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Way Too Early Offseason Plans


Well, we all navigated an interesting, sometimes sad, trade deadline.  Jose gone, probably for good.  The odds of him re-signing here after 2022 are miniscule.

We do not know how these last 2 months will unfold.  There is a lot of sentiment to get some of the young pitchers a chance at the MLB level to start assessing them.  

What moves to make this offseason based upon what we know today?

My 2 cents:

1)  Re-sign Nelson Cruz, and indicate he is welcome on our MLB coaching staff when he wants to finish his career;

2) Try very hard to sign Syndegaard in FA.  His value should be depressed by the TJS, but he has ace potential and think of the marketing opportunities for Thor in Minnesota!;

3) Re-sign Pineda.  I would offer him the exact same contract;

4) Sign one or two QUALITY BP arms, rather than 4-5 lousy reclamation projects;

5) Extend Taylor Rogers;

6) Extend Buxton unless it is impossible, then trade him for max value, hopefully to a NL team.

Thoughts?

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Signing pitchers is key. I would add Carlos Rodon to Noah Syndergaard and hope for two relievers as well. The offseason is tricky. Last winter started poorly when every team passed on Brad Hand. Some tough calls are made. Colome and Simmons or Liam Hendriks (your choice) and other examples, like Atlanta signing Ozuna, show how difficult building a winning team can be in the offseason.

 

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Keep Simmons, his bat has gone flat but they need his fielding skills badly.

Get at least onr vet. outfielder, with a good arm, whose batting average is at least .250 with Refsnyder and Garlick as back-up

Send Kepler to baseball school.

Hope Kirilloff does not regress like Larnach and Rooker have.

Get one reliable pitcher, please.

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Trade Buxton in the off-season, before he gets the chance to get hurt.

If he turned down the most recent offer, why would he be more inclined to sign a deal after the Berrios trade?  If I was Buxton I would want out.

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Given a) its very likely the Twins have lost a lot of $ (cash) over the past two seasons and b) this season was such an enormous disappointment that it’s clear this team is not one or two players away from challenging for a WS berth, it’s more than likely that 2022 will be a prep year to try to build a team for another 2-3 year legitimate window, 

So, this next offseason should be all about roster development for 2023-24/25.  A couple of things to do:

1. Resign Buxton. He’s a complete game changer/possible MVP, and should be the veteran center piece of the lineup.

2. Resign Big Mike.  Two year deal.  He and Kenta lead the rotation while we see which of the 8 or so young guys can be solid SPs in 2023,  Btw, both could be moved at the 2022 deadline depending on how the SPs develop. 

3. Unless Donaldson is capable of being a Cruz type DH in 2023 (his last year), move him as soon as possible for as much salary relief as you can.

4. Evaluate the SP FA market and move on anyone you think can be a solid #2 or better for multiple years. If so, move on it.  But I think you keep your tinder dry until the next off season during which you might actually resign Berrios or similar to lead the staff.

5. Absolutely begin rebuilding the RP staff - it will take two off seasons to add enough names to build the shutdown pen we need.  The 2023 bullpen will likely be made up of one or two guys currently on the staff, maybe a couple more in the system, and several FA or trade acquisitions.  

6. Evaluate Kepler and Sano (I like Polanco for his bat and position flexibility).  One or both of them might need to be moved.  I’d like nothing better than to see Sano be a 0.250/40/100 DH for us in 2023, but, if not, he has to go.

7. Retool the coaching staff and that may mean moving on from Rocco.  This year’s disappointment is grounded in abysmal fundamentals play - there is no sugar coating that.  The key to our future success as a small/mid sized franchise is player development.  That premise is especially relevant now heading into a rebuild with a loaded farm.  Getting the coaching correct to develop these players is critical.  The current staff has not proven that this skill is their strength when it needs to be more than ever.

 

 

 

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With trading for players in the Majors and close to being there, are the Twins in for trouble at the rule 5 draft? Will the current CBA rules still be in effect in December? Are some real prospects going to be left unprotected? A “loaded” farm system might make for some tough decisions.

