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Am I wrong? I'd rather the Twins have Martin, Woods Richardson, and $20M per year to spend than Jose Berrios?


John Bonnes
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Here is some fun with numbers and then some thoughts.

Cy young winner Ray IP 193.33 H 150  ERA 2.84 HR 33  BB 52 Ks 248

Berrios                        IP 192  H 159  ERA 3.52  HR  22   BB  45  Ks 204

These numbers are close together and Berrios could be considered the superior pitcher based on these numbers....

Also We all followed Berrios since he was a joyful 18 year old drafted by the Twins.  We watched him grow and make his debut to an 8 ERA and then make his first and second all star game This year he was 9th in the Cy Young race.  It would have been nice to root for him as a Twin his whole career.  He is one of those type of players.  not quite a home town Joe Mauer but as close as you can get.  Same with Buxton.  I get we can't keep all of our home grown stars but These two at the prices we are being shown should have been resigned,  

I do like the return on the trade of Berrios.  I hope I do not have to find out what the return would be on the trade of a Buxton.  But a part of me would prefer both players stay and continue their careers and March Towards Cooperstown here.  and another part is excited to see what we get done this offseason and how the two prospects we got do overall.  

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5 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

No worries. We'll check back on this later and see whether it's as outlandish as you think. As of right now, one was a contender for ROY in his first year.

I thought this was an interesting claim, so I tried to find any publication that suggested he was a contender at the end of the year, didn't find anything that mentioned his name. The MLB.com articles had 7 or 8 AL possibilities, none named Baddoo. Did you have a particular source in mind? Not counting the TwinsDaily posts that had him as frontrunner for MVP there for a while when he was tearing the Twins to shreds.

 

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I miss Jose. I hope we sign someone who eases the pain. If we do, great trade in my opinion.

And the Buxton situation reminds me of the Mauer and Puckett and Santana contract issues. It's a Twins fan hostage crisis. Sign the man and let me get on with worrying about comets hitting my house, please.

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4 hours ago, ashbury said:

There is no $20M.

They paid him $6M this year, and that's what's been freed up.

They balked at paying his likely $11M in arbitration salary in 2022.  They certainly weren't going to pay him market rate for future years.

They got a couple of prospects - only one of which was a pitcher - in exchange for one and a half years of below-market control of Berrios in 2022.  That's the only meaningful comparison, and in those terms it's probably a pretty good bottom-feeder trade to make.

There never was a $20M.

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. )

If that really is your stance, I probably wouldn't offer my view. :)

Bingo. 

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On 11/19/2021 at 4:36 PM, Brandon said:

Here is some fun with numbers and then some thoughts.

Cy young winner Ray IP 193.33 H 150  ERA 2.84 HR 33  BB 52 Ks 248

Berrios                        IP 192  H 159  ERA 3.52  HR  22   BB  45  Ks 204

These numbers are close together and Berrios could be considered the superior pitcher based on these numbers...

It's possible to argue Berrios was better than Ray, but not with the statistics you provided. Ray pitched the same number of innings and had a dramatically lower ERA, better K-BB, better WHIP, lower hits allowed and better K rate. About the only thing you could argue is FIP, which you didn't include as Berrios had a slightly higher fWAR because of it, but Berrios had a lot of luck in the HR/FB rate. If you were to wade into the FIP type metrics, you'd quickly find Berrios had a significantly higher xFIP, too. Ray had a much better year last year.

I'd be more comfortable with Berrios in the long term or in an average year, though, for sure. Ray isn't consistent.

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25 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Berrios backhands the Twin Cities a bit here, though he’s not wrong. Toronto is far more diverse.

 

Yep. Minneapolis has a horrible reputation across the country, if not the world these days. Riots. Shootings. Looting. Arson. Police Brutality. Systemic Racism. That's what out of state friends I know have heard about Minneapolis recently. I had a friend who was visiting and she was literally a little scared of Minneapolis. She was shocked to see how it really was in person.

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Just now, bean5302 said:

Yep. Minneapolis has a horrible reputation across the country, if not the world these days. Riots. Shootings. Looting. Arson. Police Brutality. Systemic Racism. That's what out of state friends I know have heard about Minneapolis recently. I had a friend who was visiting and she was literally a little scared of Minneapolis. She was shocked to see how it really was in person.

