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Best Pitching Acquisitions by This Front Office: What Do They Have in Common?


As we all know, the current Twins front office has had some whiffs when it comes to offseason pitching pickups. Addison Reed, Lance Lynn, J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker and Alex Colomé are names that come to mind. 

While recency bias – primed by those last three names – might lead one to believe this leadership can do no right, that isn't the case. In looking at some of their most successful acquisitions, perhaps we can identify a formula for getting back on track this offseason.

With a lens on 2022, we're judging these acquisitions in terms of immediate impact, so we'll rank them by the fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) in their first season after coming aboard. These are the seven names that stand out.

1. Michael Pineda, 2019 (2.6 fWAR)
Signed as a free agent (2 years, $10M)

This wasn't actually the first year after Pineda came aboard, because Minnesota signed him ahead of the 2018 season, knowing he'd miss most or all of it while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Once Big Mike was ready to get rolling in 2019, he was every bit the rock-solid mid-rotation starter they sought, posting a 4.01 ERA over 146 innings while leading the team to a 16-10 record in his starts. 

His PED suspension in September soured the overall season, especially because it prevented him from being able to make an impact in the playoffs (and led to Randy Dobnak starting Game 2). But all that aside, he was a key part of the team's success in 2019, and continued to provide value to the team after re-signing on another two-year deal, posting a 3.57 ERA between 2020 and '21.

Takeaway: Patience is a virtue. The Twins were willing to commit money up-front and wait out Pineda's surgery rehab, and it has paid dividends for three years since.

2. Jake Odorizzi, 2018 (2.5 fWAR)
Acquired from Tampa Bay in trade

The Rays were looking to unload Odorizzi's salary ahead of the 2018 season. Finding a lack of demand in the market, they settled for a trade with Minnesota that brought back middling shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios. It was a mystery to me why Tampa couldn't get more for Odorizzi, who posted solid numbers in 2017 and had two years of control remaining. Maybe it was the timing of the move, just before spring training.

One could purport he fell into the Twins' laps, but alas, they made the move and no one else did. They were glad it was them. Odorizzi was once again solid in 2018, becoming a much-needed veteran fixture in a rotation that ended up getting nothing from Ervin Santana in the final year of his deal. (In fact, the condition of Santana's surgically-repaired finger when he showed up in camp was likely the primary driver of this move in the first place.)

Of course, the real value in Odorizzi's acquisition came the following year, when he blossomed as an All-Star with 4.3 fWAR.

Takeaway: If you're willing to take on salary from a small-market team, you can sometimes take advantage of weird desperation moves late in the offseason.

3. Kenta Maeda, 2020 (2.1 fWAR)
Acquired from Los Angeles in trade

Ranking Maeda third on this list doesn't do him justice. He is easily the most successful pitching acquisition by this front office. If you extrapolate his performance from the pandemic-shortened 2020 season into a 162-game sample, he'd have registered a 5.7 fWAR, which is Cy Young territory. (Accordingly, he finished runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting.)

But to keep things consistent, we'll place him here, and it's fitting in a way, because he wasn't as much of a pure value-add as the two above. Whereas the additions of Pineda and Odorizzi cost the Twins only a bit of money and a dispensable minor-leaguer, acquiring Maeda required the organization to part with its top pitching prospect, Brusdar Graterol. 

Takeaway: Pay to play. The Twins' most impactful pitching acquisition during this regime has also required the greatest sacrifice. 

4. Martin Perez, 2019 (1.9 fWAR)
Signed as a free agent (1 year, $3.5 million)

I know, I know. Many of you are rolling your eyes and scoffing at the notion of Perez as a "successful" acquisition. For what it's worth, I'd agree with you, and so would Baseball Reference's WAR calculation would agree with you (it had him at 0.1). For whatever reason, FanGraphs' version of the metric is charitable toward his 2019 season even though he posted a 5.12 ERA and 4.66 FIP, unraveling after a strong start.

