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

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#61 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:09 AM

Frustrating end of the year for sure, and I don't think this FO is perfect....but this was one of the best teams in the league.......

 

I would cut bait on Rosario....Kiriloff and others can do about what he did for a lot less money (which at some point they need).

 

I'm not sure what to do about Polanco. I'd keep Kepler (Buxton is hurt a lot, you need Kepler as the RF and backup CF, imo). 

 

I just feel like things didn't work for some reason in the playoffs, but they weren't far from being a great team......

 

Maybe one more pitcher...and a better bullpen.....

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#62 stringer bell

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 01:32 PM

 

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.

Yes, Polanco was that bad. His OPS fell from .841 to .658, OPS+ from 121 to 82 and WAR from 7.8 to 0. In comparison on these three measures Kepler went from .855 to .760, OPS+ fell from 123 to 108 and WAR fell from 4.1 to .8 (which would come to between 2 and 2.5 for a full season). Polanco's drop is far more severe and WAR is supposed to incorporate defense. Bringing in Sanó--OPS from .923 to .757, OPS+ from 139 to 104, WAR from 3.0 to -.2 (about -.5 for a complete season.

 

Polanco has an injury explanation, but based on last year, he isn't even an average major league shortstop.


#63 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 02:31 PM

Yes, Polanco was that bad. His OPS fell from .841 to .658, OPS+ from 121 to 82 and WAR from 7.8 to 0. In comparison on these three measures Kepler went from .855 to .760, OPS+ fell from 123 to 108 and WAR fell from 4.1 to .8 (which would come to between 2 and 2.5 for a full season). Polanco's drop is far more severe and WAR is supposed to incorporate defense. Bringing in Sanó--OPS from .923 to .757, OPS+ from 139 to 104, WAR from 3.0 to -.2 (about -.5 for a complete season.

Polanco has an injury explanation, but based on last year, he isn't even an average major league shortstop.



Dump Polanco and you will regret it. Watch the game, quit trying to play computer baseball.

He's a good player, better than average for the SS position. He had a bad year and a bad error in the playoffs, but let's be real honest here. You employ someone else and it's likely a step backwards.

People can say Lewis, but he's still young. It will take him a couple years to get acclimated just like the rest of them have. I keep Polanco while he is still cheap.

Same with Kepler. He plays for peanuts(comparably) guys. And this short season was hard on hitters across the league.

You want to scapegoat someone on this team it comes down to 2 players and we all know who they are. Supposed to be the core of this team, yet neither have been more than complimentary players, hurt all the time, or go into prolonged slumps. If those 2 can't get it together over a full season or in the playoffs, this team will just flat out not be what it can be.

#64 darwin22

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 03:04 PM

My vote would be to reload for next season---with the following changes:

1.Will go ahead and get it out of the way---------Let Nelson Cruz walk via free agency.I know I'll get blasted for this considering what Cruz has done the last 2 years, but I don't think investing upwards of $30 mill (2-year contract) is the best move.If Cruz would accept a 1-year deal, which I seriously doubt, then part of what follows is a moot point.

2.This is easier if NL adopts DL rule next year----------Trade Miguel Sano ($20.25m guaranteed salary for 2021-22) to Arizona for former Twin and utility man Eduardo Escobar.Twins may need to throw in a A/AA prospect (or please take Lewis Thorpe or Smeltzer) to take on added salary.

 

Escobar is only 31 and despite a poor 2020 season (.212avg, 4 Hr 20 RBI with a low OPS .605) he was excellent in 2019 (.269-35-118 with .831 OPS).Sano could/would serve as DH for D-Backs and is only signed for 2 more years.I could see AZ trading Esky away after his down season as he's owed $7.67 mill next year).IMO Escobar would solve the UT issue and offer a major offensive upgrade over Gonzalez and Adrianza.Escobar can easily serve as 3B backup to Donaldson, allowing JD to DH 1-2 days per week.He could also back up Arraez at 2B, who has yet to prove he can remain healthy.Although Esky has limitations recently at SS, he did start 137 games at SS for Twins during the 2015-16 seasons.Not only would Escobar offer an upgrade offensively, but his veteran LEADERSHIP could fill the void left by departure of Cruz.

