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Front Page: Hayes: Twins To Sign Rich Hill & Homer Bailey


John Bonnes
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The idea that nobody wants to come here is, at best, a terrible reflection on the front office’s ability to woo talent. You can sell someone on anything when there’s big money involved.

 

Much more likely, is that the “nobody wants to come here” is just the excuse that this FO is using for not signing anyone of substance. This has become a huge talking point in the last year or so, and everyone seems to be buying it. I don’t even live in Minnesota but I think minneapolis is an amazing town... theres a 0% chance that every single big name option says “no way would I ever go there”.MLBTR had a report that straight up said the Twins didn’t pursue anyone aggressively this winter. Sure, no one wants to come here at a 25% discount. But if you offer the best deals, people absolutely will come. I don’t get why everyone is suddenly buying that excuse hook, line, and sucker.

 

"Not wanting to come here" meaning a combination of factors; bad weather, high taxes, lack of horse stables, what have you.

 

I also mean the contract terms that were (or weren't) offered, and the Twins reputation around the league.

 

So what I mean to ask is, did Falvine not improve the rotation because they have faith? Or because they struck out?

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Can the moderators please start banning the use of the phrase “impact pitching.” Its such a weak crutch for people to fall back on when they don’t want to critically think about why moves were made.

 

Stop. It’s tired.

The phrase comes from the Twins front office.

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"Not wanting to come here" meaning a combination of factors; bad weather, high taxes, lack of horse stables, what have you.

 

I also mean the contract terms that were (or weren't) offered, and the Twins reputation around the league.

 

So what I mean to ask is, did Falvine not improve the rotation because they have faith? Or because they struck out?

I understand. I happened to respond to you, but wasn’t speaking only to what you’re saying, just the rampant rumors that we just can’t do any better because “no one wants to come here”. It’s just far, far, FAR more likely that people don’t come here because we don’t offer market value contracts. But that doesn’t make a convenient excuse like blaming outside factors does

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So far, I've seen reporting that Hill's deal can be for up to $9.5 million, for more than $10 million, and for an additional $9.5 million on top of $3 million guaranteed. Can anyone clarify what the deal is here? Just curious.

Curious also.

 

I also wonder how much the front office should factor in the incentives to the budget planning. Where does the budget sit after these two signings?

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Signing two pitchers (Pineda and Hill) who will miss the start of the year is an interesting approach. I'd rather finish strong than start strong, I guess. You can't have too much depth.

 

Bailey. Ug. But on a 1 year deal who cares.

 

 

I care. A lot.

 

If you're asking me, the Twins are nowhere near a better team right now than they were in October. I do not believe Rich Hill + Homer Bailey make this team any better than it was going into the Yankees playoff series.

Several players are bound for a bit of regression, the 'juiced ball' debate notwithstanding.

The AL Central is bound to be pretty weak, yet again. There have been several opportunities in the FA market to improve this team. Most importantly in the rotation, where right now the Twins have an absolute glaring need. Desperate, I would even say.

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From Jeff Passan of ESPN on Rich Hill's contract:

 

If he returns in time to make 15 starts or throw 75 innings, Hil's salary will jump to $12.5 million, a source told Passan. He can earn $1 million for reaching five starts or 25 innings, another $1 million for seven starts or 35 innings, an additional $1 million for nine starts or 45 innings, $1.5 million more for 11 starts or 55 innings, $2 million on top of that for 13 starts or 65 innings and a $3 million bonus for his 15th start or 75th inning.

 

I think the contract hurdles being listed as starts or innings is designed to provide compensation for Hill whether he's used as a starter or reliever.

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From Jeff Passan of ESPN on Rich Hill's contract:

 

If he returns in time to make 15 starts or throw 75 innings, Hil's salary will jump to $12.5 million, a source told Passan. He can earn $1 million for reaching five starts or 25 innings, another $1 million for seven starts or 35 innings, an additional $1 million for nine starts or 45 innings, $1.5 million more for 11 starts or 55 innings, $2 million on top of that for 13 starts or 65 innings and a $3 million bonus for his 15th start or 75th inning.

 

I think the contract hurdles being listed as starts or innings is designed to provide compensation for Hill whether he's used as a starter or reliever.

Thanks.

 

Obviously, there’s been some inaccurate reporting.

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I'm going to guess that many teams (and agents!) underestimated how high the demand and prices would get on starting pitchers. Twins might've gone after Gibson and Odorizzi definitely would have declined his QO.

I don't understand why anyone would ever underestimate the demand for starting pitching. It isn't a new phenomenon to need starting pitchers.

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From Jeff Passan of ESPN on Rich Hill's contract:

 

If he returns in time to make 15 starts or throw 75 innings, Hil's salary will jump to $12.5 million, a source told Passan. He can earn $1 million for reaching five starts or 25 innings, another $1 million for seven starts or 35 innings, an additional $1 million for nine starts or 45 innings, $1.5 million more for 11 starts or 55 innings, $2 million on top of that for 13 starts or 65 innings and a $3 million bonus for his 15th start or 75th inning.

 

I think the contract hurdles being listed as starts or innings is designed to provide compensation for Hill whether he's used as a starter or reliever.

12.5 million for 75 innings?

 

That is more per inning than Gerrit Cole.

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From Jeff Passan of ESPN on Rich Hill's contract:

 

If he returns in time to make 15 starts or throw 75 innings, Hil's salary will jump to $12.5 million, a source told Passan. He can earn $1 million for reaching five starts or 25 innings, another $1 million for seven starts or 35 innings, an additional $1 million for nine starts or 45 innings, $1.5 million more for 11 starts or 55 innings, $2 million on top of that for 13 starts or 65 innings and a $3 million bonus for his 15th start or 75th inning.

$3M to gain his undivided attention.

$200K per start, for the first 5 starts.

$500K per start for the next 4.

$750K per start for the next 2.

$1M per start for the next 2.

$1.5M per start for the next 2.

Every start after that is free, Free, FREE!

 

Ha ha ha ha, Sucker! You're going to be feeling pretty dumb when you make start #16, Rich Hill. More like Poorhouse Hill from then on, amirite.

 

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12.5 million for 75 innings?

 

That is more per inning than Gerrit Cole.

Close.

 

Hill at peak earnings (75 innings): Hill makes $166,667 per inning.

Cole (36 mil contract year average, 210 est innings): Cole makes $171,429 per inning.

 

It does seem like a lot of $$ for Hill I agree. If he can pitch as effectively as he has the past few years he could be a huge asset in a post-season run.

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I was still hoping for them to take a shot at Walker or Wood? I mean they surly don't have the rotation all locked up at this point, but I do see that the 40 man is now full. So I am guessing that they won't take a shot at some more lightning in a bottle, albeit, 27 and 29 year old lightning in a bottle as opposed to 34 and 40 year old lightning... So it looks as though they are done. I mean even if they bring on Donaldson they are going to have to do something about that pesky 40 man??

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$3M to gain his undivided attention.

$200K per start, for the first 5 starts.

$500K per start for the next 4.

$750K per start for the next 2.

$1M per start for the next 2.

$1.5M per start for the next 2.

Every start after that is free, Free, FREE!

 

Ha ha ha ha, Sucker! You're going to be feeling pretty dumb when you make start #16, Rich Hill. More like Poorhouse Hill from then on, amirite.

Don't think so.

 

The pattern clearly shows it's start 17 that's free.

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I was still hoping for them to take a shot at Walker or Wood? I mean they surly don't have the rotation all locked up at this point, but I do see that the 40 man is now full. So I am guessing that they won't take a shot at some more lightning in a bottle, albeit, 27 and 29 year old lightning in a bottle as opposed to 34 and 40 year old lightning... So it looks as though they are done. I mean even if they bring on Donaldson they are going to have to do something about that pesky 40 man??

yeah, i wonder who goes if they somehow get Donaldson. Any guesses?

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I just find myself having a hard time caring whether they paid him 3 million or 9 million or 12 million or how it is distributed. This is what is took to get him to sign. Many teams overpay to get a free agent pitcher.

 

I do care a lot about whether he will help. I think he will be really helpful if he pitches. I think the chance of him returning and staying healthy is small. I wish I could find one example of a pitcher doing this new UCL repair surgery and returning to his previous level in 6 months.

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1. There is very little doubt now that the Twins will be using a traditional 5 man rotation and I now consider the odds of using the Tampa model an extreme long shot. So much so, I will no longer consider the possibility. I had considered it a possibility up until Dec 31st, 2019.  

 

2. I'm not sure the front office sees it this way but I think it is important to look at this from the opposite direction now. By opposite I mean, Hill and Bailey will obviously be utilized as primaries, but they need to be seen as depth/insurance more so than Dobnak, Smeltzer, Graterol, Thorpe, Alcala, Duran, Balzovic or Chalmers. I know this may be confusing but...

 

Here's why. 

 

3. It should be clear to everyone, the front office, fans and people who don't even pay attention to baseball that acquiring a top end starter via free agency or trade is extremely difficult to do. The combination of freewill and competition for that particular product makes it very risky to be counted on as a plan A for addressing needs or concerns in any off-season, no matter the money or prospect resources you have.

 

I'm not saying the Twins will never, should or should not ever. I'm not saying that players don't want to come to Minnesota, I'm not making a budget statement, I'm not making a large market or small market comparison.

 

I'm saying anything is always possible but i'm saying that it's hard and unpredictable due to freewill and competition, hard enough that the signing or trading of a top end starter shouldn't be considered a primary plan. It should be pursued like a primary plan but not considered a primary plan because the odds are low and you lack total control over the outcome. 

 

4. We started 2019 knowing that 3 of our first 5 starters in our rotation were about to enter free agency. It ended up being 4 by the end of 2020. If no one else is added, we will start 2020 knowing that 3 of our first 5 starters in our rotation are about to enter free agency. We can't keep doing this. 

 

5.. Once you consider point 3 and if you believe point 4 can't be done year over year. There is only one way out, you must develop your own starters and it has to happen this year. We must find our own version of Civale or Paddack and we must do it this year. Find one Civale or Paddack type pitcher from our farm and we are down to needing 2 instead of 3 next year. Find one and we are not as worried about weather Bailey performs this year. You will never find the replacement if average vets are preferred customers. 

 

6. Focus has to shift to finding at least one starter from our system. Bailey and Hill become the insurance in this scenario. Just in case we fail to identify one pitcher who can perform from the farm, we still got Bailey and Hill. 

 

7. Pineda will be out until May missing at least 7 starts. Hill could potential miss half a season if not more so let's say 17 starts.That's 24 starts already needed out of pitchers 6 through whatever on the depth chart. Last year we got 16 starts total outside of the top 5 so we are already entering the season requiring more from our depth. 

 

8. If Dobnak or whoever is performing at the major league level, let them continue performing at the major league level. If Duran or Balzovic is knocking on the door at Rochester... OPEN THE DOOR. 

 

9. Do not let any of the chosen 5 (Berrios, Odorizzi, Pineda, Hill, Bailey) suck for an extended period of time. No repeat of the Martin Perez, going back to a dry well over and over again and forsaking anybody else in the process in order to go back to the dry well over and over again. 

 

10. With the signing of Hill and Bailey... the front office has just made the discovery of 2020 talent out of Dobnak, Smeltzer, Graterol, Thorpe, Alcala, Duran, Balzovic or Chalmers much much much more important than if Bailey is able to break 100 OPS+ or if Hill is able to earn those incentives. 

 

Bailey and Hill should be considered insurance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two points:

 

1. Homer Bailey played his whole career with Cincinnati. He was lousy from 2016-2018, posting ERAs over 6. However, his BABIP was 452, 350 and 331 those seasons. This past season was his first season with a new team, first with KC and then with Oakland. He changed his pitch mix, adding in nearly 25% splitters. When he got to Oakland, both his fastball and his splitter were above average pitches. This is notable for a few reasons; one, his fastball had been terrible for the five previous seasons in Cincinnati; two, new pitching coaches obviously had some new ideas for him in terms of pitches and pitch mix that worked; and three, Wes Johnson could have additional new ideas to help him with velocity and pitch mix. The fact that he was targeted by the Twins might mean they think there is some upside.

