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Notebook: Twins Attend Corey Kluber Showcase


Corey Kulber's showcase, Derek Falvey's most recent comments on Nelson Cruz, a Twins player's highlight catch from winter league action and more.Corey Kluber’s Showcase

Jesse Rogers of ESPN reported Corey Kluber threw 25-30 pitches in a showcase for teams and was sitting between 87-89 mph. The Twins were among the 25 clubs in attendance to watch the two-time Cy Young Award winner throw.

 

The showcase took place at Eric Cressey’s strength and conditioning facility, which is not far from the Twins’ complex in Fort Myers. Here’s a 2018 article from Mike Berardino that points out all the Twins connections at the time to Cressy, who is now the New York Yankees Director of Player Health and Performance. The other obvious Twins connection is that Derek Falvey was with Cleveland’s front office when they acquired Kluber from the San Diego Padres.

 

Kluber was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get a one-year, $12 million deal while Craig Edwards of FanGraphs had him down for a deal worth $9 million. The connections are there and the price is right, but should the Twins sign Kluber?

 

Well, Kluber turns 35 in April and pitched just one inning for the Rangers before suffering a torn torn teres major muscle. He also missed most of the 2019 season due to a fractured right arm sustained on a come-backer.

 

Twins Daily’s Cody Pirkl is not sold ...

 

 

… but fellow Twins Daily writer Matthew Taylor is on board.

 

 

Personally, I’m having a difficult time talking myself into Kluber, but the other starting pitching options on the free agent market don’t inspire a ton of confidence, either. If we assume the Twins aren’t a serious suitor for Trevor Bauer and Masahiro Tanaka isn’t interested in coming to Minnesota, the next best guys are James Paxton and Jake Odorizzi. I’d certainly prefer those two to Kluber, but it just shows how quickly things thin out.

 

There’s always the trade market, of course. One of my predictions during Tuesday night’s Offseason Live episode was that the Twins would trade for a starting pitcher who would slot into the rotation above Michael Pineda. You can watch the entire show below:

 

 

Kluber was previously mentioned in Matthew Taylor’s article that attempted to use history to decipher who the Twins may sign and was included in Cody Christie’s offseason blueprint. Marc Topkin reported that fellow Jet Sports Management clients Steve Cishek and Anthony Swarzak, a former Twin, also threw during the showcase.

 

Falvey on High Heat

A bearded Derek Falvey joined Chris Russo on MLB Network today and said he remains “very optimistic” about a reunion with Nelson Cruz.

 

La Tortuga’s Dive

Check out Willians Astudillo making a nice catch in left field down in the Venezuelan Winter League.

 

Another Bullpen Arm Signs

Former Los Angeles Dodger Pedro Báez agreed to a two-year deal with the Houston Astros. The contract has $12.5 guaranteed, includes an an option year and some additional incentives. Full details here at MLB Trade Rumors.

 

Báez was among the eight under-the-radar free agents I thought might make sense for the Twins. He has a career 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 over 355 appearances.

 

Twins Hot Stove Show

Alex Kirilloff joined Kris Atteberry on tonight’s

. There was a lot of discussion revolving around his debut in the playoffs and his approach to hitting. Cody Christie wrote about Kirilloff as an extension candidate earlier this offseason.

 

SEE ALSO

Why Did the Twins Let Liam Hendriks Go?

White Sox Sign Hendriks; Twins Fans Wait (Patiently?)

The Twins Worst Trades: Johan Santana

Free Agent Faceoff: Marcell Ozuna vs. Nelson Cruz

Why the Twins Shouldn't Re-Sign Nelson Cruz

 

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We just cannot guess the trade market right now, although it would be sweet to add Sonny Gray and/or Luis Castillo in a blockbuster move.

Agree that the free agents are not real inspiring but Kluber may be worth a gamble, especially if he is interested in a host of incentives within a contract that can include a second year. Kluber is intoxicating because he was so much fun to watch.

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Kluber's showcase was well attended. If he showed anything talent evaluators would like, basically all the evaluators will like it, and the Twins will be outbid. If he didn't show enough, we don't want him. I have no expectation of seeing him in a Twins uniform at all.

It’s possible that there’s a bidding war for his services. I doubt anyone is going to back up the Brinks truck and dump out obscene money for multiple years. The Twins have as good of a chance as any to win an incentive-laden one year contract bid.

 

I’m more interested in Kluber now that he’s hitting upper 80s in mid January. No other free agent pitcher besides Kluber and Bauer have Cy Young Award upside.

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It's been 6 months since Kluber was diagnosed with a grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder. I'm pretty sure he has had ample time to rest and rehab the injury and believe he'll be able to ramp up for a normal spring training and full season.