I will agree that certain elements in this country have done an effective job of fear-mongering Minneapolis after what happened last summer. 

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Back to the topic question ... 

It's not an easy question to answer, because I want to see who that $20million is spent on. If it's an impact pitcher or position player, then yes, absolutely would rather have that. But if it is Martin and W-R along with a couple of Happs or Shoemakers? Then no. I want to see the plan laid out before I can say this was worth it, even though I think trading Berrios was the right thing to do, especially now since it looks like he truly didn't want to sign with MN. If to replace Berrios, they find an equivalence, absolutely. Sorry if that's too much of a 'they won't spend it answer' ... but really it's a 'depends on who they spend it on' answer.

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John, I am big fan. I am a faithful listener to your podcast, including being a Patreon subscriber. 

But, your premise is flawed. A Twins dollar does not equal a MLB dollar.

Why?

Weather. What FA pitcher wants to throw the first two months of the season in 40 degree temps? None. Not including a roof on Target belongs in the Twins bonehead HOF.

Taxes. For instance, Verlander will save at least $2.5 million ($50 million times 10% marginal tax rate divided by roughly two for residency nuances) in saved taxes

But here counts the big discount. Irrelevancy. The Twins haven't truly competed in thirty years and have no chance to do so soon. What FA wants to sign up for that?

How did we get Donaldson, our big FA coup? We paid him $100 million when no one else would.  

So what is that $20 million really worth? I don't know, but nowhere near $20 million in the eyes of the market.

I have said this a few times but Twins fans need to stop thinking about who we want. We should only think in terms of who we can get. 

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6 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

You mistyped 99%.

Well, I think on the higher end of free agency, more consideration is given to player preference because it's less likely someone cares about $10-15m overall if their total contract value is nine figures. Both Bumgarner and Wheeler were open about what locations they would consider and which they simply would not consider (with Wheeler actually turning down more money elsewhere, I believe).

So it's not unheard of for players to factor in things beyond money but it appears to be in the extreme minority of free agents.

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On 11/19/2021 at 1:45 PM, ashbury said:

There is no $20M.

They paid him $6M this year, and that's what's been freed up.

They balked at paying his likely $11M in arbitration salary in 2022.  They certainly weren't going to pay him market rate for future years.

They got a couple of prospects - only one of which was a pitcher - in exchange for one and a half years of below-market control of Berrios in 2022.  That's the only meaningful comparison, and in those terms it's probably a pretty good bottom-feeder trade to make.

There never was a $20M.

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. )

If that really is your stance, I probably wouldn't offer my view. :)

I don't follow.  Toronto is not going to pay him an AAV of $20M for the next 6 years?  I don't see how his previous salary has anything to do with future cost.  His current year contract is 10M plus $5M signing bonus and the total is $131M.  How does that $131M not factor?  Don't get me wrong, I think $131M over 7 years was a reasonable deal but that does not change the fact the $131M can / should be spent elsewhere.  I am also not saying they will spend it but how is "there no $20M" or more precisely $131M?

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27 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

I don't follow.  Toronto is not going to pay him an AAV of $20M for the next 6 years?  I don't see how his previous salary has anything to do with future cost.  His current year contract is 10M plus $5M signing bonus and the total is $131M.  How does that $131M not factor?  Don't get me wrong, I think $131M over 7 years was a reasonable deal but that does not change the fact the $131M can / should be spent elsewhere.  I am also not saying they will spend it but how is "there no $20M" or more precisely $131M?

The Dodgers will be paying Trevor Bauer $45M in 2022.  He's not on the Twins roster, so how shall the Twins spend this $45M windfall?

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On 11/18/2021 at 2:02 PM, Cap'n Piranha said:

See below from MLBTR.

12:45pm: Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Berrios received a $5MM signing bonus and will be paid $10MM next season (Twitter link). He’ll then earn salaries of $15MM, in 2023, $17MM in 2024, $18MM in 2025-26, and $24MM in 2027-28.

That breakdown indicates Berrios’ opt-out decision will come with a total of $48MM remaining on the contract. However, Davidi adds that escalators based on Berrios’ 2025-26 stats could boost his 2027-28 salaries by $5MM apiece. If he triggers all the escalators, Berrios would decide between the remaining two years and $58MM or reentering the market in advance of his age-33 season.

