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Article: Best Remaining No-Risk Starters on the Free Agent Market

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#41 markos

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:23 PM

It took me a couple readings to figure out what Nick is talking about (I think the headline is a little misleading...). Anyway, I think the article would have benefited by laying out a hypothetical state of the Twins rotation on March 15th, something like the following scenario:

 

"Gibson's already-once-repaired UCL blows out again. He is out for the season. Romero's shoulder has been a little sore, so he was shut down early in Spring Training for rest and there is no way for him to build up innings until mid-May at the earliest. The coaching staff is concerned about Pineda's durability coming off basically an entire season off, and really want him in the 5 slot of the rotation so they can regularly skip starts during the first part of the season."

 

So then, the question is "Does it make sense for the Twins to have a veteran pitcher on a minor league deal in camp?" Personally, I have almost zero faith that Stewart or Gonsalves will be effective big league pitchers, and so I would welcome any additional competition at that tier. Basically:

 

Pitchers I'm comfortable having in the rotation:

Berrios

Gibson

Odorizzi

Pineda

Meija

Romero

 

Pitchers that I don't want to have to rely on in any context on Opening Day:

Gonsalves

Stewart

Littell

De Jong

 

If two or more of the first group are out for whatever reason (injury, performance), then having an additional, veteran arm (or two) in camp on a minor league deal makes sense. More options; higher probability at least one will break out/bounce back.


#42 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:41 PM

Yankees announced just now that they signed Drew Hutchinson yesterday. No word on the terms. I assume a minor league deal. 

 

 


#43 howieramone2

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:45 PM

Mejia or Romero will start the season in the pen. Fair chance Stewart will also. 2 of those 3, plus Gonsalves, Littell, DeJong, and sometime during the season Thorpe, will be emergency starting pitching depth. If the search committee had selected me, I'd trade for a youngish 2/3. There is nothing to wait for, the Central is just sitting there. Overpay with prospects from our very deep and talented farm system.


#44 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:47 PM

Yup, minor league deal... 

 


#45 Sconnie

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:01 PM

Someone is getting hurt, and the AAA reserves are getting significant starts in 2018. A 2-3 year or longer deal is certainly palatable and would provide continuity beyond Berrios. There's not many pitchers left that I would want to do that with. Maybe Gio.

 

 A lightning in a bottle type contract that doesn't impact the 40 man is fine, but should be independent of the opening day rotation. If they can't get a 2-3 year contract on a decent mid rotation starter, it's OK to roll with Romero or Mejia as your 5th starter and still have Bucholtz in AAA for when someone gets injured.

 

Someone is getting injured...


#46 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:45 PM

 

What if Romero gets hurt in spring training and Mejia doesn't look ready for a starting job after throwing <100 IP and ending last year on the DL? This is a very plausible scenario, and presently it would force the Twins to turn to someone like De Jong, Gonsalves, Littell etc because they have no choice. 

 

Again, this isn't about pushing the young guys aside or robbing them of opportunities. That's why I'm looking exclusively at non-roster deal candidates.

 

That is why the damn cheapskates should have been signing 2 of the best relievers they could find. Or they should trade for them still. You have May and Romero. Either can start if someone gets hurt. Then you have Stewart, Gonsalves, and a whole gaggle of other guys that can fight for a start here and there. 

 

I'd ask Bucholz to come to spring training, but the rest, count me out 100%. I honestly don't think he would accept that kind of deal to a team like the Twins. He will get something guaranteed, or take a spring training invite to a contender before he comes here. 

 

Talent, high end talent on trades and FA or roll with the young guys. That is what I will preach. No use wasting roster spots on washed up guys, or guys that weren't ever any good anyway when you have a whole bunch of young ones waiting for their chance. 

 

 


#47 birdwatcher

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:45 PM

 

They're not blocking spots. That's the whole point! You don't have to remove anyone from the 40-man roster to add them, and you're not beholden to them in any way. The only way one of these guys beats out a Mejia is if they convince you they're clearly better options. 

 

I'm pro-Mejia. I want to see him in that fifth starter role. That's why I don't really want anyone on an MLB deal. But failing to equip yourself with feasible backup options is malpractice. 

