Posted 05 October 2020 - 09:16 PM
I am going to split hairs here and say RE-LOAD but with SOME RE-TOOLING.
Let's remember that right now, we have no idea how long of a season 2021 will be, how many fans will be allowed OR just exactly how payroll can be managed by any or all clubs, including the Twins. Are there teams out there...lets just say the Yankees and Dodgers because they simply have more $ than anyone...that may have lost less than any other team financially, and are willing to invest in large contracts for 2021? Do mid market and small market teams have to step back and lower payroll? It's a blank canvas that nobody really knows how to fill right now, and they're going to have to do some hopeful speculating. I don't think anyone is exactly destitute, but I think FA will absolutely be down, and arbitration will be interesting, to say the least. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few surprise trades, surprise non-tendered and maybe even a few arbitration players "settling" for smaller amounts just to avoid possible non-tender status.
It would be ridiculous or at least short-lived, for any team to project 2021 performance based solely on what happened in 2020. Offense was down across the board all across MLB, not just for the Twins, with a lot of strange head scratching final numbers everywhere. But to get to the Twins specifically...
1] DH: You re-sign Cruz for 1yr at around $15M if possible. IMO, that should be his value based on economics and age. You might toss in a bonus number or two. You might do a 2nd year for a lower value but with additional bonus levels, OR, make it guaranteed if be hits a certain performance level such as number of AB. A 2nd year might also have a $4-5M buyout to help protect both sides. If someone offers up 2 at $30M guaranteed, I think you have to blink if you're the Twins.
2] OF: While Eddie is a fine ballplayer, at least ML average for a LF, and I'm a fan, it may be time to shop him for whatever you can get. There are 3 bats ready or nearly ready. I keep Buxton due to talent, age and projection. I'm just not ready to move on yet. He began to protect his body better this season and the hit to the head at the end of the season is not a Byron issue. I'm also sold in keeping Kepler, though I'd still like to him slide down to more of an RBI slot.
The change I make is a 4th OF who can play CF and perform decently with the bat. I don't buy said OF has to be RH, but it wouldn't hurt if be was. I like Cave, like his improved defense in CF, but I want someone who can simply perform more consistently. Kepler may be ready for a job. So might Rooker, I'm betting Larnach isn't far behind. Rosario gone open a up at least 1 spot. But I'm looking for a nice, quality 4th OF that can play CF and bring something to the offense.
3] INFIELD: I'm status quo here, and sorry if you don't like that, lol. You give me a healthy Donaldson, healthy Polanco, healthy Arraez and a still young and uber talented bat in Sano for at least one more year and I'm happy on paper at least. I want someone to be Marwin 2.0 who can fill in, especially at 3B, with a solid, decent bat. And then I'm not sure about Adrianza. He has a great glove, actually hit solidly for 2 years, and shouldn't cost much. Is he the 2018-19 performer or the 2020 version? Move on if there is a better fit.
Blankenhorn and Gordon could be perfect, in house options. But I'd be looking for some smart options to fill those spots and move on and let Blankenhorn and Gordon force the issue.
4] CATCHER: I am 100% sold on Jeffers and Garver here. Garver had a horrible season, but there is nothing in his career portfolio to indicate he isn't at least solid and 2020 was an aberration. I'd love a flier on a decent 3rd AAAA option with some experience for depth.
5] ROTATION: Past Maeda, Berrios and Pineda, we need one more QUALITY guy you should be able to count on. Sorry, but unless there is enough room made from trades, non-tendered and the such, for a $25-30M deal for Bauer or Paxton, etc, I just don't see it. But I could easily see another Odorizzi or Maeda trade taking place. Who I don't know. But this FO is sharp and both those trades were very good. But why not just bring back Odorizzi at that point? He is a quality, sometimes dominate pitcher, for 5-6 innings. Healthy after a lousy luck 2020, he and Pineda provide a 3/4 rotation pairing that pitch about as well as most #2's on a given night. It could be a 1year prove it or a 3year. Either way, fair value, IMO, is around $14-15M.
Next is some sort of flier. Even if Hill wants to keep pitching, he's solid but not what he was. And he's only a half season asset. Dobnak is the projected 5th SP and I like him, and a little upisde/potential, despite a couple bad games near the end. This is where you get creative like something similarto the Bailey signing last year. Not saying HIM specifically, but similar. Hey, in a normal 162 game season, Bailey may have been good the second half if/when healthy. Duran and Balazovic could, be close. Same with Chalmers and Corona, though I'm starting to think Colina's BP destination might have been decided.
6] BULLPEN: I'm re-signing May. Probably 2yrs at around $4M per. I'm betting nobody will offer more based on market speculation. But I'm betting on velocity and potential not yet realized. I might go slightly more but don't think I have to. Love Romo but think the tide has turned and it's just time to move on. I think Clippard has shown he can still get the job done and I think I'd bring him back.
The FO has not been shy about promotion and audition. Alcala shows all the ability in the world to be an important piece going forward. I believe a healthy Littell...hope there isn't something bad lingering there...could rebound next season. I think Poppen still has a real chance as a middle guy. I'd love to see both Colina and Chalmers stick as rotation arms as long as possible, but both have the stuff to make an impact in the pen. If the Twins haven't soured on him, I'd move Thorpe to the pen next season to develop him as a RP.
I would happily see the Twins make a move for a BP arm. But for all of my years of watching and following baseball, seldom do teams trade for or sign a CLOSER. Those guys are developed. Maybe Rogers gets tweaked and returns to form. Maybe May, Duffey or Alcala is the guy to take the job. YEARS apart, but MAYBE the FO makes a Maeda/Nathan type trade where they find a guy just primed for the next step. But to me, you take what you already have, and just keep it, promote the young arms, and look for that one good deal if you can find it.
In short: Rosario, Cave, Marwin, Hill, Romo gone...possibly Adrianza. Get the best utility INF you can, bring back Cruz if possible, re-sign Odorizzi unless there is someone you really like better, sign a flier to compete for the 5th spot, keep May and try to add ONE GUY via FA or trade you really like with upside and keep developing within.
Re-load with some re-tooling.
You have to temper disappointment for a moment to remember/realize, this team, as it was constructed, has been one of the best teams in MLB for the past 2 years. Blow it up?! PLEASE! How about something approaching a normal season, with a normal ramp, and tweak the bench and augment the rotation and pen from what you already have?
Mike Sixel and NoCryingInBaseball like this
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."