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Front Page: Offseason Blueprint: The Window Just Opened


 

It's the whole, play for division championships attitude. Or the "sustainable competitiveness" mantra. 

 

Never take chances, never go all in, always dabble and hope the Yankees go cold one year in the playoffs. 

 

I mean, this blueprint actually does make some sense, I will give him that. It likely results in a team competitive enough to win the Central again. But it also likely results in another one and done. 

 

Flat out, this team isn't going anywhere unless they add 2 pitchers to their staff that are high end guys capable of winning a playoff game. That or someone like Graterol steps in and is a true shutdown type of guy. 

If it was truly about our window being open we would push every bit of resource towards Gerrit Cole. You resign Odorizzi and Pineda for about 25mil. With Cole leading our rotation and Berrios following we'd be in great shape. Our lineup is fine, just need another C. But we won't go all in on Cole and we'll be told about all of the other factors of why Cole wouldn't come here. No, show him the money. With the present lineup and the farm we have their is no reason we can't lure the best. Except for $$$$$

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What is financial flexibility, besides double speak to not spend money?

 

It means.....don't spend money today, so you can have money to spend in the future....but in the future, that will be today, so you won't spend there either, because you need the flexibility in the future, etc.

 

If now is not the time to spend money, when they have $50-70MM in space in payroll, and Cruz coming off the books next year (and probably Rosario and Cron), when is the time? Cruz coming off more than covers every arbitration raise next year, and probably an extension or two.......

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What is financial flexibility, besides double speak to not spend money?

 

It means.....don't spend money today, so you can have money to spend in the future....but in the future, that will be today, so you won't spend there either, because you need the flexibility in the future, etc.

 

If now is not the time to spend money, when they have $50-70MM in space in payroll, and Cruz coming off the books next year (and probably Rosario and Cron), when is the time? Cruz coming off more than covers every arbitration raise next year, and probably an extension or two.......

and if the big signing is Odorizzi, who I'm not against signing, and say Travis Wood as a bounceback signing then the off season is a huge fail. Sign Cole and use some prospects to get a premium bullpen guy or two. We can afford the best. Especially when he's still only 29 y/o. Start out a 8/275 mil with a buyout after year 2.

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and if the big signing is Odorizzi, who I'm not against signing, and say Travis Wood as a bounceback signing then the off season is a huge fail. Sign Cole and use some prospects to get a premium bullpen guy or two. We can afford the best. Especially when he's still only 29 y/o. Start out a 8/275 mil with a buyout after year 2.

In Jeremy’s plan Wheeler would be the big signing. In some form or another, this SP scenario has been advocated by many at TD. It certainly is an improvement in pitching as it brings in someone better than Berrios of today. As far as the balance of the squad it maintains still an excellent offense. 

 

What seems to be the problem (was at first for me too) is the payroll seems low thus some will say nothing was done to improve. I think this is a great example how the team can improve and still have the bullets for further acquisitions, either at the trade deadline or next year. A trade in July, like a Greinke, now becomes possible because $$$ and prospects are available.

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In Jeremy’s plan Wheeler would be the big signing. In some form or another, this SP scenario has been advocated by many at TD. It certainly is an improvement in pitching as it brings in someone better than Berrios of today. As far as the balance of the squad it maintains still an excellent offense. 

 

What seems to be the problem (was at first for me too) is the payroll seems low thus some will say nothing was done to improve. I think this is a great example how the team can improve and still have the bullets for further acquisitions, either at the trade deadline or next year. A trade in July, like a Greinke, now becomes possible because $$$ and prospects are available.

 

They didn't make that kind of trade this year......even after cutting payroll from the previous year, and knowing they would need that kind of pitcher going forward. Why would you think next year will be different? His second plan guts the payroll to 106MM....they could make 3 Greinke like trades at the deadline with a payroll that low.....

