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Article: Pros and Crons: Weighing the Merits of Minnesota's Latest Addition

cj cron
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#21 h2oface

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 05:26 AM

A real yawner. Has an upside. Has doubts. It makes me want to take a nap, and I just woke up.

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#22 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 05:49 AM

So you think this did not come out of the free agent budget at all? They'll still spend just as much? So if they keep him, they would be four or five million over budget. Or, you think they have a fre agent budget, and it is now less?


I think just like last year there is a plus or minus range in their budget greater than 5m based opportunity. For example they were maybe done last year but when Morrison was available for cheap (6.5m) they said what the heck. So i would say this definitely does not hamper their budget. Plus if he looks similar to Austin let him go or if he looks good and you keep him you can always trade him mid season. We didn't give up anything for him. Where's the problem?
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#23 Boom Boom

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 06:02 AM

1. If the Twins want to drop a pile of cash on a free agent, the $5 mil for Cron isn't going to stop them.

2. I would argue that seeking a 1B platoon partner for Austin would limit roster flexibility more than simply trying to upgrade from him.
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#24 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:00 AM

 

I think this analysis leaves out how well Cron hit lefties last year (.307 .376 .553 .930 in 170 PAs) (even with the outsized BAbip), and pretty well in 2017 as well (.233 .290 .500 .790 in 93 PAs) (lower-than-career-average BAbip).  

 

 

Thanks for weighing out at least one of the Pro's. Loved your witty opening, Nick, but you have to weigh both pros & cons if that's what you promise in your headline. Groan, you only listed three croans, I mean crons, I mean cons...


#25 USAFChief

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:19 AM

 

I think this analysis leaves out how well Cron hit lefties last year (.307 .376 .553 .930 in 170 PAs) (even with the outsized BAbip), and pretty well in 2017 as well (.233 .290 .500 .790 in 93 PAs) (lower-than-career-average BAbip).  

 

 

 

 

So...they're going to add a LH hitting first baseman to platoon with Cron? 

 

Otherwise, this is pointless.

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#26 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:21 AM

Since May, I have been talking about the need for flexibility. 

 

First move of the off-season was the exact opposite.:)

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#27 Platoon

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:32 AM

I pilfered this Alex Cora quote from another blogger: ""We live in an era that hitting .210 with 30 homers and 70 RBI is acceptable and it's a good season. We don't believe that." it outlined my viewpoint of MLB in its current form to a "T"
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#28 Doug Y

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:36 AM

.246/.353/.516/.868 

.253/.323/.493/.816

.260/.378/.617/.995

.260/.332/.524/.856

 

These 4 players all had breakthrough seasons at 28 or 29 after having been very ordinary before hand. I think it is worth taking a flyer on Cron, because sometimes it takes 5 years in the majors for some guys to learn to hit MLB pitching. Nelson Cruz and Jose Bautista made adjustments/figured it out and had some very good years. Or he could be Logan Morrisson. For only $5 million her is worth a look. 

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#29 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:39 AM

 

On Monday, the Minnesota Twins announced that they'd claimed first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers, which is great news because it provided me an opportunity to use the terrible title pun you see above. (Yes, I'm aware Cron's last name isn't actually pronounced like 'con' but LEMME HAVE MY FUN.)
 

 

The worst part is you had to explain the pun... I'm guessing most of us wouldn't have noticed :)

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#30 rdehring

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 07:44 AM

I suspect the Twins were a bit surprised Cron became available.When a deal wasn't struck with any team, they threw in a waiver claim and were probably surprised when he became an early Christmas present.

 

Like many above, I will be surprised if Cron and Austin are both on the roster come opening day.If they are, they both will have had decent/good springs and will fill out the roster at first base and most games at DH.

 

I also don't understand all the love for Cruz.He is what, 38-39 years old?I understand his production last year dipped, although was still good.Whereas others see him hitting at that level again in 2019, I see 2018 as being year one of his drop off due to age.That means 2019 will be year 2 of his downward spiral.How bad will it get this year?We will know come September.But if it is the same drop off as 2017-2018, his production may not be better than what we could expect from Austin (.225/.300/.780).I for one believe his decline will be signifianct and would have zero interest.

 

I also expect they are done at the DH/1B position.Now, if they can focus the dollars available on a good middle infielder, two bullpen arms and signing Berrios, Rosario and Gibson to extensions, it will have been a good winter.And come spring, we will have a real chance of competing for the playoffs which to a large extent will again depend on what we get from Mr. Buxton and Mr. Sano.  

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#31 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 08:26 AM

 

This was a waiver claim, not a free agent signing. These happen all the time and with his pay, lack of position and noted redundancy, I’d say he’s got an uphill battle to make the team. I’m really struggling to understand why there is so much frustration with this. Like the rest of the league, the Twins will probably make two or three other moves like this before spring, these guys are just lotto tickets. I don’t recall this much anger over claiming Michael Reed.

I'm not angry about this waiver claim. I'm cautiously happy.

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#32 blindeke

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:15 AM

"In fairness, the Twins aren't committed to Cron – they could cut him before the end of spring training at a negligible cost – but I suspect they wouldn't make this claim if they didn't (at least presently) intend to keep him."

