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Article: Rundown: On Trading Kepler, DRC+, LeMahieu and More

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#41 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:11 PM

 

The person that made the Hicks trade isn't here anymore. Don't you think Falvine makes better trades than the past regime so far?

 

They haven't made any very significant trades yet, other than Odorizi(good one actually) They have given away expiring contracts for lottery picks. Not exactly risky and/or groundbreaking. Hard to really say if they have done good or not yet?

 

 

Edited by Battle ur tail off, 07 December 2018 - 02:12 PM.


#42 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:26 PM

 

My point is it is kind of irrational to worry about making a Hicks-esc trade when the people who made that trade aren't here anymore. If we hold on to that fear we'll never make a trade again because a trade went sideways 3 years ago.

 

It wasn't a big trade though. They missed opportunities to package Hicks up and bring back real talent. Instead they dumped him at his lowest point for a catcher that is flat terrible. 

 

At some point you have to take risks. Whether that is trading your best thought of "prospects" or signing someone to a big dollar deal, or trading some of your best players for prospects you think might be something special. Always going the easy/safe way has put the Twins in the same positions they always are. 

Either miss the playoffs totally, or make them then get bounced right away.


#43 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:35 PM

It wasn't a big trade though. They missed opportunities to package Hicks up and bring back real talent. Instead they dumped him at his lowest point for a catcher that is flat terrible.

At some point you have to take risks. Whether that is trading your best thought of "prospects" or signing someone to a big dollar deal, or trading some of your best players for prospects you think might be something special. Always going the easy/safe way has put the Twins in the same positions they always are.
Either miss the playoffs totally, or make them then get bounced right away.


You're preaching to the choir. I've wanted this regime to be bold the last 2 off-seasons. Hence why I have no hesitations packaging Kepler with top prospects to acquire a difference maker. You can find my interest and desire in most any rumors thread for top end pitching.
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#44 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:08 PM

 

It's a fair critique of Kepler, and the fear we all should have on him: this may be exactly the hitter he is. but there's also been enough bursts to tease people. He's still only 25 (same age as Cave). Look at his splits from 2018: crushed it in March/April. Below average in May. Awful in June. Killed it in July. Average in Aug. Poor in September. He's all over the place as a hitter, but he's got all these peripherals that suggest he's capable of being good as well as a track record in the high minors that makes you think he can hit. And the D is stellar (better than anyone else on the roster save Buxton). This could be a make or break season for him. 

 

It's also why the people suggesting moving Kepler to 1B need to stop. His hitting his the problem. It's fine in CF. It's questionable in RF. Even if he's as good a defender at 1B as Mauer became, it's just not enough at 1B.

 

Kepler has interesting trade value because he played enough CF to be attractive to other teams. His D there isn't one of the high elite but it's darn good. He can play other OF positions and not be too much of a drag on your offense. But since we don't know if Buxton is going to make it he's also got value to the Twins who know they can slot him in there and not have to worry about Cave being a fluke.

 

certainty is really helpful in baseball. We know Kepler's floor, I think. The question is does he have much more of a ceiling?

The reason we should think about moving Kepler to 1B part time is otherwise he probably doesn't play at all other than a two or three days a week as the 4th OF or as a DH. You can't start him in the OF over Cave, Buxton or Rosario. Cave hit better last year and Cave was the CF when Buxton went down, not Kepler. Suggests that at least the last manager saw Cave as the better fielder. Cave has earned the right to start at the beginning of the season over Kepler based on last year. Buxton you have to play based on potential. He hasn't earned it over the other 3 but his defense is so good and his upside is so high you have to trot him out there. Rosario has earned a starting spot over the other 3 by far. 

