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On the Minnesota Twins Front Office, Faith and Being Fickle 


Minnesota Twins front office leaders Derek Falvey and Thad Levine arrived in the Fall of 2016 and the team’s success shortly followed. Can less than three months of losing baseball erase the goodwill they’ve built up over multiple seasons?

Yep.

Falvey took over a 100-loss team and turned it into a 100-win team just three seasons later. Even with this poor start to the 2021 season, the team’s record under his regime is 331-288, a .535 winning percentage. That might not jump off the page — it’s an 87-win pace — but keep in mind how bad things were before that. In the six seasons prior to Falvey taking over, the Twins posted a 407-565 record. That’s a .419 winning percentage, or a 68-win pace.

So that’s it, right? Case closed, Falvey has been great for the Minnesota Twins. Well ...

How much of the Twins’ success can be attributed to this front office? That’s a really tricky question to try to answer. If we look at advancements in systems and technology, the Twins are definitely in a much better place than they were in 2016. So is basically every other team in baseball. 

Has this Falvey and Levine-led front office been better than one could expect from a “replacement-level” front office? I think this is a better concept to ponder, as opposed to just comparing them to their direct predecessors. 

Would the Twins have been any more or less successful under another set of front office leaders? Would the organization be any better or worse setup for future success had it been under different leadership? Do we think Falvey and Levine are better than whoever the current up-and-coming front office stars/future GM types are available right now?

This may seem like a weird way to frame the conversation, but why not? It’s just like the players, there are only so many of these jobs.

The overall team success has been there (well, prior to this season) but this front office has not delivered a pitching pipeline nor impact pitching through free agency. About a month ago, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic took a look back at every Falvey-Levine era free agent signing. It wasn’t inspiring. Their record in trades isn’t looking so great, either. 

Falvey and Levine are also no longer the new kids. The Twins have been an incredibly loyal organization, there’s been remarkable consistency in their front office over the past several decades. That’s admirable, but it’s not the way things work elsewhere.

Levine is already in the top half of the most-tenured general managers in baseball, ranking 13th. Here are those who have held their positions longer than Thad. Among the GMs with a longer tenure, seven of them have held their role a mere 15 more months (or less) than Thad has. Just five active general managers have held their positions for six years or more. There’s a lot of turnover.

Things are a little more difficult to measure with Falvey. Front office structure seems to be getting more and more complex with new titles and job roles seeming to be invented each season. Heck, Falvey himself was promoted from the title Executive Vice President and Chief Baseball Officer to President of Baseball Operations back in November of 2019.

I always feel slimy about calling anyone’s job into question. These are people with lives and families. This is how they earn a living. But after having months of bad baseball and being able to ponder about these things I keep coming back to the notion there are only 30 of these jobs. You must perform.

Some may criticize that as too extreme of a “what have you done for me lately” mentality but you tell me, what have they done? The team’s winning percentage since they took over is nice, but it’s difficult to say how much credit they really deserve for that and (sorry, yes, this does have to come up in every conversation) it’s not like it resulted in any postseason success.

This team has the potential to bounce back next year and still have another window of contention, but it’s going to take a good trade deadline followed by a good offseason. Do I trust this front office to deliver in both of those areas?

Thinking about that is what led me to write this, and I encourage you to consider that same question and let me know your thoughts.

Personally, I do not trust them to deliver anymore. I’ve lost faith in this front office. Call that fickle if you’d like, you’re probably right. What can I say? This is what a lost summer can do to a baseball fan.

SEE ALSO
Injuries Don’t Excuse How Bad This Twins Team Has Been | Tom Froemming
How Much Can The Twins Spend This Offseason? | John Bonnes
Revisiting the Shaun Anderson Trade | Cody Pirkl
Do the 2021 Twins Have the Worst Pitching Staff in Team History? | Cody Christie
There's No Easy Way Out of This for the Minnesota Twins | Tom Froemming


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While I am more old school, I am not ready to give up on the team.  I would hope they might make some adjustments in their thinking, like raising the bar from bad to mediocre dumpster diving in the BP to getting the pitching machine in the minors pumping SP into the rotation.  I am not sold on Rocco so I do not know if he is their reflection or if there is another tweak in the managers office.  I know that measuring the FO is really difficult.  Terry Ryan had some good qualities, but got stuck in linear thinking instead of adjusting.  But who do we bring in?  What do they do or accomplish?

