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Terry Ryan's "Thin" SP Market Quote

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:20 PM

Given that Terry Ryan's vague quote in a Jim Souhan column about a "thin" SP market has generated a lot of confusion here and elsewhere, I felt the best idea would be to simply email Souhan for clarification. His response:

"He was referring to top-of-the-rotation starters. And my interpretation was that he was talking about top-of-the-rotation starters he would be interested in."

So there ya go. I don't think anyone should be surprised by that.

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:34 PM

Nice work, Mr. Nelson!!

#3 The Greatest Poster Alive

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:59 PM

I don't see how anyone could think the top end starting pitching market isn't thin... It starts and ends with Grienke. There are some nice pitchers on the market that could improve this rotation... but Grienke is the only one i see as a #1.

#4 Oxtung

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

Thanks Nick!!

#5 deanlambrecht

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:58 PM

It is thin when put in the perspective Souhan provided, and it's also likely a bargaining maneuver. Every purchasing-GMs has an interest to downplay the strength of the market. I think this is about what you'd hear from most decent negotiators at this point in the process.

#6 John Bonnes

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:40 PM

Ok, if he means clear ace types thats fine, but it's ALWAYS thin by that definition. Is Jake Peavy not a top of he rotation guy? Ryan Dempster?

#7 The Greatest Poster Alive

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:09 PM

Ok, if he means clear ace types thats fine, but it's ALWAYS thin by that definition. Is Jake Peavy not a top of he rotation guy? Ryan Dempster?


I'm still not convinced Peavy is top of the rotatoin. #2 for sure... but I don't know if one good season after a couple of bad ones gives him that definition.

Dempster showed a lot of regression after the trade... I'd categorize him as a #2.

These two are about to get 2 big contracts... that being said I want nothing to do with them on the Twins. Dempster is getting old and will command a multi-year deal and will be looking to maximize what will likely be his final deal.

Peavy is looking at a final deal as well... He's likely going to be looking (and getting) way more years than he's worth.

I really wouldn't invest the cash in any of the top free agent pitchers (Grienke/Dempster/Peavy)... They all have a lot of mileage on their arms (even Grienke who's the youngest of the group at 28). If they sign one (longshot anyway) and they pull a Zito... the Twins would be absolutely ****ed with payroll.

#8 Top Gun

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:51 PM

Alot of bull.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

I don't know if I would classify anyone in this FA crop of pitchers as an "ace". Lots of really good #2s, mediocre #2s, and borderline #3s but no aces, really. Every pitcher in the class has a significant flaw. Greinke's mental state (and three years of off-and-on mediocrity), Dempster's struggles in the AL, Peavy's injury history, etc.

#10 Parker Hageman

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:58 AM

Nice hustle Nick.

#11 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:20 AM

Ok, if he means clear ace types thats fine, but it's ALWAYS thin by that definition. Is Jake Peavy not a top of he rotation guy? Ryan Dempster?


No way. Peavy has way to many injuries and inconsistencies to be a top of the rotation guy, and Dempster is no where near that as well. I view him as a pretty "meh" #3 in the AL.

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:24 AM

Ok, if he means clear ace types thats fine, but it's ALWAYS thin by that definition. Is Jake Peavy not a top of he rotation guy? Ryan Dempster?


No way. Peavy has way to many injuries and inconsistencies to be a top of the rotation guy, and Dempster is no where near that as well. I view him as a pretty "meh" #3 in the AL.


Yep. Show me a Cliff Lee or CC Sabathia in this free agent class. There just isn't one. Every pitcher going on the market has question marks surrounding him.

#13 Wolfy

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:33 AM

The team that signs Grienke will have overpaid.

He's alright, but he isn't even worth the money he is being paid now.

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:42 AM

The team that signs Grienke will have overpaid.

He's alright, but he isn't even worth the money he is being paid now.


He's been worth the money this season. $13.5m isn't that much money for a guy that is posting a 116 ERA+.

But I agree that there's a good chance whoever signs him deeply regrets it by 2016 (he should get at least four years, probably five this offseason). With top-shelf (or perceived top-shelf) pitchers, you overpay just to sign the guy. You sign him for an extra year or two as the player inevitably declines. Once you factor in that overpaying and extended length, you're easily looking at a guy who will be 50% more expensive over the short term and crippling over the longterm. I have zero issues with the Twins avoiding "elite" free agent pitching. It's just not a smart move for mid-market teams.

