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Scott Feldman, the Cubs, and how Theo Epstien is making Terry Ryan's life miserable

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#41 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."

#42 birdwatcher

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

My sense is that Ryan senses an urgency this time around, after the risk he took with last year's rotation went so horribly awry. (Yeah, I know, many of you saw it coming, and he didn't. Congratulate yourself.) If Ryan fails to pick up one #2-3 FA starter (Marcum type), and trade for a second#2-3 starter (Delgado type), I will join the pitchfork and torch crowd, but I'm gonna wait to make my trip to Menard's for said items until all the winter horse swapping is over. There's no rule that says Ryan has to solve the problem exclusively via FA signings. He has trade chips and "payroll flexibility." For the first time in many years.

#43 Jim H

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

That's a fine definition, not one I agree with, but fine. So pretty much 25 or so pitchers either a lot better, or about the same, if I read you correctly. Many of those will get more than 1 year, 6 million dollar deals. How many will get less, and be as effective?


Baker's past history suggests a certain level of effectiveness. Whether he will regain that level immediately coming off TJ surgery is one question. It is also rather questionable that he will be able to pitch more than 120-140 innings at the major league level. As far as Feldman goes, he has been a slightlly more effective Swarzak to this point of his career.

As to the last part of your statement, it is likely that a great many of the guys commanding a lot more than $6 million and probably for multiple years, aren't going to be very effective. It happens every time guys are signed to long term or high paying contracts, that a large per cent don't perform to their contracts. That is one reason GM's look for free agent bargains.

Despite that, Ryan is going to have sign or trade for a couple of guys with large and probably multi year contracts. He will likely try to sign at least one more probably 2, "bargains" as well. I think he has the money to do that. That doesn't mean people won't complain about his choices, or what we have to give up to get whoever he choose.

#44 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:31 PM



In this instance, my point is that he didn't just stumble into this situation...he wasn't completely removed...and the pitching situation has been how it's been for a couple years now (even with the fluke pitching we had in 2010). We've needed pitching for awhile now. We've known our system was weak in pitching, from top to bottom, for awhile now. It didn't JUST happen. So this whole, give him time stuff, just doesn't fly for me. Just my opinion. Our pitching is weak at the top (at MLB level and high levels) mostly cause of his poor drafting.

On top of that, when was the last time he ponied up and got us quality pitching from the FA market? We were close in 2006...needed some pitching to get us over the hump...what did he get us?


He didn't have much money to play with last offseason and he had a lot of holes to fill. Outside of the Marquis disaster, he did a good job of putting together a solid offense with not a lot of money. He then drafted a bunch of pitchers this past June with the hopes of flipping a few of them into starters on the big league club within 2-3 years.

He's not going to fix this thing overnight. Baseball teams change direction slowly and the guy needs more than 12 months and one draft to get the franchise back on track. I'm not even arguing that he's doing a good job of it, I'm only saying that fans need to have reasonable expectations.


But he did manage to drop payroll by about 18M...but yeah, he needs more than 12 months to fix this...but he also needs to shoulder some blame as to why we are where we are

Edited by ThePuck, 27 November 2012 - 03:37 PM.


#45 Kwak

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:31 PM

Okay guys...the ONLY reason the Cubs signed Baker and Feldman is to hope they show they are healthy and can be somewhat good in a possible attempt to then dump them midseason in hopes to get a decent prospect. The only way people want to go to the crappy Cubs is if they overpaid and that they did for Feldman and Baker.

The same should be said of the Twins. The biggest differences between the Cubs and the Twins are: the Cubs are a high revenue team and they have (are!) shown a desire to rebuild and seriously compete. $5MM for the Cubs is peanuts, as opposed to the Twins.

#46 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:32 PM

A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."


Which post were you responding to?

#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."


Which post were you responding to?


The post asking why Ryan seems to be able to evaluate hitters but not pitchers.

#48 PseudoSABR

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."

My sense is this: Brad Radke ruined the Twins.

At one time there was probably value in soft-tossing, control, durable pitchers. There's a Moneyball aspect at work, perhaps--in that the Twins valued pitchers who limited walks, while the rest of the league, perhaps, undervalued them. It's probably true that Radke was largely undervalued during his career.

I think where things began to break down for the Twins, was the notion that soft-tossing, control pitchers will stay healthier, or necessarily have better, more coachable attitudes. Moreover, that the Twins sense that they could draft and develop such pitchers was obviously overstated, and so was their capacity to milk the free agency or waiver wires for such pitchers.

Let's hope that's changed. I think our most recent draft is an example of that. Having pitchers like Gibson, Baker, Wimmers, Blackburn are assets only if their are combined with lots of other pitchers with a different skill sets.

