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Article: Three-Bagger: Deja Vu, Home Sickness & Being Like Beane

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 08:53 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...eing-Like-Beane

#2 old nurse

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:57 PM

The starters Oakland have drafted and developed in the last 10 years were Cahil, Straily, Griffin and Gray. Only Cahil has been a starter for more than 2 years in the majors. Same time period the starters the Twins drafted and developed were Baker, Gara, Slowey and Gibson. Yes Slowey declined after his first full year in the majors. That is why I would wait as Oakland pitchers are completing their first full year. They have traded for major league ready pitching. After a down year in 2011 they traded their players to reload. When the Twins started a down year, they did not really have that kind of talent to move for more talent.

#3 clutterheart

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

I'd love it if the Twins could replicate what the Athletics have done, building a contending team cheaply by selling high on talent, drafting and developing scores of young pitchers, and identifying high-value free agents.


The Rays have done this even better than the A's.

But Twins are different than the Rays & the A's. Twins have a statdium that should give them the flexibility to go after guys in the FA market to cover up their misakes. Sure, they sill should be selling high on SOME guys, but at the same time locking in others.

Frankly, they need to be better at Self Scouting. They need to identify guys in the own system better and have a plan. For example, I wonder what they could've gotten for Hicks during their CF'er dump of last offseason. - Instead of Revere.

Edited by clutterheart, 16 September 2013 - 12:27 AM.


#4 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:37 AM

It seems like Ryan's philosophy might be a little contradictory; usually, when you spend money on players, it also involves a long-term committment; could someone with a better understanding of that statement help me out here?

#5 orangevening

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:10 AM

For example, I wonder what they could've gotten for Hicks during their CF'er dump of last offseason. - Instead of Revere.


Not Worley and May for sure. Revere was a fairly established major leaguer with a minor league track record of hitting .300 at every level. Hicks had one good year a AA

#6 gil4

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:17 AM

It seems like Ryan's philosophy might be a little contradictory; usually, when you spend money on players, it also involves a long-term committment; could someone with a better understanding of that statement help me out here?



He's giving himself an out when they don't sign anyone significant. "We were willing to spend that kind of mony, but X years would have been a foolish risk."

#7 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:19 AM

It seems like Ryan's philosophy might be a little contradictory; usually, when you spend money on players, it also involves a long-term committment; could someone with a better understanding of that statement help me out here?


My understanding is that this meant contracts of 5 years or longer.

#8 Alex

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:34 AM

Great article Nick and I saw your discussion with Mackey on twitter.

The point I think he misses and that frustrates me about his perspective and those that share it is that, for the Twins, spending money isn't mutually exclusive with doing what the A's and Rays do. The Twins are in a position to do both. As you've pointed out, unfortunately, they haven't been able to evaluate, develop, and flip talent like the A's and Rays and are left with just one option in the near future for competitiveness.

#9 ThejacKmp

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:53 AM

It seems like Ryan's philosophy might be a little contradictory; usually, when you spend money on players, it also involves a long-term committment; could someone with a better understanding of that statement help me out here?


The Twins and Ryan aren't interested in signing 3-5 year deals with pitchers because (IMO) (a) though they have money now, they want to make sure they have the funds to sign guys like Buxton, Sano, Rosario etc. early in their careers ala Longoria; (B) they anticipate having the young pitching they've drafted bear fruit in the next 2-3 years so they see this - rightly or wrongly - as a short term solution; and © the Twins don't like signing pitchers to long term contracts because they are concerned about tying up resources in a commodity that bears more risk long-term.

I can't say I entirely disagree with this assessment of their fortunes either. It would be nice to lock up the Twins core of talent early and there are pitchers I have high hopes for. That said, I hope they're willing to be flexible with the third year because the kinds of pitchers signing 1 and 2 year deals are the correia types. While I'd love to see the Twins take some shots on short term contracts for the Santanas (can we stick on a mutual vesting option for a second year?), I hope we sign at least one veteran pitcher like a Kyle Loshe (3 years $33 million). He's not the greatest pitcher but he's immediately the Twins best pitcher and when you start getting guys like Gibson and Stewart and Mays up in the majors, he looks very nice as your #3 pitcher.

