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Front Page: Revisiting Falvey and Levine Era Trades: Jake Odorizzi

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#1 Nate Palmer

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:58 AM

The hiring of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine by the Minnesota Twins marked a true change in the Twin Cities. Since their hiring they have made a number of critical hires and player moves. In this series we are going to look back at the significant trades this front office has made. First up, Jake Odorizzi.Jake Odorizzi recently committed to the Minnesota Twins for one more season by accepting the qualifying offer at the tune of $17.8 million dollars. It wasn’t all that long ago that the Twins went after Odorizzi. In the kick-off to a series looking back at some of the more significant trades of the Falvey and Levine era, here is a look back at that trade for the Twins right-hander.

It may sound weird, but the night of the Odorizzi trade is one of those nights I will remember for a while. Twins fans had been charged up with the hopes that maybe the Twins would sign Yu Darvish and then it turned into hopes and dreams of acquiring Chris Archer. So when Darren Wolfson tweeted that something was going on between the Rays and Twins, everyone was on alert!

Why it was big for me personally was because I was editing over at Puckett’s Pond where I had just recently said goodbye to a good friend and mentor and hello to a new member of the team. It felt like my first big chance to roll out some big Twins news as the site veteran.

Personal stories aside, at the time and still today, it looks like an absolute steal that the Twins were able to acquire Odorizzi for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios. At the time Palacios was a top-20 Twins prospect but he was also behind the likes of Royce Lewis, Wander Javier, and Nick Gordon. While Palacios is still only 22-years-old, he hasn’t been higher than Double-A ball and only slashed .210/.275/.266 in 2019.

While Odorizzi may have initially been acquired as a quick fix replacement to keep the Twins afloat after Ervin Santana went down with injury, he has proven to be a bit more and a crucial part to the Twins rotation. What is even more important is that the Twins front office got Odorizzi instead of Archer which looks very smart at this point.

Download attachment: Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 8.33.49 PM.png
The above stats are from 2018 and 2019. As they show, Odorizzi has been better the past two years than Archer. In 2018, the two pitchers were relatively similar with Archer edging Odorizzi in stats like ERA and K/9 but Odorizzi had a better WAR of 1.5 to Archer’s 1.0.

2019 is where Odorizzi really pulled away from Archer as Odorizzi put in an All-Star worthy season. At the same time Archer was very disappointing and had a 5.19 ERA and 0.8 WAR. Not at all what the Pirates were hoping for when they traded some good and talented players to Tampa Bay for him.

Speaking of talented players, because the Twins didn’t acquire Archer they were able to hold on to one key player that the Rays were interested in, Max Kepler. At the time many were speculating the Twins might have needed to package Kepler with either Stephen Gonsalves or Fernando Romero plus a few other prospects if they were to bring Archer to Minnesota.

The acquisition of Odorizzi on its own looks like a huge win for Falvey and Levine. Adding in what could have been and the fact they hung on to the likes of Kepler makes it feel that much better. Now a deal for Archer may have never actually been on the table but at the time many of us wanted to make it.

What are your thoughts on the Odorizzi trade? Has your opinion of it changed at all over the past two seasons?

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#2 jrod23

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:09 PM

Great article.I remember when this went down as well.My reaction was, "That's it?We only had to give up Palacios?...For Odorizzi?Wow.What dirt do we have on Tampa's front office that allowed this to happen?"

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#3 Dman

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:18 PM

I was surprised at the lack of interest in Odo by other teams.Surely another team could have offered Tampa more than Palacios.A straight up one for one trade so that Tampa could dump some salary was a great move by the FO.Everyone on the Twins side liked that trade.I can't think of anyone who didn't like it.Trades like that don't happen often.  

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#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:30 PM

Odorizzi had his question marks, but the trade seemed pretty light at the time... Then again, Tampa is usually the one pulling the wool over other teams in a trade. Nice to be on the other side of one of those since most of our previous dealings with them haven't been positive. 

