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Article: Rundown: Sonny, LeMahieu, Non-Tenders and More

sonny gray dj lemahieu c.j. cron robbie grossman jonathan schoop
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:54 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe interviewed new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and reported that the Twins were among the teams who’ve expressed interest in Sonny Gray (it’s a long article). His bi-polar name is quite fitting. On the “Sonny” side: He’s still only 29, had a 3.17 ERA on the road and won’t take a king’s ransom to acquire. On the “Gray” side: He’s averaged less than 140 innings pitched the past three seasons, had a 6.98 ERA at Yankee Stadium and is only under team control for one more season.Other teams Cafardo mentions in the mix for Gray are the A’s, Braves, Padres and Rangers. The main thing that stands out as an advantage for the Twins is they seem to be better suited to take on payroll. So if the Yankees are primarily looking for financial relief, boy does that feel weird to say, the Twins have a great shot. Gray is expected to make somewhere around $9 million through arbitration.

La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported that the Twins “have expressed some interest” in DJ LeMahieu. A three-time Gold Glover at second base, former batting champ and two-time All-Star, LeMahieu certainly has an attractive resume. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs also highlighted his ability to barrel up balls, speculating a power breakout could be possible with an adjustment or two. Still, LeMahieu’s career .264/.311/.362 (.673) line away from Coors Field scares me.

I’m pretty surprised the Twins (and every other team in baseball) passed on the opportunity to claim Derek Dietrich. He actually has a higher career OPS+ than Brian Dozier and has hit .272/.351/.465 (.816) away from Marlins Park.

One non-tender candidate I could see being a target for the Twins is second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The Brewers acquired Schoop at the trade deadline, but he’s expected to make $10 million ins his final season of arbitration eligibility. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwakee Journal Sentinel wrote that Milwaukee is “believed to be somewhat torn about what to do” and that the decision could go either way. Schoop, 27, had an incredible 2017, blasting 32 home runs while posting an .841 OPS, but he came crashing down to Earth last season, hitting just .233/.266/.416 (.682).

Mark Feinsand highlighted one non-teneder candidate for each team for MLB.com. Schoop was among those listed, but there were plenty of other names I could see fitting nicely on the Twins, including relief pitcher Chaz Roe. Give me all the ex-Rays! Roe, 32, had a 3.58 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 in 50 1/3 innings last season for Tampa Bay.

The Twins added Nick Gordon, LaMonte Wade and Luis Arraez to the 40-man roster and released Alan Busenitz, allowing him to sign with a team in Japan. We could have some further re-shaping of the 40-man roster coming later this week, as Friday marks the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.

It’s interesting that the trio of 40-man roster additions could potentially help serve as replacements for the Twins two most logical non-tender candidates. Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza have been fine as role players, but neither offers much upside. It’s not as if those two are expected to break the bank, as they’re expected to cost around $6 million total, but there may be better ways to invest both that money and space on the 25-man roster. Here are the projected arbitration salaries via MLB Trade Rumors. Now that the Twins have added C.J. Cron, things are looking especially bleak for Grossman.

Michael Achterling of the Pioneer Press gathered what basically amounted to a scrapbook of Joe Mauer highlights from the publication’s coverage of the homegrown star.

Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors passed along some notes on both Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt’s market. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Mariners are actively trying to move Robinson Cano. I’d imagine those teams would have to eat a significant amount of the money still owed to those players ($104.5 million to Greinke, $120 million to Cano) in order to make a deal.

Another name to note on the trade market: Madison Bumgarner. Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reported the Giants are “willing to engage teams” in trade talks for MadBum. Bumgarner has built quite the legacy already thanks to postseason heroics, but he’s only under team control for this upcoming season and his FIP has gone up each of the past three seasons.

Andrew Simon of MLB.com listed nine sleeper free agents to watch. One name I found particularly interesting was Carson Smith. The right-hander only has one healthy season under his belt, but it was a great one. Back in 2015, Smith saved 13 games for the Mariners while pitching to a 2.31 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 11.8 K/9. Intriguing buy-low option for the bullpen.

Also from MLB.com, Mike Petriello took a look at the most extreme home runs of 2018. Guess who homered on the pitch the farthest off the plate? Yup, Eddie Rosario.

Another prospect list! Eric Cross of FantraxHQ revealed his top 25 prospect list for the Twins. He’s particularly high on Akil Baddoo, who he has in the sixth spot. It’s a fun list, and Cross goes into some more detail on each player than a lot of other outlets. Just a friendly reminder: The 11th annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook will be available later this winter.

Over at Twinkie Town, Thomas Reinking did a deep dive on the value of investing in free agents. The results were not encouraging.

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#2 nicksaviking

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:09 PM

I was never big on Sonny Gray and had no interest in trading for him a couple of years ago, but I'd be OK with giving him a shot at bouncing back assuming the asking price is quite low. Though I thought he was a bit of a mirage (my default position with all Oakland pitchers) if he did happen to bounce back, he'd certainly help stabilize the rotation.

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#3 Vanimal46

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:15 PM

Sonny Gray... Meh.

MadBum... Hell yes. I am very curious what SF wants for him. Dude is a work horse and a unicorn in today's MLB.
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#4 Carole Keller

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:21 PM

 

Also from MLB.com, Mike Petriello took a look at the most extreme home runs of 2018. Guess who homered on the pitch the farthest off the plate? Yup, Eddie Rosario.

 

Heh, that doesn't surprise me ... it would have surprised me if he wasn't the one who homered on a pitch farthest off the plate.

 

It wouldn't surprise me either if you looked at all his homeruns and the he would be the one who hit the most homeruns off the most different pitches.

