Well if we are acting like it doesn't really matter, then hold your horses. We have the 2016 and 2017 off-seasons as well to try and add a nice piece. I'm not calling this a "go for it" year. I'm calling it a "go be freakin' competitive for the first time in 3 years" year. Adding two pitchers of good quality helps this team flat-out compete. I guess I am confused what you think we need to save all this money for? As the next two years go by, we are going to hopefully have some very good, young cheap players in a Twins uniform. Most of those players are not going to be starting pitchers. That is why it is completely fine to have a couple solid starters signed for the next 4+ years. I'm not sold on the idea that by 2017, Gibson, Thorpe, May, Meyer, Stewart, Gonsalves are going to be stud fixtures in our rotation. Are you?
Sorry, but I find this unrealistic and very shortsighted. There are few good options available for one year contracts at this time-especially in positions of need
(which I'll go ahead and define in this post as SP and SS-whereas C and 2B are unsettled and could use upgrades, and COF has questions beyond 2014). I'll go ahead and say that if you're looking for "superior to Nolasco", there are no players available on 1 year deals for 2014.
Which means that any signing will limit flexibility in signings for future years. Looking at the 2014 offseason (When the Twins have ~17m coming off the books between Correia, Doumit and Willingham, a young and minimum salaried core already in/shortly joining the bigs and the need to sell tickets without the ASG as an incentive), the following players are available (as of now. Any players with options have been redacted):
SP: Claytons Kershaw and Richard, Lester, Shields, Peavy, Scherzer, Bailey, Beckett, Josh Johnson
SS: Hardy, Asdrubal, Lowrie, HanRam
3B (if Sano can't cut it?): Sandoval
OF: Cuddyer, Torii, Aoki, Hammer, Rasmus
C: Russ Martin
I'm not stating the Twins would, or should, pursue any specific name on that list. I'm not saying that money not spent this year will increase the budget for 2015 and on. I am saying money not committed to 2015+ this year will be available for that purpose next year.
I'd much rather pursue Kershaw at the ridiculous sum he expects, or Bailey/Scherzer/Shields/Lester tier at 115/5 than Garza at the minimum 80/4 I expect him to get. I'd rather see the Twins be aggressive at getting one of the SS candidates and pick up a Peavy/Beckett type in addition than pay Garza that minimum 80/4.
And if you'll tell me that with the Payroll Ceiling and TV Money and absolutely accurate Forbes/Bloomberg numbers, the Twins can afford to sign Garza and one of these guys, I'll preemptively reply that while that's true, not signing Garza would allow for a premium arm and bat next season-when the contention window has clarified and team needs have become more evident.
The Twins made a nice splash with Nolasco (and finally quieted the "it can't happen because it hasn't happened yet" crowd when it comes to TR's spending)
, but with the number of teams looking for top of the rotation help this offseason and only Garza left fitting that category-I'd prefer not to hamstring the future free agency efforts by paying Garza whatever exorbitant sum he'll require. Even if it means 5 extra losses this season.