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What should be done with the Twins outfield?


Zach Hartford
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1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

I would expect Astudillo or Cave to be on the roster at all next season, let alone in the lineup on a regular basis. Taylor's a solid player, but let's not recency bias to overrate him. He's certainly going to want a multi-year deal and at a significant raise over his current rates based on the idea that he can stick as a super-utility guy for at least 1-2 more seasons, but as we saw with Marwin Gonzalez that ability to stick in the middle of the field can drop off pretty rapidly. Sorry, I can't say I want to add Chris Taylor for 3+ years at $10-12M AAV when there's a real chance he won't be a functional SS in a year. Can he hit well enough to be passable in the corners? Sure, but that's not where we have a need in the lineup. We have options internally at 3B, 1B, RF & LF, including young players pushing for opportunity. 

Celestino is the only one of the 3 mentioned that might make the opening day roster, and that would be as a 4th OF who would be the primary backup in CF. Taylor would almost certainly be more reliable from the jump in that role...but that's not a great allocation of resources, dropping an 8-figure salary on a 4th OF/emergency SS/backup backup 3B/2B/1B. And I don't know that Taylor is going to more effective from the jump than Kirilloff (who was really showing it at the plate before the injury).

I wouldn't want Taylor for more than two years either. If he wants 3+ then I would completely be out on him. Taylor isn't about recency bias, he's been very solid for the last four or five years. Marwin had one good year with the Astros, and it seemed the only reason he was good is because he knew what pitch was coming. I think Chris Taylor would start at SS but would end up playing all around the field when injuries happen, which is what makes him so valuable.

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On 10/25/2021 at 7:44 AM, MABB1959 said:

I don't think anyone is advocating trading Buxton, I think the "loud minority" see it coming.  Kepler is okay I guess but I don't think the doors will be knocked down for a trade so I think he is safe where he is but that being said when he goes into his slumps or doesn't improve he should spend time on the bench.  Basically make him work harder for his playing time. 

So many other teams, including Freddie Freeman and the Braves, don't worry about having to trade the best player on the team when his contract is expiring, and keep them all year, and then try to resign them. The Dodgers did it with Justin Turner last year. They will do it with Kershaw and Seager again this year. The Giants will be doing it with several key players. The Yankees do it all the time. The Twins always seem to get the player so alienated by that time that they are convinced that they have burned their bridge to signing the player in free agency and then make the prospect trades that never seem to pan out to be anywhere close to equal value, and then they take years to mostly fail in the system and have no value to trade. No way trading Freddy Freeman last spring would have made Atlanta a better team, as is the current mantra. The best value of a star is the last season you have them, not the hope and dreams failures of the prospect world. 

I think you are right about the "loud minority". It is a minority. But it is also the FO, who are only Twins' fans by contract, and they pull the strings. 

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Priority One--figure out Buxton.  If you can get him for 7/$100M with $6M in largely achievable incentives (say 400 PAs or ASG nod), another $5M in tough incentives (say 550 PAs or a Gold Glove/Silver Slugger), and a further $5M in really tough incentives (say 625 PAs or an MVP).  Buxton can miss a whole season and make $14M, he can make $20M for a year in which me misses 60 games, $25M if he's mostly healthy, and $30M if he's healthy and playing like it's April 2021.  If he won't agree to that, immediately pivot to maximizing his value in a trade.

Priority Two--see what interest exists in Kepler on the trade market.  If it's minimal, keep him as a once-a-week defensive CF, and above average RF that needs to bat in the lower third.  As has already been discussed, work with him to deemphasize the power in order to up the average and OBP, as a guy who will be asked to turn the order over, not create runs.  If it turns out there is a market for him, proceed to priority three.

Priority Three--decide if you want to truly compete in 2022.  If so, keep Kepler, and look for a proven option in LF which allows your collection of MiLBers/utility guys to be backups, not starters.  If not, proceed to priority four.