 

3. Sign FA Kevin Pillar as 4th OFer.Pillar is only 32 and had an excellent short season in 2020 with Red Sox and Rockies hitting .288 with 6 jacks, 25 RBI and 6 SBs.Even more, Pillar raked against LH pitching:76ABs--hit .342 with a .969 OPS.Pillar has CF experience starting 24 games in 2020, which would allow for Buxton to rest/fill in for inevitable DL stint.

 

4.Sign FA RP Liam Hendrix as closer.Hendrix is only 31 and a UFA this offseason.IMO he should be signed to a 3-year/$25mill deal.He is a dominant closer that could be trusted in the 9th.This would allow Rocco to slide Rogers back into an 8th inning role with Duffey also being there.Others would slot down an inning or so------Clippard or May (1 needs to resigned) in 7th with Stashak or Alcala as other options.

 

5. Trade Rosario for best available/RH corner OFer bat; bullpen adds or controllable SP.-------should adding a reliable and productive SP not happen........then.....

 

6.Pipe dream-------Offer SP Trevor Bauer a 1-year $30mill deal.Pohlads can afford it and $$ saved by not spending $30 mill to bring back Cruz.With Bauer's past history of stating he'll only sign 1 year deals, I think, he would consider it given the opportunity to make at least 8 starts vs. DET and KC, but more importantly to Bauer an opportunity to face his former CLE teammates.Bauer is a mental midget, but the dude has SERIOUS talent.Being an HUGE analytic believer, I'm guessing he'd be able to manage dealing with Rocco for 1 season.

 

Other areas to address, I know, but these upgrades would improve this team tremendously without hamstring the FO with long term salary obligations.

 


#65 ewen21

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 03:27 PM

 

If we trust the analytics as much as we say we do - the discrepancy between regular season performance and playoff performance needs to be addressed!

 

 

How is it addressed?We simply do not score runs in the post season.41 runs scored in 17 consecutive losses and 31 runs scored in the last 15 losses.A friend of mine was complaining about Rocco's shifts and fundamentals.OK, you will get no quarrel there, but don't let's pretend half of this is our offense collectively going into a coma during the playoffs.

 

It's been going on so long here has to be a WHY.It seems to me it's part of the Twins culture to say "We had a successful season" as soon as they get to the playoffs.Cuddyer said it in 2010 after we were swept out for their third consecutive playoff series.Rocco gave off the same vibe last year after being swept. It is as though the switch gets turned off and the Twins think..."anything else is gravy.We did what we needed to do" and that is so ass backwards to me


#66 stringer bell

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 03:48 PM


Dump Polanco and you will regret it. Watch the game, quit trying to play computer baseball.

He's a good player, better than average for the SS position. He had a bad year and a bad error in the playoffs, but let's be real honest here. You employ someone else and it's likely a step backwards.

People can say Lewis, but he's still young. It will take him a couple years to get acclimated just like the rest of them have. I keep Polanco while he is still cheap.

Same with Kepler. He plays for peanuts(comparably) guys. And this short season was hard on hitters across the league.

You want to scapegoat someone on this team it comes down to 2 players and we all know who they are. Supposed to be the core of this team, yet neither have been more than complimentary players, hurt all the time, or go into prolonged slumps. If those 2 can't get it together over a full season or in the playoffs, this team will just flat out not be what it can be.

You quoted my post, so I assume you're responding to me. I did not call for anyone to be cut, traded or replaced. I pointed out how far Polanco fell off in this shortened, stunted 2020 season. I think the numbers back up what I said (and saw) and noted that Kepler fell off less and Sanó fell off considerably, but not quite as much as Polanco. Garver fell off more than anyone, I don't think there's any question of that.

I have written in other threads that it is going to be up to the Twins' brain trust to decide how much to regard the past season as an indicator for coming performance. The Twins had a lot of their lineup fall off greatly, but still won 60% of their games because they prevented runs much better in 2020, both because of improved pitching and solidified defense.

Based on 2020 stats, Polanco was a below-average shortstop, Kepler was a below-average right fielder and Sanó was a below-average first baseman. They're all signed to long-term deals extending beyond 2022. Should they all get a pass on 2020 and assume regular status in 2021? I don't know.

