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In Defense of the Twins Front Office


The Minnesota Twins' front office blew it this year. There is no way around that, and no credible argument against it.

But ultimately, it's one year. The number of statements from fans I've seen along the lines of "Clean house!" and "Fire Falvine!" and "These guys have no idea what they're doing" ... It demonstrates short-term memory at best. At worst? A bit of an entitled mindset.

The Twins hired Derek Falvey (who hired Thad Levine) in the wake of a disastrous 103-loss season in 2016. By that point, the Twins had gone six straight years without making the playoffs, and during that span they lost more games than any team in baseball. 

The following year, Minnesota stunningly reached the postseason as a wild-card team. Then they missed out in 2018, still finishing second, before rebounding in 2019 with one of the greatest seasons in franchise history. The Twins followed in 2020 with another division title. 

To run all that back: this front office took over a team that had gone 407-565 (.419) with zero playoff appearances in its previous six years, and went 300-246 (.549) with three playoff appearances in the next four. 

Does their success owe somewhat to the foundation built before they arrived? Of course. No one would deny that Terry Ryan and Co. had cultivated an impressive nucleus before being ousted. But during those years, the Twins repeatedly failed in the draft, failed in acquisitions, and failed in player development. The results bore that out.

Let's be clear about something here: This current regime was so successful and so impressive through four years that they were repeatedly poached of talent, both in the front office and the coaching staffs they assembled. Not only that, but Falvey and Levine themselves have been courted by big-name franchises like the Red Sox and Phillies. 

What did they say, according to publicized reports on the matter? 

"No thanks, we're going to see through what we're building here."

And so, to see flocks of fans calling for their heads because of one bad season, which is no worse than the ones we saw repeatedly before they arrived ... it's a little hard to take. 

Falvey became the youngest head exec in the league when he took Minnesota's top job. Currently he is 38 years old, which is three years younger than the DH he traded to Tampa Bay last month. Up until now he never experienced serious adversity during his tenure, which speaks to how smoothly things have gone in the first four years. 

The same could be said, by the way, for his managerial choice Rocco Baldelli, who was named Manager of the Year in 2019 (as the youngest skipper in baseball, with no experience in the role) and then won a second straight division title in his second season.

These people have shown their mettle. They've won. A lot. I realize they haven't won in the playoffs, and that sucks, but they haven't had nearly the opportunity of their predecessors. 

Are we not going to give them a chance to learn from failure?

Obviously the free agent pitching additions from the past winter have failed at every level. But this front office has made plenty of good and savvy pickups in the past, which helped fuel the success of high-quality staffs the last two years. And in any case, Falvey wasn't really hired to sign pitchers. He was hired to develop them.

On that front, the jury is still out. This operation was four years in when a pandemic came along and wiped out an entire minor-league season. The fact that Minnesota's upper minors are currently loaded with intriguing high-upside arms would suggest the mission was on track, and is just now getting back on the rails. 

Soon we'll start seeing those arms (along with the ones acquired at the deadline this year) ushered into majors, and at that point we'll be able to make real assessments. But until then, you're judging an incomplete project. 

This reassembled baseball ops department has been working ahead of schedule basically since they took over a moribund franchise in despair. They hit a setback this year, and it's been painful. Let's give them a chance to get back on track in the wake of a major disruptive event and humbling follow-up season.

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Fact of the matter is that ownership has never shown themselves to be impatient.  This FO started to rebuild the organization from the top down and there's been every indication that ownership is onboard with that and will allow them the time to do so.  One year certainly isn't going to change that.  So, this FO is going to be here to help clean up the mess unless they decide to bail on it themselves.  

There are plenty of reasons to dislike what was done in the past year.  I imagine if you could get a candid response from the FO, they'd have a list of their own.  For a FO that has had pretty good success, I'm now interested to see how they react and deal with some adversity.  To me, that's the real test.  Things aren't always going to go as planned.  How they react is a good barometer of how fit they are for their jobs.

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What a novel idea, to not be in the "what have you done for me lately" camp!  Fantastic article and well thought out points regarding management.  This team and overall organization still has a lot of talent and a lot of hope for the future.  Personally I'm hoping for a re-tool and not total re-build so it will be interesting to see what happens in the off-season.  Whatever it is, Falvey and Levine have earned the right to be in charge and keep moving the Twins forward!

