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Three Things to Like (and Hate) about the Nelson Cruz Trade


16 minutes ago, Mark G said:

I agree.  That is why if I was President-Governor-Mayor-Dog Catcher and Judge Judy all rolled into one, I would eliminate free agency altogether.  Keep arbitration for a fair wage for the players, but the team that drafts, gives a signing bonus, grooms, and ultimately produces a major league player should reap the benefits of that for the long haul.  And the fans benefit just as much, when they can actually follow a team of players they know and watched come up.Trades will always be a part of the game, but buying a team ends the concept of it being a game, and the fans become the ultimate losers.

So you're saying... "Bring back indentured servitude"? 😉

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Trading Nelson Cruz is no fun, but this is exactly what the Twins have to do and should do. They traded a player only signed to the end of the season and got back to reasonably well regarded players at a position of need, starting pitching. It hurts emotionally and makes the team weaker in the short run, but probably makes the team stronger in the long run. The rest of the season needs to be all about evaluating what we have and opening up the DH spot to get more bats to others makes sense as does getting two more pitchers we can audition in these last two months of the season.

By the way, I wouldn’t yet close the book on the Twins resigning Nelson Cruz in the off-season. A lot depends on how the team looks the last two Months of the season. If the FO thanks we can compete in 2022, I could easily see them trying to resign Cruz for another run as the DH. The competition may be tough but frankly that’s no different than things would have been anyway since his contract was going to run out at the end of the season.

I like this trade. I also think this is pretty much it before the deadline unless they find someone to take Donaldson‘s contract. I think will see some small trades of guys like Simmons, Robles and Happ for A ball lottery ticket types. I think Pineda might get us a little more, but frankly not much. I very much doubt that Buxton, Berrios or Rogers will be traded by July 30 although all or some may be gone in trades over the winter. It will be very interesting to see who is still on the team come July 31.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MN_ExPat said:

So you're saying... "Bring back indentured servitude"? 😉

No such thing.  No one is forcing a player to sign with the team that drafts him; he can sit out and wait for the next draft.  If he signs and doesn't like the team, on one is forcing him to play baseball anymore.  But if he signs, takes the signing bonus, takes the training in the minor leagues, and makes it to the majors, the contract should protect the team as much as it protects the player.  It worked for 100 years........:)

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1 hour ago, Mark G said:

I agree.  That is why if I was President-Governor-Mayor-Dog Catcher and Judge Judy all rolled into one, I would eliminate free agency altogether.  Keep arbitration for a fair wage for the players, but the team that drafts, gives a signing bonus, grooms, and ultimately produces a major league player should reap the benefits of that for the long haul.  And the fans benefit just as much, when they can actually follow a team of players they know and watched come up.Trades will always be a part of the game, but buying a team ends the concept of it being a game, and the fans become the ultimate losers.

So the players are just required to work for one team forever? You realize they are people, right? Like teams would every pay fair value in that system. 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Mark G said:

No such thing.  No one is forcing a player to sign with the team that drafts him; he can sit out and wait for the next draft.  If he signs and doesn't like the team, on one is forcing him to play baseball anymore.  But if he signs, takes the signing bonus, takes the training in the minor leagues, and makes it to the majors, the contract should protect the team as much as it protects the player.  It worked for 100 years........:)

This is ridiculously naive. No. It didn't work. Owners didn't pay fair pay. Not even close. 

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47 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

This is ridiculously naive. No. It didn't work. Owners didn't pay fair pay. Not even close. 

