While it is indeed unlikely that all free agents don't want to sign here it is reasonable to think that the high end free agents wouldn't want to play here. .
I think the debate on TD hasn't gone on longer than the sum total of about 3 minutes regarding the lack of signing the high end FA by the Twins. Only the rubest of rubes holds out some silly wanderlustic notion about a Greinke, Sanchez or Pujols signing in Minnesota. Do you consider the likes of Jackson, Blanton or Marcum, Myers, McCarthy "high end"? These are tier 2/3 guys, slightly above mediocre to good, and all better than anything the Twins envision in their rotation. What the heck, Francis and Lannan for peanuts would have been a huge depth upgrade at the back end of the rotation.
.You're conflating "marginal" talent with "serviceable" talent. You talk about "marginal talent available", the Twins pitching staff depth chart has "marginal" written in the margins, and everywhere else on the roster page.
The Twins only have 4 returning pitchers from 2012 (Diamond, Duensing, Burton and Perkins) who were more than a sneezful above replacement level. With the exception of Hendriks, their bottom 7-in-terms-of-WAR pitchers (Blackburn, Swarzak, Deduno, Walters, Burnett and DeVries) could all come down with a case of career-ending River Blindness tomorrow and it would have no significant negative effect on the team's prospects, that's why they are termed (at, or below) "replacement level".
Spot on, on Padilla, you could sign 4 mythical, but desciptively "marginal", but still "serviceable", Padilla-like RP's who had a 0.5 WAR in 2012, for less than $10M total, dump the whole bullpen except Duensing, Fien, Burton and Perkins and your WAR goes up by 2.0 versus the -1.2 for the guys you dumped--------
Remember, the Twins entire bullpen
net WAR value for 2012 was only 2.5. The likes of a guy who couldn't even get a contract in the States like Padilla, could be the key to vaulting the 3rd worst bullpen in 2012, as rated by xFIP, into nearly the top quintile bullpen group in all of baseball (behind only 6 teams @ 6.0 WAR , for only $10M invested (net cost, $6-$7M). You don't even necessarily have to find another Burton, just 4 guys who would average out for you the 0.5 WAR score/man like Padilla rated in 2012.
You would get 200 innings (+ additional 2013 innings factored in throughout the pen) with an xFIP of 3.69 from Padilla versus the 278 innings of ~5.00+ xFIP dreck from Gray and the gang in 2012. A huge upgrade for little marginal increased cost of say $6-$7M.
Money well spent? Flippable assets created from a new-found position of strength? I think so.
Edited by jokin, 26 January 2013 - 07:09 PM.