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2014 blueprint

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#1 Shane Wahl

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:59 PM

I will proceed in two parts. The first one is a realistic prediction for how the Twins might navigate in this offseason. The second is what I think I might do if I were actually the GM.

First scenario:

Trade Ryan Doumit to the Texas Rangers for RH SP Nick Martinez. Justification: unless the Rangers strike gold and land McCann, resign AJ, Soto, Murphy, and Cruz, and refrain from trading anyone else, it looks like a cheap DH/C/RF option with a potentially good enough bat might be something the Rangers need.

Nick Martinez ranks around 15-20 in the Rangers system and has a career 3.30 ERA in 327.1 minor league innings, compiling an 8.1/2.7 K/BB rate, reaching AA in 2013 (which is where he would start in 2014). The Twins are in need of some SP support between Gibson, Meyer, and May on one end, and Berrios, Sulbaran, Stewart, Thorpe, etc. on the other end. Martinez would join Baxendale and Duffey in that spot, and is probably better than both.


Sign RH SP Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $39 million deal. (13 a year)
Sign LH SP Chris Capuano to a 2 year, $15 million deal. (7.5 a year)

Starting rotation:

Kevin Correia
Phil Hughes
Chris Capuano
Kyle Gibson
Scott Diamond/Vance Worley

Bullpen:

Send Ryan Pressly to Rochester to get back to starting.

LR: Swarzak/Diamond/Worley
MR: Tonkin/Swarzak
MR: Thielbar
MR: Burton
SU: Duensing
SU: Fien
CL: Perkins

Lineup:

vs. RH
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, RF
Willingham, DH
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS (some Escobar action here against righties)

vs. LH
Hicks, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Willingham, DH
Plouffe, 3B
Pinto, C
Arcia, RF
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

Bench:

Herrmann, C/LF/RF
Parmelee, 1B/RF
Escobar, Util infield
Chris Colabello 1B/RF

(Deibinson Romero next option in AAA for bench role)

Sano should be up fairly quickly. May, Meyer, Rosario, and perhaps Buxton to follow by the All-Star break at the latest for the first two, and September for the second two).

Sano joins the team and Trevor Plouffe moves to platoon with Presley, and someone (Colabello, probably) gets optioned.

I am then looking to *unload* that bullpen as long as the replacements are doing well in AAA. I am thinking Burton, Fien, Swarzak, and Duensing flipped at the deadline or before. Achter, Watts, Oliveros, and Ibarra could be suitable replacements on the roster, with Tonkin (likely) moving to the setup role for Perkins.

Trading Doumit and adding those two free agents would make for a rather modest $76.5 million payroll.

* * *

The second scenario involves being more proactive, unloading some more payroll before adding much more back.


Trades:

1. Josh Willingham and Casey Fien to Baltimore for RHP Parker Bridwell and LHP Lex Rutledge. Justification: The Orioles are going to want one bat and to bolster their bullpen. They do it here for very cheap, especially since I would pay part of Willingham's salary if necessary.

Bridwell is young with great stuff. His numbers are very Trevor Mayesque at this point, but he is still figuring it out. He would start in A+ in 2014. Rutledge would start in A+ as well, and might be worth taking a look as a starter again. He was bad early in his career there, and was very good as a reliever in 2013, but he does have a good curveball to go with a decent fastball and that could mean for more experimentation this year, perhaps splitting time and get over 100 innings this year.

2. Kevin Correia and Jared Burton to San Francisco for LHP Ty Blach and RHP Keury Mella. Justification: The Giants want A: a solid starting pitcher, and B: a solid MR/SU man. For $8.75 million, they get both of those things here (or less, I would pay some salary to make this happen).

Blach is a LH starter who ranks around 10 or so on Giants' prospect lists. He would start at AA in 2014. Mella is very young and missed a lot of bats in rookie ball. He is a RH starter and would start in A- in 2014.

3. Sam Deduno and Anthony Swarzak to Philadelphia for LF/RF/1B Cameron Perkins and RHP Jeb Stefan. Justification: the Phillies pitching situation is a mess and here is a way for them to improve it for $1.5 or so million. Lannan and Kendrick are not very good, Cloyd needs more time in the minors, and they could try Swarzak out as a starter. Deduno and Swarzak would be 4-5 after Lee, Hamels, and Pettibone.

Perkins posted a .790 OPS in A+ in 2013. He's a RH bat with doubles power and plays corner OF and 1B. He would fill an organizational void in the OF in the middle of the system and would immediately be a better option than Danny Ortiz, Angel Morales, etc. moving forward. Stefan pitched fairly well in A-ball in 2013 and would start the system in A+ starting for the Miracle or developing into a setup man.


