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Is this front office borderline hostile to "not their" guys?


I honestly don't understand what the hell is going on over at 1 Twins Way right now. While I was mildly in favor of the Berríos trade at the time, that trade is a lot harder to swallow in light of Jose signing on through most of the rest of his career for $120m.

This front office didn't hesitate to give an obviously aging Josh Donaldson $95m so what the hell was the holdup with giving Jose, a hometown star, $25m more over a bunch more seasons that will see him exit the contract at roughly the same age Donaldson was when he signed his contract?

Never mind the apparent cluster**** with Buxton right now. We've heard rumblings over $100m being a sticking point, which is only $5m more than they gave a mid-30s Josh Donaldson.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not blasting the Donaldson contract, I'm only wondering why that was able to get done with little theatrics while Berrios and Buxton seem to face insurmountable hurdles while both are still well shy of 30 years old, never mind their already-existing attachment within Twins Territory.

Now that I think of it, this front office hasn't signed a single hometown player to a multi-year deal, as least that I can recall.

Again, what the hell?!?!?!

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that this front office is willing to pay for "their guy" but become obsinate about any existing Twins player that fans know and actively enjoy watching play. We've bought jerseys of these players, we have emotional connections to them, there are a dozen reasons to keep any number of them over constantly washing laundry via free agency.

This is not a good look for a spectator-driven sport that makes its money from fan engagement.

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Donaldson was a weird case because the 2019-20 off season was the ONE year the front office was unusually aggressive in free agency. It sounded like they were aggressive trying to get Wheeler and once his camp made it clear he wanted to be elsewhere, the Twins were tied to Donaldson, Bumgarner and Ryu. Maybe it was because they were coming off a 100 win season so they were either told or allowed to do something splashy.

But every other year, the front office targeted the mid-tier free agents and waited until the unsigned ones met their asking price. Really, it seems pretty similar to how they extended existing mid-tier players Kepler, Polanco and Sano, but not the big two.

Certainly, they may like "their guys" better than the players who were already here, but Marwin Gonzalez and Jason Castro ended up losing their jobs to existing young players and there was never any interest in bringing them back. Lynn, Schoemacher, Happ, Rodney and Addison Reed were all sent packing pretty unceremoniously as well. Pineda seems to be the only one of "their guys" free agents they have had any particular affinity for.

Honestly, I think the issue is Falvey has the same mentality as Terry Ryan; they fear making a mistake more than they desire to do something great. It's possible this is a trait the Pohlad's wanted, or it's possible it's a trait Ryan and Falvey intuited was a requirement. We could actually use a Bill Smith right about now.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I honestly don't understand what the hell is going on over at 1 Twins Way right now. While I was mildly in favor of the Berríos trade at the time, that trade is a lot harder to swallow in light of Jose signing on through most of the rest of his career for $120m.

I quite frankly can't either. I wouldn't be surprised if they trade Buxton.

That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they get an extension done. I really have no clue which way to lean.

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My theory is that when they came in, they were excited to build a team from the ground up. They had the #1 pick, hoped to trade Dozier for more top 100 building blocks, probably expected another top pick in the next draft. They'd get a few years to create a farm system, make super impressive trades, and build up that good will. Instead, the team they inherited was playoff caliber (they didn't recognize that) and they were put in a position of supporting the core and extending the window of opportunity. Now they're in the position they thought they'd be in five years ago but the fan base isn't happy and ready for another rebuild. I suspect one, if not both, are gone a year from now. They'll probably leave for a different position then get fired though.

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5 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

My theory is that when they came in, they were excited to build a team from the ground up. They had the #1 pick, hoped to trade Dozier for more top 100 building blocks, probably expected another top pick in the next draft. They'd get a few years to create a farm system, make super impressive trades, and build up that good will. Instead, the team they inherited was playoff caliber (they didn't recognize that) and they were put in a position of supporting the core and extending the window of opportunity. Now they're in the position they thought they'd be in five years ago but the fan base isn't happy and ready for another rebuild. I suspect one, if not both, are gone a year from now. They'll probably leave for a different position then get fired though.