#49 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

I love how people are praising the Twins for not signing this contract. I'll repeat this again: This is FA. Pitching does not come bargain price. You can get bats fairly cheap, but teams spend money on pitching. Always have, always will. If you're sticking your fingers in your ears and humming to try and explain away your crazy "add three FAs" offseason predictions - just stop.

I'm guessing that this is a well-established Minnesota coping mechanism for why our teams don't spend money. Rather than complaining about a low risk one year deal for a starter, perhaps you should be asking why the Twins aren't willing to make the same gambles? Afterall, overpaying for one year for Feldman sure has a whole helluva lot less risk than giving Marcum (who I like a lot!) the kind of money he's going to demand. Ditto Edwin Jackson or anyone else. A team in this state should be looking to make low-risk short term deals, not huffing and puffing every time they have to fork over an extra million to get it done.

#50 PseudoSABR

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

I love how people are praising the Twins for not signing this contract. I'll repeat this again: This is FA. Pitching does not come bargain price. You can get bats fairly cheap, but teams spend money on pitching. Always have, always will. If you're sticking your fingers in your ears and humming to try and explain away your crazy "add three FAs" offseason predictions - just stop.

I'm guessing that this is a well-established Minnesota coping mechanism for why our teams don't spend money. Rather than complaining about a low risk one year deal for a starter, perhaps you should be asking why the Twins aren't willing to make the same gambles? Afterall, overpaying for one year for Feldman sure has a whole helluva lot less risk than giving Marcum (who I like a lot!) the kind of money he's going to demand. Ditto Edwin Jackson or anyone else. A team in this state should be looking to make low-risk short term deals, not huffing and puffing every time they have to fork over an extra million to get it done.

This is a preemptive lecture. Let's see what they actually do before equating the withholding of judgment with coping mechanisms.

Again, I don't necessarily have faith that the Twins will sign quality pitching, but I'm not going to use Scott freaking Feldman as the soapbox for that argument.

#51 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

This is a preemptive lecture. Let's see what they actually do before equating the withholding of judgment with coping mechanisms.
Again, I don't necessarily have faith that the Twins will sign quality pitching, but I'm not going to use Scott freaking Feldman as the soapbox for that argument.


You missed the point. People appear ready to badmouth every move in which a pitcher makes "too much" while simultaneously being the same people insistent on signing FAs. (See: Dave) Whether the team signs pitchers or not we have to accept that they will be overpaid. We will have to overpay pitching. I don't care what level of faith people have, I'm annoyed that every time a pitcher of any discernible talent signs we have this rush of posters here to tell us it was smart that the Twins didn't throw that much money around.

If you want the Twins to get better in the offseason - stop worrying about the dollar amounts. You'll either be a hypocrite when they do sign someone finally or you've bought into the "Twins Way" of offseason spending hook-line-and sinker. (And, for the record, I'm not even saying the Twins Way is the wrong way. I'd much rather avoid FA altogether unless you can sign guys like Willingham, O-Dog, Doumit, Burton, etc.)

The Cubs are paying guys more than they are worth (let me introduce you to the past 20 years of FA history if you want an actual lecture on the absurdity of this) but they are doing it with low leverage deals that have upside. I would call that smart.

#52 DaveW

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

This is a preemptive lecture. Let's see what they actually do before equating the withholding of judgment with coping mechanisms.
Again, I don't necessarily have faith that the Twins will sign quality pitching, but I'm not going to use Scott freaking Feldman as the soapbox for that argument.


You missed the point. People appear ready to badmouth every move in which a pitcher makes "too much" while simultaneously being the same people insistent on signing FAs. (See: Dave) Whether the team signs pitchers or not we have to accept that they will be overpaid. We will have to overpay pitching. I don't care what level of faith people have, I'm annoyed that every time a pitcher of any discernible talent signs we have this rush of posters here to tell us it was smart that the Twins didn't throw that much money around.

If you want the Twins to get better in the offseason - stop worrying about the dollar amounts. You'll either be a hypocrite when they do sign someone finally or you've bought into the "Twins Way" of offseason spending hook-line-and sinker. (And, for the record, I'm not even saying the Twins Way is the wrong way. I'd much rather avoid FA altogether unless you can sign guys like Willingham, O-Dog, Doumit, Burton, etc.)

The Cubs are paying guys more than they are worth (let me introduce you to the past 20 years of FA history if you want an actual lecture on the absurdity of this) but they are doing it with low leverage deals that have upside. I would call that smart.


Derp.