I know I am in the minority on this one (lots of others too), but I would submit it did work - for the fans.  Fair is a relative term, and is in the eye of the beholder, but baseball was never meant to be anything but a game.  The players need to be paid, and as I have said in previous comments, I would surely keep binding arbitration to protect their interests, but in terms of playing where ever you want, whenever you want, that is the premise you are starting with.  I am starting with the premise that the organization drafts, pays a signing bonus, grooms a player at considerable expense (the minor league system in any MLB organization is anything but cheap), and when a player hits his prime and the organization is finally reaping the rewards the player gets to just walk away to the highest bidder?  As I said, fair is in the eye of the beholder and that somehow doesn't fit in my definition.  But at the end of the day, I am thinking of the fans......you know, the people who pay the bills?  They have a right to follow a team they are paying to see and actually recognize the players on the field, and if a player is so unhappy with that he can't play for them, he doesn't have to play.  You can't compare this to any other industry that normal people work in; other industries don't have anti trust exemptions that keep the industry going and thriving.  So, I would submit it would work as long as the binding arbitration was a part of the system that wasn't there before.  The competitive balance would be better, and the fans would actually feel a part of the game again.  But then, I prefer the NL play (hate the DH), so I know how much of a minority I am in.  And, no, that doesn't mean I don't like Cruz as much as the next guy.  I just happen to be old enough to remember both eras, and the first was far better overall for the fans.  Feel free to yell at me now.  :)

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1 hour ago, Mark G said:

No such thing.  No one is forcing a player to sign with the team that drafts him; he can sit out and wait for the next draft.  If he signs and doesn't like the team, on one is forcing him to play baseball anymore.  But if he signs, takes the signing bonus, takes the training in the minor leagues, and makes it to the majors, the contract should protect the team as much as it protects the player.  It worked for 100 years........:)

There is some merit to what you say in general but it's not nearly this simple.

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6 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

The union does not have much impact on how much teams spend and therefore what players make collectively.  They have an impact on who gets what portion and the result has been that 80% of the money goes to the top 20%.  It's probably more lopsided if I were to look into this a little.  ALL Milb players get squat but this could easily be rectified.  Top draftees get huge bonuses having proved nothing.  Milb players could make close to $100K year if they just redistributed 80% of the bonus money to wages.   Call me unimpressed with the players union.

There is also the fact that competition provide a competitive wage for other highly skilled professions with unions?  Why does it work for Doctors, Lawyers, Managers and all the people in Technology whop don't work in the public sector but it would not work for Baseball players.  There was a time where unions were necessary across many professions.  It's a different world now.  The unions and the management that made those deals just about killed American car companies.  The players association has become as much a hinderance as it is an asset to the good of the game and it might be leaning to the side of hinderance.  I know you don't agree but show me another group / profession where wages have climbed at double digit rates for 50 years.  Yes, I am aware that growth has flattened.  The BB world changes too requiring many more employees and revenue is tapering off.  The owners are going to try to make changes to counter the slowing interest in MLB.  How much do you want to bet the union will fight those changes?

Show me another industry where profits aren't tied to performance, businesses never sell for less than a massive profit, and employees have no freedom for up to a decade to decide their employer.

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1 hour ago, Mike Sixel said:

This is ridiculously naive. No. It didn't work. Owners didn't pay fair pay. Not even close. 

No, it didn't work 50 years ago.  The union does not have much impact today on how much teams spend and therefore what players make collectively.  Any business is going to spend just so much.  Teams are not going to suddenly spend more because players become free agents earlier and they would not spend any differently today if the union went away. 

There is also the fact that competition provides a competitive wage for other highly skilled professions without unions?  Why does it work for Doctors, Lawyers, Managers and all the people in Technology and numerous other skilled professions but Baseball players somehow won't get adequate compensation without a union?  There was a time where unions were necessary across many sectors of labor.  Baseball is no longer one of them.  People making an average of $4M/year don't need a union to get adequately compensated.  The players association has become as much a hinderance as it is an asset to the good of the game and it might be leaning to the side of hinderance.  I know you don't agree but show me another group / profession where wages have climbed at double digit rates for 50 years.  Yes, I am aware that growth has flattened.  The BB world changes too requiring many more employees and revenue is tapering off.  The owners are going to try to make changes to counter the slowing interest in MLB.  How much do you want to bet the union will fight those changes?

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27 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Show me another industry where profits aren't tied to performance, businesses never sell for less than a massive profit, and employees have no freedom for up to a decade to decide their employer.

