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Front Page: How Long is the Twins Championship Window?


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Every MLB organization starts the season with the same end goal, to win the World Series. Obviously, some teams are better equipped than others to make a deep run through October. When a team has the pieces in place, it is imperative for them to take advantage of their championship window. The Twins saw the window open last year and now there are only a few years to take advantage of that window being open.“Windows Close Very, Very Quickly”

The Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are both in similar situations. Each team has won a title since 2016 and now they are facing some uncertainty. Rumors have swirled about the Cubs fielding offers for Kris Bryant and the Red Sox entertaining the thought of a Mookie Betts trade. These players were cheaper when each club won their title and now it might be time to move onto a less expensive player or prospect.

 

“The two most important commodities in the game are payroll flexibility, No. 1, and young, controllable talent. Even if you’re a large-market team and have no payroll flexibility, you’re a small-market team,” said former Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd. “Windows close very, very quickly within the game. Everybody wants to build a Bill Belichick model [of sustainability], but with guaranteed contracts and the way our sport works, it’s very, very difficult to do that.”

 

Forbes baseball writer Maury Brown believes MLB expects windows to be open for roughly five years. Low revenue clubs can expect to be a little shorter and higher revenue clubs can expect to be a little longer. Multiple prospects need to hit at the same time and the organization needs to make appropriate supplemental moves, but he feels confident the league likes to tout five years as a bit of a “standard.”

 

Minnesota’s Window

Last off-season, Minnesota was able to sign Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler to very team-friendly deals. Deals like these will help the Twins to keep their window open longer, but there are plenty of other players that still need long-term contracts. Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are all part of Minnesota’s young core and all three could be out of a Twins uniform by the time of the 2023 off-season.

 

When it comes to revenue, Minnesota ranks near the bottom of MLB, so this likely means their window of opportunity will be less than five years. This makes sense when considering the core players mentioned above. Minnesota has one of baseball’s top-ranked farm systems and these up-and-coming players could help to keep Minnesota’s window open a little longer, but there’s no guarantees that prospects will pan out at the big-league level.

 

Another option for the front office is to supplement the roster by trading away prospects. If Minnesota’s window is going to be less than five seasons, it makes sense to take full opportunity of the window being open. The 2019 season showed the front office a lot of things and last off-season they had a clear message to fans.

 

“The best moves are made not when you’re trying to open the window to contend, but when the window is wide open,” said General Manager Thad Levine. “We’re very eagerly waiting for this window to be opened, and when it is, we plan on striking.”

 

Many fans would agree that the window is now open and it’s up to the front office to take advantage of the opportunity.

 

How long do you feel the window is for the Twins to win a championship? Can the front office do anything to extend the window? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

 

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I think the window opened in 2017, but I don’t think it will close... [counts to five]... I don’t think it will necessarily close in 2021. The Twins should be competitive for a long time. It would be nice to see something more than a division crown at some point. That’s not nothing, but they need to make a deep run in the postseason—at least into the ALCS. That’s what success looks like to the fans, regardless of what Twins brass tell themselves.

 

In the next year or two, the Twins will need to extend Berrios and one or two of Graterol, Ober, Duran, or name your favorite, those will need to blossom as starters, plus some others developing and some supplementing via free agency, then things should be okay. (I still hold out hope for Tyler Wells in some role). Free agency will also need to be part of this.

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First, tremendous OP, Nick. I especially liked the O'dowd comments because they are real. Kudos.

 

The one comment, in all sports, that has always frustrated and confounded me is "This team is built for the playoffs". (I shake my head again just thinking about it). It is the worst case of hyperbole. It's as if someone assembled a team/roster and SOMEHOW the regular season should be skipped and we should somehow skip said regular season and just assemble a collection of teams based on paper and fantasy projection and just jump so some playoff scenario to decide the champion.

 

It doesn't work that way. If it did, the Twins would have been virtually excluded in 1987. The Patriots would have just been handed the Lombardi trophy a few years back instead of having to actually PLAY, and lose to the Giants simply because they were the "best team assembled".

 

While some want to scream "cheap" about "financial flexibility" as though it were an ugly 4 letter or hyphenated word, it is not. In MLB, we are seeing teams, and have seen glimpses previously, now looking to shed excessive payroll they themselves created. Take Boston as an example.