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#5 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:21 PM

With the free agent market going crazy this is probably the exact type of trade the Twins should be targeting. Odorizzi was a great get, stock was a little down due to performance and perceived averagish stuff but had pedigree as a highly rated prospect. Two very solid years and an All-Star appearance later it's crazy they got him so cheap. 

 

For those clammoring for a "staff ace" to lead the team to post season success it's worth noting that Odo actually pitched pretty well against the Yankees this past postseason. Certainly well enough to have earned a win had the offense not choked. 

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#6 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 02:03 PM

 

With the free agent market going crazy this is probably the exact type of trade the Twins should be targeting. Odorizzi was a great get, stock was a little down due to performance and perceived averagish stuff but had pedigree as a highly rated prospect. Two very solid years and an All-Star appearance later it's crazy they got him so cheap. 

 

For those clammoring for a "staff ace" to lead the team to post season success it's worth noting that Odo actually pitched pretty well against the Yankees this past postseason. Certainly well enough to have earned a win had the offense not choked. 

 

I've replied to this line of reasoning before and I feel the need to say it again.There's a rather big downside to this.

 

It took about 4 months in 2018 for Jake to become the Odorizzi we got in 2019. That's a very risky proposition as it might not pan out... or worse, we're developing someone in the starting rotation and lose a few games in a tight race along the way. 

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#7 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 02:17 PM

 

I've replied to this line of reasoning before and I feel the need to say it again.There's a rather big downside to this.

 

It took about 4 months in 2018 for Jake to become the Odorizzi we got in 2019. That's a very risky proposition as it might not pan out... or worse, we're developing someone in the starting rotation and lose a few games in a tight race along the way. 

 

Short-term yes, it's a risk. Long-term it's risky to overpay in free agency or give up highly valued prospects in trades for win-now acquisitions. The Falvey/Levine front office is clearly here to play the long game and they both just signed contract extensions that will keep them in the organization for 5 more years. Fans are free to appreciate their approach or complain and neither side of that argument is entirely wrong. I love what they've done so far and look forward to hopefully many more trades like this as they build up a competitor with a deep farm system and payroll flexibility to strike when they feel it's right. 

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#8 old nurse

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:02 PM

 

I've replied to this line of reasoning before and I feel the need to say it again.There's a rather big downside to this.

 

It took about 4 months in 2018 for Jake to become the Odorizzi we got in 2019. That's a very risky proposition as it might not pan out... or worse, we're developing someone in the starting rotation and lose a few games in a tight race along the way. 

Upside, downside. Free agents will have years they are not worth the money.There are more stories like Cueto and Zimmerman than Scherzer.Trades for linepitchers viewedare top of the rotation the same way. Gray and Archer come to mind There really isn't an option not worth trying.

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#9 goulik

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:08 PM

I remember having mixed emotions. I was disappointed to not get the big name potential Ace we were looking for but also stunned that we got a potential #2 for only one prospect and that being from an area of wealth within our system. I have alwaysbeen high on Palacios and he still is SO young that I think he will be a decent MLB shortstop some day but that's it? NICE!

 

Falvine have proven themselves very shrewd with the trades and I worry that other teams are catching on and becoming more wary of getting the short ends of these trades. I predicted last week and I still think a trade will happen this week that will make us say "that's the big trade?!?" and then "in Falvine we trust" or "in Wes Johnson we trust".

 

Yeah, this was a great preview of what we were getting with the new FO.


#10 PDX Twin

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:14 PM

This front office seems to be working for the long run. I applaud this, though it will be frustrating to those who are anxious for the Twins to win this year.

 

I get the point about the Twins' "window" being open. But if the long-run strategy is successful there will be a succession of windows with one generation of young players transitioning to the next. That's the model they seem to be employing and, although I'm in the minority around here, I agree that it's the best one for the Twins' market position.

