Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
The same great Twins Daily coverage, now for the Vikings.

The Store

Recent Blogs


Photo

Joe Saunders

  • Please log in to reply
148 replies to this topic

#1 John Bonnes

John Bonnes

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 4,957 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Jon Morosi reports the Twins are talking to Joe Saunders. This isn't the first time we've heard this. In fact, LaVelle reported over the winter meetings that the Twins made him an offer. When we wrote up the Offseason Handbook, he seemed like a very Twins-ish target, if only they could afford him:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you....the best southpaw on the market.

At this point, joesaunders should be an adjective or maybe a verb, meaning to pitch in a durable but unextraordinary fashion, complete with few strikeouts, low walks and lots of contact. For example, "Carl Pavano had a few nice years where he joesaundersed for the Twins, but that came to an end in 2012."

If you're thinking that sounds like the kind of guy the Twins might target, you're not alone. But some success on the postseason stage might jack his price up even higher that in already was"


I'm pretty sure just about any contract to him is going to be multi-year, but I think I'd be OK with that. The Twins have money this year, and they have lots of money the next couple years, too. And Saunders isn't Kevin Correia. He has a decent chance of replicating the good years of Carl Pavano at Target Field.

Would I flinch at 3/21? A little, but I think I'd swing.

#2 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I know I'm in the minority around here, but I've liked Joe Saunders as an option, all along. Of course, my hope was that he would be something like the third best addition to the staff, but those hopes have been crushed for weeks now.

The Twins are not exactly loaded with left handed SPs and if they're intent on filling the rotation with nothing but #3 - #5 type starters, the least they can do is actually fill the rotation with #3 - #5 type starters and not just hope that 1-2 of their #6 - #7 type starters can become #5 material. Obviously, Saunder's not going to be a darling of the "we want power arms" crowd, but he should be very serviceable and at this point, we probably have to be happy with that.

Three years would make me skittish, but a two year deal... maybe with some kind of mutual options... would be fine with me. Money, especially 2014 payroll, is simply not a problem (or shouldn't be).
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#3 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

Jon Morosi reports the Twins are talking to Joe Saunders. This isn't the first time we've heard this. In fact, LaVelle reported over the winter meetings that the Twins made him an offer. When we wrote up the Offseason Handbook, he seemed like a very Twins-ish target, if only they could afford him:




I'm pretty sure just about any contract to him is going to be multi-year, but I think I'd be OK with that. The Twins have money this year, and they have lots of money the next couple years, too. And Saunders isn't Kevin Correia. He has a decent chance of replicating the good years of Carl Pavano at Target Field.

Would I flinch at 3/21? A little, but I think I'd swing.


If there was a pitcher on the market that suits the Twins style more than Saunders, I'd be shocked

#4 Kirby_waved_at_me

Kirby_waved_at_me

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 719 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

From the various rumors and reports I've read so far this off season, Saunders would definitely sign a 3 year deal - I think that's been more than any team has been willing to give.

#5 edavis0308

edavis0308

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 576 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

To put a positive spin on it - he was a 2.5 WAR player last year.

#6 joeboo_22

joeboo_22

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 173 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

The problem is he fits the Twins style. I don't like that style. TR said they were going to get away from that style and what do they do? Go ahead and sign a bunch of people with no upside, that fit their style. If its a 1 year deal IDK and don't think its a big deal but if they are giving large multi-year deals to guys like Saunders and Corriea and saying hey fans we spent money. Well I would rather have that much less salary and let DeVries and whoever else have a 4+ ERA and give up gopher balls every 5th day for 1/10th the money.

#7 Fanatic Jack

Fanatic Jack

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 257 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

I like Joe Saunders as well but doubt the Twins will pony up the dough necessary to sign him to a multi-year deal. I sure hope so.

#8 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

The problem is he fits the Twins style. I don't like that style. TR said they were going to get away from that style and what do they do? Go ahead and sign a bunch of people with no upside, that fit their style. If its a 1 year deal IDK and don't think its a big deal but if they are giving large multi-year deals to guys like Saunders and Corriea and saying hey fans we spent money. Well I would rather have that much less salary and let DeVries and whoever else have a 4+ ERA and give up gopher balls every 5th day for 1/10th the money.


Saunders is a better pitcher than Correia...it's not even that close. A 3 year deal for him would be a good thing and wouldn't hurt us in the future at all. Yes, he does fit the Twins style, but if Ryan was adamant about switching pitching styles, he'd have canned Gardy and Anderson already. The kind of pitchers the Twins target...ones that fit their philosophy...are less expensive to sign and keep.

So, since we'll be sticking with that for another couple years, Saunders is a good fit. He does the Twins style very well.