 

Am I off topic or digressing? Not at all.

 

The Twins window opened up in 2019 through a variety of factors, mostly due to health and progression of the core in place, along with a few smart additions. And yet, for various reasons, there remains room for INTERNAL improvement, based on experience/development and in some cases, health. Unless suddenly traded in mass, there is a collection of top prospects nearly ready to add and replace losses over the next year or so. This, even allowing for the loss of current players/prospects.

 

You trade Rosario, Larnach is close to replacing him. Or Kirilloff does with Raley or Rooker taking over or sliding in to 1B. Lewis, untradedm could be at 3B/SS/CF. The point isn't horde prospects, but just don't dump them all so that you have options.

 

We simply will not be able to keep and re-sign everyone. Trades will happen for various reasons. Some prospects will flame out. Others will surprise. Some trades will pan out, others will not. But additions and development will be key over time. The best run franchises with any sort of "sustainability" prove that to be true. As the Twins are constructed, RIGHT NOW, from the ML roster on down, knowing there will be losses here and there, I would say there is a legitimate window of 3 to 4 years. That's the best I can give because there are just too many factors in place.

 

Example: we keep Berrios but lose Sano and Buxton. They are replaced Lewis and Javier.

 

Give me the best, most competitive, versatile team you can put together every season for a shot, and I'll take that.

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Generally people don’t talk about “championship windows” until a team has actually won “a championship”, I mean did any of us talk about championship windows when the Twins we winning all of those Central Division titles 10 years ago?

 

But for the sake of the spirit of your post, and if we are still believing the obvious Falvine tripe about spending money when “the window is open”, this team will go as far as it’s pitching takes, or in the current case, doesn’t take it.  The beauty of the current team, kind of like the last good string of (non-championship) years is that we’ve a load of performers and the loss of one or two guys shouldn’t cripple us.  As the previous poster said, we’ve a fully stocked minor league system.

 

Can’t win championships without pitching though.

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“We’re very eagerly waiting for this window to be opened, and when it is, we plan on striking.”

For a while I thought Levine must be using at least one of the words "window", "opened", or "striking" differently than I do. Now, I think the word might be "is".

 

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I believe that as long as this front office remains, the window will be open much longer than expected or the norm.  They have two of their cornerstones, Kepler and Polanco, signed thru 2025, including options.  Will they extend that another couple years in the future?  Should they negotiate similar length contracts for more dollars with Buxton and Berrios this winter, they will have four (five including Garver) of the best young players in the game playing through at least 2025. 

 

Kirilloff, Larnach, Graterol, Balazovic, and Lewis won't be arriving until next summer or the following year.  All five are not likely to become superstars, but I would be shocked if at least two do with another one or two becoming solid big league players.  All of these player will be under team control until 2025 or beyond.  

 

Additional players will come up thru the system to augment this core group of 8 to 10 players.  If management does a little bit every offseason and at each trade deadline, there is no reason that the Twins window cannot remain open thru 2025 and beyond.  I don't view this window as being favorites to win the world series, more that they are in the hunt for division championships and likely in the playoffs.  And we all know that once in the playoffs, anything can happen.

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If your division has some of the worse teams in baseball you have a shot at the division title for years to come

This to me is the reality of Minnesota Twins baseball.   

 

Compete for the division every year and fill up the park is the business goal.  

 

I wish there was more willingness to take some measured risks that might result in competitive October baseball.  That could have happened last July, and is what us faithful are hoping for this offseason.

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The window has been open since 1991 or 28 years going on 29. This year's Nationals are a classic example of why you simply play every game as hard as you can until it is "over". 30 teams, 162 games plus playoffs if you get there. Objective is to be good enough to contend and don't beat yourself. 2020 Yankees should be a lock to win it all but they still have to do it.

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This to me is the reality of Minnesota Twins baseball.

 

Compete for the division every year and fill up the park is the business goal.

 

I wish there was more willingness to take some measured risks that might result in competitive October baseball. That could have happened last July, and is what us faithful are hoping for this offseason.

And this worked for the Royals a few years ago. You win 3 postseason rounds. In short series having some of the best starters and bullpens obviously gives you an advantage.
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First, tremendous OP, Nick. I especially liked the O'dowd comments because they are real. Kudos.