#10 Winston Smith

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:23 AM

Great article Nick and I saw your discussion with Mackey on twitter.

The point I think he misses and that frustrates me about his perspective and those that share it is that, for the Twins, spending money isn't mutually exclusive with doing what the A's and Rays do. The Twins are in a position to do both. As you've pointed out, unfortunately, they haven't been able to evaluate, develop, and flip talent like the A's and Rays and are left with just one option in the near future for competitiveness.


This is spot on. If they want to be cheap they need better scouts and front office people. Spending gives you a chance to cover up for not having that. Mackey seems to be in the pocket of the Twins. He goes along with the talking points for the day a lot and when he has Gardy or Ryan on it's mostly softball questions.
Some people still seem to think that money not spent this year goes in the kitty for future years and it doesn't. That has been stated many times by Pohlad and the front office. Each year is a new year. Saving money now does not mean spending big down the road.

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


#11 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:33 AM

The Twins and Ryan aren't interested in signing 3-5 year deals with pitchers because (IMO) (a) though they have money now, they want to make sure they have the funds to sign guys like Buxton, Sano, Rosario etc. early in their careers ala Longoria; (B) they anticipate having the young pitching they've drafted bear fruit in the next 2-3 years so they see this - rightly or wrongly - as a short term solution; and © the Twins don't like signing pitchers to long term contracts because they are concerned about tying up resources in a commodity that bears more risk long-term.


What kind of budget are we operating on? The Rays signed Longoria to a 6 year 17.5 million dollar contract... or, 3m per year. The Twins have a 100m payroll potential, they could sign 33 players for that type of contract. The Twins don't need to even think about FA for Sano, Rosario etc. for another 4 years.

You want to just wait around in mediocrity (or less) until the perfect opportunity comes? You have to add talent to win games, one way is by over-paying for a FA pitcher. There is no getting around it. Proven players cost money. Sooner or later the Twins will have to bit the bullet and pay up.
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#12 Monkeypaws

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:12 AM

Looking at that A's rotation made me wonder how one team can do it soooo much better than another. Cycling guys and trading at high value is tricky business, and they seem to have it nailed.

#13 cmathewson

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:36 AM

The Twins are suffering from three years of focusing on position players int he first couple of rounds. 2006, 2007 and 2008 were not good drafts at all for pitchers. But there is some hope that the last four years of pitching rich drafts will bear fruit. And if you look at High A and below, you see a very well-stocked system. Patience.

#14 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:46 AM

The Twins are suffering from three years of focusing on position players int he first couple of rounds. 2006, 2007 and 2008 were not good drafts at all for pitchers. But there is some hope that the last four years of pitching rich drafts will bear fruit. And if you look at High A and below, you see a very well-stocked system. Patience.


I don't really buy into this line of thinking. The flame-out rate for pitchers that look promising in Single-A and below is pretty high. Relying on these guys as the sole hope for a resurgence is risky business, because if the majority of them don't pan out you're probably just going to stay stuck in the same cycle.

I think the Twins need to build up some strength at the major-league level and hope that, once guys like Stewart, Berrios, Gonsalves etc are ready to graduate, they can supplement an existing rotation that is at least respectable.

#15 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:48 AM

It seems like Ryan's philosophy might be a little contradictory; usually, when you spend money on players, it also involves a long-term committment; could someone with a better understanding of that statement help me out here?


Well, first, it was Pohlad with the quote, not Ryan. And second, in the article he specifically called out seven- or eight-year deals as the type he'd want to avoid. Which is fully understandable.

#16 BHtwins

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:03 AM

I think the A's draft, sign and trade for baseball talent. The Twins and most of the other league to some extent are over concerned with tools that they hope to develop into baseball talent.

The A's figured out a long time ago that baseball talent is inheritantly different than athletic tools. If a pitcher strikes out a lot of guys at every amateur level there is a good chance as he progresses through the professional ranks that will hold true. They dont freak out when his fastball tops out at 89 because they are more concerned about the objective results.