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1 hour ago, Nick Nelson said:

The Minnesota Twins' front office blew it this year. There is no way around that, and no credible argument against it.

 

Actually, there is no denying it went very poorly but blowing it suggests there were much better options.  I have asked twice now for those who are calling out the pitching acquisitions to articulate a plan (in hindsight) that would have put this team in contention.  Pitchers that were actually traded and free agents we could have signed.

Were we going to get Wainwright away from STL?

James Paxton pitched 1 inning

Garret Richards’s has a 5.22 REA and a WHIP of 1.65

Drew Smyly has been decent with a 4.5 ERA / 1.45 WHIP / .6 WAR

Corey Kluber pitched 50 innings and is now on the 60 day IL

Charlie Morton has been good but his geographic preference is well known so that was not going to happen.

Mike Minor has an ERA of 5.39 and .3 WAR

Jake Odorizzi was a popular choice here.  His 4.95 ERA and 0 WAR would not have helped.

The guy I wanted (Taijuan Walker) has been good but he got no support here when I floated him as an option.

We could have traded for Blake Snell like so many here insisted was a no brainer.  We could have given up a bunch of prospects for a replacement level player.

The same is true for a lot of the BP options.  Rosenthal / Clippard / Romo / Etc

There was nothing wrong with the Simmons signing.  He has had a bad year or is in decline.  We should not sign most free agents if the possibility of decline makes it a bad decision.  Sometimes reasonable decisions don't pan out in baseball.  There is a credible argument that the choices that were popular here would have left the team in worse shape going forward.  

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With baseball it is always wait and see.  Our fans are in shock - preseason favorites to compete for the title, news of signings to put us over the playoff edge, a seemingly complacent approach to the BP and the fans who had the faith entering the season found themselves floundering before the end of the first month.  Fans cannot fire the FO, but they can complain - it is there right.  The problem is, they can also stop listening, stop attending, and stop caring.  The challenge for this FO is to not just get the team winning again, but to get the fans back so that they can then start to add to the fanbase.  

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The returns so far on Falvey's development pipeline are mediocre at best.  Bailey Ober is the only one that really looks like he has a decent chance to stick in the rotation so far, but he may never be a workhorse due to either health or management. Barnes is likely AAAA, but I'll give him a chance for the rest of the season. Dobnak flashed, got his contract, took a dump and got hurt. Duran is hurt. Enlow is hurt. Sammons is struggling in the high minors. Landon Leach is at the complex. In the pen, Alcala has hopefully only hit a bump and is now hurt. Gore switched positions and might have a shot. Molina is still in Cedar Rapids and not lighting it up by any means.  That's the pipeline that Falvey started and developed. Injuries happen, but 44% is pretty high. Is there a flaw in the mechanics coaching? Are they pushing something that's not sustainable?

Now, they've obviously had four drafts, another deadline and also picked up Vallimont in the Romo deal when they were going the other way, but I mostly just see hype and injuries from those recent waves.

Every front office had to deal with the pandemic, so that's an even playing field as far as I'm concerned. 

If Falvey was hired to develop instead of sign, then he better start showing results very soon. If we're all sitting here this time next year and reading about the bright future with the deep system loaded with Winders, Sandses, Canterinos, Durans, Balazovics, Pettys and SWRs but none of them are showing up to play or being constantly bridled by Baldelli, then I think the fan base is certainly within reason to call for a different direction.

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My problems with the front office don't have a lot to do with this season in Minnesota, at least not directly. They made some mistakes, did dumb stuff, was slapped around for it. That happens, now let's see how they rebound next season. But...

1. They've shown to be pretty bad at self-evaluation of the organization. They're routinely trading or waiving or leaving unprotected players that immediately turn around and have success elsewhere. Their trades from their first two seasons, 2017-2018, are showing mixed results at best. I can forgive them a Baddoo but not multiple Baddoos over only a few seasons.

2. People are being rather unfair with the pitching timeline (there are currently only five pitchers from that 2017 draft with >1 career rWAR, pitching takes time) and I've been quite patient with the results, particularly with Covid. But in the wake of Covid, we have over half a MiLB season to evaluate and let's just say they're not blowing my socks off with these results. Right about now is when we should be excited to see the coming wave of prospects but what we're really excited about is other teams' prospects that the Twins gave away high-end MLB assets to control. That's not an encouraging sign.