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They've got to go after at least one quality starting pitcher and a couple of bullpen arms.  Assuming Rooker shows he belongs, I wouldn't re-sign Cruz unless you get him on the cheap.  Spend the money on pitching instead.  Re-sign/extend Pineda and Buxton.  I wouldn't be opposed to bringing back Simmons, but it would have to be another one year deal.  I'm hoping that Lewis and/or Martin push to fill that role sooner rather than later.

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I think the plan will be, more or less, roll with what we've got, re-sign Pineda, another Happ-type arm, try to upgrade the pen and hope that Ryan, Strotman, Winder, Ober, Thorpe etc can turn into ML starters that can go 4-5 innings and turn it over to the bullpen. Maybe they'll take another run at re-signing Buxton. If he comes back strong this year and they can't resign him, they'll trade him this offseason.

What I want to have happen is different. I want ownership to step up and sign good pitchers - two of Guasman, Gray, Rodon, Ray, Thor (?), Scherzer, Stroman. And then they could take a flier on a guy like Dylan Bundy (personal fave of mine) or Aaron Sanchez. Add Pineda or anther like him on a short contract. But moves like that would cost a lot and I don't think they have the payroll to do that since they wouldn't pay Berrios. They might be able to sign a Cluber or Scherzer on a short term contract but it's not clear why they'd come here if the rest of the rotation is a joke.

If they did moves like that, I think they'd have to trade Rogers. He's just too expensive. I'd also look at moving Kepler again. We have enough offense without him and, I think, a healthy Buxton will minimize his departure. But we have some depth and our offense should still be good without him or re-signing Cruz.

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Twins have some decisions to make in offseason. They have alot of borderline MLB pitchers on 40 man and IL as well as pitchers additional pitchers that will need to be rule 5 protected. Do they keep the no longer prospects Thorpe/Smeltzer types and the veteran Minaya/Law types on roster or move on? This also leaves little room for FA additions, maybe one starter and 2 RPs. As has been mentioned plenty of times on TD, I would like to see Twins use next 2 months to see how some of their pitching prospects perform at MLB level- Hamilton, Winder, Cano, Ryan, Vasquez, Moran.

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1--solidify the pitching staff.  Maeda is a decent start, I'd like to have Pineda back, but counting on Ober/Dobnak + prospects to handle the other 3 spots and any injuries to Maeda/Pineda is too much.  I personally would go with Gausman, but I'm ok with Stroman or Rodon as well.  If Syndergaard is open to a 1 year plus incentives/vesting options contract, then I'm ok with that too.

2--figure out short.  Simmons is not an option in my mind.  He has negative WAR this year due to the cratering of his offensive game, and a sever erosion of his defensive skills (he actually has a negative UZR/150 this year, driven by making errors, and no longer having the range which would offset that).  Is he truly a bad defensive shortstop now?  Probably not, but nor do I think he's a particularly good one anymore, and for a guy about to turn 32 who is no longer hitting, I'm just not interested, especially not with all the shortstops that will be available next year, and the possibility that Lewis/Gordon/Martin could MAYBE hold that position down.  I'm good with spending 2022 finding out if any of those 3 can play short every day.

3--figure out which young hitters are legitimate.  Can you count on Kiriloff/Larnach/Rooker/Jeffers/Martin/Miranda to be your new offensive core?  I would bypass bringing Cruz back, and trade Garver, Donaldson, and Polanco/Arraez in order to get the PAs needed to find out.  If the right offer comes, trade Garver in the offseason, and then trade JD/JP/LA at the deadline.

4--figure out just how barren the RP corps is.  Bring in no RP's this offseason, unless you have a big opinion on an undervalued guy, or you're able to get a great deal on an established guy.  Find out if any of Thielbar/Alcala/Stashak/Strotman/Cano/Moran/Hamilton can be legitimate late inning options, or if they're all 5th/6th inning types.  If 2-3 show promise, trade Rogers and Duffey at the deadline, and sign established guys in the 2022 offseason.  If fewer show promise, trade for more prospects at the deadline next year, and then invest heavily in the 2022 offseason.