I will say this much: Perez took the ball every fifth day and did enough for an offense-driven club to go 17-12 behind him in 29 starts. Realistically that's probably the kind of thing we need to hope for from a Twins fourth or fifth starter next year. 

Moreover, while his poor results in 2019 were plain to see, Perez nevertheless found a new home in Boston the following offseason, and has made 48 appearances (34 starts) for the Red Sox over the past two years, not including his four appearances in the most recent ALCS (!). 

The Twins saw something in Perez and it's hard to say they were entirely wrong.

Takeaway: This was an analytics play. The Twins were intrigued by Perez's late-season velocity jump in 2018, and by his experimentation with a cutter. They were onto something – his cutter held opponents to a .269 wOBA in 2019, during which he posted career-high strikeout and swing-and-miss rates. That just didn't end up being enough to offset his shortcomings. 

5. Tyler Clippard, 2020 (0.8 fWAR)
Signed as a free agent (1 year, $2.75 million)

The last three names on this last will have the same caveat applied as Maeda: their performances came in a shortened season, so the cumulative WAR comparison is not apples to apples. Clippard's 0.8 fWAR would've been pretty decent for a regular full season (Tyler Duffey was worth 0.8 fWAR this year), but when projected to 162 games he'd have been at 2.2, which is like, prime Joe Nathan territory. 

Clippard did everything for this bullpen. He opened, he closed. He was effective against righties and lefties. He threw strikes, he limited hits, he kept the ball in the yard. Clippard was everything you could ever want from a free agent reliever signing, albeit in an abbreviated sample.

Takeaway: The free agent relief market is volatile, but sometimes when you take an inexpensive flier on a veteran who's been consistently good for many years, it works out.

6. Rich Hill, 2020 (0.7 fWAR)
Signed as a free agent (1 year, $3 million plus incentives)

We can't fairly extrapolate Hill's 2020 season in quite the same way as we can the others. He was recovering from elbow surgery and wouldn't have been available until June or July even if the season started on time. The late start enabled him to join the rotation out of the gates, and he proved to be a quality asset at the back end, posting a 3.03 ERA in eight starts. 

Nothing special, but for such a low-cost investment, this is exactly what you hope to extract.

Takeaway: Like with Pineda, the Twins were rewarded for their patience. They were willing to pay up-front and wait out an elbow rehab. Sometimes that type of willingness can be a differentiator for mid-market teams seeking impact pitching talent.

7. Matt Wisler, 2020 (0.6 fWAR)
Claimed off waivers from Seattle

Wisler was waived by Seattle after posting a 5.61 ERA in 2019, then the Twins snagged him and watched him put up a 1.07 ERA over 25 ⅓ innings in 2020. It's the kind of fix-up we were hoping to see frequently from this front office, and seemingly a recipe they tried to replicate in 2021 with pickups like Brandon Waddell, Ian Gibaut and Shaun Anderson – to little success.

