The key for him is that he should be able to get in shape and stay healthy.He has proven that if he does so, he can hit.

 

Buxton, other than single months, has had a disappointing career as a hitter.In addition to health, the key for him is that he learns how to produce consistently as a hitter, something that Sano, when healthy, has mastered.

 

Apples and pineapples.

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#27 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:59 AM

Put Buxton in LF or RF, problem solved. Move Sano to 1B/DH, problem solved.

 

That said, I doubt they acquire an OF, but I could see trying out Donaldson, who can probably play 1B/DH if Sano is good again......

There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#28 ND-Fan

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:25 PM

The problem is that they have nothing to fall back onto if these two don't perform. There's no veterans left to rely on to carry team with some of their solid young players and there's nothing in the system in triple A or double A that can be called up. This leaves us to looking at DFA of young players to try and find somebody that maybe can perform. Also some of the options like Cave the jury are still out on too. The next big problem is that this front office has lost any creditability with players with moves they have made with Buxton and Sano I don't think they have found way to communicate with him I think he should have been here much sooner as player when he was younger and more willing to follow a mentor. I believe Sano was held back because of service time to control his best years but they have missed that period.

I think the Twins are soon reaching point where they are sinking ship and all hands want off the ship. I just think were going to be choice of last resort for players around the majors and even then its going to be hard to sign talent. This Front Office may know all the analytics but I believe they lack skills to handling real people and getting players feeling they believe in them and also getting them to believe in what they are trying to get done. That is one thing I remember of Terry Ryan the players respected him even after they moved on they have spoke highly of him. So far I haven't heard this of this front office and silence speaks very loudly on this matter. I believe Ruesse this club is in total tear down mode and they are going to tank next year and year after. We are not going to be in contention unless you look at it from point of if we can be one of the worst to get one of the first draft picks. I am waiting for ownership to address the public come clean this is the plan and if ownership doesn't know this were even worse shape than I thought. 

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#29 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:42 PM

Why worry about Buxton and the OF when our system is already covers that pretty well, our biggest worry should be our razor thin depth at the hot corner because it’s just flat out reality that Sano won’t be the long term solution at 3rd base (1st/DH is inevitable).

#30 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:07 PM

I think it MIGHT be time we admit the fact that Sano is never going to play the field. And I also think it might be time to admit that Buxton will never hit. 

 

It was plain as day the first week he was up, that Buxton possesses little to no hitting skills. He just doesn't. I don't know how scouts could have missed on this guy so bad, he has no clue at the plate. 

 

Sano needs to just focus on hitting and not worry about playing the field. DH him and be done with it. Take the extra reps at the plate and become one of the best hitters of this generation. All he does is get hurt when he plays in the field anyway. 

 

If it were me, I would work on Buxton bunting the damn ball, hitting it into the ground, and stealing bases. He will never hit for power the way he is constantly guessing up there. This isn't Rickey Henderson here, he's very similar to that guy the Royals had a few years ago that could run like hell and field, but not much else. 

 

I honestly hope I am wrong here, but if what we have seen so far is any indication, this might the road to take. It sucks, but these guys probably have 1 year left of full time player status and then its time to move a different direction.

 

All of that said. There is NO WAY I give up and trade these guys or release them. We have seen it happen too many times and even as bit players, these guys are plenty valuable. Keep them around. But be prepared if it doesn't happen this year to move from them being your cornerstones.

Edited by Battle ur tail off, 04 October 2018 - 01:09 PM.


#31 yarnivek1972

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:10 PM

This. Hurts... Badly, it hurts. I am not ready to punt on Buxton-Sano. They need at least two more years. There is no other future at third base and Buxton's defense is enough alone to play him every day.


Pardon my french, but no f-ing way do I let them struggle for two MORE years before pulling the plug. Two more years and both will have 2000 plus at bats. That is more than enough to judge whether or not they can cut it at the MLB level.

#32 ken

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:18 PM

So in the middle 99.99 percent. What's the problem?


Nowhere to go but up, an early candidate for most improved player next year.
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#33 jkcarew

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:33 PM

There is no solve for Buxton and Sano not performing in 2019.The Twins will give them every opportunity in 2019.And no difference-maker is signing in the off-season with the Twins to be a 'contingency' center-fielder or clean-up hitter...not any difference maker.It doesn't work like that.

 

Can the Twins have better depth at 3B, DH, outfield...and hope that Rosario has his best year yet, and a couple of other guys make major steps?Yes.Would that scenario realistically take them to AL contention in 2019?No.

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#34 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:36 PM

Put Buxton in LF or RF, problem solved.

What problem does THAT solve? He'll suddenly turn into Josh WIllingham*, never injuring himself again on a tough play?

 

He needs his bat to improve, just for it to play up in CF. It's becoming a stretch to believe the bat would ever play in a corner position.

