Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
The same great Twins Daily coverage, now for the Vikings.

The Store


Photo

Article: These Ain't Your Old Twins

  • Please log in to reply
64 replies to this topic

#1 Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 2,062 posts

Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:17 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-Your-Old-Twins

#2 tjsyam921

tjsyam921

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 129 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:28 AM

I can't help but wonder how different it would be had the twins traded Santana for Hughes. Would Hughes have been a better pitcher for the twins? Would he even be a twin in 2014 as he would still be a free agent?

#3 JB_Iowa

JB_Iowa

    Cynical Oldie

  • Members
  • 3,711 posts
  • LocationNorthwest Iowa

Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:43 AM

I am incredibly grateful that, thus far, this off-season has been significantly different than last. I really felt like they took fans for granted last year but that they seemingly took notice of decreasing attendance and television viewership to figure out that they had to take some risks and spend some money to try to put a better product on the field while waiting for some of the prospects to mature.

We don't know if the moves will work out .... but even if they don't, I hope it doesn't discourage the team from continuing to take some calculated risks in the free agent market in the future. And I hope we still see another move or two in the next few weeks.

#4 stupidloser55

stupidloser55

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

This off-season has gone about as well as you could hope given their history. I'd love to see Kazmir and Pierzynski under the tree before Christmas too.

#5 Shane Wahl

Shane Wahl

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,073 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

Good article.

I think it is clear that the Twins are getting their stats in order. I refuse to read the comments at the ST, but I can't imagine the general average fan being at all excited about Hughes given the W/L an ERA. Same to a lesser extent about Nolasco. There are some out there who think these moves are simply about "fan pressure" but that is not the case given that most fans are going to not see the potential in these moves.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:59 AM

but I can't imagine the general average fan being at all excited about Hughes given the W/L an ERA.


I read Keith Law's article on the move and read a few of the comments.

The derp is strong with those commenters.

#7 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 5,022 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

Even if fans don't see the upside, they should at least appreciate the increase in effort.

#8 Jim H

Jim H

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 439 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:20 PM

I guess if you need to believe this is some new and improved Terry Ryan, nobody can stop you. To me, this is the way he has always done things. I expect they had scouted Nolasco for years, and had probably identified him has a guy who was "better than his numbers". To me, Nolasco is a better version of Correia. He has been durable, pitched reasonably well for mostly poor teams, and might benefit from better team defense than what he got in Florida. He is past his so-called prime, just like Correia, but his durability suggests that he should continue to pitch as he has for at least a couple of more seasons. I don't see a whole lot of upside here, but there is no question he could,throw a pretty darn good year out there. Just like Correia, Ryan probably gave him an extra year he didn't really want to give, but probably couldn't of signed him without it.

I expect Ryan and his staff identified Nolasco as a better target then E. Santana or anybody else who is likely to land a bigger contract, because they feel Nolasco is more likely to pitch to his previous performance levels, has some small chance of being better than that, and will be more likely to still be worth something at the end of his contract.

The only difference from what Ryan is doing now to what he did in the past, is the money he has to spend. I don't think his approach as changed at all.

Edited by Jim H, 02 December 2013 - 07:23 PM.


#9 alphanumeric

alphanumeric

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:46 PM

I don't know what this author is talking about. Hughes has not only exceeded 150 innings twice, he's exceeded 175 IP twice. Check your stats better.

#10 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:37 PM

Good article.

I think it is clear that the Twins are getting their stats in order. I refuse to read the comments at the ST, but I can't imagine the general average fan being at all excited about Hughes given the W/L an ERA. Same to a lesser extent about Nolasco. There are some out there who think these moves are simply about "fan pressure" but that is not the case given that most fans are going to not see the potential in these moves.


You may be right, or maybe the Twins' scouts just really like Nolasco and Hughes. I'd like to think it's both, but I have no way of knowing.

What I believe is that these two pitchers are good bets, in fact, for my money, they're better bets than some of the guys who some people are looking at as being in the "top tier" of FA pitchers.

Given a couple of the comments left over at Knuckleballs following my post there about Nolasco & Hughes, I felt compelled to respond in the comments section there and I'll restate that comment here.