Any G.M. can draft Joe Mauer or Byron Buxton and have a good idea that there is a good chance that got a good player. Its the later rounds, the trades and the free agency that a roster is filled out.

#17 old nurse

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:21 AM

What kind of budget are we operating on? The Rays signed Longoria to a 6 year 17.5 million dollar contract... or, 3m per year. The Twins have a 100m payroll potential, they could sign 33 players for that type of contract. The Twins don't need to even think about FA for Sano, Rosario etc. for another 4 years.

You want to just wait around in mediocrity (or less) until the perfect opportunity comes? You have to add talent to win games, one way is by over-paying for a FA pitcher. There is no getting around it. Proven players cost money. Sooner or later the Twins will have to bit the bullet and pay up.

Longoria has a contract that runs 2023 and will pay him 130 million if the team does not exercise it's option.
You really are only overpaying for a player when they are signed to a role they cannot perform. Gil Meche comes to mind. You also are overpaying when you sign players to contracts they will not be able to fulfill. Luis Castillo a 4 year contract at age 38 comes to mind. If a player signs a contract for a high level of pay and meets the standard, Torii Hunter with California, then you made a good deal. Cliff Lee would appear to have been a great sign. It is tough to come up with a 4+ year contract for a pitcher that worked out. Sabathia was until he lost weight.

Edited by old nurse, 16 September 2013 - 09:27 AM.


#18 jimbo92107

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

Great article Nick and I saw your discussion with Mackey on twitter.

The point I think he misses and that frustrates me about his perspective and those that share it is that, for the Twins, spending money isn't mutually exclusive with doing what the A's and Rays do. The Twins are in a position to do both. As you've pointed out, unfortunately, they haven't been able to evaluate, develop, and flip talent like the A's and Rays and are left with just one option in the near future for competitiveness.


Good point. Assuming that you can only be either a cheapskate or a spendthrift is foolish. The Twins don't need to emulate the cheapest or spendiest team in the league. In fact, if there's one model the Twins might wisely emulate, it would be something more like the New England Patriots, where they maintain a more equitable balance of salaries across the board, thus sustaining strong play from every position.

Right now the Twins seem eager to maintain a roster largely composed of guys playing at or near the major league minimum wage. I wonder if they'd get better production if the team decided to pay every player on the major league roster at least $1 million per year. Would that help motivate players in the minors?

#19 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

I think the A's draft, sign and trade for baseball talent. The Twins and most of the other league to some extent are over concerned with tools that they hope to develop into baseball talent.

The A's figured out a long time ago that baseball talent is inheritantly different than athletic tools. If a pitcher strikes out a lot of guys at every amateur level there is a good chance as he progresses through the professional ranks that will hold true. They dont freak out when his fastball tops out at 89 because they are more concerned about the objective results.

Any G.M. can draft Joe Mauer or Byron Buxton and have a good idea that there is a good chance that got a good player. Its the later rounds, the trades and the free agency that a roster is filled out.

Which A's pitcher are you referring to? If it is Colon, they have gotten very lucky with him this year and I doubt he'll replicate this performance again. The A's have been good at identifying pitchers, but they have yet to even make it to a world series. I don't think they are a golden franchise by any stretch.

The later rounds fill out a roster with who exactly? The first round and INTL FA is where most of the talent in the MLB comes from. You can always hit on a guy like Rosario or even Pujols, but it is the exception not the rule.
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#20 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

Longoria has a contract that runs 2023 and will pay him 130 million if the team does not exercise it's option.
You really are only overpaying for a player when they are signed to a role they cannot perform. Gil Meche comes to mind. You also are overpaying when you sign players to contracts they will not be able to fulfill. Luis Castillo a 4 year contract at age 38 comes to mind. If a player signs a contract for a high level of pay and meets the standard, Torii Hunter with California, then you made a good deal. Cliff Lee would appear to have been a great sign. It is tough to come up with a 4+ year contract for a pitcher that worked out. Sabathia was until he lost weight.

