Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Article: Marrying Expectations and Opportunities in 2019

  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#21 mike8791

mike8791

    Elizabethton

  • Members
  • 41 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 07:46 AM

Here's the thing that I already know is going to irritate the hell out of me...

 

Even IF you want to accept that uncertainty over Buxton/Sano means you're not going to shell out money for any of the top free agents (which certainly is worthy of debate, but for the moment let's go along with it), the fact that you have all that money coming off the books means that AT LEAST you don't have to wait out the market and be satisfied with signing the guys still available in February.

 

Yes, a lot of teams played that card last year and maybe even more will wait the market out this year. But because the Twins have way more payroll flexibility this year than virtually anyone else in MLB, they can afford to take the risk that they're going to "overpay" by some moderate amount to get the "best of the rest" in that tier below the really expensive guys.

 

While the big spending teams are focused on the top FAs and the teams with budget issues are waiting for the market to shake out so they can pick up the guys who are still looking for jobs in February, the Twins could be getting their pick of the tier of players just below the big money guys.

 

The FO should be identifying exactly who they feel are the best fits for their needs, based on whatever magic algorithms they've decided they like, and then go get those guys early, even though they would have to pay a little more than they would if they played the waiting game again.

 

With so much money arguably available, there's no reason to pinch pennies all the way into February/March again.

 

Well said, Mr. Buhr!If the Twins were serious about contending in 2019, they needed to identify their holes, fill them speedily before the market shakes out, and not wait for the annual Twins' dumpster dive.

Their holes are glaring, no doubt.Bullpen, one ace starter(at least), 1B, 2B(or SS), DH/cleanup hitter .One obvious target was Davidson(arguably the best hitter in FA other than Harper/Machado) for cleanup hitter.Cruz for DH seems like the best DH around.Together these two would have given the lineup the needed significant boost.Instead, the Twins sign a highly mediocre filler in Cron.Why?Because he was DFA, so an easy grab.

 

I, too, am afraid the FO will play around the edges again, seeking bargains - in a year where the Twins easily have $50+MM to add to payroll.They also have an ability, if not the desire, to land an ace in the form of Thor(or lesser, Wheeler) if they were motivated.But all indications are they will not strike quickly and that is perplexing when Cleveland is retrenching and the rest of the Division is a year or two away from contention.Why not now!It is likely that either Sano or Buxton will rebound to 2017 values(no, probably not both), that the Twins have a pretty good #2-#5 rotation, and some good above average major leaguers in Polanco, Garver, Rosario and hopefully, Kepler.Yes, some ifs but with the right risk-taking, it is easy to see this team more competitive next year.They have money to spend, tradable assets in a strong minor league system, and a decent, albeit not overpowering , core of young players.

 

There is simply no excuse for the FO to sit back and wait for bargains.They have the means to strike; unfortunately, the will seems to be missing!

  • SD Buhr and DocBauer like this

#22 DocBauer

DocBauer

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,569 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 02:47 PM

Unto itself, there is nothing wrong with bringing in Cron. It still depends on how he performs and how the rest of the team is set up and performs.

There is nothing wrong snapping up a bargain or two late in the process. And that includes some of the recent non-tenders that have just hit the market.

But I 100% agree the market and Twins finances are set up perfectly to jump the forefront for a couple moves that you designate as priorities and real wants.

After that, you can play the wait game and look for other options.
  • Mike Sixel, Kelly Vance and SD Buhr like this

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#23 SD Buhr

SD Buhr

    Majoring in minors, minoring in Majors

  • Members
  • 1,638 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 04:01 PM

We've seen this before. In 2011, the Twins ended up with something like $115 million in payroll and a bunch of money coming off the books. We all spent the offseason speculating on how they would invest that money. 

 

We found out.

 

They opened 2012 with a payroll $15 million less than the year before and dropped it almost $20 million more in 2013 (and actually dumped more salary during that season).

 

We should have known better, then, than to expect this ownership to invest in a competitive product and we should know better now. 