The one comment, in all sports, that has always frustrated and confounded me is "This team is built for the playoffs". (I shake my head again just thinking about it). It is the worst case of hyperbole. It's as if someone assembled a team/roster and SOMEHOW the regular season should be skipped and we should somehow skip said regular season and just assemble a collection of teams based on paper and fantasy projection and just jump so some playoff scenario to decide the champion.

It doesn't work that way. If it did, the Twins would have been virtually excluded in 1987. The Patriots would have just been handed the Lombardi trophy a few years back instead of having to actually PLAY, and lose to the Giants simply because they were the "best team assembled".

While some want to scream "cheap" about "financial flexibility" as though it were an ugly 4 letter or hyphenated word, it is not. In MLB, we are seeing teams, and have seen glimpses previously, now looking to shed excessive payroll they themselves created. Take Boston as an example.

Am I off topic or digressing? Not at all.

The Twins window opened up in 2019 through a variety of factors, mostly due to health and progression of the core in place, along with a few smart additions. And yet, for various reasons, there remains room for INTERNAL improvement, based on experience/development and in some cases, health. Unless suddenly traded in mass, there is a collection of top prospects nearly ready to add and replace losses over the next year or so. This, even allowing for the loss of current players/prospects.

You trade Rosario, Larnach is close to replacing him. Or Kirilloff does with Raley or Rooker taking over or sliding in to 1B. Lewis, untradedm could be at 3B/SS/CF. The point isn't horde prospects, but just don't dump them all so that you have options.

We simply will not be able to keep and re-sign everyone. Trades will happen for various reasons. Some prospects will flame out. Others will surprise. Some trades will pan out, others will not. But additions and development will be key over time. The best run franchises with any sort of "sustainability" prove that to be true. As the Twins are constructed, RIGHT NOW, from the ML roster on down, knowing there will be losses here and there, I would say there is a legitimate window of 3 to 4 years. That's the best I can give because there are just too many factors in place.

Example: we keep Berrios but lose Sano and Buxton. They are replaced Lewis and Javier.

Give me the best, most competitive, versatile team you can put together every season for a shot, and I'll take that.

Great post Doc. Thanks.

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I'm wondering if Thad has possibly used language that to an extent belies the way Falvey views the organization's strategy here. I get the sense, from Falvey's conversations about two things some commenters love to mock, namely sustainability and financial flexibility, that he's attempting to construct a new paradigm.

 

IMO, the new market inefficiency is financial inflexibility. IMO, maintaining a semblance of economic health is critical if the goal is sustainable baseball excellence. IMO, Falvey is focused on three economic pillars: available cash, liquid major league assets, and a valuable talent pipeline.

 

I know the arguments here by heart, trust me. One argument is that the Twins never trade prospects. The other is that they never pay the big bucks in free agency. IMO, the second argument will continue to be true, and the former will become a remnant of the past regime.

 

IMO, teams that completely forfeit "financial flexibility" are subjected to the old window thing. As are teams who completely deplete their pipeline, as, even with the highest of high draft picks, it takes a few years to replenish those assets. 

 

The last key, one Falvey has not yet had available to him, is the opportunity to trade extremely valuable MLB assets when a comparable replacement emerges from the pipeline. This year may be his first small opportunity, with Cave and/or Rosario, and perhaps with a flip or two of bullpen arms. Falvey hasn't yet had the luxury of high-value redundancy on the big league roster.

 

Bottom line, IMO, is maintaining healthy and appreciating asset values depends on getting most of your WAR from those young, controllable players, having success in skill development throughout the system, being willing to take advantage of opportunities to cash in on players who are redundant and getting expensive, and keeping enough powder dry to grave dance on teams who suffer from financial inflexibility. No more windows perhaps?

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Every season you have to add two position players (one parttime) and three pitchers to the mix, which means they are repalcing players leaving. You can supplement that with either a prospect or a free agent.

 

Basically for 2020 the Twins are addint a parttime catcher from outside, a second baeman from inside. They still need to add a rotation arm. They have added at least one bullpen arm and another from within the system is a possibility. 

 

Yes, they still need a first baseman but the tandem of Garver/Sano/Gonzales seems workable.