4. Ryan Doumit to the Texas Rangers for RHP Nick Martinez. Justification: see first scenario.

In all of these cases, the Twins should think about paying part of the 2014 salary to lure these teams to make these deals. Let's just say that salary contribution totals $8 million. The guys dealt with substantial contacts totals about $20, so this amounts to a saving of $12 million, dropping payroll to $47.5 million or so.

Try to sign: Masahiro Tanaka for a $55 million post and a 6 year, $60 million deal. FAIL (Yankees will win):

Sign Ervin Santana for a 5 year, $85 million deal.
Sign Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $39 million deal.
Sign Chris Capuano to a one year, $8 million deal (and hope for deadline trade this way)

With Santana, Hughes, and Capuano, this adds $38 million, meaning an $85.5 million payroll.

Rotation:

Santana
Hughes
Capuano
Gibson
Diamond/Worley

Bullpen:

Send Ryan Pressly to AAA to become a starter again.

LR: Diamond/Worley, or Hendriks, or Albers
MR: Watts
MR: Oliveros
MR: Thielbar
MR: Duensing
SU: Tonkin
CL: Perkins

Lineup:

vs. RH
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, DH (but with OF time)
Parmelee, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann, C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

vs. LH
Hicks, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Plouffe, RF
Pinto, C
Colabello/Arcia DH
Romero, 3B
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

Bench:

Herrmann, C/LF/RF
Colabello, 1B/RF
Escobar, Util INF
Romero, 3B/1B

I understand how this lineup looks, and I understand the animosity towards Parmelee and Plouffe, and the craziness that appears to be involving Colabello, Romero, Pinto, and Herrmann in such a meaningful way. Moving Plouffe to RF, however, makes room for Sano to play 3B when he arrives and to have both Sano and Plouffe in the lineup against lefties. Sano would replace either Colabello or Romero on the roster.

Rosario and Buxton would follow eventually. I would definitely give time for some Dozier at SS experimentation, but if Rosario is up by mid-season, some combo of 2B-LF, RF, and DH for the remainder of 2014 isn't going to hurt. And by the end of the season this might mean a Rosario-Buxton-Hicks OF.

Willingham and Doumit have zero future for the Twins, so I see no reason bothering with them at all this year. Maybe the Plouffes and Parmelees don't have a future either, but this is a maybe . . . and in a rebuild, I will take maybes over definite no-future types. The Mauer-Buxton-Sano core needs its players around it.

By season's end, I would expect a rotation of Santana, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, and May. The Twins would end 2014 with five starting pitchers who have been top 100 prospects.

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:28 PM

It's not a bad idea. I think Willingham's value will be higher at the deadline. I know next to nothing about the minor leaguers you're targeting but they seem the "type" of guys we should go after, if not the exact ones (Martinez for example, isn't on Mayo's top 20 Rangers list and Sickels ranks him #20 as a possible bullpen arm).

I don't think SF makes that trade and Deduno and Swarzak have no trade value.

I don't like Capuno at all. A one year deal is ok I guess but I think he's done. Mauer is going to be the catcher most of the time so we have to figure out a firstbaseman unless we want to platoon Mauer and Pinto between the two (I don't think Pinto's bat will be good enough there). Corey Hart might be interesting one year stop gap. Could have some decent RH pop for a midseason trade and then move Plouffe across the infield when Sano comes up? Not sure. I have no faith left in Parmelee. A bit more in Plouffe but not a lot more.

#3 Reider

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:21 PM

So you think it's realistic that TR will sign two FA pitchers that cost more than 4 or 5 $million/year? That's awesome. After penny pinching on Pelfrey and Correia last year when there were other options out there, I really hope he opens the wallet a bit more this year.

I won't mind if Doumit and/or Willingham are traded away. I have lost confidence in Parmelee. He had a good September, what, three years ago? And hasn't really found any consistency since. Plouffe hit for some power two years ago, so I'm willing to give him another year. I'm also really hoping to see what Pinto can do next year. I'd give him a chance for sure.

I'd keep Deduno and Fien around next year. As for Burton, I really hope he improves from last year.

Realistically, I wouldn't trade Deduno away if it meant being left with 3 pitchers who weren't good enough last year (Gibson, Diamond, Worely) to hopefully fill in the last two spots. Heck, for the short time Albers was up, he was at least able to have a few solid performances. That said, I really hope Diamond has a bounce back year. That would be huge for the Twins, especially if they sign a couple of solid FA pitchers.

Edited by Reider, 29 October 2013 - 03:35 PM.


