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Front Page: Wheeler’s Gone, But Bumgarner Would Give the Twins Plenty to Work With


If all we get is MadBum in terms of rotation help, I’ll be bummed (pun intended).

 

The guys isn’t what he used to be. He’s borderline washed.

 

He pitches in the NL. For all the Kyle Gibson haters, his ERA away from his pitcher friendly home ballpark since 2017 is over 4.20. Kyle Gibson has been blasted around here for a career ERA of around 4.5 while pitching in the AL. Be prepared for outrage around here.

 

Many seem to think our pitching coach will magically unlock something in this guy. Why do we think that? Aside from a month or two of Martin Perez pitching out of his mind, what has our pitching staff really accomplished? The Odorizzi “turnaround” isn’t as cut and dried as some would like it to be (he’s throwing harder but pitching fewer innings...chicken/egg). Our bullpen imploded. Berrios underperformed, IMO. We got absolutely shelled by any team with a competent offense. On top of that, Bumgarner is aging and has a ton of mileage in his arm.

 

On top of that, he doesn’t throw particularly hard from the left side. Target Field has a shirt porch in right. Not sure that’s a combination that’ll work out very well.

 

Would I hate the signing? No. But, I couldn’t disagree more with those who think this would be a huge difference maker. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Gibson get healthy and have a better year than Bumgarner next year.

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I've asked this in other posts but have not got a great answer.    Wheeler was the 3rd or 4th best pitcher on a third place team.     Twins had 3 guys that performed just as well last year.

If you haven't gotten a great answer, it's probably because you're not really asking a question but stating an opinion.

 

By some measures, Wheeler was the second best pitcher on the Mets last year, behind only the Cy Young winner deGrom. At worst, he's roughly in line with Syndergaard and Stroman, who are two pretty useful pitchers too.

 

The Mets were a third place team, but had 86 wins in arguably the most competitive division in baseball last year (wild card team, four .500+ teams). If you account for the fact that 5 of the 6 worst teams in baseball were in the AL last year, an 86 win NL team might have been the equivalent of a 90 win AL team.

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If you haven't gotten a great answer, it's probably because you're not really asking a question but stating an opinion.

 

By some measures, Wheeler was the second best pitcher on the Mets last year, behind only the Cy Young winner deGrom. At worst, he's roughly in line with Syndergaard and Stroman, who are two pretty useful pitchers too.

 

The Mets were a third place team, but had 86 wins in arguably the most competitive division in baseball last year (wild card team, four .500+ teams). If you account for the fact that 5 of the 6 worst teams in baseball were in the AL last year, an 86 win NL team might have been the equivalent of a 90 win AL team.

Well ok.   You are right in all you say, or rather the opinion you state has validity.    I never said he wasn't useful.   He would be an asset but still not sure I would put him above Berrios, Odorizzi or Pineda and the narrative on these  seem to suggest he is above at least two of them.    If its at worst an opinion that still has a question attached that hasn't been answered.  The only plus he has over those guys is innings.   Its not nothing but not worth all the love either.  That is my opinion welcoming a rebuttal.

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With Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg seemingly out of the picture (not that they were ever in it), Bumgarner may be the Twins last chance, as Ryu seems unlikely to land in Minnesota.

 

Why is Ryu unlikely to land in Minnesota?

 

Not asking because I have a strong conviction otherwise, but curious what your thinking is.

 

There has long been a perception that most Asian-born players prefer to play on the coasts, particularly the west coast, if they have a choice about where to play. Presumably this perception started from real examples of players feeling this way, but it seems like it gets repeated in many different cases and I wonder how true it really is across the board.

 

On the other hand, the Dodgers seem to prioritize retaining their own free agents and to make it happen when they want to, so if they like the match with Ryu then yes, I'd guess that any other team is at a disadvantage.

I just haven't heard anything linking him to Minnesota and feel like he will probably end up back in LA. But I'd be happy to be wrong!

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Well ok.   You are right in all you say, or rather the opinion you state has validity.    I never said he wasn't useful.   He would be an asset but still not sure I would put him above Berrios, Odorizzi or Pineda and the narrative on these  seem to suggest he is above at least two of them.    If its at worst an opinion that still has a question attached that hasn't been answered.  The only plus he has over those guys is innings.   Its not nothing but not worth all the love either.  That is my opinion welcoming a rebuttal.