 

Injuries happen, which may allow you to see an outfielder of the future in 2020 like Kirilloff or Larnach (or Rooker/Raley).

 

Hopefully a prospect arm will stick for 2020 (Dobnak or Thorpe). You still have Graterol in the mix. The Twins could conceivably have three arms pitching aprts of 2020 that will carry them towards 2025.

 

Depending on what happens with Sano and Buxton and Berrios, the Twins are pretty set for the next three years at least. If they extend those guys, well beyond. I trust some fine dafting and an overloaded system of prospects to keep the bullpen full of fresh new arms, make a dominant rotation that the Twins will have under control for the next 6-8 seasons, and cover all their on-field position needs.

 

And I don't see them spending the bank on anyone player in the next decade. I doubt that will give Sano $20+ million a year. Berrios might be the closest, but hopes are theyc an tie him up for the next 4-6 years on a reasonable deal, then let him walk if he becaomes really expensive.

 

I believe in the front office. Running a tight economical ship. Making wise signings. The conflict comes that we all feel they should spend the money they have available, no matter the player, just because they can. Is that the right move?

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I'm wondering if Thad has possibly used language that to an extent belies the way Falvey views the organization's strategy here. I get the sense, from Falvey's conversations about two things some commenters love to mock, namely sustainability and financial flexibility, that he's attempting to construct a new paradigm.

 

IMO, the new market inefficiency is financial inflexibility. IMO, maintaining a semblance of economic health is critical if the goal is sustainable baseball excellence. IMO, Falvey is focused on three economic pillars: available cash, liquid major league assets, and a valuable talent pipeline.

 

I know the arguments here by heart, trust me. One argument is that the Twins never trade prospects. The other is that they never pay the big bucks in free agency. IMO, the second argument will continue to be true, and the former will become a remnant of the past regime.

 

IMO, teams that completely forfeit "financial flexibility" are subjected to the old window thing. As are teams who completely deplete their pipeline, as, even with the highest of high draft picks, it takes a few years to replenish those assets.

 

The last key, one Falvey has not yet had available to him, is the opportunity to trade extremely valuable MLB assets when a comparable replacement emerges from the pipeline. This year may be his first small opportunity, with Cave and/or Rosario, and perhaps with a flip or two of bullpen arms. Falvey hasn't yet had the luxury of high-value redundancy on the big league roster.

 

Bottom line, IMO, is maintaining healthy and appreciating asset values depends on getting most of your WAR from those young, controllable players, having success in skill development throughout the system, being willing to take advantage of opportunities to cash in on players who are redundant and getting expensive, and keeping enough powder dry to grave dance on teams who suffer from financial inflexibility. No more windows perhaps?

define "financial flexibility."

 

What does that mean, precisely?

 

And how is it useful?

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define "financial flexibility."

What does that mean, precisely?

And how is it useful?

 

I define it in financial terms myself due to my own background. Free cash flow is related to operating income. According to Forbes, the Twins have a fairly average annual revenue ($269M gross last year) and budget for player salary expenses in line with most other teams with similar revenue. Their operating income last year was higher than only five other teams, which might explain, without attempting to justify, their probable stance that player payroll starts to be imprudent past, say, around $140M. Avoiding longer-term contracts is a critical component of this financial flexibility. Why? Because when a guy peters out, you have his replacement costs to pile on top of his contract.

 

Financial flexibility is most useful, according to my theory, in conjunction with two other asset strengths: MLB assets that are liquid (no trade clauses, no contracts rendering the asset illiquid a la David Price), and high-value, redundant prospect talent. This trinity gives you all the choices: extend Kepler, take Price off Boston's hands, dangle Rosario, bid for Wheeler. Flexibility of CHOICE about how you improve your team to compete for the top prize.

 

My theory is that, soon, the most impactful way for one franchise to set itself apart from others will be to dance on the graves of teams that suffer from inflexibility: bumping up against thresholds, expenses threatening operating income, limited tradable pieces on the roster with declining production, meager value in prospect talent. If you run a franchise with an extra $50 or much more of free cash flow each and every year, you have more of a built-in flexibility, but even THOSE franchises can mismanage things enough to feel a squeeze.

