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Re-Load vs. Re-Tool vs. Re-Build for 2021

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#41 ewen21

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 06:26 AM

 

The irony is that all of a sudden pitching seems to be the strength of the team. The real quandary, in my unprofessional view, is will the real Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton please stand up? It seems that the entire regular lineup is either very unreliable or injury prone or both. 

Well, there you go.The real Sano and Buxton pretty much is what you say in the last sentence.

 

Neither are ever going to be the superstars we hoped they'd be.Both are extremely confusing and frustrating to watch. 


#42 ewen21

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 06:31 AM

Buxton is the guy who got picked off in the 8th inning, just as he is the guy who runs full speed into a wall.Hard to say what the future holds for him given his constant battles with injuries and dizziness.

 

I see a BJ Upton-like trajectory for him.

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#43 ewen21

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 07:23 AM

And lord knows with Sano.The guy seems disinterested in evolving.When we hired Rocco he went out of his way to visit Miguel in the Dominican.We also acquired a guy who has tried to mentor him to a small degree in Nelson Cruz.If Sano had the same kind of commitment Cruz obviously does in the offseason then he'd be an amazing player.I think Sano drinks and eats whatever he wants and isn't particular big on having a set routine to get himself in top condition.I think they wanted some of Nelson Cruz to rub off on him and even that hasn't worked.


#44 wabene

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 02:39 PM

Not coming off of surgery may mean an incentive-laden deal like 2020 won't be enough. (He also may not be open to coming back to this team, given the roster decision for post-season.)
 
I just never felt I was watching an elite pitcher on the verge of dominating a strong offense in the post-season. His ERA was nice, but FIP and especially xFIP seem to bear out my eye-test - OPS-against was a stellar .601 but based on a .240 BABIP. He labored to locate, I thought, even if his average pitches per PA were overall on the decent side. And, again strictly in my own mind I guess, he always had the demeanor of being on the verge of needing to come out of the game for some physical ailment.
 
I'll grant that he finished strong with 3 good games, one very good in fact. I definitely didn't see his last two games - not sure which of his games I did see, in fact, though I definitely saw a couple. That's why I trust analytics more than my anecdotal memory. :)
 
Getting more of a sure thing than Hill isn't that easy. So maybe saying goodbye isn't an obvious decision. I still lean toward moving on, and letting him continue his career with the Pittsburghs of the world who are looking for upside and willing to accept a flameout due to age (with a trade to a contender if he produces).

The post season roster decision was because he got the final game and wouldn't be ready. I'll bet he was told he didn't quite make the top 3 yet but they were counting on him for the season finale. Still a valuable role. Then his role would expand in the 2nd round. He may be disappointed in the team's flop but the Pirates? If that's his option he'll be back. I would definitely sign him for the back of the rotation.

#45 wabene

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 02:46 PM

Maybe the Yankees could offer us their backup catcher for our starting CF. :)

If it's not an elite prospect (and I suspect it wouldn't be), I am not sure the Twins would need the prospect more than they could use the dice-roll on Buxton themselves the next two years.

I agree with this but we need a right handed backup. Cave's ok but with Kirloff replacing Rosie and lefties Rooker and Larnach coming this is over due. Buxton and Donaldson just might go down again, ya think?

#46 beckmt

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 10:27 PM

 

I agree with this but we need a right handed backup. Cave's ok but with Kirloff replacing Rosie and lefties Rooker and Larnach coming this is over due. Buxton and Donaldson just might go down again, ya think?

Rooker is a right handed bat.He will be needed.

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#47 wabene

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 08:02 AM

Rooker is a right handed bat.He will be needed.


Oh yeah and I want to see him get at bats, but they still need a backup that is both right handed and capable of handling center.

#48 TopGunn#22

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 08:25 AM

1.I thinks Rosario will be gone and if we can get anything for him fine, but with Kiriloff, Rooker and Larnach knocking on the door it's time to move on and employ financial resources elsewhere.  

2. Utility---I'd like to see Lewis get an opportunity.He may not be ready, but he gives the Twins more and in more areas than they currently have.He can play SS, 2B & 3B and more importantly CF.He's FAST.So he's that late inning pinch runner if you need it.He may not be completely ready offensively, but what did we get from Cave, Adrianza, Marwan et. all this year??.200 batting averages with embarrassing OBP's and slugging.We can do better.I like Blankenhorn as a replacement as well.  