Show me one where the employee compensation is well over 100X more than what it was 50 years ago.  Let's also not pretend that freedom to play elsewhere is all that important to most players.  The ability to shop their services to the highest bidder is monumentally more important to the players than playing in a specific city.  The vast majority would stay with the same team their entire career if that team would and could pay them the highest salary.

I will leave you with a figure I like use to illustrate the great fortune of MLB players.  That figure is $3.17M.  That's how much the average American would make annually if average income had grown for everyone else as much as BB players.   

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21 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

No, it didn't work 50 years ago.  The union does not have much impact today on how much teams spend and therefore what players make collectively.  Any business is going to spend just so much.  Teams are not going to suddenly spend more because players become free agents earlier and they would not spend any differently today if the union went away. 

There is also the fact that competition provides a competitive wage for other highly skilled professions without unions?  Why does it work for Doctors, Lawyers, Managers and all the people in Technology and numerous other skilled professions but Baseball players somehow won't get adequate compensation without a union?  There was a time where unions were necessary across many sectors of labor.  Baseball is no longer one of them.  People making an average of $4M/year don't need a union to get adequately compensated.  The players association has become as much a hinderance as it is an asset to the good of the game and it might be leaning to the side of hinderance.  I know you don't agree but show me another group / profession where wages have climbed at double digit rates for 50 years.  Yes, I am aware that growth has flattened.  The BB world changes too requiring many more employees and revenue is tapering off.  The owners are going to try to make changes to counter the slowing interest in MLB.  How much do you want to bet the union will fight those changes?

Interesting take.  Thank you for a lucid and articulate stance.  I may not 100% agree with it, but you make a valid point.

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7 hours ago, ToeJoe said:

I'm disappointed.  IMHO these mid season trades detract from the team concept of baseball.  I never favored the Yankees method of buying your way to a Championship.  Your team should be made up of your opening day roster or come from your farm system for the entity of the season..  Nelson Cruz is a professionals professional, a leader, and a great man.  He deserved better, and so did Twins fans.

what?

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10 hours ago, jmlease1 said:

If basically the only real downside to a trade is "We had to give up an old player who was unlikely to be on the team next year and he's a really good dude"...then it's a pretty good trade. Look, I love Nelson Cruz as much as anyone, but we got two AAA pitchers that are considered to be good prospects from an organization that has a deep minor league system and a great reputation for developing pitching.

The hate levels are low. The like levels are high.

Ding ding ding! Couldn’t agree more. This had to happen. Also, this should be the first in a long line! We need to load the system with pitching so we’re not calling up the Derrick laws of the organization. If we’re gonna develop a lights out bullpen we need electric stuff flowing out of AAA. Maybe these 2 are both back of the rotation filler and that’s fine. But we need an overflow of young “stuff” guys to take the role on or we will be relegated to mediocrity in building a bullpen.

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Decided to post this year, being slightly more recent of an OP, and forgive me if someone also posted previously elsewhere.

Drew Strotman was drafted higher than Joe Ryan initially. Reports have him consistently throwing in the mid 90's with some quality secondary stuff. He is ranked behind Ryan now not due to ability/potential but because he had TJ surgery in June of 2018. (I believe my time frame is correct). Strotman then returned to the hill in 2019 for 4 games in the old GCL and 5 games in the A+ FSL following his rehab. He then missed all of 2020, as virtually everyone did, with time spent at the Ray's alternate site. He was added to the Ray's 40 man this year and jumped over AA to pitch at AAA this year, 2021. Control is always the last thing to come following TJ surgery. 

What his future may hold, and Ryan's for that matter, is to be determined. But Strotman is NOT some "throw in" arm on this deal. His 2021 numbers are solid across the board except for a slightly elevated BABIP and his BB numbers. Again, getting all of his control back after surgery, a missed season, and skipping over AA.

Not being able to watch Nellie finish the year stinks. But father time IS going to catch up and sooner rather than later. He was going to be a FA after this year and the Twins are in the same place now as they will be when the season ends, a potential bidder if they want to be. To acquire a pair of arms with this much potential for a half season rental, no matter how good Cruz is, was a tremendous return that I never saw coming.

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7 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

I'm going to have to do a little research on the concept of a "deceptive fastball." I hear that term bandied about, but I don't understand it in a major league context. Seems like the only thing that a straight fastball can do to deceive a big-league hitter is to be incredibly fast.

Good trade. I hope. Though I'm afraid the Rays will turn the AA pitcher they got from us into some kind of an ace.

Hey, so a quick Google search about Ryan should bring up a very interesting article about him from Sports Illustrated. There is also a link to the article concerning the original trade, so I won't attempt to provide the link here.

Probably the most common frame of reference regarding a "deceptive fastball" is the way a pitcher "hides" the ball for a moment longer than others. This can come in various forms, but think someone like Ober, for example, and regardless of his new-found velocity. Tall and long, the batter doesn't see the ball coming out of Ober's hand as quickly as he would out of most pitchers.

What Ryan does is release his pitch a fraction later and "lower" than most pitchers. Regardless of where he is "sending" the pitch, his release point is lower above the ground, literally, than the height at which most pitchers release the ball. Now, we're not talking about a sidearm or underhanded delivery, but in a similar fashion, the ball is coming in at a different "level" than a batter is used to seeing, creating deception. 

He developed his release after years of playing water polo and the article at SI can explain it better than me, but that is the jist of it.

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19 hours ago, Grasslander said:

Ah, the "business" of major league baseball. While ownership tries to keep fans interested as they try to minimize their investment, the fans are expected to understand that this is, afterall, a business. So, yep, they do this to their fans. The rest of the year gets duller and duller. A reason I went to the ballpark was to watch Cruz. Cruz (and a Twins minor league pitcher) to the Rays for a couple AAA pitchers?  Joe Ryan attended California State University/Stanislaus. He's 4-3 for AAA Durham, with a 3.63 ERA. That's impressive stuff, eh!  Drew Strotman also has a WOW factor track record. Drafted in the 4th round in 2017, he's also in AAA with a 7-2 record and a 3.39 ERA. Yep. WOW. I can easily understand why the Twins pursued this excellent exchange with the Rays. Instead of building for next season, the emphasis now is 2023 or 2024.  And that's assuming one of the minor league prospects pans out. I haven't had the courage to look at teh pitcher the Twins gave up. Cruz was about as sure a thing as possible for the next year or two or more. And for many reasons beyond his hitting, as we all know. Moving Donaldson to DH is a downgrade times two. But I'm growing accustomed to watching how Twins leadership squandered the 2019 club and continues to make confounding decisions. This means they are losing me, as a fan. 

The end result of the playoffs in 2019 was the pitching of the good pitchers sucked. The Bomba squad was mostly silent. That isn't on the front office when players play good to great in the regular season and fall flat in the playoffs. 

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13 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Show me one where the employee compensation is well over 100X more than what it was 50 years ago.  Let's also not pretend that freedom to play elsewhere is all that important to most players.  The ability to shop their services to the highest bidder is monumentally more important to the players than playing in a specific city.  The vast majority would stay with the same team their entire career if that team would and could pay them the highest salary.

I will leave you with a figure I like use to illustrate the great fortune of MLB players.  That figure is $3.17M.  That's how much the average American would make annually if average income had grown for everyone else as much as BB players.   

Collective bargaining by baseball started slightly more than 50 years ago. Free agency a few years after that.

The Yankees were sold 50 years ago  for 10 million, now they are worth short of 6 billion. Not the 100 times more, but I think George (RIP) and Hal came out far better than the players.

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3 hours ago, old nurse said:

Collective bargaining by baseball started slightly more than 50 years ago. Free agency a few years after that.

The Yankees were sold 50 years ago  for 10 million, now they are worth short of 6 billion. Not the 100 times more, but I think George (RIP) and Hal came out far better than the players.

