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5 Free Agent Options for the Minnesota Twins to Replace José Berríos


2 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

It's cost saving in the sense it's less taxing to develop and pay young front end talent than it is to trade for, or sign them. I'd define it slightly differently but I agree with the characterizations....

 

2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

I'm not ready to punt 2023. And, you can sign a guy a year earlier than you are serious contenders. It is nearly impossible to fill all the holes in one off season. Signing guys to 2 year deals, imo, is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy of problems. The best players won't do that, so you are left with the leftovers.....

I've still not said they shouldn't sign FA pitching. They should sign FA pitching. I've said they should sign FA pitching. What I've said is I don't want them signing guys on long term deals this offseason. I'd prefer a Verlander type for 2 high priced years than one of these guys on a 5 year deal. I'm not punting on 2022, let alone 2023. I think they can contend for the division next year if they hit on the pitching FAs this offseason. But I don't want high priced vets on long term deals since the real chance for the Twins to compete moving forward relies on the system producing viable MLB arms. 

I'm hedging my bet, per se. Because if none of the arms hit over the next 2 years they aren't going to compete for the division during those 2 years, even if they bring in 2 of these guys, and then they'll be heading into 2024 with 2 high priced arms on the decline surrounded by a 2021 style staff when I'd prefer to take my shot for the next 2 years with FA vets on 2 year deals and the system providing arms for depth.

My proposal is giving this FO 2 seasons to show they can rebuild the staff to where it was in 2019 and 2020. They need to sign FAs this offseason to do that. I think they should spend 50-60M on arms this offseason. But on only 1 and 2 year deals. If they fail over the next 2 years it means they haven't produced a "pitching pipeline" and it's time for them to go. If that's the case then I don't want my new FO saddled with multiple big contract veteran arms. I want them to have a clean slate to keep whichever young guys are producing and build the team how they want. So, yes, sign FA arms to try to compete the next 2 years. I just wouldn't give any of the 5 guys listed here long term deals.

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1 minute ago, chpettit19 said:

 

I've still not said they shouldn't sign FA pitching. They should sign FA pitching. I've said they should sign FA pitching. What I've said is I don't want them signing guys on long term deals this offseason. I'd prefer a Verlander type for 2 high priced years than one of these guys on a 5 year deal. I'm not punting on 2022, let alone 2023. I think they can contend for the division next year if they hit on the pitching FAs this offseason. But I don't want high priced vets on long term deals since the real chance for the Twins to compete moving forward relies on the system producing viable MLB arms. 

I'm hedging my bet, per se. Because if none of the arms hit over the next 2 years they aren't going to compete for the division during those 2 years, even if they bring in 2 of these guys, and then they'll be heading into 2024 with 2 high priced arms on the decline surrounded by a 2021 style staff when I'd prefer to take my shot for the next 2 years with FA vets on 2 year deals and the system providing arms for depth.

My proposal is giving this FO 2 seasons to show they can rebuild the staff to where it was in 2019 and 2020. They need to sign FAs this offseason to do that. I think they should spend 50-60M on arms this offseason. But on only 1 and 2 year deals. If they fail over the next 2 years it means they haven't produced a "pitching pipeline" and it's time for them to go. If that's the case then I don't want my new FO saddled with multiple big contract veteran arms. I want them to have a clean slate to keep whichever young guys are producing and build the team how they want. So, yes, sign FA arms to try to compete the next 2 years. I just wouldn't give any of the 5 guys listed here long term deals.

Fair....but I"m not sure those guys are what you think they are in terms of who they can get for 2 years. 

I also worry about how hard it is to replace guys every year or two, which we are seeing this year. They didn't replace the kind of years Hill / Odo had when they were here and good......

But, I get your point, we just don't agree. No biggie to me.

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2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Fair....but I"m not sure those guys are what you think they are in terms of who they can get for 2 years. 

I also worry about how hard it is to replace guys every year or two, which we are seeing this year. They didn't replace the kind of years Hill / Odo had when they were here and good......

But, I get your point, we just don't agree. No biggie to me.

I wouldn't be looking to replace guys year over year. The pipeline has to produce arms that the Twins have for 6 years (we'll see what the new CBA has to say about that). I don't think there's much of a difference between the guys who demand 5 years and the guys you can get for 1 or 2. Especially this year when there's a whole bunch of veteran arms on the market. 

But there's certainly other ways to do things and getting the right guy on a 5 year deal would be a win. I just don't think long term FA pitching contracts work out well for teams with the Twins budget constraints (whether their self inflicted constraints or not).

