Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Minor League Signings


Seth Stohs
 Share

 

They brought in quite a few last year. Some like Brayan Villarreal and Wilfredo Ledesma didn't make it thru spring training. Some like Reynaldo Rodriguez, Marcus Knecht and Sharon Wilkerson are back this year. A couple made the major leagues: Brad Boyer, Doug Bernier, Eric Fryer, Shane Robinson, Aaron Thompson.

 

Other names that came from free agency were Carlos Paulino (back), Brock Peterson, Michael Bowden, Nick Anderson (still around) Omar Bencomo, Loek Van Mil (still here), Scott Atchison, Allan de san Miguel, Agnes Diaz, Jose Martinez, Wiklin Ramirez, Ryan Wheeler, Jose Vellz, Luke Westphal (still around) and Heiker Meneses.

 

And the Twins grabbed Greg Peavey in the Rule 5 minor league draft and he is still in the system.

Brayan Villarreal was never signed by the Twins, those were false reports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Depends how you define "pitches well", I suppose. If everyone meets minimum acceptable standards of a "6th/7th inning guy" then your bullpen still may have issues, especially when those players can't easily be demoted or cut to make way for potentially better, higher leverage options.

Boyer had the 2nd best ERA (2.49) and the 5th best WHIP (1.25)  on the Twins pitching staff in 2015.
If that isn't "well", oh well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

You don't think MLB veterans considering minor league deals look at their potential competition before signing? I would think that is a pretty major factor in their decision.

How many such guys do the Twins bring in during a given winter? I would guess usually just one per role with any substantial major league record, and I don't think it's because the team doesn't want more, it's because the player wants a clearer opportunity to make the roster.

A guy like Lowe last winter absolutely might be discouraged from signing here by the presence of Boyer, who had a better 2014 and comparable MLB experience.

 

I'm not going to look, but judging from recollection from previous years, I think the Twins typically sign maybe 10 minor league free agents each year and invite maybe 6-8 of them to big league camp. I would think that is pretty typical, maybe even a little less than most organizations. I think they look to fill the minor league rosters. 

 

As for Madson, after not pitching for 3 years, I'm sure he factored who was in big league bullpens more than journeyman minor leaguers. And, if Lowe was worse than Boyer, can you imagine how much angst there would have been if the Twins signed him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every team loads up on these types of fringe players who can compete for jobs and be fillers at AAA and AA. Sometimes you  luck out and get a Shane Robinson or a Matt Gurrier or Casey Fien, but usually they are just emergency backups and some even get cut in spring training. The hope is that the cream of the crop surfaces and takes the jobs away from these signings. Bottom line is they cost nearly nothing but might turn into a gold mine. A certain Tigers outfielder comes to mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Wouldn't you then wonder why these guys couldn't have joined the team late last season? How can they be Plan A entering 2016 when they weren't even worthy to claim a few of Boyer or Duensing's low leverage innings after roster expansions in 2015?

 

I don't think they're Plan A, but in free agency, it takes two sides. In trades, it takes too sides. 

 

And, sure, people can think that if they want. I guess. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Every team loads up on these types of fringe players who can compete for jobs and be fillers at AAA and AA. Sometimes you  luck out and get a Shane Robinson or a Matt Gurrier or Casey Fien, but usually they are just emergency backups and some even get cut in spring training. The hope is that the cream of the crop surfaces and takes the jobs away from these signings. Bottom line is they cost nearly nothing but might turn into a gold mine. A certain Tigers outfielder comes to mind.

 

Which Tigers outfielder signed as a minor league free agent?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Tuesday Night prediction of the Twins non-roster Spring Training Invitees..

to be announced Thursday according to the Twins website.

RHP..Jose Berrios
Nick Burdi
Jake Reed
Brandon Kintzler
Kohl Stewart
LHP..Stephen Gonsalves
Aaron Thompson
Tyler Jay
Buddy Boshers
Dan Runzler
C...Juan Centeno
Mitch Garver
Brian Navaretto
Carlos Paulino
Stuart Turner
IF..James Beresford
Buck Britton
Nick Gordon
Wilfredo Tovar
Engelb Vielma

OF..Joe Benson
Zach Granite
Shannon Wilkerson
Darin Mastroianni
Daniel Palka

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All these AAA signings have to be discouraging to the Chattanooga players from 2015.  I'm sure guys were expecting / hoping to get promoted in ST and now the likelihood is minimal for several.