On the other hand, I will be terribly disappointed if they don't sign a Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez type for three years. Those are the type of contracts that won't kill a mid-market team even if they fail. Sure, the upside is lower but if you're going to compete, you have to do it from the farm. Free agency has to be a complementary piece of the puzzle, not the main piece.

My blueprint would be to trade Span for a high upside guy in the minors (probably low minors) to build for the long term. Then I'd sign a Jackson/Marcum type for three years. Then I'd sign Baker and cross my fingers. This rotation could compete in the Central if things break well for the Twins and it also gives them hope down the road:

Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez
Baker
Diamond
Scrub/Gibson later in the season
Other scrub (Hendriks, probably)
Sixth man: Deduno, De Vries, etc.

Minors:
Span for a low minors starter
Berrios
Wimmers (hope hope)
Etc.

#15 Top Gun

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:04 AM

Pretty simple, if you want to win you pay or sit in last place and be a cheapskate.

#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:26 AM

The team that signs Grienke will have overpaid.

He's alright, but he isn't even worth the money he is being paid now.


He's been worth the money this season. $13.5m isn't that much money for a guy that is posting a 116 ERA+.

But I agree that there's a good chance whoever signs him deeply regrets it by 2016 (he should get at least four years, probably five this offseason). With top-shelf (or perceived top-shelf) pitchers, you overpay just to sign the guy. You sign him for an extra year or two as the player inevitably declines. Once you factor in that overpaying and extended length, you're easily looking at a guy who will be 50% more expensive over the short term and crippling over the longterm. I have zero issues with the Twins avoiding "elite" free agent pitching. It's just not a smart move for mid-market teams.

On the other hand, I will be terribly disappointed if they don't sign a Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez type for three years. Those are the type of contracts that won't kill a mid-market team even if they fail. Sure, the upside is lower but if you're going to compete, you have to do it from the farm. Free agency has to be a complementary piece of the puzzle, not the main piece.

My blueprint would be to trade Span for a high upside guy in the minors (probably low minors) to build for the long term. Then I'd sign a Jackson/Marcum type for three years. Then I'd sign Baker and cross my fingers. This rotation could compete in the Central if things break well for the Twins and it also gives them hope down the road:

Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez
Baker
Diamond
Scrub/Gibson later in the season
Other scrub (Hendriks, probably)
Sixth man: Deduno, De Vries, etc.

Minors:
Span for a low minors starter
Berrios
Wimmers (hope hope)
Etc.


I like the theory of this, although I think we'd get a 2-3 players for Span. I could also see the Twins moving one of Hicks/Arcia this offseason, too, for more pitching.

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:43 AM

I like the theory of this, although I think we'd get a 2-3 players for Span. I could also see the Twins moving one of Hicks/Arcia this offseason, too, for more pitching.


I think the chance of them moving Hicks or Arcia is almost nil. They need at least one of those guys in the short-term if they trade Span, who is easily their most valuable and tradable piece. Over the long-term, they need to create a cushion if Revere fails and as Willingham transitions into a more fitting role at DH. The Twins have a lot of OF prospects but with Benson falling on his face in 2012, that list shortened quite a bit and chances are they'll need both Arcia and Hicks in the mid-term to bridge the gap to Buxton.

#18 Shane Wahl

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

The team that signs Grienke will have overpaid.

He's alright, but he isn't even worth the money he is being paid now.


He's been worth the money this season. $13.5m isn't that much money for a guy that is posting a 116 ERA+.

But I agree that there's a good chance whoever signs him deeply regrets it by 2016 (he should get at least four years, probably five this offseason). With top-shelf (or perceived top-shelf) pitchers, you overpay just to sign the guy. You sign him for an extra year or two as the player inevitably declines. Once you factor in that overpaying and extended length, you're easily looking at a guy who will be 50% more expensive over the short term and crippling over the longterm. I have zero issues with the Twins avoiding "elite" free agent pitching. It's just not a smart move for mid-market teams.

On the other hand, I will be terribly disappointed if they don't sign a Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez type for three years. Those are the type of contracts that won't kill a mid-market team even if they fail. Sure, the upside is lower but if you're going to compete, you have to do it from the farm. Free agency has to be a complementary piece of the puzzle, not the main piece.