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3 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

No, I can't say I've ever cried in either of those situations. But that's not really the point. Why would you have been surprised? How many professional athletes have you seen moved to tears after being traded? I can think of 1. Wilmer Flores. I'm sure there are more, but it's certainly not the majority. I'm not saying it's impossible that Berrios was emotional even though he didn't want to be in MN and couldn't wait to get out of here, but that's a far less likely situation than him having actually enjoyed his time with the Twins. That's what I was responding to. The idea that Buxton and Berrios can't/couldn't wait to get out of here. You know what professional athletes, especially really good ones, do when they can't wait to get out of a place? They demand trades and say "I can't wait to get out of this place."

I'm not following your last paragraph. What would most fans consider reasonable?

Well I sure have and I find the loss of big parts of people's lives to be emotional, even when there are mixed feelings on the change. Not wanting to stay in Minnesota but liking his experience with the Twins are not mutually exclusive.

Finding out which players cry when traded is not information which generally interests me so I don't seek it out. I don't remember any player crying. I didn't hear Berrios cried until this article.

Most fans would consider anything at 5+ years and $110MM+ reasonable.

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I've been contemplating the intent of this OP for days now before it was written. And I've been reading and stewing on every post. And you can like me or hate me for my following thoughts. Up to you.

1] Two years ago, Berrios deliberately took the Twins to arbitration to see how the process worked. He losses, but "only" a couple thousand dollars. Last year, he settled with the Twins for a fair raise and didn't test the system. He was obviously content with the outcome, all things considered. As I recall, he stated he went to arbitration the year before to see and test the system for his future and the future of other players. If he was any kind of malcontent who hated being a Twin, why did he sign so easily for 2021?

2] Speculate all you want to, but we have NO IDEA what was presented to Berrios this year, or the last couple of years, for an extension. Period! He was willing and wanting to stay if the Twins hit a certain UNMENTIONED number. Did he want $25M? $30M? We don't know, just as we don't know what the Twins offered. While I ABSOLUTELY don't want to speculate, the offer could have easily been in the $15-18-20M range with incentives that he didn't like because he wanted to test the market and bet on himself. And that's his right, as much suckage as it might be to us fans. Where do I get my speculative numbers? Because.....

3] ...the Twins offered Darvish over $20M a couple years ago and were a finalist before the Cubs added on another guaranteed year. Decide for yourself how that turned out. The Twins then offered Wheeler $25M per but were told "no thank you" because he wanted to remain on the east coast. 

So just STOP with the Twins didn't try unless we hear details that provide something other than sour grapes.

4] The Twins have $ to offer one of the top FA SP on the market. The proof is $ available, previous offers, and an overall roster that is still talented and quality with some tweaks and additions. And I have no clue if they will sign one of the 5 SP listed in the OP, or will make a surprise trade, or go a short contract for someone like Verlander or Greinke. 

Unless he accepts a qualifying offer, my first dream signing is Thor. He might not want a long term deal. Fine. How about a 1yr deal with incentives and a 2nd year option which would be about $20M plus year one and $25M the second year. A risk to be sure but the payoff could be great!

All 5 of the guys listed in the OP have at least some risk. And all come with big $ attached.  But any one of them could slot in to replace Berrios if the FO  makes the right choice.

FA, Maeda, Pineda, or similar signing, to fill the front 3 with an open audition and rotation for the final 2 rotation spots is still a recipe for success if the pen is re-built. Other than a short option at SS, no pun intended, this IS at least a .500 team who could easily contend in 2022.

There IS a SP pitching pipeline in the works! And some may find their success in the pen. And MAYBE the best option IS a Verlander/Greinke 2yr deal to just bridge a gap. I honestly don't know if the answer is about a short term,  aged veteran with a year or two left is the answer, or someone in the OP is the key.

But I do know there is too much talent on this roster to punt 2022. Give me the RIGHT choice for a SP addition, and Pineda or better, you'd still have $ to add a couple pen arms.  $40-50M sounds like a lot, but its not in professional BB. 

Time for the FO to step forward. 

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11 hours ago, bean5302 said:

Well I sure have and I find the loss of big parts of people's lives to be emotional, even when there are mixed feelings on the change. Not wanting to stay in Minnesota but liking his experience with the Twins are not mutually exclusive.

Finding out which players cry when traded is not information which generally interests me so I don't seek it out. I don't remember any player crying. I didn't hear Berrios cried until this article.