3. This is tied into #2 but... Beau Burrows. And a thousand other players like him in 2021. It's time to wipe out these fringe acquisitions and promote from within. If they don't see what they have right now, they won't know what they have to start 2022, either. And while it's primarily a problem with pitchers, there is zero reason for Andrelton Simmons to be on this roster right now. Play Gordon, IL Donaldson, call up Miranda... shuffle things up because record no longer matters in 2021. I'll forgive the front office for everything going to hell in a handbasket in the immediate follow-up to 2020 but their responses are almost as disappointing as the failures that led us to this point.

I'm not ready to move on from them yet but where I was generally positive about them one year ago, I'm am equally as negative today. It feels like they're operating without a coherent plan right now and that's possibly the worst trait a front office can have in a time like this. They need to commit to a decision and move in that direction.

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Let's face it, this is how it is and how it always will be in small market pro sports; especially MLB/Twins. Great farm system, develop them, bring them up and then you gotta sell them because you overspent on a has been rock star with a 1-2 year obscene contract and now, you gotta go buy some real pitchers....again!  We develop players like Berrios and Buxton and put together what looks like a competing team, so we put all of our small market eggs into 1 basket and if we lose, like we did this year, then it's a **** show because we have left ourselves out in the cold. Every once in a while, the stars align and you get a 1987 and a 1991 result. I think TL and DF are fine, but they blew it with the pitching...no way in hell Gibson or May should  be gone, but that's life as a Twins fan and season ticket holder, they don't want to spend the money to compete.

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45 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

Actually, there is no denying it went very poorly but blowing it suggests there were much better options.  I have asked twice now for those who are calling out the pitching acquisitions to articulate a plan (in hindsight) that would have put this team in contention.  Pitchers that were actually traded and free agents we could have signed.

Were we going to get Wainwright away from STL?

James Paxton pitched 1 inning

Garret Richards’s has a 5.22 REA and a WHIP of 1.65

Drew Smyly has been decent with a 4.5 ERA / 1.45 WHIP / .6 WAR

Corey Kluber pitched 50 innings and is now on the 60 day IL

Charlie Morton has been good but his geographic preference is well known so that was not going to happen.

Mike Minor has an ERA of 5.39 and .3 WAR

Jake Odorizzi was a popular choice here.  His 4.95 ERA and 0 WAR would not have helped.

The guy I wanted (Taijuan Walker) has been good but he got no support here when I floated him as an option.

We could have traded for Blake Snell like so many here insisted was a no brainer.  We could have given up a bunch of prospects for a replacement level player.

The same is true for a lot of the BP options.  Rosenthal / Clippard / Romo / Etc

There was nothing wrong with the Simmons signing.  He has had a bad year or is in decline.  We should not sign most free agents if the possibility of decline makes it a bad decision.  Sometimes reasonable decisions don't pan out in baseball.  There is a credible argument that the choices that were popular here would have left the team in worse shape going forward.  

I agree in general. That said, I was on the Joe Musgrove train and felt pretty disappointed when he went to San Diego. I'm not sure if the Twins ever checked in on him, but he would have been a terrific addition. I'm hoping they do a lot more on the trade market this coming off-season. John Means in Baltimore would be a good trade candidate. I also think they should consider Glasnow, who is going to miss next season (or at least most of it) recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Rays might be willing to part with him in order to avoid paying him during a year of rehab.

 

In any case, I think Nick gives a fair assessment of the situation in the article. While a pitching development program was a huge selling point for Falvey, I don't think we can wave away the botched free agent signings. That's part of his job, too. But overall I think he and Levine have done a good job, at least as good as any alternative would do. Except for Andrew Friedman, and, well, I don't think we'll be prying him away from the Dodgers any time soon.

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Thanks for this well thought out article. I've been an obnoxious Falvine Fanboy who's gone strangely quiet this year. Some doubt has crept in. All you have to do is make a list of the arms they have moving up the ranks. I personally have never seen anything like this with the Twins. In the next 2 seasons we will witness many debuts (and struggles). The difference is the odds of a few making a mark is much better when you have this many. Then there's Martin and Lewis and that's no joke. 

