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Sid's article on Morneau

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#1 Monkeypaws

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:30 AM

I don't usually read Sid Hartman, but the headline caught my eye today: "Free agent Morneau will look for a winner."

There are quite a few quotes from Morneau, none of which really say that, so perhaps he said something off the record, but Sid writes, "Morneau said a chance to win is probably going to be the first thing on his list."

Also: "Unless there isn’t a market for Morneau, chances are he won’t be back with the Twins next season because winning, like he said, is his top priority when it comes to signing with a club. And right now, it doesn’t appear the Twins will be in that position."

Full article here: Hartman: Free agent Morneau will look for a winner | Star Tribune

I posted this here because it is interesting to see what free agents are looking for. I know there was much anger over who the Twins got last winter, but I suspect a lot of top free agents feel the same way as Morneau, that winning is a top priority. They are gonna be filthy rich no matter who they sign with, so all things being equal, choose a winning club, or at least a club with a chance to win, as opposed to a doormat.

Given the shape of the Twins lineup as it stands today, I expect Ryan will have a hard time luring top talent to play for a team that has so little talent. There are 30 potential suitors for any free agent, but the free agents the Twins are likely to compete for aren't going to be sought by the Yankees or Red Sox, the second chance, re-hab types we are so used to. Until the Twins get back to winning, I wouldn't hold my breath for top talent to end up at Target Field.

I'm not giving Ryan an excuse, just trying to be realistic. Most players want nothing more than a World Series ring, and if you have gotten to this point in your career where you can pick your team, and you are going to be there for a while, you probably want a chance to win one. 3 90 loss seasons in a row, horrific starting pitching, and a AAAA lineup of sub.250 hitters, oh, and Joe Mauer, doesn't look that attractive.

After some of our kids come up, and have an impact(hopefully), and the near-future looks a bit rosier, I could see the Twins adding significant players. The Wild were able to attract Parise and Suter in part because the future looked bright here.

#2 nicksaviking

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:37 AM

I posted this here because it is interesting to see what free agents are looking for. I know there was much anger over who the Twins got last winter, but I suspect a lot of top free agents feel the same way as Morneau, that winning is a top priority. They are gonna be filthy rich no matter who they sign with, so all things being equal, choose a winning club, or at least a club with a chance to win, as opposed to a doormat.


I agree, but it isn't hard to change that perception. After all, Cleveland was in the same boat last year but they let it be known that they had money to spend and were looking to right the ship ASAP. Perhaps the Twins missed their chance as I think Cleveland's turn around happened when they brought in a new and accomplished, well respected, big-named manager. When they did, they had no problems getting interest from free agents.

Bold statements can help change the perception I believe.

#3 Marta Shearing

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:35 AM

Morneau did a whole lot of talking while saying nothing.

#4 whydidnt

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:05 AM

And last year Grienke said it was all about money. Different guys have different priorities. The Twins may have to overspend to lure good players, but they have the budget to do so. Sometimes you have to take the loss leader approach to get good players.

#5 spycake

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

I think most every player gives lip service to "wanting to play for a winner".

I suspect Morneau will sign with either A) the team that offers the most money, or B) the team that offers the most playing time so he can boost his value for next offseason, or C) the team closest to his family's home if they are also close on conditions A and B.

The team's past or projected record probably won't be a direct factor, except perhaps as a tiebreaker for close competing offers. It's certainly a bigger deal for non-marginal free agents, although I'm pretty confident that money is still the primary factor for them too.

#6 drivlikejehu

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

Most of the time, free agents take the highest bid. If the Twins put in the highest bid for 5 free agents, it would be very unlucky to get less than 4 of the 5, even with the current state of affairs.

Even when there are exceptions, it can be about money in a different way - for instance, a pitcher going to a friendly ballpark to rebuild value for the next offseason.

If winning clubs had it so much easier, then the Yankees, Red Sox, etc., would be able to get free agents on the cheap. But this certainly doesn't seem to be how things work out. They sign more free agents because they offer more money.

The whole argument about free agents not wanting to sign with the Twins just irks me because its so transparently an excuse for the Twins being cheap and struggling to value players (their own, e.g. Blackburn, and free agents, e.g. Correia).