 

This is a crucial point from the article. Next week, the Front Office might waive him. We don't know... They are just stockpiling options, IMO. Let's wait to pull our hair out until he makes the Opening Day roster.

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#33 Thrylos

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:27 AM

2018 numbers:

 

Cron 2.1 fWAR
Mauer 1.0 fWAR
Austin 0.3 fWAR in 69 games or 0.6 fWAR/150 games

 

Con is the best fist baseman they have now and about double as good as Mauer was last season.

 

Wonder whether the Twins gave Mauer(a lesser player than Cron these days) an 1 yr / $6M contact, would had been so much negativity about the signing.

 

Worse come to worst, they cut him if they find anyone better.

 

Bottom line:The Twins are better with Cron than they were the minute before they signed him.

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#34 Jim Hahn

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:43 AM

I wonder if the Twins won't try to slide Austin through waivers at some point this winter. If they can, they still have another bat available at AAA, which would add depth. Cron could still be cut this winter if a better option presented itself. I would think a utility type bat who can play 1st, 3rd and maybe 2nd might be signed.

It is also likely that Kepler will need his 1st baseman's glove this year in order to get him,Cave, and Rosario into the game at the same time.

It also might a bit early to make too many assumptions about what the final roster will look like, or how it will fit together.
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#35 ashburyjohn

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:56 AM

Since May, I have been talking about the need for flexibility. 

 

First move of the off-season was the exact opposite.:)

Insubordinate, this front office. Insubordinate.

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#36 JLease

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:02 AM

This is something of a marginal move, but I was never all that sold on Tyler Austin anyways. I'll have to go look at the FAs but I do think it would be good for this squad to get a high OBP LH hitter to help out.

 

A lot of this probably comes down to Austin v. Cron, and if you had to bet on who's likely to be a better player next year...how do you not take Cron? He's got 2 years of being a 2 WAR player and neither had any unsustainable fluke elements like an out of character BABIP. There's nothing wonky in his splits (like beating the crap out of september callup pitching to pad the numbers) to make you freak out. He's probably a 1.5-2.4 bWAR guy for the next 2-3 years and I'd be nervous on betting Austin can come close to matching that.

 

yes, he's going to cost more than Austin but he's also probably worth 1 more WAR than Austin. I'll take that marginal improvement for $4.5M, especially considering 1 WAR is worth about $8-9M.

 

I'm not a big fan of Austin. Not sure he'll ever get the OBP to where it needs to be to be an effective Three True Outcomes guy. It was a fine acquisition to dump Lance Lynn, and he's a decent depth guy, but I'd much rather have Cron at this point.

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#37 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:10 AM

 

So...they're going to add a LH hitting first baseman to platoon with Cron? 

 

Otherwise, this is pointless.

Yeah I'm confused by why Cron's ability to hit LHP is a positive, since that's easily Austin's biggest skill and he's way better at it. You're only reinforcing the redundancy (very good post otherwise tho, Pseudo).

 

 

Thanks for weighing out at least one of the Pro's. Loved your witty opening, Nick, but you have to weigh both pros & cons if that's what you promise in your headline. Groan, you only listed three croans, I mean crons, I mean cons...

Ha, there were pros in there (2018 stats, strong hitting pedigree, fewer weaknesses than Austin)! I just didn't lay them out as distinctly as the crons.


#38 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:14 AM

 

This was a waiver claim, not a free agent signing. These happen all the time and with his pay, lack of position and noted redundancy, I’d say he’s got an uphill battle to make the team. I’m really struggling to understand why there is so much frustration with this. Like the rest of the league, the Twins will probably make two or three other moves like this before spring, these guys are just lotto tickets. I don’t recall this much anger over claiming Michael Reed.

Did the Twins create customized "Welcome to MN" graphics when they claimed Michael Reed? 

 

I get what you're saying -- this move isn't permanent by any stretch -- but suggesting it's the equivalent to claiming some random AAAA waiver-wire fodder is inaccurate. I feel quite confident that the Twins are planning on carrying Cron in 2019 unless something else comes up.

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#39 nicksaviking

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:17 AM

 

Don't you think this is a bit different considering his expected arbitration price?

 

As Nick points out, I doubt the Twins make this claim without plans to have him on the roster.And that means they are planting (at least partially) their 1B/DH flag on Cron and a 5M commitment.

 

People keep saying they don't see the downside, but the better question is.....where's the upside?

 

Doesn't his $5M commitment make him LESS likely to make the team? They only have to pay him a fraction of that amount if they waive him prior to the season. If he and Austin are truly similar, wouldn't they keep Austin unless Cron shows to be a better hitter? 

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#40 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:18 AM

 

Doesn't his $5M commitment make him LESS likely to make the team? They only have to pay him a fraction of that amount if they waive him prior to the season. If he and Austin are truly similar, wouldn't they keep Austin unless Cron shows to be a better hitter? 

"Shows to be a better hitter" in what? Four weeks of spring training games? Do you think this FO is making decisions on that basis? Do you want them to?

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