 

It is hard to be patient especially when they seem to coddle the top prospects and we get to watch the fringe guys. On the other hand we got to see what can happen when guys get moved up ahead of schedule. Celestino and Larnach had some struggles. Celestino had more and he was also the one who was rushed more ahead of schedule. Larnach looks like he is adjusting.

 

I will be surprised if Joe Ryan comes straight over from Tokyo, but he might and if not it will be soon. Keep em coming!

 

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20 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

My problems with the front office don't have a lot to do with this season in Minnesota, at least not directly. They made some mistakes, did dumb stuff, was slapped around for it. That happens, now let's see how they rebound next season. But...

1. They've shown to be pretty bad at self-evaluation of the organization. They're routinely trading or waiving or leaving unprotected players that immediately turn around and have success elsewhere. Their trades from their first two seasons, 2017-2018, are showing mixed results at best. I can forgive them a Baddoo but not multiple Baddoos over only a few seasons.

2. People are being rather unfair with the pitching timeline (there are currently only five pitchers from that 2017 draft with >1 career rWAR, pitching takes time) and I've been quite patient with the results, particularly with Covid. But in the wake of Covid, we have over half a MiLB season to evaluate and let's just say they're not blowing my socks off with these results. Right about now is when we should be excited to see the coming wave of prospects but what we're really excited about is other teams' prospects that the Twins gave away high-end MLB assets to control. That's not an encouraging sign.

3. This is tied into #2 but... Beau Burrows. And a thousand other players like him in 2021. It's time to wipe out these fringe acquisitions and promote from within. If they don't see what they have right now, they won't know what they have to start 2022, either. And while it's primarily a problem with pitchers, there is zero reason for Andrelton Simmons to be on this roster right now. Play Gordon, IL Donaldson, call up Miranda... shuffle things up because record no longer matters in 2021. I'll forgive the front office for everything going to hell in a handbasket in the immediate follow-up to 2020 but their responses are almost as disappointing as the failures that led us to this point.

I'm not ready to move on from them yet but where I was generally positive about them one year ago, I'm am equally as negative today. It feels like they're operating without a coherent plan right now and that's possibly the worst trait a front office can have in a time like this. They need to commit to a decision and move in that direction.

I think I'm in a similar mindset as you.  There are positives that I like, negatives that I definitely do not (these generally drive me nuts), some that I'm indifferent about, and some that are incomplete.  Throw all of that in a blender and I've got a net neutral opinion that lists one way or another on a daily basis.  In the end, I need to see something more one way or another before I can really determine where I'm at with them.

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Well written, Nick.  Will agree with you and those who are willing to give them more time to complete their plan.  But when looking at last night's box score and the standings, that gets a little hard some mornings.

I expect that they understand this year is over.  Good to see them making lots of waiver claims for guys like Garcia and Garza, then giving them a try-out pitching for the Twins.  It's been only one game, but Garcia looks like he could be part of next year's bullpen...as Grant does.

There is no question that injuries have been HUGE for them this year.  But when I look at their every day lineup, with maybe a little tinkering it could be good enough to compete for a title, assuming reasonable health.  And for me that starts by getting a deal done with Buxton as their record shows when he is on the field.  Is going to be fun to see what they do about pitching this winter, and then the results come April/May.  Personally, I hope they go for quality over quantity and get one top starter and two top relievers with the young arms filling the gaps.

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Good article.  The thing many fans that are calling for the FO to be fired, either do not know, or forget how long it takes an organization to really see results of a new FO.  Unlike in football or even basketball where drafted players will make impacts very quickly, and FA can make huge changes.  Baseball needs time to let the changes really take affect.  

Draft picks take several years normally to make it to Majors, and when a minor league has been striped of prospects for short term gains, ala Smith, it takes years to bounce back normally.  Ryan tried to rebuild it up but Smith did such a terrible job that Ryan had little to work with, and he swung and missed too.  