Takeaway: The Twins love to find a slider they feel they can unlock and unleash. In this case, they were right on the money. In others, maybe not so much. This speaks to the hazardous nature of gambling on fringy talent discarded by other organizations. 

~~~

So what did we learn here? What kind of insight can we extract from looking at these seven acquisitions from the past four offseasons? A few things strike me.

Patience reaps rewards. The Twins were willing to wait on Pineda and Hill. This played to their advantage. Looking at the current market, one could apply this thinking to someone like Kirby Yates (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last March) or James Paxton (TJ surgery in April). Either one of these free agents could offer massive upside at a relatively low price. By the way, the patience factor also applies to the rhythm of the offseason itself, because this front office pulled off two of its best trades (Odorizzi and Maeda) in February.

Rely on analytics to fill the fringes. Say what you will about Perez, but there was validity to the uptick detected in his arsenal. As a low-cost addition at the back of the rotation, he worked out fine. Wisler was a lower-tier bullpen cog, so his emergence was more of a luxury than a necessity, but it sure helped. So long as the Twins are making these kinds of bets in non-essential roles, I hope they'll keep making them. 

Go big or go home. While this front office has made several good pitching acquisitions, only one could be described as a true immediate slam dunk, and that's Maeda. The Twins needed an ace to slot in front of José Berríos – a monumentally tall task – and they managed to do it. The cost was a brilliant young arm in Graterol. We haven't seen this regime make such an aggressive bid for high-end starting pitching outside of that trade. The only starter they've signed to a multi-year deal is Pineda, which has turned out pretty well but was altogether low-stakes (in both cases). Their interest in Zack Wheeler was well known, and that obviously would've been a big hit if they could've made it happen. 

Will the Twins find a way to entice a top-tier target of their choosing this winter? The need has never been greater. Hopefully this front office can learn from what's worked – and what hasn't worked – during their first five years, and course-correct after a failed previous offseason.

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When it comes to evaluating pitching performances, I'd prefer to see bWAR since that's what actually happened vs. fWAR which is what could have happened.

More than anything, what the commonality in Twins pitcher signings is going mid market and cheaper doesn't pay.

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Baseball reference states 

We present the WAR values with decimal places because this relates the WAR value back to the runs contributed (as one win is about ten runs), but you should not take any full-season difference between two players of less than one to two wins to be definitive (especially when the defensive metrics are included).

Fangraphs states 

WAR is not meant to be a perfectly precise indicator of a player’s contribution, but rather an estimate of their value to date. Given the imperfections of some of the available data and the assumptions made to calculate other components, WAR works best as an approximation. 

 

If used as designed it doesn't matter which version you use.

About all you can say for what the Twins signed is that some were solid starters, some were better than nothing. It really doesn't say anything about the FO's ability to judge talent. The careers of Ober or any other talent the FO signs or drafts is what will determine their ability

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This was interesting, but it certainly does not give the FO a star for their performance.  We either need to develop and keep our young pitchers or sign pitchers who truly have upside and longevity.  

Of all the hits and misses I am most intrigued by Lynn.  What happened?  Why couldn't we unlock the pitcher that the White Sox signed?  What was missing in our management/communications? 

Then comes the question of Maeda - was that one brilliant year an aberration? Or will he come back strong?

Lots of question marks and a lot of young arms to sort through and they deserve the teams attention.

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I always love your articles.  You asked what do all those pitchers have in common?  They come cheap.  That's the Twins way.  Buy cheap and hope for the best.  However most of the time it doesn't work. And the last time I looked the Twins finished last in the central with one of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball.  You must work for the Twins PR department.  If not you should be.  Anyone that can manipulate and twist statistics to try and make this outfit look good is a genius.

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1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

This was interesting, but it certainly does not give the FO a star for their performance.  We either need to develop and keep our young pitchers or sign pitchers who truly have upside and longevity.  

