The only thing smith has to fall back on is his international signings. But for a guy like sano...there is a nishioka to balance the scale...or tip it to the point of not reassessing his time as gm. Then u have capps...trading jj hardy, trading johan for a bucket of balls...the list goes on. Maybe well thank him when buxton is a hall of famer for it was his foresight to create a terrible tewm so we could have a high pick...the man is a genious
Fans revolt on his trades but he really had no choice on the Santana deal. Garza/Young was the type of trade fans had been demanding for years. Hardy was traded b/c of payroll issues and the coaching staff wanting a "different direction." Fans here act like Ramos is an all-star catcher when in fact he was an injury prone player with plate discipline issues whose prospect status was falling. And fans are less likely to complain about the Bullock/Diamond deal now compared to when it happened. As mentioned, he made a number of good small deals and the 2010 Twins were the best Twins team since 1991 in large part because of how Smith went about creating the team (again, no piranhas!).
Smith came into the Twins at a horrible time and, as Kwik notes, didn't have all that much power. The Twins had missed the playoffs two out of the last three years and had just had their first losing season. Santana, Silva and Hunter were going to be gone. Liriano was coming back from injury. Mauer was going to need a huge deal. And we had an aging core. Smith built for 2010, it worked, but the window fell apart in 2011. I'm not saying he shouldn't have been fired but he did get too much of the blame, (and I think he was fired more b/c he wanted to spend more money). As mentioned, I like that Johnson took over the draft and changed some of our philosophy but it hasn't yet panned out for us.
Smith gets too much blame.for the failings of the minor league system from before his time. Was he perfect, no. But this is an organizational failing, not on one person.
Thank you! Finally some other people saying things about Smith I've been saying since he was fired. Good to know I'm not the only one...
I've always said that Smith did a pretty good job with the minors, drafting, and international minor league players.
He offset that with an absolutely abominable job handling the major league roster. He traded away the Twins best pitcher and best young pitcher in the same offseason. Hardy for Hoey offset any goodwill from the Hardy/Gomez deal. Ramos/Capps. Nishioka.
He had one good offseason before 2010 but other than that, almost every deal he made was horrible for the Twins.
The price difference between Hardy and Nishioka was negligible in 2011 (without looking at the numbers, pretty sure Hardy was actually cheaper once you count Nishioka's signing bonus). That was an on-field decision and it was a bad one.
How can you honestly put Buxton above Sano right now and keep a straight face? That is completely asinine. Buxton has a great tool-set and had a nice professional debut, but Sano hit 28 HR's in a pitcher's league as a 19 y.o. Really? Come on man. Maybe next year is Sano is still having defensive and strike out issues you can put Buxton above him, but not right now. I know these lists are just for fun, but sometimes I just get frustrated when prospects are overrated from the get go like Delmon Young. Success speaks louder than tools to me.
Delmon Young actually had a great MiLB career until he reached AAA and then the majors. His problem was that he was simply a superior athlete compared to the kids in the low minors and imo a superior prospect to Sano. So let's not act like Sano is a proven prospect. You do have a fair point about rating prospects with almost no experience but I do value scouts (not BA but actual scouts) think very highly of Buxton so it's not crazy that he's rated higher than Sano. i'm more in the wait and see category but I also don't get to see any of these prospects play.
I may have the pleasure of seeing Buxton in Cedar Rapids this summer and I'm looking forward to comparing him to what I saw of Sano. The good news is that, regardless of which guy is 1 or 2, they both have enormous potential for the Twins' future.