I agree with Major League Ready above, that it is not just the moves made, but what moves were available.  We can harp on the signings made, but unless we can point to clear moves that could have been made it is hard to say it was a bad move.  Twins are not the only team that FA signings or trades did not work out.  Just as it takes all players to have great years to normally win a title, if all your players have down years or several stints on DL, not that Twins are alone in the DL issue, but at one point their top 4 or 5 OF coming into the year were all on DL.  

I fully support the FO because I think overall they have done a good job.  You can point to single moves that were wrong calls or did not pan out, but if you look at the big picture, I think they are building something to really look forward too. 

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46 minutes ago, MGM4706 said:

Ok article but you miss one HUGE piece. There has RARELY been a team to win a playoff series without an Ace. So if you are fine with winning a few games and maybe a Div. Title but having NO CHANCE in the playoffs, then Falvey, Levine and Pohlad can remain your Heroes!!

The Royals won the WS without an ace.

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Great article!  Well written.  Also some great comments here by you guys.  You mention that some of the prior pitching aquisition still need to be graded out to see how they do.  Correct.  So before we declare the recent tradings of Cruz and Berrios steals for the Twins we need to wait, as usual with the Twins, to see if they pan out.  If they are as good as the hype we will be great for years.  If they turn out to be flops we will be cellar dwellers for years.  Big gamble since most prospects never make it.

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Where is roster management here?  Don't Twins fans have a right to question moves and non moves?  Why is Simmons still here and taking up playing time for a younger player that is actually part of the future.  Why are the three "pitchers" from last night even on the roster?  Why did they not put Donaldson on IL a while ago?  Perfect opportunity to check out another player while he heals.  He just sits, very seldom plays, and us taking up a spot.  Why aren't we seeing some of these can't miss prospects we keep hearing about?

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Starting Burrows last night was simply ridiculous. If you need an opener John Gant has been begging to start, and has starter experience. Not to mention perhaps giving an AAA guy a chance last night?  I noticed Zack Littell got a save the other night for SF - why we give up on him, and don't give up on some others I'll never know? 
I agree we hired Falvey to completely revamp the org, bring us into the future, and to develop pitching. This cannot be evaluated yet - and we need to stick with them. But it looks to me like we've been slinging a lot of spaghetti against the wall lately. As an observer, I am not seeing a cohesive plan coming together - and why is Simmons still playing shortstop? We very much need to develop shortstops. Why aren't we working on that?

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I’m not a big fan of the FO at the moment, but they’re not going anywhere. Terry Ryan stuck around long past his expiration date, and the Pohlads aren’t ones to make knee jerk decisions. 

Aaron Gleeman earlier this year had a great analysis about their free agent signings since joining the Twins. It’s been mostly bad. Nelson Cruz was their saving grace and makes the overall picture look better. Everyone else they spent $183 million and received 16 WAR in value. 

Similarly, Gleeman examined every trade deadline deal up to 2021. And the majority of trades were inconsequential  or just flat out bad. 

I guess we’ll find out if these new pitchers from this trade deadline will provide more value than the other trades in the past. 

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

They've shown to be pretty bad at self-evaluation of the organization.

This is my biggest concern as well. No organization had a better access to assess Baddoo, and they completely misjudged. Same with LaMonte Wade. And selling low on the area of greatest need with this organization (pitching) is also really bad. Right now, the two they gave away in meaningless trades (Ynoa and Gil) are far more prominent and promising than any they've developed. That's a very, very bad sign - that means we're feeding wins to our MLB competitors.

I also disagree with this: "which is no worse than the ones we saw repeatedly before they arrived." Look, bad seasons are bad seasons, but the Twins have likely never been further from their preseason expectations than they are this year. It's far worse to watch a contending team crumble to dust than it is to watch a bottom-feeding team face expected struggles.

I appreciate what you're doing here, but fans can be forgiven for any anger and pessimism. This FO inherited a promising young team on the cusp of greatness. And with zero playoff wins to show for it, they have now turned it into a bottom-5 MLB team with the worst pitching staff in baseball. Is it a blip or a trend? I guess we'll find out next year.

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4 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

This is my biggest concern as well. No organization had a better access to assess Baddoo, and they completely misjudged. Same with LaMonte Wade.

I can give them a pass on Baddoo, as I suspect leaving him unprotected was a calculated risk that backfired. Having not played in a couple of years and being a Rule V candidate that needs to stay on the MLB roster, I completely understand why the front office would take the risk that no one would draft him and if someone did, the Twins would receive Baddoo back in short order.

