Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:24 AM
I've seen this referenced in a few threads and from (I think) different people, so I thought I'd dedicate one thread to talk about it. Usually, in the middle of a thread, I hear something like "No way this guy gets signed because not only would the Twins need to pay for a guy, they would need to pay a lot MORE for the guy." I'm always baffled by it, but I'm willing to listen. I have a few questions for those that espouse it:
1. Since when does anyone need to overpay for a guy in MLB?
This isn't the NBA. In the NBA, where there are individual salary caps, players are far more likely to take other things - like how competitive the team is or the weather or whatever - into account, because there isn't more money. But in MLB, that cap doesn't exist. In fact, usually, the biggest criticism about free agents is just the opposite - that all they care about is the money.
2. Since when are the Twins so unappealing?
This is especially true for pitchers. The Twins are generally know, at least under Ryan, as being a well-run organization. Gardy is known as a players manager. The ballpark is a dream for pitchers, especially those looking to regain some market value. They've sucked the last two years, but if everyone was chasing a ring, the only team everyone would sign with is the Yankees. (Again, usually the criticism is just the opposite - that players don't care enough about winning.) I think if you go down the list of all 29 other teams, you're going to find the Twins somewhere with the mass of other teams.
3. Is someone leading the charge on this?
Is there someone in the media espousing this? I'm just wondering because I have no idea where this idea is coming from. I'm just curious. It is such a consistent comment that I assume someone is saying this on the radio or something. I was just wondering if anyone is hearing this talked or written about somewhere.
Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:46 AM
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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:23 AM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:06 AM
This is compounded by the fact that Minnesota is a decent market, you can be a mini-star and get some promotional money, there really are few attitudes on the squad, and for some reason they paid Joe Mauer a ton of money and -- to my understanding -- Joe probably wouldn't have signed if the team wasn't going to be competitive.
If you look at the factors for the team collapse the last two seasons, in 2011 it was a number of injuries. The team did manage to climb near .500 and contention for a moment. There was some spark. In 2012, the rotation of Baker (14-18), Pavano (14-18), Blackburn (12-15), Liriano (14-20) and Marquis (10-14) looked like it would be more than adequate for the dvision. In hindsight, the hitting was there although the runners didn't score often enough, and the bullpen was strong.
By why come to the Twins. Upper level free agents want to be with a competitive team. Not everyone can play for the Yankees, they only have so much money and so many open spots. Last year, we supposedly lost (also because of money) because Nathan and Cuddyer saw either prospects in their new team choices. For some reason, Willingham went with the Twins. They gave him that third year, a competitive salary, and it seems the only other teams looking at him were in the same mix as the Twins.
I am not sure what players look for, when given the ability to choose, the team they will play for. It is the first or second time they actually get to choose stadium, organization, part of the country and combine that with salary. Yet they can also choose and be traded away (both Cuddyer and Kubel are tradebait, I hear.....what keeps a Willingham from signing with Minnesota and ending up in Kansas City or Pittsburgh).
And why do I disparage Kansas City or Pittsburgh or Houston. If nothing else, signin with those teams AND the Twins probably means you will get a chance to shine and play. Any of those teams would be perfect for a Liriano or Young or even a Baker looking to be in a comfortable playing environment and seeking a bigger contract come 2014.
Sometimes, though, a starter has to question going to a lesser team. Will runs be scored for them. A 4.00 ERA on a contending team is better than a 4.00 ERA on a losing team. And how many pitchers like to end a season 5-12 or something of the ilk.
The bigger problem the Twins face is that they have little incentive to lowball pitchers, except for the fact that they can offer innings, than other teams. They might have to pay a bit more than or be creative, even to retain Scott Baker, for example.
John, would you sign with the Twins, today, right now, as a top tier player in baseball? If you were 29 and looking at a nice 3-4 year contract, would you seek out the Twins? If you were 35 with some energy and spark, would you commit to the Twins for 2 years if they offered. I think you'd look at every other opportunity available, first.
Yes, the Twins CAN spend and get a rotation and an infielder and maybe a bench. It can happen in one fell swoop. Then all you have to hope is that no one pulls up lame and the other teams in the division stay the same or get weaker.
But right now, in the FREE AGENT market, I think the Twins are callers only. I see few agents ringing their phones for an offer for their client or players looking out on their backyards and saying "I wonder what it would be like to play for the Minnesota Twins."
rosterman at www.twinscards.com
Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:11 AM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:48 AM
Email the show: email@example.com
Mike Pelfrey is a Sasquatch
Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:57 AM
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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:48 PM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:31 PM
It might be somewhat ironic as most Twins fans fought to escape a domed environment in the 1990's and early 2000's, but obviously, a Bio-Dome built over the Twin Cities will be quite different than a domed stadium. It might cost Minnesota Citizens a pretty penny - but what the hell, in the name of scientific/technological progress - I'm on board, but only if Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin are permanently banned from the Twin Cities.
Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:54 PM
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:12 PM
In both cases they made the best offer. I think we were all surprised by it, I know I was in both cases. There will always be the Greinke's that may place a larger importance on other factors but I think we will find in the end, if Terry Ryan offers the most money to a pitcher this off season, he will be pitching for the Twins next season. It remains to be seen if in fact TR is the biggest spender in any negotiation.