Priority Four--figure out how to manage a LF rotation until someone grabs it.  Kiriloff, Larnach, Rooker, Arraez, Martin, Celestino, and Lewis should all be in the mix, with 3-4 of them going north to start the season.  Larnach and Celestino should be your top two options (Kiriloff I would prefer as my primary 1B, Arraez should be a guy that pops all over the field, Rooker is probably on his way out, and Martin/Lewis will start in the minors, barring Roy Hobbsesque performance in ST).

 

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6 hours ago, Zach Hartford said:

I think Taylor would be getting paid $12-14 million per year. Yes, I'm sure he would be starting out as the SS for Opening Day, but he would be playing all over the place like he has been for the Dodgers. I think he would be a great investment to solidify a real bat in the lineup instead of an Astudillo, Cave, Celestino. 

If Taylor gets $12-14M per year from anybody he will jump all over that deal. Hernandez got $14M over 2 years, $7M AAV.

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On 10/24/2021 at 3:31 PM, tony&rodney said:

Starling Marte and Mark Canha are outfielders. Any interest?

Canha would be a big improvement over 2021. My best guess says he’s an .800 OPS in 2022.  With that, we could have Canha, Buxton and Kirilloff in the OF w Kepler as a 4th or 5th OF. #B Donaldson, Miranda, Arraez, SS Semien??!!, 2B Polanco, 1B Sano (Kirilloff, Miranda) C Garver/Jeffers/Rordvedt. DH Donaldson/Miranda. I think Rortvedt is gonna be a good one in time w very strong defense and maybe 20-25 HR power...maybe more.

 

So yes to Canha, he strikes me as a winner.

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17 hours ago, h2oface said:

So many other teams, including Freddie Freeman and the Braves, don't worry about having to trade the best player on the team when his contract is expiring, and keep them all year, and then try to resign them. The Dodgers did it with Justin Turner last year. They will do it with Kershaw and Seager again this year. The Giants will be doing it with several key players. The Twins always seem to get the player so alienated by that time that they are convinced that they have burned their bridge to signing the player in free agency and then make the prospect trades that never seem to pan out to be anywhere close to equal value, and then they take years to mostly fail in the system and have no value to trade. No way trading Freddy Freeman last spring would have made Atlanta a better team, as is the current mantra. The best value of a star is the last season you have them, not the hope and dreams failures of the prospect world. 

I think you are right about the "loud minority". It is a minority. But it is also the FO, who are only Twins' fans by contract, and they pull the strings. 

Wouldn't it make sense to consider if other teams have traded away top players in similar situations before slamming the Twins.  Boston, who has easily a couple hundred million more in revenue traded Mookie Betts rather than let him go for nothing.  They made him a very good offer and traded him when he declined.  Watch/listen to any baseball shows in the off-season and this topic is discussed regularly where the analyst say they can't let player X go without getting something back. 

I hope they find a way to construct an offer that is fair to both sides.  Then, I hope he is willing to accept a reasonable offer just like I wish Berrios was willing to accept a reasonable offer.  Sometimes players won't accept a reasonable offer and it becomes necessary to trade them but to keep them when the team is a clear contender would be incompetence on the part of the front office.  Yet, seem to want to criticize them for doing what most or perhaps all GMs would do.

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1 hour ago, Major League Ready said:

Wouldn't it make sense to consider if other teams have traded away top players in similar situations before slamming the Twins.  Boston, who has easily a couple hundred million more in revenue traded Mookie Betts rather than let him go for nothing.  They made him a very good offer and traded him when he declined.  Watch/listen to any baseball shows in the off-season and this topic is discussed regularly where the analyst say they can't let player X go without getting something back.

To be fair there was much more involved in the Betts deal than just trading him, they basically traded him, Price and 48 million for the Dodgers #1 and #3 prospect to get under the Competitive Balance Tax, and the dodgers picked up the Betts's 27 million for 2020.