I can't get around this comment right here. The team they inherited hadn't made the playoffs since 2010. Not only that, but they had averaged 94 losses per season.

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9 minutes ago, cHawk said:

I can't get around this comment right here. The team they inherited hadn't made the playoffs since 2010. Not only that, but they had averaged 94 losses per season.

Don't worry, Falvine will get them right back there.

But a way you can find out if the team they inherited was playoff caliber is to see that they did make the playoffs despite the FO trying to trade off their best player and bringing in nothing to help the team.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Again, what the hell?!?!?!

I appreciate the frustration, and I feel it, too. I don't think it's hostility, though. I think it's indifference. This FO seems more interested in making their mark on an MLB team than they are in what the Twins specifically mean to the region. They come across as robotic in press conferences and pretty overly-convinced of their baseball business acumen. Players seem to be numbers first and people second.

Now, this might not be fair. They might actually want to build a winner here. They might actually be right - the only path for continued success is to turn this team into the Rays of the north, From that perspective, losing Buxton, losing Berrios, missing out on the emergence of Baddoo - none of that matters. What matters instead is the formula: x-type players + y-type players + z-type coaching = success.

The problem is this: that ain't the culture of the Midwest. We take awhile to warm up to people. We like success stories. We like to make a guy "our guy" over time. We know Buxton's a "potential liability" - we don't care. We wanna see that man overcome all the injury adversity and we want to see him light up Target Field in late October. We want to see him fulfill his arc here. We want the story.

And if it means that we get it, and we go wild with joy, and then the team fades away for a few years, so be it. We had the moment. We had our guy. We had it all.

So far, with Falvey and Levine, we got nothing. A year of a lot of "bombas" - that's about it.

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The litmus test for me is always how adversity is handled.  Doesn't matter who or what, good and effective leadership respond to adversity well and turn the ship around and instill confidence.  Right now, it's hard to convince anyone that definition fits the current FO.  That said, this off-season has only just begun.  I'm at least going to hold out on a verdict until I see the plan in it's entirety.  They don't appear to be making it easy on themselves though.

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1 hour ago, Brandon said:

is there a phone line us Twins fans can call to express our extreme dismay or do we just need to wait till they go too far so that no one is even interested in following them anymore and ticket sales plummet.

Funny that you bring up ticket sales plummeting.  Our admin at work just begrudgingly renewed our tickets, because we somehow still had an $8K credit (probably from the whole COVID/Short season situation in 2020). Apparently, that credit couldn't be refunded, only applied to future ticket purchases, so she didn't know what else to do.  I'm not sure if other ticketholders are in the same boat, but that kind of sucks.

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2 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

Donaldson was a weird case because the 2019-20 off season was the ONE year the front office was unusually aggressive in free agency. It sounded like they were aggressive trying to get Wheeler and once his camp made it clear he wanted to be elsewhere, the Twins were tied to Donaldson, Bumgarner and Ryu. Maybe it was because they were coming off a 100 win season so they were either told or allowed to do something splashy.

But every other year, the front office targeted the mid-tier free agents and waited until the unsigned ones met their asking price. Really, it seems pretty similar to how they extended existing mid-tier players Kepler, Polanco and Sano, but not the big two.

Certainly, they may like "their guys" better than the players who were already here, but Marwin Gonzalez and Jason Castro ended up losing their jobs to existing young players and there was never any interest in bringing them back. Lynn, Schoemacher, Happ, Rodney and Addison Reed were all sent packing pretty unceremoniously as well. Pineda seems to be the only one of "their guys" free agents they have had any particular affinity for.

Honestly, I think the issue is Falvey has the same mentality as Terry Ryan; they fear making a mistake more than they desire to do something great. It's possible this is a trait the Pohlad's wanted, or it's possible it's a trait Ryan and Falvey intuited was a requirement. We could actually use a Bill Smith right about now.

