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Front Page: Twins Front Office Playing with Patience this Winter

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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:00 PM

It’s December 12, the snow is falling in Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Twins contingent is headed home from the Winter Meetings. They brought back a pitcher, and signed their backup catcher, but impact pitching hasn’t landed, and assets dwindled. Now, an ask for patience.No, that’s not coming from the front office. I think that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine could take a quick look on the Twitter machine and realize pitchforks and brimstone flow heavily through Twins Territory. Doom and gloom is the mood with some big arms being off the board, and the fear of being left out in the cold has set in. All is not lost though, there’s still plenty of time and assets still to be sifted through. All we must do is wait.

I have a tough time listening to arguments about what Minnesota has traditionally done. This front office has been in place for three years, and they’ve yet to be in a position where opportunity and trajectory point towards a path of sensible spending. They’ve embarked on a sustainable window of winning that we’ve never seen the dual-headed monster execute upon. In short, this is uncharted territory.

On top of all of that, this front office is directly responsible for the positioning that the Minnesota Twins are currently in. The farm system is loaded, and the infrastructure designed around development and advancement is derived from their vision. Internal talent is being explored and cultivated, while major league success looks here to stay. Through those happenings, it’s hard not to argue a benefit of doubt should be granted.

As I wrote back in early November, the Twins can take a page from the book of Houston and Chicago in creating their juggernaut. Now is a time to supplement, spend, and add, but it isn’t representative of the only time that will ring true in the years ahead. This needs to be a strong and consistent build. A right foot forward is put forth this offseason with that being doubled down upon in the immediate future.

The gnashing of teeth is far from unexpected. We live in a world searching for immediate gratification and behind a “what have you done for me lately” ideology. It can be increasingly hard to separate from that, but there’s solace in understanding deadlines allow for processes to play out as well. The Twins didn’t need to make all their moves during the Winter Meetings, and free agents weren’t tied to accepting contracts while executives were out in San Diego. We’re exactly two months from the first spring training workout in Fort Myers, and plenty of work remains.

From the outset of the offseason Thad Levine noted the Twins goal was to add “impact pitching.” If they don’t like what is presented to them, further supplementing the offense is another way to increase the water level. What can’t happen is stagnant display of standing pat, but I’d have to imagine two intelligent guys that have orchestrated an organizational turnaround are aware of that fact.

Until the dust settles, the point is this; breathe. Allow for Falvey and Levine to cash in on some of their generated benefit. Trust that a similar process instituted to right the organization will be utilized to bolster the roster. When Bumgarner or Ryu sign elsewhere, assume that there’s a plan and other irons in the fire. All the way up until we get our first play ball from Twins Territory south, pump the breaks.

If we’re still in a similar situation at that point, then, burn it all down.

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#2 mikelink45

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:09 PM

We have never had a say in what happens despite all the TD articles and speculation.It is never up to the fan.And thus, anguish, excitement, anticipation is the same thing to the FO.If we are emotional, we are engaged and they benefit.

 

Thanks for nothing FO.We will still write and speculate.  


#3 D.C Twins

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:19 PM

First off, Kudos to the FO for their strides in drafting, player development, coaching hires! BUT...

 

 

There is little doubt that they should have offered an "overpay" contract to Wheeler or Madbum right out of the gates. It was inevitable that the competition would stiffen with the losers of the big TWO starters joining the fray.

 

To land an impact arm in free agency, you have to "overpay" by definition. I am suspicious that the FO or owner do not fully embrace this concept. Until they do, there is little reason to expect anything different by waiting for ":the immediate future."

 

In addition, I am also suspicious that the FO clings too tightly to its coveted prospects. A good trade should sting a bit for both sides. We will not obtain an impact arm through a trade without feeling like "ugh, I thing we may have given too much away."

 

If we are afraid to both "overpay" with prospects AND "overpay" with money, there is simply no pathway to obtaining impact arms from outside the organization.

 

This is not obviously not Rocket Surgery, but the FO needs to figure out what is their desired path for "overpaying" for impact arms and make it happen. The alternative is to languish in the mildly competitive zone.

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#4 MN_ExPat

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:08 PM

Nice write up Ted.

 

I think both Mike and DC make good points, and I won't argue against it.However, I personally am not worried... yet. If they don't make a big splash will I be disappointed? Yup, I sure will be, but it's not the end of the world fan wise.

 

So let's sit back, take a breath and grab a frosty, carbonated adult beverage of your choice and get ready for high school baseball to start next month (ok, maybe that's just us since it's still 60 degrees here and baseball is year round :)).

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#5 h2oface

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:53 AM

There's so much dust already one needs a shovel.


#6 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:07 AM

This article is good. However, it misses on the fact that this FO didn't have a ton to do with the players that are now on the MLB roster. Like him or love him Terry Ryan's crew was the one who drafted and developed most of our starting lineup. We have yet to see how Falvine's drafts play out. 

