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The ongoing joke about the Twins is how often they’re rumored to be in on a player but don’t wind up with them. This winter they have a chance to make good on their past links with three such pitchers.

Corey Kluber

Kluber was heavily linked to the Twins last winter before the Yankees threw $11m at the right hander. Kluber pitched quite well in his first year in the Bronx with a sub 4.00 ERA. Unfortunately after throwing just one inning in 2020, Kluber missed significant time and only reached 80 frames.

Kluber is likely a candidate for another one year deal at age 36. He still looked like a valuable pitcher in a tough stadium and division, and a move back to the soft AL Central would do him wonders. He may not be counted on for a significant amount of innings, but pairing him with a pitcher like Michael Pineda would be valuable. There’s upside to be had similar to the Twins 2020 Rich Hill signing, upside the Twins will surely be looking for in order for a bounce back in their pitching staff.

Marcus Stroman

The Twins were bullish on Stroman in 2019 when the Blue Jays eventually shipped him to the Mets. The Twins claimed Toronto never returned their call for a counter offer. Stroman wasn’t much help in 2020 but performed exceptionally well in 2021 with a 3.02 ERA in almost 180 innings. 

Stroman would definitely require a long term deal with some good money attached. He may not be a flat out ace, but he’s a durable, experienced arm. His reliance on movement, location, and weak contact should make him a valuable pitcher for the foreseeable future now that he’s surpassed 30 years of age. He’d also immediately slot in as an Opening Day starter and top of the rotation anchor.

Noah Syndergaard

Digging way into the well here, remember when the Twins were in on Noah Syndergaard in 2019 and the Mets wanted Byron Buxton in exchange? I’m sure no fans were angry at the Twins for not pulling the trigger, right? Syndergaard has a storied past when it comes to injury, most recently returning from Tommy John just this year. The result of this being there isn’t much of a body of work to see since 2019.

It’s hard to forget the arm they call “Thor” throwing one 100 mph fastball after another. While never quite an ace, it’s hard to deny that the upside is there. With Syndergaard's recent history, he’s another candidate for a one year “show me” deal. It may be high risk, but there may not be a pitcher on the market with a higher potential payoff.

The Twins will be looking high and low on both the free agent and trade market this winter to try to fix a pitching staff that straight up cost them any shot at contending in 2021. It wouldn’t be the most surprising development to go back to the well and revisit some arms they were previously interested in. Is there any one of this trio that stands above the rest? Should these three be avoided altogether? Let us know below!

 

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Many believe they will bring Pineda back, probably on a two year contract.  With Maeda returning late this year and lots of good prospects arriving the next couple years, a Kluber or Thor one year deal may be the perfect fit for a year in which the Twins could surprise.

Kluber/Thor, Ryan, Pineda, Ober and Dobnak work for me as their opening day 5.  Send Jax and Barnes to St. Paul as early depth before Maeda is ready for the stretch run come August.  Add Winder and a few other prospects later in the year and the starting pitching should compete.  Will the Twins?

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://Kluber/Thor, Ryan, Pineda, Ober and Dobnak work for me as their opening day 5.

That rotation would lead to another 90 loss season.  I can see Ryan and Ober as maybe being a decent back end of the rotation, though more likely only one will be successful.  Pineda would be a decent middle rotation guy.  Can't rely on Dobnak for anything.  The league seems to have figured him out and to count on him in the rotation on a contender takes a big leap of faith at this stage.  

With all that said, its the top two arms that will make or break the FO's designs on contending next season.  Kluber is simply too high a risk to be counted on; he fits more in the Happ/Shoe category of a Hail Mary at this point in his career.  The twins need to shoot for an ace-type, either Rodon or Ray head the list, with Stroman, then Thor being good alternatives.  As many others have mentioned a trade of some surplus players(Arraez, Garver/Jeffers?) should bring back a young, controlled major league pitcher.  FO must utilize a two - pronged approach - sign one of top FA pitchers and add a #2 via trade route.  This should allow enough money to also add a much-needed closer, as well as a FA SS.   This is a team full of holes; half way measures will never work.

