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My plan for the 2022 Twins (first edition)


beckmt

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1.  Extend Buxton.  If we could get the base done (13  -15 million range), I would urge Jim Pohlad to step and and ok the incentives to make it work.   I am guessing this may be up to  10 million a year.  With Buxton's WAR return, this should be done.  Second issue is that most articles I have read from links on other sites, want Buxton for decent but underwhelming returns, That would be a major mistake. 

2.  Donaldson will not bring enough back in a trade, and the Twins would have to eat a fair amount of money (10 - 15 million) to bring back much of anything or package him with another asset we would probably not like to lose.  I see him staying here. 

3.  Much as I dislike it, we need pitching.  That means sending either Garver or Jeffers with another asset or two, to acquire a mid level starter from either Oakland or Miami.  There may be another club to deal with, I know Oakland does not need a catcher, but several clubs do.

4.  As stated elsewhere Kepler has little value at this time, he will be here unless needed as a sweetner to make a deal for pitching happen. 

5. I seem to value Arraez more than most, so will run with him for another year, unless bowled over with an offer.

 

Let's start

Catchers

Probably Garver (Jeffers goes in the Miami deal) Rortvedt  Possibly a pickup if FA for backup

1B/DH Sano/Kirloff

2B  Polonco/ Arreaz

SS  FA/ Gordon

3B  Donaldson, Miranda

OF  Buxton, Kepler, Laurach, Celstino or Rooker (other one in St. Paul to start)

Starting Pitching

Pickup in deal for a catcher(Hopefully one from Miami)

Ober, Ryan, Pineda (resign), Winder (might as well use his bullets here)

Relievers

Rodgers, Alcala, Duffey, Minaya, Thielbar, Moran,  Garza Jr. (maybe Cano,  this group will change as the year goes on)

 

Rest of 40 man

one of  Celstino or rooker, Balazovich, Duran, Jax or Garza, Jr, Strotman, may Dobnak (if not traded), Maeda, possibly Gant (but not sold on him as I believe he has to make the 26 or be lost). 

Adds 

enlow, Sands, Palacios, Severino

That comes to 37 - 38 by my count and leaves several openings and possible room for other moves or a more major trade. 

If nothing changes there will be 2 more adds before the rule 5 and a lot of shuffling after.   Feel this gives us our best chance for next year without sacrificing the future.  Expect Duran or Balazovich to be up next year (possibly Cano or other relievers).  

This team should be competitive but would need a major starting pitching upgrade to take on the White Sox.  I would look at Rodon as a possibility to sign as an FA (might not be as expensive and could be 2 - 4 year term.  with fade in second half, might not be issued a QO from Chicago.  Stroman of the Mets would be another candidate, but would be more money. 

Do not want any over 30 filler as this will just block spots from youngsters we need to look at next year. 

Several of you might disagree with the drops, I have decided to give Jax or Garza Jr. or Gant, to be a bulk pitcher in the long relief/mop role, with the chance it could become something bigger.  They probably have 1/2 season to prove they belong before Duran, Balazovich, Sands and others start arriving.  Maybe even Varland.  I am not a great fan of using pitchers bullets in the minors when they could help the major league club. 

Let the fun begin.

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I agree with points 1 and 2. However point 3 I would look at a package of Arraez and an outfielder for a solid starter to go along with Pineda, Smith and Ober. I would go for a Front line starter in Free agency, and sign a 2nd tier shortstop in free agency. Unfortunately, due to money probably getting low at this point, I am probably forced to keep Colome and work him into the bullpen equation. Unless something else opens or the owners can open the pockets a little more I dont see another way around it.

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The Twins sure put themselves in a tough spot.  They really messed up the pitching staff and yet I'm worried they will return to dollar store replacements.  But if they use very inexperienced starting pitchers you can bank on a 90-100 loss season in 2022 and beyond a couple of years.  We have a hole slew of "can't miss" pitching prospects.  Or is it suspects?  Anyway we better hope at least a couple pan out.  Or we may think 2021 was a good season.

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From everything I can see in your plan, you have a possible FA SS, and a possible starter or two coming in from the outside; otherwise the entire roster is simply what we already have.  You say the team (as you have laid it out here) should be competitive, but if that were so, wouldn't it have been this year as well?  Or is it just that we have jettisoned the FA pitching signings from last year and replaced them with our AAA guys and assume they are going to be better?  I hope you are right, but I think it may be more than just a little optimistic.  And if we do trade for a starter or two, who replaces the guys we traded?  I can only assume more guys down the 40 man roster.  

The team that is laid out above is pretty much the team we ended the season with and they struggled to play .500 ball and there were reasons for that; reasons that don't go away with a few more months experience.  Having said all of that, I believe what you laid out is very close to what we will probably see, as it is a very cost effective roster.  And with the team having lost a bundle the last two years, and the new CBA coming up (and probably costing more), there is not going to be a lot more signings like the Donaldson one and that very likely includes SS.  So, let's hope for a few career years like we saw in '19 and keep our fingers crossed that no one gets hurt.  

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I generally agree with your projected lineup and backups except for the outfield. In my opinion the OF should be a free agent, Schwarber would be nice, maybe Canha or even Rosario if he would come back and the Braves would let him go, which I think is unlikely.

Buxton in CF, we agree.

Then, we need Kirilloff in RF. Kepler has been out of whack for a long time and has passed up on the opportunity to stop pulling virtually everything, often to the 2nd baseman in short RF.

Any breakthroughs by Celestino and others will be a bonus.  I do have a feeling that when he has batted enough times in MLB, Rooker will still be good but shouldn’t be penned in for 2022. I have a lot of confidence in Kirilloff and he would be a major upgrade over Kepler.

I like your mention of Cole Sands as a possible breakthrough starter and agree Varland has a chance. Miranda needs 500-550 AB and could figure at 3rd, 1st and DH.

I think the very first thing to do is make an all out, super agiegressive attempt to sign Robbie Ray and Danny Duffy (and Buxton, of course).

 

 

 

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Part of the problem is the number of pitching prospects the Twins have.  They must find out how many of them can stick.  When you have the numbers the Twins have, my guess is that 2 - 3 will work out.  That just leaves us with a need for a front line starter, unless you think the Twins farm system has that (it might). But if you are going to fill the holes with FA pitchers, how do you find out if any of the farm pitchers will work (and might be better)

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4 hours ago, beckmt said:

Part of the problem is the number of pitching prospects the Twins have.  They must find out how many of them can stick.  When you have the numbers the Twins have, my guess is that 2 - 3 will work out.  That just leaves us with a need for a front line starter, unless you think the Twins farm system has that (it might). But if you are going to fill the holes with FA pitchers, how do you find out if any of the farm pitchers will work (and might be better)

Nice analysis in your post.

The alternative is you bring in short-term contracts and let injuries and the depth rotations require let you sort those things out over time.  There is no reason to believe right now that Ober is written in stone.  Ryan either.  They should get opportunities next year from the get-go, but the other guys will need to earn theirs in the inevitable stretches where they will be there to be had.

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