 

I think we want to give consistent ABs to all 4 of these guys. Rosario and Cave have middle of the order results (Rosario) or potential (Cave). Buxton has the highest ceiling of them all and is the best defender. Kepler has shown over 3 years that he isn't a middle of the order bat but it's too early to give up on him as a quality complementary player, something he isn't right now. Someone has to move somewhere to get all 4 in every day and 1B is the open spot if you assume Cron is really a DH. So who goes there? Not Buxton or Rosario for sure. Kepler is 6'4" and has played there before at least a little. Cave is 6'0" and hasn't. There is at least a decent argument as to which one is a better defensive outfielder so there isn't a strong defensive reason to move one over the other from the OF and Kepler seems like the more natural, logical choice to go to 1B so he can play. Cave is the better hitter, at least so far. 

 

It seems like the "why move Kepler to 1B" group may be assuming that he would otherwise start in RF every day. I just thinkthat's a flawed assumption.I think that he needs to find another position or he is just the 4th OF playing 3-4 days a week between the OF and DH. I would like to see him get consistent ABs, although the stats suggest he isn't good enough for that, but we can't give Kepler those ABs at the expense of Rosario, Buxton or Cave based on performance. We have a potential opening for a LH hitting 1B. Seems like a good spot for him, especially when the alternative is the bench. 

 

That's why you move Kepler to 1B, at least part time. 

 

 

Edited by LA VIkes Fan, 07 December 2018 - 03:11 PM.

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#45 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 04:38 PM

 

It's totally legal in the rule book to sign another OF if Kepler is traded.

 

 

But show me the line on which that OF addition has signed, and then we'll talk. Let's stop trading from already-thin areas. 

 

Frankly, I'd go in the opposite direction. I'd sign Cutch if possible, then play matchup with RF/1B/DH. I'm skeptical about Cave, and would put equal money on a light bulb going off for Kepler and a wet blanket being thrown over Cave. And if (when?) Kirilloff becomes a real thing, wouldn't Kepler be nice as a 4th OF who can handle a bat AND play good defense? And if Cave is the real thing too, but Kepler id the better player, guess which 4th OF gets moved? Right, the second best one. Reed, Granite, and Wade? So far, they look like commodity items to me.

 

I want more predictability in 2019. I have enough unpredictability as it is without adding more.

Edited by birdwatcher, 07 December 2018 - 04:39 PM.

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#46 ND-Fan

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 01:55 AM

I think some of you people better go back and look at some Cave's numbers and it is pretty small sample size but there are some glaring weaknesses in his numbers. First is he is striking already out at 36% of time he comes to bat. I willing to bet that number will increase further come this year as teams have gotten more data on him and have found out what they can exploit on him. Compare this to Kepler he strikes out half the rate Cave does. Second Caves walk rate is half of Keplers walk rate so were dealing with player that put ball in play last year on short sample size got high percentage of hits with ball put into play. This is something i would worry about for the coming year. People on Kepler keep coming back to his numbers have been same for three years but the things i have seen in three years is marked improvement in his at bats they have become more professional in that he has been working the counts in his favor more but he has lapses in his at bats at pitch selections but it has improved each year. Second thing is two years ago he had absolute terrible numbers against left hand pitching but last year he proved he could hit left hand pitching. I look at his swing and way he barrels up the baseball you can see that he's going to hit and other thing is he works on his game and it reported that he works hard on improving his game meaning its only time before everything comes together because he has ability and the effort for this to happen. I also think another factor for him has been i think he has gotten worn down durning the season in past and it learning curve by players to get there body in shape for major league season. The big thing is he has continued to play and hasn't been hurt to where he hasn't played which alot of young players don't achieve. Like i have said earlier he's young player ready to break out become a star player and i hope this front office see's that also.


#47 jorgenswest

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 07:56 AM

Trading Kepler for A prospects or part of a deal to get a top of the rotation pitcher is a no brainer. I would not move him for lesser prospects. We don’t need another JR Murphy deal.

I don’t think he brings in that top prospect or pitcher so I am keeping him. His strikeout and walk rates are trending the right way. His defense in RF is a plus. He may not have any single stand out skill but his all around game is the reason steamer projects him for more WAR than any other Twin position player in 2019.