 

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I just cannot be excited about these three - Stroman is the only one I would sign.  Kluber is at the end of the road and we do not have to continue to offer long term care to aging pitchers.  Thor has too many injuries and just cannot be counted on the way Berrios did making every start. 

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You never know about this "ace" stuff. The Yankees would almost certainly tear up Cole's contract if they could. It seems that Cole, minus the goop, is just a good pitcher. The Steinbrenners didn't pay for that. They didn't pay for the Boston performance. 

The Twins had a dependable "almost ace" ( let the debates fly) in Berrios and they sent him packing only because he wanted a market rate for his services and that was the only reason. As we all enter winter, the Twins enter into another long winter of their own. We have no chance to truly compete in 2022 and the Twins have no belly to spend to make it otherwise. They sell hopes and dreams and are bereft of any ideas to make them come true. 

Realty is often harsh. Reality is often cruel. But, this is our reality.

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Unless the FO changes it's ways it will be another woulda coulda shoulda off-season. I don't believe they will go for it for the 2022 season. They didn't do it when they had a winning team that needed a few upgrades in the past, why would they do it for a losing team that needs a lot of upgrades for next season, just won't happen. There are too many question marks with the pitching staff and too many duds in the lineup that they are tied to for next season. Sorry folks but you might as well start hoping for 2023.

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Not a single name in this article better than Jose Berrios.  And I know, I know he wasn't resigning here.  Question we have to ask is WHY?  The answer is simple.  We didn't blow him away with the money.  Sadly, we most likely won't with the other fellas in this article either.  And I'm OK with that.  IF a couple of the kids on the farm are ready to perform at a Berrios like level.  Any chance of that?

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1 hour ago, Johnny Ringo said:

You never know about this "ace" stuff. The Yankees would almost certainly tear up Cole's contract if they could. It seems that Cole, minus the goop, is just a good pitcher. The Steinbrenners didn't pay for that. They didn't pay for the Boston performance. 

The Twins had a dependable "almost ace" ( let the debates fly) in Berrios and they sent him packing only because he wanted a market rate for his services and that was the only reason. As we all enter winter, the Twins enter into another long winter of their own. We have no chance to truly compete in 2022 and the Twins have no belly to spend to make it otherwise. They sell hopes and dreams and are bereft of any ideas to make them come true. 

Realty is often harsh. Reality is often cruel. But, this is our reality.

You know for a fact he didn't say he wanted to test free agency, or even leave? Or, maybe they decided multiple years of what they got was more valuable? That's fairly likely why they did it. This year was lost. So, what is worth more, one year of Berrios next year, or six of the guys they got?

As for spending, these last two years they've spent the most they ever have. They signed Donaldson to a huge deal. I'm just not sure we agree on your facts being facts and not opinions.

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23 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

You know for a fact he didn't say he wanted to test free agency, or even leave? Or, maybe they decided multiple years of what they got was more valuable? That's fairly likely why they did it. This year was lost. So, what is worth more, one year of Berrios next year, or six of the guys they got?

As for spending, these last two years they've spent the most they ever have. They signed Donaldson to a huge deal. I'm just not sure we agree on your facts being facts and not opinions.

I'm not sure I offered up any facts, but here are some facts. They spent nothing on pitching last year and got what they paid for. They were 17th in overall payroll in 2021 ( source: MLB) . They finished dead last in the worst division in baseball.  They had 89 losses which sounds bad but their performance, in fact, is worse than that because they played in the worst division in baseball. They dealt a proven and very valuable asset (Berrios) in an area where they are woefully deficit (pitching) for two uncertain assets( prospects).   

I could go on but I guess that is enough cheery facts for one post.

