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Article: Can The Twins Afford Scott Baker?

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:47 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ord-Scott-Baker

#2 davesaxton

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:38 PM

Honestly, Im not a Scott Baker fan. He has given up way, way to many dingers in his time with the twins. He is a prolific fly ball pitcher who just happens to get a good deal of strikeouts, and when healthy, can eat up some good innings. However, He is a twin, in the truest sense of the word. He has put all he has into this organisation and has tried very hard to stay healthy over the coarse of his career here. The last 2 years have been hard because his elbow seems to be giving him problems and no one is really sure why. I say If he can get to double digit wins this year and can stay fairly healthy once he does get back from this set-back, give him another year to prove himself again. what could it really hurt? A stable starter in the 3 or 4 spot to suround younger arms with? sure, give the kid one more chance, he's earned it.

#3 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

If he has a year like any of the last 3, he would absolutely earn that money on the free agent market. The 9.5 million will be below market.

#4 jimbo92107

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:07 AM

Baker's elbow gives him problems because his motion includes a sudden snap near the end, when he rotates his rotator very quickly to pronate his forearm. This motion puts a lot of torque on the elbow joint, especially if he tries to add power with his upper body. It's a dangerous motion because if his timing or form is off just a little, it can damage the shoulder and elbow joints. However, if done just right, it makes the baseball jump from his hand. Baker eventually will be forced to retire because of elbow damage, but meanwhile he can pitch awhile longer if he emphasizes developing power with his legs and lower body. Like Sandy Koufax, he's going to have to develop almost perfect form.

#5 twinsfiend

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:19 AM

Love the article! Its fun forecasting next season. So much can happen, but its a fun exercise to see where we are headed. I have to believe the Baker is playing this year for that option. If he doesn't improve this season, I hope the Twins don't retain him. There are plenty of similarly performing (similar to last few years) pitchers on the open market each and every off-season that are far cheaper than $9.5 Million. I didn't realize that Blackburn is the only pitcher on the starting staff with a contract that runs into next season. I see some nice flexibility there. What is the word on Kyle Gibson? How is his rehab going? I suppose next year would be too soon to hope for him to make any noise at the major league level. Capps shouldn't be kept either, even if he performs well this year I don't think he is a $6 million pitcher, in any relief role. I firmly believe we can get a RH setup pitcher of good quality for $3-4 a year move Perkins to closer and Duensing to the lefty setup role. Casilla is playing for his future with the Twins. I hope the front office views this as his final chance to prove he belongs as an every day player. Here's to hoping for a solid season for all 3 of those guys! Go Twins!

#6 jmlease1

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

I'm thinking it's fairly likely the Twins pick up the option unless Baker has another injury-riddled year. Projecting the rotation at $30M seems reasonable, and with Balckburn/Hendriks costing a combined $6M, leaving $24M for 3 slots...$9.5M is viable. Especially if they think Gibson will be ready to be at least a 5th starter in 2013. That would still leave money in the budget to bring back Liriano even if his free agent number jumps over $12M per. A 2013 rotation of Liriano, Baker, Hendriks, Blackburn, and Gibson sounds pretty good to me, and shouldn't break the bank.

#7 nicksaviking

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:38 PM

I'm thinking it's fairly likely the Twins pick up the option unless Baker has another injury-riddled year. Projecting the rotation at $30M seems reasonable, and with Balckburn/Hendriks costing a combined $6M, leaving $24M for 3 slots...$9.5M is viable. Especially if they think Gibson will be ready to be at least a 5th starter in 2013. That would still leave money in the budget to bring back Liriano even if his free agent number jumps over $12M per. A 2013 rotation of Liriano, Baker, Hendriks, Blackburn, and Gibson sounds pretty good to me, and shouldn't break the bank.


I can't see any scenario that Liriano will be back though. If he pitches well and stays healthy, he will be looking for a multi year deal, and the Twins never give a pitcher more than four years, and with his injury and inconsistancy history, would likely only offer hime 2-3. If he underperforms again, the frustration Gardy and Rick Anderson have shown in him since his TJ surgery is going to force Terry Ryan to abandon any thought of offering him even a major-league minimum deal. If he pitches adaquately and is forced to take a 1 year Prove-It deal like Edwin Jackson, he will surely look to Prove-It in a different market seeing as this one is not very high profile.

Of course all this is moot if the Twins are out of it by the All-Star break. He'll be moved for younger arms at that point.

#8 AT4MVP

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

I can’t imagine him making that much per year on the free agent market if he has another year anything like his last three.


I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with this statement John. Here is a link to one of the articles I have read recently saying that Baker is actually an extremely underrated pitcher.

http://www.fangraphs...alued-pitchers/

He is also consistently in the top 10 in the league in K/BB, his K/9 has been over 7 since 2008 (not bad for someone considered a "flyball pitcher" to an extent), and besides them repeated trips to the DL last year that kept him at 134 innings, he has been at 170+ for three years prior to that.

P.S. If someone could tell me how to quote what someone else said the proper way, that would be great!

Edited by AT4MVP, 19 March 2012 - 05:33 PM.


#9 Thrylos

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:35 PM

John, you might not know it yet, but you just have became "John Bonnes of the Minneapolis Star Tribune", per MLB trade rumors.

Congratulations!!!!
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twitter: @thrylos98

#10 tharasix

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

What is the word on Kyle Gibson?


He seems to be doing well with this rehab.