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Article: Rundown: Mauer Being a Pain, Prospect Lists, Philly Trade Rumors and Other Notes

joe mauer don cooper jhoan duran lewis thorpe carlos santana
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#21 mike8791

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:15 PM

Levine told Hayes that if Sano and Buxton take a step forward “I think we have primed ownership to then give us the green light to take more of an aggressive step forward with this unit of players.” We’ll see how the offseason unfolds, but that quote leads me to believe there’s going to be more of a holding pattern this upcoming season. That they'll wait for a Sano/Buxton breakout before really getting aggressive. That’s the last thing I want to see. Be buyers or sellers. You’re either in or you’re out. No more middle ground

 

In an offseason totally devoid of action, we Twin fans are forced to grasp at straws and as Tom points out, this is perhaps a sign of the 2018/2019 offseason. While some fans may see this as the "prudent,low-risk" approach, to the rest of us, this would truly be a wasted opportunity and an indictment of Falvey and company . Consider:

 

1. With an estimated payroll of about $70-75 MM going into the offseason, the Twins have close to that much money to spend.Why should it be saved for future years, especially when the best team in the division seems to by possibly retrenching, the rest of the division is a ways from being competitive, and the Twins despite many disappointments in 2018, were only 6 games below .500.

 

2. The Twins have built up enough depth in their minor league system to trade at least some of their top prospects for established major leaguers, particularly in the rotation.After all, as we know from bitter experience, many of these "prospects" will never advance beyond that status.

 

3.Waiting until midseason to see how Sano/Buxton perform is a sure-fire prescription for mediocrity.The Twins can hope that at least Buxton rises to his 2017 WAR level, solidifying the OF defense, and that Sano can easily be replaced with a FA player.If both Sano and Buxton bounce back, so muct the better - the Twins could advance from contender for a WC spot to genuine playoff threat.What's wrong with being "too deep" in quality players?Treading water in the offseason waiting for the 2019 season to unfold is an unacceptable middling position unworthy of the FO whiz kids and long-suffering Twin fans.

 

This passivity that Levine seems to demonstrate in the above quote smacks too much of Ryanism and all the mediocrity that brought one playoff victory in the last 18 years!!).I, for one, would be outraged if Levine backs up these words with the corresponding inaction his words imply.

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#22 Jim Hahn

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:43 PM

The "problem" with many prospect lists is that they value ceiling way more than floor. Often ceiling when talking about very young prospects seems rather unrealistic to me. Often ceiling seems to be "we don't know what he can't do yet so we assume he has no weaknesses ".

An example of a prospect who is probably undervalued is Rortvedt. He appears to a catcher who is very good defensively and may provide above average offense as well. If he reaches that "ceiling" he becomes very valuable , all-star level perhaps, because few catchers are able to combine offense and defense. Yet, he gets little run in these lists even though he fairly close to the majors and has made noticeable improvement each year. It is all because of preceived ceiling although he is more likely to reach his ceiling than most ahead of him.

I enjoy reading prospect lists, but I don't take them too seriously. Eventually prospects have to prove it on the field .
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#23 Winston Smith

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:12 PM

I think I'd rather have Moose who plays 3B where we only have an iffy Sano. His bat is close to what Santana does and wouldn't need a trade and likely costs less.

I just don't think they can count on Sano, fool me once type thing and Sano can play 1B or DH if he shows anything.

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#24 cmoss84

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:39 PM

I'm a "no" on Santana..unless they eat a lot of the contract, which they probably will not. I would rather trade Kepler and sign Brantley...high OBP and BA. 

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#25 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:47 PM

 

especially when the best team in the division seems to by possibly retrenching, the rest of the division is a ways from being competitive, and the Twins despite many disappointments in 2018, were only 6 games below .500.

 

 

 

I'm not sure if this quote from you is getting proper consideration but it should. 

 

The Indians are about to lose, Allen, Miller, Chisenhall, Perez, Davis and Tomlin to Free Agency. 

 

They are floating rumors about considering the possible trading Kluber, Encarnacion, Carrasco, Gomes and Kipnis. 

 

Once they trade Kluber and they will get interesting offers to entice them, that will be the start of the rebuild. Also... If they trade Kluber... They have now taken the starting rotation strength that they have and marginalized to the point where an injury to Carrasco or Bauer makes it rather questionable and beatable.  