So a similiar trade would be the Twins trading Buxton and Donaldson, picking up a fraction of Donaldson's contract and getting something similiar to what they got for Berrios.

Sure that would free up a bunch of money, but would also leaves huge holes to fill.

I would also add it seems besides the money, the dodgers have gotten the best out of that trade.

IMO the Twins need to sign Buxton, and bring in a right handed bat for LF to alternate with AK, put Kepler in right.

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39 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

To be fair there was much more involved in the Betts deal than just trading him, they basically traded him, Price and 48 million for the Dodgers #1 and #3 prospect to get under the Competitive Balance Tax, and the dodgers picked up the Betts's 27 million for 2020.

So a similiar trade would be the Twins trading Buxton and Donaldson, picking up a fraction of Donaldson's contract and getting something similiar to what they got for Berrios.

Sure that would free up a bunch of money, but would also leaves huge holes to fill.

I would also add it seems besides the money, the dodgers have gotten the best out of that trade.

IMO the Twins need to sign Buxton, and bring in a right handed bat for LF to alternate with AK, put Kepler in right.

It will be a long time before the relative value of this trade will be known from the Dodgers side.  One year of Betts is a rather bad deal of Downs turns out to be above average.  Yes, it helped them sign Betts but contracts that run to age 39 can hurt a team for 4 or 5 years.  Regardless, what it meant to Boston is more relevant in this case as their role/situation in this case was the same as what the Twins face.  They were probably going to lose Betts even with their enormous financial resource.  So, they traded him away.  

They got 5 years of a pretty darn good player in Verdugo and Jeter Downs who is tearing up the AZ fall league.  To sacrifice that return for one year would be utter incompetence.  Don't get me wrong, I have consistently said I hope they sign Buxton.  However, to ridicule any team for making this type of trade is irrational (fanatical) thinking.

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3 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Then, I hope he is willing to accept a reasonable offer just like I wish Berrios was willing to accept a reasonable offer.  Sometimes players won't accept a reasonable offer and it becomes necessary to trade them but to keep them when the team is a clear contender would be incompetence on the part of the front office. 

Unfortunately we can't attract or keep All Star caliber players.  These types of players do not want to waste their prime years playing for a team that doesn't have a legitimate shot at a WS title.  The All Stars we have or have had will get their money and most likely choose teams that consistently contend for the title.  They may not win it all but these players want to play in games that mean something.  Our ALC titles seem to always end one and done in the playoffs.  Seems we were on the verge and now that they let Berrios go others will want to go too.   When is the last time the Twins had a player voted on to the All Star team rather than get the one team pity pick?  Somehow the Twins have a hard time getting our top prospects to the All Star caliber.  Many or most go on to find themselves improve on another team.  We will most likely lose big on this.  Other teams will not trade for him this offseason or at the trade deadline and then be able to get him w/o trading top prospects or players.  This will give them one full season to see if he can stay on the field and then the offers will start flying.  

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2 hours ago, MABB1959 said:

When is the last time the Twins had a player voted on to the All Star team rather than get the one team pity pick?

Uh... 2019, or exactly one All-Star game before this season.

The voting system is mostly garbage anyway so who starts the game doesn't have a strong correlation to the best player at that position a lot of the time.

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4 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Uh... 2019, or exactly one All-Star game before this season.

The voting system is mostly garbage anyway so who starts the game doesn't have a strong correlation to the best player at that position a lot of the time.

I forgot about Cruz

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14 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

Players and coaches, I think.

I meant a player who got voted in because he was good enough to be known.  Glad the players and coaches know talent but they need to send at least one player from each team.  My point is we never have that player and could have with Berrios or Buxton.  Not sure who or if there is a new star coming or not. 

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15 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

Players and coaches, I think.

No, Polanco was a starter at that AS game ... he was voted in by fans, not players and coaches

20 minutes ago, MABB1959 said:

I meant a player who got voted in because he was good enough to be known.  Glad the players and coaches know talent but they need to send at least one player from each team.  My point is we never have that player and could have with Berrios or Buxton.  Not sure who or if there is a new star coming or not. 