Most fans would consider anything at 5+ years and $110MM+ reasonable.

Totally fair, not saying I disagree that people can be emotional about big changes in their lives, but you don't often see professional athletes choking up during their exit press conferences after being traded. Like none of the guys in any other trade this season seemed to be so moved despite also having spent entire careers with 1 org in some cases (Bryant and Baez in Chicago for example). I responded to someone saying he "couldn't wait to get out of here" and I find that far less likely than him being willing to stay, but having contract demands above what the Twins have offered to this point. If he couldn't wait to leave he'd have been happy about the trade, not sad.

And I don't think the contract numbers speak to whether or not he wanted to be here. As a fan I find 5/110 reasonable for the Twins, but if I were Berrios I wouldn't sign that deal. 5/118 (Wheeler's deal) is the absolute bottom of my market if I'm Berrios. Not signing for 5/110 doesn't mean I don't want to play for the Twins, it means I don't want to sign a deal I perceive to be below the bottom of my market. Maybe he's looking for 5/125 and would've signed that but the Twins never offered it. Maybe it'd have taken 5/150. None of that means he doesn't want to be here or "can't wait to get out of here." Just means the Twins didn't meet his number and he wants to see what he can get on the market. My earlier response was to the idea that Buxton and Berrios "can't wait to get out of here" and many players around the league having the Twins on their no trade lists because nobody wants to come here. That's all I was disputing as I find that notion to be based simply on a fans emotional response to a bad season and not based in any sort of observable information (like Donaldson, Cruz twice, Rich Hill, Andrelton Simmons, etc signing here).

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23 hours ago, Steve Lein said:

Like all the options to try and replace Berrios. However, I don't think any of them are going to come cheaper than he would have so put the odds of the Twins being able to get one of them at virtually zero.

I shoot for Stroman as I think he's the one you'd have the best chance at if you're willing to overpay, and they will have to overpay.

 

But it's Free Agency, teams almost always have to overpay.  Never been crazy about it, but it is what it is :).

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7 hours ago, DocBauer said:

I've been contemplating the intent of this OP for days now before it was written. And I've been reading and stewing on every post. And you can like me or hate me for my following thoughts. Up to you.

 

Well said Doc.  Love it :).  Pretty much my thoughts on the whole thing.

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If the Twins could pull off deals with any of these guys I would call that a win.  That being said they have not done these types of free agent deals in the past history.  However, I can't recall a time the team has been in a situation like it is in right now.  2011 was quite different in my opinion, the team basically got old all at the same time and their 10 year run stopped.  This year seems like it may not be the end of a 2 year run, but instead a reset.  A lot of pieces are in place and maybe the front office has runway now to make some moves to build it back up in a year.  In the midst of winning sometimes it did feel like the team didn't want to pay free agents because they had in house options they were waiting for or other players they knew they needed to sign in a 2-3 years.  

With all that, I still think Buxton is my #1 priority.  Then go from there.  Sign a front-end starter, resign Pineda and bolster the pen.  I think that puts the Twins in Wild Card territory again next year and positioned to take a bigger step in 2023.

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I don’t expect the twins to spend a ton of money on free agents for the 22 season. I think they’ll use it as an evaluation period for young players like Jose Miranda, Brent Rooker, Jeffers, Celestino on the bat side, and countless pitchers like Jordan, Strotman, Ryan, winder, Duran, etc. You may even see them give SWR, Martin, and Lewis a shot eventually. With that being said, I do expect them to bring in at least one more veteran starter to eat innings along with bringing back big Mike. A name I have my eye on is Alex Cobb, who much like ERod, has very good metrics. 

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I would be shocked if we signed any of them!  We had a pretty good guy in Berrios - we sent him away for what hopefully will be a pretty good return.  However - if we didn't pay him who we knew, why would we think we'd pay the same amount to the unknown?

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8 hours ago, DocBauer said:

I've been contemplating the intent of this OP for days now before it was written. And I've been reading and stewing on every post. And you can like me or hate me for my following thoughts. Up to you.

1] Two years ago, Berrios deliberately took the Twins to arbitration to see how the process worked. He losses, but "only" a couple thousand dollars. Last year, he settled with the Twins for a fair raise and didn't test the system. He was obviously content with the outcome, all things considered. As I recall, he stated he went to arbitration the year before to see and test the system for his future and the future of other players. If he was any kind of malcontent who hated being a Twin, why did he sign so easily for 2021?

