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Front Page: No Qualifying Offer? No Option? These 4 Players Could Interest the Twins

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#1 Nate Palmer

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:45 AM

With qualifying offers news coming out and options being declined, the free agent player pool is becoming much more clear. Here are four players who either didn't have a qualifying offer extended to them, or had an option declined, that could interest the Minnesota Twins.In an offseason where the Minnesota Twins should be very active, these recent qualifying offer and option decisions have created some buzz. There are a number of players that are either a level more signable as they will not have draft pick compensation attached to them or have newly become available. Here are four names that could be intriguing options for the Twins.

Cole Hamels LHP
Free agent not extended qualifying offer

Cole Hamels will turn 36 before the 2020 season begins. While that number isn’t trending in the right direction, Hamels has continued to produce even as his age advances. Spending 2019 with the Chicago Cubs, Hamels tossed 141.2 innings with a 3.81 ERA and 9.1 K/9.

While Hamels' velocity has dipped by one or two mph since his last All-Star season in 2016 he has remained effective. Hamels in 2019 still held a swinging strike rate of 12.2 % and continues to limit the hard contact, allowing hits of that sort only 36.4% of the time last season.

Hamels may not be able to carry a rotation on his back anymore, but next to Jose Berrios and maybe Jake Odorizzi he should easily challenge for the number two or three spot in the rotation depending on who else is added.



Julio Teheran RHP
$12 million option declined

Julio Teheran is not the top-end starter the Twins need to get this offseason. What Teheran is, is very consistent. He can be relied on to take the ball for his turn in the rotation. Because of that he continues to pop up in some pretty decent positions on pitching leaderboards.

Among pitchers qualified for the ERA title in 2019 Teheran was 35th in strikeouts (162), 41st in innings pitched (174.2), 24th in earned runs allowed (74), 25th in ERA (3.81), and 25th in ERA+ (119). Again, not ace level but still respectable.

Teheran does seem to have a knack for blowing up and allowing some long balls. With the Twins needing to fill four rotation spots currently, the veteran right-hander could be an interesting option. He will have a ugly game regularly throughout the season but will come back to hold teams to two runs or fewer for stretches as well.

Edwin Encarnacion 1B/DH
$20 million option declined

Edwin Encarnacion, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano. Can you imagine how opposing pitchers would feel if they needed to run into that trio? Encarnacion is also one of those players it'd be nice for the Twins to simply not have to face, as he just seems to always come up with a big hit against them.

Encarnacion only managed to play in 109 games in 2019 but still hit 34 home runs. While another 30+ home run bat would be fun in the Twins lineup, the struggle would be finding him a spot. Could Edwin and Cruz exist on the same roster?

While this situation could be video game type fun it may not be a likely option. Still, an intriguing name as the hot stove heats up this winter.

Kyle Barraclough RHP
Elected free agency after DFA

Kyle Barraclough looked to be headed towards closer greatness as a member of the Miami Marlins. That is why the Washington Nationals traded for Barraclough last offseason. Something has happened to the once dominant relief arm which has led to him being designated for assignment twice in the past calendar year.

Before being DFA’d by Washington, Barraclough tossed 25.2 innings, held a 6.66 ERA, but still managed a 10.5 K/9. After working his way back to the majors after joining San Francisco, he rebounded with a decent eight innings on the surface with a 2.25 ERA and a 11.3 K/9. His FIP though came in at a much higher 5.71.

With Barraclough's past success he looks to be worth a chance after a down year.

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#2 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:54 AM

Hamels is an interesting target. I'd like to see if he's willing to do a Nelson Cruz like contract. 1 year plus option year around $12-14 million. He would be a solid Gibson replacement.
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#3 lukeduke1980

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:58 AM

Encarnacion is on my list of former Yankees we should sign just so they don't destroy us anymore - along with Didi, Gardner, probably others...


#4 rdehring

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:41 AM

Hamels and Teheran would both be very interesting as the Twins #4 starter, following Berrios (#2) and Odorizzi (#3)...assuming Jake accepts the QO.  

 

The interesting question is who can be obtained on a deal similar to when they traded for Odorizzi.A good #3 starter with a couple years control who can be had for one of those minor league prospects who needs to be added to the 40-man.You know, the next Odorizzi for Wander Javier.

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#5 JLease

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

Hamels is an interesting target. I'd like to see if he's willing to do a Nelson Cruz like contract. 1 year plus option year around $12-14 million. He would be a solid Gibson replacement.

 

I like Hamels in that scenario. I do not like Hamels on a 3 year deal. I'm not sure I like Hamels on a guaranteed 2 year deal, with the velocity dipping and his distinct slide in the second half. I think you'd have to get serious about NBA-style "load management" with him to make sure he's effective come fall.

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#6 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:20 AM

Hamels and Teheran as #4 starters would be fine with me but they need to shoot higher for a top of the line pitcher.


#7 PSzalapski

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:34 AM

I'm going with Encarnacion as a most-days first baseman for a year, then DH for a year. Seems like a perfect fit to me without a long-term commitment.More: http://twinsdaily.co...innesota-twins/

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#8 PSzalapski

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:36 AM

Hamels is an interesting target. I'd like to see if he's willing to do a Nelson Cruz like contract. 1 year plus option year around $12-14 million. He would be a solid Gibson replacement.

I like it, but I'm hoping they aim higher.I'm about done with "solid replacement"--that's how the Twins end up swept by superior pitching in the ALDS.Let's do better than Hamels.

#9 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:41 AM

I like it, but I'm hoping they aim higher. I'm about done with "solid replacement"--that's how the Twins end up swept by superior pitching in the ALDS. Let's do better than Hamels.