Just to be clear.  I don't know why any of us care how the dollars are distributed.  The owners and the players are the beneficiaries of an industry that has grown steadily for 50 years.  What I think we should care about is our experience as fans and the general good of the game.  Work stoppages are not good for our experience as fans.  We would not need to worry about work stoppages without the union and the players are certainly not an oppressed group that needs protection. 

The sport also needs whatever changes can aid in creating parity.  Shorter team control control will further erode parity.  Universal DH / Shifts, toy name it.  The union will fight it if they can find a way to get a bigger slice of the pie.  None of this is good for the fans or the game.  Both sides are focused on money.  That should not be a surprise but the owners have a greater interest in preserving / improving the game.  I seriously doubt the current players care if the game shrinks and player salaries are reduced 10 years from now.  I might have some concern for player salaries If the average payer did not make more in a year than the average American made in a lifetime, My concern is the preservation and improvement of the game and not losing a season because the best paid profession in the United States wants even more.

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On 7/23/2021 at 9:07 AM, ToeJoe said:

 Nelson Cruz is a professionals professional, a leader, and a great man.  He deserved better, and so did Twins fans.

Part of the trade was giving Cruz the better that he deserved. This team is going nowhere. At age 41, Cruz doesn't have many more shots.  He is now on a team that could be going somewhere.  Do you think Cruz is angry over how he was treated? Heck, no. I'm sure he is disappointed how the year has gone, but he has to be thankful for the opportunity he has now been given.

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18 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Show me one where the employee compensation is well over 100X more than what it was 50 years ago.  Let's also not pretend that freedom to play elsewhere is all that important to most players.  The ability to shop their services to the highest bidder is monumentally more important to the players than playing in a specific city.  The vast majority would stay with the same team their entire career if that team would and could pay them the highest salary.

I will leave you with a figure I like use to illustrate the great fortune of MLB players.  That figure is $3.17M.  That's how much the average American would make annually if average income had grown for everyone else as much as BB players.   

I think your figure shows how much the salaries of the players were artificially suppressed 50 years ago, rather than an indicator that we should go back to the previous system. 

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2 hours ago, gil4 said:

I think your figure shows how much the salaries of the players were artificially suppressed 50 years ago, rather than an indicator that we should go back to the previous system. 

You are welcome to your opinion.  I just don’t think anyone was saying those poor baseball players don’t get paid a decent wage in 1970.  IDK, I was in grade school but I never heard of anyone opting to do something else because of the pay level. When it doubled 5 years later, I really doubt anyone thought they were underpaid for six months work.  I would also assume that if it was an acceptable wage when it was half just 5 years earlier, most found the wages good.  If not, when just 3 years later average salary increased 123% from double the amount in 1970, I am betting people at the time were thinking holy cow I wish my salary had more than quadrupled in just 10 years.  I am really doubting anyone was thinking the poor baseball players only make 5 times the average American family.

Then, baseball salaries nearly doubled again in 1981, 3 year later.  Player salaries were 10X the average US household.  I am thinking 99% of the public was thinking baseball players were fortunate to be so well compensated.  Then, they doubled again four years later in 1985.  I more than doubled again by 1991.  Can we quit feeling sorry for them at this point with their salaries having gone up 2900%.  That’s correct 29 fold in 21 years.  Because if that was not enough, salaries roughly quadrupled over the next 20 years.  If you are keeping track, that’s almost exactly 100 times what they were paid in 1970.  Average US income grew roughly 5X over the same 40 year period.

Oh ... and after they increased 100 fold, average salary went up over a million dollars per year.  To put that in perspective, their raise (not their income) after increasing 100 fold is equal to 12.5 times the average household income in Minnesota.  I think our (fans) concern where labor relations is concerned is that we don't lose a season and the preservation of the game.  I see absolutely no reason why the average guy should give a crap about players getting even greater compensation.  Top pitchers get paid the equivalent of 13 years income for the average house hold (not individual) for ONE GAME,  For the season, the make the rough equivalent of what a an average couple would make in 400 years.  I really don't know why we should care in the slightest if they get a raise.

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