#7 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:06 AM

I love this. We have a direct quote from a free agent that there is something more important than money on the top of his FA wish list - and people almost immediately start back on the "highest bidder wins" horse and assume that if we don't sign somebody it's because we're cheap, not because there were other factors involved.

#8 Winston Smith

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:09 AM

Last winter during the winter meetings the MLB Baseball Network crew was talking about this and the two ex-players both said it's the money don't be fooled. A player may say a lot of things but in the end the player will nearly always take the most money.

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

 

Yogi Berra


#9 ThePuck

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:26 AM

Last winter during the winter meetings the MLB Baseball Network crew was talking about this and the two ex-players both said it's the money don't be fooled. A player may say a lot of things but in the end the player will nearly always take the most money.


Ah yes, I remember the recent glory days, you know 2002-2010, where quality free agents flocked to the Twins willing to take less money to play for a perennial division winner, and we signed them like mad. Those were the days. :-)

Edited by ThePuck, 17 October 2013 - 12:00 PM.
missing an adjective

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#10 JB_Iowa

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

If the offers are close in money & years, its logical to think that a player may base his decision on other factors.

If they aren't close, I'd guess that money (or money in combination with years) almost always is determining.

#11 Marta Shearing

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:54 AM

This is all assuming he even gets multiple offers if any.

#12 Curt

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:05 PM

Considering his 0 hr in 101 AB at Pittsburgh, he may have to rethink this.

#13 Monkeypaws

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:06 PM

If the offers are close in money & years, its logical to think that a player may base his decision on other factors.

If they aren't close, I'd guess that money (or money in combination with years) almost always is determining.


I'd mainly agree with this.

Still, if you look at the biggest free agent contracts from last off-season, the bulk of them signed with winning teams. Cleveland got Swisher (Ohio boy going home), and Bourn was a big surprise. The Red Sox had a bad year but that was clearly an aberration. Cubs got Jackson and the Royals Guthrie, but it would be hard to argue those were better deals than the Twins got for Correia.

So there are clearly people who will choose money first, but I still suspect they are in the minority.

#14 spycake

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:27 PM

Still, if you look at the biggest free agent contracts from last off-season, the bulk of them signed with winning teams.


Correlation does not imply causation. Winning teams may be more aggressive bidders because they are closer to a championship. Also, winning teams likely have more revenue and/or more stable projected revenue (although revenue sharing clouds this).

#15 PseudoSABR

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:33 PM

Well, he wasn't very productive in Pittsburgh. Winning clubs will expect far better production than what Morneau produced. So he'll have to accept a reduced role, where likely, he won't have a chance to reestablish a better market value OR he'll have to accept a starting role on a team whose talent/payroll may be prohibitive to winning.

#16 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:41 PM

I think the most troubling issue is, how did the Twins--a team with a brand new stadium, wealthy ownership, and a great area to live in for young families--reach a point where this is an issue?

#17 ThePuck

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:49 PM

I think the most troubling issue is, how did the Twins--a team with a brand new stadium, wealthy ownership, and a great area to live in for young families--reach a point where this is an issue?


The short answer will likely be: Because of Bill Smith.

The long answer will likely be: Because of Bill Smith aka the one-armed man, aka Bartman, aka Phil Cuzzi, aka the lone shooter (and please ignore the noise coming from behind the grassy knoll). :-)
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#18 Marta Shearing

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

Ryan deserves more blame than Smith.

#19 ThePuck

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:39 PM

Ryan deserves more blame than Smith.


Oh, I completely agree...or at the very least, a good chunk. I also don't think it falls solely on the GMS even though I do agree that the GM should be held accountable.
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#20 JB_Iowa

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

I think the most troubling issue is, how did the Twins--a team with a brand new stadium, wealthy ownership, and a great area to live in for young families--reach a point where this is an issue?


If we knew that, we'd know the complete answer to how did the Twins go from 269-219 in 2008-2010 to 195-291 in 2011-2013.

I honestly believe that full treatises could be written on the subject. For now I'll just blame it on the Black Spruce curse .... or the revenge of the Metrodome.