I wanted Wheeler badly too. To be honest, I typed out a very simple response saying Brodie Van wagenen was on MLB radio and he did not think Wheeler was worth that kind of money because the premise we should have just spent whatever it takes is fanatical and nothing I say will be acceptable. However, I am going to tell you why I don’t have the same response to losing Wheeler as others here.
Wheeler wanted to go to Philly. In this type of negotiation, the agent is going to bounce back in forth between the clubs driving up the price but in the end the agent is going to give Philly the shot. The assumption here is that 118 was Philly’s final offer. Who is to say they should not be equally motivated.This is not Falvine’s first rodeo. At some point they probably realized they were being played and the only way they were getting Wheeler was at a price that no longer made sense at which point they probably dropped out.
Even if the assumption that 118 was a high as the Philly’s were willing to go, the premise that if he is worth 105 he is worth 125 is also fanatical. We all make this sort of judgment call in our own lives on a frequent basis. I would guess everyone here has seen a vehicle that interested them only to find out it have every gadget known to man and carried a price they were not willing to pay. I can assure you the team has a far more sophisticated methodology for establishing value that we have as fans. When they stop bidding, profit may have some weight but the primary emphasis is the most effective utilization of the dollars. In other words, they believed the best way to produce wins was to invest elsewhere. Fans of sports with a salary cap embrace this premise. They despise bad contracts because it hinders building a winner. Posters here must have heard the grumbling of Wolves fans over Wiggins getting a max contract.
There is an also an absolutely indisputable premise that gets ignored here. As a matter of fact people make fun of the value premise. However, the reality is that the Minnesota Twins have to produce more wins per dollar spent than half the teams in this league. Therefore, some players make much more sense for teams that have enough revenue to pay for a player and still have the Twin’s budget left over. Philly's incremental revenue covers wheeler 3X. Some teams can sign several Wheelers and still have the Twins budget left over. The problem here is that many people refuse to recognize this reality so they take the stance the Twins are just interested in profit.
Two-thirds of the people who read this will not stop for 10 seconds to consider if this is reasonable. They will be busy thinking up something to blast me with as they read it.
I read it, and considered it, so don't blast me in reply.
I get that $118 mil may not have been the Phillies best offer, or it may have already represented an overpay, etc. I still think it could have been worth making such an offer -- no offense to the White Sox, but I don't think they were much of a test for Wheeler's off-field preferences, and it may have been worth overpaying if he was their #1 target, and to avoid getting shut out. Much depends on what the Twins do the rest of the offseason, of course, but I really did not like hearing that the Twins were prepared to offer more but didn't get a chance.
As far as 105 not also being worth 125, obviously that was the Twins judgement but it remains to be seen whether it was correct. The FA market in pro sports is nothing like an individual shopping for a car. Car shopping, it is perfectly acceptable (and admirable, even) for people to err on the side of frugality and utility every single time. That's not really the nature of running a pro sports franchise -- it's competitive by nature, and some risks have to be taken. Additionally, the FA market has many more variables than car shopping, and is much harder to predict -- what one sees as the upper limit price on a FA might change dramatically over a short period of time, based on competition and scarcity of resources.
Now, it is better that the Twins have failed to sign a big contract so far than to have signed the wrong big contract, but it would be better still if we were able to sign the *right* big contract. That's part of my expectation for this front office too -- not the only part, but a big enough part that I'm following their offseason moves.