#48 mike8791

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 08:18 AM

If Kep’s a below average player, then why are so many teams interested in him?? Simultaneously, why trade Kep if he’s about to breakout?? And why attach Romero and Lewis to the very same deal?? This is the why I’m not a fan of trading for “Thor,” because they’ll “undervalue” guys like Kepler and Romero, but overvalue Syndergaard to the point where Lewis is has to be included. In other words, I think other teams are trying to rip us off, and why wouldn’t they?? I just hope the FO doesn’t fall for it.

 

Chris, as one who advocated going all in for Thor( I actually proposed a trade including Sano, Kepler and one of our catchers - not Lewis or Kirillof), I must admit that it would be much harder to include Kepler rather than Sano.I say this because of all the tantalizing improvements Max seems to make, together with his lack of playing time before signing.Sano on the other hand, while showing flashes of greatness, carries too heavy a burden in terms of temperament, character and lack of conditioning to be able to count on as a core member of a contending club.But the real issue is how the trade partner values each player.No real way of knowing. 

 

I included both Sano and Kepler only because each is unproven as a potential all star and short of giving up one of our two uber-prospects, these two are the most likely major-league - ready players we have.Sure they would leave holes in an already porous lineup but to get an ace pitcher you must give up quality.While the Donaldson ship has already sailed, there are some 3B replacements on the FA market and even more for the corner outfield position.Yes, it would take boldness to trade two of our "starters" but a Syndergaard does not become available every offseason.

 

As it turns out, the Mets' likelihood of trading Thor has diminished since the first flurry of rumors, so perhaps this whole topic is a moot point, but if a #1 or #2 starter can be pried loose(and signed to a long term deal), this FO should be making an all-out effort to complete such a trade.Aces don't come along often but when they do, a contending organization must take the risk(see Boston/Sale and Houston/Verlander).Why not the Twins?


#49 Kelly Vance

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 05:56 PM

Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.Keps tries hard every play.I'd be patient with him. 


#50 Dennesey55347

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:52 AM

Every playoff team has very good pitching, a smattering of power, and a few .300ish hitters. The Twins are furthest away from the third. While pitching is obviously crucial, we have absolutely no one racking up hits from March to Oct. Surprising this fact is relatively unspoken this offseason.


#51 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 11:49 AM

Every playoff team has very good pitching, a smattering of power, and a few .300ish hitters. The Twins are furthest away from the third. While pitching is obviously crucial, we have absolutely no one racking up hits from March to Oct. Surprising this fact is relatively unspoken this offseason.


The 10 playoff teams from last year COMBINED to have 8 players hit. 300 or higher. Only 16 players in the entire MLB hit .300+.
Nobody hits for average anymore. Walks and HR's rule the day now, whether we like it or not.

#52 Doomtints

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 11:57 AM

I don't understand the point of DRC+.There are half a dozen uber stats for offense already (many of which are pretty good) and we still have defensive metrics that need three years of data to "work."


#53 Riverbrian

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

 

But show me the line on which that OF addition has signed, and then we'll talk. Let's stop trading from already-thin areas. 

 

Frankly, I'd go in the opposite direction. I'd sign Cutch if possible, then play matchup with RF/1B/DH. I'm skeptical about Cave, and would put equal money on a light bulb going off for Kepler and a wet blanket being thrown over Cave. And if (when?) Kirilloff becomes a real thing, wouldn't Kepler be nice as a 4th OF who can handle a bat AND play good defense? And if Cave is the real thing too, but Kepler id the better player, guess which 4th OF gets moved? Right, the second best one. Reed, Granite, and Wade? So far, they look like commodity items to me.

 

I want more predictability in 2019. I have enough unpredictability as it is without adding more. 