One year ago, Ubaldo Jimenez was coming off a 9-17 season (career high in losses) and a 5.40 ERA. Ervin Santana was 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA the same year. You’d have been hard pressed to find a Twins fan who wouldn’t have dogged the Twins mercilessly if they had added either pitcher last off-season. This year, those two guys are considered among the top tier of starting pitchers on the market. You think Cleveland and KC wouldn’t love to have the two of them locked up for a couple more years right now?

People bitch about the Twins “selling low and buying high” on players. They would almost certainly be “buying high” if they went out and signed Jimenez, Santana and even Garza or Tanaka this year.

Nolasco didn’t break the bank and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if his performance over the term of his contract with the Twins exceeds that of whoever gets stuck paying more money for Jimenez and Santana, certainly, and most likely Garza and Tanaka, as well. Hughes had a bad 2013 (just as Santana had in 2012), but one year earlier, he won 16 games and threw to a 4.23 ERA in that Yankee Stadium band box, totaling 0ver 190 innings of work.

If you want high-upside value, you don’t pay premium dollars for guys who are coming off their BEST years as they hit free agency, you identify guys who you think might be positioned to perform BETTER than they did in their walk year.

If Nolasco and Hughes stay healthy, I think Twins fans will be really glad they’re both going to be returning in 2015-2016. And with the relatively affordable contracts, the Twins will still have enough payroll room to add even more (and perhaps better) pitching help next off-season when adding a true impact player could vault them in to legitimate contention.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#11 johnnydakota

johnnydakota

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,498 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:50 PM

The Twins have enough room to add even more(and perhaps better)pitching help NEXT YEAR?
We are still under last years opening payroll amount , and we havent even used 70% of this years money.

#12 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

The Twins have enough room to add even more(and perhaps better)pitching help NEXT YEAR?
We are still under last years opening payroll amount , and we havent even used 70% of this years money.


I don't disagree that there's still payroll room now. That said, I'm simply not all that in love with a lot of the remaining FA pitchers this year. I liked Kazmir's potential, but he's gone now. I think Arroyo's a significant overpay risk, but for the right price, he'd be fine. A trade for someone that has a contract his team wants to get rid of might be the best shot at further improvements to the rotation. I'm good with spending some money on a catcher.

I just don't think you spend excessive money for someone you really don't think will be worth it and that's how I feel about most of the guys at the top of the FA list right now. I'd make sure I've got room to add significant payroll at mid-season or, more importantly, next off-season.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#13 Riverbrian

Riverbrian

    Goofy Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 9,383 posts
  • LocationGrand Forks

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:37 PM

You may be right, or maybe the Twins' scouts just really like Nolasco and Hughes. I'd like to think it's both, but I have no way of knowing.

What I believe is that these two pitchers are good bets, in fact, for my money, they're better bets than some of the guys who some people are looking at as being in the "top tier" of FA pitchers.

Given a couple of the comments left over at Knuckleballs following my post there about Nolasco & Hughes, I felt compelled to respond in the comments section there and I'll restate that comment here.

One year ago, Ubaldo Jimenez was coming off a 9-17 season (career high in losses) and a 5.40 ERA. Ervin Santana was 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA the same year. You’d have been hard pressed to find a Twins fan who wouldn’t have dogged the Twins mercilessly if they had added either pitcher last off-season. This year, those two guys are considered among the top tier of starting pitchers on the market. You think Cleveland and KC wouldn’t love to have the two of them locked up for a couple more years right now?

People bitch about the Twins “selling low and buying high” on players. They would almost certainly be “buying high” if they went out and signed Jimenez, Santana and even Garza or Tanaka this year.

Nolasco didn’t break the bank and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if his performance over the term of his contract with the Twins exceeds that of whoever gets stuck paying more money for Jimenez and Santana, certainly, and most likely Garza and Tanaka, as well. Hughes had a bad 2013 (just as Santana had in 2012), but one year earlier, he won 16 games and threw to a 4.23 ERA in that Yankee Stadium band box, totaling 0ver 190 innings of work.

If you want high-upside value, you don’t pay premium dollars for guys who are coming off their BEST years as they hit free agency, you identify guys who you think might be positioned to perform BETTER than they did in their walk year.

If Nolasco and Hughes stay healthy, I think Twins fans will be really glad they’re both going to be returning in 2015-2016. And with the relatively affordable contracts, the Twins will still have enough payroll room to add even more (and perhaps better) pitching help next off-season when adding a true impact player could vault them in to legitimate contention.


Well said...