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I think Falvey has delivered the pipeline of pitching talent but it's just been delayed due to COVID cancelling the minors season last year and all of the injuries now in the following year. Canterino, Enlow, Sands, Ober, Winder, Duran, etc. are all guys they have acquired and developed since taking over. We would usually have only ONE, MAYBE TWO, guys like that in the system in any given year in those "rebuilding years" from 2011-2016 and that was WITH drafting high for guys like Tyler Jay and Kohl Stewart. I definitely think Falvey has held up his end of the pipeline even if we're only just barely starting to see the fruits of those labors. 

The trades (Levine) and FA have been more of a mixed bag. You have to give Levine credit for Cruz given their past history in Texas but a lot of their top targets that they missed out on have looked great elsewhere (Darvish, Wheeler, Semien) while their back up targets haven't been as good (JD, Simmons). Some trades like for Odorizzi and Duran have been good but others like Ynoa, Gil, etc. have been bad. The Pressley trade was hated at the time but Celestino and Alcala both look like quality current/future big leaguers. Mixed bag that  will grade much more negatively after their whiffs with Happ, Colome, and Shoemaker this year.

I'll chalk up their pitching FA whiffs this year to bad luck/variance and give them a mulligan but if they whiff again next year I'll likely have lost faith in them at that point.

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I'm trying to figure out this lovefest for team castoffs and guys playing indy ball. The Twins PAID ALL their minor league guys last season. One team was cut from all teams. They have a tremendous amount of prospects. Sure, some have lost a year of play, but...most all players did.

We all were aghast when they sprung bigtime for Josh Donaldson, showing that he purse strings were open for spending. 

 

In 202 they went out and purchased Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, . Kept Odorizzi and :Pineda. Added Tyler Clippard, Juan Minaya, Matt Wisler (whew), and returned Sergio Romo. Alex Avila was added behind-the-plate.

 

This year actually is ending up worse. Happ and Shoemaker aren't cutting it. Are we excited about Simmons, not to mention Riddle and Lin and Garlick and Refsnyder. Ooooooh, the bullpen adds of Waddell, Colome, Law, Anderson, 

 

But theya re far from done. Just this week they gave afterlife to Vincent and Barraclough, Burrows to go with such notable signings since the season began of Santiago, Garcia, Milacki, Anderson, Whalen, Koch, Johnson, Lau, anoeehr Pineda, Mullenbach, Manoah, Milbrath, Horstman, Boyd and Washington. 

 

Still hoping to egt a chance are such big names as Broxton, Shepherd, Pena, Tomscha, Leyer, LaFlor, Maggi, Albers, Mooney. Some have left already. But the chance to play for the Saints seems to be a big draw these days.

 

All Dollar Store cart fillers. But, hey, wish I was a fly on the wall in the room when all these guys are discussed! And where to put them, place them, and 40-man them at the expense of whom?

 

 

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I agree with you, Tom. I’ve watched seeming offseason apathy too many times to trust this front office. I, too, have lost faith in them. This last offseason was excruciatingly bad. It was probably worse than Miguel Sano hitting .185.

They would absolutely have to acquire a #2 or #1 type starter in trade or free agency this off season. The best way to predict someone’s future actions is to look at their past actions. They’ve let White Sox management run circles around them. They’ve fallen short of several other FO’s body of work. 

They boldly claimed they were shooting for nothing less than a World Series. Not even close. I hate to say it but even though I’ve seen recent improvement in game management from Baldelli, overall I think he’s done a poor job, especially with pitchers. Case in point, this team’s way to frequent sloppy play. Most wouldn’t agree with me probably but I’d rather try to lure Jim Leyland out of retirement so that poor game management didn’t cost x amount of games.

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This is as much a Pohlad issue as the front office.  We do not know budget or targets.  Injuries have played a big part, but the path forward is very tricky.  At this time they need another year or two until we can fully evaluate the pipeline (especially the pitching, which is supposed to be their strength).  I feel we are on the path to being competitive year in and year out, which will be a nice change given the decade long dips, valleys and heights we are seeing now.  Consider 2020 a lost year and they have had only 4 years to produce.  A normal cycle would be 6 or 7 for a mid market team like the Twins. However if next year is more like this year, then you have issues.  

Big step will be will Pohlad give them the money to pay Buxton and Berrios and should they.  That will determine the short term path of this franchise.  If you pay one or both expectations rise, otherwise you are looking at 2023 at best or 2024 before we are fully competitive again, and that is only if the young pitching arrives.  That will tell the tale.