3.Rotation---Rosario will be gone, Sano should be discussed at length, may other players will not be back ($18 million for Odorizzi).So they have Maeda, Berrios, Pineda.I'd look at another affordable one-year deal for Hill.He'll be 41.He spends some time on the I.L.But when he's out there he's pretty reliable.There is also Dobnak.But I would like to see the twins use $30-million to get Trevor Bauer to front our rotation.If he's serious about one-year deals going forward, the team has zero long term risk.If we fumble Bauer (like we did Zach Wheeler) then take a run at James Paxton.

4.Cruz.Gotta keep him.He's simply the most professional hitter we have and even though he faded down the stretch he STILL was the only hitter who showed up in the postseason.He will need more rest than usual and will miss stretches but we simply have to keep him.

BP---Rogers, Duffey, Wisler, Alcala, Stashek.There's 5 of 7.Colina and Chalmers are strong possibilities.They are young power arms.Romo is gone.Clippard is fairly dependable but is not overpowering.May is tantalizing, a power arm, but someone will over-pay for him and I'm tired of being frustrated by his inconsistency.I would prioritize a RH arm that has been a closer.Rogers had a miserable year, but I think he's talented.The RH'er could form a compliment to Rogers closing, or just take the closer job and leave Rogers to late inning-high leverage situations.  

Lastly, I'm going to propose a TRADE.Is Boston serious able listening to offers for Xander Bogaerts ???How about some combination of Polanco, Rosario, Sano, minor league talent ?Sano could play 1B, Rosario RF...this would be a way for the Red Sox to contend more quickly.Bogaerts would probably cost more than the combined salaries of whoever we give up, but would any of us be disappointed with having Bogaerts at SS ??Something to explore.If we don't do that, sign Jose Iglesias.He's a very good glove at SS and his hitting has improved. 

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#49 wabene

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 08:53 AM

I'm on board with everything you said except how did we "fumble" a deal with Wheeler?

#50 ashbury

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:09 AM

Lastly, I'm going to propose a TRADE.Is Boston serious able listening to offers for Xander Bogaerts ???How about some combination of Polanco, Rosario, Sano, minor league talent ?Sano could play 1B, Rosario RF..

I don't think we line up very well with the Red Sox for making a trade. They're pretty happy with their RF guy (gotten in the Betts trade) and I can't imagine they are ready to give up on Benintendi in left even after a horrendous season. So they'd be downgrading at SS and getting a corner outfielder who won't move the needle. Therefore the minor league talent would have to be pretty substantial, and if we list too many of those guys as off limits then I expect the Sox will find a more appealing deal elsewhere - IF they really think moving Bogaerts is the way to go, which I doubt. Finally, I think Bogaerts has a full no-trade clause that took effect very recently - the past deadline might have been the last chance the Sox had, for that move.
 

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#51 TopGunn#22

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 04:31 PM

wabene, we fumbled the Wheeler deal by simply being out bid.By writing "fumbling" I may have chosen a poor descriptor.Wheeler was pretty good this year, so I would have liked to have had him.If Bauer is serious about one-year deals, there is no long term risk.I'd love to see him fronting our rotation.

 

ashbury,You are CORRECT !Rosario is probably not a good fit for the red Sox, but Sano at 1B in Fenway has to be tempting for the Red Sox and Polanco as their SS replacement would be needed.So if it's Sano and Polanco what if anything else would be needed in the way of minor league talent ???Polanco has been a pretty steady hitter so far, but this year his hips were flying open and he was stepping in the bucket so badly on many swings I just couldn't figure out if he just wouldn't listen to any coaching.If he can't get back to being "Polanco" I'd rather move him and either bring in Jose Iglesias or go all in for a major upgrade like Bogaerts.He's making BIG bucks with Boston so the Twins would need to be willing to go with a lot of youth in Kiriloff, Rooker, Larnach Jeffers and others to absorb Bogaerts salary, and that would also be a big benefit to the r\Red Sox. 


#52 The Wise One

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 06:20 PM

 

I can't imagine a full re-build happening. FalVine have good job security, but even they won't spend their "goodwill capital" with C-level management by saying "you remember that four-year commitment we came to you to approve for Josh Donaldson a year ago? Because we saw our window of contention being at least that long? Well, never mind."

 

I don't know how to term what I would do, between re-tool and re-load. I'll say Gear Up, for contending again in 2021.