Perhaps the best course of action is to be prepared in the event that last year was not a fluke and have other options. It doesn't make much sense to trade players when their value is low.
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#67 amjgt

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:11 AM

I feel like there are 9 distinct scenarios – 3 levels of potential payroll (90M, 110M, 130M) & 3 potential playoff formats (Like LAST year, like THIS year, like this year but more advantage to the best teams). Not to even mention 2021 season length.

There are several things I’d do regardless of the scenario:
Say goodbye to Rosario
Say goodbye Marwin
Listen to Offers for Sano (not expecting much, so he stays around)
Listen to Offers for Garver (I’m not looking to get rid of him, but if some team(s) value him near 2019 level, I’m willing to deal from a position of strength – Garver for Trevor Story… who says no?)

 

With all of our likely existing 2021 payroll commitments we are around $75M, so regardless of the playoff scenarios if we’re looking at a $90M payroll, I’d say it’s likely Cruz is gone, and the biggest move might be bringing Odo back on a 1-year make good deal. Besides that I’d spend $5-6M total on two players 1) veteran back infielder (maybe Adrianza), 2) Veteran right handed 4th OF that you have no problem playing center. Then I’m filling the rest of the roster with near-minimum pre arb guys (Rooker, Kirilloff, Dobnak, Smeltzer, RP, RP) – 90M

 

If we’re in that $110M range, then I start to alter my strategy depending on the playoffs (and to a lesser extent, the length of the season)
2019 Style Playoffs: Bring Cruz back (1yr/15), Pay Rogers $5M in arb, Say goodbye to Romo, Odo (1yr/8), Bailey (1yr/4), Splurge a little on the 4th OF (1yr/6), Get a backup IF.
2020 Style Playoffs: Sign Bauer (1yr/30). Everything else (besides that 4th OF spot) gets filled in house with pre-arb guys.

The reason these are so different is because having 8 playoff teams gives the Twins the flexibility to take some lumps by giving innings/AB to the youth movement (Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach, Duran, Balazovich, Lewis). Find out over the course of the season who’s ready for the big time then roll into the playoffs knowing that answer and having at least Bauer, Maeda, Berrios, and Paneda as your rotation. As much as I think the 2020 style of playoffs is a crapshoot, that would likely be an exceedingly fun regular season.

 

130M range (not likely IMO): Add Cruz to the “2020 style playoffs” above (Bauer), spend a little more on the 4th OF, and get a legit backup IF. The main difference between the playoff styles is that if the league goes 2020 style (likely IMO), I’m still ushering in the youth movement, but it’s just a little dialed back with Cruz as my DH anchor, and I’m giving Lewis some more time in the minors to work on 3B.

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#68 4twinsJA

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:51 AM

Maybe go all in with pitching, resign Odorizzi and get Bauer, try to get another arm in BP, let Cruz go and play young players


#69 chpettit19

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:05 AM

 

 

Listen to Offers for Garver (I’m not looking to get rid of him, but if some team(s) value him near 2019 level, I’m willing to deal from a position of strength – Garver for Trevor Story… who says no?)

 

The Rockies laugh, hang up, and don't answer your calls the rest of the season if you offer that trade. Story is 2 years younger and gold glove caliber SS. Career OPS+ numbers (accounts for ballpark):
Story: 122, 84, 127, 119, 118
Garver: 70, 104, 157, 42

Garver is a bellow average defensive catcher with 1 hall of fame year at the plate and a whole bunch of nothing outside of that. Trading him for Story is entirely unreasonable.

 

I like your breakdown of the different possibilities for 2021 and your general ideas on roster building based on different scenarios. But you should wipe Garver for Story from your brain.

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#70 amjgt

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 11:01 AM

 

The Rockies laugh, hang up, and don't answer your calls the rest of the season if you offer that trade. Story is 2 years younger and gold glove caliber SS. Career OPS+ numbers (accounts for ballpark):
Story: 122, 84, 127, 119, 118
Garver: 70, 104, 157, 42

Garver is a bellow average defensive catcher with 1 hall of fame year at the plate and a whole bunch of nothing outside of that. Trading him for Story is entirely unreasonable.