Of all the hits and misses I am most intrigued by Lynn.  What happened?  Why couldn't we unlock the pitcher that the White Sox signed?  What was missing in our management/communications? 

Then comes the question of Maeda - was that one brilliant year an aberration? Or will he come back strong?

Lots of question marks and a lot of young arms to sort through and they deserve the teams attention.

As I remember with Lynn he signed very late and had hardly any pre season.

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Nice article Nick!  With all the sceptics of the FO on TD(myself included), your pointing to some of their successes is important for all of us to remember.  Their acquisitions of Odo, Pineda and Maeda were smart ones(the others perhaps less so).  Their salary dump trades, especially this year, hold promise, especially gaining Ryan and Martin, although tpo early to tell how these will work at ML level.  Even the Pressley trade, which I still think was a mistake at the time, might work out with Alcala and Celestino developing nicely.  At least this FO hasn't been guilty of the awful trades we saw in the Smith regime.

But(there's always a but), we are at a different juncture now after this season's disaster.  If we are going to rebound to contention in 2022 the FO must acquire at least two top-of-the-rotation arms, for starters.  They cannot afford to sit around the edge of the pool and watch others nab the top FAs/trade candidates, while waiting for bargains to develop.  Detroit recognizes the importance of going big by their signing of E. Rod today.  Does this Fo have the budget and the cajones to strike quickly or will we wait for Jan/Feb to grab the "bargains"?  And will this FO be willing to trade some of our top prospects and some of our excess major leaguers to corral a top young starter?    Straddling the fence is not an option.  They need to roll the dice and go big or tear it down and rebuild.  I hope they live up to their promise to build a contender this offseason, but their 5 years at the helm do not give me cause for optimism, I'm afraid.

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28 minutes ago, mike8791 said:

Does this Fo have the budget and the cajones to strike quickly or will we wait for Jan/Feb to grab the "bargains"?

You can guess the answer, though. I think we all can. Twins will pick FAs in January/February and hope for bargains. And, sadly, that's what they probably should do.

I never bought into this "retool not rebuild" PR hype for a second. You don't retool for contention by trading away your very effective and durable #1 SP ... particularly when you don't have even a #2 or #3 behind them. By all accounts, this FO was shopping darn near everyone at last season's deadline. That's a hallmark of a rebuild, not a retool.

The greatest pain of last year wasn't that they fell apart, because that sometimes happens to mid-market MLB teams. The greatest pain was that this collapse signaled the closing of a 5-year contention window that brought us absolutely nothing in terms of postseason success. We all suffered through the slumping years only to have nothing to show for it a decade later.

But it's time to face facts. We now have a team with poor fundamentals in the field, low overall speed, relatively poor contact at the plate and abysmal velocity and poor K-rate at the mound. We enter a season with virtually no starting rotation, with the exception of a few modestly promising rookies who most agree could at best one day stabilize the back-end of a playoff rotation. We have no consensus all-stars, and no players who are widely considered the best in the league at their position.

We need to be clear: no mid-tier SP free agent signings are going to change this for 2022 and probably not for 2023. Chicago is strong. Detroit is opening a window of contention. Why waste top FA money at this point?

I just get a bit sad seeing so many TD folks get their hopes up, and I blame this FO for their lack of candor. They say that they're retooling, but their actions since July paint a more honest picture. This team is in very tough shape, and there's no reason to be a big player in free agency until they have a new core foundation on which to build. I just wish they'd have the guts to tell fans the hard truth, which might keep the faithful from hanging on to the news of every top FA SP signing this offseason. It's just not going to happen here.

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When it comes to acquiring mid and low tier SP, it looks like one commonality is that they have a higher success rate when they disregard the market's concern for quantity of IP and instead focus on quality. 

IP Concern:
-Pineda
-Maeda
-Hill
-Shoemaker

No IP Concern:
-Odorizzi
-Lynn
-Happ
-Perez

75% success rate vs 25%. It's a small sample, but it's fairly consistent. Hopefully this FO is looking at the same track record and using it to identify this offseason's potential acquisitions and what to give up to get them.

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8 hours ago, Prince William said:

Baseball reference states 

We present the WAR values with decimal places because this relates the WAR value back to the runs contributed (as one win is about ten runs), but you should not take any full-season difference between two players of less than one to two wins to be definitive (especially when the defensive metrics are included).