My blueprint would be to trade Span for a high upside guy in the minors (probably low minors) to build for the long term. Then I'd sign a Jackson/Marcum type for three years. Then I'd sign Baker and cross my fingers. This rotation could compete in the Central if things break well for the Twins and it also gives them hope down the road:

Jackson/Marcum/Sanchez
Baker
Diamond
Scrub/Gibson later in the season
Other scrub (Hendriks, probably)
Sixth man: Deduno, De Vries, etc.

Minors:
Span for a low minors starter
Berrios
Wimmers (hope hope)
Etc.


Generally I like this, though I prefer trading Morneau at the moment. The market is thin for real number 1 pitchers, but is pretty deep for 2/3 guys (who would be number 1 pitchers for the Twins!). The most recent Gleeman and the Geek podcast cast doubts on Marcum and other than the injury, I don't see why . . . but they were talking getting Marcum on a one-year deal. I had him earlier in the year on a 4 year/$50 deal. Let's assume that both of these extremes are incorrect, and that a similar contract would work for Jackson (Sanchez is probably more like the 4/$50). So that's 3 years/$25 million or so. Not totally way beyond what they spent on Willingham, so that crowd of doubters can shut up.

Signing Jackson or Marcum, AND signing a Joe Blanton or Ervin Santana? Probably not. Joe Saunders? Maybe for a Marquisesque contract.

Anyway, another option for your trade scenario, of course, is for a major league pitcher. I have mentioned a few times that arbitration-eligible pitchers (and there are about a dozen of them worth considering) might be an option in a trade. But basically no one has ever replied to me about that so maybe I am crazy to think that teams trade younger pitchers like that? The list I made before, with FA year:

Chris Sale, CHW 2017
Jarrod Parker, OAK, 2018 (?)
Matt Harrison, TEX, 2015
Tommy Milone, OAK, 2018
Jason Hammel, BAL, 2014
Jeremy Hellickson, TB, 2017

Jordan Zimmermann, WAS, 2016
James McDonald, PIT, 2016
Wade Miley, WAS, 2018
Lance Lynn, STL, 2018
Vance Worley, PHI, 2018
Clayton Richard, SDG, 2015

The attractiveness here is that they all were good this year, and would be under control for awhile. Would a Span/Morneau, crazy bigfoot freak Swarzak (seriously?), and BJ Hermsen (I have big doubts about him, probably other teams do too, but whatever) be enough for one of these guys?

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:22 AM

Assuming the payroll stays 90 to 110 million where will they spend that money if not on top pitchers?

#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:40 AM

I agree with Ryan that it's fairly thin at the top, and as people have mentioned each of the top types have question marks...

That said, anyone that generally everyone considers a #2 is better than anything they have. And, frankly, good #3s are better than anything that the Twins have. So, for the Twins sake, there are quite a few options, but I'm against overpaying for any of them. That said, a few should fall through the cracks into a "makes sense" contract area.

Edited by Seth Stohs, 21 September 2012 - 09:41 AM.
added last sentence


#21 Willihammer

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:48 AM

The White Sox might have a rotation fix next year. Sale, Danks and Quintana are locks.

$4m already sunk in buying out peavy, I think he comes back to Chi on a more reasonable deal. That leaves one spot for Liriano and Floyd. The Sox aren't cheap, so they probably make qualifying offers to both but Myers wants to start again. That puts Liriano especially in a fix, I think he declines the qualifying offer and hits the market. Could be brought back on the cheap if he's promised a rotation spot, though it would cost the Twins their 2nd pick.

edit: doing the math, that would potentially make Floyd, or Myers available too.

Edited by Willihammer, 21 September 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#22 SweetOne69

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:54 AM

The White Sox might have a rotation fix next year. Sale, Danks and Quintana are locks.

$4m already sunk in buying out peavy, I think he comes back to Chi on a more reasonable deal. That leaves one spot for Liriano and Floyd. The Sox aren't cheap, so they probably make qualifying offers to both but Myers wants to start again. That puts Liriano especially in a fix, I think he declines the qualifying offer and hits the market. Could be brought back on the cheap if he's promised a rotation spot, though it would cost the Twins their 2nd pick.

edit: doing the math, that would potentially make Floyd, or Myers available too.


