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Buyer Beware: Flaws with the Top-5 Free Agent Shortstops


Twins won't really be interested in any of these guys. I expect them to look for a one year stop-gap until Lewis or Martin can assume the position. If you don't think Lewis is the SS of the future, you should have traded him already. 

 

Story is a legit star. Semien is not a defensive SS already. Correa will get the biggest deal of these five. 

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This team can and should be in on Correa and Seager.  Walking away with one of them makes this team a whole lot better for the next few years.

I think 4/108 gets Seager and I make that splash in a heartbeat.  This team needs a competent shortstop that can hit his way out of a paper bag.  Right now we have one who isn't a good fielder (Polanco) and another is so bad with the bat he's barely better than an NL pitcher. (He Who Should Be Elsewhere)

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The $27 million per year on Seager sounds close but the years might escalate to six, seven, eight. Correa and Seager are elite players. The Twins must solve the Buxton contract situation before November because it determines where the budget and team go this offseason. I'm down for Correa at 7/$210 in the right roster build.

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34 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

The $27 million per year on Seager sounds close but the years might escalate to six, seven, eight. Correa and Seager are elite players. The Twins must solve the Buxton contract situation before November because it determines where the budget and team go this offseason. I'm down for Correa at 7/$210 in the right roster build.

Possibly, but baseball has steered away from those contracts pretty hard.  Most big deals are now 4-5 years.  But, yes, I do agree with you it could escalate to there.  Part of me thinks the array of shortstop options may mitigate that possibility.

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No interest in signing any of these guys.  First and foremost, put next year’s money to Buxton, pitching and more pitching.  
 

And the Twins already have a middle infielder who hits as well as any of these guys.  Have zero problem going into 2022 with either Polo, Gordon or some fairly priced good defensive shortstop.   No one knows if Lewis or Martin is the answer for 2023 and beyond, but they should have a good idea by mid-summer.

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1 hour ago, ashbury said:

Probably, but I'm not sure to his benefit. :)

I like him but we should be prepared for a very good defensive SS who doesn't hit as well as Jorge Polanco, not "Coors Field Trevor Story". 

In addition, we'll have to "overpay" to outbid all the other suitors for any of the topnotch shortstops, but that overpay might be even a little steeper if any of the suitors think they are getting "Coors Field Trevor Story".

From a performance standpoint (and the price he *should* demand), Story might be my favorite target but for the reasons you listed, someone will likely drive his price beyond where it should land.

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2 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

That's fine. But suggesting Correa is no better than Polanco at short is really out there. Simmons is on the way down and he's nowhere near the defender he used to be. Still above average, but certainly not the all world guy he used to be. And Correa is an above average defensive short stop. Don't think you'd find any scout who'd say he isn't. Seager isn't anything special in the field, but the other 4 big name FA short stops are all above average defenders that hit drastically better than Simmons and would be a drastic upgrade for the team. Story, Baez, Correa, and Semien will all be pretty similar to Simmons defensively next year I'd bet. Story, Baez, and Correa for sure. And Simmons can't touch any of them offensively.

I will unsay about Correa being no better than Polanco, as far as errors go, but other wise  he is lacking especially in range, while Baez is minor league level at short stop with his Rtot and Rdrs numbers this year of 1 and -1 with per yr number of 10 and -13 while Simmons were 14-14 and 16-15 -- Seager came in at 1-0 and -1-0.

Semien's numbers are just as lacking compared to Simmons, and his bat is NO better then Simmons while NONE of them are in the same league of fielding ability as Simmons.

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2 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

Story would be a good "get", but Correa is the best shortstop. I loved Simmons as a shortstop ... three years ago. There is no comparison between Simmons of 2021 and Correa of 2021, defensively. Simmons had a terrific career -it is over for him. The Twins need to make a decision whether to go after a shortstop or not.

History of Correa's fielding numbers say you are wrong.

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7 minutes ago, RpR said:

I will unsay about Correa being no better than Polanco, as far as errors go, but other wise  he is lacking especially in range, while Baez is minor league level at short stop with his Rtot and Rdrs numbers this year of 1 and -1 with per yr number of 10 and -13 while Simmons were 14-14 and 16-15 -- Seager came in at 1-0 and -1-0.

Semien's numbers are just as lacking compared to Simmons, and his bat is NO better then Simmons while NONE of them are in the same league of fielding ability as Simmons.

Marcus Semien is about to be top 5 in MVP voting for the 2nd time in the last 3 years. The suggestion that he's not a better hitter than Simmons is so wrong I don't have words for it.

This conversation has run its course. You wouldn't find a scout from any organization that would agree with your assessments of these players, I'm sorry. You wouldn't find a member of any FO that would agree with your assessments of these players. Simmons is one of the least valuable players in baseball moving forward. His days of being a star defensively and just barely good enough offensively are behind him. He's going to struggle to get a major league deal this offseason most likely. He just had one of the least productive seasons in the history of the game. 