#4 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

I like Gunnarthor's idea of bringing in Hart, he seems like he could be a good fit with this club. He can play a solid first base, provide some pop, and can play a corner outfield spot to keep his bat in the line up when Mauer needs time at 1B. Also a nice DH from time to time if Doumit is still around.
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#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:36 PM

Both are fairly nice ideas, though I have a few quibbles.

I don't think it's wise to platoon Hicks at this point. I really think he belongs in AAA playing every day. I'd be fine letting Presley have a shot in MLB at the 1% chance that he suddenly clicks and can be an asset. Platooning really doesn't make sense. Given where this team is, I don't think they can afford to give up quickly on guys who could potentially be solid pieces.

I would thrilled if Doumit or Willingham netted any sort of prospect. I just don't see it. I like the idea of packaging them with some relievers, as I do think there's a glut in the pen and some of these guys could have some value, but I also wonder if the relievers would fetch more on their own while rolling the dice this spring that Doumit and Willingham bounce back... who knows. If Ryan could get Martinez for Doumit, I think most of Twins land would be thrilled.

#6 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:55 PM

I like the Hart idea - I'm also 100% behind being rid of Willingham and Doumit. Doumit for sure needs to go. He's becoming the new Punto - only the bizarro/goatee version that can hit a little but fields like a tee-baller. I'm done with having him on the roster.

#7 Physics Guy

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for putting yourself out there, Shane. Overall, I think you have some good ideas. I know you have been a big proponent for dumping most of our veterans. I like your ideas, but just don't think most of your trade proposals would be taken by the other teams. Relievers are pretty fungible and Doumit and Willingham's stock are way down. I think you have the right idea regarding free-agent pitchers, although 5 years of Santana scares me a bit. Every couple of years he throws out a clunker. Unfortunately, the Twins will have to go 4 or 5 years to get somebody who is an upgrade. I agree that Plouffe and Parmelee should be given another opportunity. While Plouffe didn't take the next step last year, I am still intrigued by his power. We need to find out if Parmelee is capable of being a player. I'm starting to get the feeling that both he and Colabello are AAAA players.

#8 Shane Wahl

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:42 PM

I know that paying some salary is not realistic for this team to do, but I would do it and some of those teams might be interested. I tried to go top end of the realistic prospects (these guys, aside from Blach who is probably 250 or so overall, are 400-600 overall).

And all but one of them is either A+ or AA.

The alternative to not going big is to go with either Kazmir or Haren with Hughes. And probably for quite similar years and money. That's acceptable to me too.

There's little doubt in my mind that the Twins will get one of those guys, and Hughes makes the most sense.

Capuano is about an average #4 starter. He's my Correia replacement, but with more strikeout capability. In the first scenario, the two years is just based on the idea that I think it is fairly silly for the Twins to sign a guy for one year at all if he is one of two FA pickups . . . because they are just in the same mess again next year. If the Twins sign three FA starters, then Capuano at one year and would be either disposable (from the rotation) or if good, tradeable at the deadline or before. He also goes back and forth between being above average and below average and in 2013 he was below average . . . In many ways he is an asset that isn't too expensive and could be deadline fodder.

With regard to Ervin, the vast majority of pitchers are going to have one bad year out of five, and many will have two bad years out of five. Only real aces escape one bad year out of five.

#9 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:57 PM

The general direction is great. Get rid of the guys who are not going to contribute in the next phase. Unfortunately, most of these guys value is very low right now. Willingham and Doumit are more likely to be moved at the deadline. Perkins ans a primary piece, potentially w/others is actually there best bet to yield a quality player or prospect IMO.

I would prefer Kazmir on a 3 year deal. He might end up being just as good and I don't like the idea of a 34-35 y/o Santana at 18M/yr in 2017-18. Hopefully, by then, out propects will make us contenders again. I would rather Kazmir and the $18M to spend in 2017.

I would spend the difference on a corner OFer or add a little and sign Morales or Loney if they decide to catch Mauer.

Edited by Major Leauge Ready, 29 October 2013 - 10:00 PM.


#10 Blackjack

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 07:10 AM

I think the Twins learned their lesson with Hicks, no matter how good he plays in spring training on opening day he'll be in AAA and will have to earn his way back. They picked up Presley for a reason.

I heartily agree with your idea of jettisoning Doumit and Willingham, but not until the trade deadline. Right now their value is at its low, if they could get hot, they might be worth more by then.

#11 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

I understand that the value might increase for those two (more than likely, but I still wouldn't actually bet on it), but in the meantime they are clogging the roster as non-contributors post-deadline. Also, that money saved now could be . . . nevermind.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:15 AM

I agree with Shane. Use the money elsewhere.
Lighten up Francis....

