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Offseason Blueprint: Reinvest, Restructure, Retry


Ryan_K
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Long time fan first time poster. In making this offseason blueprint, I sourced ideas from TwinsDaily offseason handbook, MLB Trade Rumors, Baseball Savant, Fangraphs, a number of previous offseason blueprints, and leveraged MLB Trade Values for some inspiration. My strategy focuses on reinvest, restructure, and retry. For the reinvest, it means putting the cash to use with the belief that the team can be a contender like it was in 2019 & 2020. But this is not just an eye on 2022, but over the next 5 year window which aligns where we still have core pieces being joined by top prospects. One note is, that the trade price for any top SP was very high, and with the chance that we may not be good next year, i didn't think it was a good use of prospects to get a 1 year rental or even a 2 year option just because of how many pieces we would have to give up.  My first step in the reinvest is to extend Buxton. It was previously reported that there was a framework of $80mm over 7 years. In my plan, I recommend a base salary of $12mm with a range of incentives. I modeled it giving Byron an additional $8mm for playing in 120 games, or a yearly rate of $20mm. I think there could be further incentives that could scale to paying another $8mm should he play in 150 games. While this would exceed the "remain even" payroll scenario I have planned, the Twins would generate enough of an on and off the field impact to pay that much.

 

The second part in the reinvest is to bring in a controllable pitcher. One thing stood out to me when looking at our prospects - there is no LH SP. To compound this issue, the 2022-2023 FA class also lacks this element, so I felt it was critical to solve it this offseason. To solve this I identified three solutions, one who was recently taken Andrew Heaney, ERod, and Alex Wood. ERod and Wood have good swing and miss stuff, but the upside of ERod and his Stat cast number makes me think he is the right investment. He throws decently hard for a LH SP, limits hard contact, and has quality swing and miss type stuff. The community had a wide opinion on his contract, so I went with the high end and signed him for 5 years at $16mm per ($80mm.) To me, he is like Jose a borderline #1 but more #2 type guy; plus he has had to face the Yankees and the rest of the AL East so he is battle tested.  

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To round out the reinvest part, I resigned Michael Pineda for $9.5mm - he is a solid middle or back of the rotation arm that could be had for a 1 year deal and is well liked, so if a prospect is doing well, he would move to the Pen. I also signed Mchugh for 2 years $6mm. Looking through Fangraphs on k-bb% he is among the leaders.

 

Transitioning to the restructure part of the offseason, this is focused on the infield, bullpen, and 40 man roster maintenance. For the infield, I borrowed the idea of acquiring Jean Segura; however, I get him in a three team trade with the Phillies and Blue Jays. This trade actually solves needs for all teams involved. The Blue Jays had poor production from third last year and would love Josh back. They get rid of Grichuk who doesn't cleanly fit in with his contract, but he would be a big help to Philly as they were near dead last in production from both CF and LF. Using MLB Trade Values as a model each team gets what it needs: Twins SS (yes he hasn't played there in a year, but he played it well before; Blue Jays get a good player back. From a salary perspective Grichuk is making $10mm while Josh is $23mm, but the $7mm from the twins can be used for the 2024 buyout. I actually modeled it as $2mm would be for this year. The Phillies unload Segura who is making $14.85mm + $1mm and pick up Grichuk and his $10mm, and would receive $8mm from the Twins this year, meaning $13.85mm is freed up for them to pursue their SS mega signing. This move frees up future payroll space for the twins beyond the 2022 season meaning if there is another season of injuries to our SP prospects we can supplement in the winter of 2022 i.e. Berrios.

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I move Sano to DH, put Alex at first, and bring up Miranda to compete with Luis for the every day 3rd base, but both will play around the diamond.

The restructured bullpen also comes with the 40 man roster considerations. The immediate locks are Rogers, Duffy, Alcala, Thielbar, McHugh, and Coulombe (surprisingly he is on the first two pages for RP who pitched more than 30 innings and had a good k-bb%, and a decent stat case too. The next bit is a trade Padres style giving up bulk, but not premium for a great controllable reliever, who I am willing to bet most haven't heard of David Bednar + Sam Howard (who also has good stuff, but a slight control issue.) Why it makes snese for the other teams. Reds need cost controlled talent at SP which they get with Barnes, Maciel is a good OF prospect, and Rooker would be fun in that ballpark. Pirates get a number of prospects, and an affordable rotation hometown kid in Dobnak (the cash is for Dobnak's buyout)

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David is controllable through the 2026 season and is elite. He provides good insurance if Duff and Rogers leave next year.

