Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:31 PM
I am in the minority I'm sure but I believe that we are an ace away from competing but that ace is not RA Dickey. I do not believe he is an ace no matter that he won the the Cy Young, even if he has had three very good ERA years after he left the Twins. (BTW, between he and David Ortiz, that is a good argument against TR being able to see into the future). Knuckleball pitchers cause many issues (passed balls, stollen bases, etc) that other pitchers do not have to deal with.
Grienke is the ace that we need in my opinion. We still need a #2 and a #3 starter before we are competitive but I think TR will find a couple of #3 guys like he usually does and it will be much easier to sign them once Grienke is here. Grienke is the real deal as an ace. He matches up well with other aces like Verlander and CC Sabathia to name a couple that we need to worry about to be competitive.
This strategy is not without risk but to say that it is not a viable strategy is more stupid than my suggesting it. My main points are these: If it were my money and I had a team that was the worst in the American League two years in a row after getting a new stadium, I would make sure that we were competitive in 2013. I would not spend $100 million again this year on a team without a real number one or two starter, because that team will not get over .500. I would still put together that $100 million team but I would replace one of the $5-$10 million guys we are hearing rumors about with Grienke, I know that this increases payroll to $110 or $115 million but I believe it also makes this team competitive. I would keep accumulating good arms in the minors like he is doing (Draft another couple with the #4 and #34 picks coming up.) for the future but we need to realize that the odds are very low that one of these kids will be an ace. It can happen but an ace needs to have more than just strikeout power. He needs control and consistency to go with that live arm. That is very rare and it is what Grienke has. The last thing an ace needs is ice in his veins and a willingness to throw the team on his back when needed. That Grienke has not proven that he has or doesn't have because he has never been on the big stage but there is no other starter available that is that much of the real deal as he is.
Ask yourself this, if the Twins build the same team as TR always does for a $100m payroll or they replace one starter with Grienke and spend $115m let's say, which team would you bet your money on doing the best that year and every year after that. I understand fully the risk of a pitcher being one injury away from being paid $40 million for two years of rehab but I still would spend the extra $15m per year on him if it were my money. I also think that Jim Pohlad has proven that he will go to $115m if he can be convinced that it will make the team a winner. You can't build a long term winner by paying more than Mauer and Grienke this crazy money but you need to supplement your young guys with at least two to three superstars. You can trade them if the young guys turn out to be good enough but you need proven superstars until these young guns are here to stay. Mauer and Grienke cost us $43 million of a $115m payroll and that is about a third of it but I think it needs to be done to build a team that consistently competes every year.
This team has a good enough offense, bullpen and an OK defense, they just need a #1 and a #2 starter and they are competitive. They can get there with $115m in mlb payroll. Just my $.02