Warren Buffett says that you should "buy when there is blood in the streets".

Or was it Jim Morrison who said that?
A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

#14 Shane Wahl

Shane Wahl

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,073 posts

Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:43 PM

Well said...

Warren Buffett says that you should "buy when there is blood in the streets".

Or was it Jim Morrison who said that?


Haha! JM was "blood in the streets in the town of . . . "

#15 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 07:25 AM

You may be right, or maybe the Twins' scouts just really like Nolasco and Hughes. I'd like to think it's both, but I have no way of knowing.

What I believe is that these two pitchers are good bets, in fact, for my money, they're better bets than some of the guys who some people are looking at as being in the "top tier" of FA pitchers.

Given a couple of the comments left over at Knuckleballs following my post there about Nolasco & Hughes, I felt compelled to respond in the comments section there and I'll restate that comment here.

One year ago, Ubaldo Jimenez was coming off a 9-17 season (career high in losses) and a 5.40 ERA. Ervin Santana was 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA the same year. You’d have been hard pressed to find a Twins fan who wouldn’t have dogged the Twins mercilessly if they had added either pitcher last off-season. This year, those two guys are considered among the top tier of starting pitchers on the market. You think Cleveland and KC wouldn’t love to have the two of them locked up for a couple more years right now?

People bitch about the Twins “selling low and buying high” on players. They would almost certainly be “buying high” if they went out and signed Jimenez, Santana and even Garza or Tanaka this year.

Nolasco didn’t break the bank and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if his performance over the term of his contract with the Twins exceeds that of whoever gets stuck paying more money for Jimenez and Santana, certainly, and most likely Garza and Tanaka, as well. Hughes had a bad 2013 (just as Santana had in 2012), but one year earlier, he won 16 games and threw to a 4.23 ERA in that Yankee Stadium band box, totaling 0ver 190 innings of work.

If you want high-upside value, you don’t pay premium dollars for guys who are coming off their BEST years as they hit free agency, you identify guys who you think might be positioned to perform BETTER than they did in their walk year.

If Nolasco and Hughes stay healthy, I think Twins fans will be really glad they’re both going to be returning in 2015-2016. And with the relatively affordable contracts, the Twins will still have enough payroll room to add even more (and perhaps better) pitching help next off-season when adding a true impact player could vault them in to legitimate contention.


Bang-up post, Jim. You outlined exactly why I'm lauding the acquisitions of Hughes and Nolasco while I would have groaned had the Twins signed Santana. Garza is somewhere in the middle.

#16 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:07 AM

Bang-up post, Jim. You outlined exactly why I'm lauding the acquisitions of Hughes and Nolasco while I would have groaned had the Twins signed Santana. Garza is somewhere in the middle.


I agree on Garza. With him, what I'd be concerned about wouldn't be so much the annual pay, but the years he may be able to command right now. Nolasco's deal is on the outer edges (or past them) of what I feel comfortable giving any pitcher in terms of years, but at least the money involved with him is far less than it's likely to be with Garza.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#17 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:37 AM

I agree on Garza. With him, what I'd be concerned about wouldn't be so much the annual pay, but the years he may be able to command right now. Nolasco's deal is on the outer edges (or past them) of what I feel comfortable giving any pitcher in terms of years, but at least the money involved with him is far less than it's likely to be with Garza.


Yeah. It's easier to swallow four years if the annual pay is around $12m.

But when you up that annual salary to ~$16-17m and add a fifth year, it gets a lot harder to justify the contract for a pitcher of Garza's ability and age.

#18 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:41 AM

Yeah. It's easier to swallow four years if the annual pay is around $12m.

But when you up that annual salary to ~$16-17m and add a fifth year, it gets a lot harder to justify the contract for a pitcher of Garza's ability and age.


Then again, it's not my money, so why should I care if the Twins want to spend it?

The only thing that should concern us about a big, long-term, contract to Garza would be the possibility that it would end up preventing the Twins from having that money 4-6 years down the road to spend on something else/better if Garza does tank before the contract is up.

It's pretty hard for me to imagine that becoming a problem during the next half dozen years. The Twins won't need to pay any new internal players obscene money until Sano and Buxton at least get in to arbitration years or closer to free agency and by that time, Mauer's contract will be about to come off the books.