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Unless the Twins think they will be a playoff team next year, signing Cruz would be a waste of money/time.  

The Twins should find a new home for Sano, even if they take a "loss."  Sometimes there is addition by subtraction.

With Berrios gone, the Twins will need to add another arm, and an arm of any quality will be more expensive than Berrios.  They have some good prospects, though.

 

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Players I believe would be on the 40 man roster for next season as of now and if nobody was hurt.

Pitchers
Jorge Alcala, Jordan Balazovic,Charlie Barnes,Beau Burrows ,Edwar Colina,Danny Coulombe ,Randy Dobnak,Tyler Duffey, Jhoan Duran,Luke Farrell,Griffin Jax, Derek Law, Kenta Maeda,
Bailey Ober,Taylor Rogers, Devin Smeltzer, Cody Stashak, Drew Strotman, Caleb Thielbar, Lewis Thorpe, Edgar García,


Mitch Garver,Ryan Jeffers,Ben Rortvedt,Luis Arraez,Willians Astudillo,Josh Donaldson,Nick Gordon,Jorge Polanco,Miguel Sanó,Byron Buxton,Jake Cave,Gilberto Celestino,Max Kepler
Alex Kirilloff,Trevor Larnach,Rob Refsnyder,Brent Rooker

Guys that need to be added - Royce Lewis, Josh Winder, Jose Miranda, Cole Sands, Joe Ryan (and I don't know what the two from the Blue Jays need to be added.)
Alex Colome will more than likely be bought out for 1.25
Juan Minaya - assuming not on the team
John Gant - assuming not on the team

From my count that is 45 not including the two from the Blue Jays and the three above that will probably be gone.

So if they don't trade away a bunch this off season, it looks like they need to cut at least 8 from the guys above to sign another starter, relief pitcher and SS.
My guess would be Astudillo, Cave, and six pitchers, Barnes, Burrows, Law, Farrell, Smeltzer or Thorpe, Stashak.

Roster with new 40 Man

non pitchers
Garer, Jeffers, Arraez, Donalson, Polanoc, Sano and FA SS and Miranda?.
Kirilloff, Larnach, Buxton, Kepler, Rooker/Refsnyder

Pitchers
Maeda, FA, Ober, Smeltzer/Thorpe, Ryan
Alcala, FA, Coulombe, Dobnak,Duffey, Jax, Rogers, Thielbar

That leaves them 1 catcher (Rortvedt), 1 infielder (Lewis), 2 outfielders (Celestino, Rooker/Refsnyder) in the minors for injuries, and a bunch of pitchers that as of today are hurt or haven't done much or anything in the majors)

Seems like the FO has a ton of work in the offseason to figure out a 40 man roster that will get them though next season.

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Offseason plans? Real easy. Keep entire offense. Spend 30-35M on starting pitching and the other 15-20M on relievers. Preferably shorter deals, as in not longer than the Donaldson deal. Make a run at the next 2 years with the FA pitching additions as the young arms get their shots. In 2 years when you have Donaldson, and all the FA arms, coming off the books you have an idea of what your new core looks like and a bunch of money to spend. 

Oh, and extend Buxton for that reported 7/80+incentives/escalators frame work. Plus any other team friendly deals for young guys.

Offseason complete.

Note: if the next 2 seasons are trash the FO is fired and a new group gets to spend all that money in 2 years.

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I would note that the Rule 5 MLB draft is at the winter meeting in early December each year, so if there is a roster pinch the Twins could sign FA's after that draft to protect themselves a bit....Not that I think the Twins will actually have a roster pinch, as they will have a lot of dead wood to clean off the 40 man roster at the end of the year, if not earlier.