I don't know if it's as much being better than those guys, as simply being another one of those guys. (Although I'll remind that Pineda is not yet under contract, will miss at least a month in 2020, and Wheeler has 3 seasons with more IP than Pineda's career high too...)

 

We need another couple guys like that, and every FA that signs somewhere else makes it a little less likely that we'll get the guys we need. (And Wheeler looked like one of the better FA options with upside, although obviously it came at a cost too.)

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Do you work for the Twins?

 

Otherwise I don't see how you could possibly know both what they offered to Wheeler or have on the table right now. Not to mention their motivation.

 

Anything reported about contract negotiations is based on hearsay or rumors. Unless the reporter literally saw the offer, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Uhh...if you go to mlbtraderumors.com there's a pretty lengthy piece about what the Twins offered to Wheeler.

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I’ll argue it’s mostly a failure to develop pitching prospects into MLB starters. Blowing draft picks on Jay and Stewart and failing to develop guys like Gonsalves and Romero are the key reasons why our rotation is barren. You obviously can’t expect them to all pan out, but the success rate is pretty low for the past few years.

Romero is the one i'm most dissapointed about. He has/had the raw stuff.

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Uhh...if you go to mlbtraderumors.com there's a pretty lengthy piece about what the Twins offered to Wheeler.

Which was published 2 hours after I said this.

 

(Maybe the STrib article was before that though.) 

 

Edit: Okay, I can't read the difference between AM/PM.

 

Anyway, that still doesn't really change my original point, even if 1/3 of my original comment was reported somewhere.

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I’ll argue it’s mostly a failure to develop pitching prospects into MLB starters. Blowing draft picks on Jay and Stewart and failing to develop guys like Gonsalves and Romero are the key reasons why our rotation is barren. You obviously can’t expect them to all pan out, but the success rate is pretty low for the past few years.

This is EXACTLY why you simply must leave the #5 spot (and 4 some years) open for one of the youngsters to get their opportunity to enter the rotation.  This approach of continuing to load up on re-treads and reclamation projects for the #5 (keeping the young pitchers in the minors until they break down, are moved to relief, or are finally washed out) just makes NO sense.  If not this year, then when?  If we had done so two years ago with Romero as a FY starter, with one of Thorpe/Dobnak/Smeltzer most of last year versus Perez, and Graterol/Dobnak next year vs. TBN reclamation project, and Balazovic/Duran in 2021, we may/will have a solid answer on our internal prospects (which is what we did with Berrios).  Otherwise, you have to continue to shop for free-agents or trades each year to re-build the staff when deals are up for the starters.  I get that we are now a viable playoff team, but I don't think you are ever very successful in addressing the #5 with the re-tread/reclamation merry-go-round.  History proves this. 

 

Thus, I say add one more veteran by FA or Trade.  Then, leave the #5 open and make the young pitchers work to win it.  You clearly have the numbers to find one viable option.  Do the same the following year when Odo is at risk of coming off the books, and Pineda the following year.  You need to build MOST of your staff in-house if you are not the Yankees or Boston - he77, even the Dodgers are a big money team and they build most of their pitching assets from within.  Atlanta and St. Louis have also historically built most of their staffs from within and should be our model with a similar market and payroll most years (particularly now with our seemingly better pitching assessment and coaching acumen - and with the death of the pitch-to-contact failed philosophy of the Garden Gnome and his sidekick, Rick 'beachball's welcome' Anderson).

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BTW:  Were we to add MadBum, my gut says that we will be fortunate to get 'Good Kyle Gibson' numbers in the regular season.  I say this due to the AL effect, his away numbers from SF (pitchers park), his lessened velocity and penchant for giving up the long-ball with some short RF porches in the AL, etc.  That said, I expect more 'Good MadBum' numbers in the playoffs, than 'Bad Kyle Gibson' numbers in the playoffs or 'Bad MadBum' numbers.  I say this because MadBum is a big-game pitcher, and he has proven it enough to validate this for me (much more than any other current Twins pitcher, Wheeler, or any other pitcher we could reasonably consider at this point).  That alone, makes the risk good enough for me at present in bringing him aboard.  The only flyer I would take in 2020 would be Gaussman - for the 5 weeks that Pineda is out as our #4, not for the #5.  Within that time period (and Spring Training), we should have a good idea if he can be fixed, and I expect that there might be some bumps in the road with Pineda's conditioning/stamina or other injuries that might be worth checking out Gaussman during that time (move him to RP if it isn't working out - he may be a find there where his above average stuff might play up further).  In contrast to my post above, I add this option ONLY because we are in the unique situation with Pineda's early season suspension, which affords us this luxury, while cycling through the youngsters for the #5.  Gaussman also shouldn't cost too much...though maybe 2-3 years will be necessary.