 

We know the Indians are not going to spend money in FA and we know that the farm system has been drained enough that they need to consider trading Kluber to replenish. 

 

Consider the Royals and Tigers are complete mess and the White Sox are still extremely young even if they convince Bryce Harper to sign a 10 year deal. 

 

The window is open right now. Don't wait on Buxton and Sano... Go make something happen. See if Buxton and Sano can get motivated enough to join whatever you make happen and make it even better. 

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#26 Ben Noble

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:21 PM

 

Differences of opinion are always out there and I understand the viewpoints of everything you explained, but not everything you pointed out says the same things to me and I don't necessarily see some of the things you do.

 

I still see a good amount of inconsistency. I see a fastball that's way ahead of any of his other pitches. I also see the very high ceiling, but for me that's also attached to a high risk profile. For me that means his rating is somewhere in the middle.

 

He was not at all dominant with Kane County, and was actually not very good for a stretch of 8 starts before being traded to the Twins.

 

He was better when he got here but you still got really good or meh. No in between. No type of prolonged consistency and nothing even remotely resembling a track record yet.

 

He is still very young with potential for a lot more in the future, but not top 10 for me at this point yet. Very easily could get there but I want to see more and too early for me on someone with his profile.

 

I appreciate the thoughtful response and hearing your reasoning. FWIW, I think his breaking ball has surpassed his fastball at this point in both present quality and future projection. Greater consistency and the continued development of his change up will both be crucial.

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#27 Major League Ready

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:47 PM

 

I'm not sure if this quote from you is getting proper consideration but it should. 

 

The Indians are about to lose, Allen, Miller, Chisenhall, Perez, Davis and Tomlin to Free Agency. 

 

They are floating rumors about considering the possible trading Kluber, Encarnacion, Carrasco, Gomes and Kipnis. 

 

Once they trade Kluber and they will get interesting offers to entice them, that will be the start of the rebuild. Also... If they trade Kluber... They have now taken the starting rotation strength that they have and marginalized to the point where an injury to Carrasco or Bauer makes it rather questionable and beatable.  

 

We know the Indians are not going to spend money in FA and we know that the farm system has been drained enough that they need to consider trading Kluber to replenish. 

 

Consider the Royals and Tigers are complete mess and the White Sox are still extremely young even if they convince Bryce Harper to sign a 10 year deal. 

 

The window is open right now. Don't wait on Buxton and Sano... Go make something happen. See if Buxton and Sano can get motivated enough to join whatever you make happen and make it even better. 

 

Is the goal to win the division or build a contender? You have to ask yourself why should we aspire to get to Cleveland's position when they are electing to tear it down. Their revenue generating capacity is about the sames as our so it's a good comparison. 

Edited by Major Leauge Ready, 14 November 2018 - 05:48 PM.


#28 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 08:03 PM

Is the goal to win the division or build a contender? You have to ask yourself why should we aspire to get to Cleveland's position when they are electing to tear it down. Their revenue generating capacity is about the sames as our so it's a good comparison.


Both 😎
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#29 DocBauer

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 08:42 PM

I'm sorry, but have either of you dug into Duran at all or, no offense, are you just more or less guessing?
 
Reports are that he was sitting in the high 90s before working with Kane County coaches in the first half of last year to trade in some of that heat for better control. He's now sitting in the mid 90s, but with much improved control of his fastball and command of his secondary pitches, and can still reach back to hit 98 with good movement when necessary.
 
From what I understand, his biggest hurdle is consistently knowing when to dial it up and when to dial it back, but consistency is usually the last hurdle for a starting pitching prospect, often not happening until they're pitching in MLB. I know that all games count, but go back and look at his individual starts last year: he had a few that were utterly dominating and a couple that really skewed his numbers negatively.
 
As an illustration, Duran started against Quad Cities at the end of June and gave up 8 runs without recording an out. One month later, he faced Quad Cities again and didn't give up a hit over 7 innings. 
 
His size and velocity have always been tantalizing, but Duran made the transition from thrower to pitcher last year, and showed himself able and willing to make adjustments. It was his first year learning to actually pitch, and he improved as the summer wore on. For me, that's huge.
 
