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Neal: Twins won't overpay for average pitching

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

Twins might not be done looking at pitchers, plus plenty of other notes | StarTribune.com

Lots of good notes in La Velle's latest entry, but this bit really stuck in my craw:

"Indications are that they are not going to hand out the two-year deal for $14-15 million that has become the rage this offseason (see Brandon McCarthy, Joe Blanton and Francisco Liriano). They will let Joe Saunders walk if that is the case. Same for Brett Myers and Shawn Marcum (there are health issues with Marcum too).

But if the offseason continues and the those pitchers remain unsigned, the Twins will take a harder look at them if they lower their demands. Despite having money to spend (they could open the season with a payroll in the low $80M range) they are not going to pay what they think is too much for average pitching."


I don't know to what degree Neal is speculating here, but if this actually reflects the thought process of the front office it's disheartening to say the least. How can one balk at $15M for McCarthy or Blanton, yet be OK with giving $10M to Correia? I realize the Twins were probably never going to get involved with a big-money long-term deal for a SP, but their apparent unwillingness to even be competitive for legitimate free agent pitchers is a slap in the face to fans.

If they won't "pay what they think is too much" to improve their product, despite being so far below their established payroll level, why should anyone be inclined to pay the considerable price to go out and support that product next summer? When it comes to improving the 2013 club, the gap between this team's rhetoric and actions is way too large.

#2 snepp

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:15 PM

Overpaying for guaranteed mediocrity (at best) is perfectly acceptable though.

#3 Gernzy

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

Neal made plently of good points. Starting pitchers have been getting overpaid for years and not always giving results. While I think we overpaid for Correia I understand not giving McCarthy $15 million.

I still want us to sign a solid pitcher, but who left doesn't have question marks?
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#4 Boom Boom

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I like where LEN3 says that the Twins feel Correia was on his way to 190+ innings when the Pirates bumped him from the rotation.

The Pirates. Bumped him. From their (the Pirates') rotation.

#5 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:27 PM

Anyone still willing to claim cutting payroll isnt priority one? Anyone? Bueller?

#6 snepp

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

Anyone still willing to claim cutting payroll isnt priority one? Anyone? Bueller?


They're just saving up for a really big free agent splash next offseason.



2/14 for Barry Zito.

#7 COtwin

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

Myers 3.30 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 160 SO 168 IP avg last 3 years
Marcum 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 109 SO 173 IP avg last 3 years
Saunders 4.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 112 SO 196 IP avg last 3 years
Correia 4.21 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 89 SO 156 IP avg last 3 years

1st off. If the Twins mgmt is so dead set against the 2 year $14-15 million deal, they certainly didnt' show it by signing an inferior player for slightly less. If Correia can get 2/10, than Saunders and Myers and Marcum look pretty good at 2/14. I am sorry but Myers for 2/14 looks damn good. Myers is a different class of pitcher than Saunders (lack of strikeout ability), Marcum (durability), Correia (suckability).

#8 JB_Iowa

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

While I don't have a big problem with them refusing to overpay for pitching this year (although as NIck notes, where is the line that denotes overpaying?), I strongly believe that they would refuse to "overpay" even if the rest of the team looked good (LEN3 touches on this). THAT is a huge problem for me. The fact of the matter is that the Twins and pitching are just not a happy marriage -- they haven't been good at drafting it; they seem mediocre at developing it; and they refuse to pay much for it.

So overall, it doesn't make me very hopeful about this team -- even if the team is improved several years from now and works its way back to "contender" status -- because I believe that they will do the same thing they have always done and "skimp" on pitching and will only ever be groomsmen and never the groom. I hope that they prove me wrong. But until they do, I think that I -- and all other fans -- should remain skeptical.

#9 edavis0308

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

I hope people have their questions ready for the Twins brass at the caravan stops. I will be waiting for you all to report back to us with what is said.

#10 Steve Lein

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

I hated this paragraph the most:

"The Twins see value in Correia making at least 26 starts in each of the previous four seasons. They feel he was on his way to 190-plus innings last season when the Pirates dealt for Wandy Rodriguez for the stretch drive and bumped Correia to the bullpen. To them, $5 million a year for a back of a rotation guy is reasonable."

While I agree $5 million a year is reasonable for a back of the rotation guy, when you consider the production Correia gave Pittsburgh each of those 4 seasons, it's laughable. This is the same type of production the Twins got out of Sam Deduno, Cole Devries, P.J. Walters, and Liam Hendriks last year.