You had me until the last statement.

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I think the Front Office moves appear to be obvious. Falvine finds their hands tied and they are only offered inferior players at inflated prices.  They need to think outside the Box.  Trade Ryan for a good SS. Trade Arraez for a weak hitting SS and a relief pitcher. Do something we don't expect.

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First off, a 7 year contract was more than Berrios would have commanded on the open market. Second, it was an overpay by the Blue Jays at 7 years $131-141MM. Berrios would not have commanded that on the open market which is, of course, okay. Overpaying a bit for a known high quality starting pitcher for a team committed to competing for a World Series is how it's done. Overpaying by any amount is not the Twins' way, though. Period. This shouldn't come as a surprise, let alone a shock to people. The Pohlads do not go long in years at high AAV. Bill Smith managed to keep Mauer and the first season where Smith's team struggled, the Pohlads fired him. 

In regard to Buxton, it's entirely plausible that Falvey does not see Buxton the same way fans on this site see him. 

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3 hours ago, Brandon said:

is there a phone line us Twins fans can call to express our extreme dismay or do we just need to wait till they go too far so that no one is even interested in following them anymore and ticket sales plummet.

Perhaps you can tweet at Dave St. Peter. Beyond that, the later.

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2 hours ago, MMMordabito said:

Funny that you bring up ticket sales plummeting.  Our admin at work just begrudgingly renewed our tickets, because we somehow still had an $8K credit (probably from the whole COVID/Short season situation in 2020). Apparently, that credit couldn't be refunded, only applied to future ticket purchases, so she didn't know what else to do.  I'm not sure if other ticketholders are in the same boat, but that kind of sucks.

I'm not sure they can legally refuse to give you a refund.

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I don't think it has much to do with "their guys", but more that they simply don't want to pay premium prices for pitchers. They've went out and signed a few hitters to decently-sized deals, but they only seem to want pitchers on controllable contracts or one year deals. 

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I think they were hell bent on a full rebuild and their clocks reset at that point.  I think they think its a perfect storm - low expectations, expected to reduce payroll to make up for covid losses, tradeable assets in Berrios/Buxton, some apparent talent in the minor leagues. If that's the case, also trade Polanco, Rogers, Garver.  

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8 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

Donaldson was a weird case because the 2019-20 off season was the ONE year the front office was unusually aggressive in free agency. It sounded like they were aggressive trying to get Wheeler and once his camp made it clear he wanted to be elsewhere, the Twins were tied to Donaldson, Bumgarner and Ryu. Maybe it was because they were coming off a 100 win season so they were either told or allowed to do something splashy.

But every other year, the front office targeted the mid-tier free agents and waited until the unsigned ones met their asking price. Really, it seems pretty similar to how they extended existing mid-tier players Kepler, Polanco and Sano, but not the big two.

Certainly, they may like "their guys" better than the players who were already here, but Marwin Gonzalez and Jason Castro ended up losing their jobs to existing young players and there was never any interest in bringing them back. Lynn, Schoemacher, Happ, Rodney and Addison Reed were all sent packing pretty unceremoniously as well. Pineda seems to be the only one of "their guys" free agents they have had any particular affinity for.

Honestly, I think the issue is Falvey has the same mentality as Terry Ryan; they fear making a mistake more than they desire to do something great. It's possible this is a trait the Pohlad's wanted, or it's possible it's a trait Ryan and Falvey intuited was a requirement. We could actually use a Bill Smith right about now.

Small market dreams went away along time ago, think small, stay small. Twins need better baseball FO people,  look at Tampa always in contention, good minor league players despite trading away top notch staff and still competitive.

Carl P wake up you will lose the fan base if you continue low ball players. This isn't Town Ball. home grown is rarity. Can't live in the past, many fans.