 

I like your breakdown of the different possibilities for 2021 and your general ideas on roster building based on different scenarios. But you should wipe Garver for Story from your brain.

 

Obviously if all other things are equal, Story is the superior player, but Story is due 13M and on the last year of his contract and Garver will make about $1M and has 3 years of team control left. 

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#71 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 11:12 AM

Obviously if all other things are equal, Story is the superior player, but Story is due 13M and on the last year of his contract and Garver will make about $1M and has 3 years of team control left.


I’m glad you brought this up. Your proposal is intriguing, and I don’t know who would say no first. But people here are really underestimating the value of a pre-arb C with a full season of success already.

Look at what Seattle received for pre-arb C Austin Nola, a 30 year old with less than 400 career PAs before he was shipped off to San Diego.

#72 amjgt

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 11:32 AM

And for the record, Garver is a perfectly average defensive catcher, leaning toward slightly below average and, albeit in fewer plate appearances (2541 vs 827), has a higher career OPS+

 

and also... I totally pulled it out of my butt. I was just throwing it out there and have no attachment to it. It was an add on idea at the end.


#73 chpettit19

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:55 PM

 

I’m glad you brought this up. Your proposal is intriguing, and I don’t know who would say no first. But people here are really underestimating the value of a pre-arb C with a full season of success already.

Look at what Seattle received for pre-arb C Austin Nola, a 30 year old with less than 400 career PAs before he was shipped off to San Diego.

Austin Nola has played every position except SS and CF in his 2 years while Garver can catch and play 1st. Taylor Trammell is a fading prospect who has never played above AA, not a borderline MVP candidate, gold glove, silver slugger ML SS. And the Padres got 2 other bullpen pieces in that deal. You are severely overestimating the weight 1 outlier season from Garver carries. Swapping Story for Garver does nothing for the Rockies other than cutting some salary. If they want to cut salary they're not going to go after a 30 year old catcher who struck out in nearly half his plate appearances and couldn't beat out a rookie for playing time in the playoffs. Weird, shortened season or not, Garver looked awful and absolutely torpedoed his trade value. If the Rockies want to move Story they aren't calling the Twins asking for Garver.


#74 chpettit19

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:59 PM

 

And for the record, Garver is a perfectly average defensive catcher, leaning toward slightly below average and, albeit in fewer plate appearances (2541 vs 827), has a higher career OPS+

 

and also... I totally pulled it out of my butt. I was just throwing it out there and have no attachment to it. It was an add on idea at the end.

Simply calling that "fewer plate appearances" is severely underplaying the importance of nearly 2000 extra PAs. Garver was historically good last year and that carries a lot of weight with so few PAs, but suggesting that his career OPS+ being better means anything at all is outlandish. No MLB team looks at those career OPS+ numbers and thinks he's the better hitter, let alone player. Totally get that it was a random thought and that's why I mentioned liking the rest of your post. But that is not a plausible trade idea in any way shape or form. Even counting contract situations. That is just not a trade the Rockies would consider. Even with their owner being delusional and thinking they're a playoff team.


#75 DocBauer

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 07:19 PM

Just tossing out a couple random thoughts:

1] Garver is NOT the hitter he was in 2019. But who is, from a catcher perspective? Guy might have had the best season for a catcher in the modern era or MLB. But he's also NOT the hitter he was in 2020 either. From most accounts he is a solid, average to above average catcher defensively overall. His bat history through collagen the minors, his rookie year and 2019 indicate he has a quality bat for the position. Teams need catchers and know what be is, and isn't, and he bas real value while being cost controlled. The Twins will listen to offers but won't be shopping him. They will want he and Jeffers as shared position mates.

2] Polanco did have a bad 2020. I almost want to say who didn't? And it wasn't just the Twins who saw regression and strange swings this season. Healthy, I think he will rebound nicely. We can debate his defense and many of us will agree to disagree how good or not he is there. But he's a nice player.