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19 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Marcus Semien is about to be top 5 in MVP voting for the 2nd time in the last 3 years. The suggestion that he's not a better hitter than Simmons is so wrong I don't have words for it.

This conversation has run its course. You wouldn't find a scout from any organization that would agree with your assessments of these players, I'm sorry. You wouldn't find a member of any FO that would agree with your assessments of these players. Simmons is one of the least valuable players in baseball moving forward. His days of being a star defensively and just barely good enough offensively are behind him. He's going to struggle to get a major league deal this offseason most likely. He just had one of the least productive seasons in the history of the game. 

image.png.838ad033d70f8c0ccd95b2efb920ffb3.png

Yep 35 errors in 2015 and 20 errors in 2018 means he is so much better than Simmons., he may challenge Polanco at 2nd though.

 

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Signing any of the players listed in the OP should be a top priority. None of the flaws scare me away. If Correa and Seager’s flaw is injury history what does that mean for Buxton? 

I guess we can keep kidding ourselves that they’ll be in on top pitching FAs even though we have a long history of not paying for pitching. Ervin Santana still holds the coveted record of largest contract we’ve ever paid for a pitcher. 8 years and running! 

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9 minutes ago, RpR said:

image.png.838ad033d70f8c0ccd95b2efb920ffb3.png

Yep 35 errors in 2015 and 20 errors in 2018 means he is so much better than Simmons., he may challenge Polanco at 2nd though.

 

You said his bat is "NO better than Simmons." That's an unbelievably wrong statement. Yes, Semien used to be an awful fielder, but I notice you used stats from 3 and 6 years ago while ignoring his recent numbers. He was even in the discussion for the gold glove the last 2 seasons. You're wrong. You can have whatever feelings you want about any of these players, but there is nobody in the baseball industry who thinks Semien and Simmons are even worth discussing in the same conversation. Simmons career may be over while Semien is a top 5 MVP candidate. It's not a discussion worth having. I won't be responding to any further comments along these lines. It's simply so far outside of the consensus it's not worth discussing further.

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5 hours ago, RpR said:

Correa is no better at Short than Polanco, good grief!

Non on that list would be as good defensively as Simmons and fielding is where the Twins are really hurting, although strike out kings in the outfield is a worry.

Correa is literally the odds on favorite to win the gold glove at SS. Also first in defensive runs saved at short, no one cares about his past. Clearly, at age 26, he developed with the glove and is the great SS that everyone has projected him to be.. Really not that uncommon, especially at short, for it to take time figuring it out defensively. Admit defeat and move on my guy.

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In an effort to get the thread back on track, I do agree with people that the team has a high need for pitching. What I will also suggest is that the team has a lot of money available to make several high priced signings. There isn't any reason the team can't sign multiple pitchers and a high price shortstop this offseason.

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20 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

In an effort to get the thread back on track, I do agree with people that the team has a high need for pitching. What I will also suggest is that the team has a lot of money available to make several high priced signings. There isn't any reason the team can't sign multiple pitchers and a high price shortstop this offseason.

One aspect that isn't great about this strategy - and I'm not necessarily arguing against it, just pointing it out - is that it locks the team into the same payroll and likely decline phase for multiple players at once. If you sign a pitcher and a shortstop for a combined $45m per for five years each, that likely leads to some real payroll ugliness in years four and five as your home-grown talent demands their own raises.

But is there an alternative to doing this? I don't know. Maybe a high-priced signing, a big trade, and then 1-3 year filler pieces counteract that possibility a bit.

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6 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

One aspect that isn't great about this strategy - and I'm not necessarily arguing against it, just pointing it out - is that it locks the team into the same payroll and likely decline phase for multiple players at once. If you sign a pitcher and a shortstop for a combined $45m per for five years each, that likely leads to some real payroll ugliness in years four and five as your home-grown talent demands their own raises.

But is there an alternative to doing this? I don't know. Maybe a high-priced signing, a big trade, and then 1-3 year filler pieces counteract that possibility a bit.

A worthy consideration for sure.  I think the team would be wise to stay in the 1-3 year terms if possible.  

One alternative would be 1 year, high AAV bounce back targets you trade in July.

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The decision to pay big bucks for a free agent is arguably more difficult for a team on a budget below $160 million. The Twins do have significant dollars into Donaldson and must settle their Buxton conundrum.  However, I will suggest that making a few aggressive trades for pitchers like Sandy Alcantara, who we will need to overpay for, creates some room to delve into the shortstop market. While Donaldson, Buxton, Correa, Kepler, Sano, Polanco, and Rogers tip out at near $105 million, the Twins could field a team at less than $150 million with some savvy trades. 