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If the Twins are going to be legitimate contenders it will be because Berrios and Odorizzi step forward. That is where the ace and number 2 come from. I have as much confidence in them taking the next step as I do in Wheeler becoming dominant for a full season.

 

I would be happy with Bumgarner or Keuchel, or maybe even Ryu, as a veteran lefty in the rotation. That role is not one that requires a 4 or 5 year commitment that will cause problems with keeping the core together in a few years. If Madbum is open to a 2 or 3 yr deal, heavily front loaded, then I say go for it. If not, wish him well and move on.

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If the Twins are going to be legitimate contenders it will be because Berrios and Odorizzi step forward. That is where the ace and number 2 come from. I have as much confidence in them taking the next step as I do in Wheeler becoming dominant for a full season.

I would be happy with Bumgarner or Keuchel, or maybe even Ryu, as a veteran lefty in the rotation. That role is not one that requires a 4 or 5 year commitment that will cause problems with keeping the core together in a few years. If Madbum is open to a 2 or 3 yr deal, heavily front loaded, then I say go for it. If not, wish him well and move on.

I agree with the premise of the first part of your post. I think the rotation improving has alot to do with Berrios improving and turning into one of the best 7-8 pitchers in baseball. Odorizzi though? I think him performing the way he did last year would be about as good as we can expect. 

 

Signing a guy like Madbum or Ryu IMO, is more about quality throughout the rotation, than it is about signing one of them to be your ACE. A #2 guy is about all we can expect out of either of them. Berrios, unless we sign Cole or Strasburg, will still be this team's #1 guy. 

 

As far as getting any pitcher to sign for 2-3 years that doesn't profile as a 4th-5th starter. It's not gonna happen. You want one of these guys I think 4 years will be the absolute minimum it will take to get them.

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If the Twins are going to be legitimate contenders it will be because Berrios and Odorizzi step forward. That is where the ace and number 2 come from. I have as much confidence in them taking the next step as I do in Wheeler becoming dominant for a full season.

I would be happy with Bumgarner or Keuchel, or maybe even Ryu, as a veteran lefty in the rotation. That role is not one that requires a 4 or 5 year commitment that will cause problems with keeping the core together in a few years. If Madbum is open to a 2 or 3 yr deal, heavily front loaded, then I say go for it. If not, wish him well and move on.

 

How will signing a guy past 2 years hinder keeping the core?

 

Odo will  be gone, Cruz will be gone. Rosario will likely be gone, if not in 21, then in 22. 

 

Of the core, only Buxton, Sano, and Berrios will need signing in the next two-three years (you aren't extending a catcher that can't be a free agent until he's 31 any time soon). 

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There's just too many red flags with MadBum. Looks like he hit his peak in 2016 and has been declining ever since. If he was worth 20 million per year the Giants would sign him (Any one hear remember Sam Dyson from a couple months ago?).

No reason for the Twin's to pay for past performance. Hard pass.

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Not Graussman - never been consistently good for more one or two months, and in fact has been consistently bad; unless a miracle happens, guys like that will drag the team down.  No one wants to sit and stew every fifth day until June when he gets an outright release.  Not a sound investment, even at a bargain price.

 

And pass on Keuchel - overpriced, basically league-average innings eater.  We should have some young talent that can at least match that.

 

I find it hard to fathom MadBum' commanding 4 or 5 years.  If it was like 17/yr for 3 years for the Twins, it might work out, but he appears to getting better offers than that, both in terms of money and length.  Twins don't have resources IMO to be bogged down that long if a signing like this goes bust.

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In September Madbum gave up 19 earned runs in 31 IP. Just think how many months he will have an ERA over 5 in the AL.

 

There goes your payroll. Oh you will gush if he gets off to a good start, but, he is not 24 anymore.

 

$120 million for 5 years? I've seen reports that our GM is interested in him in St. Louis. Still paying for his signing mid-level relievers for several years and Mike Leake.

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