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Pitching Coach Wes Johnson to Abruptly Leave Twins


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13 hours ago, nclahammer said:

Not sure what Johnson was making as Twins pitching coach, but according to LSU website TigerBait, he could make $750,000 as their pitching coach.  https://tigerbait.com/s/4215/wes-johnson-to-join-jay-johnsons-lsu-baseball-staff

Nope, https://www.yardbarker.com/general_sports/articles/news_contract_details_released_for_lsu_pitching_coach_wes_johnson/s1_16586_37628508

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3 hours ago, jharaldson said:

I have personally been extremely underwhelmed by the reporting we have seen on this with basic questions being unanswered:

  1. Did the Twins offer to meet or beat his salary offer from LSU?  Reporting I have seen has kept this vague and the answer was "we asked him what we needed to do to get him to stay."  Be explicit and give us a yes/no on the money.  If the Twins are evasive then tell us that they refuse to give a yes/no answer.
  2. What was the actual value of his contract with LSU?  $750K was reported yesterday but today the actual contract comes out with $380K.  Aaron Gleeman's reporting on this comes to the quote "There are a lot of ways to get college coaches paid.".  Let's not speculate and actually report real numbers or don't report them at all.
  3. How long of a contract is Wes Johnson leaving?  Does it expire at the end of this year?  Is he on a 2 year deal?
  4. Was Wes Johnson legally able to exit this contract for similar work in a similar field or did it require the voluntary release of the Twins?
  5. How many other major league coaches have left for an equal level job in college mid-season.  Is he the only one?
  6. Did the Twins consult with the commissioner on this situation?  I can't imagine that the MLB likes the precedent that any other external, inferior league can come in mid-season and poach under-contract coaches at will for equal level jobs and potentially equal pay.  Just like the MLBPA didn't allow A-Rod to choose to take a pay cut to get a trade to the Red Sox because of the precedent it would set I would think the MLB isn't too keen on this precedent.

I am more annoyed by these series of seemingly straight-forward questions that we don't have answers to than if the situation is just that he wants to go back south and had someone offering similar money.

We aren't owed answers to any of these. What would change if we did? Nothing. 

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23 hours ago, USAFChief said:

The difference being, an employer would be obligated to pay a contract to its completion, even if they fired an employee.

 

This is pretty shady, IYAM. I'd be surprised if money is the only issue.

And the employee does not get paid if they quit.  No more shady for the employee to quit than for the employer to fire.

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7 hours ago, USAFChief said:

All of the "better work-life situation as a college coach" takes are interesting, given Johnson told TD's own Parker Hageman the opposite when hired.

 

And last night said it was a decision based on being able to be around his family more.

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13 hours ago, old nurse said:

The bonuses and "other ways to pay college coaches" means he's still likely making 700k+. Kyle Boddy (founder of driveline, and with no bias in the situation), had a nice thread on twitter last night explaining that just going on a college coach's base salary is not an accurate picture of what they'll be making. Reusse, Gleeman, and multiple others with many sources saying the drastic raise is still accurate.

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Let’s stay on topic here. We aren’t discussion the state of college athletics and tuition costs here. I get how we jumped there but let’s reel it back to Wes Johnson please. If you want to discuss college athletics and tuition costs, I suggest you start a topic in the Sports Bar forum, Thanks.

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18 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

Yes, I think they would absolutely move on. Recruiting is the number 1 job of college coaches and you can't recruit pitchers if you don't have a pitching coach to do the recruiting. It's not ideal, it's necessary. That's just the recruiting side and doesn't even take into account fall ball practices that would take place before Wes was there. 

On point with what you are saying, just with one minor quibble (sorry, my OCD kicked in :)).  

My take on this is yes,,, and no.  Having just gone through the recruiting process with my son who is going on to play ball at the D3 level, I can say this is sort of true.  A good pitching/assistant coach can absolutely help in recruiting (and fine tuning a pitching staff).  However, this really only becomes a factor at the major/D1 college level.  Also... there is so much more minutia to recruiting than most folks realize (heck even more than I realized just a couple of years ago).

Tennessee may have fallen victim of the CWS #1 Seed Curse, but they have arguably the best overall pitching staff in all of college baseball, and they are ALL young.  The rest of the SEC and college baseball has taken notice and we see teams such as LSU (and others) taking steps to "keep up with the Joneses".

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5 minutes ago, MN_ExPat said:

On point with what you are saying, just with one minor quibble (sorry, my OCD kicked in :)).  

