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Article: Twins Unlikely to Sign Kimbrel, Keuchel — Wait, This Sounds Familiar!

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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:25 AM

During the first week of March 2018, Twins fans were hearing that the team was done adding to it’s already madeover roster and that the remaining free agents were not budging from their lofty asking prices. Fast forward one year and … same.

Based on the rumors, it would appear highly unlikely the Twins could sign Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel. Just like how it appeared highly unlikely they would sing Lance Lynn. Huh.It’s important to keep in mind that every situation is different, but I still think there’s some value in looking back at how the Lynn contract came to be and compare that to where things are with this year’s market. I’m not saying any of this means the Twins are going to sign Kimbrel or Keuchel, but as long as they’re out there on the market it’s a possibility.

One more disclaimer, sharing these reports that ultimately turned out to be untrue isn’t intended to be a jab at the reporters mentioned. They were simply relaying the information that was brought to them at that time from credible sources. Their reports were accurate to the situation in that snapshot in time. It’s clear things changed very quickly at some point, actually right around this time, last year.

Here’s a look back at how things developed through the rumor mill.

Feb. 28, 2018
Mike Berardino Tweets that the Twins, who are just a few weeks removed from a strong pursuit of Yu Darvish, are likely done adding.


March 2, 2018
Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports Lynn’s asking price is north of $50 million, a mark no team is currently willing to entertain.


March 4, 208
Bowden’s sources tell him the Twins are unlikely to sign Lynn or any of the other top starters available.


March 6, 2018
Berardino writes that a person with direct knowledge said a $20 million commitment was a non-starter for Lynn.
Download attachment: Berardino.png
March 12, 2018
Lance Lynn signs a one-year, $12 million deal with the Twins.


I’m sure there were additional reports I missed, but you get the drift. As we learned with Lynn last year, things can change incredibly quickly.

That lesson can obviously apply to other teams, as well. Bowden Tweeted Friday evening that the Nationals and Braves were “not in” on Kimbrel according to multiple sources. That would certainly make it appear the Twins have a better chance at swooping in at the midnight hour to sign him, but (again) things can change very quickly. If Kimbrel’s expectations are lowered, I’d imagine there’s a point at which the Nats and Braves would be very much in on him.

Dan Hayes, also of The Athletic, passed this along shortly after Bowden's Tweet:


Wouldn’t say no 100 percent? So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

But seriously, Dan would know. To his credit, he’s already done a lot of the leg work in trying to find a scenario in which Kimbrel could land in Minnesota. Back in late January, he wrote a thorough 1,300-word piece over at The Athletic on the topic. He’s been painting the possibility of Kimbrel signing with the Twins as a long shot, but he did end that article attached above with this sentence: “As unlikely as it seems, if all those market conditions fell their way, the Twins could just wind up with Kimbrel.”

This past Monday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune wrote that “it would take a major change of events for the Twins to sign either pitcher [Kimbrel or Keuchel] and bring him into a training camp that started three weeks ago.” And added this: “I got the sense that, unless Keuchel or Kimbrel were willing to sign a one-year contract, there's no deal here.”

A one-year contract you say? Hmm …

While it does not appear likely that either Kimbrel or Keuchel will be in a Twins uniform this season it also doesn’t really seem like either of those guys is likely to be in any particular team’s uniform this season. There doesn’t appear to be a front-runner or obvious destination for either of them at this point.

We’ve seen this movie. Our guys came out on top with contract in hand when the dust settled. Things didn’t work out exactly as intended, which was unfortunate, but they have this move in their playbook. Is it possible there was something they learned from last year that they can apply and ensure a smoother transition into the regular season for a late signing?

All I’m saying is anything’s possible.

Here are a couple more links if you’re interested in some further reading. MLB Trade Rumors featured both of these pitchers Friday.

Let’s Find A Landing Spot For Craig Kimbrel
Historical Market Price Points For Dallas Keuchel

Click here to view the article
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#2 Lasorda_This_Out

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:50 AM

Kimbrel and Keuchel have flaws that all MLB FO's see...Twins included.

MLB ownership will make these guys squirm until 5 days before Season Opener and

sign for 1 year deals....Hopefully, FalVine will bypass both...

 

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#3 ashbury

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 07:19 AM

Is it possible there was something they learned from last year that they can apply and ensure a smoother transition into the regular season for a late signing?

This for me is key. One of FalVine basically threw the one-year guys under the bus, in explaining the disappointing season - if they feel the clubhouse chemistry was impacted by guys who were playing only for themselves (the rationale given), how are Kimbrel's or Keuchel's personalities different? If anything, I see their personalities as basically similar to those signed last year.

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Nothing is impossible for the one who doesn't have to do the work.


#4 howieramone2

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 09:55 AM

IMO they revised the team chemistry statement, and moved on to the amount of missed ST. If our scouts think the 2 K's are ready, or will be shortly, I'd make a deal, particularly for Kimbrel. 


#5 adorduan

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 09:57 AM

 

 

Kimbrel and Keuchel have flaws that all MLB FO's see...Twins included.

MLB ownership will make these guys squirm until 5 days before Season Opener and

sign for 1 year deals....Hopefully, FalVine will bypass both...

The Twins need more sub 4 ERA, 200 innings pitched "flaws".....


#6 dbminn

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 10:00 AM

I doubt they sign either of them. If they somehow are able to sign Kimbrel, lengthen his prep time. Let him spend a couple of weeks in extended ST in Florida. I'd rather have a fully prepared Kimbrel for 145 games than have him rushed.