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17 minutes ago, Steve71 said:

I would note that the Rule 5 MLB draft is at the winter meeting in early December each year, so if there is a roster pinch the Twins could sign FA's after that draft to protect themselves a bit....Not that I think the Twins will actually have a roster pinch, as they will have a lot of dead wood to clean off the 40 man roster at the end of the year, if not earlier.

Just curious of the players I listed for the possible 40 next year, who do you consider to be dead wood? Is your list similar to the names I listed?

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3 hours ago, Dodecahedron said:

Unless the Twins think they will be a playoff team next year, signing Cruz would be a waste of money/time.  

The Twins should find a new home for Sano, even if they take a "loss."  Sometimes there is addition by subtraction.

With Berrios gone, the Twins will need to add another arm, and an arm of any quality will be more expensive than Berrios.  They have some good prospects, though.

 

For the month of July Sano had a wRC+ of 126 and struck out exactly 1/3 of his ABs.  He will be moveable if he repeats or improves upon that performance in August.  However, he is no longer a big problem and he won't be a problem at all if he continues to trend up.  Why not just let him play at this point, especially with Kirilloff out and see what happens.  Maybe he regains some value to trade this off-season.

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23 hours ago, Kendel said:

With trading for players in the Majors and close to being there, are the Twins in for trouble at the rule 5 draft? Will the current CBA rules still be in effect in December? Are some real prospects going to be left unprotected? A “loaded” farm system might make for some tough decisions.

They have a few interesting decisions to make in Rule V but I wouldn't call their position "in trouble". There are so many bad players they can drop without hesitation that it shouldn't be a big problem, *if* they make the right choices this offseason, which they definitely did not do last offseason.

I doubt the new CBA is going to change the Rule V draft much, if at all. The players seem to be generally in favor of it and I don't think ownership cares enough to make a fuss about it when there are so many bigger fish to fry.

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19 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

For the month of July Sano had a wRC+ of 126 and struck out exactly 1/3 of his ABs.  He will be moveable if he repeats or improves upon that performance in August.  However, he is no longer a big problem and he won't be a problem at all if he continues to trend up.  Why not just let him play at this point, especially with Kirilloff out and see what happens.  Maybe he regains some value to trade this off-season.

I'm a bit baffled by Sano, to put it lightly. The moment the team truly went into the toilet and the season became irrevocably lost, he turned the corner. Maybe that's just coincidence, maybe it's not. But there's a real possibility that, for whatever reason, he has been pressing all season, to disastrous results.

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I hope this offseason we can trade Donaldson/Kepler and Sano. This is $37.75 Million we can put towards pitching. Kepler is a nice player, but at $6.75M - I'll take my chances with Larnach. Sano, like Buxton isn't on the field regularly - I think the most games Miguel has suited up for in a season is 116, and at $9.25M next year, no thanks. I would even let SS play itself out - no free agent monies for a shortstop. I love the white sox signing of Kimbrel, to go along with Hendicks - reminds me of the KC teams with the shutdown BP - I want one of those. Sign the very best 2 starters you can - re-up Big Mike, and we hope one or two of the 8 or 9 young pitching prospects can fill 2 slots - also hoping for a Dobs sighting in next years rotation. Pitching and more pitching. That would be my offseason plan.

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I'm a bit baffled by Sano, to put it lightly. The moment the team truly went into the toilet and the season became irrevocably lost, he turned the corner. Maybe that's just coincidence, maybe it's not. But there's a real possibility that, for whatever reason, he has been pressing all season, to disastrous results.

This is just from memory and my memory might be failing me but he has had periods going all the way back to Milb where he was lost and then worked his way out of it.  Maybe he gets moved this off-season and maybe he is our most productive hitter next year at least in terms of wRC+.  Yes, it is baffling.  Personally, I hope he is red hot the rest of the way and they get something for him in the off-season.   

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7 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

This is just from memory and my memory might be failing me but he has had periods going all the way back to Milb where he was lost and then worked his way out of it.  Maybe he gets moved this off-season and maybe he is our most productive hitter next year at least in terms of wRC+.  Yes, it is baffling.  Personally, I hope he is red hot the rest of the way and they get something for him in the off-season.   

