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Article: Offseason Blueprint: Hey Big Spenders!

byron buxton jose berrios
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#61 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:17 PM

Sure, that's fair.

BUT, I think a few folks are overstating the importance of historical trends and existing evidence in this discussion, while ignoring some pretty obviously relevant factors. Namely, this:

Before last offseason, what reason was there to think we were gonna see an all-time high payroll in franchise history in 2018? Falvey and Levine have essentially had one full offseason at the helm, and it resulted in more spending than we've ever seen before from the organization.

And while $150 million might seem like a huge number through the lens of Twins fans, it's really not that outrageous in the scope of today's MLB. It just isn't.


They received a $50 million check for their share of the sale of BamTech. 50% of that extra revenue is $25 million, which is where the extra payroll in 2018 came from.

#62 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:38 PM

I was not surprised at the level of spending last year and could easily see them topping it this year. They did not hamstring themselves with bad deals last year and that made me happy giving me confidence going forward. I don't see them signing Buxton yet.

#63 birdwatcher

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:48 PM

 

Sure, that's fair. 

 

BUT, I think a few folks are overstating the importance of historical trends and existing evidence in this discussion, while ignoring some pretty obviously relevant factors. Namely, this: 

 

Before last offseason, what reason was there to think we were gonna see an all-time high payroll in franchise history in 2018? Falvey and Levine have essentially had one full offseason at the helm, and it resulted in more spending than we've ever seen before from the organization. 

 

And while $150 million might seem like a huge number through the lens of Twins fans, it's really not that outrageous in the scope of today's MLB. It just isn't. 

 

Nick, I think its also fair and perhaps calming to keep in mind your main point, which is that the opportunity exists to make a splash in the FA market. Going the "spend big" route, whatever that looks like, is a fun thought and not all that unrealistic.

 

We don't know if the Pohlad boys would sign off on $125M, let alone $150M. But I'm also of the opinion that past history tells us a little less than we might think on the subject, because the context never quite remains the same. The organization is dealing with a set of conditions and factors that differ enough from the past to call for us to temper our convictions on this touchy subject.

 

I don't need to have a perfect grasp on this past year's P&L to be confident that a solid business case could be made to spend $150M now on the 2019 MLB payroll. If the revenues lag behind forecast, something tells me the business can withstand that short-term issue.

 

The critical things are there IMO: enough talent at MLB to think bolstering it aggressively could move the needle; adequate cash resources; more than nominal player assets with trade value, a division that's inviting the team to think opportunistically, viable difference-making FA options, even if Corbin isn't one of them.

 

I'm just going to stay giddily optimistic for now.


#64 Han Joelo

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:53 PM

As this series unfolds, I would love to see the "Really Big Spender" plan, and the "Moderately Big Spender Plan" as well.  What could you do with $195 million?  Just $125 million?  

 

As it is, I think looking at Nick's proposal is useful, in that I see it as a viable, comprehensive plan to contend that avoids that mediocre middle, where the Twins found themselves last year.  If $150 isn't viable this year, I'd rather see the $80 million team...with the caveat that they eventually shove those chips into the pot.

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#65 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:57 PM

 

They received a $50 million check for their share of the sale of BamTech. 50% of that extra revenue is $25 million, which is where the extra payroll in 2018 came from.

I don't think it's quite that simple. Why didn't every other team's payroll rise accordingly? How come MN's spending didn't spike along with revenues in 2012, after MLB signed a massive new deal with Turner and FOX

 

If anything, this all just serves to reinforce my final point above: "While $150 million might seem like a huge number through the lens of Twins fans, it's really not that outrageous in the scope of today's MLB. It just isn't."

 


#66 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:03 PM

My Dad will not pay 10 bucks for a hamburger. He just won't do it. Even if I offer to buy him the 10 buck burger, he consistently refuses. 

 

My Dad has more than enough money to afford the 10 dollar burger, he did well enough in the stock market to purchase his own hamburger business outright if he wanted to but he just won't pay 10 dollars for a burger because he thinks 10 bucks is too much for a burger. 

 

There are a lot of people in this world with this sort of mentality. 

 

With no inside information at all, fairly or unfairly. I have always assumed that Terry Ryan was like my father in this regard and believed it was possible that our budgets had more to do with Ryan's sensibility than some sort of directive from the Pohlad's. 

 

Part of the reason I came to this assumption was watching how payroll went up under Bill Smith after replacing Terry Ryan and then how payroll went back down after Terry Ryan returned. Granted that didn't prove anything because the team situations were different in terms of competitiveness but it was enough for me to assume the possibility that it just might be Terry Ryan. 