See above. Polanco was voted in by fans, not players and coaches

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If the Twins surprise everyone and go nuts with a bunch of high ceiling starters in an attempt to contend next year, they absolutely shouldn't neglect the corner OF spots.

But if they're not going to acquire multiple high ceiling starters (and I doubt they will) and instead let the young pitchers get their feet wet and sort out which ones are going to be part of the future, then they might as well do the same with the young bats. I don't need to write off the young guys after one bad season if this team isn't quite yet serious about bringing home the trophy. 

I'm also less excited about Chris Taylor than most are. Maybe I'm out of touch, but if you're signing a guy who has a legit shot at leading the league in strikeouts, I'm going to want better power numbers than he provides.

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6 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

If the Twins surprise everyone and go nuts with a bunch of high ceiling starters in an attempt to contend next year, they absolutely shouldn't neglect the corner OF spots.

But if they're not going to acquire multiple high ceiling starters (and I doubt they will) and instead let the young pitchers get their feet wet and sort out which ones are going to be part of the future, then they might as well do the same with the young bats. I don't need to write off the young guys after one bad season if this team isn't quite yet serious about bringing home the trophy. 

I'm also less excited about Chris Taylor than most are. Maybe I'm out of touch, but if you're signing a guy who has a legit shot at leading the league in strikeouts, I'm going to want better power numbers than he provides.

Do you have a roster for 2022 that you will share?

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Kirilloff, Arraez, Larnach hold the fort till Martin comes up (as a LF, sadly). Spend any FA OF money on... Buxton! His defense covers most of the issues with LF (especially with Kepler in RF); Martin and Larnach should man the corners down the road, with Kirilloff at 1b and Sano at DH (after Donaldson's and Kepler's departures in 24 by my speculation).  Rooker/Garlick may be able to hold down a 5th OF spot, Gordon may earn a super UT spot.  No matter what, the team (which does NOT have an unlimited budget, lol) needs pitching- starting pitching and a legit closer type, in potential if not resume.  SS comes next, I'd almost take Simmons back on the cheap, while Lewis gets ready (or not).  Shame about Wallner, hopefully he's OK, I had some hopes for him getting involved in the 22 conversation at some point...

 

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49 minutes ago, Reptevia said:

Ask yourself this question:  If the Twins sign Buxton to a 7 year extension at $25-30M AAV, (what he wants) would they be able to trade him?

Fair question. Based on his career thus far - no, but we do not know what his next seven years will look like. This leads to the obvious next question. What specifically (names) might Buxton bring in trade this winter?

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On 10/26/2021 at 6:51 AM, Major League Ready said:

Wouldn't it make sense to consider if other teams have traded away top players in similar situations before slamming the Twins.  Boston, who has easily a couple hundred million more in revenue traded Mookie Betts rather than let him go for nothing.  They made him a very good offer and traded him when he declined.  Watch/listen to any baseball shows in the off-season and this topic is discussed regularly where the analyst say they can't let player X go without getting something back. 

I hope they find a way to construct an offer that is fair to both sides.  Then, I hope he is willing to accept a reasonable offer just like I wish Berrios was willing to accept a reasonable offer.  Sometimes players won't accept a reasonable offer and it becomes necessary to trade them but to keep them when the team is a clear contender would be incompetence on the part of the front office.  Yet, seem to want to criticize them for doing what most or perhaps all GMs would do.

Reasonable in this context seems to imply the players need to take a discount, and in some cases a severe one. 

A marque franchise in a major market offered 20% below the next highest bid to a generational talent because ownership refused to wait to get under the luxury tax. I don't see a strong parallel here. 

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3 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Reasonable in this context seems to imply the players need to take a discount, and in some cases a severe one. 