 

Broken arm, oblique strain, shoulder muscle tear; it's been a rough time for him but at age 35 and with his ability to pitch and velocity returning, I think he could be a significant contributor to our rotation. We took a flyer on Rich Hill last year. I think Kluber could provide more value.

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I would not be surprised if Kluber takes the biggest one year deal to prove himself and sign one more longer term contract next offseason. Maybe a 1yr deal with club option?

 

Year 1: 10 mil

 

Year 2 Club Option: 15 mil (maybe a 3 mil buyout?)

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Kluber's showcase was well attended. If he showed anything talent evaluators would like, basically all the evaluators will like it, and the Twins will be outbid. If he didn't show enough, we don't want him. I have no expectation of seeing him in a Twins uniform at all.

Exactly the showcase was a lose/lose situation. The Twins were one of the front runners on Kluber but now they may be out

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Kluber's showcase was well attended. If he showed anything talent evaluators would like, basically all the evaluators will like it, and the Twins will be outbid. If he didn't show enough, we don't want him. I have no expectation of seeing him in a Twins uniform at all.

Point taken-but it will still be a role of the dice for anyone to sign him. A "good" offer on a contender might be enough-especially if he wants to stick it to Cle for trading him (who knows).

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Kluber's showcase was well attended. If he showed anything talent evaluators would like, basically all the evaluators will like it, and the Twins will be outbid. If he didn't show enough, we don't want him. I have no expectation of seeing him in a Twins uniform at all.

This is the reality all Twins fans must accept with this team. 

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The miss on Kluber makes me think that the Twins budget is closer to $110 million.

I agree, that's a very strong inference, in the context of other rumors. The Twins' strategy looks like it was always to allow the first wave of high-demand free agents go elsewhere, and to circle back to the remaining free agents who haven't had their demands met, and ask them whether they have reconsidered now, and try to get the most bang for the buck.

 

As opposed to, the most bang period.

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I was interested for $8-10M with some incentives, MAYBE a similar 2nd year option if both parties were interested. Every year there is someone who makes a surprise comeback. And Kluber is the #1 most likely to do that in 2021. He's scary but intriguing as hell! But more than $10M pushes me to the pass category.

 

What does this say about Tanaka? Either the Yankees know something we don't know, or they also are pinching a few $. Maybe they have a secret agreement already? Just find them seemingly moving on very interesting.

 

Does Maeda know Tanaka? Can he put in a good word for the Twins and living in the Midwest?

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I agree, that's a very strong inference, in the context of other rumors. The Twins' strategy looks like it was always to allow the first wave of high-demand free agents go elsewhere, and to circle back to the remaining free agents who haven't had their demands met, and ask them whether they have reconsidered now, and try to get the most bang for the buck.

 

As opposed to, the most bang period.

 

Appreciate the sentiment Ash. But the RP is filled with a number of intriguing options. The SP options are Bauer...however you feel about him...and a TON of interesting options that don't excite, but have value.

 

Does not taking a $10M-ish flier mean they are going cheap? (And I've been in for $8-10M as a shot for some time on Kluber). Or does it mean they think Oddo, Walker, Richardson, etc, as good and safe an option? Or are they really looking at trade options similar to the moves they have made for Odorizzi and Maeda the last 2 yrs?

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From a well-known newspaper columnist this morning:

 

The Twins wear me out with their inactivity. The trick over at 1 Twins Way seems to be floating the notion that the Twins are “in on” every free agent and trade possibility … and then doing nothing. This perpetuates the narrative — based on hope more than reality — that they will spend to improve the team. ...Getting pantsed by the Yankees on Corey Kluber is just the latest example of phony window shopping by the local nine.

Oh wait, my bad. The columnist is Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe and he was talking about the Red Sox.

 

Didn't know where else to put this amusing parallel.

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There are many very good players still available. Among free agents below Bauer, we can look at Rosenthal, Hand, Soria (a fav), Yates, Clippard, Walker, Odorizzi, Hill, Paxton, Semien, Simmons, et al. So there are players to sign. There are trades too.

Kluber just seemed possible and he is so much fun to watch. The Twins have a core and holes and while there is time to wait, there is also a time to act. That time is up in a month. March is not usually a time to add free agents. I think we all want a team that can compete through/past the first and second rounds of the playoffs.

2019 was a fun season for the Twins and their fans but we have rarely seen a trio of teams as weak as Kansas City, Detroit, and Chicago were that year. In order for the Twins to compete at the top level this coming season there will need to be 3-5 significant additions. Kluber was a personal favorite of mine but now I will wait to see what happens next. There is still time.

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