.still do..unfortunately 

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9 hours ago, bean5302 said:

First off, a 7 year contract was more than Berrios would have commanded on the open market. Second, it was an overpay by the Blue Jays at 7 years $131-141MM. Berrios would not have commanded that on the open market which is, of course, okay. Overpaying a bit for a known high quality starting pitcher for a team committed to competing for a World Series is how it's done. Overpaying by any amount is not the Twins' way, though. Period. This shouldn't come as a surprise, let alone a shock to people. The Pohlads do not go long in years at high AAV. Bill Smith managed to keep Mauer and the first season where Smith's team struggled, the Pohlads fired him. 

In regard to Buxton, it's entirely plausible that Falvey does not see Buxton the same way fans on this site see him. 

Syndergaard hasn't pitched for 2 years and got 21 million??  7 for 131 is an average of 18.7 million, thats QA money.  Berrios has never been hurt, has pitched basically 200 innings 3 years in a row minus the Covid year.   I'd say he would have gotten more on the open market?? 

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12 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

I appreciate the frustration, and I feel it, too. I don't think it's hostility, though. I think it's indifference. This FO seems more interested in making their mark on an MLB team than they are in what the Twins specifically mean to the region. They come across as robotic in press conferences and pretty overly-convinced of their baseball business acumen. Players seem to be numbers first and people second.

Now, this might not be fair. They might actually want to build a winner here. They might actually be right - the only path for continued success is to turn this team into the Rays of the north, From that perspective, losing Buxton, losing Berrios, missing out on the emergence of Baddoo - none of that matters. What matters instead is the formula: x-type players + y-type players + z-type coaching = success.

The problem is this: that ain't the culture of the Midwest. We take awhile to warm up to people. We like success stories. We like to make a guy "our guy" over time. We know Buxton's a "potential liability" - we don't care. We wanna see that man overcome all the injury adversity and we want to see him light up Target Field in late October. We want to see him fulfill his arc here. We want the story.

And if it means that we get it, and we go wild with joy, and then the team fades away for a few years, so be it. We had the moment. We had our guy. We had it all.

So far, with Falvey and Levine, we got nothing. A year of a lot of "bombas" - that's about it.

I believe that you are correct about how people in the Midwest view their teams.  They need to be careful about turning them into the Tampa Bay of the north.  Because yes while Tampa has had some success, one should take a look at their yearly attendance and ask if they really want that for themselves also??

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10 hours ago, bean5302 said:

First off, a 7 year contract was more than Berrios would have commanded on the open market. Second, it was an overpay by the Blue Jays at 7 years $131-141MM. Berrios would not have commanded that on the open market which is, of course, okay. Overpaying a bit for a known high quality starting pitcher for a team committed to competing for a World Series is how it's done.

You are flat-out wrong here. Berrios, by virtually every metric, has been one of the 15 best starting pitchers in baseball the past 5 years. He's durable as hell and shows no signs of falling off in the near future.

Throwing out the $11 in arbitration he'd get this year, the 6/120 contract is quite team-friendly. $20 a year for a guy who's going to give you 180+ good innings every year and be a respectable choice to start Game 1 or 2 of a playoff series is an absolute steal. E-Rod just got nearly $16 a year--starting pitching is expensive.

This FO is being way too cute with this stuff. If Buxton was a free agent this year he'd get multiple offers in excess of 6/150. Stop being cheap and pay the man: he wants to be here.

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13 hours ago, MMMordabito said:

Funny that you bring up ticket sales plummeting.  Our admin at work just begrudgingly renewed our tickets, because we somehow still had an $8K credit (probably from the whole COVID/Short season situation in 2020). Apparently, that credit couldn't be refunded, only applied to future ticket purchases, so she didn't know what else to do.  I'm not sure if other ticketholders are in the same boat, but that kind of sucks.

I'm not sure how the flex plans worked, but the fixed season ticket plan holders had the 2020 renewals carried over for the 2021 season.  The team also gave an extra percent credit on the value of the season ticket package.  I don't remember what that percentage was, but it was applied as an account credit.  

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