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29 minutes ago, Johnny Ringo said:

I'm not sure I offered up any facts, but here are some facts. They spent nothing on pitching last year and got what they paid for. They were 17th in overall payroll in 2021 ( source: MLB) . They finished dead last in the worst division in baseball.  They had 89 losses which sounds bad but their performance, in fact, is worse than that because they played in the worst division in baseball. They dealt a proven and very valuable asset (Berrios) in an area where they are woefully deficit (pitching) for two uncertain assets( prospects).   

I could go on but I guess that is enough cheery facts for one post.

Interesting facts, Johnny.  MSP is a mid-market, so having the 17th biggest payroll is about where they could be expected to spend.  Now finishing last in what arguably was the worst division in baseball says there were reasons other than payroll for their failure.

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7 minutes ago, Monkeypaws said:

Haha, that's the spirit Ashbury. Best of the Worst, Champs of the Chumps, the Kings of the Peons.

 

 

You would be just as satisfied if they had lost 100 or more games, as other last place teams did, fascinating.

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34 minutes ago, RpR said:

You would be just as satisfied if they had lost 100 or more games, as other last place teams did, fascinating.

You certainly pulled that response out of thin air.  The commenter never said he was satisfied about any win total.  All he mentioned was that the Twins won more games than any other last place team.  Dispute what he said, not your opinion of something you think he might be vaguely implying.  Or try something completely different for you - say something positive about the Twins.

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1 hour ago, terrydactyls said:

You certainly pulled that response out of thin air.  The commenter never said he was satisfied about any win total.  All he mentioned was that the Twins won more games than any other last place team.  Dispute what he said, not your opinion of something you think he might be vaguely implying.  Or try something completely different for you - say something positive about the Twins.

Nope, he was dissing Ashbury.

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11 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

You know for a fact he didn't say he wanted to test free agency, or even leave? Or, maybe they decided multiple years of what they got was more valuable? That's fairly likely why they did it. This year was lost. So, what is worth more, one year of Berrios next year, or six of the guys they got?

As for spending, these last two years they've spent the most they ever have. They signed Donaldson to a huge deal. I'm just not sure we agree on your facts being facts and not opinions.

Maybe Berrios said he wanted to test free agency.  Why would he want to do that?

Maybe he felt he had a better chance of signing a long term deal with a different team.  Or maybe he didn't like the team's direction.  Or maybe it's just too darn cold. 

I think the Twins have a bad reputation with players around the league, including their own.  But Berrios is gone and the FO remains, so we can make Berrios the bad guy here.

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14 hours ago, Johnny Ringo said:

The Twins had a dependable "almost ace" ( let the debates fly) in Berrios and they sent him packing only because he wanted a market rate for his services and that was the only reason. As we all enter winter, the Twins enter into another long winter of their own. We have no chance to truly compete in 2022 and the Twins have no belly to spend to make it otherwise. They sell hopes and dreams and are bereft of any ideas to make them come true. 

Realty is often harsh. Reality is often cruel. But, this is our reality.

Will you come back an apologize when he doesn't sign a long-term deal with Toronto this off-season? Berrios wants to test free agency, and has made that clear. They didn't trade him because he wanted a market-rate deal; they traded him because the only way to lock him up long term was to offer something well above market rate, otherwise they were risking him going elsewhere for nothing.

We have an excellent chance to compete in 2022 if we can add the right pitching moves and at least one of about 5 quality pitching prospects steps forward. The lineup is good enough to compete. The idea the franchise has "no belly to spend" is a canard: did you forget Josh Donaldson? Coming off an excellent season they spent significant money to take an very good lineup and try to make it a great one. 

But never let reality get in the way of a chance to call the Pohlads cheap or the front office incompetent...

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I hate to break it to people, but based on this board's general definition of "ace" there isn't one available to sign this offseason.  

If there was, the Twins would need to be giving them a Gerrit Cole-like contract.  The best they'll do this offseason is add some stability with good to solid pitching.  They need to do that, but I think it'll be helpful once the offseason starts to keep our expectations within the realm of reason.