3] The offense needs some fundamental changes, but not an overhaul. How much do you...staff and FO I mean...dismiss 2020? But I do have to wonder if this lineup is too HR happy and an overall approach toward contact and not just swinging for the fences all the time, (or so it seems), would be in order. HOWEVER, a healthy Polanco and Arraez are a couple good HITTERS. If Rosario is indeed gone...we'll see...I have no outlandish prediction that Kirilloff or Larnach will immediately replace his production. I think either/both could be more complete and better HITTERS than Rosario. This could lead to being a more balanced lineup while still having PLENTY of power. (IMO, Kepler and Sano are better hitters than they showed this season as well, with Kepler still capable of another level if he can learn to spray the ball better).

A nice replacent for Marwin...don't have a name at this point...and a solid 4th OF...maybe Pillar??...could further add to said balance.
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#76 IndianaTwin

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 08:36 AM

 

... His bat history through collagen the minors, ...

 

Took me a moment, but that's one of the funniest auto-corrects I've seen for a while. Healthy hair, skin, and fingernails goes a long way in producing offense, right? 

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#77 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 03:25 PM

 

You quoted my post, so I assume you're responding to me. I did not call for anyone to be cut, traded or replaced. I pointed out how far Polanco fell off in this shortened, stunted 2020 season. I think the numbers back up what I said (and saw) and noted that Kepler fell off less and Sanó fell off considerably, but not quite as much as Polanco. Garver fell off more than anyone, I don't think there's any question of that.

 

I have written in other threads that it is going to be up to the Twins' brain trust to decide how much to regard the past season as an indicator for coming performance. The Twins had a lot of their lineup fall off greatly, but still won 60% of their games because they prevented runs much better in 2020, both because of improved pitching and solidified defense.

 

Based on 2020 stats, Polanco was a below-average shortstop, Kepler was a below-average right fielder and Sanó was a below-average first baseman. They're all signed to long-term deals extending beyond 2022. Should they all get a pass on 2020 and assume regular status in 2021? I don't know.

 

Perhaps the best course of action is to be prepared in the event that last year was not a fluke and have other options. It doesn't make much sense to trade players when their value is low.

 

I apologize, I thought you were thinking dump these guys. I just don't feel like this short season should be telling on any of the guys that have produced in the past. Particularly guys like Kepler and Polanco who have done it multiple years and are athletic, solid ballplayers. 

 

I have also seen talk around here about letting May walk because we will have to pay him. 

I am not for that either. Why go fishing for bullpen help when you have it in your hand already and just have to pay him what he's worth? 

 

Like I said in my post. This starts and ends with Buxton and Sano. If either or both can be moved for real talent, I'm all for it. Neither has shown they can be relied upon. Either that, or they must be given an ultimatum. Its those 2 that will make or break the Twins chances of ever achieving real success IMO.


#78 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 04:51 PM

I think this boom or bust thing is missing a lot of a Billy Beane fundamental: OBP...

 

They need guys who make less outs and don't alternate between Ruthian streaks and minor league filler call ups.. I love me a bomba like anyone else, but they need to be able to score runs in other ways. I'd lean retool, with the focus of getting some patience in the lineup. 


#79 Dodecahedron

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:18 AM

Garver:

 

Still young. He hit well enough in the minors to prove that 2019 was no aberration. He will hit well again. Although he will soon be 30, he is a "young player" by MLB experience standards. Giving up on him now is insanity. I don't understand how this could be on anyone's mind.

 

Polanco:

 

He always had and always will have a history of errors. He has 57 errors credited to him since 2017, and this doesn't count the errors attributed to 1B that would not have been errors if Polanco had thrown the ball properly. At this point there is plenty of documentation to prove he has trouble throwing the ball.. I have been high on Polanco, but always because of his hitting. If the Twins can find a different 100+ OPS+ hitter who can field dependably to replace Polanco, they should do it. But they won't! The dude is signed until 2025. Get used to it.


#80 ashbury

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:53 AM

If the Twins can find a different 100+ OPS+ hitter who can field dependably

These guys are rare. 100 OPS is compared to the full spectrum of MLB hitters - left fielders, DH, what have you. A good glove and arm at SS who could contribute even 90 OPS+ would be above average and just fine with me.
 

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