 

* I liked Josh - he had a bad back and I would have played the same way as he did during his tenure with our Twins

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#35 yarnivek1972

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:41 PM

There is no solve for Buxton and Sano not performing in 2019. The Twins will give them every opportunity in 2019. And no difference-maker is signing in the off-season with the Twins to be a 'contingency' center-fielder or clean-up hitter...not any difference maker. It doesn't work like that.

Can the Twins have better depth at 3B, DH, outfield...and hope that Rosario has his best year yet, and a couple of other guys make major steps? Yes. Would that scenario realistically take them to AL contention in 2019? No.


I tend to agree. Buxton and Sano have 6-7 bWAR talent. Maybe more. The Twins aren’t going to get that in the FA or trade market. Sure, plan B. But that’s exactly what it is. Plan B. The Twins maybe can compete with Cleveland and the dogs in the AL Central, but without Sano and Buxton fulfilling their potential, the Twins just don’t stack up with Boston, New York or Houston.
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#36 mike8791

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 02:05 PM

Tom, your article is spot on.If the FO goes into next season counting on either or both of these players to be key to the season, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities.  

 

But there is a viable option here: fill another big hole by trading one

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#37 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 02:14 PM

 

Put Buxton in LF or RF, problem solved. 

 

?


#38 mike8791

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 02:18 PM

(sorry, must have hit the wrong key).To continue, Buxton and Sano's potential stardom is well known around MLB.For periods, both have played like All Stars.I would fully explore going after a top of the rotation starter by dangling one ofb these players.This is the biggest hole this team has and the least likely to be filled internally or by FA.Berrios is a #3 starter(#2 at best), Gibson and Odorizzi are middling at best, and no minor leaguer comes close.Free Agency is a crap shoot and history shows this franchise will never be a player for a top-of-the-rotation free agent.

Yet there are some intriguing players out there who might be available.While DeGrom is probably untouchable, Snydergaard would be a prize as would Baumgardner from the Giants.These teams are in rebuild mode and might be tempted to trade for a potential All Star.

 

It is much easier to fill an OF position, especially in the Twins organization, with Kiriloff on the cusp and Cave looking like at the least an adequate major leaguer.Replacing Sano with a free agent like Donaldson would be an upgrade and certainly affordable for a team with the payroll flexibility this one has.

 

Without a top starter, this team will not be a contender.Period!If the wonder boys do not actively explore the trade option, they are derelict in their duties.Much better to be proactive than sitting on one's hands hoping for improvement from Buxton/Sano!


#39 yarnivek1972

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 02:25 PM

(sorry, must have hit the wrong key). To continue, Buxton and Sano's potential stardom is well known around MLB. For periods, both have played like All Stars. I would fully explore going after a top of the rotation starter by dangling one ofb these players. This is the biggest hole this team has and the least likely to be filled internally or by FA. Berrios is a #3 starter(#2 at best), Gibson and Odorizzi are middling at best, and no minor leaguer comes close. Free Agency is a crap shoot and history shows this franchise will never be a player for a top-of-the-rotation free agent.
Yet there are some intriguing players out there who might be available. While DeGrom is probably untouchable, Snydergaard would be a prize as would Baumgardner from the Giants. These teams are in rebuild mode and might be tempted to trade for a potential All Star.

It is much easier to fill an OF position, especially in the Twins organization, with Kiriloff on the cusp and Cave looking like at the least an adequate major leaguer. Replacing Sano with a free agent like Donaldson would be an upgrade and certainly affordable for a team with the payroll flexibility this one has.

Without a top starter, this team will not be a contender. Period! If the wonder boys do not actively explore the trade option, they are derelict in their duties. Much better to be proactive than sitting on one's hands hoping for improvement from Buxton/Sano!

There is no way any team trades a top of the rotation starter for Buxton or Sano right now. Why would they? Top of the rotation starters are the most valuable trade commodity there is. The return is going to be a lot more than a hope and a prayer. The return is going to be bona fide major leaguers and/or blue chip prospects. Buxton and Sano are neither right now.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 04 October 2018 - 02:26 PM.


#40 mike8791

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 02:56 PM

Yarnivek 1972:

 

Not suggesting Sano or Buxton themselves would be enough to snare a #1 starter, but they could certainly be the centerpiece for a rebuilding team - much more so than a high MILB prospect.We have some minor league pitchers with some potential; I would not hesitate if some other team were interested in Stewart, Gonzales or even Romero, depending on the return.

 

Just look at Berrios' splits against >.500 teams above.He is not the guy yet to lead this team in the playoffs.He didn't show it against Yanks last year, nor did he pitch well against top teams this year.He fattened up on Tigers, Sox and Royals, to name three.Berrios is an importantcog but far from an ace!

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