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Part of this conversation has to revolve around all of the injuries and bad luck this team had early on.  While I would have liked to see more adjustments, I honestly don't know that they would have made a difference.  Making a change just to make a change doesn't make sense either, so perhaps trying to ride it out was the proper course.  I don't know, I don't have an answer to that.  Neither did they unfortunately.  

That said, some of this mess is also self inflicted.  The bullpen and back end of the rotation were a complete disaster.  Their signings may have made sense for a team that was a year or two away, but this team was expected to actually compete, and compete for more than the division.  A team serious about competing needs to be more serious about its pitching staff.  This is what I'm having the most difficulty with.

There was a notion here before the season touting the organizational depth.  I laughed at it at the time, and unfortunately was proven correct.  There isn't a lot in the upper minors.  I like what they've done in the draft, generally speaking.  Though, I find the obsession with hitting corner outfield types interesting.  I can't decide if I'm bent out of shape about the lack of high picks spent on pitching, but I lean towards yes.

There are lot of things that I do like about what they've done.  A change in philosophy at the top was needed, in my view.  I'm not really sold one way or another at this point though.  I want to see how they handle this setback.  That will go a long way towards my opinion of this front office.

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They were given a great situation and didn't really capitalize on it.  Now they need the pipeline they built to keep the window of opportunity open and it doesn't look like that will work out. I'm ready to move on from Levine for sure. Not as sure about Falvey.

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I doubt Pohlad is ready to cut ties with the FO duo, given his past history of patience as long as they’re profitable. It’s entirely fair to start questioning whether they’re delivering what they were hired on for. Which is developing pitching without the need of spending big money in FA or prospect capital. 
 

I anticipated seeing lesser known prospects flying through the system this year, and it’s been the exact opposite. I fully understand there was no MiLB last year. That doesn’t mean they sat on the couch and ate chips all year. They still had training regimens and pitching programs to follow. It’s perplexing why they’re being so conservative with promotions. 

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I'm not going to be that guy this year. This year has been a dumpster fire that no one saw coming. Before the year all of us and the national pundits had the Twins battling the White Sox for the Central. 

After the successful reclamation projects last year, we weren't concerned about the pitching staff. Colome has been a disaster! Happ started out great and now is throwing BP. Shoemaker was a 5 and fly guy on a good night last year and has regressed, let him be a an opener and go 4 innings. Pineda hasn't been healthy, Maeda has been a shell of what he was last year. 

Biggest dropoff the past 2 years has been the bats and it coincides with loosing our hitting coach. Kepler, Sano, Garver, Polanco, Donaldson all have disappointing numbers this year and most of them had horrible years last year. 

As for the front office and drafting, we are just starting to see their picks at the MLB level. Larnach, Jeffers, and Ober look like they have a future. Then you have prospects like Lewis, Enlow, Canterino, Sands that offer different levels of promise. 

Unfortunately it looks like this disaster of a year will bring an end to a few studs in Bux and Berrios. Unless the Twins are willing to overpay for them, I believe both will be on their way out before next season. Sure both will net some good prospects, but we need MLB pitching, not prospects. 

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13 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

I doubt Pohlad is ready to cut ties with the FO duo, given his past history of patience as long as they’re profitable. It’s entirely fair to start questioning whether they’re delivering what they were hired on for. Which is developing pitching without the need of spending big money in FA or prospect capital. 
 

I anticipated seeing lesser known prospects flying through the system this year, and it’s been the exact opposite. I fully understand there was no MiLB last year. That doesn’t mean they sat on the couch and ate chips all year. They still had training regimens and pitching programs to follow. It’s perplexing why they’re being so conservative with promotions. 

I could understand the lack of promotions earlier in the season, but not at this point.  Not having a season last year plus a late start, I can see why they'd want to see where these guys are at before throwing them into the fray.  We're in late June now though, so they should have a pretty good idea of what they've got.

At some point, they've got to start reshuffling the prospects.  And, I agree, they should be aggressive with it.  Especially after the trade deadline.

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2 hours ago, beckmt said:

This is as much a Pohlad issue as the front office.  We do not know budget or targets.  Injuries have played a big part, but the path forward is very tricky.  At this time they need another year or two until we can fully evaluate the pipeline (especially the pitching, which is supposed to be their strength).  I feel we are on the path to being competitive year in and year out, which will be a nice change given the decade long dips, valleys and heights we are seeing now.  Consider 2020 a lost year and they have had only 4 years to produce.  A normal cycle would be 6 or 7 for a mid market team like the Twins. However if next year is more like this year, then you have issues.  