I don't disagree but there's 4 spots to fill. Hamels could certainly fit on the back end of the rotation as the token "veteran presence" until a prospect shows they're ready for prime time.
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#10 PSzalapski

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:45 AM

 

I don't disagree but there's 4 spots to fill. Hamels could certainly fit on the back end of the rotation as the token "veteran presence" until a prospect shows they're ready for prime time.

I want to fill three of those spots with better than Hamels and one with prospects.Dobnak seems ready to me, and if he proves he's not, we have four other options (down from five since Gonsalves left).But I can't fault you for wanting just a bit more depth.Is Vance Worley available?

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#11 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 11:08 AM

I want to fill three of those spots with better than Hamels and one with prospects. Dobnak seems ready to me, and if he proves he's not, we have four other options (down from five since Gonsalves left). But I can't fault you for wanting just a bit more depth. Is Vance Worley available?


That's where we differ, and that's okay! Dobnak was a good story in 2019, but I'm not confident at all about giving him a spot in the rotation. Too many other good stories that were proven to be false hope (Hildenberger, Duffey's brief dominance as a starter in 2015, name any Twins prospect from 2012-2016).

If Hamels signs a Cruz-like contract and it goes pear-shaped quickly, the Twins have shown to eat the money and move on now.
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#12 Rosterman

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 11:22 AM

When looking at pitching, you would like to assume that Berrios will get even better.

 

Who can give us what we received from Odorizzi, Pineda and Gibson. The ladder is not really that high on any of them. Do you go cheap, or spend. Bring back Odorizzi? Will he be the same in 2020? Scary thinking of giving him 3 years. I would like to think Dobnak or Smeltzer could easily replace what we got from Gibson. I would like to think Thorpe can advance and give us betetr than Perez. Also, Griffin Jax is a wild card.

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#13 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:01 PM

Hamels is an interesting option AND a guy you could throw out there in the 3rd or 4th game of a playoff series with some hope. 2 years - yes, 2 years with a vesting option based on innings pitched - ok, 3 years - probably a no. Becomes even more interesting if we sign one of Odorizzi (my choice) or Pineda, or both. Hamels would be great as a #4 and as the one LH in the rotation.  

 

Barraclough sounds interesting as well as along as there isn't a big guarantee. Worth a look/shot. Not worth it if we have to give him a guaranteed contract to compete.  

 

I'm torn on Encarnacion. The dude can hit, although if they take the magic juice out of the ball and go back to normal he may be a 25-30 HR guy, not a 30 plus. Also, he'll have to play 1B 100 plus games and DH the 20-20 when Cruz is on the IL or resting. His defense causes me pain and I just think there may be better options out there although I don't thinkCron is that better option. On balance, I'd be willing to look at a 2 year deal with him, but I suspect he can do better going back to Cleveland or staying with NY. 


#14 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:06 PM

Howie Kendrick is a better option than EE. Way cheaper, can still hit and field first.
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#15 PSzalapski

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:17 PM

Hmm, let's look at the body of work for Howie Kendrick vs. Edwin Encarnacion. They're both below average fielders. Kendrick's fielding numbers are a bit better in 2018 thought not in 2019, but are we talking about half a WAR over the season? In 2019, EE played less in the field. I'd suspect that the Twins would judge this with scouting better than we can. I like Kendrick, but I like EE's power more. Either one would be a good pickup and a better option than Cron.

Edited by PSzalapski, 05 November 2019 - 12:23 PM.


#16 redstorm

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:20 PM

 

Edwin Encarnacion 1B/DH
$20 million option declined

Edwin Encarnacion, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano. Can you imagine how opposing pitchers would feel if they needed to run into that trio?
 

 

Probably as fearful as the Twins pitcher knowing that two of those three would be behind him in the field.

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#17 Thrylos

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:26 PM

  • With Cruz at DH Encarnacion is not needed 
  • The last time that Teheran or Barraclough were any good was in 2016
  • Hamels might be a decent number 4 in a team that is competitive in the post-season, but the Twins need a number 1 and number 2 before a number 4.
  • All the 3 aforementioned pitchers have been from bad to awful against AL opponents

 

Those are the exact types that Terry Ryan would have targeted.I hope that this regime quits bottomfeeding and dumpster diving when the window of contention is open.

 

There is nothing wrong with bargain hunting, if the risk is low, ie. get a guy who does not have a guaranteed MLB contract and/or need a 40 man spot.Imagine the Twins losing eg. Wander Javier in the Rule 5 draft because they gave his spot to Barraclough...

 

Edited by Thrylos, 05 November 2019 - 12:26 PM.

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#18 nicksaviking

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:35 PM

Atlanta has seemingly had elite pitching prospects constantly for the past 15 years or so, yet just about everyone of them fail to live up to expectations. I've been wondering if perhaps they are just really bad at development, usage or transitioning this talent to the MLB level; I'd be interested in seeing if the Twins could unlock the potential.

 

That said, I'm not a big Teheran fan, his fastball is only sitting at about 89 MPH these days and he's always had control issues. As a righty, I don't think he'd last long in the AL without significant improvements in both of those areas.

 

However, it did seem like Atlanta was getting close to throwing in the towel on Mike Foltynewicz. If they're selling lowish on him, I'd be pretty interested in giving him a whirl.

 

But back to topic, I'd give Hamels a shot but I'd need way better upgrades in addition to him. Encarnacion would be a blast to have (puns are fun!). He'd make the lineup almost completely inflexible, but I could make an exception for an elite bat.


#19 jkcarew

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 12:37 PM

Nobody's making EE a full-time first-baseman at this point...least of all a club like the Twins that has enough infield defense issues as it is.

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#20 ToriiRules!!

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 02:22 PM

Why is Edwin even on this list definitely zero percent chance the Twins even contact his agent I mean come on really???
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