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Twins Linked To Cy Young Winner Robbie Ray


John Bonnes
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Fool  me once, shame on you. Fool me a half dozen teams, shame on me.

How many times now since 2019 have we watched premier starting pitcher free agents sign for reasonable contracts like this one? In 2019 the narrative was just that they couldn't convince them to take their money. Are we going to hear that again with Gausman and Ray? They just couldn't stomach the opt-out, like they hesitated on Buxton's no-trade? 

Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent. 

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3 minutes ago, John Bonnes said:

Fool  me once, shame on you. Fool me a half dozen teams, shame on me.

How many times now since 2019 have we watched premier starting pitcher free agents sign for reasonable contracts like this one? In 2019 the narrative was just that they couldn't convince them to take their money. Are we going to hear that again with Gausman and Ray? They just couldn't stomach the opt-out, like they hesitated on Buxton's no-trade? 

Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent. 

Bingo. Unless the top end pitcher accepts a 1 year deal, or well below market value, we’re wasting our time and energy thinking it might happen. It’s crystal clear there is an organizational philosophy in place to not spend top dollar for pitching. 

There are still some open avenues to explore… We’ll see who is non-tendered tomorrow (Matthew Boyd is already named as a non-tender) and the trade market. 

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39 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

It was always going to need to work out for this team to win. They weren't going to win with free agents alone.

But the prospect pitching pipeline can't be the ONLY source of top end pitching......

Very disappointed. If they don't sign any quality free agents prior to the lock out, the local reporters better be hounding the team.

Obviously the Twins can't win by emulating Lloyd Christmas outside the hotel.

But to start the season with a combination of Ryan/Ober/Dobnak/AAA guys/veteran retread is not acceptable UNLESS they know something we don't about those AAA guys (meaning at least 2 of Duran/Balazovic/Winder/Strotman/Canterino/SWR are ready to be rotation fixtures by May).  I'm very skeptical of that, so I find myself quite frustrated right now.

That said, if they sign Rodon, and then manage to swing a trade for MLB ready pitching, I'll be ok.

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The only surprise here was that the front office didn't use Lavelle as their stooge to float this non-rumor out there. If they were "linked" it was that they made some pathetic lowball offer so they could say "see, we offered him a contract!" 

This is simply not a serious franchise and haven't operated like one in several decades. 

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6 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Agreed, though I'd strongly consider two years at a high AAV if that's what it takes. The options are going off the board in a hurry and we have no indication the Twins will EVER hand out a 5+ year deal to a pitcher.

Do the statistics show that 5+ years for a starting pitcher doesn't pay off too many times to justify 5+years? If so, Berrios would  have been the type of pitcher I would be willing to take a chance on, given his good health history and his attention to his workouts.

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4 hours ago, John Bonnes said:

Fool  me once, shame on you. Fool me a half dozen teams, shame on me.

How many times now since 2019 have we watched premier starting pitcher free agents sign for reasonable contracts like this one? In 2019 the narrative was just that they couldn't convince them to take their money. Are we going to hear that again with Gausman and Ray? They just couldn't stomach the opt-out, like they hesitated on Buxton's no-trade? 

Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent. 

@John Bonnes I think this is the most likely scenario. When you look at your anecdote above +:

  1. The list of Ryan, Ober, SWR, Strotman, Balazovic, Duran, Winder, Sands all at AA or higher (not to mention Enlow, Petty, Varland, and Canterino all at A or below), each acquired under Falvey and come with their own development accolade (e.g. high draft pick, targeted in a trade, successful development story) that supports the case that this is part of a strategy and not an accident.
  2. Falvey's history building a pitching pipeline in Cleveland.
  3. Levine's comment "We’re going to be as creative as we can be in terms of not being necessarily hemmed into the notion of it has to look exactly the way it has always looked. We may end up looking at this from the lens of how many multi-inning guys can we add to a staff and how far does that take us?" 
  4. The success of the Ray's pitching factory as a model.
  5. The move of the AAA team to St. Paul to make pitcher movement between leagues that much easier.

I'm not ready to say they're going to flip the switch on the notion of a "starter" per Levine (books will be written about it if they do!) but it's pretty clear to me they have little interest in building a pitching staff around $20mil+ late 20s/early 30s pitchers on contracts longer than...3 years? We know other teams are wise to this as well, though the thresholds are probably different per each team's analytic model.

It obviously makes good business sense given the cost per inning, the risk of injury, and the obvious decline of aging pitchers. Forget about whether the Twins are a "small market" team or have more money to spend than they allude to. The Twins FO believes there is something off in the way pitching staffs are built and managed regardless of how much money you have. They seem to be going after an approach that puts much less emphasis on any individual contributor and/or you capitalize on an ace pitcher's abilities only while they are affordable and young. Not a new idea, but that only works...if you can build a successful pipeline. So it all starts there.

They obviously need pitching to fill the gap in 2022, so let's hope they can still bring in Stroman cause they have the money to do it this year, but it seems to fight against their instincts about how to build a sustainable approach to winning.

Fingers crossed it works.

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3 hours ago, John Bonnes said:

Fool  me once, shame on you. Fool me a half dozen teams, shame on me.

How many times now since 2019 have we watched premier starting pitcher free agents sign for reasonable contracts like this one? In 2019 the narrative was just that they couldn't convince them to take their money. Are we going to hear that again with Gausman and Ray? They just couldn't stomach the opt-out, like they hesitated on Buxton's no-trade? 

Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent. 

They've been linked to top free agents forever. They've signed a few, in decades. 

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4 hours ago, John Bonnes said:

Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent. 

I hate to say it, but I came to that conclusion quite a while ago... 

 

3 hours ago, Jacksson said:

NO LONGER POSSIBLE !!  It was all just posturing for the fan base.  The Twins will be "linked" to EVERY MLB Free Agent !!

That felt like the case in the 2019-2020 offseasons, but if you've been paying close attention, the Twins have been linked to almost nobody. Of the 20+ guys who have signed in the last couple weeks, only Heaney and Ray have been linked to the Twins. If anything, they've given up the posturing this offseason.

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"How much?  For how many years?  Uffda, too rich for our blood.  Still, we'll let it be known we're 'linked' to your client if that's okay - helps you, helps us.  And if none of the other teams gives you what you're asking, remember to circle back later on - we're super, super interested."

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I hope Buxton can also pitch.  If Twins don't upgrade their major league pitching staff it's going to be a very long off season and much longer regular season.  Twins sell the fan base the same crap year in and year out.  They go cheap and hope they contend.  

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