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Trusting the Twins FO - pitching Free agents


mikelink45
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I was struck with the record of our front office in the FA market.  I know we need help, but here is who they have brought in (Maeda was trade so he does not count).

  • Michael Pineda three years 22 - 13 (that used to be a one year stat for pitchers like Warren Spahn and Marichal) 3.80 era, 53 games. 4.2 WAR (that amounts to `1.4 per year) Wins above average -0.2.  Win probability added 0.6 last year.  This was a good signing even though we have had to wait for periods on the inactive or injury list.  He is a B signing.
  • Jake Odorizzi three years 22 - 18 with a 4.11 era. 1.28 whip.  4.4 WAR (1.47 per year).   His stats are buoyed by one good year - his win probability added was -0.2, +2.3, -0.1 in the three years he pitched for us.  He was a good signing for a year of his three and Houston demonstrated how little faith they had in him when they were short on pitchers in the playoffs and still avoided him for the most part after his 9.00 era versus Boston.  He is a C signing. 
  • Rich Hill is still doing well for a 41 year old pitcher, but he is not with us.  He was 2 -2 with a 3.03 era in his one year with the Twins. He got an 0.8 WAR with us and a 0.9 WPA. He was not able to pitch as well as we would have liked, but I am not sure we used him well.  He was a B signing for that year.
  • Homer Bailey was the same year as Hill.  Does he still have any fans in MN?  He was 1 - 1 with a 3.38 era (sounds good) 1.125 Whip.  0.2 WAR. WPA 0.  Was he bad, did we not use him right?  I do not know what his grade should be because when he left no one shed a tear.
  • Martin Perez looked great at the start of the season, by the end we were all ready to pack his bags. He was 10 - 7 with a 5.05 era (how could he win more than Hill and Bailey with that era?) 1.518 whip - yikes.  0.1 WAR. -0.3 WPA.  And still he is pitching for Boston!  grade D
  • Matt Shoemaker I really do not have to dive deep in the stats for Matt who was 3 - 8 with an 8.06 era and a WAR value of -1.8 .  His WPA was -0.4 which is just a tick worse that Perez.  Grade F
  • J A Happ was able to end the year with the Cardinals, but I was amazed.  For the Twins he was 5 - 6 6.77 era and whip of 1.586.  With St Louis he was 5 - 2 4.00.  Maybe Shoemaker was right, our pitching guru might not be as good with established pitchers.  Anyway he was a grade D for us.

So that is the summary and what do we expect them to do this year?

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44 minutes ago, Linus said:

Mike, I believe Odo was a trade. Your point is well taken - no Robbie Rays in that group. 

 

44 minutes ago, Linus said:

Mike, I believe Odo was a trade. Your point is well taken - no Robbie Rays in that group. 

Odorizzi was trade acquisition. The Twins gave up Jermaine Palacios for him as I recall.

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Trades are incredibly complex and the best trades can be risky. We can propose transactions all day, watch them go sideways or worse, and then go - "Well, what do I know." I know I have mentioned a few potential player moves and the responses are less than a full glow.

Falvey and Levine are baseball executives whose livelihoods and reputations ride on their acumen at running the player side of a big business. I may not agree with their choices and wish they would take a few chances and be risky once in a while, but I'm a Twins fan either way. I guess that means that we don't really have much choice except to be more or less supportive while still giving our thoughts.

The alternative is to be in a situation like the Mets. I played ball with a die hard Mets fan who grew up in Queens and he mostly just shakes his head. The Mets are like Richard Cory - they have everything anyone could ever want and ..... 

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Not the kind of grades you'd be eager to show your parents. :)

I think most fans understand that FA starting pitcher acquisitions are hard for non-top-tier teams. Most top FAs want to go elsewhere for greener pastures or fatter paychecks. In that regard, I don't really hold these less-than-stellar acquisitions against them. HOWEVER, I expect that highly-touted pitching developmental pipeline to start flowing. Whatever essentials one can't buy in the marketplace, one has to develop at home. We need to start seeing tangible results in 2022.

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I think a big part of this article is missing. You need to include why the Twins were able to acquire these guys. 

1. Pineda was injured and no one else probably wanted to pay him for a year for nothing.

2. Odorizzi was a trade so he, like Maeda doesn't count.

3. Hill is an older veteran who isn't going to get many suitors for his services when any day, week, month or year he will reach the end of his career.

4. Bailey like Hill is an older pitcher probably reaching the end. Certainly not in his prime and these average pitchers are pretty easy to find so there was no striking gold here even if he was going to pitch as good as he ever has in the past.

5. Perez was coming off a year where he went 2-7 with an ERA of 6.22 for Texas. Seriously was there much competition for him? I doubt it.

6. Shoemaker. Are we seeing a trend here? Another veteran hoping they catch lightning in a bottle. The last time he was an effective pitcher really worth something was back in 2014.

7. Happ. Rinse and repeat. Older veteran at the end of his career. Was once a really good pitcher but when you only sign these guys after they have lost the best years of their careers you aren't going to get anything but the scraps.

Looking at the effort of the FO in these signings I would say they haven't tried too hard to bring in someone who will really make a difference. It's been more like filling a hole with a turd and hoping it turns into a rose.

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The problem with signing Shoemaker and Happ (or nearly any free agent last year) is that 2020 was a wasted year.  Look at their stats and its hard to tell if they were good or bad. A major reason for that is the sample size was too small.  I imagine the same could be said with all pitchers who were not "top 5" caliber.  In the end it made it much more of a toss at the dart board than it should have been. For example in 2017-2019 Happ was great. so were his average numbers in 2020 because of him aging or due to small sample size?  who knows.

i would tend to give falvy and levine a pass for last year. however, Bailey and Perez were headscratchers.

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