That being the case, one could argue that if the Twins were ever going to be in a place where they can afford to take a chance on "bad" 5-6 year contracts, now is that time.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#19 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:49 AM

The only thing that should concern us about a big, long-term, contract to Garza would be the possibility that it would end up preventing the Twins from having that money 4-6 years down the road to spend on something else/better if Garza does tank before the contract is up.

It's pretty hard for me to imagine that becoming a problem during the next half dozen years. The Twins won't need to pay any new internal players obscene money until Sano and Buxton at least get in to arbitration years or closer to free agency and by that time, Mauer's contract will be about to come off the books.


That's my primary concern. Not all roster issues need to be taken care of in one offseason.

Say the Twins sign Nolasco and Garza and Buxton, Arcia, Sano, et al don't really come into their own until 2016/2017 and at that point, both Garza and Nolasco are either declining or flat-out awful and injured.

So you're looking at the core of a team who is young, cheap, and very good but you can't really make a push for a ring because you have $50m committed to three mid-30s players in Mauer, Nolasco, and Garza... Some or all of which might be bad, injured, or both in 2017.

To me, that's just not smart baseball management. There are good free agents available every offseason. There's no reason to go out and commit all your long-term money when the core players aren't ready to compete.

Keep some flexibility in your pocket for when you see an opening to not only get to the playoffs, but win.

Sign guys like Nolasco and Hughes this offeason. Next offseason, check in again and see where the franchise stands. React accordingly. Continue to do this until you know what you really have and what you really need to win it all.

I want the Twins to be good for 5+ years, not 2-3.

#20 Jim Crikket

Jim Crikket

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,134 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

I don't disagree with you at all, Brock. You simply don't know for sure what your needs will be next year or the year after that, so you need payroll flexibility.

My point was just that, if you look at the old "52% of revenues for payroll" model, it's hard for me to see why the Twins signing a guy like Garza now would necessarily keep them from still having that flexibility going forward. Of course, given the past couple of years' experience, with payroll running closer to 35% of revenues than 52%, there's every reason to question whether the Twins would see things the same way.

I think it's a moot point anyway. The only way the Twins would sign Garza at this point is if they feel they really NEED him. I can't imagine they feel that way.
[COLOR=#0000cd]I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at[/COLOR][COLOR=#800000] Knuckleballsblog.com[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd] while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for [/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd][COLOR=#800000]MetroSportsReport.com[/COLOR][/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd].[/COLOR] [COLOR=#0000cd]
[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#b22222]~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~[/COLOR]

#21 thetank

thetank

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 204 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:36 AM

Twins need to improve to keep attendance from dropping. Say it drops below 2 million which is 700,000 less than 2013 that would mean what $30 million less in revenues?

#22 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

The only thing that should concern us about a big, long-term, contract to Garza would be the possibility that it would end up preventing the Twins from having that money 4-6 years down the road to spend on something else/better if Garza does tank before the contract is up.

Outside of Cano, I don't think any FA contract this offseason would have a significant impact on the Twins payroll in 4-6 years. They have so few commitments now, and their top prospects haven't even hit MLB yet. 4 years is the absolute earliest any of them will get more than peanuts through arb.

I mean, what's the high end expected contract for Garza (or Santana)? 5/80? That's basically Nolasco + Hughes, and as others have mentioned, those two deals have barely dented our budget.

Not saying I recommend Garza etc., but the Twins absolutely should NOT be holding back on FA they like due to money concerns like this.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:01 AM

Outside of Cano, I don't think any FA contract this offseason would have a significant impact on the Twins payroll in 4-6 years. They have so few commitments now, and their top prospects haven't even hit MLB yet. 4 years is the absolute earliest any of them will get more than peanuts through arb.

I mean, what's the high end expected contract for Garza (or Santana)? 5/80? That's basically Nolasco + Hughes, and as others have mentioned, those two deals have barely dented our budget.

Not saying I recommend Garza etc., but the Twins absolutely should NOT be holding back on FA they like due to money concerns like this.


What happens if they need a 30 year old version of Garza in 2016 but have already committed $16m to a 33 year old version of that player?

Good free agents are available every offseason. There's no reason to stack the deck with 30 year olds in 2013, players that will be 33-34 year olds in 2016 when the bulk of the Twins' young players should be coming into their own.