But if he hits all of his escalators, and he's only 32, then the contract that the Blue Jays signed him to will have been phenomenal, also if he hits all of his escalators, which I don't know what they are, but I'm assuming that it means he has done very well he may choose free agency anyway.  I'd say the only way he doesnt choose free agency at age 32 us if he doesbt hit his escalators and such, probably due to injury and such.

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1 hour ago, TheLeviathan said:

You mistyped 99%.

 

57 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Well, I think on the higher end of free agency, more consideration is given to player preference because it's less likely someone cares about $10-15m overall if their total contract value is nine figures. Both Bumgarner and Wheeler were open about what locations they would consider and which they simply would not consider (with Wheeler actually turning down more money elsewhere, I believe).

So it's not unheard of for players to factor in things beyond money but it appears to be in the extreme minority of free agents.

Well, I think you missed the broader and more salient points. At even money, we have no shot at signing free agents for the aforementioned reasons. So if you are saying our salvation is by notably outspending others to reclaim significance, I wish you all good luck with that.  

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5 minutes ago, Johnny Ringo said:

 

Well, I think you missed the broader and more salient points. At even money, we have no shot at signing free agents for the aforementioned reasons. So if you are saying our salvation is by notably outspending others to reclaim significance, I wish you all good luck with that.  

In the case of most free agents, I'd argue it doesn't require "notably outspending", just "outspending".

Minnesota landed the likes of Ervin Santana and Josh Donaldson by offering the most money. In the case of Donaldson, I don't think it was even that much more and the next-best offer was Atlanta, a team he played for and spoke highly of... but at the end of the day, all it took was a few extra million to sign the deal.

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On 11/18/2021 at 1:02 PM, John Bonnes said:

Would you rather the Twins had offered Berrios the same contract as the Blue Jays inJuly, or traded him for what they got and have the $20M to spend for the next six years (which might well be spend this offseason on a long-term deal). 

I'll start: I'd take the trade. Granted, I'd feel a lot better if I knew that the $20M would be spent on a pitcher as good or better than Berrios (Ray, Gaussman, etc), but even it it's used to pick up two of DeSclafini/Matz/Wood/Gray/Cobb, I think I'd rather have that and two fairly high-end prospects than Berrios in what should be his declining years. Am I wrong? 

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. This management team has shown they spend their budget and no more. I don't see any evidence they'll be pocketing the money, or that they would have stretched the budget for Berrios.)

I am a Twins fan and I hope Martin and SWR become consistent All Stars and hall of famers and what not.  But in the end Martin and SWR could flame out and this could become the next Johan Santana trade.  Neither of those two are a lock to make it.  I mean one could argue that the Twins got better value for Johan Santana than what they got for Berrios. I mean Carlos Gomez is a multiple All Star and he was in MVP voting twice.  The guys the Twins got might not ever make it to the bigs.  Like I said I sure hope they do and I hope they make Hall of fame careers in Minnesota.  But they haven't done anything and Berrios is very good.  So if the Twins are planning to make a run at something, which fans need to feel so as to not check out for the season, then the trade was bad.  If the Twins are giving up and starting over, which will really hurt ticket sales for a year or two, so if they were they'd never tell us.  If that's the case then the Berrios trade was great.

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38 minutes ago, Johnny Ringo said:

 

Well, I think you missed the broader and more salient points. At even money, we have no shot at signing free agents for the aforementioned reasons. So if you are saying our salvation is by notably outspending others to reclaim significance, I wish you all good luck with that.  

Or.....the tired routine that no one likes is not supported by evidence.  Every market I have lived sings this song....from Chicago to Phoenix to Minneapolis.

Offer the best deal with the most earnings potential and you get your guy nearly every time.

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3 hours ago, ashbury said:

The Dodgers will be paying Trevor Bauer $45M in 2022.  He's not on the Twins roster, so how shall the Twins spend this $45M windfall?

The OP is comparing having the two prospects and $20M to spend vs having Berrios for the next 6 years at an AAV around $20M.  How is this comparison in error?  Sorry, but I just don't see the error in this comparison.  He is assuming of course that they spend it which could be called into question but there is nothing wrong with his basis of comparison.

Let's try this ... The Twins could have signed Berrios or player X.  If they use that money to sign player X for $20M/AAV.  They have player X and two prospects, right?

