Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Photo

Joe Saunders

  • Please log in to reply
148 replies to this topic

#1 John Bonnes

John Bonnes

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 5,185 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).
I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

#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
  • 1,882 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
  • 177 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
  • 1,384 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
  • 8,048 posts
  • LocationIt's complicated.

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
  • 9,659 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
  • 5,274 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
  • 5,274 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
  • 8,048 posts
  • LocationIt's complicated.

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
  • 1,641 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.

I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

#19 beckmt

beckmt

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 997 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
  • 8,048 posts
  • LocationIt's complicated.

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.