#13 Brandon

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

Campuano is someone I forgot about. You can add him to the Pelfry, Yoon and Campuano types. I can see the Twins signing 2 of them as they will not be expensive. I don't see any big name pitchers coming here because we are in too much of a transition here. Most elite pitchers know we have 3 OF prospects, 3B, C that we are breaking into the big leagues over the next 2 years. Who wants to wait 2 seasons to be stable on the Diamond again. Hughes won't be signed unless the contract is a value for the team so 3/39 is out of the Question. A 1 year 8 million maybe. Hughes did have an awful year last year. we could add an option year or go higher for the 1 year. Hughes may have the talent but hasn't shown or earned it so if the bidding for him goes to 3/39 it won't be us getting him. Hart would be a great pickup for us if we do not resign Morneau. I would be really happy if the Twins would sign one of Ubaldo or Santana to go with above pitchers to fill out the rotation, but I don't see the Twins doing that unless it gets mandated from ownership to overpay for one of these guys for ticket sales. Also I forgot about Romero. He does deserve a chance to come up and play a little bit. I was thinking Punto who could play some SS and 3rd but Romero can handle 3rd defensively if Plouffe is not improving there. Shane has some real good ideas. Though there is no way the Twins will go extreme. Plus Willingham could rebound and sign a 2 year extension to DH...it could happen for the right price.

#14 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:44 AM

The basic blueprint

Sign a good pitcher - Tanaka or Jimenez but I could settle for a Hughes type

Send Doumit packing for anything (or basically nothing if necessary) - Joe says he wants to catch so Doumit is expendable with Pinto as a half time backup/starter

Keep Willy until deadline as a middle of the order bat to take pressure off of Arcia and Sano. And he could have a nice season

Trade Perkins IF there is a top prospect available for him. At a minimum top 50ish regardless of position.

Sign a FA OF'er - this doesn't seem like a good choice but this is where the talent is this offseason. If you are going to spend money then go after somebody good. And even though the farm system is stacked with hitters the MLB team sucks at hitting and prospects bust all the time.

Start Arcia and Hicks in AAA because they have some issues at the plate that need some work. Bring them up in June/July if they look good.

#15 Steve Penz

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

Thanks Shane. Solid work. One part I really enjoy about your plan is the flexibility in the lineup. I love that you list a RHP/LHP-pitcher approach that includes a players place in batting order and whether or not they play that day. One of my hopes for next year and beyond is that our club embraces platooning. I agree with the FO that its not the ideal but if that gets the best possible production out of our current team then it must be. MUST.

#16 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Shane. Solid work. One part I really enjoy about your plan is the flexibility in the lineup. I love that you list a RHP/LHP-pitcher approach that includes a players place in batting order and whether or not they play that day. One of my hopes for next year and beyond is that our club embraces platooning. I agree with the FO that its not the ideal but if that gets the best possible production out of our current team then it must be. MUST.


I don't have a problem with taking advantage of the RH/LH but this team needs some better hitters than Shane's projected lineup. That team is closer to 50 wins than 70 wins imo.

For example it's inevitable that some of these guys will be starters next year but this simply cannot be the #4-9 hitters on opening day. Please let there be more talent on the roster than this next season.

Parmelee, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann, C
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS


#17 ScottyB

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:10 AM

Shane, in your first scenario I don't see Deduno anywhere (either on the staff or as trade bait). I think Ryan is on record as saying that he feels Deduno has earned a chance to be back in the rotation, soI think Deduno is likely to be in the rotation, assuming a clean bill of health.

#18 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:22 AM

Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.

#19 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.


Sign DeRosa.

#20 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:46 AM

Shane, in your first scenario I don't see Deduno anywhere (either on the staff or as trade bait). I think Ryan is on record as saying that he feels Deduno has earned a chance to be back in the rotation, soI think Deduno is likely to be in the rotation, assuming a clean bill of health.


Oops. That is a fair point and an omission--I came up with the second scenario first and then didn't make the correction in the first one. Man, Deduno makes me think about trading Correia more and more. But, in this case, Deduno would be the fifth starter. I don't know what to do with Diamond and Worley. Worley isn't good, but good lord he was just terrible last year.

#21 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

Sign Ubaldo, Sign Hughes. Sign Johan.

Sign Corey Hart. Trade for A-Rod.


Haha. I think the Yankees would take a letter saying "congratulations, you got rid of A-Rod" and they would pay the salary.