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What seems to be the problem (was at first for me too) is the payroll seems low thus some will say nothing was done to improve. I think this is a great example how the team can improve and still have the bullets for further acquisitions, either at the trade deadline or next year. A trade in July, like a Greinke, now becomes possible because $$$ and prospects are available.

So wait for a high priced player to become available where you have to pay him and trade prospects (which in reality seems to be worth more than money right now) to get said player, instead of just paying up front? Very confused by that logic, since this year they didn't do that and the window was WIDE open.

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So wait for a high priced player to become available where you have to pay him and trade prospects (which in reality seems to be worth more than money right now) to get said player, instead of just paying up front? Very confused by that logic, since this year they didn't do that and the window was WIDE open.

 

and you have to hope the player you need is available, and for a price you want to pay....

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I acknowledge that the plan is well-reasoned...and 'responsible' in terms of long term flexibility. But, how does it make you better in 2020...for the window that's in front of them? You now have an unproven commodity in left field, and another at first base (or third base), while your pitching should be better, but not great by any means.

 

Agree that you try to extend Buxton...only because he's the obvious buy-low opportunity. Would be shocked (and disturbed, in an odd way) if his camp caved and didn't make a bet on him becoming a legitimate star.

 

 

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They didn't make that kind of trade this year......even after cutting payroll from the previous year, and knowing they would need that kind of pitcher going forward. Why would you think next year will be different? His second plan guts the payroll to 106MM....they could make 3 Greinke like trades at the deadline with a payroll that low.....

Are saying that if they didn’t make that trade LY they won’t do it in the future? 

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So wait for a high priced player to become available where you have to pay him and trade prospects (which in reality seems to be worth more than money right now) to get said player, instead of just paying up front? Very confused by that logic, since this year they didn't do that and the window was WIDE open.

So Tom, if they accomplish Jeremy’s preferred options, will the Twins be improving their team and specifically pitching? Secondly, do you have evidence that they did not contact other teams about trading this past July?

 

My point about Greinke wasn’t to indicate a trade of that nature would happen, but having the $$ and prospects certainly make it plausible. I see this plan as accomplishing what is needed with players that can improve the Twins. And BTW, I have not been a big fan of Wheeler.

Edited by brvama
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So Tom, if they accomplish Jeremy’s preferred options, will the Twins be improving their team and specifically pitching? Secondly, do you have evidence that they did not contact other teams about trading this past July?

 

My point about Greinke wasn’t to indicate a trade of that nature would happen, but having the $$ and prospects certainly make it plausible. I see this plan as accomplishing what is needed with players that can improve the Twins. And BTW, I have not been a big fan of Wheeler.

Would they be improving? IDK

I am fine with Odo (even though I am pretty sure he will take is 18 million this year and be a free agent next, but that is just my opinion)

I like Wheeler.

I wouldn't sign both Porcello and Pineda, seems redundant, would rather sign one and use the 5th spot like they did this year and why would you do this if you are trading for Smith?

The bullpen isn't improved that much with just adding Urena.

Not sure how extending Rogers and Buxton help next year.

With that being said I really appreciate the time and thought that Jeremy put into this.

 

You said "Secondly, do you have evidence that they did not contact other teams about trading this past July?"

I have zero evidence they did or didn't talk to anybody, what evidence I do have is that they traded for Romo and Dyson (which I liked but thought both could have been had a month earlier, sure might have cost a bit more, but they would have had them a month earlier), and they didn't trade for a starter in a season where everything seemed to fall into place but getting a starter for the playoffs.

If they didn't do that this year, why would they do it next year, because the window will be more open than it was last year? I wouldn't even know what more could happen next year to make people feel better than this year.

 

 

 

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I'm saying we can only look at what they've done, as an indication of what is likely in the future. Of course I'm not speaking in absolutes, that would be ridiculous. 

Mike, you may be right, however I personally am not convince that LY creates a trend. Another year of the same and I’ll probably have the same position. Until then I’m on the side that they will make the moves. It could be I’ll be be greatly disappointed, hopefully not.