 

Now that Terry Ryan is gone... Payroll has gone up again... so who knows... maybe my assumption is plausible and therefore maybe we can spend 150 Million? :)

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#67 rdehring

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:11 PM

There is something else that no one is talking about, something that this FO may have done for a first time in this organization last year.Signing free agents to short or mid-term contracts can provide the opportunity to flip any or all of them at the deadline should the Twins not be in the hunt.  

 

This past year they traded lots of players at the deadline including Duke, Rodney and Lynn.Expect the sales pitch to the Pohlads is easier to make when you tell them we will sign players with contracts paying $60mm this year.If it isn't working, we can flip several of them to cut up to a third of the cost while returning many good prospects.  

 

This thought process may lead to more FA signings than we would normally expect.

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#68 Shaitan

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:45 PM

If the Yankees make a play on Gonzalez I think the Twins are priced out pretty quick.

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#69 Shaitan

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:46 PM

It's just smell test, not data-driven, but I haven't liked what I've seen of Herrera the past 2 seasons.

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#70 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:25 PM

It's almost like, I don't know, thought experiments aren't allowed on a website where fans are sitting around a virtual bar shooting the breeze* about sports.........

 

*family friendly substitution....

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#71 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:28 PM

 

 

And while $150 million might seem like a huge number through the lens of Twins fans, it's really not that outrageous in the scope of today's MLB. It just isn't. 

 

I don't want to argue about what is or isn't outrageous.I don't even know where one would cap that kind of qualification.What I'm interested in is lots of people doing these blueprints.  

 

I think your blueprint was fun to read and very interesting.I'm glad you put your thoughts out there to be critiqued now and later.I've done the same.I hope many others do as well.It will create awesome discussions now and in the future.Plus, it prevents those hindsight experts from claiming what a savant they were in July with nothing to show for it now.  

 

I also think these provide a lot of creative, awesome ideas for people to chew on.It's with that in mind that I offered that criticism.Much like there are budgets/limits on many other games we play, they exist to help foster creative and strategic thinking.People being able to say "I want a budget at (fill in any number really) because it's "not outrageous" sorta kills a lot of that creativity and intrigue.Think about any board game with a starting budget, or DFS, etc.These budgets exist for entertainment and strategy purposes

 

Hell, if I wanted to say $160M is "not outrageous....I could literally add Bryce Harper to my plan.I guess I'd prefer we stay within the current budget to encourage more creative thinking and less wishful thinking.That isn't to say wishful thinking is a bad thing, it's just a helluva lot less interesting. IMO, it would make this very awesome idea even better for discussion on the site if people didn't go above 120-130M.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 05 November 2018 - 07:31 PM.

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#72 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:35 PM

I think you'll enjoy the next two angles comin' from Parker and John. 


#73 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:42 PM

 

This past year they traded lots of players at the deadline including Duke, Rodney and Lynn.Expect the sales pitch to the Pohlads is easier to make when you tell them we will sign players with contracts paying $60mm this year.If it isn't working, we can flip several of them to cut up to a third of the cost while returning many good prospects.  

 

This thought process may lead to more FA signings than we would normally expect.

This is a very good point. When you think about it, a lot of this regime's uncharacteristic spending has ultimately been in the name of future investment (i.e., signing useful FAs on flippable one-year deals and eating salary to get prospects in the Jaime Garcia flip).

 

But I do think it's important to get some continuity established, which is why I felt the contract extensions and a couple long-term FA pacts were warranted. Levine more or less admitted in BP's interview that all the one-year deals and uncertain futures were a distraction this year. The FO has now escaped all of its inherited commitments, so they can pick the guys they really wanna build around.

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#74 Aerodeliria

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:09 PM

As many have mentioned here and in IMHO too, Buxton needs to show something before emptying a truckload of cash on his lawn. He's played well for about one half of one season, and granted, his defense can make us overlook SOME his shortcomings, but when he has been hitting poorly, the automatic strikeouts can be incredibly demoralizing, especially when it snuffs out scoring opportunities in tight games. I don't think there is anyone here who doesn't want Buxton to succeed, but he has yet to transmogrify into Andre Dawson, so let's see if he can start solidifying some of these projections of greatness before going too crazy.

 

I love the idea of taking a flyer on Donaldson. For one thing, he can't hit big home runs against the Twins if he's playing for them. For another, he is a veteran presence and one that has some stardust sprinkles on his uniform. I think it is always good to have at least one or two of these types of players. I think small market teams need to gamble on one or two players per year in the hopes that one of those gambles pays off.