Trading Wade was probably the right decision but... wow... to dump Anderson so quickly while Wade was thriving requires a series of bad evaluation and mis-management that deserves loads of ridicule.

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6 minutes ago, dbminn said:

The Twins weren't exactly "moribund" when Falvey and Levine arrived. 

Which is mentioned in the article.

And while the system looked pretty good overall when they took over, the pitching situation was bad and that hasn't really changed. The new front office inherited a really bad version of Berríos (which we all expected to improve) and little else that showed real promise, especially in the rotation. As we were about to find out, the previous front office had completely blown three consecutive top six draft picks, two of them on starting pitching that would never pitch in Minnesota.

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45 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

My problems with the front office don't have a lot to do with this season in Minnesota, at least not directly. They made some mistakes, did dumb stuff, was slapped around for it. That happens, now let's see how they rebound next season. But...

1. They've shown to be pretty bad at self-evaluation of the organization. They're routinely trading or waiving or leaving unprotected players that immediately turn around and have success elsewhere. Their trades from their first two seasons, 2017-2018, are showing mixed results at best. I can forgive them a Baddoo but not multiple Baddoos over only a few seasons.

2. People are being rather unfair with the pitching timeline (there are currently only five pitchers from that 2017 draft with >1 career rWAR, pitching takes time) and I've been quite patient with the results, particularly with Covid. But in the wake of Covid, we have over half a MiLB season to evaluate and let's just say they're not blowing my socks off with these results. Right about now is when we should be excited to see the coming wave of prospects but what we're really excited about is other teams' prospects that the Twins gave away high-end MLB assets to control. That's not an encouraging sign.

3. This is tied into #2 but... Beau Burrows. And a thousand other players like him in 2021. It's time to wipe out these fringe acquisitions and promote from within. If they don't see what they have right now, they won't know what they have to start 2022, either. And while it's primarily a problem with pitchers, there is zero reason for Andrelton Simmons to be on this roster right now. Play Gordon, IL Donaldson, call up Miranda... shuffle things up because record no longer matters in 2021. I'll forgive the front office for everything going to hell in a handbasket in the immediate follow-up to 2020 but their responses are almost as disappointing as the failures that led us to this point.

I'm not ready to move on from them yet but where I was generally positive about them one year ago, I'm am equally as negative today. It feels like they're operating without a coherent plan right now and that's possibly the worst trait a front office can have in a time like this. They need to commit to a decision and move in that direction.

I agree with you Brock. I think they’ve had enough time and it’s not just one bad year.

The bad decisions started after the 2019 season. Would the Twins have been better with Schoop and Cron this year? Yes. It’s all the unnecessary attrition which reminds me of the attrition the year JJ Hardy, Orlando Hudson, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch and a 5th player were let go and the subsequent attrition-driven drop.

So we’ve forfeited Schoop, Cron, Wade, Badoo, Rosario (I’m a fan, others aren’t), Odorrizi (still better this year than Happ or Shoemaker), Zack Littell, Romo, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Matt Wisler, Ryne Harper (ouch!),  Rich Hill, Pressley, Eduardo Escobar, Tyler Clippard in two short years.

Is the above acceptable for a list of players willingly let go by Falvey in 2 years?

Further, with a glaring problem of Byron Buxton’s chronic missed time, they failed to obtain a proper backup for cf. 

The continued acquisition of bargain basement gambles seems a way to being the worst team in baseball rather than the best. That Burrows start was a real head scratcher.

My opinion is that Baldelli is in over his head as a manager. I will give him credit for some recent improvement in coming out to get pitchers in a more timely fashion to still give the Twins a chance.

Then there’s sending Burrows out for a 2nd inning. How many games has he kicked away by letting starters get the Twins so far behind that they have no chance? I would cite a late 2019 game where he left Martin Perez in for 8 runs in the first two innings. Game, set, match. Then Shoemaker for 9 runs in 1 inning. 

Credit? The Berrios deal is worthy of optimism at this point. Ascension of Arraez is great, not sure who gets credit for that. Kirilloff and Larnach being given a chance. I have high hopes for Miranda.