Big step will be will Pohlad give them the money to pay Buxton and Berrios and should they.  That will determine the short term path of this franchise.  If you pay one or both expectations rise, otherwise you are looking at 2023 at best or 2024 before we are fully competitive again, and that is only if the young pitching arrives.  That will tell the tale.

Why does money seem to come up in these types of conversations?  IMO Talent evaluation and development are much more important.  If those are strong, you don't necessarily need a huge payroll (See Tampa and Oakland).

Also the Twins needs to make wise choices on their own talent.  Were some of the contracts they gave out recently (Sano, Kepler, Dobnak) mistakes?  Possibly.

Will be giving Buxton a huge contract be a mistake?  Given his injury issues - probably.

I'd leave towards "overpaying" Berrios given the state of the starting rotation.

Bottom line - Falvine get a little more time to show progress, but not much.

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It’s quite interesting to look at how other front offices approached their off-season.  What did Boston do after losing a superstar to free agency in 2020 and finishing last? Did they use their considerable financial resource to extend their CFer.  No they let him go to free agency.  Did they sign any expensive FA?  No.  They signed veteran SP Garret Richards and Enrique Hernandez for $7M.  The rest were bargain signs like our old friend Marwin Gonzales.  I bet many Boston fans thought the FO was incompetent. Where are they now?  1st place in the AL East.

What did Tampa do after their WS run?  Did they trade for a SP to replace Morton or did they sign a big free agent.  No.  They traded away Blake Snell and signed Chris Archer for $6M and 6 other guys for a total of $12M.  I bet their fans were having a fit.  Where are they?  ½ game out of 1st place.

How about Houston.  They lost Cole the year before and now Spring.  Did they trade for big name SPs or did they get them via free agency.  Neither.  They resigned Brantley and signed Odorizzi for under $8M.  I have to believe the Twins would have given $8M in a heartbeat which just goes to show it can be very difficult to resign players who believe they can get more.  Houston did sign a fairly expensive RP in Pedro Baex for $6.25M.  He has missed the entire season so far.  I bet even after all their success some of their fans were critical.  Where are they now?  Best record in the AL.

How about Oakland?  They lost Hendricks and Semien to free agency as well as De La Stella, Minor, and Grossman.  Who did they add?  Rosenthall who has not played and a half dozen guys for 3.5M or less.  Those dumpster diving cheap skates.  Bet they are at the bottom of the standings.  Nope.  14 games over 500.

I won’t go over the NL.  The point is that a fair number of fans cling to spending big and making block buster trades.  We should pay more attention to how winners are built, especially among teams with average or less than average revenue.  The trades that count most for average revenue teams are more often than not trades for players that have not been established.  Give me Tatis Jr. for James Shields or Bauer for whoever he got traded for or the haul that Seattle got for Cano and Diaz.

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1 hour ago, gunnarthor said:

They were given a great situation and didn't really capitalize on it.  Now they need the pipeline they built to keep the window of opportunity open and it doesn't look like that will work out. I'm ready to move on from Levine for sure. Not as sure about Falvey.

great situation?

WHAT?

Why is their pitching pipeline "not likely to work out?" This is Year 4 of their development. The pipeline should start to pump this year. What do you see in their development that says that it "won't work out?"

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2020 being such a crazy season and the effects it's having on 2021 make it hard for me to say they're failures at this point and should be replaced. Not only the complete loss of a MiLB season last year, but the jump in innings needing to be covered this year just isn't something that we've ever seen in the game (self inflicted lost seasons from CBA arguments isn't the same).

I firmly believe we'd be starting to see the "pitching pipeline" (not that they'd all come up and be great, but we'd have a better read on if there's real MLB arms in the system) at this point if 2020 had been a normal year. They went into that season, I believe, looking to make it through that season with a mix of veterans doing their thing and rookies getting test runs as injury replacements. Then they planned to be able to hand a spot or 2 in the rotation and pen to youngsters in 2021. Instead they got nothing from rookies last year because the world shut down. Now they're seeing their top arms go down with arm issues 1 after the other and are delaying their timeline once again. I just don't know how to assess a FO with all these factors. Are the injuries something we can put on the FO? I don't think so, but maybe. 

I think they've earned another year to see what the prospect arms look like. Definitely feel there needs to be some adjustments with how they're assessing major league arms, but I don't think that is a great indicator of their ability to set up a development system for pitching. 2 different things in my view. But if we get to this point a year from now and there's no sign of an arm better than Ober (and I like Ober, but they need to develop better arms than that if they want sustained success) arriving and sticking in the bigs I think it's fair to start questioning if they're the right people for the job. Just too many crazy circumstances the last year+ for me to say they've failed to this point.

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You forgot one key item for the two Whiz Kids! The ridiculous Mauer contract (For a team like the Twins) ended the year they came. They used that contract to bring in 4 major league players. The result? They won. Now that they have to continue the process they have proven to be mediocre. The minors are a mess. No pitching help there and look what we are using in CF!

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This spider tack topic needs to play out for awhile.  Did this FO never measure Nick Anderson's spin rate but he goes to Tampa and his spin rate is elite?  I'm at least curious, the Twins might just be bad and the spider tack topic goes away.

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17 minutes ago, cHawk said:

great situation?

WHAT?

Why is their pitching pipeline "not likely to work out?" This is Year 4 of their development. The pipeline should start to pump this year. What do you see in their development that says that it "won't work out?"

They inherited a team that was a season away from nearly making the playoffs. They had a nucleus of top 100 prospects to build around. They had the first pick in the draft and some supplemental picks. They had an owner who said he'd actually spend money. It's hard to find a better situation for a new FO to walk into. 

Not sure I'd be as optimistic about this pitching pipeline. The best prospect in the system was drafted by the previous FO. The current FO hasn't shown much ability to find top of the rotation starters. More worrisome, they might not think they have to b/c they might just think baseball will evolve into 4-5 pitchers per game snoozefests. Outside of Berrios, I'm not there is another pitcher in our entire system that will crack 150 innings this year.

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59 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

2020 being such a crazy season and the effects it's having on 2021 make it hard for me to say they're failures at this point and should be replaced. Not only the complete loss of a MiLB season last year, but the jump in innings needing to be covered this year just isn't something that we've ever seen in the game (self inflicted lost seasons from CBA arguments isn't the same).

I firmly believe we'd be starting to see the "pitching pipeline" (not that they'd all come up and be great, but we'd have a better read on if there's real MLB arms in the system) at this point if 2020 had been a normal year. They went into that season, I believe, looking to make it through that season with a mix of veterans doing their thing and rookies getting test runs as injury replacements. Then they planned to be able to hand a spot or 2 in the rotation and pen to youngsters in 2021. Instead they got nothing from rookies last year because the world shut down. Now they're seeing their top arms go down with arm issues 1 after the other and are delaying their timeline once again. I just don't know how to assess a FO with all these factors. Are the injuries something we can put on the FO? I don't think so, but maybe. 

I think they've earned another year to see what the prospect arms look like. Definitely feel there needs to be some adjustments with how they're assessing major league arms, but I don't think that is a great indicator of their ability to set up a development system for pitching. 2 different things in my view. But if we get to this point a year from now and there's no sign of an arm better than Ober (and I like Ober, but they need to develop better arms than that if they want sustained success) arriving and sticking in the bigs I think it's fair to start questioning if they're the right people for the job. Just too many crazy circumstances the last year+ for me to say they've failed to this point.

I was going to write something similar but you said it better.  I too want to give them more time.  COVID really messed this FO and team up.  The timelines are going to need to change with it.

The pitching pipeline looked pretty good but with all the injuries this year it is definitely going to be delayed now.  The tough part about pitching too is those guys can look good at AAA but MLB is a whole different animal we really won't know what we have until they get to MLB.  

Getting back to Tom's point of is my faith shaken in the FO\development system I have to say yes.  They went from success's like Harper and Wisler to penultimate failures in Shoemaker, Colome, Happ, Waddell, etc.  They lost a good player to Rule V while using the 40 man space to dumpster dive.  A lot of their trades have not been that good.  Their power over hit draft strategy hasn't really payed off and there were good arms they passed over to grab Rooker, Wallner, Sabato.  All slow footed position limited players with the least trade value unless they make it big.

I hate being a second guesser because hindsight is too easy but I really don't understand the rookie mistakes or odd moves this FO makes sometimes.  Still They have found some gems especially pitchers in the later rounds something the previous FO was not able to do.  I think player development is vastly improved in the minors but will have to wait and see.