 

Not sure where they ended up the year, but they started 2018 with a $128 million payroll. If you put the over/under at $105 million for opening day 2019, I'll take the under.

 

They may have a new front office, but the owner is the same guy and that leopard will never change his spots.

  • Mike Sixel and DocBauer like this

Writing about the Minnesota Twins and their minor league organization, with an emphasis on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, at Knuckleballsblog.com since 2010.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~


#24 DocBauer

DocBauer

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,569 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 08:45 PM

We've seen this before. In 2011, the Twins ended up with something like $115 million in payroll and a bunch of money coming off the books. We all spent the offseason speculating on how they would invest that money. 
 
We found out.
 
They opened 2012 with a payroll $15 million less than the year before and dropped it almost $20 million more in 2013 (and actually dumped more salary during that season).
 
We should have known better, then, than to expect this ownership to invest in a competitive product and we should know better now. 
 
Not sure where they ended up the year, but they started 2018 with a $128 million payroll. If you put the over/under at $105 million for opening day 2019, I'll take the under.
 
They may have a new front office, but the owner is the same guy and that leopard will never change his spots.


Absolutely will not disagree with this post at all!

But if you will permit me, I'm going to offer a small ray, or two, of sunshine.

1] Thus far, we have seen TWO record payrolls in recent history. Each coming on the heels of a solid season and hope for the next. At THIS POINT, there is no pattern. Even if the payroll does drop in 2019, somewhat, but some quality and smart moves are made, there is an aberration, but not necessarily a pattern.

2] The Twins efforts in their first big payroll climb, filled with hope, much like 2018, was de-railed by injury and poor performance. But it was also built more on a set and veteran roster, if my memory can be trusted at all. And there were a few guys with short term contracts.

3] Terry Ryan always stated the FO never placed hard limits on his spending and were open to payroll increases if it made sense for the team to move forward. To be fair, there were a few signings and trades here and there to add to the roster to suggest he wasn't just paying lip service.

4] Time has moved on, and there is a new sheriff and chief deputy in charge. The team has shown a more aggressive approach to change. Everything from re-structure, to using international dollars differently, to a new manager and staff, and to eating portions of contracts for better returns.

Does any of this mean anything? Absolutely not! But if you want a little sunshine, I offer up a couple days of hope.
  • dgwills, Dman, ChrisKnutson and 2 others like this

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#25 SD Buhr

SD Buhr

    Majoring in minors, minoring in Majors

  • Members
  • 1,638 posts

Posted 01 December 2018 - 11:45 PM

 

Does any of this mean anything? Absolutely not! But if you want a little sunshine, I offer up a couple days of hope.

Nope. I don't want sunshine. Sunshine will fool you into thinking things are warm and fuzzy... and then you step outside and realize it's minus-15 degrees! :)

 

When a Pohlad-owned team spends all/most money coming off the payroll, I'll feel the warmth. Sunshine, like words, can often camouflage the truth.

  • Mike Sixel likes this

Writing about the Minnesota Twins and their minor league organization, with an emphasis on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, at Knuckleballsblog.com since 2010.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~


#26 old nurse

old nurse

    Member

  • Members
  • 3,564 posts

Posted 02 December 2018 - 04:22 AM

To reach a record payroll the FO signed a team record number of free agents Of that group the bargain basement Duke had the best season. Complaining about total payroll spending is missing the issue. The Twins could have a record payroll and be worse than 2018 if the money is not well spent.

  • Mike Sixel, DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this

#27 dgwills

dgwills

    Member

  • Members
  • 568 posts

Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:10 AM

I think it is important to remember that free agent signings haven't been working out well for most teams in baseball. Sure the Twin's one year deals didn't work out great either, but at least they're not stuck with any bad contracts.

If the Twin's are going to compete next year it's largely going to be on the shoulders of the young players. Luckily that is pretty much the entire team and we still have prospects on the way. Last year likely was a aberration and we could see a ton of improvement next year. I think the right move this offseason is to improve the bullpen and add a quality player to the infield. If things go well, then try to trade for a star player during the season.

