Fair enough, but I guess my expectations were tempered going into this season.
Number3 hit the nail on the head.For better or worse, they are in a holding pattern right now mostly because of Sano and Buxton.
We are all waiting for Buxton and Sano to be what they think they can be.The risk is this: what if one or both have a monster year?If you don't spend, you could essentially "waste" a year--and not only that, you could arguably waste the year you've fielded the best overall roster with both of them on your team.Time is running out for Sano and Buxton after this year, only 2 years and 3 years, respectively, after 2019.The core is getting more expensive and the replacement talent doesn't appear likely to be as good in 2020.You're probably banking on taking one last shot in 2021 when you have full seasons of Buxton, Sano, Kiriloff, and Lewis on the roster.By then, of course, we might not "clearly be the best team in the division" because the White Sox will likely be competitive--especially if they sign Machado or Harper (or, God forbid, both).
Also the rational response cannot be, "we'll just trade at the deadline."There's a serious chance that, if the Twins are in the race, the difference will be 1-2 games.That's the expected difference between Keuchel and Perez over a half (and, if we wait until the deadline, slightly more than half) season.Sure, we could always trade for a prime-Madbum-like player, who in theory could cover the difference, but that's not sensical for two reasons: (1) you could sign Keuchel AND trade for the Madbum-like player (putting you in the Falvine-throat-stepping GO ZONE); or (2) you'd be raiding the minors to cover a plain error.Of course, based on Falvine's logic, you wouldn't trade for a Madbum-like player in a close race because even though you're in the race, you're not "clearly the best team in the division."It's not worth the outlay for a rental.
Also, again, a lack of action on a multi-year front is short-sighted because they're going to be signing FAs next year out of necessity anyways (lest we reboot the 2013 Twins offseason plan (Correa, Pelfrey and the Vanimal (and May) for Revere).If they go that route, they're in Loria-esque payroll territory.
Compare all of that with doing nothing.The Twins might save $20M if they don't sign Keuchel--that's the only advantage.But, it's not a "savings" that will be rolled over into next year or the year after.If the advantage is saving money otherwise allocated to payroll by formula, why even compete in the first place?Why waste $14.3M on Cruz?When you could've used an Austin/Duda platoon.Why waste $7.5M on Schoop?We could call up Gordon and see what he's got or play Adrianza until mid-season.Why tender Odorizzi at $9.5M?Fernando Romero time.That's another "wasted" $31M-ish!Now the Pohlads saved over $50M!