This year has been a strange one with injuries, poor play, poor execution, and just plain bad luck.  It is going to be a learning year.  The challenge now is to make the most of it by making good trades and putting this team in better position to succeed next year.  For me I need to see two more years before I can say whether this FO has been good or bad.

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19 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

They inherited a team that was a season away from nearly making the playoffs. They had a nucleus of top 100 prospects to build around. They had the first pick in the draft and some supplemental picks. They had an owner who said he'd actually spend money. It's hard to find a better situation for a new FO to walk into. 

Not sure I'd be as optimistic about this pitching pipeline. The best prospect in the system was drafted by the previous FO. The current FO hasn't shown much ability to find top of the rotation starters. More worrisome, they might not think they have to b/c they might just think baseball will evolve into 4-5 pitchers per game snoozefests. Outside of Berrios, I'm not there is another pitcher in our entire system that will crack 150 innings this year.

The current FO hasn't shown much ability to find top of the rotation starters.

Does Duran not count?

They had a nucleus of top 100 prospects to build around.

The Twins were coming off a total system failure season, with 90+ loss seasons in 5 of the past 6 years. Guys like Kepler, Sano, Polanco, and Rosario weren't "prospects" when they arrived. None of them were that good in the majors (outside of 2019). They are a fault of the previous regime. Outside of those four, Berrios, and Buxton, I don't see what "prospects" you're referring to that weren't in the minors and a few years away.

More worrisome, they might not think they have to b/c they might just think baseball will evolve into 4-5 pitchers per game snoozefests.

It's not just the Twins that do this. A lot of other teams do it. There's nothing inherently wrong with 4-5 pitchers per game if you do it right. They didn't do it right the past year, the offseason wasn't good, but one bad offseason isn't a fireable offense.

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1 hour ago, gunnarthor said:

They were given a great situation and didn't really capitalize on it.  Now they need the pipeline they built to keep the window of opportunity open and it doesn't look like that will work out. I'm ready to move on from Levine for sure. Not as sure about Falvey.

I guess if a 101 win season isn't capitalizing on the talent they had then your bar is pretty high. Yeah they failed in the playoffs again but the "players" that you say put them in such a great situation failed so not sure what you are trying to say there.

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59 minutes ago, puckstopper1 said:

Why does money seem to come up in these types of conversations?  IMO Talent evaluation and development are much more important.  If those are strong, you don't necessarily need a huge payroll (See Tampa and Oakland).

Also the Twins needs to make wise choices on their own talent.  Were some of the contracts they gave out recently (Sano, Kepler, Dobnak) mistakes?  Possibly.

Will be giving Buxton a huge contract be a mistake?  Given his injury issues - probably.

I'd leave towards "overpaying" Berrios given the state of the starting rotation.

Bottom line - Falvine get a little more time to show progress, but not much.

If you want to stay competitive, you have to pay both.  If not (especially with Berrios), you are looking at best at 2023 and probably 2024.  That is why money comes in, and that comes from the top.

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3 hours ago, beckmt said:

This is as much a Pohlad issue as the front office.  We do not know budget or targets.  Injuries have played a big part, but the path forward is very tricky.  At this time they need another year or two until we can fully evaluate the pipeline (especially the pitching, which is supposed to be their strength).  I feel we are on the path to being competitive year in and year out, which will be a nice change given the decade long dips, valleys and heights we are seeing now.  Consider 2020 a lost year and they have had only 4 years to produce.  A normal cycle would be 6 or 7 for a mid market team like the Twins. However if next year is more like this year, then you have issues.  

Big step will be will Pohlad give them the money to pay Buxton and Berrios and should they.  That will determine the short term path of this franchise.  If you pay one or both expectations rise, otherwise you are looking at 2023 at best or 2024 before we are fully competitive again, and that is only if the young pitching arrives.  That will tell the tale.

I thought somewhere along the line years ago Jim said payroll should be around the low 50's% range of revenue?  