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#75 Twins33

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:14 PM

My Dad will not pay 10 bucks for a hamburger. He just won't do it. Even if I offer to buy him the 10 buck burger, he consistently refuses. 
 
My Dad has more than enough money to afford the 10 dollar burger, he did well enough in the stock market to purchase his own hamburger business outright if he wanted to but he just won't pay 10 dollars for a burger because he thinks 10 bucks is too much for a burger. 
 
There are a lot of people in this world with this sort of mentality. 
 
With no inside information at all, fairly or unfairly. I have always assumed that Terry Ryan was like my father in this regard and believed it was possible that our budgets had more to do with Ryan's sensibility than some sort of directive from the Pohlad's. 
 
Part of the reason I came to this assumption was watching how payroll went up under Bill Smith after replacing Terry Ryan and then how payroll went back down after Terry Ryan returned. Granted that didn't prove anything because the team situations were different in terms of competitiveness but it was enough for me to assume the possibility that it just might be Terry Ryan. 
 
Now that Terry Ryan is gone... Payroll has gone up again... so who knows... maybe my assumption is plausible and therefore maybe we can spend 150 Million? :)

It's certainly possible. I think one of the Pohlad's at one point said that Ryan was never turned down on a contract request or something to that effect (I don't have a link, I just remember something similar to that was said). So it seems like he never asked to sign a top tier FA or Pohlad is lying.

I do believe Ryan was like that. At times it's a good way to be, but there are other times when it's very smart to go for it for the right players. It all depends on whether the player is worth the risk and there definitely are players who are.

Also, I agree with your dad and don't believe a burger should be more than $8 and I refuse to eat out anymore since they're all $13 or so nowadays. I've got some TR in me too, I guess.
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#76 Aerodeliria

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 02:17 AM

...you know it's actually cheaper to eat at a restaurant in Japan than in the US (you do get less food, but it is definitely cheaper). What do they charge for a ballpark frank these days? $5.00? $6.00? (I can never attend a game because I only return during the bitter winds of December.)

Edited by Aerodeliria, 06 November 2018 - 02:18 AM.


#77 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 06:11 AM

...you know it's actually cheaper to eat at a restaurant in Japan than in the US (you do get less food, but it is definitely cheaper). What do they charge for a ballpark frank these days? $5.00? $6.00? (I can never attend a game because I only return during the bitter winds of December.)


Not when you factor in airfare though.
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#78 rdehring

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 07:19 AM

If Buxton doesn't improve at the plate in spring training and during the first few weeks of the season, I have a solution that should improve his average.

 

When he gets to two strikes, should he be instructed to only consider bunting?If it is a slider out of the zone, he pulls the bat back and waits for a strike.If it is in the zone, he bunts.Sure he may foul half of them off and only be safe on half of the others.But getting to first base 25% of the time is a lot better than striking out nearly 100% of the time.Is this idea worth the space it took to write it?Could he add 20 or 30 points to his average?Or is it a worthless idea?

 

The reason I mentioned it here is because Buxton has been discussed in this piece.

Edited by rdehring, 06 November 2018 - 07:21 AM.


#79 Twodogs

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 08:04 AM

I saw on the mlb channel that the Whitesox may be going for Machado and or Harper? That would probably change the dynamics of the central a little bit?

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#80 JLease

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:49 AM

It's a fascinating scenario. I don't love slotting in Marwin Gonzalez; his positional flexibility is really nice, but I don't love paying him $11M a year. (and I don't love paying Grossman $4M either). Even in a "big-spender" mode those feel like less than great investments. Gonzalez hitting in 2017 looks like a fluke year, so dropping this kind of money on him doesn't make my socks roll up & down.

 

The corbin signing would be a risk, but damn if it wouldn't be a hell of a splashy move. Berrios and Corbin would be really nice at the top of the rotation (and set the team up nicely for a playoff series), and Gibson & Pineda should be able to chew up innings well in the 3-4 slots, allowing Romero to develop with less pressure.

 

Donaldson: I could see it. a 1 year "prove it" kind of deal to rebuild his value before he tries for one more big(ish) multi-year? It's not a crazy idea and it seems unlikely that he's going to get a 4-5 year offer at the kind of money he'll want. Maybe he could be convinced to bet on himself.

 

Extend Berrios: love it. I'm 100% behind this.

Extend Buxton: I love it and I hate it. Man, I just don't know. I want to believe! I'm afraid to believe. :)

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