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In Jeremy’s plan Wheeler would be the big signing. In some form or another, this SP scenario has been advocated by many at TD. It certainly is an improvement in pitching as it brings in someone better than Berrios of today. As far as the balance of the squad it maintains still an excellent offense. 

 

What seems to be the problem (was at first for me too) is the payroll seems low thus some will say nothing was done to improve. I think this is a great example how the team can improve and still have the bullets for further acquisitions, either at the trade deadline or next year. A trade in July, like a Greinke, now becomes possible because $$$ and prospects are available.

I contend that Wheeler is not better than Berrios. Cole, or Strasburg easily is. One of these is who we should be aiming for, and we have the money to out bid anyone.

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Would they be improving? IDK

I am fine with Odo (even though I am pretty sure he will take is 18 million this year and be a free agent next, but that is just my opinion)

I like Wheeler.

I wouldn't sign both Porcello and Pineda, seems redundant, would rather sign one and use the 5th spot like they did this year and why would you do this if you are trading for Smith?

The bullpen isn't improved that much with just adding Urena.

Not sure how extending Rogers and Buxton help next year.

With that being said I really appreciate the time and thought that Jeremy put into this.

 

You said "Secondly, do you have evidence that they did not contact other teams about trading this past July?"

I have zero evidence they did or didn't talk to anybody, what evidence I do have is that they traded for Romo and Dyson (which I liked but thought both could have been had a month earlier, sure might have cost a bit more, but they would have had them a month earlier), and they didn't trade for a starter in a season where everything seemed to fall into place but getting a starter for the playoffs.

If they didn't do that this year, why would they do it next year, because the window will be more open than it was last year? I wouldn't even know what more could happen next year to make people feel better than this year.

Fair enough Tom. I guess we view the future through different lens. i definitely agree with you on Pineda/Porcello along with the trade. As far as future moves it’s a matter of how much history we need before we make our assumptions. And while you may be right, I hope they prove you wrong and that the truly do take advantage of the open window.

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I contend that Wheeler is not better than Berrios. Cole, or Strasburg easily is. One of these is who we should be aiming for, and we have the money to out bid anyone.

I don’t really disagree with that position. I happen to think that Berrios will continue to improve and could legitimately work his way toward an elite pitcher. The only concern with Cole or Strasburg would be the length and how it could hamstring future spending, if in fact it would. Long-term contracts (>4-5yrs) are not something I prefer. There are always exceptions. Is this that case — maybe?

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 And while you may be right, I hope they prove you wrong and that the truly do take advantage of the open window.

So do I :)

But if next year goes as well as this year, they still aren't going to trade the top 4 or 5 prospects (nor should they since they are a year closer or will have less value) and overvalue the next 15.

I am not sure how you justify making a trade next year or the one(s) after that when you didn't this this? That is really my point, how do you justify ever making a the big trade when they didn't do it this year?

 

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Honestly find this plan to be outstanding in most all regards. The pitching is better overall, the team stays mostly intact, the top prospects remain with the organization for now, and the budget is crazy low at about $120M.

 

IMO, that financial flexibility is not about being cheap, but rather a real opportunity to add in the near future, plus additional arbitration numbers. While the BIG MOVE didn't happen at the deadline last season, it doesn't mean attempts weren't made, or won't be in the future. The FO has been fairly aggressive when it comes to making trades.

 

My ONE problem with this, Jeremy, is the loss of Cron AND Rosario. With the payroll as you have it, Cron needs to be kept. Or add Moose for 3B and move Sano to 1B. But there has be a bat retained/added somewhere.

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So do I :)

But if next year goes as well as this year, they still aren't going to trade the top 4 or 5 prospects (nor should they since they are a year closer or will have less value) and overvalue the next 15.

I am not sure how you justify making a trade next year or the one(s) after that when you didn't this this? That is really my point, how do you justify ever making a the big trade when they didn't do it this year?

