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Article: Twins Avoid Arbitration with Duensing, Plouffe, Swarzak

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:44 AM

At about noon today is the deadline for arbitration-eligible players and teams to reach an agreement before their numbers are exchanged publically. Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak and Trevor Plouffe are the Twins players in this situation...

So, get your final projections in, and then when the numbers come out, feel free to discuss.

Here are my projections:


Brian Duensing - $2.2M
Trevor Plouffe - $1.995M
Anthony Swarzak - $1.3M

#2 ScottyB

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:07 AM

Plouffe signs today per MLB Traderumors $2.35M

#3 oldguy10

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

To see players of limited talent get those kinds of contracts appalls me greatly but it is what it is I guess. It will also be nice when the team can get past using players of that nature, won't it?

#4 Halsey Hall

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

That's a shame. If Plouffe gets that kind of money someone likes him alot more than me.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:08 AM

This is the process... very fair deal. Had it gone to arbitration, he would have got either what he was looking for (likely around $2.5M) or what the Twins wanted to pay him ($2.1M). I think this is a good deal for both sides.

Arbitration years are where the players start making money after getting minimum wage (baseball minimum wage!) for 3+ years.

#6 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

I don't understand the Plouffe hate, the guy isn't the greatest but he is clearly worth a one year 2.3 mil deal.

The comparable price on the FA market nets you Mark Reynolds.

I'm personally not a huge fan of offering Duensing a contract, but that is just me. $2 mil for him is fine, especially if he bounces back.

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:25 AM

I'm personally not a huge fan of offering Duensing a contract, but that is just me. $2 mil for him is fine, especially if he bounces back.


Non-tendering a generally effective reliever seems like a poor decision to me.

#8 jay

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:44 AM

Non-tendering a generally effective reliever seems like a poor decision to me.


I don't think they should non-tender him, but are you confident the Twins could find a generally effective reliever that costs less than $2M? I am, but maybe that money doesn't really matter at this point.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:04 PM

I don't think they should non-tender him, but are you confident the Twins could find a generally effective reliever that costs less than $2M? I am, but maybe that money doesn't really matter at this point.


Well I think hanging on to Duensing is the right move because he may have some trade value and $2 million isn't going to scare off a potential suitor.

Plouffe maybe doesn't quite deserve $2 million this year but he also deserved more than $485K in 2012. It goes both ways.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:13 PM

Swarzak $935K and $25K bonus if he starts 10 games. All 3 avoid arbitration now.
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#11 johnnydakota

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

What was leaque average last year?
Im guessing this year it will be close to 4 million , so I have no problem with these 3 players getting close to Half of leaque average ,especially since there probally wont be any more big signings this year.

#12 stringer bell

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:19 PM

So, in total about 5 million for the three arb-eligible players. I think that's about right. Swarzak getting less than a million kind of surprises me, but the other two seem pretty close.

#13 Lefty74

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:26 PM

This is the process... very fair deal. Had it gone to arbitration, he would have got either what he was looking for (likely around $2.5M) or what the Twins wanted to pay him ($2.1M). I think this is a good deal for both sides.

Arbitration years are where the players start making money after getting minimum wage (baseball minimum wage!) for 3+ years.


MLB creates a value for each of the players that are set to go through arbitration. They evaluated Plouffe against other 3rd baseman and estimated a "market rate" based upon his performance to date and numerous other factors. While some may not agree that Trevor deserves the $, he is being paid based upon the market. It just may be he is better than we think!

#14 spycake

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

Non-tendering a generally effective reliever seems like a poor decision to me.

Actually, relievers might make the best non-tender candidates (or at least akin to bench players). Not necessarily at $2 million, but if they command anything more than that, you've got to consider it (or unload them in advance) even if they are "generally effective". They just pitch so infrequently and are relatively easy to replace, as compared to other positions. Even a guy like Plouffe would be harder for the Twins to immediately replace than Duensing.

#15 Twins Daily Admin

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:25 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...rbitration-with

#16 jay

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

Well I think hanging on to Duensing is the right move because he may have some trade value and $2 million isn't going to scare off a potential suitor.


That's kind of what I was getting at. Trade him for something of value and equivalently replace him for less $... seems quite plausible. Mid-season might be the better time for a trade involving Duensing though.