Michael

Harrison

Goodrum

Hicks

Menesses

Wickens

Wilkerson

 

I'd rather see the Twins sign AA free agents and promote the 2015 AA crew for their first year of AAA ball (while they are young).  They don't need an entire team of Vets to help a handful of prospects.  

Edited by GMinTraining
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not going to look, but judging from recollection from previous years, I think the Twins typically sign maybe 10 minor league free agents each year and invite maybe 6-8 of them to big league camp. I would think that is pretty typical, maybe even a little less than most organizations. I think they look to fill the minor league rosters.

 

10 with substantial MLB records like Boyer? I think my estimate of 1 of those per role (bullpen, rotation, outfield, infield) is probably closer to accurate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They brought in quite a few last year. Some like Brayan Villarreal and Wilfredo Ledesma didn't make it thru spring training. Some like Reynaldo Rodriguez, Marcus Knecht and Sharon Wilkerson are back this year. A couple made the major leagues: Brad Boyer, Doug Bernier, Eric Fryer, Shane Robinson, Aaron Thompson.

 

Other names that came from free agency were Carlos Paulino (back), Brock Peterson, Michael Bowden, Nick Anderson (still around) Omar Bencomo, Loek Van Mil (still here), Scott Atchison, Allan de san Miguel, Agnes Diaz, Jose Martinez, Wiklin Ramirez, Ryan Wheeler, Jose Vellz, Luke Westphal (still around) and Heiker Meneses.

 

And the Twins grabbed Greg Peavey in the Rule 5 minor league draft and he is still in the system.

You and Seth both missed the "with substantial MLB experience" qualifier in my post. Those guys usually have more choice in minor league invites, so they tend not to bunch up with one team. If your team invites a guy with the MLB experience of Boyer, you probably missed out on other guys like Madson, Lowe, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't think they're Plan A, but in free agency, it takes two sides. In trades, it takes too sides.

Terry Ryan is on his 5th consecutive offseason of not adding a notable reliever in MLB FA or by trade.  I doubt he had a really aggressive Plan A that just didn't work out this winter for reasons beyond his control.  The prices for K Rod, Benoit, Lowe, etc. certainly haven't been prohibitive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

More likely your invitations did not elicit RSVP's from "other guys like Madson, Lowe, etc"

Maybe, but if you are correctly identifying Madson and Lowe as higher priorities than Boyer, maybe you should offer them something more than what you offer Boyer?  (Maybe an MLB deal?)  And maybe you'd get one of these guys better than Boyer once and a while?  (Twins haven't had one in 4 years.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Maybe, but if you are correctly identifying Madson and Lowe as higher priorities than Boyer, maybe you should offer them something more than what you offer Boyer?  (Maybe an MLB deal?)  And maybe you'd get one of these guys better than Boyer once and a while?  (Twins haven't had one in 4 years.)

Carl Pavano (2012), Jared Burton (2013-2014)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Twins announced this morning that they have signed lefty-reliever Fernando Abad to a minor league contract with an invite to spring. Really like this move on a minor league deal! 8+ K/9 the last two years. Had a rough 2015, but was good for several years before that. Low risk, potentially very solid reward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as minor league signings go, I like this one the best, and by a mile.

 

He had an off year last year but the strikeouts were good and the control numbers don't look too terrible.  Looking at Fangraphs it looks like he added a cutter last year, I wonder if that had anything to do with a change in his results. 

 

If he had been a free agent after his 2014 season, he might have been inline for one of these $5+ 2-3 year deal.  That also kind of shows what a crap shoot it can be to rely on these free agent middle relievers.

 

The guy isn't a free agent until 2018, if he reverts back to 2013-14 numbers, there's a good chance he'll be on the team until then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Twins announced this morning that they have signed lefty-reliever Fernando Abad to a minor league contract with an invite to spring. Really like this move on a minor league deal! 8+ K/9 the last two years. Had a rough 2015, but was good for several years before that. Low risk, potentially very solid reward.