 

You are exactly right. You have my endorsement to be the next GM of my favorite team. I apologize if my endorsement is worthless lacking the connections necessary. 

 

Cave has options... he can be stashed in Rochester and called up when injuries occur, I loved watching Cave last year and I applaud him but there is no reason to give him a 25 man roster spot and spin the wheel like he is a sure thing. He is in Rochester in case Kepler fails. 

 

Kepler does not have options... he is either on the roster or on someone else's roster. And the cool thing is that he is making the minimum wage which is the same price as Michael Reed or Jake Cave. So make him Michael Reed or Jake Cave at the same price. Kepler is the one of 4 outfielders on the roster if we sign Cutch. 

 

Why would anyone trade Kepler at his low point production is beyond me. Everyone should know what the acquiring team is going to do. They are going to handle Kepler like the Yankees handled Hicks. They will make him the 4th OF and hope that Kepler becomes what everyone wants him to become and they want Kepler because they think he might and they are hoping to get him for a 20th ranked prospect because he is at a low point in production.

 

And then when he does become what everyone wants him to become. We will be sitting here discussing why the Reds have Kepler with a .900 OPS and we got the 20th ranked prospect who blew his arm out in Pensecola just like we did with Aaron Hicks.  

 

So... Go sign Cutch or whoever and keep Kepler. If Kepler starts playing like Kepler we got both Kepler and Cutch and life is good. 

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#54 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:40 PM

I don't understand the point of DRC+.There are half a dozen uber stats for offense already (many of which are pretty good) and we still have defensive metrics that need three years of data to "work."

All defensive stats are going to suffer in this respect, by comparison to the offensive ones. The sample size is smaller. Batters face on average 10-15 pitches a game, from which they compile the plate appearances in the stats. They face by comparison 2-5 decisions/opportunities in the field depending on position. Many of the pitches seem like no-brainers (take or swing), but then many fielding chances are likewise ones that any competent player will make - and yet, sometimes fielders muff the easy chances, and likewise batters will swing at pitches in the dirt. All in all, the two sides of the stats coin are not symmetrical - batters are put to the test on each pitch, and that's why it takes less time for offensive stats to stabilize and have meaning.

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.-- Paul Valery


#55 Doomtints

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 05:32 PM

 

All defensive stats are going to suffer in this respect, by comparison to the offensive ones. The sample size is smaller. Batters face on average 10-15 pitches a game, from which they compile the plate appearances in the stats. They face by comparison 2-5 decisions/opportunities in the field depending on position. Many of the pitches seem like no-brainers (take or swing), but then many fielding chances are likewise ones that any competent player will make - and yet, sometimes fielders muff the easy chances, and likewise batters will swing at pitches in the dirt. All in all, the two sides of the stats coin are not symmetrical - batters are put to the test on each pitch, and that's why it takes less time for offensive stats to stabilize and have meaning.

 

I disagree. I have a metric that would only require a few weeks of data, but I need to build it out as a proof of concept (i.e., compare run it against real data) -- and who the heck has time these days? It won't require 3 years of data, it will require the same amount of time as batting statistics to be relied upon.

Edited by Doomtints, 09 December 2018 - 05:33 PM.


#56 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 06:06 PM

who the heck has time these days?

One way to save time would be to run an idea past others who have studied the problem too. I (or you) can look up some of the SABR types who have done studies - they are usually pretty approachable, at least if you don't initiate with the sterotypical "everybody out of the swimming pool, there's a new lifeguard on duty" kind of self-introductions. :)

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#57 Doomtints

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 10:05 AM

 

One way to save time would be to run an idea past others who have studied the problem too. I (or you) can look up some of the SABR types who have done studies - they are usually pretty approachable, at least if you don't initiate with the sterotypical "everybody out of the swimming pool, there's a new lifeguard on duty" kind of self-introductions. :)

 

I used to be a member of SABR. What follows is the verbatim response I got when I would reach out to any of the members of the SABR metrics group: