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Twins struggle with free agency


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What's going on with Twins struggle to sign anyone  significant in free agency? Do players not want to come to Twins team? Last year Twins appeared ready to open checkbook to get Wheeler signed, he was not interested in playing for Twins.

Are they not offering enough money? It seems most FAs have signed for more than projected so far. Twins not willing to up the offer to get them signed.

Maybe Twins FO does not feel this is the window to go all in for FAs like San Diego has. Plenty of young, unproven players coming up, maybe Twins feel like this is a year to sign a few mid to low level FAs and see how young prospects develop.

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The Twins will always have to overpay for a big free agent. I mean let's be serious. Forget about baseball for a second, would you rather hang out in Minneapolis or San Diego for a two week vacation? The Twins are unwilling to overpay it seems like. So they end up with the run of the mill free agents, the ones that if the Twins didn't call them they probably didn't get any calls. To get the big guys like the Gerrit Coles of the world they will have to significantly out bid other teams.

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The Twins will always have to overpay for a big free agent. I mean let's be serious. Forget about baseball for a second, would you rather hang out in Minneapolis or San Diego for a two week vacation? The Twins are unwilling to overpay it seems like. So they end up with the run of the mill free agents, the ones that if the Twins didn't call them they probably didn't get any calls. To get the big guys like the Gerrit Coles of the world they will have to significantly out bid other teams.

 

I couldn't agree more.

 

A lot of teams in small markets and/or those that aren't historically competitive are going to have to overpay for FAs. And given the location, weather, etc. we've got here, the Twins are even going to have to outbid some of those teams if they happen to be in a larger market, on a coast, etc.

 

Let's face it: living in Minnesota is a very niche market for those not born here.

 

Yes, there are good restaurants and other entertainment/cultural options downtown, but not on the level of New York, San Fran, LA, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, etc.

 

Then there's the weather - not everyone enjoys the cold and - let's face it - the first and last months of the season here aren't always the nicest.

 

These things don't matter to all players, but I'd guess it matters to more than we'd venture to guess. If they fish or hunt or are super outdoorsy, MN might very well appeal to them. But if they're not, we just don't have all the "bells and whistles" those other places have.

 

That means something is needed to close the gap - and money can go a long way toward doing that.

 

 

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Is this happening on every baseball message board outside of Toronto? Outside of LeMahieu and Springer, neither of whom were much of a fit here, no particularly good free agents have signed. Anywhere. 

 

I'm with everyone else, Happ doesn't get me all warm and excited, but check out the free agent lists, he is arguably the best starting pitcher to sign so far this year, and outside of Bauer I don't see much of an argument that he isn't on par with any other available starters. That's 100% not a compliment to the Twins, it's an indictment on the entirety of the free agent class. It's been a boring offseason for Twins fans, but it was always going to be that way when there were next to no needle-moving free agents to track.

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I don't get the angst here at all. There are still a large number of FA available at any position the Twins are considering. Happ is not a sexy signing, but the Twins are not paying Trevor Bauer money and the difference for the rest is not that great. 11M for Kluber or 8M for Happ? Since we are talking about their #4 starter, I'll take Happ. I also like the fact that he is a lefty. For those dreaming of another signing for the rotation to push Happ down, I think you should stay asleep longer and enjoy the dream. Honestly, the rotation wasn't the problem in the postseason. Money saved by signing Happ can hopefully shore up holes at DH, IF and RH relief. If all the options to fill those holes disappear, then I will start to worry. 

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I can sympathize with management. The Twins paid everyone last year. We have no idea how much money they may have lost.

 

They have some young talent that they have to work into the mix. They have spent. Was Donaldson a fluke? They gave money to Cruz. Last year they would've spent a helluva a lot of coin on three pitchers: Bailey, Hill and Odorizzi - all who didn't really pan out.

 

Yes, they CAN use another bullpen arm. I would love to see a real closer. Happ is a good solid mid-rotation arm.

 

Now we need someone like Marwin who can play all positions well with a bit of pop. I would welcome back Marwin, especially if you have misgivings about sending Donaldson to third everyday.

 

Yes, the Twins always seem to retrofit into being competitive in their division rather than going all-the-way. 

 

2021 still ahs many unanswered questions about play. All your minor league guys basically lost a year of play, yet aged a year.

 

I trust the front office is exploring any and all opportunities and DO know what they are doing.

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Twins have won Central 2 years straight. What do we want? Seriously, as jud6312 posted, "Then there's the weather - not everyone enjoys the cold and - let's face it - the first and last months of the season here aren't always the nicest......"

 

The fact that they couldn't "afford" an enclosed park is hard to fathom. Going to a Twins game should be a refuge from whatever mother nature has to offer, not a postponement. Target should be another echo chamber clear home field advantage. Check the home v away record since the 'Dome shut down. What does this have to do with free agent acquisitions? Probably more than you think.

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Take a look at the FA movement league wide.... has been VERY quiet. Folks whining about not being active are not paying attention.... There are a TON of FA out there that can help. Being fiscally responsible while still winning the division 2 years in a row and building a very strong minor league system... Be Happy folks we are in a great place. Sure we all want to win in the playoffs ... that is a crapshoot and we will take the next step one of these  years....

 

So we are NOT "struggling with free agency".... just not throwing stupid money at folks....

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Division, division, division. I'm sick of them - and the majority of fans - settling for winning the stupid division.

 

They've won the division 8 times since the last meaningful postseason victory, which is great, but just getting a chance to win a title shouldn't be the goal or the benchmark for success. But for some reason with Minnesota sports fans seem to settle for "good enough."

 

It's been 30 years since this organization has had actual success. We've been patient. It's time.

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Twins have won Central 2 years straight. What do we want? 

 

Playoff wins. Playoff series wins. Not being completely embarrassed anytime they get to the postseason.

Advance once. Hell win a couple of series. 

 

The last few times it was a loss in game 1 with mostly terrible ball and the wind went out of their sails right away and everyone knew the whole series was already over. 

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I don't need a huge FA signing to be happy. 

 

What I am looking for is for them to man up one of these times and dump a couple high end prospects for a real stud that is in his prime. 

 

Look at the Maeda trade. How did that work out? Great I would say. 

 

Dump one of Lewis or Buxton packed up in a trade. Shop them. If either isn't studly this year or next, they will never be a star. We can afford to get rid of a slightly above league average guy if it brings back studs.

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Take a look at the FA movement league wide.... has been VERY quiet. Folks whining about not being active are not paying attention.... There are a TON of FA out there that can help. Being fiscally responsible while still winning the division 2 years in a row and building a very strong minor league system... Be Happy folks we are in a great place. Sure we all want to win in the playoffs ... that is a crapshoot and we will take the next step one of these  years....

 

So we are NOT "struggling with free agency".... just not throwing stupid money at folks....

 

How do you define being "fiscally responsible" in terms of owning a sports team? Maybe you judge the team by looking at their payroll vs. their playoff results? If that was the case then I'd argue the Twins have been pretty fiscally irresponsible. Also I'd like a list of the "TON of FA out there that can help", because many of the proven players are being gobbled up by the teams that want to take a risk and dish out the money. It's no coincidence that those teams that want to take the risks are usually the ones that end up actually winning playoff games. The "sit back and let's see if the farm system can win us a championship" approach has been going on for many, many years here and it's gotten the Twins a nice 18 game postseason losing streak. 

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Most athletes would prefer to play in colder weather than play in heat and humidity, any day. It's the fans who hate the colder weather, and even that is suspect as Wrigley is filled to capacity day after day and that stadium has a brutal cold wind through much of the season.

 

If the premise is no players want to play in MN because of the weather, then this is uncontrollable and we may as well throw in the towel. We can't blame the ball club, it's the weather! This sounds like a truly Minnesotan gripe.

 

I remember that relatively short window of time after the contraction talks where the Twins wanted to prove they were "all in" so they could get a new stadium.  We saw free agents coming in to play who I never expected would end up in MN, and I don't remember the team breaking the bank until after Target Field was built.

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How do you define being "fiscally responsible" in terms of owning a sports team? Maybe you judge the team by looking at their payroll vs. their playoff results? If that was the case then I'd argue the Twins have been pretty fiscally irresponsible. Also I'd like a list of the "TON of FA out there that can help", because many of the proven players are being gobbled up by the teams that want to take a risk and dish out the money. It's no coincidence that those teams that want to take the risks are usually the ones that end up actually winning playoff games. The "sit back and let's see if the farm system can win us a championship" approach has been going on for many, many years here and it's gotten the Twins a nice 18 game postseason losing streak. 

 

I would say that being fiscally responsible is not spending on players that are overpaid to the value they bring. Also "most" of us have a budget and stick with it. Know it is not the world of the young but for us old dudes it is important. So over the last few years we have won the division ... went out and got a former MVP... used money wisely and got some veteran relief pitchers and had the second best ERA for relievers and 4th overall. 2 years ago we let the league in offense... other than that we have been down (tongue in cheek) ... Of Course we would all love a win in the playoffs but putting a winning team on the field year after year is the goal of ALL small market teams. 

 

Players that may help us that are FA as of today... oh let me count the ways (players....)

 

Chris Archer, Chris Archer, Trevor Bauer, Jackie Bradley Jr., Asdrubal Cabrera, Tyler Clippard, Alex Colome, Nelson Cruz, Sean Doolittle, Carl Edwards Jr.,  Maikel Franco, Ken Giles, Gio Gonzalez, Gio Gonzalez, Junior Guerra, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Jeremy Jeffress, Keone Kela, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Kintzler, Jake McGee, Collin McHugh, Mark Melancon, Daniel Mengden, Mitch Moreland, Adam Morgan, Jimmy Nelson, Renato Nunez, Darren O'Day, Jake Odorizzi, Roberto Osuna, 

Marcell Ozuna, Blake Parker, James Paxton, Brad Peacock, Rick Porcello, Colin Rea, J.T. Realmuto, Chaz Roe, Sergio Romo, Hector Rondon, Trevor Rosenthal, Jeff Samardzija, Anibal Sanchez, Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, Andrelton Simmons, Pedro Strop, Masahiro Tanaka, Julio Teheran, Ryan Tepera, Ryan Tepera, Nick Tropeano, Nick Tropeano, Jonathan Villar, Nick Vincent, Taijuan Walker, Taijuan Walker, Trevor Williams, Justin Wilson, Kolten Wong, Brandon Workman..... there are more I did not list but these are the names most would know. 

 

Clearly we are not signing some of these and some are top end talent and some are roster fillers... that is the challenge of the GM... to find Value (players that play at or above the cost)... To this point they have done a GREAT job! 

 

 

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 Last year they would've spent a helluva a lot of coin on three pitchers: Bailey, Hill and Odorizzi - all who didn't really pan out.

 

 

 

Here's my deal though. Why pay 3 bad guys? Pay one good one and fill in the rest with your system. 

 

Twins have always done this. Why not go after studs, then fill the other holes with guys you are so high on in your system?

 

I would rather have one corvette than 3 Ford Tauras. Just sayin...

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Take a look at the FA movement league wide.... has been VERY quiet. Folks whining about not being active are not paying attention.... There are a TON of FA out there that can help. Being fiscally responsible while still winning the division 2 years in a row and building a very strong minor league system... Be Happy folks we are in a great place. Sure we all want to win in the playoffs ... that is a crapshoot and we will take the next step one of these  years....

 

So we are NOT "struggling with free agency".... just not throwing stupid money at folks....

There was a good article in The Wall Street Journal today about the labor discord between owners and players this year due to COVID. I think the FA market has been slower than normal due to the economic uncertainty of fans coming to games, etc. Owners seem to be pretty gun-shy about paying out mega bucks if the schedule this year is 60-100 games with no fans in attendance.  

 

It will be interesting to see how the owners and players negotiate the 2021 Covid season. I'm expecting an ugly back and forth within the next 30 days or so.

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If you were an accomplished and desirable free agent would you want to play outdoors in Minnesota in April or October? Or for that matter, May or September? Too bad they didn't think to build a ...............

 

RETRACTABLE ROOF STADIUM !!

I’ve been in a couple retractable roof stadiums.

 

Give me Target Field every single time. I have no desire to watch baseball surrounded by walls, even if the ceiling is gone.

 

Never mind that a retractible roof meant that TF couldn’t be in downtown Minneapolis, one of its biggest selling points.

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Here's my deal though. Why pay 3 bad guys? Pay one good one and fill in the rest with your system. 

 

Twins have always done this. Why not go after studs, then fill the other holes with guys you are so high on in your system?

 

I would rather have one corvette than 3 Ford Tauras. Just sayin...

 

Josh Donaldson doesn't count or do you think a a team with below average revenue can be successful putting a high percentage of budget in a couple players? 

 

Philly / LA Angels and Colorado are good examples of how this strategy does not work. Of course both of them have enough incremental revenue over the twins to sign 3 such players and they still failed.

 

When other teams can afford at least 1.5X our payroll, it is a given that the team with 2/3 the payroll capacity get much better production per $ spent. This is not a squishy premise. It's an absolute many fans apparently don't understand. The moves that really move the needle are Max Muncy / Justin Turner type acquisitions that some here call dumpster diving. Those moves provide the payroll room to afford expensive free agents or extensions. The smaller the budget, the more essential the need to get production for less (ie Tampa Bay & Oakland)

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Twins have won Central 2 years straight. What do we want? Seriously, as jud6312 posted, "Then there's the weather - not everyone enjoys the cold and - let's face it - the first and last months of the season here aren't always the nicest......"

