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Ryan Q&A with Darren Wolfson

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#41 Mike Sixel

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:57 AM

Brock: I don't see anyone arguing for them to spend up to 120MM this year, or more. Straw man. I think you and I agree on the path.

gunnarthor: I just don't think, if they sign one good pitcher, and choo or ellsbury, and Sano is good, and Buxton is good, that they are 4+ years away. I think Ellsbury or Choo are still effective then. And, yes, if you are EVER going to sign a FA, you take a risk on decline. I'd rather take that risk, than never signing a good FA because you are afraid.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#42 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:14 AM

Maybe I wasn't entirely clear but I'm not advocating fielding this same roster in 2014. I mentioned Phil Hughes in the post, which suggests that I'm all for spending money this offseason to pick up quality players.

But I think running up to the theoretical $120m ceiling just because you can is a mistake. When a team is this bad and is relying on prospects so heavily to succeed, you simply don't know what holes you'll have in 2015. At that point, the prudent move is to spend some money this year (maybe $20m), spend a little more next season (maybe another $10-15m), then make a big push when you know what you need to become a playoff team.

I pretty much agree with this. If payroll is higher in 2014 than 2013, I'll likely be satisfied. Something in the $90-100 million range makes the most sense to me.

I do think, given the large payroll space this year but not much chance we'll contend next year, it makes sense to approach guys looking for one-year deals to see if they can have a bounceback year. If so, you can always flip them at the deadline for prospects and further build toward the future and without hurting payroll moving forward. Guys like Josh Johnson, Johan Santana, and Colby Lewis would be at the top of my target list. I'm hoping we get one longer-term piece, someone like Jimenez or Hughes, but some one-year upside moves could prove smart investments.

#43 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:18 AM

I think what Brock is trying to say is that you don't want to make a signing now that hurts the teams flexibility when that core needs some help. I know you like Ellsbury, for example, so if the Twins spent a 7/142 (Carl Crawford like deal, which is what Boras has suggested as a starting point), the Twins would be paying over 21m/year for a guy who will be a declining left fielder (and perhaps declining quickly based on his skill set) when the core is ready to compete and getting raises. I think the Twins would be better off by using FA to plug holes that a good team has - think of 2010, when the Twins added a 4WAR pitcher, a 25HR DH and a strong MI to a pretty decent nucleus.


Yep, that's pretty much exactly what I'm saying.

Though I'm not even saying the Twins shouldn't be looking for an Ellsbury-type (I don't think Ellsbury is a great fit but that's just my opinion). I'm only suggesting that spending money just because it exists and is available is a bad idea.

That doesn't mean you go out and spend no money; it means you leave yourself some room for when the team actually has the potential to get good and you need another player or two to push it to the playoffs.

And that's why I'm pushing for the Twins to go after Hughes this offseason. I think he has a significant upside, won't break the bank, and won't require 1-2 decline-phase years to get him.

#44 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

Brock: I don't see anyone arguing for them to spend up to 120MM this year, or more. Straw man. I think you and I agree on the path.


People have brought up the fact that the Twins should have $60m in open budget and strongly implied that they should spend it... all of it. I'm not saying you are advocating that strategy but there are certainly people who have advocated it.

Obviously, pretty much everyone here agrees that the Twins need better players and they're not going to fill all the holes via the farm system in the next 24 months. My belief is that it's better to get there slowly; a smart pick-up this offseason, another 1-2 next season, maybe a final piece the third.

I want to see improvement, for sure... But I don't need a playoff run in 2014 if it hamstrings the team in 2015-2017 when the team should be a legitimate contender if the prospects pan out.

#45 Mike Sixel

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

I would endorse adding 1-2 good players at a time, not 5....which is why I think they should have added one last year. I also don't "need" a playoff run next year, but not losing 90 games would be good, trying to not lose 90 would be good.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#46 Oxtung

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:45 AM

Leaving money on the table makes no sense. It doesn't get saved and used later. You're just wasting resources.

If you want to have $30million available 2 years from now then structure the contracts to make it happen. You could front load contracts now or overspend to get a player expected to sign for 3 years to instead sign for 2.

There are ways to improve the team in the present and still have money available in the future without wasting resources.

Maybe I wasn't entirely clear but I'm not advocating fielding this same roster in 2014. I mentioned Phil Hughes in the post, which suggests that I'm all for spending money this offseason to pick up quality players.

But I think running up to the theoretical $120m ceiling just because you can is a mistake. When a team is this bad and is relying on prospects so heavily to succeed, you simply don't know what holes you'll have in 2015. At that point, the prudent move is to spend some money this year (maybe $20m), spend a little more next season (maybe another $10-15m), then make a big push when you know what you need to become a playoff team.


#47 spycake

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

When I say "wiggle room", I don't only mean player raises.


I was responding to both points -- you previously brought up player raises, but they aren't really an issue for the next 5 years at least.

I agree that we don't have to get the payroll up to $120 million or whatever in one offseason.

If Ryan can add $30 million to next year's payroll (bringing it back to $90 million according to Jeremy's chart), that would be a huge step in the right direction. We just haven't ever seen those kinds of moves from him before, which has me nervous.

#48 Kwak

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:42 PM

Do you sincerely believe that's the "plan" Ryan sold the Pohlad's on?


No, I always post somebody else's opinions--especially those with which I disagree.

#49 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:01 PM

Leaving money on the table makes no sense. It doesn't get saved and used later. You're just wasting resources.