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#11 old nurse

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:22 PM

 

 

Short-term yes, it's a risk. Long-term it's risky to overpay in free agency or give up highly valued prospects in trades for win-now acquisitions. The Falvey/Levine front office is clearly here to play the long game and they both just signed contract extensions that will keep them in the organization for 5 more years. Fans are free to appreciate their approach or complain and neither side of that argument is entirely wrong. I love what they've done so far and look forward to hopefully many more trades like this as they build up a competitor with a deep farm system and payroll flexibility to strike when they feel it's right. 

Prospect valuations by the teams are getting better. Except for the Cubs there isn't the star prospect being traded very often.The Sale trade for Moncada, but . Dombrowski isn't a GM anymore. It really shouldn't be a "what if" concern on prospects. If you think their ceiling is going to be met.


#12 Twins33

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:06 PM

I remember the rumors that he’d probably be traded. I was meh about it. Preferred to not trade for him. Then we trade the fifth or sixth best SS prospect (or whatever it was, wasn’t top three) for him. I was all for it then. A number 3/4 for that? I’d do that every time.

Odorizzi has been better than expected, at least my expectations. The Twins need to keep finding ways to do this (and more hopefully).

#13 Otwins

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:35 PM

I agree with PDX Twin. Overpaying to win this year will only cost us opportunity down the road. The window is open but with our minor league system being so strong it is not this year or bust. The window is open for a long time.We were not one pitcher away from beating the Yankees last year. Both our hitters and our pitchers were overmatched. We will only be able to win play off series when we can develop our own pitching. When that is in place and it looks like it could be in the next couple years. That is when it will be time to overpay for that last piece like the Cubs did.Not this year.

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#14 Tomj14

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 10:46 AM

 

I agree with PDX Twin. Overpaying to win this year will only cost us opportunity down the road. The window is open but with our minor league system being so strong it is not this year or bust. The window is open for a long time.We were not one pitcher away from beating the Yankees last year. Both our hitters and our pitchers were overmatched. We will only be able to win play off series when we can develop our own pitching. When that is in place and it looks like it could be in the next couple years. That is when it will be time to overpay for that last piece like the Cubs did.Not this year.

So overpaying this year will cost us an opportunity down the road? Couldn't you say that every year? When is that statement not True?

Really with this philosophy the Twins should never pay more than Arb salaries or league minimum salaries for anybody. 
The best way to keep the minor leagues loaded with talent is to trade talent prior to them becoming unrestricted free agents.

The Twins shouldn't be trying to sign Berrios to a long term deal they should be looking to trade him after this season or in the middle of the next,
he would return a ton of prospects. The same with Buxton.
Sano and Rosario should be traded this year and replaced with rookies (Kriloff, Rooker, Larnach), when the rookies (and they will be stars Fo Sure) get close to being unrestricted you trade them and so on.

Imagine all of the Cash the Twins would save and the unbelievable amount of payroll flexibility they would have to sign or trade for players that would fill needed holes,
not that they would do that because you know that will cost opportunity down the road, but they idea that they could is crazy awesome,
on top of loading up on the next wave of prospects/Stars.


#15 Brandon

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:40 AM

When we traded for Odorizzi he was coming off a down year where he was injured and his stuff seemed to decline. Most teams were worried that paying him 6.3-4 million and giving up prospects would be too much. Odorizzi turned that around.

#16 Brandon

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:41 AM

Also I like the trade where we sent nothing...I mean the ability to spend a million...in two different trades for two different prospects.

#17 mike8791

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 03:01 PM

Can't knock THIS trade. It worked.But it is the only one this FO has accomplished in Three Years.Oh, I forgot the brilliant acquisition of Dyson.And, of course, there was the addition of Sergei Romo who instantly filled the Twins' need for a second shut down reliever.

 

For a team unwilling to take the plunge into the top tier of FA, how do you explain their inability to try the trade market?Is this Terry Ryan II?Remember Terry, he who could never give up a prospect for a meaningful midseason addition that might have improved our chances for at least one playoff victory in the aughts.  

 

Falvine has brought excitement to the TC but they have not shown the moxie and ability to take risks that separates the top execs from mediocrity.True, we have graduated from dumpster diving to nibbling at the edges.Let's see how that technique gets us another champioship.




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