I will criticize them once they fail to sign a decent pitcher like Marcum etc, but at this point who has gone off the market thus far? Baker? (Overpaid and won't even be ready until mid season), Guthrie (Do you want to give that turd 3 years?) and Feldman (4.81 ERA enough said)

#53 birdwatcher

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:32 PM

I agree, Leviathan, that the Cubs are smart for signing Feldman and Baker. But this would ONLY make sense for the Twins if they were supplemental signings. They need two #2-3 starters. Not much need for two more #4-5 starters. Diamond is better than both those guys, and we need two guys who are better than Diamond.

#54 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

Derp.
I will criticize them once they fail to sign a decent pitcher like Marcum etc, but at this point who has gone off the market thus far? Baker? (Overpaid and won't even be ready until mid season), Guthrie (Do you want to give that turd 3 years?) and Feldman (4.81 ERA enough said)


Derp indeed. You mean the same Scott Baker that is slated to be at ST and ready to pitch? Now neither you nor I know how effective or ready he'll be, but that's what is being said by everyone. 5M for that gamble looks pretty good. 4.81 ERA is not something to scoff at given our current woes. And if you think you're going to under pay a quality pitcher in years or money - you're fooling yourself. I like Marcum a lot but he has MAJOR red flags that we're going to have to ignore to get him. Stop pretending there is some sweetheart deal waiting in our future. We'll have to swallow some bitterness to get anyone in FA.

Personally, I'd rather swallow a short-term bitter pill than one that we'll keep tasting for potentially 3-4 years down the road. In either case, bad mouthing other contracts for being "too much" will just inevitably look silly when either a) they don't look that bad in hindsight or B) we sign one of our own.

#55 DaveW

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

Remind me the last time the Royals or Cubs were relevant? Fact is we should be doing nothing to emulate there lead, I don't care about Theo either who basically lucked into those teams (with Ortiz and Manny in the lineup) then gave out a bunch of ****ty contracts later on.

Until they prove otherwise I'm not going to trust either teams judgement on free agents. Let the trash teams over pay for the garbage on the market. (Baker won't be ready to start come April)

#56 LaBombo

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

[quote name='Brock Beauchamp'][quote name='ThePuck'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']A valid question, to which I can only respond "I have no idea."[/QUOTE]

Which post were you responding to?[/QUOTE]

The post asking why Ryan seems to be able to evaluate hitters but not pitchers.[/QUOTE]

The polite answer is that Ryan has more trouble evaluating pitchers than he does hitters because everyone has more trouble evaluating pitchers than hitters.

A couple of impolite alternatives... Ryan is the anti-empirical GM equivalent of a witch doctor, disdaining all but the most basic and outdated statistical analysis in favor of the insight provided by the same scouting sages who helped the Twins decide to give long-term deals to Tsyoshi Nishioka and Nick Blackburn. I don't believe that's true, but it would explain a great deal.

Another possibility is that Ryan is engaged in a long-range strategy involving a kind of contrarian, Moneyball 2.0 campaign to identify undervalued assets like strikeout-less pitchers and collect them at bargain prices. And maybe we won't see the shocking genius of it until it all comes together in the end, like Brad Pitt finding (spoiler alert!) his wife's head in the box at the end of the movie 'Se7en'.

#57 Mike Sixel

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:03 PM

So should I trust Philly and the Yankees, or maybe Texas? Those teams have been winners lately. Should the Twins emulate them? Taking a 1 year risk is less risky than a 4 year risk. I remain in the camp that I will not judge them until early January....unless a large number if pitchers go off the board before that. But I also remain in the group that will doubt something really good is likely to happen, given past performance.

#58 ThePuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

Theo Epstein isn't the Cubs GM...just throwing that out there.

#59 TheLeviathan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

Remind me the last time the Royals or Cubs were relevant?


I know in your ducky and bunny universe the Twins are on some pedestal above these teams, but I might remind you to check the standings. Past success has little to do with the future of this team and the moves they should be making with that in mind.

But that's ok....If (more likely when based on past history) Terry Ryan doesn't sign anyone and his reasoning is that none of the players were in a price range they felt "comfortable" with - just make sure you come to his defense.

#60 LaBombo

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

I don't care about Theo either who basically lucked into those teams (with Ortiz and Manny in the lineup)


Yeah, what a stroke of luck for rookie GM Theo Epstein, finding dusty, forgotten, long-time Red Sock David Ortiz rotting away in a broom closet in the bowels of Fenway Park a couple of months after taking over.

Oh, wait, Epstein signed him after Ryan decided he had no use for a designated hitter who could actually hit.

But having All Stars like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz all make the team as walk-ons who just sort of showed up at spring training they way they did, Theo totally lucked out with those guys.

Hmmm. Come to think of it, he picked all of them in the first or second round of the amateur draft.

Sorry, totally meant to play along in your game of 'portray widely respected GM as lucky rube', but my examples weren't very good.

Edited by LaBombo, 27 November 2012 - 06:29 PM.