 

2. Does Rich Hill get his incentives if they are reached during the playoffs? Might be significant if he isn’t back until post All-Star break.

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1. There is very little doubt now that the Twins will be using a traditional 5 man rotation and I now consider the odds of using the Tampa model an extreme long shot. So much so, I will no longer consider the possibility. I had considered it a possibility up until Dec 31st, 2019.  

 

2. I'm not sure the front office sees it this way but I think it is important to look at this from the opposite direction now. By opposite I mean, Hill and Bailey will obviously be utilized as primaries, but they need to be seen as depth/insurance more so than Dobnak, Smeltzer, Graterol, Thorpe, Alcala, Duran, Balzovic or Chalmers. I know this may be confusing but...

 

Here's why. 

 

3. It should be clear to everyone, the front office, fans and people who don't even pay attention to baseball that acquiring a top end starter via free agency or trade is extremely difficult to do. The combination of freewill and competition for that particular product makes it very risky to be counted on as a plan A for addressing needs or concerns in any off-season, no matter the money or prospect resources you have.

 

I'm not saying the Twins will never, should or should not ever. I'm not saying that players don't want to come to Minnesota, I'm not making a budget statement, I'm not making a large market or small market comparison.

 

I'm saying anything is always possible but i'm saying that it's hard and unpredictable due to freewill and competition, hard enough that the signing or trading of a top end starter shouldn't be considered a primary plan. It should be pursued like a primary plan but not considered a primary plan because the odds are low and you lack total control over the outcome. 

 

4. We started 2019 knowing that 3 of our first 5 starters in our rotation were about to enter free agency. It ended up being 4 by the end of 2020. If no one else is added, we will start 2020 knowing that 3 of our first 5 starters in our rotation are about to enter free agency. We can't keep doing this. 

 

5.. Once you consider point 3 and if you believe point 4 can't be done year over year. There is only one way out, you must develop your own starters and it has to happen this year. We must find our own version of Civale or Paddack and we must do it this year. Find one Civale or Paddack type pitcher from our farm and we are down to needing 2 instead of 3 next year. Find one and we are not as worried about weather Bailey performs this year. You will never find the replacement if average vets are preferred customers. 

 

6. Focus has to shift to finding at least one starter from our system. Bailey and Hill become the insurance in this scenario. Just in case we fail to identify one pitcher who can perform from the farm, we still got Bailey and Hill. 

 

7. Pineda will be out until May missing at least 7 starts. Hill could potential miss half a season if not more so let's say 17 starts.That's 24 starts already needed out of pitchers 6 through whatever on the depth chart. Last year we got 16 starts total outside of the top 5 so we are already entering the season requiring more from our depth. 

 

8. If Dobnak or whoever is performing at the major league level, let them continue performing at the major league level. If Duran or Balzovic is knocking on the door at Rochester... OPEN THE DOOR. 

 

9. Do not let any of the chosen 5 (Berrios, Odorizzi, Pineda, Hill, Bailey) suck for an extended period of time. No repeat of the Martin Perez, going back to a dry well over and over again and forsaking anybody else in the process in order to go back to the dry well over and over again. 

 

10. With the signing of Hill and Bailey... the front office has just made the discovery of 2020 talent out of Dobnak, Smeltzer, Graterol, Thorpe, Alcala, Duran, Balzovic or Chalmers much much much more important than if Bailey is able to break 100 OPS+ or if Hill is able to earn those incentives. 

 

Bailey and Hill should be considered insurance. 