  • Dman, ChrisKnutson and Original Whizzinator like this

#28 ChrisKnutson

ChrisKnutson

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 312 posts

Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:50 AM

Not sure whether I should be concerned or encouraged about the speed of which the hot stove is heating up, and what this means for the Twins and how they’re going to approach this offseason (patientnce/aggressiveness). Yeah they picked up Cron, gave roster spots to Wade/Gordon/Arraez, and non-tendered Grossman, but they’ve yet to make (or atleast indicate) that they’re seriously preparing to make that “impact signing” and or a “big acquisition.”

And maybe the FO is still planning on that, as they’ve been known to have interest in Corbin, LeMahieu, Happ, Goldschmidt, and possibly C. Santana. On the other hand, perhaps they’re now feeling less confident in the free agent market than compared to last year, due to the disaster that was the 2018 season. Regardless, we still have need for an “offensive minded” 2B, preferably a left-handed starter, and several bullpen arms, and while I feel the FO will meet those needs, I’m predicting that we’ll be somewhat underwhelmed when the offseason is said and done. Hopefully I’m wrong, especially with the winter meetings coming up, but at the moment this is what to expect come Opening Day...

Starting Lineup:
RF- Max Kepler
2nd- Jed Lowrie*
SS- Jorge Polanco
1st- C.J. Cron
DH- Eddie Rosario
3rd- Miguel Sano
CF- Byron Buxton
C- Mitch Garver
LF- Jake Cave

Bench:
Tyler Austin
Ehire Adrianza
Jason Castro

* —> other options include Murphy/LeMahieu/Dietrich/Gordon/etc.

Starting Rotation:
Jose Berrios
Kyle Gibson
Derek Holland*
Michael Pineda
Jake Odorizzi

*—> other options include free agents like Eovaldi/Keuchel/Happ, as well as Romero/Thorpe/Stewart/Mejia.

Bullpen:

CL- Cody Allen*
SU- Trevor May (A. Miller/Hader type role)
Adalberto Mejia*
Taylor Rogers
Addison Reed
Gabriel Moya
Blake Parker*
Matt Magill

* —> other options include FA like Kelly/Herrera/Strickland/Wilson as well as Hildenberger/Vasquez/Curtiss/De Jong/Littell/Stewart/Romero/Thorpe.

#29 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

Don't Feed the Greed Guy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 596 posts

Posted 10 December 2018 - 11:00 AM

 

How do you trade for and "ace" and those other pieces without giving up Lewis and Kiriloff?
 

Sorry, this didn't pop up in my inbox. Apologies for the late response. Trading, or "buying" an ace from a non-contender essential means that there's a team out there that's wanting to dump salary, as well as retool around mid-July, 2019. So if the Twins can absorb a big contract AND a big arm, the 2019 trade deadline might be more about the Twins taking on $$ than losing prospects. The right place? What if the Nationals start 2019 horribly, and can't imagine carrying the long term contracts owed to Scherzer, Corbin, and Strasberg? The Mariners and King Felix? Who knows? Just spitballing...

  • Dman likes this

#30 Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6,064 posts

Posted 10 December 2018 - 11:46 AM

Sorry, this didn't pop up in my inbox. Apologies for the late response. Trading, or "buying" an ace from a non-contender essential means that there's a team out there that's wanting to dump salary, as well as retool around mid-July, 2019. So if the Twins can absorb a big contract AND a big arm, the 2019 trade deadline might be more about the Twins taking on $$ than losing prospects. The right place? What if the Nationals start 2019 horribly, and can't imagine carrying the long term contracts owed to Scherzer, Corbin, and Strasberg? The Mariners and King Felix? Who knows? Just spitballing...


Why on earth would you want King Felix in your rotation?

#31 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

Don't Feed the Greed Guy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 596 posts

Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:40 PM

 

Why on earth would you want King Felix in your rotation?

I don't think that the ship has sailed on him, yet. Just connecting the Mariners' penchant for selling now, and perhaps at the 2019 deadline. Just a spitball... Not every one sticks.