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4 hours ago, Boom Boom said:

Maybe Berrios said he wanted to test free agency.  Why would he want to do that?

Maybe he felt he had a better chance of signing a long term deal with a different team.  Or maybe he didn't like the team's direction.  Or maybe it's just too darn cold. 

I think the Twins have a bad reputation with players around the league, including their own.  But Berrios is gone and the FO remains, so we can make Berrios the bad guy here.

What do you base this belief on? Donaldson signing here? Pineda? Happ? Shoemaker? Colome? Others? We literally have no idea. I'm not making anyone the bad guy. I endorse players finally getting to choose where, and for whom, they work. Others are making the front office bad guys.....I think this is just big business and how capitalism works.

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Unless  the Twins sign someone for $30M+ a year for a large number of years, then that pitcher is almost by definition not an ace.  Because even the top teams can always find a spot in their rotation for a guy of that caliber, and the ones with the deep pockets will not allow themselves to be outbid easily.

There's no reason to even bring up that word when talking about the pitchers mentioned here.

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20 hours ago, RpR said:

Nope, he was dissing Ashbury.

And maybe deservedly. People were flinging facts back and forth,  So I decided to toss in a fact that was semi-relevant but really not.  All in a spirit of good fun and if someone felt like responding in kind I took it in the same spirit.

I think long-time readers are fairly aware by now of my exasperation with 2021's outcome, and its portents for the future.  And if not....  it's only a ballgame.

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I think people lose sight of what “facts” are. 

The Twins lost 89 games and finished last in the Central is a fact (well, two facts).

Stuff like, The Twins spent a lot of money to sign Donaldson, is a reasonable judgment, most people would agree with, but not really a fact in the true sense. 

 

 

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Gausman is the only top tier pitcher I would have confidence in throwing money at long term ... I do like Stroman and clearly he has the track record, but his frame worries me.

If the Padres are serious about shedding salary, Yu Darvish at what is essentially at 2/40 million deal is my favorite option.

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On 10/10/2021 at 8:38 AM, jmlease1 said:

Will you come back an apologize when he doesn't sign a long-term deal with Toronto this off-season? Berrios wants to test free agency, and has made that clear. They didn't trade him because he wanted a market-rate deal; they traded him because the only way to lock him up long term was to offer something well above market rate, otherwise they were risking him going elsewhere for nothing.

We have an excellent chance to compete in 2022 if we can add the right pitching moves and at least one of about 5 quality pitching prospects steps forward. The lineup is good enough to compete. The idea the franchise has "no belly to spend" is a canard: did you forget Josh Donaldson? Coming off an excellent season they spent significant money to take an very good lineup and try to make it a great one. 

But never let reality get in the way of a chance to call the Pohlads cheap or the front office incompetent...

Yes the Twins have now ONCE ponnied up for a real FA (Donaldson) and yet there was debate whether he was the right player to do this with (and the debate still rages on).  I would not personally hang my hat on a team and FO that has accomplished a simple feat such as this once.

As for 2022 - not sure I would call our chances 'excellent' unless the team/FO miraculously triple the number of of real FA they have signed to 3 from the current 1.  I for one will believe it when I see it given past history.  Too many times have I been fooled to fall for this again.

As for Pohlads being cheap - over the last 20-25 yrs how many time have the Twins been in the top third of payroll vs the bottom third of payroll?  Here is the breakdown of Twins payroll rank since 1998: Top 1/3 - 1.  Middle 1/3 - 11 (most frequently 18/19). 20th or less - 12 (bottom 4 a total of 4 times) Not sure what your definition of low/cheap is, but the above figures certainly fit my definition. 

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21 hours ago, sjunisu said:

Yes the Twins have now ONCE ponnied up for a real FA (Donaldson) and yet there was debate whether he was the right player to do this with (and the debate still rages on).  I would not personally hang my hat on a team and FO that has accomplished a simple feat such as this once.