I think too many fans have knee-jerk reactions to signings and don't stop to think of the repercussions of fielding an 85 win team in the here and now instead of considering the potential to have $20m on hand in 2-4 years to push the team into 100 win territory as the farm matures into a solid MLB core.

#24 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:06 AM

Yeah. It's easier to swallow four years if the annual pay is around $12m.

But when you up that annual salary to ~$16-17m and add a fifth year, it gets a lot harder to justify the contract for a pitcher of Garza's ability and age.

Since becoming a full-time starter, Garza is a 110 ERA+ pitcher. Nolasco is at 95 -- almost exactly average for a SP. And actually, since 2009 (last 5 seasons), Garza is 108, Nolasco 90 which is below average (Nolasco's best year by far was his first year as full-time starter). Depending on where you draw the line, Ervin Santana is in the 100-105 ERA+ range too.

Another factor is obviously durability, and Garza has missed time the last two years. Ervin Santana would seem to take the cake here -- he has multiple seasons of being a 220 IP workhorse, something no other FA pitcher offers.

Nolasco has been something like a 195 IP, 90 ERA+ guy. If you think that's absolutely worth 4/48, what value do you put on 200 IP, 105 ERA+ (Santana's rough average)? Or 175 IP, 110 ERA+ (Garza's average)?

#25 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:16 AM

Since becoming a full-time starter, Garza is a 110 ERA+ pitcher. Nolasco is at 95 -- almost exactly average for a SP. And actually, since 2009 (last 5 seasons), Garza is 108, Nolasco 90 which is below average (Nolasco's best year by far was his first year as full-time starter). Depending on where you draw the line, Ervin Santana is in the 100-105 ERA+ range too.

Another factor is obviously durability, and Garza has missed time the last two years. Ervin Santana would seem to take the cake here -- he has multiple seasons of being a 220 IP workhorse, something no other FA pitcher offers.

Nolasco has been something like a 195 IP, 90 ERA+ guy. If you think that's absolutely worth 4/48, what value do you put on 200 IP, 105 ERA+ (Santana's rough average)? Or 175 IP, 110 ERA+ (Garza's average)?


It's mostly the fifth year, not the money. And there is some hope that Nolasco has spent a good portion of his career underperforming and that he has a little more upside than he has shown in most years. It's a gamble, for sure... But I think it's a pretty decent gamble.

Historically speaking, five year contracts to 30 year old pitchers have not gone well for the signing team. I have no reason to think Matt Garza is any different.

I'd view this very differently if the Twins were an 85 win team right now and age 31 & 32 Matt Garza can push them over 90 wins. At that point, you have to be willing to eat that fourth and fifth year to compete right now.

#26 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:20 AM

What happens if they need a 30 year old version of Garza in 2016 but have already committed $16m to a 33 year old version of that player?


Even signing Garza now doesn't push them to 100% of their budget, does it? Not saying I recommend it, but I don't think we're really that close to that figure yet. Certainly not close enough to pass on a player you otherwise like if they are available. There's no guarantee a better 30 year old will be available in 2016.

Also, if you're talking AFTER 2016 (when Garza will turn 33), by all estimates he would only have something like 2/32 left on his deal at that point. Even if his arm fell off and you had to eat the whole thing, 2/32 doesn't justify passing on a good pitcher you think could legitimately push you to 100 wins or a title.

And in most scenarios, even if Garza isn't that pitcher anymore in 2017, he still keeps some value. Maybe he replaces your Correia type making $5 mil at the back of the rotation -- now his excess salary is more like 2/22. Or he replaces a Guerrier type pitcher in your bullpen who's making $3 mil. Or he's traded somewhere with a little bit of cash.

#27 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:30 AM

[quote name='spycake']Even signing Garza now doesn't push them to 100% of their budget, does it? Not saying I recommend it, but I don't think we're really that close to that figure yet. Certainly not close enough to pass on a player you otherwise like if they are available. There's no guarantee a better 30 year old will be available in 2016.[/QUOTE]

I can pretty much guarantee that a superior pitcher to 33-34 year old Matt Garza will be available in 2016. Matt Garza is a good pitcher but he's nothing special, really.