He has definitely had his ups and downs but I can't recall him being as bad for as long as he was this season. Without looking up the exact numbers, though, I could be wrong.

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4 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

He has definitely had his ups and downs but I can't recall him being as bad for as long as he was this season. Without looking up the exact numbers, though, I could be wrong.

From 6/1 to 9/1/2018 he hit 190 and had a wRC+ of 77.  I remember him looking similarly lost.  I remember because his plate discipline was way better in 2019.  He quit swinging at all the junk they were throwing him well of the plate and he was a beast.  I was really impressed with the turnaround.  I never really cared for him but he really impressed me turning it around to the degree he did in 2019.

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On 8/2/2021 at 4:21 PM, TwinsDr2021 said:

Just curious of the players I listed for the possible 40 next year, who do you consider to be dead wood? Is your list similar to the names I listed?

Sorry TwinsDr2021, I drafted a detailed reply and it disappeared when I posted it.

I will keep this shorter.  Here are the guys likely to be jettisoned from the current 40 man roster, either released or FA's:

Burrows; Colome; Farrell; Gant; Law; Minaya; Pineda; Simmons; Cave; on the bubble Smeltzer; Thorpe; Gordon; Astudillo; Garlick; Refsnyder.  That is potentially up to 15 players, absent trades, or 37.5% of their roster.

So I see plenty of roster flexibility to avoid losing the next Baddoo in the Rule V draft.

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YES, a way to early off-season plan. But aren't we all already doing this on paper and napkins? 

But I can't state ANYTHING here without saying I am NOT going to go in to the 40 man right now because its almost impossible at this point. Just way, way too early.

1] Find a common ground with Buxton and make a re-signing happen. He wants to stay. He has NOT rejected an extension. By reports, it's the nature of incentives that are in debate. FIND COMMON GROUND. I understand the risk involved. Buxton and his reps understand his history. But as a mid market team,you have to take a shot here or there or you just won't reach the next level. Buxton is a wild card you HAVE to play.

2] The SP FA market is LOADED but with tons of question marks. Unless you pull a rabbit out of the hat, you need to bring in a high value flier on a 1yr deal with maybe an option for Verlander or Syndergarden, etc. There are other options.  Just tossing out a couple possibilities. It's going to eat up a bunch of our $40-50M budget but needed.

3] Bring in another RHRP who is as good as Rogers, who I think will be back. $5-7M? Then add another RH who you like as much as Duffey. 2-3M?

4] Find a SS on the cheap. Think I'm crazy? The SS market could/should be flooded. Hell, Simmons could be brought back for half his salary maybe. I am OK if Polanco moves back for a season, but it's just the smart move. 

5] Find an OF who is the RH "equilivent" of Cave. A guy who can hit, play solid defense, and provide some offense while being able to play solid defense across the OF. The re-invented Refsnyder MIGHT be the best option. But can you really bet on him unless the next 2 months help prove he is part of the future?

We need a quality RH ÒF who can perform.

6] A number 3 SP who is solid. I think we already know Pineda is probably this guy. And unless he suddenly tanks, I think he's OK as a filler until being surpassed. 

Pitching is the issue other than a 4th OF we can embrace.  And I would spend $ on pitching vs a DH. As much as I love Cruz, or another big bat brought in, why wouldn't we spend $ on pitching and let let Garver, Donaldson, Rooker, Arraez, etc, fill that spot?

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On 8/2/2021 at 12:11 PM, 4twinsJA said:

 I would like to see Twins use next 2 months to see how some of their pitching prospects perform at MLB level- Hamilton, Winder, Cano, Ryan, Vasquez, Moran.

So would I, but I believe there is only 1 40 man roster spot open, and that is 6 guys not on the 40, so basically it requires cutting somebody everytime you bring one of them up, or moving a player from the 10 to 60 DL.

Which IMO means we will be seeing quite a bit of Gant, Coulombe, Minaya and Burrows before we start seeing the guys in the minors.

 

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