Sure, some guys like Sickels will miss on him...but I think Sickels was also one of the guys who kept repeating the same tired bs that Thorpe is injury prone because he had mono. The national guys do a great job covering a ton of players, and hats off to them, but they also have a tendency to show up to the party late on guys that make midseason adjustments.
 
I think he's easily top 10 now, and a repeat performance in 2019 has him finishing the season in AA and a top 100 prospect in baseball.


Absolutely guessing at this point and will admit it.

Even respected media and "experts" will admit they don't see all prospects, and rely on various reports and second hand information to build their prospect lists/rankings. So while we see a lot of parallels, they should always be taken with a grain of salt. (After all, really, how could they ever see everyone, everywhere, and more than once anyway?)

As to my opinion/guess, I read what I can, from where I can, and look at results to this point. You mention Duran evolving in to a "pitcher" rather than just a "thrower" this year. Where does your opinion/information come from? Were you lucky enough to watch him this season? Asking honestly because I'd love to know. What I see is very average numbers until he joined Cedar Rapids. The numbers there sure seem like a big improvement.

I sure hope he's another Graterol in potential and blows people away next year! But for me, even though I get the "ceiling" about talented young guys, I'd just like to see a little more track record before I'd rank them that high.

Love to hear your feedback on him.
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#30 DocBauer

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 08:50 PM

A couple thoughts on the Falvine report:

1] No intelligent, decent GM of any franchise lays his cards on the table and just states something like: "we have holes to fill in the pen, infield, probably add a good bad, and will look at the rotation if the right opportunity comes along. We have money to spend and a deep system to trade from, so we're going to be very aggressive. In fact, I have a couple agents on hold so I have to go now." [snicker]

2] Is it also possible that his comments about moving aggressively forward aren't so much about the team build for 2019, but about a BIG FA signing or the potential BIG trade of top prospects to put the team over the top.

Just throwing it out there.
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#31 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:58 PM

 

Is the goal to win the division or build a contender? You have to ask yourself why should we aspire to get to Cleveland's position when they are electing to tear it down. Their revenue generating capacity is about the sames as our so it's a good comparison. 

 

Honestly, I believe the Twins can simultaneously make a run at this year and build for the future. 

 

We agree on a lot of things but one place where we may have different viewpoints is: Just how close the Twins are. 

 

We have money and prospects during a time when FA's are under-valued and prospects are over-valued. 

 

That combo's nicely with a young core who could turn it on collectively at anytime. Impressive starting pitching depth, a new manager from an organization who threw out the old rules successfully and offensive 40 man depth that is hitting the 40 man roster behind the scenes which will keep the Motter's and Petit's off the 40 man.  

 

Plus the option of adding more talent at the deadline. 

 

And I've stated this many times... we don't have to compare to the Red Sox on paper. 

 

And of course... it can all go horribly wrong even with honest effort but I think we can build for today and tomorrow at the same time. 

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#32 108Stitches

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:01 PM

 

Tyler Wells not being on the Prospects Live top 30 list was a miss. 

 

No matter what you think of him in terms of ceiling, once you get to AA and are putting up really good numbers it's pretty hard to justify not being in the top 30

Absolutely this. The fact that this guy has outperformed nearly EVERYONE in his draft class as well as the Twins org and doesn't get recognized nationally is simply shameful. Not saying he's a top 10 national guy, but he's at least a top 15 Twins guy.


#33 Aerodeliria

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 03:46 AM

Be buyers or sellers but what exactly are we buying? A wish and a hope so? And what exactly would we be selling? Two guys who missed huge chunks of the season, and who couldn't keep their BAs above the Mendoza line and who struck out as often as George McFly. I don't like either end of that stick, so I reluctantly am agreeing with management on this.


#34 Doctor Wu

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 04:35 AM

Like many others on this board I'm still very high on Thorpe too. But one thing that Tom wrote made me surprised. He wrote:

 

A lot of scouts also believe Thorpe will end up in the bullpen.

 

Are there really a LOT of scouts who think this? I'm certainly not privy to what the scouting community thinks of Thorpe or any other pitcher, but this is the first time that I can recall someone mentioning that Thorpe might end up in the bullpen. What do others think?

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#35 USAFChief

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 06:42 AM

 

Is the goal to win the division or build a contender? You have to ask yourself why should we aspire to get to Cleveland's position when they are electing to tear it down. Their revenue generating capacity is about the sames as our so it's a good comparison. 