 

Abad is a perfect example at how fickle relievers are.  If would have hit free agency after 2014 he probably would have gotten a multi year deal.  He has a down year and the Twins sign him to a minor league contract.  I like the signing, he has upside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Abad, not bad at all. :)

 

But seriously, he does appear to have more upside than our other recent minor league signings, although I would caution that a ~8 K/9 (Abad's MLB peak thus far) isn't all that great from a reliever these days, especially not lefty specialist.  The league's relievers as a whole posted a K/9 of 8.4 last year, so Abad has been average or below his whole career, despite presumably favorable match ups.

 

Also, Abad, despite being a lefty, has actually been terrible vs. LHB outside of 2014.  Here are LHB wOBA figures vs Abad the last 4 years: .337, .346, .249, .364

 

For comparison, league average for ALL pitchers vs LHB last year was .318.  O'Rourke last year as a rookie was .261 vs. LHB (and even .321 vs RHB).  Duensing was .346 last year, the worst mark of his career.  Bastardo career is .270.

 

And Abad hasn't seen any high-leverage work outside 2014 either.  gmLI the last 4 years: 0.69, 0.60, 1.12, 0.72.  That's comparable to O'Rourke and Stauffer in 2015, or Guerrier in 2014, etc.

 

If we don't acquire a MLB FA LHP, and Abad manages to push O'Rourke and/or Rogers to AAA for opening day, this will be bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Abad, not bad at all. :)

 

But seriously, he does appear to have more upside than our other recent minor league signings, although I would caution that a ~8 K/9 (Abad's MLB peak thus far) isn't all that great from a reliever these days, especially not lefty specialist.  The league's relievers as a whole posted a K/9 of 8.4 last year, so Abad has been average or below his whole career, despite presumably favorable match ups.

 

First... good one...

 

Second... I'll never scoff at a major leaguer with a K/9 of 8+.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Abad is a perfect example at how fickle relievers are.  If would have hit free agency after 2014 he probably would have gotten a multi year deal.  He has a down year and the Twins sign him to a minor league contract.  I like the signing, he has upside.

See my post above -- I wouldn't use Abad as an example of anything other than perhaps fringe relievers.  Outside of that one season, his track record is very poor.  The relievers getting multi-year deals almost all have much longer track records of solid MLB performance.  Zach Duke is probably the closest comparable, although unlike Abad he was a recent conversion to short relief and was coming off an 11.4 K/9 performance (vs. Abad's below league average 8.0 that same year).

 

Also, the reason Abad was a free agent this winter is that Oakland non-tendered him, rather than pay him an estimated $1.5 million in arbitration.  He has 2 years of team control remaining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Second... I'll never scoff at a major leaguer with a K/9 of 8+.

Do you update that by era?

 

10 years ago, reliever K/9 average was around 7.  The last 4 years, it's been around 8.4.  That's Abad's peak so far, he hasn't even had the spikes to 9 or 10 like Burton, Fien, etc.

 

I wouldn't scoff at a league average reliever K/9 as part of an overall strong performance, like Guerrier circa 2007, but the strikeouts probably aren't the driver of such performance.

 

Obviously I know Abad isn't perfect or he wouldn't be a minor league signing, just try to put his past peak/upside into proper perspective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Do you update that by era?

 

10 years ago, reliever K/9 average was around 7.  The last 4 years, it's been around 8.4.  That's Abad's peak so far, he hasn't even had the spikes to 9 or 10 like Burton, Fien, etc.

 

I wouldn't scoff at a league average reliever K/9 as part of an overall strong performance, like Guerrier circa 2007, but the strikeouts probably aren't the driver of such performance.

 

Obviously I know Abad isn't perfect or he wouldn't be a minor league signing, just try to put his past peak/upside into proper perspective.

 

Mainly I consider the Twins overall lack of strikeouts and realize that 8/9 is pretty good, regardless of era. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Interestingly, he had reverse splits last year, he was not good against lefties but was pretty good against righties. He also used a cut fastball last year for the first time, and it seems to me the current trend is to use a slider or cut fastball against opposite handed batters.

Abad has actually had reverse splits the last 3 years, although he still managed to be effective vs. LHB in 2014 (just more effective vs. RHB).

 

As you can see from my post above, he's actually been really bad vs LHB for the bulk of his career.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

Featured Video

×
×
  • Create New...