Longoria signed that deal in 2008 that consumed all his team control and arb years. He just signed a 10 year deal last fall.
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#21 BHtwins

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:51 AM

The A's have been good at identifying pitchers, but they have yet to even make it to a world series. I don't think they are a golden franchise by any stretch.


They've been as good or better than the Twins for cheaper and longer. If World Series is your threshold...how many have the Twins won? or even play-off series?

I'm not saying they are a golden franchise, I'm saying they make better use of their resources than the Twins

#22 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:00 AM

They've been as good or better than the Twins for cheaper and longer. If World Series is your threshold...how many have the Twins won? or even play-off series?

I'm not saying they are a golden franchise, I'm saying they make better use of their resources than the Twins

I disagree completely. The A's made the playoffs 4 times from 2000 to 2003, then in 2006. They lost in the first round all of the first 4 times and got swept in the ALCS in 2006. Sure they won more playoff games than the Twins, but that is a small victory IMO. The Twins made the post-season 6 times and also advanced only once. Most of the while the Twins were on similar budget constraints as the A's. The A's were innovative and new in the early 2000's, the rest of the league caught up.
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#23 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:15 AM

The A's were innovative and new in the early 2000's, the rest of the league caught up.

Yeah, looking like the rest of the AL West has really figured them out.

#24 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:23 AM

Yeah, looking like the rest of the AL West has really figured them out.

They are allowed to be good every 7 years I guess.
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#25 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:33 AM

They are allowed to be good every 7 years I guess.


Come on dude. They won the division last year and they're on the verge of winning it this year. I'm not sure why you're opting not to give them any credit for their success but you're way off base.

#26 Badsmerf

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 10:47 AM

Come on dude. They won the division last year and they're on the verge of winning it this year. I'm not sure why you're opting not to give them any credit for their success but you're way off base.

Much to the contrary. They deserve plenty of credit for what they have done. My point is rather their model for success hasn't been so successful that I want to emulate them. The A's have made some good decisions and continue to stick to their model. Some things they do really well, like identify talented SP and sign FA that have a lot of value for cheap. I'm just not a guy that wants to do things like someone else. I'd prefer the Twins steal someone away with knowledge of their process and integrate it.
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#27 Alex

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:38 PM

Much to the contrary. They deserve plenty of credit for what they have done. My point is rather their model for success hasn't been so successful that I want to emulate them. The A's have made some good decisions and continue to stick to their model. Some things they do really well, like identify talented SP and sign FA that have a lot of value for cheap. I'm just not a guy that wants to do things like someone else.


Lucky for the rest of the AL, neither are the Twins.

#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

I don't really buy into this line of thinking. The flame-out rate for pitchers that look promising in Single-A and below is pretty high. Relying on these guys as the sole hope for a resurgence is risky business, because if the majority of them don't pan out you're probably just going to stay stuck in the same cycle.

I think the Twins need to build up some strength at the major-league level and hope that, once guys like Stewart, Berrios, Gonsalves etc are ready to graduate, they can supplement an existing rotation that is at least respectable.


Exactly, and then the Twins will have the surplus and enough of a safty net to move the more seasoned arms for more prospects, ala the Oakland cycle. You can't start the cycle with the Correia's, Deduno's and Pelfrey's of the world, you won't get a return for them.

#29 Shane Wahl

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

I think the Twins need to build up some strength at the major-league level and hope that, once guys like Stewart, Berrios, Gonsalves etc are ready to graduate, they can supplement an existing rotation that is at least respectable.


Exactly. They need to plug in at the top with legitimate top-worthy pitchers instead of just waiting for prospects to fill the top. If those prospects actually arrive in full, then those older players can be traded.

#30 Thegrin

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:31 PM

Exactly. They need to plug in at the top with legitimate top-worthy pitchers instead of just waiting for prospects to fill the top. If those prospects actually arrive in full, then those older players can be traded.

And where do you suppose we find those legitimate top-worthy pitchers ? They will be lucky to find a FA who would sign with a losing team. The International FA's are probably not signable as well. The only hope is to innovate and develop from the pitchers we have. At the moment that too appears unlikely. Gibson and Hendricks are still young though. There is hope, although the hope is dim.