 

I'm with you on this one. If they didn't make that trade last year with how HOT the team was and playing great, I don't see if happening next year either. 

 

If people haven't figured it out yet, our front office LOVES prospects and specifically LOVES ones that they drafted or traded for.

 

If it were me, I would sign Wheeler and put Lewis and/or Kiriloff on the block. Package them up or use one or the other for a package and bring in the best starter you can find. Syndergaard? Jon Gray? Giolito? Eduardo Rodriguez? Clevinger? Give me that stud. You will never have a chance again with a lineup this young and cheap.

 

We have a young SS that was an All-star last year and is locked up. Corner outfielders are a dime a dozen and we employ 2 good ones with another few looking to break in the next couple years. 

 

Why not?

Edited by Battle ur tail off
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Honestly find this plan to be outstanding in most all regards. The pitching is better overall, the team stays mostly intact, the top prospects remain with the organization for now, and the budget is crazy low at about $120M.

IMO, that financial flexibility is not about being cheap, but rather a real opportunity to add in the near future, plus additional arbitration numbers. While the BIG MOVE didn't happen at the deadline last season, it doesn't mean attempts weren't made, or won't be in the future. The FO has been fairly aggressive when it comes to making trades.

My ONE problem with this, Jeremy, is the loss of Cron AND Rosario. With the payroll as you have it, Cron needs to be kept. Or add Moose for 3B and move Sano to 1B. But there has be a bat retained/added somewhere.

 

thirty million under their easily reachable budget, and that's for arb increases and in season moves? They'd have to acquire almost 60 million of salaries at the deadline for that math to work out.

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thirty million under their easily reachable budget, and that's for arb increases and in season moves? They'd have to acquire almost 60 million of salaries at the deadline for that math to work out.

But they don't. There is no reason to suddenly add $20-30M at the deadline next year "just because". But now the financial opportunity IS available to make a move. A move that might even be a player signed beyond just a rental.

 

Look, I'm not saying "don't spend, be cheap, it's OK". But actually improving the ballclub while still keeping costs under control for flexibility and future salaries/extensions is a win-win.

 

If the Twins improve, win the Central, advance to and win the World Series, will anyone care what the actual final payroll is?

 

But again, while I really like what Jeremy did here, the payroll should still be a little higher for a bat, regardless if its OF/1B/3B. And you'd still have a lot of flexibility for a mid season acquisition, and to prepare for 2021.

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1) I very much like the long-term view of this blueprint. The "extend or trade" strategy is not something I had thought of. I'd be a little hesitant to do either this offseason, but it makes a lot of sense to me next offseason. I wouldn't rule it out this offseason, but I'd want to see what the Twins get in return. I'd be less fussy about the return next offseason (as I would need to be).

 

2) I like the structure of the extensions very much. One thing we haven't talked about much is the payroll in 2021 and 2022. The amounts on those arb players are going to increase faster than revenues, which could mean some lean offseasons (though I haven't studied this). Essentially front-loading those contracts helps offset that. 

 

3) I also think the overall amount for the Buxton contract sounds pretty good, though I think you're dreaming a bit on those team option years. 

 

We have seen several teams rebuild because they built the team in a financially unsustainable manner. The spreadsheet below has a projected payroll for 2020 but it also has the year the player hits free agency. This helps take a long-term look at the roster and also provides a view of potential sources of funds. Cruz comes off after 2020 as does Cron if we assume they keep him. The plan I have has a $143M payroll. The departure of Cruz and Cron provides $20M to cover arbitration / other increases. Gonzales comes off after 2021 providing another $9M. Rosario is another possible source if needed or if an advantageous scenario presents itself. 

 

Bottom line is that we will have the financial resource to cover increases in 2021 /2022 and keep this team together. Cruz / Cron / Gonzales represent just shy of $40M AAV. This is part of why I would keep Cruz. By next year we should be able to replace him with a prospect. Replacing Cruz will be a tall order but we have some good bats waiting in the wings.