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#5 jtkoupal

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:37 PM

So the releases of Alan Busenitz and Alex Meyer (LAA) marks the end of the Twins/Angels blockbuster of 2016. Who got the better end of that deal? Well...If a tree falls in the forest, does it actually make a sound?

 

On the bright side... At least it wasn't lopsided like Hicks or Hardy :)

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#6 jtkoupal

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:44 PM

*I'll take a hard pass on LeMahieu, personally.

*Keep Adrianza

*Bye bye Grossman

*Yes please on Zack Greinke

*No thanks on MadBum. 

 

BUT... The Twins are AL Central Champs if they sign Machado. Just pay the man, please.


#7 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:52 PM

I'll admit I'm intrigued by LeMahieu, but the price I've seen thrown around is 2/20 or 22M is far too high.

 

I just can't see offering more then 2/14M on him (and I wouldn't start there!)

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#8 Kelly Vance

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:56 PM

 

*I'll take a hard pass on LeMahieu, personally.

*Keep Adrianza

*Bye bye Grossman

*Yes please on Zack Greinke

*No thanks on MadBum. 

 

BUT... The Twins are AL Central Champs if they sign Machado. Just pay the man, please.

Machado is a dog. Don't want him. 

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#9 Kelly Vance

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:59 PM

 

I'll admit I'm intrigued by LeMahieu, but the price I've seen thrown around is 2/20 or 22M is far too high.

 

I just can't see offering more then 2/14M on him (and I wouldn't start there!)

If you are going to pay that much for a 2B, why not Cano?I mean, really. 


#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:08 PM

I hope they acquire some long term assets this year. They've acquired one MLB player that was for more than 2 years so far....one.

 

So, while I think Gray is an interesting bounce back option, that leaves Pineda, Gibson, Gray and Odorizzi all with 1 year left on the team. That doesn't scream long term competitiveness to me.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#11 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:29 PM

 

If you are going to pay that much for a 2B, why not Cano?I mean, really. 

Cause Cano makes 24M a year and would cost prospects?His Defense is also declining (it's still good, but worse then it used to be), he was suspended for PED's, and he's 36.

 

Any more reasons?He'd be a decent option @ 1B I suppose.I don't think I'd bite on that though.

 

Pretty sure he's got a NTC as well...

Edited by SgtSchmidt11, 27 November 2018 - 01:30 PM.

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#12 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:43 PM

 

Cause Cano makes 24M a year and would cost prospects?His Defense is also declining (it's still good, but worse then it used to be), he was suspended for PED's, and he's 36.

 

Any more reasons?He'd be a decent option @ 1B I suppose.I don't think I'd bite on that though.

 

Pretty sure he's got a NTC as well...

 

 

and 5 years left on his contract.

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#13 gunnarthor

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:01 PM

Derek Dietrich at second seems to make some sense. Fangraphs says his defense at second isn't horrible. He's still arb eligible, I think. 

 

Obviously, he strikes out a ton, doesn't walk a lot, isn't a great fit defensively, will be 29. But if he could turn in another 2016 type season ...


#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:06 PM

I'd love to know what happened to Schoop. If that's fixable, perhaps he could be had cheaply. He was decent in 2016 too. He was nothing special in 2018, but really fell off a cliff after the trade. 

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#15 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:10 PM

 

Machado is a dog. Don't want him. 

 

I'll take one of the best players of his generation in a heartbeat

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#16 GP830

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:13 PM

Man. Keep posting articles with headlines that have other team's players and free agent's names in the headlines and you've got a click from me. 


#17 Tom Froemming

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:24 PM

 

I'd love to know what happened to Schoop. If that's fixable, perhaps he could be had cheaply. He was decent in 2016 too. He was nothing special in 2018, but really fell off a cliff after the trade. 

Part of it was he swung at up and in pitches that were out of the zone way too much last year. After offering at those pitches 43% of the time in 2017, that jumped to 58% last season. He's not very good at making hard contact on inside stuff anyway, so he'll want to cut that down. 

 

Even if the Twins aren't interested in Schoop, Cano or Dietrich, those guys hitting free agency/the trade market will still help them. Second base is already pretty flooded this offseason. I wouldn't be surprised if the front office has a few guys they're interested in and will wait for the market to come to them. It's a really nice year to be shopping for a 2B.

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#18 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:00 PM

 

Second base is already pretty flooded this offseason.

Not to mention the Twins have some internal options if they like (slide Polanco over and start Gordon @ SS for one, or vice versa).

 

Not ideal, but it's not the worst option either if the $$ are spent wisely elsewhere.


#19 TFRazor

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:32 PM

 

*I'll take a hard pass on LeMahieu, personally.

*Keep Adrianza

*Bye bye Grossman

*Yes please on Zack Greinke

*No thanks on MadBum. 

 

BUT... The Twins are AL Central Champs if they sign Machado. Just pay the man, please.

Just curious but why Greinke and not Bumgarner? As for Machado, I'd still kick the tires but ya know he really did kind of sour me with his antics during the playoffs. And yes, they were antics.


#20 mikelink45

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:34 PM

The articles I read continue to have me question the real value of Free Agency.This lottery with players at the end of their career, coming off a down year, declining in production, unhappy, taking up too much money or space.  

 

Free Agency is such an attractive time for fans and probably for FO dreamers as well, but the real value is seldom in the big stars.How many pennants have the Nationals won with Harper or the Angels with Trout.  

 

The key is to build a total roster and going huge for a single star and then backfilling is not a good formula.Signing one year players that you hope will do well, but will leave if they do does not build a winning culture either.

 

I know I am glad I do not have to make these decisions, but if I did Harper and Machado would not like my offers.

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