Falvey has already stated the goal is to be competitive every year.

 

Presumably 2019 falls under "every year."

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#36 Major League Ready

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 06:59 AM

 

Honestly, I believe the Twins can simultaneously make a run at this year and build for the future. 

 

We agree on a lot of things but one place where we may have different viewpoints is: Just how close the Twins are. 

 

We have money and prospects during a time when FA's are under-valued and prospects are over-valued. 

 

That combo's nicely with a young core who could turn it on collectively at anytime. Impressive starting pitching depth, a new manager from an organization who threw out the old rules successfully and offensive 40 man depth that is hitting the 40 man roster behind the scenes which will keep the Motter's and Petit's off the 40 man.  

 

Plus the option of adding more talent at the deadline. 

 

And I've stated this many times... we don't have to compare to the Red Sox on paper. 

 

And of course... it can all go horribly wrong even with honest effort but I think we can build for today and tomorrow at the same time. 

 

I have highlighted the key points where we differ at least to a degree. It's one thing, if there was just one great team where we did compare on paper. There are three where we are not remotely close and a handful that are far better. Would we satisfied with the team signing FAs or trading for players that are not very good on paper because they believed in them? Of course not. The response to that type of signing and explanation would be draw extremely negative responses here so we can't use that logic to state we are ready to make a run and should spend and trade accordingly.

 

Actually by opinion sways on just how far away we are from being a contender. I think we differ in distance as much as we do probability. The existing players could provide the core to build a contender. However, when I compare our team to the contenders, Boston, NY, and Houston has proven players 1-9 and much better pitching than us.

 

We have 2 proven SPs in Berrios and Gibson and 1 really good RP in Rogers. We just one offensive player that is considered proven (Rosario) that matches up to the top 4,5, even six position players on the true contenders. Our best offensive player (Rosario) was absolutely inept the 2nd half of the season. It was not just a slump. Pitchers are exploiting his horrible plate discipline. Point being, even our best offensive player is a question mark.

 

We have a bunch of guys who might be good. We would need several players to really step up and all of the new acquisitions to work out. I think we would agree the probability of that happening is very low. That does not in any way suggest you just wait and see but it should determine how you go about getting better. For example, signing or trading for 35 y/o SPs (Greinke) who will block the guys we need long-term and will also with near certainty decline and absorb 25M or more. I am not even sure of your position on Greinke. I am just using him as an example.


#37 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 07:08 AM

 

Is the goal to win the division or build a contender? You have to ask yourself why should we aspire to get to Cleveland's position when they are electing to tear it down. Their revenue generating capacity is about the sames as our so it's a good comparison. 

 

Brian said it well... but yeah, both. There's an open opportunity with Cleveland likely considering the rebuild route. Winning the division could be very easy.

 

If they go all in and spend 50M, they should have a contender if Sano and Buxton regress positively and could be a deep contender if one or both really puts it together. It won't take a lot of players for a legit team. Donaldson or possibly Cruz, Gonzalez, a 2B and a solid RP. They have excess AAA pitching they can use to acquire some of that too or perhaps they use some of that excess pitching and excess salary to offload an Odorizzi for a Grienke. 

 

I think spending some money is a smart move too, especially if Cleveland throws in the towel.

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#38 Riverbrian

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 07:43 AM

 

I have highlighted the key points where we differ at least to a degree. It's one thing, if there was just one great team where we did compare on paper. There are three where we are not remotely close and a handful that are far better. Would we satisfied with the team signing FAs or trading for players that are not very good on paper because they believed in them? Of course not. The response to that type of signing and explanation would be draw extremely negative responses here so we can't use that logic to state we are ready to make a run and should spend and trade accordingly.

 

Actually by opinion sways on just how far away we are from being a contender. I think we differ in distance as much as we do probability. The existing players could provide the core to build a contender. However, when I compare our team to the contenders, Boston, NY, and Houston has proven players 1-9 and much better pitching than us.

 

We have 2 proven SPs in Berrios and Gibson and 1 really good RP in Rogers. We just one offensive player that is considered proven (Rosario) that matches up to the top 4,5, even six position players on the true contenders. Our best offensive player (Rosario) was absolutely inept the 2nd half of the season. It was not just a slump. Pitchers are exploiting his horrible plate discipline. Point being, even our best offensive player is a question mark.