 

 

I guess I'd take minor issue with the following:

 

1. The current likely depth in AAA represents feasible backup options. Going with a AAA rotation of Stewart, Gonsalves, De Jong, Thorpe, and Littell is hardly an act of malpractice, even if you knew for sure all of them were going to be called upon to start one or more MLB games. This is particularly the case when you might have other options pushing their way up from AA, you might have other options toiling in your own MLB pen, and finding an emergency arm in the market isn't exactly tough in this era of desperate selling. Every one of those five has a decent chance of settling in as acceptable mid to back end starters.

 

2. If we have three of Berrios, Gibson, Pineda, Mejia, and Odorizzi go down for the count, we're in deep doo-doo anyway, even if a guy like Buchholz comes in and cuts the mustard and sends Mejia to the pen or something. I don't see signing one of these guys to a make-good contract as a compelling need.

 

3. However, I suppose I'd be fine with taking a shot with one. My concerns would be with the message it sends to this AAA group, that your window of opportunity just got narrower, that your opportunity is less tied to your own merits now. Was the guy a clear upgrade from them?

 

4. And what about the slight risk of a guy in the clubhouse pretty much auditioning for other teams and not being a great team player? These attitudes are hard to anticipate. I'd hope they are being more careful about this after their admitted failings in this area last year. I could see them being hesitant about going in this direction.

 

 

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#48 rdehring

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:56 PM

 

That results in both a 13 man staff and a 7 man bullpen. If you're going to have a 7 man bullpen, I'd prefer the benefits of a 12 man staff and a four man bench.

 

"Stacking" just doesn't work.

I don't see it that way.Romero is limited to every 5th day, but with the other 6 guys they have a 7 man bullpen (12 man staff + 13 position players).The other 6 only need to cover the other four starters.If those four starters average more than 6 innings each start (Berrios and Gibson at 7+ with Odorizzi and Pineda at 5+), they would pitch about 12 innings every time thru the rotation (4 of 5 games).That works out to 2 innings every 5 games for the 6 other guys in the pen...or about 64 innings for the season.Now no manager will have them all pitching the same and there are a few extra inning games, but that would be a light load for the pen.

Edited by rdehring, 11 January 2019 - 02:05 PM.

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#49 travkro

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:24 PM

 

I believe Miley will require a major-league contract to sign. I'm looking for guys that won't require any commitment – no guaranteed deal, no 40-man roster spot required. All upside, no downside. 

 

If the Twins aren't getting Keuchel (and let's be honest, they're not), I'm not sure I wanna guarantee anyone else on the market a job over Mejia or Romero. 

 

 

This isn't an alternative to that. It's about having depth and creating competition for jobs. You want these young guys to earn it, right? Mejia did so over Vogelsong in 2017. Similar concept, except I think these players listed all have more legitimate upside than Vogelsong did. 

I understand what you're saying. There is value in bringing in one of those guys but I would rather have Gonsalves, Romero, Thorpe Littel and whoever else battle for innings. 

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#50 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:25 PM

I’d rather garantee Perez a spot on the 40 man roster than Duffey. Also, who says Perez has to either be a starter or reliever, why can’t he pitch in some sort of hybrid role (primary/spot starter/multi inning reliever/etc).

#51 Nick Nelson

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:32 PM

 

The current likely depth in AAA represents feasible backup options. Going with a AAA rotation of Stewart, Gonsalves, De Jong, Thorpe, and Littell is hardly an act of malpractice, even if you knew for sure all of them were going to be called upon to start one or more MLB games. 

It's a fine Triple-A rotation. I just don't wanna be pigeonholed into having one of those guys in the season-opening rotation because I failed to install any legitimate veteran safety valves. To be clear: these deals are mostly just spring-training auditions. I suspect most of the players listed would opt-out if they don't make the team and that's fine.

 

 

And what about the slight risk of a guy in the clubhouse pretty much auditioning for other teams and not being a great team player? These attitudes are hard to anticipate. I'd hope they are being more careful about this after their admitted failings in this area last year. I could see them being hesitant about going in this direction.