#7 spycake

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 10:07 AM

IMO they revised the team chemistry statement, and moved on to the amount of missed ST.


Didn't the Twins sign Marwin at basically the same point they signed Morrison last year? I think both chemistry and ST are more convenient excuses than they are vital concerns. (Not that you shouldn't aim for good chemistry and ST readiness too, but ultimately I think these moves can be fairly judged based on talent/evaluation.)
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#8 Sconnie

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:22 AM

The Twins need more sub 4 ERA, 200 innings pitched "flaws".....

if ERA is your stat of choice measure the quality of a pitcher, you’ll hate Keuchel as a MN Twin. Ground ball pitcher plus Sano and Polanco’s fielding equals bloated ERA and early exits with bases loaded.

If FIP is your stat of choice to determine pitcher quality Keuchel has been trending worse and worse for the last 3 years and could be cooked.

Either way.... I would be leery of signing Keuchel with his contract demands, and Keuchel will not sign a 1 year make-good with the Twins. Not with that infield
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#9 ashbury

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:03 PM

IMO they revised the team chemistry statement, and moved on to the amount of missed ST.

I'm not surprised if they walked that statement back. It was amateurish.

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#10 Doomtints

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:31 PM

I feel like 95% of the people around here never wanted Lynn. There were only a couple of us saying he would be a good pick-up (we were wrong, clearly). I think he's a good pitcher but the timing wasn't right.

 

Speaking of timing, didn't the Twins drop Anibal Sanchez to get Lynn? Not that I expect Sanchez would have been as good had he remained a Twin, he nonetheless had a nice year and even got a 3-year deal out of it. He was playing for his future baseball career and the Twins could have taken advantage of that.

 

As for Kimbrel, Keuchel: I see very little talk about them around here. I don't think many of us care that much... or maybe we know how the Twins think and we don't want to consider fruitless scenarios...

 

This wouldn't be like the Vikings signing Brett Favre or something, so ultimately who cares ... these two would just be cogs in the machine and would not be earth-shattering upgrades.

Edited by Doomtints, 09 March 2019 - 12:44 PM.

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#11 cardsfan

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:55 PM

Kimbrel for a year and be able to trade at deadline though you will have to get rid of draft pick. Same with Keuchel. Keuchel will eat innings. Probably a .500 pitcher.

#12 LaBombo

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 02:12 PM

This is a nice article that helps put free agency rumors and projections in perspective, and technically it's based on a success story in the sense that it's told using the example of a guy who, in the end, the Twins actually got despite stories to the contrary.

 

With that disclaimer being made...

 

Stories in general about the Twins' loftier aspirations in free agency are now, at least to me, on par with stories that the stoner you knew in high school told you when you'd run into him in your 20's about how his career as a rocker was about to take off, and how close he recently came to getting his big break.

Edited by LaBombo, 09 March 2019 - 03:06 PM.

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#13 Tuba

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 02:43 PM

The 'Twins aren't interested' comments from beat writers are usually qualified with something like 'unless the price comes down' which has always struck me as odd because of course the price will come down, no one is signing them. 

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#14 yarnivek1972

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 04:54 PM

I doubt it would take Kimbrel long to get ready. Odds are he’s already got a throwing program going on his own. I know Joe Nathan kinda took awhile to get his velocity up but he was extreme in that regard. He usually was throwing 85 ish his first time out.

#15 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 05:43 PM

I know I saw something somewhere that we had the highest offer out there for Kimbrel. Not sure if anyone else has swooped in yet, but I'd be curious if that was still the case.

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#16 cardsfan

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 06:02 PM

Who leaks that info?

#17 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 06:12 PM

 

That would certainly make it appear the Twins have a better chance at swooping in at the midnight hour...

 

As far as I'm concerned, it's about 4 PM the next day, the prince never came back, and we're all getting on with our lives. :)

 

Tough luck for those guys playing chicken with free agency, and losing. As for the Twins, if the Twins wanted either of them, they should have paid x price during the offseason, rather than hoping to get a less ready player for less the price at a much later date.  

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 09 March 2019 - 06:13 PM.

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#18 DocBauer

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 06:16 PM

I know I saw something somewhere that we had the highest offer out there for Kimbrel. Not sure if anyone else has swooped in yet, but I'd be curious if that was still the case.


I dont recall seeing that. But I would be interested!

I wouldn't mind either one of them, but I just have a weird feeling about Keuchel that he is due for regression. And call me crazy, but I kinda like our rotation, though I remain skeptical in regard to Perez.

Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I like the potential of the pen with a return to form by Reed. However, he has not looked good thus far.

Kimbrel, 90% of his usual self, really moves the needle for me.
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#19 MN_ExPat

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 06:24 PM

Agents :)


#20 SomeGuy

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 09:07 PM

I dont recall seeing that. But I would be interested!
I wouldn't mind either one of them, but I just have a weird feeling about Keuchel that he is due for regression. And call me crazy, but I kinda like our rotation, though I remain skeptical in regard to Perez.
Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I like the potential of the pen with a return to form by Reed. However, he has not looked good thus far.
Kimbrel, 90% of his usual self, really moves the needle for me.


January 31st there was a report (tweet) from Paul Crane of Scout's Honor that he heard the Twins had the highest offer on Kimbrel at 3 years 45M. Could easily have been BS since none of the usual story breakers like Jon Heyman reported anything similar.

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