Signing a shortstop can be done and there is not a true shortstop in sight at this point. If the Twins cannot sign Byron Buxton, perhaps a trade could return a shortstop. We shall see, but I'm good with a good shortstop.

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1 hour ago, TheLeviathan said:

In an effort to get the thread back on track, I do agree with people that the team has a high need for pitching. What I will also suggest is that the team has a lot of money available to make several high priced signings. There isn't any reason the team can't sign multiple pitchers and a high price shortstop this offseason.

They will have money and could absolutely go after a couple big name guys. But just because you got money to spend, does not mean spend it.

I'll use the 2013 - 2016  Cubs as an example..

The Cubs core of top prospects were all strategically on the same development timeline. Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Hendricks, Russell, Soler, etc. all were on timelines that would roughly have them on track to enter FA at the same time.

They understood that once those guys have proven they can perform at the major league level, the front office is on the clock and its on them to bring in a supporting cast in FA. Aside from guys entering the early years of arbitration, they didn't have long term contractual commitments on the books.

This model enabled them to sign guys like Lester, Heyward, Zobrist, Lackey, etc.

While some of those signings didn't work out, they won a world series. They were able to grab the top players on the market because they were patient and knew that when the time came, they had the cash to go all in and sign whoever they wanted for their championship window.

The Twins are a bit of a mess and realistically a few years away from being competitve. If you line them up against this model in terms on money on the books and who their core is, it's tough to find similarities. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't try and replicate this blueprint to some extent. 

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I agree Buxton is first, but hopefully we are only talking incentives from the base contract that was floated.  It is doable.  I like Seager, since the Dodgers will probably let him walk.  Twins need bullpen and 1 very good starter.  That is doable, so we shall see.

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1 minute ago, beckmt said:

I agree Buxton is first, but hopefully we are only talking incentives from the base contract that was floated.  It is doable.  I like Seager, since the Dodgers will probably let him walk.  Twins need bullpen and 1 very good starter.  That is doable, so we shall see.

The Twins had "one very good starter" in Berrios this previous year. Didn't seem to change the rotation too much. Ober and Ryan, sure ... Still a lot of work to do.

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32 minutes ago, Tim said:

They will have money and could absolutely go after a couple big name guys. But just because you got money to spend, does not mean spend it.

I'll use the 2013 - 2016  Cubs as an example..

The Cubs core of top prospects were all strategically on the same development timeline. Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Hendricks, Russell, Soler, etc. all were on timelines that would roughly have them on track to enter FA at the same time.

They understood that once those guys have proven they can perform at the major league level, the front office is on the clock and its on them to bring in a supporting cast in FA. Aside from guys entering the early years of arbitration, they didn't have long term contractual commitments on the books.

This model enabled them to sign guys like Lester, Heyward, Zobrist, Lackey, etc.

While some of those signings didn't work out, they won a world series. They were able to grab the top players on the market because they were patient and knew that when the time came, they had the cash to go all in and sign whoever they wanted for their championship window.

The Twins are a bit of a mess and realistically a few years away from being competitve. If you line them up against this model in terms on money on the books and who their core is, it's tough to find similarities. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't try and replicate this blueprint to some extent. 

Aren't those Cubs signings exactly what happened in 2014-16?  Only 2013 fits your example.

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1 hour ago, Tim said:

They will have money and could absolutely go after a couple big name guys. But just because you got money to spend, does not mean spend it.

I'll use the 2013 - 2016  Cubs as an example..

The Cubs core of top prospects were all strategically on the same development timeline. Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Hendricks, Russell, Soler, etc. all were on timelines that would roughly have them on track to enter FA at the same time.

They understood that once those guys have proven they can perform at the major league level, the front office is on the clock and its on them to bring in a supporting cast in FA. Aside from guys entering the early years of arbitration, they didn't have long term contractual commitments on the books.

This model enabled them to sign guys like Lester, Heyward, Zobrist, Lackey, etc.

While some of those signings didn't work out, they won a world series. They were able to grab the top players on the market because they were patient and knew that when the time came, they had the cash to go all in and sign whoever they wanted for their championship window.

The Twins are a bit of a mess and realistically a few years away from being competitve. If you line them up against this model in terms on money on the books and who their core is, it's tough to find similarities. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't try and replicate this blueprint to some extent. 

The only way to coordinate this kind of thing is to tank for multiple years, as the Cubs and Astros did.

Except the Cubs and Astros won only two of the past five World Series.

There are other ways to compete without tanking, coordinating prospect rise, and then making the stars align for a couple of years by spending.

In fact, the Astros don't even fit that model anymore. As the Cubs are once again tanking, Houston is still going strong and waiting for the ALCS to start after they've bled off very good players to free agency for the past several years.

There are dozens of ways to win in baseball. Let's not tunnel vision into believing there are just one or two.

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