 

Will Lewis be a league leading SS? Can Graterol by a top end starter? How about Kiriloff? Is he Jason Kubel, or something more. 

 

Remember, Buxton, Sano, Berrios, Polanco, Rosario, Kepler, Aareaz, Rogers, Garver. It's not fair to give this FO credit for these guys, the guys that are making it happen. Heck Billy Smith made some excellent international signings.

 

The book is still out IMO on these guys as far as drafting and acquiring players goes.

 

Also, as far as player acquisition and trading goes, what exactly has this new FO done any different than ones in the past? They are still not going after the top guys, playing the reclamation project game, signing older players to 1-2 year deals, not trading valuable prospects for high end guys, and using their system to supplement. I don't see anything different on this front from Terry Ryan.

 

What is different is the approach to player improvement, analytics, etc. That has been MUCH, MUCH better and the reason we can put our trust in these guys going forward. They should most definitely get credit for helping what was already there perform to their highest abilities, or should at least get credit for hiring the coaches that were able to accomplish that.

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#7 beckmt

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:18 AM

Making a splash is the only way we are going to convince the agents the Twins are serious.If we do not do an overpay. my fear is Twins offers will only be used to push up prices to what the agents feel are serious bidders.  

Trades may be the way, but here with the front offices of the lessor clubs, they may feel at this time they have to win the trades, and losing more free agent battles will just raise the prices on the players the Twins need.

I have a bunch of friends who were traders on the options markets.When a person got into this position, their first move was to try and nail them to the wall.It is a business and if you opposites feel they have to win the trade due to your position that is what they are going to do.


#8 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:32 AM

 

This article is good. However, it misses on the fact that this FO didn't have a ton to do with the players that are now on the MLB roster. Like him or love him Terry Ryan's crew was the one who drafted and developed most of our starting lineup. We have yet to see how Falvine's drafts play out. 

 

Will Lewis be a league leading SS? Can Graterol by a top end starter? How about Kiriloff? Is he Jason Kubel, or something more. 

FWIW, Graterol was signed by TR, and Kirilloff was drafted by TR too. Of course, the current FO has been developing them.

 

On your larger point, I think you can give the current FO some development credit on a lot of guys, but overall, it's still an open question how well they acquire/draft/develop. (As should be expected, after only 3 years.)

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#9 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:42 AM

 

FWIW, Graterol was signed by TR, and Kirilloff was drafted by TR too. Of course, the current FO has been developing them.

 

On your larger point, I think you can give the current FO some development credit on a lot of guys, but overall, it's still an open question how well they acquire/draft/develop. (As should be expected, after only 3 years.)

Well then that just strengthens my point.

 

And my hope, is that the change in developing these guys is what bears fruit. We all know in the long run the way to sustain competitiveness is to develop your own guys, specifically pitching. The last FO didn't produce a ton of pitchers, or at least not many high end guys. Hopefully these guys can bring the best out in the pitchers they draft and develop.


#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:55 AM

I love being told how to be a fan.....

 

As for not loving patience, this isn't car shopping. Every good player that goes off the board is one less opportunity to improve. I'm not worried yet, but I am beginning to worry.

 

Two (edit, three I guess) other points.....progress and success in sports isn't linear. Just because they were good last year doesn't mean they'll be good next year. Nearly everyone seems to be forgetting the yo yo record over the last 4 years. Every hitter was better than expected (except one) last year. 4 of their 5 starting pitchers were healthy nearly all year (though Perez was bad). Nearly every relief pitcher was better. 

 

This isn't their first chance to get better when the team is good. They did the bare minimum at the break last year. Also, you don't have to wait to sign multi year contracts until the team is good, one way to get good is to sign a guy the year before you expect to be good.

 

The jury is out on this FO. So far, I think it is promising. But we really haven't seen them do anything different than the previous FO, other than sell faster (Pressley and Nick Anderson come to mind). None of their acquisitions have been things TR wouldn't have done. So, it is kind of hard to see how anything has really changed.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#11 HawksNest

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:11 AM

The way I deal with the FA/Trade disappointment syndrome that so many fans feel is to just not get my hopes up *ever* about about making a splashy move.

 

It's not the way the organization operates. Never has, probably never will. They've literally NEVER done it.

 

I will operate from this mind set until proven different by the FO.

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#12 howeda7

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:16 AM

Falvey has proven to be a geeky stat-head version of Terry Ryan. Clinging to prospects like grim death and gravely afraid of signing a bad contract. That's not entirely a bad thing. But it's also not entirely good.

 

Once, just once, I'd like to see the Twins behave like the St. Louis Cardinals instead of the Tampa Rays. But I'm now pretty convinced it will never happen until there a new owner and a completely new FO and mindset. Until then, we'll be a plucky team that wins our division once in a while, and then gets our brains beat in by the Yankees.

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#13 tony&rodney

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:20 AM

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was ...