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3 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

Or.....the tired routine that no one likes is not supported by evidence.  Every market I have lived sings this song....from Chicago to Phoenix to Minneapolis.

Offer the best deal with the most earnings potential and you get your guy nearly every time.

I heard this very discussion 2 or 3 years ago on "the front office" which of course is a couple former GMs.  They both said the fact of the matter is that quite often the players have a city or two where they want to play.  The utilize the process to get the team they want to match the highest bid or in some cases accept an offer that is close.  They were quite sure emphatic that the players are going to play where they want to play, especially the better players.  Of course, none of this is universally true and I don't have any direct knowledge but they do so, I am inclined to take their word for it.

Not exactly real complex negotiating.  Hey team X. if you match this offer, my player will accept or if you offer X we will accept.  Obviously, if choice 1 or 2 won't go there this doesn't work but I would guess it works when we are talking about highly sought after FAs.

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13 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

The OP is comparing having the two prospects and $20M to spend vs having Berrios for the next 6 years at an AAV around $20M.  How is this comparison in error?  Sorry, but I just don't see the error in this comparison.  He is assuming of course that they spend it which could be called into question but there is nothing wrong with his basis of comparison.

Let's try this ... The Twins could have signed Berrios or player X.  If they use that money to sign player X for $20M/AAV.  They have player X and two prospects, right?

It doesn't matter what some other team paid Berrios.

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5 minutes ago, ashbury said:

It doesn't matter what some other team paid Berrios.

I agree.  It matters that Berrios would not be playing for them without being compensated $20M/year.  Stated a different way, their option was 1) pay Berrios $20M/AAV or 2) take two prospects and keep the $20M/year.  They now have the option to spend the $20M they are not paying Berrios on another player.

Maybe you like this better.  The Twins sign Stroman for the exact deal Berrios was given.  Roughly $20M AAV.  They now have Stroman and two prospects for the exactly the same money.  I believe this is the point of the OP.  He would rather spend the $20M on another player and have the two prospects.

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I fully agree with you John.  I for one feel the Jay will be regretting their deal down the road.  They are paying as a top 10 pitcher, but he has yet to get over that hump as being a top 10 guy.  I have a feeling those last 3 years if not some in the middle will be huge overpaid years.  

I always like Berrios, but at most he helps the team win maybe 5 to 10 games they would have lost had he not been on the mound, which I think is a little more credit than he deserves.  Yes, he had some great starts, but unlike some guys I never was thinking we should win every start he makes.  

Following you post assumption is that the 20 mil will be spent on a pitcher, or pitchers I would much rather have the trade happen, get the 2 prospects, that one looks like he will be a great hitter, and look to replace Berrios with another FA.  Berrios, if in this class of FA would not be the top guy.  Berrios is replaceable, and as Cleveland, and Rays have shown for years, trade them a year or two early to restock, instead of signing long term and get hamstrung. 

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On 11/19/2021 at 1:32 PM, Sconnie said:

In terms of faith in the FO allocation of spending, I understand and respect that skepticism and am starting to align that way myself (though I waffle). The evidence thus far fits the narrative that this FO "likes to spend nickels on washed up old has-beens who have one statistic they like" certainly has merit, but they did sign Donaldson and aren't afraid of making a trade. 

The reports on the Twins being "nowhere close" are really hard to accept at face value. That reporting always comes from sources who have an agenda. If the Berrios side starts the negotiation with "12 years, 250 mil", well then no, the Twins were never going to be close. Even if the contract that Berrios signed is the objective going rate for Berrios, he probably wouldn't have signed that deal with the Twins, not because he had some gripe with the FO or he doesn't like "us" or didn't want to be a Twin anymore, because priorities change. In the blink of an eye... If Berrios had snapped his UCL in July, he probably would have signed that contract with the Twins, but would the Twins? No.

Priorities change based on the negotiators needs, desires and what they have. Those things change 

Sure, priorities certainly can change. We can assume the report wasn't true, or all that accurate, Berrios and his agent could've been making crazy demands, received the trade they wanted and obtained new info on how the market valued Jose upon being traded, then finally readjusted/settled on a pretty good deal for both player and team. Alternatively, the Twins might never have been willing to approach Berrios with what he thought was fair value and Toronto was willing to meet that compensation number. I'm just siding with Occam's razor here.

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