 

We have a bunch of guys who might be good. We would need several players to really step up and all of the new acquisitions to work out. I think we would agree the probability of that happening is very low. That does not in any way suggest you just wait and see but it should determine how you go about getting better. For example, signing or trading for 35 y/o SPs (Greinke) who will block the guys we need long-term and will also with near certainty decline and absorb 25M or more. I am not even sure of your position on Greinke. I am just using him as an example.

 

The area where we agree is the answer.

 

You don't have to sign Machado (I wouldn't object to signing Machado) but you can sign three Moustakas types for the same price and plug the holes. 

 

On the probability of several stepping up or everybody working out... I'll raise your "very low" to my "extremely" low.

 

It isn't going to happen... so fill your 25 man roster up and don't let it kill you. Strength in numbers, safety nets, don't hand anyone a job come hell or high water. 40 Man depth is starting to land on the page so we don't have the "We have to play Morrison because we have Motter excuse" anymore. We have the cash and the prospects to complete the 25 man roster with players who can contribute. 

 

I know we look miles away after last year but the A's looked miles away after 2017 and the Twins looked miles away after 2016. I'm not predicting an unpredictable A's or Twins like "how'd this happen" return to Glory. I'm saying if Sano and Buxton hit, things will look real different real quick. 

 

We've all heard the phrase "So Close but yet so Far". The Twins are the opposite in my opinion. "So Far but yet so Close". 

 

On the strength of Boston, New York and Houston on paper. Doesn't matter to me. :) 

 

Every year there is going to be a Boston, New York and Houston on paper. Can the Twins collect a roster of players similar to them?. Yes we can but it guarantees us nothing once we do. 

 

Making the playoffs is the hard part... once that happens, it's a whole new small sample size season where your performance during the season doesn't matter anymore. Any team in baseball can go 12-8 over 20 games and win a World Series. Any team can do it. 

 

The hard part is the 162 games, keeping players focused and productive over the long run. It can't be done with 9 guys and crap on the bench and Manny Machado can't carry a team over 162 games by himself. 

 

Find 25 competent players... add that to the 40 man depth coming from behind and let the players decide who leads us forward. Make Sano and Buxton earn playing time and give them the playing time if they earn it. And then add some help at the trade deadline. 

 

I'm not asking for much.:)

 

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#39 Major League Ready

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 07:46 AM

 

Falvey has already stated the goal is to be competitive every year.

 

Presumably 2019 falls under "every year."

 

I made a different presumption. I presumed that he meant they would build the analytics department on par with the best in MLB. That they would overhaul our inept scouting and drafting practices that have been part of why we have not been competitive. I presumed it meant they would adopt new development programs and practices that would get the most out of the good prospects resulting from better drafting practices. I presumed it meant they would utilize all the above to make better trades (see Cleveland).

 

Apparently, you presumed it meant they would be magically build a team like Houston. I presumed it meant they would build the programs and practices responsible for Houston’s success.


#40 ashburyjohn

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 08:06 AM

We have money and prospects during a time when FA's are under-valued and prospects are over-valued.

FAs are valued about right. Some of them used to be over-valued.

 

I'm sure that GMs always understood there was somewhat of a hockey-stick curve relating salary to performance; a 4-WAR* guy is worth more than the combined salary of two 2-WAR guys. But modern analytics has clarified the point, and demonstrated that the curve is even sharper than previously thought. The 8-WAR cornerstone guys are going to get paid, when available. The 4-WAR studs will too, just based on scarcity. But guys who profile as average, 2-WAR, have seen the bottom drop out of their market. Unless your aim is a .500 record, I'm not overly keen on loading up on those "bargains".

 

hockey-stick-curve.png

 

All that said, we have money, and it should be spent. Free agents don't give you 40-man depth, in the sense that they rarely come with minor league options or the ability to use them (major league service time gives them rights). But in the right combination they will help with our problems. I'm just in the "fewer, but better" camp, and if the occasional Taylor Motter pollutes our 40-man simply for the practical matter that he can be stashed at Rochester and others can't, so be it.

 

Having both Motter and Petit is a pretty bad indicator, I'll agree.

 

* As usual, I'm using "WAR" here as a high-level term to denote that wins come from somewhere and certain players contribute more than others, and not some particular formulation. Each team has their own ideas.

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