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The last key, one Falvey has not yet had available to him, is the opportunity to trade extremely valuable MLB assets when a comparable replacement emerges from the pipeline. This year may be his first small opportunity, with Cave and/or Rosario, and perhaps with a flip or two of bullpen arms. Falvey hasn't yet had the luxury of high-value redundancy on the big league roster.

I will disagree with you here. (Because of course I will, right!?)

 

There was a plausible offer from the Mets last July of Buxton for Syndergaard. Kepler could have filled in in CF just fine for the remainder of 2019, probably beyond.

 

Granted it’s unknowable to us if the ask for Buxton was negotiating point that the Mets could have been talked down from, or on the other side, of the ask for Buxton was more of a message like “go away, we ain’t trading Syndergaard” in response to rumors. The middle road here is to assume that Buxton-for-Syndergaard was legitimate. And Buxton (at least at that time) was a valuable asset. The same can’t be said for Jake Cave.

 

The wild card here of course is disrupting the chemistry of the team like that in the middle of the race; Buxton and Kepler appear to be close teammates, to boot. But surely the front office under your scenario could still trade Buxton or Kepler this offseason—if it is “extremely valuable MLB assets” we are conditioning this on.

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When's the last time "anything" happened, come playoff time? For the Twins I mean?
 

 

Is this like a jinx thing? 

 

Teams without strong rotations have won a lot of playoff series. The 95-01 Indians won the AL twice and won a divisional series without ever having a good rotation, among numerous other examples.

 

It's just stated as a fact on here that the Twins will certainly lose in the first round, if they don't do "X", which varies a bit poster to poster but generally means adding an ace starter and then some. 

 

But of course, that's not a fact. It would be helpful, but not to the extremes suggested here.

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Is this like a jinx thing? 

 

Teams without strong rotations have won a lot of playoff series. The 95-01 Indians won the AL twice and won a divisional series without ever having a good rotation, among numerous other examples.

 

It's just stated as a fact on here that the Twins will certainly lose in the first round, if they don't do "X", which varies a bit poster to poster but generally means adding an ace starter and then some. 

 

But of course, that's not a fact. It would be helpful, but not to the extremes suggested here.

I didn't have a deep meaning to my comment - no "jinx" or "woe is us" or anything like that. Just, "anything can happen" was an odd argument to make, when addressing fans of this particular team.

 

I do believe a lot of random stuff happens during the post-season - and I wouldn't like a sport whose post-season was simply a coronation march. But, you have to have a team that is above a certain threshold of talent in all phases of the game, to take advantage of those dice-shakes. Our strong offense got a little snake-bit this past post-season, and with a pitching staff like ours there wasn't much scope to withstand a body blow like that; but if the anomalies had gone against the Yankees instead, they still had enough in reserve that they might well have won the series against the Twins.

 

Despite a 101-win regular season, the Twins came into the post-season as a decided underdog, and the smart money proved right. "Anything can happen" only if you've reached at least approximate parity.

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I define it in financial terms myself due to my own background. Free cash flow is related to operating income. According to Forbes, the Twins have a fairly average annual revenue ($269M gross last year) and budget for player salary expenses in line with most other teams with similar revenue. Their operating income last year was higher than only five other teams, which might explain, without attempting to justify, their probable stance that player payroll starts to be imprudent past, say, around $140M. Avoiding longer-term contracts is a critical component of this financial flexibility. Why? Because when a guy peters out, you have his replacement costs to pile on top of his contract.

 

Financial flexibility is most useful, according to my theory, in conjunction with two other asset strengths: MLB assets that are liquid (no trade clauses, no contracts rendering the asset illiquid a la David Price), and high-value, redundant prospect talent. This trinity gives you all the choices: extend Kepler, take Price off Boston's hands, dangle Rosario, bid for Wheeler. Flexibility of CHOICE about how you improve your team to compete for the top prize.

 

My theory is that, soon, the most impactful way for one franchise to set itself apart from others will be to dance on the graves of teams that suffer from inflexibility: bumping up against thresholds, expenses threatening operating income, limited tradable pieces on the roster with declining production, meager value in prospect talent. If you run a franchise with an extra $50 or much more of free cash flow each and every year, you have more of a built-in flexibility, but even THOSE franchises can mismanage things enough to feel a squeeze.

great..