#22 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:50 AM

Ultimately, a platoon with Parmelee and Plouffe shouldn't be out of the question. I guess that would mean Hicks in left after Buxton arrives. That's not terrible given the range and a big left field.

I am still not totally convinced that Parmelee doesn't have Lyle Overbay type potential.

#23 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:52 AM

Oops. That is a fair point and an omission--I came up with the second scenario first and then didn't make the correction in the first one. Man, Deduno makes me think about trading Correia more and more. But, in this case, Deduno would be the fifth starter. I don't know what to do with Diamond and Worley. Worley isn't good, but good lord he was just terrible last year.


I think the last couple of seasons have made it brutally clear that you cannot have too many solid but unspectacular arms.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

And this is weird for me to say such things about Parmelee given that I said last year and the year before that he was a bench player on a good team. This isn't a good team though.

Ultimately:

Hicks, RF
Mauer, 1B (come on)
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Arcia, DH
Dozier, 2B
Rosario, LF primarily (for whatever time he spends with the Twins in 2014)
Pinto, C
Florimon, SS

Is pretty exciting even if there are going to be growing pains. I would rather get some of those growing pains out in 2014 and not wait for 2015.

#25 kab21

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 09:56 AM

Ultimately, a platoon with Parmelee and Plouffe shouldn't be out of the question. I guess that would mean Hicks in left after Buxton arrives. That's not terrible given the range and a big left field.

I am still not totally convinced that Parmelee doesn't have Lyle Overbay type potential.


I don't think people have much of a problem with that. The problem is that there are six marginal hitters in the lineup. In addition to that two of the three good hitters (dozier and Arcia) could slump. It could be the worst lineup in baseball.

#26 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:11 AM

I like it--these are the types of moves the Twins should be making. I don't know that I'd trade Willingham in the offseason--his value's so low right now, I'd rather gamble on a bounceback--but I certainly won't be upset if that sort of wheeling and dealing happens this offseason.

In fact, my biggest criticism is that you have Hicks starting the year for the Twins. I'd give him some time to figure it out in AAA before throwing him into the big league spotlight again, but you can just slide Presley over to CF and use Arcia/Willingham/Parmelee in the corners.

So you think it's realistic that TR will sign two FA pitchers that cost more than 4 or 5 $million/year? That's awesome. After penny pinching on Pelfrey and Correia last year when there were other options out there, I really hope he opens the wallet a bit more this year.

With Morneau ($14M) off the books, I would hope so. Plus Blackburn ($5.5M), Carroll ($3.75M), and the aforementioned Pelfrey ($4M).

#27 Steve Penz

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

And this is weird for me to say such things about Parmelee given that I said last year and the year before that he was a bench player on a good team. This isn't a good team though.

Ultimately:

Hicks, RF
Mauer, 1B (come on)
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Arcia, DH
Dozier, 2B
Rosario, LF primarily (for whatever time he spends with the Twins in 2014)
Pinto, C
Florimon, SS

Is pretty exciting even if there are going to be growing pains. I would rather get some of those growing pains out in 2014 and not wait for 2015.


Agreed! That outfield will catch everything and if they struggle at least we are watching those with a future try to figure it out vs older guys who will not be around for long. Pinto, Buxton, Hicks, Arcia, Sano, and Rosario have to play.

#28 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:25 AM

If Hicks makes the 25 man to begin the year, I quit. If he's promoted from AAA with anything less than a .700 OPS, I quit.
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#29 Thrylos

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:59 AM

How many games will these teams win; enough to challenge Detroit for the division or get a wild-card spot? Will they move deep into the post-season?

if the answer to the first one is no, I'd rather have them look for 2015 and beyond. Capuano will be 36 years old. He is on the decline phase. Even if the Twins decide (*) to not complete in 2014, they can sign younger FAs (like Hughes) who will be part of a potential future competitive team. A Capuano signing will be lots like the Correia signing.


(*) Decide because the Twins have the $ to spend and be competitive:
2013 Revenue: $215 million; 2014 broadcasting $: $35 million = $250 million
(promised) 52% of that is $130 million. Actual projected as is spend = $60 million (with arbitration awards).

Net left to spend: $70 Million.

$70 million plus most of this pen, plus Mauer, Arcia, Dozier and a few others as a core (and I don't even mind Willingham or Plouffe as platoon DH) can build a champion.

But are the Twins willing to do it? Does this front office actually have a. the guts and b. the talent to do it?

Not sure there...
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#30 nicksaviking

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:25 PM

Good stuff, but I have a feeling that after last season Nick Martinez is going to find himself higher than 15-20 in the Rangers organization which will probably price him out of Doumit's value.