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The Ghost of George Steinbrenner haunts MLB.  Steinbrenner convinced the world that it needed the Yankees in the playoffs every year to have the playoffs interesting.  The idea is broken.  The NFL has proven that.  When there is equal revenue sharing and a mandated payroll amount, teams can be relevant after a down year.  Its not left up to how much an owner "WANTS" to pay.  It allows all the small market teams to compete.  When you are buying retreads that are at the end of their career, you get ups and downs.  Its the end of their career.  When you are buying the best players like the top teams are doing year and year, you dont have the ups and downs.  These players are in the Prime of their career.  Of course their are examples outside of this thought.  But year over year, having teams spend up to three times as much as other teams is a horrible business plan.  Its not working.  The system is broken and no-one is talking about fixing it.  George Steinbrenner is laughing at all of baseball from his grave.

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34 minutes ago, cHawk said:

The current FO hasn't shown much ability to find top of the rotation starters.

Does Duran not count?

They had a nucleus of top 100 prospects to build around.

The Twins were coming off a total system failure season, with 90+ loss seasons in 5 of the past 6 years. Guys like Kepler, Sano, Polanco, and Rosario weren't "prospects" when they arrived. None of them were that good in the majors (outside of 2019). They are a fault of the previous regime. Outside of those four, Berrios, and Buxton, I don't see what "prospects" you're referring to that weren't in the minors and a few years away.

More worrisome, they might not think they have to b/c they might just think baseball will evolve into 4-5 pitchers per game snoozefests.

It's not just the Twins that do this. A lot of other teams do it. There's nothing inherently wrong with 4-5 pitchers per game if you do it right. They didn't do it right the past year, the offseason wasn't good, but one bad offseason isn't a fireable offense.

Eh, Duran is a solid prospect but he's not a Berrios level prospect, let alone a top of the rotation type. (Although, as you say, baseball may be moving away from that). If you don't think a nucleus of Buxton, Sano, Berrios, Kepler, Rosario, Garver, Polanco etc was a nice situation to build around, I don't know what to tell you. It seemed like a pretty good place to be. Certainly a lot better than our current situation. That nucleus was going to be pretty good, no matter who was running things, and they were. But I think a better FO might have been able to help the players more (although the Cruz signing was good). I also don't think this is there only one bad offseason. They've had several bad offseasons where they haven't significantly improved the team.

There are good things that Levine has done - I liked the Donaldson signing, a lot, even though it hasn't been as good as we all hoped. The 2018 draft looks solid. But he seems to have misjudged the talent in the system several times. He was not able to keep the window of opportunity for the above named nucleus open. 

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Can't agree with those that say there isn't pitching in the pipeline.  Its just that with the screwed up year last year, that pitching isn't ready to help in 2021.  Have been watching a lot of the Wichita games the last six weeks.  Yes, Balazovic had a clunker the last time out, but he hasn't pitched much this year due to his late start.  But Balazovic and Winder certainly appear to be for real, starters who should turn into those Cleveland like starters.  Will it happen, remains to be seen.  But they are two great prospects who are getting closer every week.

 

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I think folks give this FO too much credit. Most of the players that have made Falvey and Levine look good were brought in under the Terry Ryan regime. The FO was supposed to be pitching savy but it is hard to understand why they have brought in has been's like Homer Bailey, Rich Hill, JA Happ and Matt Shoemaker to complement the starting rotation. Ryan's organization didn't use analytics enough and this Falvey regime uses it too much. We need to find a happy medium here. Another issue I have with this organization is that they seem to be home run happy, baseball is not just about waiting for a home run. 

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Why not put the blame on falvy , levine and rocco ,  they fired and cleaned house on all the personal in the entire system , ( rookie ball all the way to AAA , managers , coaches , trainers , scouting etc ...  ) when they took the helm  and i quote words from falvy from then,,, ( " we went out and hired the top personal in the industry in all phases of the system " ) ..... 

Falvy  takes the lime light with media and you never see levine when twins are playing great and winning  ,,, now that the twins are playing awful baseball because of mostly signing below average pitching and no clutch hitting and bad fundamentals  , levine is in the lime light with the media ....

Falvy does an interview when media finally calls him out  ...

Nobody in front office or managing takes any accountability  for the losing season  .,,,

Rocco  of course is terrible with any in game decisions , improvisation and any kind of consistency with the players ,, as some post have said , let the players know their role , they seem lost imo  .

Adding average or below average pitching may win games during the season and draw fans but what they add does not win playoff games ( proven against better teams during the season and the past playoffs )

, i did not get my expectations to this season as high as some twins fans and i am still a faithful follower every game and just laugh at their total disaster system failure  ,,,

Also we need new owners , the pohlads today don't love baseball as much as carl and eloise ....

Its great to have baseball  but some changes are needed  ...

 

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