 

Except the moment the Twins "dance on the graves" of these unfortunate teams, their own "financial flexibility" disappears. Not to mention, you're operating in theoretical territory here, since the Twins have never, not once, danced on anyone's grave by taking on significant salary.

 

Your entire argument boils down to "the Twins will win by spending significantly less than they could/should."

 

Less than they've stated they will.

 

My opinion..."financial flexibility" is another term for lining the Pohlad's pockets. We already know, by their own statements, they don't carry excess payroll capacity forward from one season to the next. So try again...what does this "financial flexibility" actually accomplish, besides limiting payroll?

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I didn't have a deep meaning to my comment - no "jinx" or "woe is us" or anything like that. Just, "anything can happen" was an odd argument to make, when addressing fans of this particular team.

 

I do believe a lot of random stuff happens during the post-season - and I wouldn't like a sport whose post-season was simply a coronation march. But, you have to have a team that is above a certain threshold of talent in all phases of the game, to take advantage of those dice-shakes. Our strong offense got a little snake-bit this past post-season, and with a pitching staff like ours there wasn't much scope to withstand a body blow like that; but if the anomalies had gone against the Yankees instead, they still had enough in reserve that they might well have won the series against the Twins.

 

Despite a 101-win regular season, the Twins came into the post-season as a decided underdog, and the smart money proved right. "Anything can happen" only if you've reached at least approximate parity.

 

This just isn't correct. There is no magical "threshold" a team has to reach to make an upset possible. Straight-up mediocre teams have won the World Series, e.g., Giants in 2014, Cardinals, in 2006, etc., let alone all the teams that scored upsets for one or two rounds (e.g., 2012 Tigers beating the A's and Yankees to win ALCS). Heck, in 2019, the Nationals defeated clearly superior clubs in the NLDS and the World Series. 

 

The Twins were good enough to beat the Yankees, they just didn't. They were underdogs, but not hugely so, and certainly not to the point where a sweep should have been expected. 

 

The Twins current streak of post-season futility is obviously a source of great frustration for fans. But it has no actual impact on their next post-season game. Any team in the post-season has a solid chance to pull an upset, or more than one.

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This just isn't correct. There is no magical "threshold" a team has to reach to make an upset possible. Straight-up mediocre teams have won the World Series, e.g., Giants in 2014, Cardinals, in 2006, etc., let alone all the teams that scored upsets for one or two rounds (e.g., 2012 Tigers beating the A's and Yankees to win ALCS). Heck, in 2019, the Nationals defeated clearly superior clubs in the NLDS and the World Series.

 

The Twins were good enough to beat the Yankees, they just didn't. They were underdogs, but not hugely so, and certainly not to the point where a sweep should have been expected.

 

The Twins current streak of post-season futility is obviously a source of great frustration for fans. But it has no actual impact on their next post-season game. Any team in the post-season has a solid chance to pull an upset, or more than one.

I think the trick is to NOT be the underdog. To not need an upset.

 

That won't work all the time either, but I guarantee it'll work more often than the other way around.

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I think the trick is to NOT be the underdog. To not need an upset.

That won't work all the time either, but I guarantee it'll work more often than the other way around.

 

Yeah, I mean ideally the Twins would just be completely unbeatable, but there are constraints. For instance, the Yankees and Astros, among others, are well managed and have a lot more money than the Twins. So, structurally, the Twins start at a disadvantage.

 

The Twins biggest advantage under the current system is that they play in a division that is typically weak-to-mediocre. 

 

What most posters, yourself included, refuse to accept, is that making the playoffs (particularly by winning the division) means a legitimate chance to advance in those playoffs. This is hugely important from a strategy perspective.

 

Even the worst division winner typically has around a 5% chance to win the World Series. So, for instance, if you want to trade future playoff appearances (e.g., by trading prospects and/or signing costly long-term deals with unproductive later years), you need to improve the current team by at least a roughly similar amount to what you're giving up in the future (unless for some reason the 2020 World Series is substantially more important than the 2021 World Series, but I don't see a logical reason for that).

 

If the win-now strategy takes the team from 7.5% to 25% to win the World Series in a given season, that definitely would justify several years of future rebuilding. If the win-now strategy takes the team from 7.5% to 10%, it definitely would not justify such a dramatic future cost.