 

post-2785-0-00593700-1573776761_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by Major League Ready
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But they don't. There is no reason to suddenly add $20-30M at the deadline next year "just because". But now the financial opportunity IS available to make a move. A move that might even be a player signed beyond just a rental.

Look, I'm not saying "don't spend, be cheap, it's OK". But actually improving the ballclub while still keeping costs under control for flexibility and future salaries/extensions is a win-win.

If the Twins improve, win the Central, advance to and win the World Series, will anyone care what the actual final payroll is?

But again, while I really like what Jeremy did here, the payroll should still be a little higher for a bat, regardless if its OF/1B/3B. And you'd still have a lot of flexibility for a mid season acquisition, and to prepare for 2021.

 

That second to last sentence is silliness. Are they more likely to win if they add as much talent at the beginning of the year, or less likely to win if they add less talent at the beginning of the year?

 

Cruz is off the payroll in 21, probably Rosario. Definitely Cron. they'll have plenty of space in 21 almost no matter what they do this off season. Odorizzi will make less money in 21, or be off the roster.

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One of the first things I say is that this is going to be a slow free agent market. Then I detail how I'd put together a team that should probably still win the AL Central in that slow market. Then I close by citing low payroll and the ability to continue shopping into Spring Training or add at the deadline.

 

If anyone is so hellbent on adding Cole or Strasburg, is your plan just to wait them out and see what happens? While it's possible, I don't see either signing before the end of January.

 

You can have a full team together and re-evaluate later. Then, maybe, you strike. Maybe it's a pitcher. Maybe it's a position player. The Twins have done this a lot under Falvey and Levine and it could totally happen again. I don't have the answer to who it would be... but it's certainly a possibility, as I alluded to.

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One of the first things I say is that this is going to be a slow free agent market. Then I detail how I'd put together a team that should probably still win the AL Central in that slow market. Then I close by citing low payroll and the ability to continue shopping into Spring Training or add at the deadline.

If anyone is so hellbent on adding Cole or Strasburg, is your plan just to wait them out and see what happens? While it's possible, I don't see either signing before the end of January.

You can have a full team together and re-evaluate later. Then, maybe, you strike. Maybe it's a pitcher. Maybe it's a position player. The Twins have done this a lot under Falvey and Levine and it could totally happen again. I don't have the answer to who it would be... but it's certainly a possibility, as I alluded to.

 

Once they've signed a full roster, they aren't going to sign more free agents. Unless you think they'll cut a veteran FA pitcher. Or, you mean they only bring back Odo and 1 other FA pitcher, and then wait......and maybe end up with two rookies in the rotation.

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Great article and interesting discussion.

 

My biggest issue is the Buxton extension of 4/32....Not that I wouldn't like that but there is (deep breath)...

 

 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Way he signs for that (and his agent would be brought up for malpractice if he did)

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That second to last sentence is silliness. Are they more likely to win if they add as much talent at the beginning of the year, or less likely to win if they add less talent at the beginning of the year?

 

Cruz is off the payroll in 21, probably Rosario. Definitely Cron. they'll have plenty of space in 21 almost no matter what they do this off season. Odorizzi will make less money in 21, or be off the roster.

Sorry Mike, you lost me a bit on 2nd last sentence. I was advocating adding more payroll for an additional bat.

 

I like the OP in general, and flexibility for additions, mid season and beyond. But never argued about spending more beyond Jeremy's framework. Are we miscomunitating here about intentions?

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Once they've signed a full roster, they aren't going to sign more free agents. Unless you think they'll cut a veteran FA pitcher. Or, you mean they only bring back Odo and 1 other FA pitcher, and then wait......and maybe end up with two rookies in the rotation.

 

Did you miss both the Lance Lynn signing two years ago and the Marwin Gonzalez signing last year?

 

If you can look at my projected roster and not find a way to add a better player, then I must have put a really good team together.

 

I think you're just arguing to argue at this point, which is a good place for me to stop.

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