As for 2022 - not sure I would call our chances 'excellent' unless the team/FO miraculously triple the number of of real FA they have signed to 3 from the current 1.  I for one will believe it when I see it given past history.  Too many times have I been fooled to fall for this again.

As for Pohlads being cheap - over the last 20-25 yrs how many time have the Twins been in the top third of payroll vs the bottom third of payroll?  Here is the breakdown of Twins payroll rank since 1998: Top 1/3 - 1.  Middle 1/3 - 11 (most frequently 18/19). 20th or less - 12 (bottom 4 a total of 4 times) Not sure what your definition of low/cheap is, but the above figures certainly fit my definition. 

The Twins revenue is roughly 10-15% less then the league average.  Therefore, my expectation is they would spend roughly 10-15% less then the average team.  In other words, be around 18th on average.  You are comparing spending without regard to revenue.  It's no wonder you think the problem is they are cheap.  Why would you ever gauge their willingness to spend by comparing them to teams with up to double their revenue.  I would guess you know someone that makes twice as much as you.  Do you spend as much on housing / vehicles as them.  Is this because you are cheap or do they simply have more disposable income?

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7 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

The Twins revenue is roughly 10-15% less then the league average.  Therefore, my expectation is they would spend roughly 10-15% less then the average team.  In other words, be around 18th on average.  You are comparing spending without regard to revenue.  It's no wonder you think the problem is they are cheap.  Why would you ever gauge their willingness to spend by comparing them to teams with up to double their revenue.  I would guess you know someone that makes twice as much as you.  Do you spend as much on housing / vehicles as them.  Is this because you are cheap or do they simply have more disposable income?

Let me help you a little bit with understanding my post.  1 Time out of 24 they have 'splurged'.  11 times they have spent just 'average'.  And 12 times they have gone less than their revenue rank - which I would define as CHEAP.  If they would go as many times over their rank as under, then at best you could call them average - which is simply not the case.  Seems you also interchange average/mean with median rankings.  League average is skewed higher due to some really high spenders.  I have not specifically done the math, but 10-15% less than average may be higher that the median which would be 15.

If I can afford to buy a Honda, but routinely get a POS Dodge then most people, especially my family would call me CHEAP.

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1 hour ago, sjunisu said:

Let me help you a little bit with understanding my post.  1 Time out of 24 they have 'splurged'.  11 times they have spent just 'average'.  And 12 times they have gone less than their revenue rank - which I would define as CHEAP.  If they would go as many times over their rank as under, then at best you could call them average - which is simply not the case.  Seems you also interchange average/mean with median rankings.  League average is skewed higher due to some really high spenders.  I have not specifically done the math, but 10-15% less than average may be higher that the median which would be 15.

If I can afford to buy a Honda, but routinely get a POS Dodge then most people, especially my family would call me CHEAP.

I can't say I have looked over the data well enough to have a strong opinion.  What I have reviewed gave me the impression the spent consistent with revenue.  I have also looked at Forbes revenue and profit rankings whenever they were available.  I don't know how precise they are in these estimates but the Twins have generally been ranked quite low in profit.  I think fans tend to be swayed by bias.  For example, you wrote that 12 times out of 24 they were below their revenue rank.  I take they were also above their revenue rank 12 times.  Sounds like they are above their ranks as much as they are below so that would indicate to me they spend pretty consistent with their revenue rank.  It does not make sense to me to expect they would ever spend as much as teams with a $70-300M revenue advantage.  

I also don't get all that wound up about this because best case scenario a more aggressive spending strategy is a $10-12M swing which equate to 1-2 wins via free agent spending.  Things like trading away Gil and Ynoa or drafting Cavaco instead of Corbin Carroll or Bryson Stott is what makes a difference.  Being able to develop ML players matters.  A $10M difference in payroll is just not all that impactful.

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