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Article: Shift In Free Agency Strategy Doesn't Favor The Minnesota Twins

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

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#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:44 AM

Interesting to see the lists laid out and I think you are right. The Twins have often seemed to sit back and let the market come to them but other teams seem to be making preemptive strikes.

I don't see pitchers in the top group "falling" in years or dollars into what the Twins would want to pay. There seems to be a lot of teams out there with a lot of money. It's pretty hard to ignore what some of the new TV deals are doing to the market.

I never saw the Twins as being able to acquire enough pitching to be really competitive in 2013. The question for me is how they should play this to be really competitive down the road. Do they put their money into short term pitching deals that may only marginally improve the team for 2013 or should they be looking to use some of that money to upgrade positions with the idea of possibly flipping those players for pitching depth at the trade deadline or next offseason? Can they mine a few undervalued postion player prospects (like Willingham) and then capitalize on them as time goes on?

#3 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

It is not over paying if that is what the market gives every year. That is the market they choose to be a part of if they want to own a MLB team. Oh, and the price goes up every year....so their hesitancy is only going to get worse.

#4 Jim H

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

I think the signings to this point reflect 2 things. Many teams aren't interested in long term committments. Too many of those don't work out that well, and unless you are the Yankees or a few other teams, it can be pretty hard to work around a lot of money tied up in useless talent. A 2nd part of that is that some of the perceived top talent might be asking for a lot more than most teams are willing to pay. Some of those talents might have to readjust their asking price. Or perhaps as you suggest, some team will decide to overpay.

In any case, part of the Twins problem is that they need more than one free agent pitcher. If you only need one, you target a couple of guys, the one that comes closest to what you are willing to pay, go for it. When you need 3 or 4 guys, like the Twins do, it is a bit harder to follow that approach.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

Or you could get even 1 for three years, then add another when Justins deal comes off the books next year....still hoping......

#6 birdwatcher

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

I buy Honeycrisp apples. They cost $2.39/lb. My second favorite species cost $1.69.
Looking at your list, John, excluding Greinke and Sanibel, I only see about five Honeycrisp apples. Problem is, they're priced at $4.69/lb. I imagine Ryan goes with my second favorite species. That'll be dissappointing.

#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

It might actually force the Twins to go up. Given the organizational lack of pitching in the minors, I'd still likely target one of these big names, as they are going to need pitching now, and in 2014/15... I'd go after Sanchez whom I think has the best chance of all of them to deliver maximum value on that type of contract.

#8 ThePuck

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

I buy Honeycrisp apples too...bought some Sunday...totally worth the extra money needed to get them

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

I agree with puck....

#10 Kwak

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

Or, it's a realization that unless the Twins make a blow-away offer to the better talent
all they can do is wait to see who nobody else wants and then make a deal. That's part of the problem of being a losing team, the better players won't play for you unless offered substantially more money.

#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:21 AM

I buy Honeycrisp apples. They cost $2.39/lb. My second favorite species cost $1.69.
Looking at your list, John, excluding Greinke and Sanibel, I only see about five Honeycrisp apples. Problem is, they're priced at $4.69/lb. I imagine Ryan goes with my second favorite species. That'll be dissappointing.


Actually, John's point seems to be that your second favorite choice is already sold out so now it's go big or go home.

#12 ThePuck

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

I buy Honeycrisp apples. They cost $2.39/lb. My second favorite species cost $1.69.
Looking at your list, John, excluding Greinke and Sanibel, I only see about five Honeycrisp apples. Problem is, they're priced at $4.69/lb. I imagine Ryan goes with my second favorite species. That'll be dissappointing.


Actually, John's point seems to be that your second favorite choice is already sold out so now it's go big or go home.


I think Birdwatcher's point, and mine too, is that Honeycrisp apples are delicious!

#13 Jim Crikket

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

If you just bump Marcum up to the upper tier and drop Saunders to the 3rd tier, it gives a pretty clear picture of what the Twins are facing now. I'm not altogether sure that a couple of those remaining upper tier pitchers might not end up a bit disappointed in their contracts, though. Yes the rumors for all of those guys have multiple teams "interested," but they seem to be the same handful of teams. The Dodgers are reportedly considering going after both Greinke and Sanchez, but how many others will hand big bucks to more than one of these pitchers? The Angels for example appear to have a pretty full rotation already, yet they're still mentioned as suitors for some of those upper tier guys.

But you're right, it's going to be interesting to see how this shakes out. The Twins may indeed find that their best path to legitimate pitching is the trade market and that could mean they have to face the possibility of coughing up prospects, which they've also been averse to doing in the past.
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#14 jharaldson

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

Minor update: Please cross Feldman off, he signed with the Cubs.