#9 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 999 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

He's a lefty. He can be dependable. If he performs, he is also tradable. For some reason, he hasn't signed...either wants that third year guaranteed or a better option. See Padilla just went foreign.
Joel Thingvall
www.thingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#10 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Twins Daily Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 4,909 posts
  • LocationLake Tahoe, Nevada

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:46 AM

I know I'm in the minority around here, but I've liked Joe Saunders as an option, all along.


Please include me in your minority caucus as well.

Three years would make me skittish, but a two year deal... maybe with some kind of mutual options... would be fine with me. Money, especially 2014 payroll, is simply not a problem (or shouldn't be).


I guess that's the point of Bonnes's post - if Saunders is holding out for a 3-year commitment, are you the GM to say Yes first? And like you, I continue to draw the line at 2 years, given my own interpretation that the window of competitiveness truly opens in 2015 at earliest. In that light, a 2-year deal for a guy with a good track record is even preferable to 1-year, to cover the bridge years. But for a pitcher well into his 30s, a third year starts to increase the risk factor by a lot. The way the Twins apparently do their accounting, strictly year by year, I think I'd go 2/$16M in preference to 3/$21M. Is that enough to get him?

#11 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 7,491 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:46 AM

Reasons for: if you can get him for 2/$20M or less, great. He threw 174+ innings last year, but was over 200 the two previous years and over 180 the two years before that. That will help the bullpen tremendously. It also allows them to be more patient with the likes of May and Meyer.

Reasons against: 2014 rotation would include Saunders, Correia, Diamond, Gibson, Hendriks...and then the Hermsen, May, Meyer, group waits for injury (which may be good), and frankly, if they're doing that well, they won't stop them and will bring them up.

So, in general, I'm good with two years, wouldn't do three years... wouldn't go over $10-11M per.

#12 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,714 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:47 AM

Only interested if the contract is clearly tradable. Obviously I like him more than Correia, but that's not saying much. Why the Twins are still willing to overpay for the pitch-to-contact types is puzzling considering they looked to have learned their lesson judging by who they picked in last year's draft and the arms they got in return for Span and Revere.

I know the "give me power arms!" rant is getting old, but guys who have to rely on luck (or lack of bad luck, perhaps) should not make up more than 20% of your rotation.

#13 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Please include me in your minority caucus as well.



I guess that's the point of Bonnes's post - if Saunders is holding out for a 3-year commitment, are you the GM to say Yes first? And like you, I continue to draw the line at 2 years, given my own interpretation that the window of competitiveness truly opens in 2015 at earliest. In that light, a 2-year deal for a guy with a good track record is even preferable to 1-year, to cover the bridge years. But for a pitcher well into his 30s, a third year starts to increase the risk factor by a lot. The way the Twins apparently do their accounting, strictly year by year, I think I'd go 2/$16M in preference to 3/$21M. Is that enough to get him?


Saunders is 31. Hardly well into his 30s. On a 3 year deal, he'd be 34 when he got done with us (if he wasn't traded after two, cause no rule says he has to stay the whole three). What do you realistically see our rotation looking like in 2015?

As far as realistically being competitive in 2015, I believe that's a pipe dream.

Edited by ThePuck, 16 January 2013 - 11:11 AM.


#14 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,714 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Reasons against: 2014 rotation would include Saunders, Correia, Diamond, Gibson, Hendriks...and then the Hermsen, May, Meyer, group waits for injury (which may be good), and frankly, if they're doing that well, they won't stop them and will bring them up.

So, in general, I'm good with two years, wouldn't do three years... wouldn't go over $10-11M per.


And your forgetting Worley, or are you projecting him for TJ already? I agree, Correia for next year makes no sense, add Saunders into the mix and you better hope their 2013 performances are adaquate enough to move their contracts without having to eat most of it. To give him credit, Saunders has proven to be a very tradable commodity in the past.

#15 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

For me, the only thing that would give me pause is our defense...cause our defense last year was bad and it got worse this offseason. IMO

#16 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Twins Daily Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 4,909 posts
  • LocationLake Tahoe, Nevada

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Well I would rather have that much less salary and let DeVries and whoever else have a 4+ ERA and give up gopher balls every 5th day for 1/10th the money.


Two points: a) an additional free-agent pitcher will be booting out someone likely to be at 5+ ERA, and B) what difference does the final tally of $$ spent matter, given that the Twins don't seem to carry over a surplus to a future season? I don't expect the front office to operate a season at a loss, most especially a rebuilding year like 2013, but I see no upside to them holding back $10M or $20M this year if there is talent that can be acquired for the price that would be an upgrade over what they have now, or even further depth.