Fangraphs states 

WAR is not meant to be a perfectly precise indicator of a player’s contribution, but rather an estimate of their value to date. Given the imperfections of some of the available data and the assumptions made to calculate other components, WAR works best as an approximation. 

 

If used as designed it doesn't matter which version you use.

About all you can say for what the Twins signed is that some were solid starters, some were better than nothing. It really doesn't say anything about the FO's ability to judge talent. The careers of Ober or any other talent the FO signs or drafts is what will determine their ability

fWAR is based on FIP. bWAR is based on ERA. In a perfect world, those two stats match each other pretty closely; however, there are some pitchers out there who consistently have results above or below their FIP so using a predictive stat (like FIP) isn't as valuable in evaluating what actually happened.

I "prefer" using bWAR looking back at value for contracts.

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3 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

You can guess the answer, though. I think we all can. Twins will pick FAs in January/February and hope for bargains. And, sadly, that's what they probably should do.

I never bought into this "retool not rebuild" PR hype for a second. You don't retool for contention by trading away your very effective and durable #1 SP ... particularly when you don't have even a #2 or #3 behind them. By all accounts, this FO was shopping darn near everyone at last season's deadline. That's a hallmark of a rebuild, not a retool.

The greatest pain of last year wasn't that they fell apart, because that sometimes happens to mid-market MLB teams. The greatest pain was that this collapse signaled the closing of a 5-year contention window that brought us absolutely nothing in terms of postseason success. We all suffered through the slumping years only to have nothing to show for it a decade later.

But it's time to face facts. We now have a team with poor fundamentals in the field, low overall speed, relatively poor contact at the plate and abysmal velocity and poor K-rate at the mound. We enter a season with virtually no starting rotation, with the exception of a few modestly promising rookies who most agree could at best one day stabilize the back-end of a playoff rotation. We have no consensus all-stars, and no players who are widely considered the best in the league at their position.

We need to be clear: no mid-tier SP free agent signings are going to change this for 2022 and probably not for 2023. Chicago is strong. Detroit is opening a window of contention. Why waste top FA money at this point?

I just get a bit sad seeing so many TD folks get their hopes up, and I blame this FO for their lack of candor. They say that they're retooling, but their actions since July paint a more honest picture. This team is in very tough shape, and there's no reason to be a big player in free agency until they have a new core foundation on which to build. I just wish they'd have the guts to tell fans the hard truth, which might keep the faithful from hanging on to the news of every top FA SP signing this offseason. It's just not going to happen here.

I'd disagree with most of this. They didn't trade Berrios for a couple of low-A prospects. They traded him for 2 guys in AA who both have legit chances to debut in 2022. They didn't trade Cruz for a couple of low-A prospects. They traded him for 2 guys in AAA. 1 has already debuted and one should debut in 2022. That's not a sign of a rebuild, that's a sign of a retool. They were very open that they'd trade people, but only for players in the high minors or major league ready. They traded Happ for a major leaguer with another year of control. 

When they traded Berrios they most definitely had a #2 or #3, his name is Kenta Maeda and he'd been the runner-up for the Cy Young the year before. Him getting hurt a month later doesn't mean he wasn't there at the time.

I don't know how you define "consensus all-stars," but Jorge Polanco should be seen in that light. Byron Buxton is most definitely in that category skill-wise. Mitch Garver as well. Josh Donaldson is right on the border of that. Those 4 all have injury concerns and that's certainly a factor, but the offensive cupboard is far from bare. 

I'd also argue against the idea that it'd be a waste to spend big FA money this year. I'd argue the opposite. The core is there, but even if it wasn't it's still never a bad idea to bring in talented players. By that argument the Padres shouldn't have signed Manny Machado or Eric Hosmer when they did (Hosmer was a terrible deal from the jump to be fair). The vast majority of the Twins young talent is in AA or AAA and many are ready, or near ready, for their shot in the majors. Even by your idea of having a new core foundation this is the time to spend. I'm not a fan of all of our young players, but the "new core" is here.