#17 edavis0308

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

Non-tendering a generally effective reliever seems like a poor decision to me.


Just wait until the whole 'getting another chance to start' gains more traction!!!!11!!

#18 Rosterman

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:45 PM

I would've asked for $25,000 per each start. $2,500 seems...well, rather small. If a real starter started 33 games the total would be...help me, Bert, with my California math,,,,,,,

#19 Twins Twerp

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

That's kind of what I was getting at. Trade him for something of value and equivalently replace him for less $... seems quite plausible. Mid-season might be the better time for a trade involving Duensing though.


I hate to hear the "trade Duensing for value" argument. Duensing has NO value for other teams. For 2 mil, why not keep him, but you aren't going to trade him for a top 30 prospect in another system. Just because a guy has a good salary, doesn't mean teams are going to give up "value" (and I assume by value you mean prospects) for him.

#20 cmathewson

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:25 PM

I don't understand the Plouffe hate, the guy isn't the greatest but he is clearly worth a one year 2.3 mil deal.

The comparable price on the FA market nets you Mark Reynolds.

I'm personally not a huge fan of offering Duensing a contract, but that is just me. $2 mil for him is fine, especially if he bounces back.


I don't understand it at all. I had a guy go off on me on Twitter when I suggested the non-tender thing was a dumb idea. He became the biggest troll I've ever encountered on the Internet about it. I had to ask Twitter to suspend him. It seems, he'd rather have nothing than a positive WAR player at the position.

What does getting rid of guys like that accomplish, unless it's to make room for someone who is clearly ready and clearly better? Sano is not clearly ready. Romero projects at replacement level at best. All getting rid of Plouffe does is save the Twins money and makes them worse. The same people who want to non-tender Plouffe also rant about how cheap the Twins are. They have no clue about how inconsistent those two positions are.
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#21 Boom Boom

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:42 PM

I hate to hear the "trade Duensing for value" argument. Duensing has NO value for other teams. For 2 mil, why not keep him, but you aren't going to trade him for a top 30 prospect in another system. Just because a guy has a good salary, doesn't mean teams are going to give up "value" (and I assume by value you mean prospects) for him.


No, you're not going to get a top prospect by trading Duensing. The Twins have some other LH relief options that could take Duensing's place at a quarter of the cost, however, so the "value" would be the freed-up money + whatever player you could get.

#22 old nurse

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

I don't understand it at all. I had a guy go off on me on Twitter when I suggested the non-tender thing was a dumb idea. He became the biggest troll I've ever encountered on the Internet about it. I had to ask Twitter to suspend him. It seems, he'd rather have nothing than a positive WAR player at the position.

What does getting rid of guys like that accomplish, unless it's to make room for someone who is clearly ready and clearly better? Sano is not clearly ready. Romero projects at replacement level at best. All getting rid of Plouffe does is save the Twins money and makes them worse. The same people who want to non-tender Plouffe also rant about how cheap the Twins are. They have no clue about how inconsistent those two positions are.


There is nothing written in the laws of the universe that states you have to be consistent with an emotional attachment.

#23 jay

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

I hate to hear the "trade Duensing for value" argument. Duensing has NO value for other teams. For 2 mil, why not keep him, but you aren't going to trade him for a top 30 prospect in another system. Just because a guy has a good salary, doesn't mean teams are going to give up "value" (and I assume by value you mean prospects) for him.


Yeah, that may be true. Either way, non-tendering him doesn't make sense. If that "value" does end up appearing at some point, I'd hope the Twins take it.

#24 nicksaviking

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:18 PM

I hate to hear the "trade Duensing for value" argument. Duensing has NO value for other teams. For 2 mil, why not keep him, but you aren't going to trade him for a top 30 prospect in another system. Just because a guy has a good salary, doesn't mean teams are going to give up "value" (and I assume by value you mean prospects) for him.


I'm fine with keeping him as he was possibly the 2nd best bullpen arm the 2nd half of last year, but saying he has no value isn't true. He's a lefty the Twins are clearly trying to bill as a swingman who put up a 3.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 and 4.33 K/BB in the second half of last season. Plenty of teams are looking for that. Could the Twins get a top 10 prospect? No, but they would get a top 30 guy for him.