[quote name='spycake']Also, if you're talking AFTER 2016 (when Garza will turn 33), by all estimates he would only have something like 2/32 left on his deal at that point. Even if his arm fell off and you had to eat the whole thing, 2/32 doesn't justify passing on a good pitcher you think could legitimately push you to 100 wins or a title.[/QUOTE]

The point is that you're committing dollars to a declining player when the rest of your core is peaking. Yes, you may have funds left over to spend... But what if you don't? What if you needed to fill an unexpected hole at second base to push yourself over the top? What is the long-term benefit of locking up players who profile to be in a decline phase when the rest of your team is peaking?

[quote name='spycake']And in most scenarios, even if Garza isn't that pitcher anymore in 2017, he still keeps some value. Maybe he replaces your Correia type making $5 mil at the back of the rotation -- now his excess salary is more like 2/22. Or he replaces a Guerrier type pitcher in your bullpen who's making $3 mil. Or he's traded somewhere with a little bit of cash.[/QUOTE]

Again, it's all about situating players to peak at the same time. Yeah, Garza might have value as a #5 pitcher... But you're paying him like a #2 pitcher.

If the Twins need another pitcher next offseason, I'm all for them going out and getting that guy. But I fail to see the benefit of stacking everything into the 2013 offseason. What's the rush?

#28 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:43 AM

Historically speaking, five year contracts to 30 year old pitchers have not gone well for the signing team. I have no reason to think Matt Garza is any different.

But 4 year contracts for lower upside pitchers have a much better success rate?

Again, not advocating Garza particularly, but in the abstract, with the numbers we know, I'm just not seeing that much of a difference between Nolasco 4/48 and Garza 5/80 or whatever. Guaranteeing a fifth year is a negative, as is the slightly higher AAV, but there also appears to be a not insignificant upside benefit to the Garza side of the equation. (The odds are pretty good Nolasco never posts a 110 ERA+ again.) Also Garza is one year younger, FWIW. They are both probably market deals and a wash to this outside observer. (Scouting and medical could swing it but are beyond me)

And as much as the Twins need average pitchers as much or more than upside guys, we shouldn't be excluding upside guys just because we're scared of a fifth year or a few mil in AAV. The odds are still pretty low that the Twins (or anyone) will develop their own workhorse or ace in any given window of time; it wouldn't hurt to take chances on that in the FA or international markets too.

Actually, one could argue that Nolasco's average performance is more easily replaced on a year-to-year basis (see Kevin Correia's 2013, for example, or Carl Pavano, or any number of older pitchers looking at 2-year contract offers right now) -- there is less need to lock that in for 4 years (unless you're the 2013 Twins, of course). A "Garza type" (age 30, 110 ERA+) or even "Ervin Santana type" (age 31, 210 IP, 105 ERA+) is a more difficult commodity to acquire or develop. The Twins shouldn't be targeting type at the expense of the other (and fortunately we seem to have the budget room to target both).

#29 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

I can pretty much guarantee that a superior pitcher to 33-34 year old Matt Garza will be available in 2016. Matt Garza is a good pitcher but he's nothing special, really.

I can pretty much guarantee that multiple pitchers will be available every offseason that match Nolasco's average performance. In fact, we even grabbed one last offseason for 2/10. A few years ago, we signed one for 2/16. More Nolasco's exist than Garza's.

The point is that you're committing dollars to a declining player when the rest of your core is peaking. Yes, you may have funds left over to spend... But what if you don't? What if you needed to fill an unexpected hole at second base to push yourself over the top? What is the long-term benefit of locking up players who profile to be in a decline phase when the rest of your team is peaking?

The core hasn't even hit MLB yet. Their salaries won't "peak" for at least 5 seasons. I agree, don't sign Garza beyond 5 years.

You're never going to get everyone to "peak" at the same time and it's foolish to pursue that as some sort of Grecian ideal. John Lackey wasn't a good bet to "peak" in 2013 but he certainly helped the Red Sox. Same with AJ Burnett.

I agree, no rush to add that type of pitcher, and if Garza isn't it for whatever reason, that's fine. I just don't like the idea of rejecting him out of hand because of the fifth year, or potential 2017 payroll flexibility, or basically any non-performance or non-market reasons.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 8,722 posts

Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:57 AM

I wasn't against signing Garza, though it may have come off that way. I'm mostly positive on the Nolasco signing as a whole.

My point is that it's a mistake to sign both in the same offseason when you're coming off a 66 win season. Odds are that they're both in a decline phase at the same time while eating $30m a season. And in this situation, that's probably the same period the current Twins farm is coming into its own.