#17 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    Old Geezer

  • Members
  • 1,401 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

He'd make the team better so I'm for it. If they can give Corriea 2 years they can give Saunders 3, imo.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#18 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

Several points to react to.

Every contract is tradeable. Some of them you just have to send along some cash to complete the deal. Cash will not be an issue with the Twins over the next several years as virtually every significant contract but Mauer's (and possibly Perkins') comes off the books and the young players barely get to arbitration, if that. Honestly, that fact alone probably makes the Twins one of the few teams who can easily afford to take a chance by adding a 3rd year either guaranteed or as a mutual option that can vest if Saunders makes some minimum number of starts over the first 2 years.

I don't let the possibility that he might "block" Hermsen, May or Meyer keep me from making the deal. The odds of all those guys being MLB ready within 3 years is remote, at best, and none of them are locks. If they and the rest of the current staff DO perform well and you end up with a surplus of good starting pitching, that is hardly a bad thing. Look at the market teams with SP depth are seeing right now.

Saunders may be a typical "pitch to contact" Twins guy, but anyone who has put up his stats over the course of the number of years he's been in the Big Leagues can hardly be considered to have done so by relying on luck or lack of bad luck. Some times, even if he doesn't profile the way you'd like him to, you have to give a player credit for what he's accomplished. And, frankly, if I'm going to overpay someone slightly at this point, it would be a lefty like Saunders.

Edited by Jim Crikket, 16 January 2013 - 11:09 AM.

[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#19 beckmt

beckmt

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 830 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

I guess I am the minority. I would only sign Saunders at most for one year. We need to find out what we have and make adjustments later. All you are adding is end of rotation starters and Twins already have plenty for after this year. Now if they had not signed Corriea then it would be a different story. Maybe his asking price has come down if he wants a third year, but cannot see him signing a three year for less than 20 million total. Otherwise I am sure he has some 2/16 offers out there

#20 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Twins Daily Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 4,909 posts
  • LocationLake Tahoe, Nevada

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

Saunders may be a typical "pitch to contact" Twins guy, but anyone who has put up his stats over the course of the number of years he's been in the Big Leagues can hardly be considered to have done so by relying on luck or lack of bad luck. Some times, even if he doesn't profile the way you'd like him to, you have to give a player credit for what he's accomplished. And, frankly, if I'm going to overpay someone slightly at this point, it would be a lefty like Saunders.


I tend to pigeonhole a pitcher's success, at least while he has it, to some particular quality. When Liriano did well it was because had the big arm, when Baker was on it was because his command was really good that day, Harden had a devastating changeup in his early days. With Saunders, I have him somehow sorted into the "right makeup" bin - he just doesn't seem to get rattled. I doubt if there is some metric for that, and maybe I just saw him on national TV at the right time (just as I saw Oswalt have a playoffs meltdown and perhaps unfairly have him labeled the opposite way). Makeup alone won't win games - you need a certain amount of stuff - but conversely a dogged mentality perhaps will last longer than a 92MPH fastball of someone's youth. With his track record of several years of average-to-above results, I think he's a great choice for the amount of money the Twins have on hand to spend.

#21 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

For anyone who has too much time on their hands for their own good, back in November, I laid out my rationale for why the Twins shouldn't let overpaying, in terms of years on a contract, stop them from going after pitching. You can read it by clicking here.

Obviously, it was written before any of the moves the Twins made to acquire Worley, Meyer and May, so some of the factors have changed, but the overall point that the Twins can AFFORD to give a pitcher they want more years than teams they're competing with for his services, even if it means taking a chance that you end up eating a year or so of that contract down the road, remains valid.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#22 CDog

CDog

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 856 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

Only interested if the contract is clearly tradable. Obviously I like him more than Correia, but that's not saying much. Why the Twins are still willing to overpay for the pitch-to-contact types is puzzling considering they looked to have learned their lesson judging by who they picked in last year's draft and the arms they got in return for Span and Revere.

I know the "give me power arms!" rant is getting old, but guys who have to rely on luck (or lack of bad luck, perhaps) should not make up more than 20% of your rotation.


Is that realistic? Said another way, if we simplistically bucket pitchers into "power" vs. "contact" are there enough in the first bucket to legitimately expect to not have more than one from the second bucket in your rotation?

Given the tone that often gets missed, I should add the disclaimer that it's an honest question, and I don't know (or even think I know) the answer. Essentially, what % of pitchers can be considered "power" as opposed to "contact." And obviously there is a ton of gray in between, and maybe this is off-topic (and interesting?) enough of a question that it should be taken into a different thread.

#23 johnnydakota

johnnydakota

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,498 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

For anyone who has too much time on their hands for their own good, back in November, I laid out my rationale for why the Twins shouldn't let overpaying, in terms of years on a contract, stop them from going after pitching. You can read it by clicking here.