If you want to have $30million available 2 years from now then structure the contracts to make it happen. You could front load contracts now or overspend to get a player expected to sign for 3 years to instead sign for 2.

There are ways to improve the team in the present and still have money available in the future without wasting resources.


So, is it fair to say that you think every team should spend every dollar they have every year? In other words, Houston should go spend $70-80M this off season.

#50 Trevor0333

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:09 PM

I wouldn't sign either one of them, Swarzak is the definition of replaceable in the bullpen, and Duensing at this point is a mediocre LOOGY. With the pen being the one real strength, replacing both of those guys should be rather easy.


Duesning yes, you are really discounting how good Swarzak was last year. Yes the teams biggest strength is RHP bullpen guys so that may make him more replaceable but he really pitched pretty well IMO.

#51 Trevor0333

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:19 PM

By now pretty much everyone agrees & knows you can't build a winner through free agency. You dont want to hand out excessively long contracts, things change too much from year to year.

However when 1 aspect or portion of your team is so bad it completely brings down the rest combined with having nothing really ready in the minors to plug those holes. You have to augment the roster through FA. When you have a cheap roster where the young players you believe you would like to keep long term aren't eligible for FA for multiple years. How are you not adding talent (Starting pitching) on smaller length 2-3 year deals that will be expiring before you expect these other players salaries to grow? How does pocketing that help anything but your draft position.

The very most frustrating & rippable part of Terry Ryan's logic is every season we hear the "we know we need to add some pitching, so we expect to be active on a few players" Then every year the 1st guy signs there is a massive sticker shock and they sign Mike Pelfrey's to1 year deals to be terrible. How do you misjudge the market that badly every season? With the new TV money teams are going to spend more than they expect every year, so what if our staff sucks & the young guys arent ready being terrible is acceptable when there is room on the payroll left? It's completely redicilous.

#52 Trevor0333

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:24 PM

Leaving money on the table makes no sense. It doesn't get saved and used later. You're just wasting resources.

If you want to have $30million available 2 years from now then structure the contracts to make it happen. You could front load contracts now or overspend to get a player expected to sign for 3 years to instead sign for 2.

There are ways to improve the team in the present and still have money available in the future without wasting resources.


I agree with this so much, why are things not done now to help save in he future allowing more to be spent on player salaries?

Hmm we didnt like the pitchers available this year, we have 30 mill in unspent approved payroll this year. Heres a novel idea, lets sign a guy to a massively front loaded contract or lets redo Mauers deal and take 5 mill off each year and front load it all into this season?

Lets be a little creative here.

#53 Kwak

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:38 PM

Why do we continue to read this blather about "can't build a team entirely through free agency"? No one has advocated that, nor has any team attempted it. But there have been some excellent teams that have used free agents very successfully--we watched the final four teams this past playoffs do just that.

This issue called blocking? Non-existent. Two-year contracts? To sign somebody the Twins won't want in three years is nonsense, considering the team is in the rebuild phase. Sign quality--players the Twins will want three plus year--or don't bother! Reclamation projects? What for?--welfare for baseball players? Are there still posters who want to follow a team (but seats!) for the (marginal talent) that was presented this past summer? It makes no sense. Raise the standards. C+ players should not be used as the standard if putting a winner on the field is the goal.

#54 goulik

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:18 PM

In all honesty, how can you think it's an ego thing? The guy literally prevented a fawning book to be written about him. I'm sure he believes in his staff to fix this since they've done it before and he was the only small payroll GM to keep his team successful while turning over the teams nucleus.

It's not like he took over a team with an obvious quick fix solution. The Twins couldn't have spent their way out of this mess.


I have met TR. He just stood in the stands like a fan watching spring training and didn't even say anything more than "no thanks" to the guy with the petition to fire the whole front office and all the coaches. He was humble and down to earth chatting with me and another guy about baseball and life in general. He was just another guy that likes baseball. Everyone has faults but Ego? No, that is not one of his problems.

#55 goulik

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:40 PM

As I have stated elsewhere, you want to bring in "winners" that will help the young guys learn to win and be used to winning at the MLB level. That is where shorter supplementary contracts pay off.

Also to remember is Doumit and Willingham will give us an additional 10 million to spend at the end of next year. (If not sooner) I say go big for Garza plus a couple more FA's and spend 40 on 3-4 guys that will make our club more complete next year, build winning character in the youth, and have us ready for 2015 or even buyers at trade deadline next year when Hicks, Rosario, Meyers, Sano, and Buxton all pan out as high as we all dream they will and are mashing the ball in the majors. (Dreaming big I know...)

#56 MichiganTwins

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:02 PM

I think the biggest part of your dream is Garza coming back.

#57 MichiganTwins

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:05 PM

Also, I am convinced that the Twins are going to trade for some pitching help. The FA market does not seem to be the best fit. Most of the FA do not want to go to a team trying to rebuild.

#58 Oxtung

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:19 AM

So, is it fair to say that you think every team should spend every dollar they have every year? In other words, Houston should go spend $70-80M this off season.


I don't follow Houston particularly closely and as such will not comment on what they should or should not be doing with their money.

Similarly I am not stating how the Twins should spend the money, just that they should be spending it. I understand that this is a business and a profit is a prerequisite but once a budget is made and accepted then the money earmarked to be spent should be. Cash is a finite resource and shouldn't be squandered. Is anyone clamoring for the Twins to forfeit their #5 draft pick next season because it won't send the Twins to the playoffs? Then why should the cash be sacrificed?

There are many ways to improve this team but forfeiting their money is not one of them.