 

A top to bottom evaluation of the 40-man and major-league ready prospects needs to occur. My vast experience running teams in Out Of The Park says to trade off the injury prone players, hopefully for talent of value to us (but in some cases just for salary relief), accepting that they may give the receiving team a good season or two, but you clear room for other guys (ones you obtain, or prospects) you can count on better. Also trade off anyone who brings a questionable ethic to the clubhouse - OOTP gives you a lot of insight on that, while obviously the real team won't share that info with me so I can't suggest names, if any. Also look at the cost/benefit ratio for guys making more money than the minimum, and make trade/non-tender decisions rather heartlessly (*cough*Rosario*cough*).

 

Maybe more succinctly, identify your core, which may be smaller than you think, and also your supplementary players that can be counted on, and finally your good prospects who aren't yet Rule-5 eligible. These are your untouchables.

 

After this evaluation, trade what you can among those not untouchable, next non-tender those to whom there is not a commitment and no trade value, then eat some salary if it's not too high, and finally re-evaluate the remainder who you can't cut bait with - maybe keeping them seems more palatable now that you find it would actually cost you to get rid of them. Guys like Hill and Odo and Bailey are easily gone by this methodology - each was more trouble than they were worth in 2020, sad to say.

 

But, that's a computer game approach - there is a lot more to it, involving fan reaction for instance, that could make my plan unrealistic.

 

All in all, I see a few "useful parts" like Kepler and Polanco (the latter I think played hurt this year), several question marks among veterans, several prospects who could be ready, but not that big of an actual core of known difference-makers to build upon besides Maeda and Berrios and Pineda.

 

Our front office needs to make accurate talent evaluations on what we have (including guys who need to be added to the 40-man in advance of the Rule 5 draft), and aggressively go get what we don't have. That's a pretty empty statement, but still has to be the guiding principle. Guessing wrong, or just hoping, will not lead to success.

Trade the injury prone seems like a good idea until you remember somebody named Ortiz.

 

It also might depend on the types of injuries the player has had. Pitchers with multiplenagging injuries or a couple of shoulder problems, players with concussion history, or players dependent on speed with leg issues are my idea of players to stay away from. In the day and age of analysis of everything, I would think the Beane counters would have enough data to predict outcomes of the oft injured.A startingpitcher given away for little of nothing that is an injury prone playerhaving a couple of good years is called a steal for the other team

 


#53 beckmt

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 08:45 AM

I am guessing Rooker is the Twins long term replacement for Cruz.At least that is the hope


#54 Oglivie

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 12:24 PM

How about getting a coach who will allow a pitcher, when he’s pitching effectively, to pitch more than five innings and not let the bullpen give it away. I have no idea why anyone thinks 100 pitch counts mean anything because they absolutely mean nothing. Pitchers today are not allowed to be trained to be pitchers. I miss the days of guys throwing 250 to 260 innings and they were much better pitchers than they are today. Being in the weight room does not make you an effective pitcher. Rocco Baldelli is nothing more than Ron Gardenhire in being that he is clueless when it comes to knowing what to do with the rotation

#55 Major League Ready

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 12:36 PM

 

wabene, we fumbled the Wheeler deal by simply being out bid.By writing "fumbling" I may have chosen a poor descriptor.Wheeler was pretty good this year, so I would have liked to have had him.If Bauer is serious about one-year deals, there is no long term risk.I'd love to see him fronting our rotation.

 

ashbury,You are CORRECT !Rosario is probably not a good fit for the red Sox, but Sano at 1B in Fenway has to be tempting for the Red Sox and Polanco as their SS replacement would be needed.So if it's Sano and Polanco what if anything else would be needed in the way of minor league talent ???Polanco has been a pretty steady hitter so far, but this year his hips were flying open and he was stepping in the bucket so badly on many swings I just couldn't figure out if he just wouldn't listen to any coaching.If he can't get back to being "Polanco" I'd rather move him and either bring in Jose Iglesias or go all in for a major upgrade like Bogaerts.He's making BIG bucks with Boston so the Twins would need to be willing to go with a lot of youth in Kiriloff, Rooker, Larnach Jeffers and others to absorb Bogaerts salary, and that would also be a big benefit to the r\Red Sox. 

 

It was widely reported Wheeler wanted to be in Philly and they were willing to top $ for him.So, unless we paid stupid money we were not getting him. Let's also keep in mind Philly's incremental revenue would pay for Wheeler's salary (TWICE) This is only a fumble if you ignore the fact Wheeler wanted to be on in the NE or you expect our team to outbid a team with considerably more revenue. 