Given we know that pitchers are accepting reasonable/good offers already by the fact that so many have signed and given the fact that we know through the reporting of LEN3 that the Twins have many offers out I think we can conclude the Twins are not offering reasonable/good contracts and are throwing out lowball offers and seeing what, if anything, sticks. It is disappointing knowing we could have Haren ($13 million), Blanton ($6 Million) and a fringe guy like Francis ($1.5 million) all on 1 or 2 year deals and all within budget.

#15 AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

I buy Honeycrisp apples too...bought some Sunday...totally worth the extra money needed to get them


Couldnt have said it better Puck. Sometimes spending that little bit of extra money is absolutely worth it.

#16 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:20 PM

Well, now I understand why so many of you are enamored with Joe Mauer and why I find him dull and boring.

Regardless of the difference in price, I never buy honeycrisps. They are okay to eat but I'd rather have a nice tart Haralson any day although I usually have to settle for a Braeburn cuz Haralsons have limited availability.

And honeycrisps are far too sweet to use IN anything. And one apple doesn't a dessert make.

#17 Kwak

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:35 PM

Perhaps the tone of this thread will chnge when the next update is included?

#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

I think Birdwatcher's point, and mine too, is that Honeycrisp apples are delicious!


No. Delicious is a totally different variety, and vastly inferior.

Oh, and Fuji, FTW!

#19 old nurse

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Well, now I understand why so many of you are enamored with Joe Mauer and why I find him dull and boring.

Regardless of the difference in price, I never buy honeycrisps. They are okay to eat but I'd rather have a nice tart Haralson any day although I usually have to settle for a Braeburn cuz Haralsons have limited availability.

And honeycrisps are far too sweet to use IN anything. And one apple doesn't a dessert make.


Many people think Braeburns are applesauce with a skin on them. I would think someone who likes Braeburns would like Mauer.
When he plays poorly he is like a Braeburn. When he is good he is like a Honeycrisp.
Best apple for baking is a Winesap.

Are we going to discuss oranges next?

#20 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

Fuji and honeycrisp for eating..all others for baking and sauces.....though I hear there some new varieties coming soon.

#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

While we're talking about apples, I discovered SweeTango apples awhile back. It changed my life.

#22 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:22 PM

Are we going to discuss oranges next?


Maybe in some other thread. Certainly not here. That would be like... I don't know... two totally different things.

#23 Top Gun

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

I would sign Zack 8 years 25 m go with the best. In 3 years he worth 30m, in 6 he is worth 40m, you can flip him any time for a boat load of prospects. CC, Pettitte, Doc, lee, ect. all did fine. Even Clemens still wants to pitch, What is not to like, you can buy insurance too.

#24 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

:D Laugh, did I.

Are we going to discuss oranges next?


Maybe in some other thread. Certainly not here. That would be like... I don't know... two totally different things.

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#25 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

I'd like Bedard and Marcum.

#26 h2oface

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

I buy Honeycrisp apples too...bought some Sunday...totally worth the extra money needed to get them


Nice. I bet they really taste good in October, too.

#27 jokin

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

I buy Honeycrisp apples. They cost $2.39/lb. My second favorite species cost $1.69.
Looking at your list, John, excluding Greinke and Sanibel, I only see about five Honeycrisp apples. Problem is, they're priced at $4.69/lb. I imagine Ryan goes with my second favorite species. That'll be dissappointing.


On this we have found common ground, bw. I vastly prefer a Honeycrisp (or a Sweetango!) to a Granny Smith any day. Unfortunately, I get the distinct impression that Ryan will end up with the shriveled Granny at the bottom of the barrel.

#28 jharaldson

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:28 PM

One of the more underrated blog posts recently was this one by John and I think it got overlooked due to the great trade Ryan made with Revere but after Ryan’s interview with Reusse and Mackey on Friday (12/7) I am more convinced that John hit this on the head. Reusse started the section on Free Agency this way:

Reusse: “It seems like Jackson is waiting for Anibal, and the guys after Anibel are waiting for him to sign. It seems like the boys at the top have to sign before we know what the price of poker is.”

Ryan has a couple of ways to go here. He can acknowledge that 13 of the top 32 guys have already signed, roughly %40 of the market, and that free agency is working differently this year as John pointed out in this article. Or he can do this:

Ryan: “You’re right, this is the way it works in Free Agency. Before those guys at the tops sign it is amazing about that logjam. Everyone is waiting to see where Greinke goes, or Lohse goes. Until that frees up everyone is at a standstill.

Emphasis is mine above. When something is %40 complete and still moving forward there is not a reasonable person in the world that can say it is at a standstill. Terry Ryan has still not adjusted to the reality of this market and we may find out at the end of the offseason that many of the good deals on guys with some potential upside were actually signed before Greinke.