All in all, management put the Twins in a deep hole with a series of bad trades and releases, etc.

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3 minutes ago, Greglw3 said:

I agree with you Brock. I think they’ve had enough time and it’s not just one bad year.

The bad decisions started after the 2019 season. Would the Twins have been better with Schoop and Cron this year? Yes. It’s all the unnecessary attrition which reminds me of the attrition the year JJ Hardy, Orlando Hudson, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch and a 5th player were let go and the subsequent attrition-driven drop.

So we’ve forfeited Schoop, Cron, Wade, Badoo, Rosario (I’m a fan, others aren’t), Odorrizi (still better this year than Happ or Shoemaker), Zack Littell, Romo, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Matt Wisler, Ryne Harper (ouch!),  Rich Hill, Pressley, Eduardo Escobar, Tyler Clippard in two short years.

While I am critical of the front office, I think it's hindsight and unreasonable to accuse them of mistakes for not outbidding other teams for the likes of Gibson and Schoop. The Twins simply do not have the budget to retain every player on their roster, especially someone like Gibson who was terrible and sick when he entered free agency. That contract looks a lot less great if Texas didn't luck out of not paying him much in 2020 when he was, again, awful.

And while they made mistakes with pretty much every pitcher they signed this season, that doesn't mean it's fair to go back multiple years and point fingers for not signing players who no one really wanted signed at the time. Not a single person I can remember was sad to see Gibson so somewhere else on a 3/$30m deal. The same goes for the likes of Schoop, who had just been replaced by the younger, better, and yet-to-be-injured Luis Arraez.

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8 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I can give them a pass on Baddoo

I wish I could, but I just can't. They somehow had room for Jake Cave and others on the roster. Baddoo hit .390 in Spring Training. He was clearly ready to go, and any series of offseason workouts/assessments could have told them so. He was the third player drafted in Rule 5. In other words, other teams knew what we didn't know. That's just .... very bad.

Plus, they also exposed their breakout 2021 Minor League Player of the Year, Jose Miranda to the Rule 5 draft. Ugh.

Yes, it's tough on FO staff, but the only way to evaluate a transaction is by the results. We can give people some grace for understandable mistakes, but teams like the Twins don't have a lot of wiggle room for these kinds of mistakes. These mistakes build - they compound. A Twins team with Baddoo has less to worry about if Kiriloff goes down again or if we end up losing Buxton. Or he could have been a great young trade chip while trying to bring in pitching. More gaps need to be covered now, and all the expense of drafting and developing is a lost investment.

This FO is going to get more chances here, and maybe that's as it should be. But I think the team would be fine if they decided to look for other bright young minds from other organizations who are looking for a chance to build a winner. This FO doesn't appear to be anything particularly special.

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Just now, LastOnePicked said:

I wish I could, but I just can't. They somehow had room for Jake Cave and others on the roster. Baddoo hit .390 in Spring Training. He was clearly ready to go, and any series of offseason workouts/assessments could have told them so. He was the third player drafted in Rule 5. In other words, other teams knew what we didn't know. That's just .... very bad.

The Rule V draft happens in early December.

And I'd bet quite a bit of money that Detroit had no more than the typical confidence one has in a Rule V pick... and that's very little confidence at all.

Sometimes, people just get lucky and others get unlucky. We don't need to attribute mastermind scheming - particularly from the likes of Detroit - to explain they took a calculated risk and won while the Twins took a calculated risk and lost. It happens.

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8 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Which is mentioned in the article.

And while the system looked pretty good overall when they took over, the pitching situation was bad and that hasn't really changed. The new front office inherited a really bad version of Berríos (which we all expected to improve) and little else that showed real promise, especially in the rotation. As we were about to find out, the previous front office had completely blown three consecutive top six draft picks, two of them on starting pitching that would never pitch in Minnesota.

I generally agree with your comment, I have not called for Falvey or Levine's head.  I disagree that the system was moribund, which was Nick's summation:

"This reassembled baseball ops department has been working ahead of schedule basically since they took over a moribund franchise in despair."

That's a bit much. The org was behind in the times but the system's roster was not "near death".

And... they inherited a 23 year old Berrios who had pitched well at both AA and AAA but only had 14 MLB starts to his name. 

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