 

If there was a plausible course of action the Twins could have taken to become the best team in the AL this off-season, I'd be interested to hear it. I don't see any possible series of moves that could have achieved such a goal. 

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I'm wondering if Thad has possibly used language that to an extent belies the way Falvey views the organization's strategy here. I get the sense, from Falvey's conversations about two things some commenters love to mock, namely sustainability and financial flexibility, that he's attempting to construct a new paradigm.

 

IMO, the new market inefficiency is financial inflexibility. IMO, maintaining a semblance of economic health is critical if the goal is sustainable baseball excellence. IMO, Falvey is focused on three economic pillars: available cash, liquid major league assets, and a valuable talent pipeline.

 

I know the arguments here by heart, trust me. One argument is that the Twins never trade prospects. The other is that they never pay the big bucks in free agency. IMO, the second argument will continue to be true, and the former will become a remnant of the past regime.

 

IMO, teams that completely forfeit "financial flexibility" are subjected to the old window thing. As are teams who completely deplete their pipeline, as, even with the highest of high draft picks, it takes a few years to replenish those assets. 

 

The last key, one Falvey has not yet had available to him, is the opportunity to trade extremely valuable MLB assets when a comparable replacement emerges from the pipeline. This year may be his first small opportunity, with Cave and/or Rosario, and perhaps with a flip or two of bullpen arms. Falvey hasn't yet had the luxury of high-value redundancy on the big league roster.

 

Bottom line, IMO, is maintaining healthy and appreciating asset values depends on getting most of your WAR from those young, controllable players, having success in skill development throughout the system, being willing to take advantage of opportunities to cash in on players who are redundant and getting expensive, and keeping enough powder dry to grave dance on teams who suffer from financial inflexibility. No more windows perhaps?

 

If you don't use the money, what is financial flexibility for? 

 

For years, people here told me that I shouldn't judge the Twins' draft picks in the 20s harshly, because I shouldn't expect much. That it wasn't really possible for a mid market team to have sustained success, that it went in cycles.

 

Now? I'm supposed to believe that I was right, that a team good at drafting and trading and developing can have sustained success?

 

Which is it?

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I'm wondering if Thad has possibly used language that to an extent belies the way Falvey views the organization's strategy here. I get the sense, from Falvey's conversations about two things some commenters love to mock, namely sustainability and financial flexibility, that he's attempting to construct a new paradigm.

 

IMO, the new market inefficiency is financial inflexibility. IMO, maintaining a semblance of economic health is critical if the goal is sustainable baseball excellence. IMO, Falvey is focused on three economic pillars: available cash, liquid major league assets, and a valuable talent pipeline.

 

I know the arguments here by heart, trust me. One argument is that the Twins never trade prospects. The other is that they never pay the big bucks in free agency. IMO, the second argument will continue to be true, and the former will become a remnant of the past regime.

 

IMO, teams that completely forfeit "financial flexibility" are subjected to the old window thing. As are teams who completely deplete their pipeline, as, even with the highest of high draft picks, it takes a few years to replenish those assets.

 

The last key, one Falvey has not yet had available to him, is the opportunity to trade extremely valuable MLB assets when a comparable replacement emerges from the pipeline. This year may be his first small opportunity, with Cave and/or Rosario, and perhaps with a flip or two of bullpen arms. Falvey hasn't yet had the luxury of high-value redundancy on the big league roster.

 

Bottom line, IMO, is maintaining healthy and appreciating asset values depends on getting most of your WAR from those young, controllable players, having success in skill development throughout the system, being willing to take advantage of opportunities to cash in on players who are redundant and getting expensive, and keeping enough powder dry to grave dance on teams who suffer from financial inflexibility. No more windows perhaps?

This is a really good, well laid out post. Have you blogged this to flesh it out more?

 

At face value I feel like there’s a feasibility argument to be made, but maybe there’s some research to fill in some blanks

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What most posters, yourself included, refuse to accept, is that making the playoffs (particularly by winning the division) means a legitimate chance to advance in those playoffs. This is hugely important from a strategy perspective.

 

 

By this point I don't think it's just the posters but the entire organization and fanbase. Their continued losing is beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy. To get past that, I think they need to make some aggressive moves, if for no other reason than the send a message and change the vibe.

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