 

You are also ignoring that we signed Maeda and Donaldson with the available payroll dollars. Maeda was a little better than Wheeler so how is this a fumble?

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#56 twins1095

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 01:35 PM

I vote re-tool. I would bring back Cruz. I would also bring back Odorizzi. I would let Rosario/Adrianza/Gonzalez/etc. walk. I think many have discussed the disappointment or inconsistency of many of the at bats this season. However, I think many have called out positivity behind many of the call-ups (Jeffers, Rooker, Kirillof, etc). 

 

I want the Twins to be more aggressive and more willing to call-up minor league players earlier than possible. I think the Twins likely have something with Jeffers/Rooker/Kirillof & Larnach at a minimum.I think it's possible players like Gordon/Lewis can contribute as well--and soon. I want the Twins to be aggressive next season in getting Rooker, Jeffers, and Kirilloff ABs as well as Gordon or others that you identify to take over Rosario/Cave/Adrianza/Marwin/Avila's ABs.

 

I also want the Twins to try and be aggressive with Duran/Colina/Balazovic in trying to get them big league time--especially given that the Twins can seemingly feel pretty comfortable with the depth of arms that they have in place (Berrios, Maeda, Pineda, Odorrizi, Dobnak).

 

 

 

 

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#57 bighat

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 02:38 PM

Rebuild. Knock it all down.

 

Pray that Donaldson is healthy for the first half of 2021 and trade him at the deadline. Trade Sano as well, even Buxton if needed. Maeda would fetch a haul with that contract, and Berrios could get a ton of prospects.

 

The team needs to be completely rebuilt and establish a new identity. That will only happen with new faces, and new clubhouse leaders. Royce Lewis should be the new focal point and building around him is the goal.

 

I'm sure the Twins won't take this route, and many fans will call me crazy, but honestly I don't think this team wins a playoff game until the whole barn comes down and is rebuilt on another pasture.


#58 stringer bell

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 07:01 PM

 

Rebuild. Knock it all down.

 

Pray that Donaldson is healthy for the first half of 2021 and trade him at the deadline. Trade Sano as well, even Buxton if needed. Maeda would fetch a haul with that contract, and Berrios could get a ton of prospects.

 

The team needs to be completely rebuilt and establish a new identity. That will only happen with new faces, and new clubhouse leaders. Royce Lewis should be the new focal point and building around him is the goal.

 

I'm sure the Twins won't take this route, and many fans will call me crazy, but honestly I don't think this team wins a playoff game until the whole barn comes down and is rebuilt on another pasture.

It's not like the current cast of characters has lost 18 straight postseason games. They can take the blame for the last five or six, which is plenty, but not all 18. I don't know what the problem is for postseason. I could see it last year with the starting staff reduced to a fading Berríos and then Odorizzi and then......Randy Dobnak. 

 

I don't think that the prospects are sure things including Rooker. I can't be convinced on 21 plate appearances that he is part of the future, although he was impressive. I am much more certain that he is not a good outfielder than he an above-average hitter. 

 

I think the quandary for the Twins front office is to decide which season is a better indicator of future performance, 2019 or 2020. The team had great seasons from Kepler, Polanco and Garver and all three were below average for their position in the shortened 2020 season. I'm not sure how confident the Twins should be in their pitching staff. The front three starters look set, which is a considerable improvement from last year, but the bullpen looks to be unsettled, especially with the struggled of Rogers in the closing role.Like the hitters I mentioned, Rogers was excellent in 2019, far from that in 2020. 

 

To address the OP, I think the team can and should reload. There isn't a huge window where the Twins will dominate the Central. I don't think there's a truly dominant club in the American League so the Twins should try to go for it.

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#59 DocBauer

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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?
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#60 bighat

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 07:53 AM

 

The team had great seasons from Kepler, Polanco and Garver and all three were below average for their position in the shortened 2020 season.

Was Polanco really that bad though? I'm not sure how that narrative has gained steam....

 

He led the team in PA (226) and batted .258 (not great but surely respectable). He walked 13 times, led the team in SB (4) and hit 4 homers.

 

His slugging % was certainly bad, but that's really the only area that stands out as poor for Jorge in 2020.

 

To lump Polanco in with a guy like Garver, Kepler, or even Sano is unfair IMO. Sure he regressed a smidge, and he made a terrible error in the playoffs...but he's the last guy I'm worried about in 2021.