This happens in spring training pretty much every year. I don't see it as an issue. These players don't have guaranteed deals or roster spots so of course they're in it for themselves.

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#52 TheLeviathan

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:57 PM

 

They're not blocking spots. That's the whole point! You don't have to remove anyone from the 40-man roster to add them, and you're not beholden to them in any way. The only way one of these guys beats out a Mejia is if they convince you they're clearly better options. 

 

I'm pro-Mejia. I want to see him in that fifth starter role. That's why I don't really want anyone on an MLB deal. But failing to equip yourself with feasible backup options is malpractice. 

 

We have seen this happen too often with the Twins for me to welcome it.Either go get a player with upside (Sonny Gray!Sonny Gray!) or go in-house.  

 

Our depth in the rotation doesn't look all that different than the OF, 3B, or middle infield.In all of those cases, just like this one, I'd rather have the next man up be a youngster with promise than some roster filler.

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#53 sweetmusicviola16

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:08 PM

If we aren't going to sign a Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez type and we aren't, then we should be seeing what we have in these younger arms. Because sadly after 2019 we will be left with a rotation of Berrios, ?, ?, ?, ?.

 

Very likely Gibson, Odorizzi and Pineda will all be gone before or after this season ends. We have awful future depth looking us square in the eyes.

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#54 David HK

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:50 PM

 

I would like to see the Twins go after Gio Gonzalez -- Gio usually gives his team a chance to win the game.  

Plus, he was a sleeper I picked up for my fantasy team a few seasons ago- and he was a HOSS! :-)


#55 Mike Sixel

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:58 PM

I can't think of one reason they need an old player in AAA. Plenty of young players need time. They have three veterans already.
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It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#56 Aerodeliria

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:21 PM

I'm not Santana fan at all.

#57 jokin

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:40 AM

 

I like Mejia as #5.But rather than using an opener, why not give the bullpen the day off and stack Romero with him.Let Mejia go 4-5 and bring in Romero to close the game with another 4-5.Would keep Romero's innings down to say 130-140 which works with previous year's work loads.

 

So.... 6 "starters"??? Not enough 25-man roster space.

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#58 jokin

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:52 AM

 

I can't think of one reason they need an old player in AAA. Plenty of young players need time. They have three veterans already.

 

I can think of more than one reason.... three reasons... in the case where the three veterans all go down via injury, suspension, traded away, inability to immediately bounce back (Pineda),etc...

plus a couple more,

in that, at least two youngsters are likely on a limited innings schedule. It's short-handed the Twins in the middle months before, forcing them to call upon some embarrassing options- in all-but-obvious pre-forfeiture games. Besides, how many different SPs have the Twins used in the last 2 seasons??? Probably around 25, right? Unpredictable things do happen.

 

As much as I'm fully with you on getting these young arms their IPs, buying one (or two) veteran insurance policies on minor league deals is prudent, especially if the FO is making a legitimate run for a post-season berth.

 

 

 

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#59 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:19 AM

If we aren't going to sign a Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez type and we aren't, then we should be seeing what we have in these younger arms. Because sadly after 2019 we will be left with a rotation of Berrios, ?, ?, ?, ?.
 
Very likely Gibson, Odorizzi and Pineda will all be gone before or after this season ends. We have awful future depth looking us square in the eyes.

Another reason to extend Gibby! Extend him!
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#60 beckmt

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:10 AM

 

They're not blocking spots. That's the whole point! You don't have to remove anyone from the 40-man roster to add them, and you're not beholden to them in any way. The only way one of these guys beats out a Mejia is if they convince you they're clearly better options. 

 

I'm pro-Mejia. I want to see him in that fifth starter role. That's why I don't really want anyone on an MLB deal. But failing to equip yourself with feasible backup options is malpractice. 

If you want to sign either of those guys to a minor league contract, may have to wait until just before spring training or during spring training.Those guys will probably wait until close to spring training to take a minor league deal.

You still have about 5 starters that have pitched in the major leagues last year, most are ticketed for Rochester.Would hate to wait until next year to see what we have, because next year you will almost certainly need 2 - 3 of them.

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