They can't make an Qualifying offer to Liriano (the can but it won't net compensation) as he doesn't qualify since he wasn't with the White Sox for the whole season.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:55 AM

The White Sox might have a rotation fix next year. Sale, Danks and Quintana are locks.

$4m already sunk in buying out peavy, I think he comes back to Chi on a more reasonable deal. That leaves one spot for Liriano and Floyd. The Sox aren't cheap, so they probably make qualifying offers to both but Myers wants to start again. That puts Liriano especially in a fix, I think he declines the qualifying offer and hits the market. Could be brought back on the cheap if he's promised a rotation spot, though it would cost the Twins their 2nd pick.

edit: doing the math, that would potentially make Floyd, or Myers available too.


They can't make an Qualifying offer to Liriano (the can but it won't net compensation) as he doesn't qualify since he wasn't with the White Sox for the whole season.


Yep. The Twins lose no pick by signing Liriano.

#24 gunnarthor

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:57 AM


I like the theory of this, although I think we'd get a 2-3 players for Span. I could also see the Twins moving one of Hicks/Arcia this offseason, too, for more pitching.


I think the chance of them moving Hicks or Arcia is almost nil. They need at least one of those guys in the short-term if they trade Span, who is easily their most valuable and tradable piece. Over the long-term, they need to create a cushion if Revere fails and as Willingham transitions into a more fitting role at DH. The Twins have a lot of OF prospects but with Benson falling on his face in 2012, that list shortened quite a bit and chances are they'll need both Arcia and Hicks in the mid-term to bridge the gap to Buxton.


If they trade Span and Arcia, they have a starting OF next year of Willingham, Revere, Parmelee w/Mastro as #4 and Herrmann/Doumit as #5. Hicks will be in the wings and the Twins will have a bunch of replacement level OFers at AAA (Carson, Ramirez, Benson, Thomas) if nothing else. There is some gap behind Hicks/Arcia as no one at A+ really jumps out but Sano probably goes to RF and he could progress quickly.

I'm not saying just get rid of one of Hicks/Arcia but both of those guys should have some trade value to teams looking to add OF prospect for pitching. Could Ryan move Hicks in a package to the pitching rich Rays to get Chris Archer, BA #89 (fell from #29 the year before) who is having a cup of coffee in the majors this year? Twins apparently were eying Eovaldi (#96) from the Dodgers at one point.

#25 Willihammer

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:03 AM

Oh that's right. I'd be surprised if they signed him anyway, someone else would promise him a rotation spot before the Twins. Myers seems like more their type.

#26 Jim Crikket

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:00 AM

Speaking of Jake Peavy, there's another pool of potential trade targets that the Twins could look in to... the "grossly overpaid and underperforming older former aces that teams would love to get rid of now" pool.

The Mets owe Johan Santana $25.5 million for 2013 and there's a $25 million option for 2014 (with a $5 mil buyout I think). Maybe they'd eat about 90% of his contract and take Deolis Guerra back in return? Anyone up for a Santana reunion tour?

OK maybe not.
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#27 70charger

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:06 AM

Can we put this "bring back Liriano" talk to bed right now? He's not a good pitcher, and we should be glad he went to Chicago. He's like our Trojan horse.

#28 Alex

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

Given that Terry Ryan's vague quote in a Jim Souhan column about a "thin" SP market has generated a lot of confusion here and elsewhere, I felt the best idea would be to simply email Souhan for clarification. His response:

"He was referring to top-of-the-rotation starters. And my interpretation was that he was talking about top-of-the-rotation starters he would be interested in."

So there ya go. I don't think anyone should be surprised by that.


I'm fine with them choosing not to pay 20m a year for someone, but if they sit on their heels again or just sign pitchers like Jason Marquis, they'll be a joke for another year and see their attendance decline by another 3k a game if not more.

So to say that the market for aces is thin is fine, but for starting pitching help, especially for a team like the Twins is false. Either Ryan is being delibrately misleading or Souhan did a horrible job relaying the information.

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Sano for David price. Throw in random mediocre minor league starter if you have to.

#30 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:56 PM

Sano for David price. Throw in random mediocre minor league starter if you have to.


The Rays aren't going to give away Price for a guy who hasn't played above low A ball. I could see them doing a deal around Profar+more from the Rangers.