RBs #5 is an ABSOLUTE that every Twins fan (near and long term) must learn to embrace.  You simply cannot keep looking at adding pitchers that other teams choose not to pay.  They are paying their best.  They are letting their other SPs walk (either due to $, injury, regression, overvaluation, or a conflict of assets to retain due to lux tax).  Thus, we need to develop our own.  It is THAT simple.  You really want 4/5 of your SP staff to be developed internally (and in an ongoing way, as you will lose some to FA) if you want to be able to pay your CORE position players, be competitive annually, with a shot at WS when you have convergence of development of position players and SPs.  FA and trades should only be necessary annually to add 1 SP (Verlander would be a good example).  Our Top 9 SP prospects are absolutely critical to our ability to have future sustained success with some championships.  1-2 per year must join the SP rotation as core contributors, so their respective development and retention (of the most important) should be key.  There is also a need to re-load the pipeline every year.  We should be done with the scrap heap or FA chase (but open to a Trade if it does NOT alter other core pieces that we have PLANNED AROUND - which decreases the odds of the 'right' trade working out).  With the escalating costs of SP, I believe all teams will start to shift towards building as much of their SP as possible 'in-house,' as contract costs and risks of SPs are just too high.  Also, how many 'aces' got rocked two years ago in the playoffs? SP is critical, but maybe it is no longer financially viable to build or do more than supplement with players making an exodus from other teams for whatever reason (except in rare cases).  Look at teams like Cleveland - 3 solid core SPs from in-house.  They are cheap, controlled, really good, and pitchers that most teams would probably throw $20+MM if/when FAs, but what a luxury to have them now when you are Cleveland and focus upon using money for position players and only needing to add 1-2 SPs per year.  

 

When is the last time the Twins had 3-4 internally developed SPs in the rotation that WERE GOOD to GREAT!?!?  Almost never....This needs to change

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Funny. I was very disappointed with what went down in October. I see a whole lot more disappointment over what went on in December as opposed what went down in October. People are still calling last year a success and anyone who does that one hand and gets chippy about the FO not overpaying for the four pitchers on the market last month is the complete opposite of me as a fan. Good, bad, whatever

Had we gone further in the playoffs MAYBE this FO would have taken the big risk. I totally get why they aren’t>>>>Since the history of the Twins Yankees series is well documented, and well lopsided, I am not sure why anyone would be surprised, and or disappointed by what happened in early October 2019. Same goes for this winters FA market. Where is the surprise, or disappoint to come from. They have no history of being willing to pay for, or the ability to entice top flight pitching. This isn’t even about the value compared to the abilities of the FA. It just simply hasn’t happened, and won’t. Therefore I don’t get surprised, or disappointed. I totally concur with Brian on his posts regarding developing our own pitching. Then and only then would they have a chance to fill in a FA rental to close out a season. I do agree with you, that they ain’t there yet.

 

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$3M to gain his undivided attention.

$200K per start, for the first 5 starts.

$500K per start for the next 4.

$750K per start for the next 2.

$1M per start for the next 2.

$1.5M per start for the next 2.

Every start after that is free, Free, FREE!

 

Ha ha ha ha, Sucker! You're going to be feeling pretty dumb when you make start #16, Rich Hill. More like Poorhouse Hill from then on, amirite.

 

Yet, pitcher's like Rodgers, May and Duffey, etc, even if their innings are much better than Hill's (who will get at least 100K an inning with just bonus money) , get paid a pittance in comparison. Amazing how a team can not care about money on one end, and are so f'n stingy (as in never) to give players a bonus at the end of the year that their contract doesn't call for when they actually performed massively over contract value. The system is so messed up.

 

I sure hope those in the farm blow the aging signings away, and make it impossible to even give Hill innings and drives them to trade (or release if necessary) Bailey earily. But if he does pitch with the 40 year old torn and repaired arm, I hope they aren't worthless innings. 

 

This team is getting older with each signing. All these 1 year contracts. That really makes a lot of visitors in the dugout.

 

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He is the problem with these signings.

#1 7 million is to much money to cut him if he is terrible or put him in the pen. Christ they couldn’t do that with Perez.

#2 basically signing hill means not trade for a starting pitcher at the deadline, they will say can’t give up prospects for somebody that isn’t as good as hill or they will be so bad that the need for two starting pitchers is crazy to trade prospects for.

IMO as much as I would have been pissed expecting rookies to pitch 3/5 of a rotation at least if they were good you could go get more, now not so much, and at this point no need to sign Donaldson he can only hurt the payroll flexibility when they are once again going to need a handful of starting pitchers

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