But also, if $5 Mil a year is reasonable for a Correia, how in H-E-Double-Hockey-Stick is $7.5 MIL not for a McCarthy/Saunders/Marcum. When, you know, they might actually be something more than a back of the rotation guy. Baffling...

And finally: "they are not going to pay what they think is too much for average pitching." Yet, as we seem to agree, they'll overpay for below-average pitching.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#11 ThePuck

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

Over on the MLB Twins site, Rhett wrote an article about how our starting staff was bad mostly due to injuries...so, it makes sense we'd pick up the kind of pitchers we did this offseason...pure examples of durability and health...

#12 ThePuck

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

Anyone still willing to claim cutting payroll isnt priority one? Anyone? Bueller?


I keep getting told money is definitely not a reason why good pitchers won't come here...being told I'm basically stupid to think money could even be one contributing factor amongst other factors for pitchers not coming here....so, yeah, I think there are people who claim cutting payroll isnt priority one. We'd spend if they'd just come here... :-)

Edited by ThePuck, 26 December 2012 - 02:06 PM.


#13 Rosterman

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

I s $7-8 million overpayment for average pitching? 3rd-year arbitration average.

But what is average? I would think $1 million a victory would be high. How many pitchers are worth $20 million. I'm sorry. They win half of the games they start. Hopefully keep you in the game for the oterh half. Then they are a 200-inning ace.

What is the price for middle-relief. Used to be $2.5-4 million....now it is creaking up to $5 million for experienced journeymen.

Yet the closer market seems to be taking a hit. Nathan and Pap may be the last of the truly big money guys. Is a closer really worth $10+ million (Hey, Capps is still out there).

When starting pitching starts to demand $10 million a season, then I see that as overpayment. I would not blink at McCarthy or Saunders or Marcum in the $7-8 range. That is average for quality, in my books.

You try and tell me, Twins, that you didn't overpay for Capps, Pavano, Marquis...even for a look at Zumaya. You had no problem siging Blackburn to his contract for which was above average for a pitcher at that time.

Yes, remain the bridesmaid. Wait for the guy to lower their options or not find a job.

Anyone wonder, on another note, how this new draft thingie for a free agent is going to work out? Seems to hurt those with offers this season. What was truly wrong with the old system? And get rid of that magic whatever (this year $13 million) figure.
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#14 snepp

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

Anyone wonder, on another note, how this new draft thingie for a free agent is going to work out? Seems to hurt those with offers this season. What was truly wrong with the old system? And get rid of that magic whatever (this year $13 million) figure.


What was wrong with it? Just about everything. The new setup isn't great, but it's a million times better than the previous abomination.

#15 Top Gun

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

When do the Twins overpay for anything? They overpay for garbage for being cheap!

#16 edavis0308

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:16 PM

When do the Twins overpay for anything? They overpay for garbage for being cheap!


Have you really had 833 posts all to this nature? We get it.

#17 DaveW

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:16 PM

Oh yay, another thread where we bitch and moan about Correia!

Listen, we all know its a stupid deal, we don't need to hear about in 60 times a week. Nobody is debating that it was a bad move. Move on folks.

I am encouraged that they won't CONTINUE to over pay for average/crappy pitching. 1 2/10 mil bad deals is easier to live with then 2 or 3 of them.

#18 Boom Boom

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

Oh yay, another thread where we bitch and moan about Correia!

Listen, we all know its a stupid deal, we don't need to hear about in 60 times a week. Nobody is debating that it was a bad move. Move on folks.

I am encouraged that they won't CONTINUE to over pay for average/crappy pitching. 1 2/10 mil bad deals is easier to live with then 2 or 3 of them.


LEN3 and the Twins are saying it wasn't a bad move.

Also... I'm sorry if you're sick of hearing about Correia. Get used to it because he'll be here for a while.

#19 snepp

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:28 PM

Oh yay, another thread where we bitch and moan about Correia!

Listen, we all know its a stupid deal, we don't need to hear about in 60 times a week. Nobody is debating that it was a bad move. Move on folks.

I am encouraged that they won't CONTINUE to over pay for average/crappy pitching. 1 2/10 mil bad deals is easier to live with then 2 or 3 of them.


There's no cheerleading the Correia signing accompanied by these kind of quotes out of the front office.

How about you move on? :P

#20 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:33 PM

I'm hopeful Neal will start offering his opinions on this work more in the future.