Kirilloff is here. Larnach is here. Rooker is here. Polanco is here. Jeffers is here. Kepler is here. Miranda is here. Ryan is here. Ober is here. Winder is here. Strotman is here. Alcala is here. Arraez is here. Lewis is here. Martin is here. Wallner is here. SWR is here. Those guys won't all make the opening day roster, but that's the next core. Some players will be moved and some won't turn out, but that's the next core. You can make arguments on what you think of all those players, or how good that core is, but the core is here. If this core isn't good enough they're in for a long rebuild and it's going to be a bad next 5 years. That's why the FO only brought in high minors or MLB ready players at the deadline. They weren't lying, they made moves to compete immediately, not 3-4 years down the road. They added to their young core. I'd argue this is the perfect time to spend large FA $ as they will have so many pre-arb players expected to play large roles. They can afford Buxton and some arms as the new guys come in on super cheap deals. Time to spend (and trade) for 2022 and forward.

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The Twins like a certain profile of pitcher, that’s for sure. Someone with an elite pitch and increase the usage (Wisler, Clippard, Hill, Minaya, etc) as well as tweak the location of their fastball to be up in the zone. 

That’s why I’m particularly fond of signing Jon Gray this offseason. His slider is elite, with a mid 90s fastball to go with it. If he ditched the 3rd pitch, increased usage of the slider, and tweaked his FB location, he could be a really solid value. 

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6 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

I always love your articles.  You asked what do all those pitchers have in common?  They come cheap.  That's the Twins way.  Buy cheap and hope for the best.  However most of the time it doesn't work. And the last time I looked the Twins finished last in the central with one of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball.  You must work for the Twins PR department.  If not you should be.  Anyone that can manipulate and twist statistics to try and make this outfit look good is a genius.

Most of these guys weren't even on the team this year, or were hurt. Nobody is claiming they had a successful staff this year. C'mon. The writer is trying to draw some lines through recent signings that mostly worked out. And why to people still bother to make the "cheap pohlads" comment? It's like complaining that water is wet.

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27 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Miranda is here. Ryan is here. Ober is here. Winder is here. Strotman is here. Alcala is here. Arraez is here. Lewis is here. Martin is here. Wallner is here. SWR is here.

I liked your response, and I think a number of your points are sharp and fair. The quote above is where I disagree most strongly. Almost all of the players you list here are still prospects. They are not "here." They have not arrived as regular, reliable, solid major leaguers. We hope they will develop and have sustained success, but as we've seen with even great prospects like Buxton, that process of being a part of a core can take years,

But we'll see if the FO was sincere about a retool for 2022 contention. Their additions - or lack thereof - this offseason will likely clarify this by the time Spring Training starts. I wouldn't mind being wrong, but I don't think I am. We'll have to wait and see.

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3 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

I liked your response, and I think a number of your points are sharp and fair. The quote above is where I disagree most strongly. Almost all of the players you list here are still prospects. They are not "here." They have not arrived as regular, reliable, solid major leaguers. We hope they will develop and have sustained success, but as we've seen with even great prospects like Buxton, that process of being a part of a core can take years,

But we'll see if the FO was sincere about a retool for 2022 contention. Their additions - or lack thereof - this offseason will likely clarify this by the time Spring Training starts. I wouldn't mind being wrong, but I don't think I am. We'll have to wait and see.

Totally agree they aren't established. But when it comes to building a team if they just sign veterans to take all 26 spots on the roster no prospects can ever establish themselves. I mean "here" in the sense that they have little to nothing left to prove in the minors and they're penciled into Twins roster spots to some extent or another in 2022. How good the Twins are the next 5-6 years depends on these guys. They're the core and they're here in the sense that they're going to start taking most of the ABs and throwing most of the pitches in the near future.

There are definitely a lot of routes the FO could take. I think they've already established that going into the offseason their plan is retool. You don't trade for nothing but close-to-MLB-ready players last year if you're planning on a 3-4 year rebuild. That just throws off your timeline. Whether they're successful with making more moves this offseason to complete their retool is another thing. I canceled my season tickets for next year because I don't think they'll resign Buxton and I'm not going to invest if they won't. But that wouldn't even signal a rebuild. I don't think this FO will ever go drastically outside their evaluations and price points to sign guys and that means they'll miss on many targets. But I don't see that as lying about the retool vs rebuild, I think it just means they're overly risk averse. This will be one of the more interesting Twins offseasons in a while, and I hope they make some quality moves, but we'll have to wait and see and continue to debate it all here. :)