A marque franchise in a major market offered 20% below the next highest bid to a generational talent because ownership refused to wait to get under the luxury tax. I don't see a strong parallel here. 

Apparently you have inside information none of us have.  I have no idea the details of this offer.  Therefore, it would be by definition an ignorant conclusion if I were to form any strong opinion.  Therefore, I have no opinion on if any of the parties involved are acting reasonably or unreasonably.  

Perhaps more to the point, I made a very specific point.  That point was that there are numerous examples of teams trading high profile players instead of letting them walk for nothing.  This is something that history is quite clear on.  I seriously doubt you actually know any specifics of the offer in question and we also can't say we really know what Buxton or Berrios market price will be.  It sounds like a fanatical / uniformed rant to me.    

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Trades will need to be explored and that includes probes on Buxton if a contract cannot be worked out. An alternative is to keep Buxton and sign Starling Marte. Now the Twins have insurance and .... back to the post of who plays in the outfield ... an outfield of Marte, Buxton, and Kepler. I love good defense.

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7 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Apparently you have inside information none of us have.  I have no idea the details of this offer.  Therefore, it would be by definition an ignorant conclusion if I were to form any strong opinion.  Therefore, I have no opinion on if any of the parties involved are acting reasonably or unreasonably.  

Perhaps more to the point, I made a very specific point.  That point was that there are numerous examples of teams trading high profile players instead of letting them walk for nothing.  This is something that history is quite clear on.  I seriously doubt you actually know any specifics of the offer in question and we also can't say we really know what Buxton or Berrios market price will be.  It sounds like a fanatical / uniformed rant to me.    

 ...just like I wish Berrios was willing to accept a reasonable offer.  Sometimes players won't accept a reasonable offer and it becomes necessary to trade them...

What implication should be drawn from that statement?

Well, the Boston details were facts, not a rant. What's the parallel to MN?

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I wouldn't rule out a trade, but I think the likelihood of the Twins signing a free agent to play left field is about 0.001%. I've said before that ideally a good team will have four regular outfielders. At least two would be capable of playing center field. If none is a switch hitter two would bat right, two would bat left. Considering currently rostered players that would mean Kirilloff, Buxton, Kepler, and a right-handed batter. Rooker would be a good candidate if there were a way to upgrade his fielding ability from poor to average. Celestino is intriguing but I doubt he is ready as a batter. My guess is that Larnach will wind up as the fourth outfielder unless Celestino improves.

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4 hours ago, KirbyDome89 said:

 ...just like I wish Berrios was willing to accept a reasonable offer.  Sometimes players won't accept a reasonable offer and it becomes necessary to trade them...

What implication should be drawn from that statement?

Well, the Boston details were facts, not a rant. What's the parallel to MN?

I am not really sure what you are asking or what point you are trying to make now.  There are countless examples where teams were unable to come to terms with a player they attempted to extend.  My original point was a response to someone insisting this is a Twins problem.  History is quite clear that other teams, especially below average revenue teams trading these players instead of losing them for nothing.  

It’s really quite common for players to start out with an asking price considerably higher than the market will bear. Ian Desmond comes to mind because he got an extension offer considerably above what he ended up getting but there are many others.  There are also many examples of players who ended up getting an outrageous amount and the team letting them walk dodged a bullet.  The Cardinals are well run and they let Pujlos go.  That contract hurt the Angels badly for 5 years.  Of course, they also resigned Jason Heyward instead of letting him go and that was a mistake.  The Yankees let Ellsbury go.  You may remember there was someone here who insisted the Twins needed to sign him.  

The primary point here being even the high revenue teams part with players.  It's also not a complicated premise that lower revenue teams have to be more careful given these players represent a much higher percentage of available payroll when compared to the top revenue teams.   It’s also very clear some players insist on testing free agency and there are also many examples of players who did not get anywhere near what they started out asking.  The constant insistence it’s a Twins thing requires we simply ignore very clear facts/examples.
 

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