2] Speculate all you want to, but we have NO IDEA what was presented to Berrios this year, or the last couple of years, for an extension. Period! He was willing and wanting to stay if the Twins hit a certain UNMENTIONED number. Did he want $25M? $30M? We don't know, just as we don't know what the Twins offered. While I ABSOLUTELY don't want to speculate, the offer could have easily been in the $15-18-20M range with incentives that he didn't like because he wanted to test the market and bet on himself. And that's his right, as much suckage as it might be to us fans. Where do I get my speculative numbers? Because.....

3] ...the Twins offered Darvish over $20M a couple years ago and were a finalist before the Cubs added on another guaranteed year. Decide for yourself how that turned out. The Twins then offered Wheeler $25M per but were told "no thank you" because he wanted to remain on the east coast. 

So just STOP with the Twins didn't try unless we hear details that provide something other than sour grapes.

4] The Twins have $ to offer one of the top FA SP on the market. The proof is $ available, previous offers, and an overall roster that is still talented and quality with some tweaks and additions. And I have no clue if they will sign one of the 5 SP listed in the OP, or will make a surprise trade, or go a short contract for someone like Verlander or Greinke. 

Unless he accepts a qualifying offer, my first dream signing is Thor. He might not want a long term deal. Fine. How about a 1yr deal with incentives and a 2nd year option which would be about $20M plus year one and $25M the second year. A risk to be sure but the payoff could be great!

All 5 of the guys listed in the OP have at least some risk. And all come with big $ attached.  But any one of them could slot in to replace Berrios if the FO  makes the right choice.

FA, Maeda, Pineda, or similar signing, to fill the front 3 with an open audition and rotation for the final 2 rotation spots is still a recipe for success if the pen is re-built. Other than a short option at SS, no pun intended, this IS at least a .500 team who could easily contend in 2022.

There IS a SP pitching pipeline in the works! And some may find their success in the pen. And MAYBE the best option IS a Verlander/Greinke 2yr deal to just bridge a gap. I honestly don't know if the answer is about a short term,  aged veteran with a year or two left is the answer, or someone in the OP is the key.

But I do know there is too much talent on this roster to punt 2022. Give me the RIGHT choice for a SP addition, and Pineda or better, you'd still have $ to add a couple pen arms.  $40-50M sounds like a lot, but its not in professional BB. 

Time for the FO to step forward. 

I agree with everything you said 100%.  I tried to write something similar but you said it WAY better than me. 

The one other thing I wonder that I haven't seen mentioned is what if the Twins evaluators believe some of these players are better than Berrios and believe they can make a run at them?  If that is the case in the eyes of the front office they potentially added two high-end prospects and upgraded on Berrios if they get one of these guys.

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17 hours ago, gunnarthor said:

I'm going to share an older article from John Sickels about defining an ace, a #2, #3, etc. There have been several of these type of articles over the years from various sources but all of them are pretty much in agreement, although this talks more about prospects then established pitchers. And ML pitchers can pitch well above their label. (Radke and Buerhle are two classic examples)

https://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/8/7/3226335/defining-1-2-3-4-5-starters

Essentially, Maeda and Big Mike aren't #2. They are backend starters at this point. Mike will end the season with a WAR of around 1, Maeda will be less than that. Our best (arguably) pitching prospect, Balazovic, grades out as a future 3 or 4 type.

Thanks for the link! Interesting reading.

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Not Stroman, this team needs to be better at missing bats, not worse.

But it's these kinds of pitchers that are so often a trap. You have to be sure that they've turned the corner and are going to be a #1. Most of these guys are inconsistent year-to-year and not suited to being a long-term top of the rotation arms. But then they come along and put together a nice stretch prior to becoming free agents and get the teams that can't typically afford the 100M pitchers pay these way more than they're worth.

The bottom line is, these guys are more than likely going to be #3 type pitchers but because they end up being the mid market teams prize off season acquisition, they'll be treated like a #1. If you don't already have a #1 and #2 on staff, you're already putting yourself behind the 8 ball matching up against teams that have solid rotations, particularly come playoff time.

I mean if you really think Ray or Syndergaard or Gausman or Rodriguez have Scherzer'ed themsleves into a stud pitcher, sure. But the Nolasco/Hughes/Santana situation can't happen again.

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4 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

...As a fan I find 5/110 reasonable for the Twins, but if I were Berrios I wouldn't sign that deal. 5/118 (Wheeler's deal) is the absolute bottom of my market if I'm Berrios...