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4 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

This will be one of the more interesting Twins offseasons in a while, and I hope they make some quality moves, but we'll have to wait and see and continue to debate it all here. :)

Completely agree, and I look forward to yours and others thoughts as moves (hopefully) get made. 

You brought up another good point, which is that this FO might view "retool" differently than I do. They might view "retool" as just a larger changeover in parts on the MLB-ready roster. I guess I viewed a "retool" as putting in a few new strong pieces to an already-successful and already-running machine. But, as we saw last year, this machine ain't working anymore. Whatever the Twins are now, they aren't contenders in a more competitive AL Central. 2021 proved that, and they already got worse for 2022 before the season even ended (losing Cruz, Berrios and Maeda). If the team were a car that we intended to win us a race, most mechanics would probably advise us to get real, scrap it and salvage the few good pieces we could.

Which is probably why I favor a rebuild, especially if they whiff on a Buxton extension. At that point, it would be clear to me that they won't be willing or able to afford enough quality, established MLB parts to get this organization to be first over the finish line again anytime soon. 

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Maeda had a roughly 60 day hot streak. (Nolasco had a 2 month hot streak. Gibson had many 2 month hot streaks. Once about 28 consecutive scoreless innings.) This cannot, in my opinion, be an absolute projection to lasting a full season. That has never happened with Kenta. It could, maybe, in the future, but it never has to this point, even with the Dodgers. I think we were quite lucky it was a very short season for him. His performance becomes magnified, and so many were acting like, and expecting in the off season articles and preseason commenting that it was a sure thing to continue. History, and injury, shows the error. It could be all we get from Kenta, and Graterol becomes the dominant closer in the show. Calling this such a massive success of a move depends on the future. I hope it reaps more benefit than 2 months of very good pitching.

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2I think Nick's OP is spot on that the FO hasn't exactly blown their various moves. In fact, this OP shows they have indeed made some real quality moves. By no means have they all worked out, especially last year to be sure, but they haven't "blown" all their moves. 

Really enjoying the opinions of lastonepicked and chpettit19. And I agree with just about every point each has made. And I will state that in MY opinion, a re-tool vs a re-build, is absolutely about the players acquired via trade last year, but ALSO includes spending $ available to add to the pitching staff.

The question remains as to HOW they add to that staff. And this comes back to the OP and FO history. My blueprint was a re-sign of Pineda which is pretty much a status-quo and not really looking outside of the organization. Despite addressing the front 2 spots in the rotation via FA, I've maintained my belief that one of those spots is at least 50/50 to be occupied by a trade option. And this goes back to the OP and the trades for Maeda and Odorizzi. Repeating myself again, can they pull a rabbit out of the hat a 3rd time? By that I mean it cost them a low A SS with some potential and a high quality BP arm that had SP potential. With a deep system and a variety of teams looking to re-build and shed payroll, can they yet again find a quality SP via trade without breaking up the ML roster core?

Some argue, rightfully so, that said core hasn't produced a true playoff run yet. I can't disagree. But I'd argue that core provided a pair of winning  seasons and a SHOT in the playoffs. So do we deplete the OF or C position to add to the rotation? 

To be more direct, who replaces Kepler's defense and inconsistent but solid offense if traded? And how much better are we losing Garver or Jeffers if they are included in a deal, which many opinions state we should do, trading from depth.

Trading from depth is what you SHOULD do. But Larnach, Celestino, Wallner, Martin, Rotvedt and even Jeffers may be a half season to a full season away from being ready to be every day contributors. And we have ARMS that are pushing at AAA and AA to be ready at some point in 2022.

I am NOT opposed to some smart trades. And the FO has made a couple smart ones. But shouldn't they just be smart with a couple FA additions to re-tool for 2022 and build on what they have coming up?

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8 hours ago, Karbo said:

As I remember with Lynn he signed very late and had hardly any pre season.