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

Even a guy like Plouffe would be harder for the Twins to immediately replace than Duensing.


As others have said, Duensing represents potential trade value. If his salary isn't above 4M, he might at least command something intriguing. It's certainly not worth dumping that potential over 2 million.

#26 Thrylos

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:35 PM

No, you're not going to get a top prospect by trading Duensing. The Twins have some other LH relief options that could take Duensing's place at a quarter of the cost, however, so the "value" would be the freed-up money + whatever player you could get.


The only other left hand relief options as good as Duensing are either the closer or in A ball. Thielbar's .175 BABIP and 89 mph fastball will get exposed next season if he is in the bigs. Albers, Diamond are soft tossers as well. Ibarra had an .167 BABIP in Rochester and .244 overall. Corey Williams regressed and he is at least a year away. Dean and Darnell are starters. Aaron Thompson is non-reliable.

Who is as good a LHP in the organization right now as Duensing? I do not see anyone not named Perkins fit the bill...

I just don't get the Duensing hate here...
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#27 jokin

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:05 PM

The only other left hand relief options as good as Duensing are either the closer or in A ball. Thielbar's .175 BABIP and 89 mph fastball will get exposed next season if he is in the bigs. Albers, Diamond are soft tossers as well. Ibarra had an .167 BABIP in Rochester and .244 overall. Corey Williams regressed and he is at least a year away. Dean and Darnell are starters. Aaron Thompson is non-reliable.

Who is as good a LHP in the organization right now as Duensing? I do not see anyone not named Perkins fit the bill...

I just don't get the Duensing hate here...


I don't hate Duensing and they would have been foolish to non-tender him (but his lefty split advantage did evaporate quite a bit in 2013), but there's a fighting chance they can get a mid-level prospect for him with proper timing of the potential deal and try out Kris Johnson for the primary LHRP role at a fraction of the cost. His MiLB split against lefties looks pretty dominant.
And there are always going to be a few decent lefty arms on the waiver wire in late March.

#28 Heimer

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:16 PM

Duensing has a slim chance being on the next good twins team, I want to see younger players this year that have a better chance helping us in the future

#29 Jim H

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

The only other left hand relief options as good as Duensing are either the closer or in A ball. Thielbar's .175 BABIP and 89 mph fastball will get exposed next season if he is in the bigs. Albers, Diamond are soft tossers as well. Ibarra had an .167 BABIP in Rochester and .244 overall. Corey Williams regressed and he is at least a year away. Dean and Darnell are starters. Aaron Thompson is non-reliable.

Who is as good a LHP in the organization right now as Duensing? I do not see anyone not named Perkins fit the bill...

I just don't get the Duensing hate here...


I agree with this. Duensing is probably the best left handed reliever at or close to the majors not named Perkins. Thielbar, Albers, and possibly Ibarra might help a bullpen in some role, but Duensing has better velocity and better stuff than any of them. He is also not that old, their is a good chance he will be pitching in in the majors for a long time.

#30 DocBauer

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:07 PM

I am very gratified to see the love for Deunsing especially. The young man has decent stuff, especially when allowed to just know his role in the pen and be allowed to pitch there. And I really think he proved that this year, especially in the second half of the season.

I know there have been debates of varying degree as to how good the bullpen actually was this past season. And I feel various metrics can say whatever you want them to say, but when I look at the state of the rotation last season, and the IP of our pen, and the basics of record, ERA, etc. I see an overworked pen that was fairly balanced, and did a very solid job despite their vast overuse. And I feel the could be even better this year, and Deunsing is a big part of the equation, and at a relatively cheap price when one considers the dearth of solid LH relievers that have any sort of proven record. There is a reason teams scramble to find LH's who are upright and breathing for their teams.

I've been a bit frustrated by those who simply and arbitrarily announce the Twins should just up and trade so and so out of the pen this off season. To what end? A strong bullpen is paramount to a competitive club and a winning club (eventually). And as I have stated, I believe the Twins have filler pieces that might prove themselves worthy, providing depth, from both sides of the mound. And not just those prospects in the lower minors, but even at AAA. But give me the guys who have shown what they can do, for now at least, instead of just removing proven commodities and plugging someone in and hoping they can do the job.