I can agree with what you said was your primary point with there being little or no evidence Berrios hated the Twins organization and couldn't wait to leave.

In regard to the quote above, if the Twins were already offering 5 / 110MM, and Berrios was countering with 5 / 130MM, I don't think he gets traded because that's too close not to negotiate (in my opinion). If it comes out the Twins were offering 6 / 105MM or something like that, I'd be inclined to put Falvey and Levine in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at them. My position is the Berrios ask was so far out of the realm of the Twins' comfort zone that it was apparent we weren't going to do it. How far would that have to be? I'd think 6+ years and $150MM+ would put us there and I'd want absolutely no part of that deal if I were the Twins' front office or a twins fan.

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49 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Not Stroman, this team needs to be better at missing bats, not worse.

But it's these kinds of pitchers that are so often a trap. You have to be sure that they've turned the corner and are going to be a #1. Most of these guys are inconsistent year-to-year and not suited to being a long-term top of the rotation arms. But then they come along and put together a nice stretch prior to becoming free agents and get the teams that can't typically afford the 100M pitchers pay these way more than they're worth.

The bottom line is, these guys are more than likely going to be #3 type pitchers but because they end up being the mid market teams prize off season acquisition, they'll be treated like a #1. If you don't already have a #1 and #2 on staff, you're already putting yourself behind the 8 ball matching up against teams that have solid rotations, particularly come playoff time.

I mean if you really think Ray or Syndergaard or Gausman or Rodriguez have Scherzer'ed themsleves into a stud pitcher, sure. But the Nolasco/Hughes/Santana situation can't happen again.

I don't see any of the pitchers listed (or Berrios) as an ace. I wouldn't feel comfortable with any of them lining up against a top 10 pitcher in MLB.

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Obviously the Twins would want any of those guys.  I would love Robbie Ray and who wouldn't love Thor on the team?  I'd also like to marry Kaley Cuoco and date Meghan Trainor on the side.  Which, of course, is just as likely as the Twins landing anyone on that list. 

The Twins will do their usual dumpster diving and will be coming up with winners like;

Chris Archer, Adam Wainwright, Michael Fiers, Matt Harvey, Jon Lester, etc etc etc.  

Those are the pitchers you should be breaking down for us.  And I'm not trying to be negative... I'm just being realistic based on the Twins history.  I'll call it now, the TWINS PAYROLL WILL BE UNDER $90 MILLION NEXT SEASON.

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Just now, KnoblauchWasFramed said:

The Twins will do their usual dumpster diving and will be coming up with winners like;

Chris Archer, Adam Wainwright, Michael Fiers, Matt Harvey, Jon Lester, etc etc etc.  

We'll just have agree to disagree then.  I can't speak for the others on your list, but knowing Adam and his desire to stay with the Cards, I don't think you have to worry about the Twins "dumpster diving" with him (although he has said he's not sure about playing next year, that this may be his last year).

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The Twins have a multitude of options. I cannot think of any reason, at all, to be down on either Berrios or the Twins. The trade happened and we should just accept that both sides had legitimate ideas and reasons for their decisions.

The pitching needs attention, which everyone agrees to on Twins Daily. The differences individuals have relates to their beliefs and thoughts on what the Twins should or can do. The Twins management will make their own analysis but the option to spend significantly does exist and trades can also occur.

The opinions of each of us is mere entertainment so we propose our solutions which have some merit. Personally, I want the Twins to sign Rodon .... or Thor, but at least one major option to front the rotation. Next, I am hoping to trade for a pitcher or two - say Sandy Alcantara and Max Meyer and this might cost us Garver, Arraez, and Kepler. Maeda and two prospects could fill the rest of the spots and various prospects could be used as depth. 

One thing that should be noted, however, is that there will be some excellent options for the Twins to improve their pitching and team for 2022. A return to relevance would please everyone on Twins Daily.

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Not that hard, really. Assuming all these guys are gone, who's left? Of those guys who is cheapest? The Twins will take the cheapest and oldest of that lot. After every other team picks them over, of course.

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Jon Gray is the guy I'd lock on to personally.  Also, there are a lot of good shortstops on the market this year and it might be the ideal time to buy in on one.  

Go sign Corey Seager for a boatload of money and toss 4 years and 60M at Jon Gray.  If not Seager, take your pick with guys like Baez, Story, Simien, etc.  This team is already better than the 2021 version without doing anything more.  And they have two top 100 prospects on top of it.

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