You could say the same for Lynn, as Perez. The Twins saw something and they were right, just early (presumably because of the no spring training). Lynn has been very god for the Rangers White Sox 2019, 7.5 bWAR, 2020 2.1 bWAR and 2021 5.4 bWAR.

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1 hour ago, DocBauer said:

But Larnach, Celestino, Wallner, Martin, Rotvedt and even Jeffers may be a half season to a full season away from being ready to be every day contributors. And we have ARMS that are pushing at AAA and AA to be ready at some point in 2022.

I strayed too far from Nick's post, and this comment brought me back. "Patience reaps rewards" is one of Nick's takeaways, and I agree. Folks keep mentioning the prospects at the upper levels, but we seem to be forgetting that, just like a once-great FA pitcher in surgery recovery, prospects usually aren't very good in their first few years. In fact, they're often terribly disappointing.

We just don't have a solid core that few good new parts can be plugged into. We're a last place team in weak division with holes all over the place, Whatever the FO does this offseason, the rewards probably aren't going to materialize in 2022. 

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Nick, your post was fair and timely. The front office has done some good things with player acquisition and it should be acknowledged. Drowning in tears is not going to make anyone feel better or improve the roster. Now, the Twins are put to the task. They need to identify targets. I would argue they need to expand a little. It is understandable that many are not in favor of trading any prospects but other teams will only consider a few Twins players as worthy of an exchange. Free agency should be useful for a player or two, but it is essential to add at least one or two decent starting pitchers to lead the Twins young starters in their initiation into MLB action. Many have suggested a contract for Jon Gray and we now have an example of what it will take to sign such a player. The Twins could offer Gray exactly what Rodriguez just received from Detroit. Gray, Pineda, a trade with Miami, Oakland, or another team - the time is ripe.

Great back and forth conversation by TD readers.

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What I always enjoy about people who blame the FO for not going out and signing an ace, they never point out to who, at the time they wanted the FO to target but failed to sign.  First, just because a contract is offered does not mean a player will agree.  We have no clue who was offered, what and when.  Many operate under assumption that every player can be had for just the right price, but that is not always the case.  Some guys want to stay in NL, or play in a particular area of the country ect.  Sure, some may cave to bigger money, but how much more?  How much should you overpay, and how much would it take?  I remember why Ryu signed with Toronto, rumors were we offered similar money, but he went to Toronto.  Do we blame FO for this?  Should we?  I feel we should not because we do not know what factors drove Ryu to Toronto over us.  

Lynn was a good pitcher, but he was not for us.  Maybe it was coaching, maybe he was upset that he did not get long term deal and had to settle, maybe he was out of shape due to late signing.  I do not know, but the FO saw his talent, he just did not do it for us. Some pitchers just will not fit with certain teams no matter the talent. 

I also point out that many of the top paid pitchers are in long term contracts that teams wish they were not at this point.  Paying big for pitching is a huge risk. 

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IMHO; it is NOT time to add a bunch of additional pitchers.  Too many P are pushing the 40 man.  Either sign/trade for someone who can be a marginal #1, or go young with what you have.  I would also trade Donaldson, Garver, and Kepler (you won't get much for Arraez).  These 3 are not going to be a meaningful part of the next wave (Donaldson), are blocking someone (Donaldson, and Kepler), and you don't have enough room for 3 catchers (Garver, Jeffers, Rortvedt - who won't hit in the majors) that need to play more than the current split allows (and it crowds the DH and 1B opportunities for other players). 

 

Baldelli also needs to quit running a 'rest home' every week, as well - we have had just as many injuries as everyone else - it ain't working, and those Sunday lineups with players playing out of position and Tortuga across the diamond are just embarrassing and a give-up of too many games.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/15/2021 at 10:56 AM, bean5302 said:

fWAR is based on FIP. bWAR is based on ERA. In a perfect world, those two stats match each other pretty closely; however, there are some pitchers out there who consistently have results above or below their FIP so using a predictive stat (like FIP) isn't as valuable in evaluating what actually happened.

I "prefer" using bWAR looking back at value for contracts.

I would presume you choose to ignore the part of both statements that state it is not a precise measurement, anything within  one is close enough for them. You really should reread the definition of FIP if you think it is a predictive state

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