 

The fact that they couldn't "afford" an enclosed park is hard to fathom. Going to a Twins game should be a refuge from whatever mother nature has to offer, not a postponement. Target should be another echo chamber clear home field advantage. Check the home v away record since the 'Dome shut down. What does this have to do with free agent acquisitions? Probably more than you think.

What do we want? PLAY OFF WINS! And not just that, Play of SERIES wins, and better yet, WS appearances, and even more better a WS WIN! Thats what we want, thats where the bar should be for every fan to be satisfied. If you want to watch the game to just enjoy the game of baseball, go watch a local small ball team. That's what those are for. The Bigs are for WINNING. And the Twins dont do that. At least when it counts. 

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Here's my deal though. Why pay 3 bad guys? Pay one good one and fill in the rest with your system. 

 

Twins have always done this. Why not go after studs, then fill the other holes with guys you are so high on in your system?

 

I would rather have one corvette than 3 Ford Tauras. Just sayin...

I fully appreciate your sentiment in regards made by another post. But I have to object here.

 

Odorizzi is/was not a poor player much less a Ford Taurus, lol. He is a quality SP who was an All Star in 2019. His injuries in 2020 were not career threatening and were basically flukish in nature. Had 2020 been a full season, be woukd have undoubtedly been a quality contributor for at least half of the year.

 

Bailey was signed as an experienced back end SP on the cheap who seemed to get healthy again. The injury bug bit him yet again, but be was OK in his few IP. We'll never know what might have been, but AGAIN with a full season, He could have been a really nice #5 option if we aren't talking only 60 games.

 

Hill wasn't as good as hoped for, and peripherals show that, but be was signed to be a solid to good half season veteran pitcher. For the most part, he was that.

 

Your Corvette was Maeda. Your "Mustang" was Berrios once he settled down. I understand your analogy and fully hope and appreciate the young arms coming up as well as making further additions that are quality. But the Twins didn't have a rotation/garage filled with junkers in 2020. They just had some guys who didn't "run rignt" as hoped for or expected.

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Here's my deal though. Why pay 3 bad guys? Pay one good one and fill in the rest with your system.

 

Twins have always done this. Why not go after studs, then fill the other holes with guys you are so high on in your system?

 

I would rather have one corvette than 3 Ford Tauras. Just sayin...

This is a good way to lose baseball games, just look at the Angels. You’re putting all your eggs into 1-2 baskets that can be easily injured or have a down year, at which point you’re screwed with no backup plan.

 

Having elite players is important but depth is what gets you to the postseason. Look at the Twins and Cleveland over the past two seasons. The Twins had enormous depth while Cleveland had five elite players - better than anyone on the Minnesota roster - and a bunch of scrubs.

 

Who won the division those two seasons?

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This is a good way to lose baseball games, just look at the Angels. You’re putting all your eggs into 1-2 baskets that can be easily injured or have a down year, at which point you’re screwed with no backup plan.

Having elite players is important but depth is what gets you to the postseason. Look at the Twins and Cleveland over the past two seasons. The Twins had enormous depth while Cleveland had five elite players - better than anyone on the Minnesota roster - and a bunch of scrubs.

Who won the division those two seasons?

 

Sometimes fans are enamored with individuals. You can't put 1/3 of your payroll into a couple of players. The risk of putting all your eggs in one or two baskets is apparently not understood. Posters also seem to ignore how often these “proven” free agents fail. High end RPs have failed at a staggering rate yet there is still angst with the FO for not signing them.

 

I have posted the results of top free agent SPs in the past. Their results are far from great. I have posted the hard facts a couple times. I am not going to do it again because that kind of fact gets ignored.

 

How about top International prospects? The failure rate there is incredible. I have put together lists from a couple years. Based on results, I would be very hard pressed to sign someone for more than $1.5M. Signing 3 or 4 guys for an average of $1M is far more likely to yield results than a $3-4M player. Yet, many people complain we don’t sign the most expensive guys without having any evidence signing those guys is a good strategy.

 

I would add Philly to your example. They have $100M more than the Twins in revenue so they can spend in ways the Twins can not but they went and signed Harper / Arieta / Wheeler / Gregerius and were a 500 team. Add to that they traded away Sixto Sanchez to have Realmuto for two years. Now, contrast the Dodgers approach since they replaced their front office. Night and day difference in approach and results.

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