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The following would be the Twins. Of note, 2 spots in the pen would be kept for the prospects to cycle through, so that there is always fresh arms.

 

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In addition to the FA and trades (Sam Howard has 2 option years left), I would add Vallimont, as I think a team would take him and use him in the pen+ Lewis, Miranda, Enlow, Winder, and Sands; and the 60 IL which brings us to 45 people for 40 spots. For those 5 spots, I would cut Garlick, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Garza Jr,, Minaya, 

 

The other member of the 40 man not listed above include: Celestino, Baly, Rortvedt, Cotton, Duran, Jax, Strotman, Stashak.

 

Please let me know your thoughts on the approach. I truly think one of Winder or Balzy could contribute out of the gate towards the rear of the rotation, and believe Lewis will be ready so that Segura's money is off the books in 1 year. I hope this makes us competitive, but keeps the top shelf prospects to fill out the future years of the window. 

 

Thank you Twins Daily for providing such a cool platform, and the best content and analysis that there is on the MN Twins. 

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Welcome to TD.  Appreciate all the effort you've put into this plan!  My reservation is : do you really believe this restructuring would result in a contending team?  Let's start with the rotation.  E. Rod would be a nice addition but slots in as a #2, Pineda would be #3, so no real upgrade there, Dobnak is traded, so the big hole is in the #1 spot.  Don't you think you need a real #1 starter for contention?  Your rotation seems quite shaky, unless some of the rooks step up more quickly than anticipated.

The offense takes a sizable hit by losing Donaldson.  This was a very average offense last year and w/o Cruz and Donaldson, it seems like a step back.  Segura seems to be a nice upgrade offensively, but his defense has to be questioned, given fact that Phils signed Gregorius as FA SS.  Plus, you are hoping for increased production from guys like Larnach and Miranda, To me, this looks like a .500 team, at best.

My two cents - better to use some of our excess position players like Jeffers, Arraez, maybe Larnach or Rooker, plus a couple of top minor league prospects to trade for one or two solid starters to buttress the rotation.  Oh, and no salary dump of Donaldson.  If Pohlad really wants to contend in 2022 he will need to boost the budget to $140-150MM range.

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I echo mike8791.  You did a nice job, but need a LOT more with that current starting rotation.  Your one BIG arm and another solid arm away from having an excellent plan.  If you did some revising, how would you get there ?  Make a trade with the A's or Marlins ??

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14 hours ago, lecroy24fan said:

You have traded Dobnak and you have him as SP 5. Who would you use in that spot instead? You didn't include Bednar in your bullpen.

Good call-out, I would actually let Winder and Balzy duke it out in spring training, so ERod, Ryan, Ober, Pineda, rookie. I don't know if this team will win, but think it is an easy 500 record, and if the team is hanging close we can acquire pieces at the deadline.

I'd replace Cotton with Bednar, but think Bednar would be a set-up type arm.

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4 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

I echo mike8791.  You did a nice job, but need a LOT more with that current starting rotation.  Your one BIG arm and another solid arm away from having an excellent plan.  If you did some revising, how would you get there ?  Make a trade with the A's or Marlins ??

My main reason for not adding multiple controllable SP is I didn't want to block the prospects from being a factor in 2023 I'm figuring two out of group: SWR, Balzy, Duran, Winder, Caterino, Varland can be factors. I think a 1 in three yield is reasonable.

 

Manea doesn't have a great baseball savant profile, and the hypothetical prices on Sonny Gray let alone Castillo, Alcantara, or German from the Rockies figured to be three top players I.e. Royce, Martin, and SWR to me that is too high for only two years. The Central has good teams now Tigers, Royals, WS. I think this gives us a 20 percent chance this year, but has payroll and roster flexibility for 2023 thru 2025. If the guys SP prospects don't step up this year in the minors, with Segura and Sano off the books next year that is 25mm for a SP like Jose Berrios or a similar top arm.

 

I do agree this team is not a sure fire contender. If the payroll can be bumped up, I would look at a 1 year deal for a former star Kluber, Paxton, Verlander. Heck Rodon on a 1 year, would be ideal but the upper end on his pillow contract was 20 mm. He would be the target if ownership would greenlight the extra 20mm.

 

Thank you for the feedback, this is making me think a bit.

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