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Twins Sign Trio of Veteran Relievers to Minor-League Deals


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With the bullpen still in flux a week out from Opening Day, the Twins were busy on Thursday adding much-needed bullpen depth to the organization. The Twins signed veteran right-handed relievers Tyler Bashlor, JC Ramirez and Jake Petricka to minor-league deals.

Each of the names mentioned above has varying amounts of Major League experience, although that comes with a considerable amount of time missed. Since the 2018 season, JC Ramirez and Jake Petricka have combined for just 84 1/3 innings, of which Petricka provided 45 2/3 in 2018. On the other hand, Bashlor has gone up and down between Triple-A and the big leagues since 2018, but he spent the entire 2021 season with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate.

These signings are of the same ilk as Chi-Chi González. The Twins are taking a low-risk flier on guys with experience but aren’t fully committing to them past a minor-league deal. In other words, these signings are not in the same realm as “low-risk” signings from previous offseasons. As it stands now, the three will likely start in St. Paul and will need to earn their trip West on 94. Let’s look at what the three veterans could provide to one or both teams in the Twin Cities metro.

Tyler Bashlor was drafted by the Mets in 2013 and was traded to the Pirates in the middle of the 2020 season but was sent to Pittsburgh’s alternate site before throwing 8 1/3 innings for the Pirates towards the end of the season. Although it was with their AAA affiliate, Bashlor had a successful 2021 season throwing 37 2/3 innings over 37 relief appearances and struck out 10.8 K/9 with a 2.39 ERA but also carried a 4.5 BB/9 which has been his Achilles heel throughout his career. His most recent Savant profile from those eight innings in 2021 shows a mid-90s fastball and slider mix with the occasional changeup. (Look at the curveballs in the below video and try not to think about Matt Wisler.)

JC Ramirez has only thrown 14 2/3 relief innings since 2018 due to a combination of Tommy John Surgery, costing most of 2018 and 2019, and the cancellation of 2020 spring training due to COVID. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Ramirez has pitched in Mexico and China with some success over the last two seasons. However, the level of competition isn’t nearly what he faced stateside. His Savant profile from 2019 tells us he has a fastball that sits in the low-90s, although it’s worth noting it averaged 96 miles per hour in 2017, and a slider and curveball. Before his injury in 2018, he was just a passable back end of the rotation option, but sometimes those guys can reinvent themselves as effective relievers. I wouldn’t hold my breath but benefit from a minor league deal.

A Northfield (MN) native, Jake Petricka might sound familiar as he was a good reliever for the Chicago White Sox from 2013 through 2015. He was with the White Sox until 2017 but has since bounced around the league with the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He’s avoided Tommy John Surgery, but he also has a history of elbow and forearm injuries which could explain why his career has gone south since that three-year run ending in 2015. Most recently, he provided the Angels organization with some depth with their AAA affiliate so he isn’t as far removed from Major League Baseball as Ramirez and profiles similarly. He throws a low to mid 90’s fastball with a slider and changeup.

 These three moves won’t move the needle, and to be frank, minor-league deals shouldn’t especially those signed a week before the season starts. Last year, the Twins used a total of 35 pitchers. Depth is good. These pitchers can provide the organization with some relief depth, and, who knows, maybe one will rediscover himself and provide some effective innings in Minneapolis before the season is over.


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For all the cudos the front office received for signing Correa, they should get more slap downs for their continued missteps on the pitching staff, especially starters.  The current staff is a joke and will in all likely hood be the downfall of the team thus making the Correa move not that great.  It's been a very busy off season but not necessarily a good one.  Only time and 90 losses will tell.

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1 hour ago, Whitey333 said:

For all the cudos the front office received for signing Correa, they should get more slap downs for their continued missteps on the pitching staff, especially starters.  The current staff is a joke and will in all likely hood be the downfall of the team thus making the Correa move not that great.  It's been a very busy off season but not necessarily a good one.  Only time and 90 losses will tell.

Please provide who you wish they would have signed or traded for, instead of who they have.  Lets assume the deals would have been comparable or most likely slightly more in price, and the trades would have been similar or give reasonable hypothetical trades.  Then, look at the end of the season and see if your plan or the way the Twins went turned out better.  Then you can submit this to the Pohlads for your case as to why you should now be GM for the Twins. 

As you said, only time will tell, but to assume our rotation will be terrible and other viable options would have been better makes no sense.  The past results of just about every FA pitcher, outside of Scherzer, has huge question marks of either health or coming off of career years with long sustained poor pitching. 

Maybe the likes of Rondon, Robbie Ray, Gausman, and many others will be good with their teams, but just about every FA had red flags, either coming off of career year, history of injury, or relying on past success hoping the last year was a fluke. 

So many people are down on the trades or moves not made, and just assume the young guys will have 0 success and the flier guys will have 0 success, not even looking at the fact that several of the top signings this year, Rondon, Ray, and Gausman have all had long stints of average to poor years only to have recent success, entering FA years.  I am not saying those guys will flop, but pitchers are volatile and some will drop off, and some will bounce back.  

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3 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

For all the cudos the front office received for signing Correa, 

Boras delivered Correa to the Twins on a silver platter.  The Twins DIDN'T go and get Correa.  Although it's a 3 year contract, it is in reality a one and done.  Also, if the Twins bomb out of the gate, or Martin/Lewis excels at AAA, or if a MLB Starting Shortstop gets injured, don't be surprised if Correa is packing his bags in 2022.