Obviously, it was written before any of the moves the Twins made to acquire Worley, Meyer and May, so some of the factors have changed, but the overall point that the Twins can AFFORD to give a pitcher they want more years than teams they're competing with for his services, even if it means taking a chance that you end up eating a year or so of that contract down the road, remains valid.


Just not sure Saunders is the type of pitcher I would give an extra year to.If he was the 3 rd best starter we signed , I would be in favor of signing him.But at this point of the off season ,im content going into the season with what we have, I dont believe there are any true assets left on the market

#24 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 999 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Reasons for: if you can get him for 2/$20M or less, great. He threw 174+ innings last year, but was over 200 the two previous years and over 180 the two years before that. That will help the bullpen tremendously. It also allows them to be more patient with the likes of May and Meyer.

Reasons against: 2014 rotation would include Saunders, Correia, Diamond, Gibson, Hendriks...and then the Hermsen, May, Meyer, group waits for injury (which may be good), and frankly, if they're doing that well, they won't stop them and will bring them up.

So, in general, I'm good with two years, wouldn't do three years... wouldn't go over $10-11M per.


Don't forget that Worley is still in the mix, too. The reason the Twins are stifled on the free-agent pitching IS that Ryan may be looking at the 2014 and 2015 rotation. Who stays and who doesn't...although Correria being the holdover is not what we all hoped for.

But having a veteran workhorse (ala Pavano) isn't a bad thing, be he a #2,3,4 or 5 starter. Especially if the staff is filling up with youngsters. When we start looking seriously at Meyer, May, Hermsen, Gibson, WImmers and even Hendriks...they can be here for parts of the season and abck in the minors fine-tuning for other parts, hopefully not just this year, but also in 2014 and some in 2015. The real rotation of youngsters should be at the beginning of their peak years as 2016 rolls on stage and continue for the next 3-4 years, with hopefully still more young blood coming up in the wings as we trade arbitration starters for even more prospects. But Saunders not signing makes you still wonder -- what is going on?
Joel Thingvall
www.thingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#25 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 999 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Plus, he is a lefthander!
Joel Thingvall
www.thingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#26 ThePuck

ThePuck

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

Just not sure Saunders is the type of pitcher I would give an extra year to.If he was the 3 rd best starter we signed , I would be in favor of signing him.But at this point of the off season ,im content going into the season with what we have, I dont believe there are any true assets left on the market


I'm not sure Saunders wouldn't be our best starter going into 2013 if we got him. Diamond was a rookie last year and didn't overly impress the 2nd half. I like him, I'm hoping he does well, but at this point I don't think it's a stretch to say Saunders would be, quality-wise, our best starting pitcher in 2013 if he signed...at worst our 2nd best.

#27 twinsnorth49

twinsnorth49

    Moderately Moderate

  • Twins Mods
  • 3,765 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

Just not sure Saunders is the type of pitcher I would give an extra year to.If he was the 3 rd best starter we signed , I would be in favor of signing him.But at this point of the off season ,im content going into the season with what we have, I dont believe there are any true assets left on the market


Come again? You've mocked the Pohlads and Ryan for driving down payroll and buying more Brinks trucks for all the money they've swindled the fans out of but now you're ok with them not spending money?

Saunders isn't exactly a jewel but if they do end up signing him he immediately upgrades the rotation and at least gives some indication they're willing to spend some money.This is the exact type of signing youve been advocating for weeks.

Regardless of the "type"of pitcher he is, he's had a decent track record of success and has consistently put in his innings, it would be a beneficial move with virtually no downside.

#28 old nurse

old nurse

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,728 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

Given the market 3/30 is not unreasonable. Every once and a while you have to do what you don't want to do, in this case a 3 year contract. A 3 year contract may not be a good thing for the Twins, but it really isn't bad.

#29 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

Plus, he is a lefthander!


I don't think this is something that should be overlooked. Of all the other guys Seth projected for future rotations, plus Worley, the only lefty is Scott Diamond. Are we really comfortable with Diamond being the only lefty in the rotation for the next 3 years? Would we be concerned about Saunders "blocking" Pedro Hernandez or Caleb Thielbar? Are there other southpaws in the upper levels of the organization that are significant SP prospects?

Edited by Jim Crikket, 16 January 2013 - 11:58 AM.

[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#30 twinsnorth49

twinsnorth49

    Moderately Moderate

  • Twins Mods
  • 3,765 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

I know the "give me power arms!" rant is getting old, but guys who have to rely on luck (or lack of bad luck, perhaps) should not make up more than 20% of your rotation.


That's a pretty consistant lack of bad luck he's had, I guess that makes him pretty damn lucky or maybe pretty good.