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#14 drivlikejehu

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:07 PM

 

The jury is out on this FO. So far, I think it is promising. But we really haven't seen them do anything different than the previous FO, other than sell faster (Pressley and Nick Anderson come to mind). None of their acquisitions have been things TR wouldn't have done. So, it is kind of hard to see how anything has really changed.

 

It's not credible to say that this front office is the same as TR. If you want to complain about not overpaying for free agents, ok, fine, so far that part has been similar.

 

In every other respect, this front office is very different. The poaching of Twins staff is proof that they are doing things in an innovative way (something that never used to happen). They took over an old fashioned operation and have quickly built up a much stronger and more capable infrastructure. They just won 101 games in the regular season. They went from being chronically power-deficient to setting the all-time home run record.

 

To say Falvey = TR is just a false statement. If you seriously think that, it's evidence of a very strong bias that is obscuring the actual facts of the situation. And this is a pattern that has been evident ever since Falvey took over . . . a subset of posters have criticized him and the front office continually. That says a lot about the objectivity and credibility of those folks.

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#15 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:27 PM

It's not credible to say that this front office is the same as TR. If you want to complain about not overpaying for free agents, ok, fine, so far that part has been similar.

In every other respect, this front office is very different. The poaching of Twins staff is proof that they are doing things in an innovative way (something that never used to happen). They took over an old fashioned operation and have quickly built up a much stronger and more capable infrastructure. They just won 101 games in the regular season. They went from being chronically power-deficient to setting the all-time home run record.

To say Falvey = TR is just a false statement. If you seriously think that, it's evidence of a very strong bias that is obscuring the actual facts of the situation. And this is a pattern that has been evident ever since Falvey took over . . . a subset of posters have criticized him and the front office continually. That says a lot about the objectivity and credibility of those folks.


I literally said the jury is out...... And it looks promising.

But what transactions have they done TR wouldn't, since I was talking about transactions?

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#16 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:54 PM

I very much like this post Ted. My take exactly. The trajectory of this organization is exciting. I will be patient, and am convinced the 26 men we field in late March will be very good. I am an old fan and have been through the ringer like the rest of us. I choose optimism each and every winter regardless of moves and non-moves. I have to because the beginning of baseball season is my very favorite time of year and I am not going to wreck that for myself. There is plenty of time Apr-Sept to become demoralized. Not doing it in Dec.

Hey by the way - good on the FO this year on the 40 man. We lost no one to the rule 5 - and we have 3 open spots as of today. 

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#17 akmanak

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 01:40 PM

Same deal with the Twins. If we don't get new owners it will be the same rinse and repeat.

#18 Major League Ready

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 02:14 PM

 

The way I deal with the FA/Trade disappointment syndrome that so many fans feel is to just not get my hopes up *ever* about about making a splashy move.

 

It's not the way the organization operates. Never has, probably never will. They've literally NEVER done it.

 

I will operate from this mind set until proven different by the FO.

 

Sure are a lot of posters here who are sure this the best way to build a dominant team that succeeds in the playoffs? Name a team with equal or less revenue that has built a team that reached the world Series that had significant contribution from a free agent SP that signed a 5 year or greater contract.

 

I bet a dollar you all just ignore the facts and continue to rant.

 

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#19 HawksNest

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 02:36 PM

 

Sure are a lot of posters here who are sure this the best way to build a dominant team that succeeds in the playoffs? Name a team with equal or less revenue that has built a team that reached the world Series that had significant contribution from a free agent SP that signed a 5 year or greater contract.

 

I bet a dollar you all just ignore the facts and continue to rant.

 

Agreed, most teams that win World Series don't commit more than 15-20% of their payroll to a single player. Not advocating the Twins to go out and sign MadBum for $25 million per (don't think he's worth that). In fact, no club that has committed more than 20 percent of its payroll to one player has won the World Series since 2003.

 

Just frustrating because the team hasn't won a single playoff game since 2004 and only one playoff series since 1991.

 

The one overarching constant that entire time has been the ownership group and 3 front offices that are by their very nature an extension of ownership (they hire them after all).

 

Maybe the Twins ownership group has no idea how to build, using your words, "a dominant team that succeeds in the playoffs" because they haven't done it in nearly 30 years. 


#20 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 10:21 AM

 

Sure are a lot of posters here who are sure this the best way to build a dominant team that succeeds in the playoffs? Name a team with equal or less revenue that has built a team that reached the world Series that had significant contribution from a free agent SP that signed a 5 year or greater contract.

 

I bet a dollar you all just ignore the facts and continue to rant.

 

Then they must develop their own. If they can't develop their own, they must trade position players for them. 

You have to do one of those things or you won't compete for anything more than wild card spot or division crown. Once you get the playoffs, you get STOMPED. 

 

The core is there. It needs to be supplemented. Doesn't matter how it happens, but since there has been an organization failure to produce top pitching the last how many years, it must be righted for this group of players in order to compete. If it isn't done, it's a hardcore slap in the face to the roster.