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I like this kind of move. Makes way more sense than spending big money on relievers, because that has the chance to go so wrong. The Rays have really proven the model of getting a bunch of cheap arms, riding one as long as he's going well, and then swapping him out the moment he has a bad outing for someone else, riding them as long as they're going well, repeat. Make St. Paul absolutely teeming with relief pitchers and see who shakes out.

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On 4/1/2022 at 7:48 AM, mikelink45 said:

Minor league fillers are fine as long as they do not block the young arms that might really provide us some upside. 

And really that’s my biggest issue with the FO/coaching staff…IDK who is more to blame. Last year specifically I kind of liked the Happ and Shoemaker signings, but then they hung on way too long when it was clear it just wasn’t working out.

Also, these are relievers. I don’t think they’ll be blocking any prospects from relieving in AAA. 

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On 4/1/2022 at 11:02 AM, Jacksson said:

Boras delivered Correa to the Twins on a silver platter.  The Twins DIDN'T go and get Correa.  Although it's a 3 year contract, it is in reality a one and done.  Also, if the Twins bomb out of the gate, or Martin/Lewis excels at AAA, or if a MLB Starting Shortstop gets injured, don't be surprised if Correa is packing his bags in 2022.

Do you have a source regarding your comments on Boras/Correa? Are you telling me that Boras called the Twins out of the blue?

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The Twins needed to rid themselves of Donaldson. They will get to give Miranda a decent tryout this year, starting Gio. 

 

I don't totally mind Bundy and Archer. Now the Twins better be prepared to advance Balazovic, Sands, Strotman, Winder and anyone else who could pitch fulltime in 2023 if the opportunity arises.

 

April will set the tone for the Twins season. Every team will be weak coming out of spring training. We will get to see mangerial skills at work. If the Twins start out bad, scrap contention (no matter the number of teams that can go to the playoffs) and start thinking rebuild...giving play to the future and not the short-term present. Especially whe  July rolls around.

 

Still haven't figured out the Twins and money. They got a potential steal in Buxton, but couldn't get it done for Berrios. They splurged (badly in some ways) on Doanldson to prove they can spend money, and rectified it with the vast overpay for Correa for at least a year, at least in Twins dollars.

 

I stil shake my head that another team didn't do the Correa thing. Being the best player on a bad team doesn't necessarily increase your free agent worth.

 

Good news. Baseball season begins next week!

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3 hours ago, Rosterman said:

The Twins needed to rid themselves of Donaldson. They will get to give Miranda a decent tryout this year, starting Gio. 

 

I don't totally mind Bundy and Archer. Now the Twins better be prepared to advance Balazovic, Sands, Strotman, Winder and anyone else who could pitch fulltime in 2023 if the opportunity arises.

 

April will set the tone for the Twins season. Every team will be weak coming out of spring training. We will get to see mangerial skills at work. If the Twins start out bad, scrap contention (no matter the number of teams that can go to the playoffs) and start thinking rebuild...giving play to the future and not the short-term present. Especially whe  July rolls around.

 

Still haven't figured out the Twins and money. They got a potential steal in Buxton, but couldn't get it done for Berrios. They splurged (badly in some ways) on Doanldson to prove they can spend money, and rectified it with the vast overpay for Correa for at least a year, at least in Twins dollars.

 

I stil shake my head that another team didn't do the Correa thing. Being the best player on a bad team doesn't necessarily increase your free agent worth.

 

Good news. Baseball season begins next week!

How is it a vast overpay for Correa...but then question why no other team would do the "Correa thing"

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3 hours ago, Rosterman said:

 

 If the Twins start out bad, scrap contention (no matter the number of teams that can go to the playoffs) and start thinking rebuild

Yep do like they did in 2019 and bring in quality veterans.

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On 4/1/2022 at 9:24 AM, Trov said:

Please provide who you wish they would have signed or traded for, instead of who they have.  Lets assume the deals would have been comparable or most likely slightly more in price, and the trades would have been similar or give reasonable hypothetical trades.  Then, look at the end of the season and see if your plan or the way the Twins went turned out better.  Then you can submit this to the Pohlads for your case as to why you should now be GM for the Twins. 

As you said, only time will tell, but to assume our rotation will be terrible and other viable options would have been better makes no sense.  The past results of just about every FA pitcher, outside of Scherzer, has huge question marks of either health or coming off of career years with long sustained poor pitching. 

Maybe the likes of Rondon, Robbie Ray, Gausman, and many others will be good with their teams, but just about every FA had red flags, either coming off of career year, history of injury, or relying on past success hoping the last year was a fluke. 

So many people are down on the trades or moves not made, and just assume the young guys will have 0 success and the flier guys will have 0 success, not even looking at the fact that several of the top signings this year, Rondon, Ray, and Gausman have all had long stints of average to poor years only to have recent success, entering FA years.  I am not saying those guys will flop, but pitchers are volatile and some will drop off, and some will bounce back.  

I would have taken a flier on Greinke. Not what he used to be, but markedly better than any of the 3 starters we did sign. Hindsight is 20/20 here, but if you told me he was going to be signed by someone in the division it gives you even more of a reason to sign him so you don't have to face him 4 to 6 times a year. He always gives us fits. What do you think?

1 hour ago, se7799 said:

How is it a vast overpay for Correa...but then question why no other team would do the "Correa thing

 

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