My take on this is yes,,, and no.  Having just gone through the recruiting process with my son who is going on to play ball at the D3 level, I can say this is sort of true.  A good pitching/assistant coach can absolutely help in recruiting (and fine tuning a pitching staff).  However, this really only becomes a factor at the major/D1 college level.  Also... there is so much more minutia to recruiting than most folks realize (heck even more than I realized just a couple of years ago).

Tennessee may have fallen victim of the CWS #1 Seed Curse, but they have arguably the best overall pitching staff in all of college baseball, and they are ALL young.  The rest of the SEC and college baseball has taken notice and we see teams such as LSU (and others) taking steps to "keep up with the Joneses".

I guess my response would be that he's at the major/D1 level so it comes into play. There are some drastic differences between D1 recruiting and D3 recruiting. D1 has way more limits on when they can talk to kids, etc. It plays a huge role in the timing of things like this since they need to be ready to hit the ground running on July 6th when recruiting really opens and having a pitching coach like Wes is a huge selling point to D1 schools that are looking to bring in kids who are going to be drafted coming out of high school. I don't have LSU's current recruiting list in front of me, but I assume they have some kids coming in who will be drafted in a month and having Wes on staff at that point will be a huge part of their pitch to get the kids to turn down their drafting team and go to LSU instead. Wes being a former Major League pitching coach is a huge selling point on the recruiting trail. Being able to tell elite HS prospects that they have the chance to be coached by a guy who knows what it takes to succeed in the bigs can't be valued enough.

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26 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

I guess my response would be that he's at the major/D1 level so it comes into play. There are some drastic differences between D1 recruiting and D3 recruiting. D1 has way more limits on when they can talk to kids, etc. It plays a huge role in the timing of things like this since they need to be ready to hit the ground running on July 6th when recruiting really opens and having a pitching coach like Wes is a huge selling point to D1 schools that are looking to bring in kids who are going to be drafted coming out of high school. I don't have LSU's current recruiting list in front of me, but I assume they have some kids coming in who will be drafted in a month and having Wes on staff at that point will be a huge part of their pitch to get the kids to turn down their drafting team and go to LSU instead. Wes being a former Major League pitching coach is a huge selling point on the recruiting trail. Being able to tell elite HS prospects that they have the chance to be coached by a guy who knows what it takes to succeed in the bigs can't be valued enough.

Very true Good Sir, and trust me... we definitely know that. :) 

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13 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

We aren't owed answers to any of these. What would change if we did? Nothing. 

1 & 2 relate back to the long term "cheap Pohlads" narrative.  I have seen reports from beat writers that he is going to earn $750K and that the Twins do not have confirmation they would match.  I have also seen reports that he will earn $380K plus some school incentives and wanted to go back south for his family.  Depending on which is true we either have an entirely relatable story about a father wanting spend more time with his family or we have a team that was too cheap to keep their pitching coach mid-season for an extra $350K.

3 & 4 relate to the ongoing likelihood of this happening again.  If our coaching contracts are written so poorly that any coach can leave for an equal position in a similar league then I am going to express anger and frustration at our front office.  If our front office instead saw that Johnson was earnest in his desire to move home and released him from a binding contract as an act of kindness then I am more likely to look upon the front office in a positive manner.

5 & 6 relate to how skillfully the front office worked in setting precedent here.  One option is they didn't talk to MLB or care they are setting precedent for coaches being poached from the MLB from an inferior league mid-season and that the MLB is upset that the sport took a black eye with someone valuing recruiting at a lower level as more important that a first place team.  I could very easily see the MLB eating the remainder of Johnson's contract for 2022 and sidelining him until the offseason as a way to show other coaches that MLB will not accept this type of mid-season contract breaking.  Another option is that the Twins consulted with MLB and they both saw this as a unique case of a person wanting to go home and allowed this as a 1-time action that they don't believe sets precedent.   

To go to your core question of "What would change if had these answers?", the answer is my opinion of the front office.  I like my opinions to be based in facts and right now I don't know if I should be mad at the Cheap Pohlad's not matching a $350K raise after their stupid front office signed crap contracts with their coaches that allow them to leave for lateral positions at any time or if my opinion is we have a compassionate front office that let a guy go out of an iron-clad contract because they respected he wanted to spend more time with family and that it wasn't a money grab.  We are 5 pages into this discussion and there are still people sharing one tweet saying $750K and other folks disputing and sharing another tweet with a contract image that says $380K and we can't even agree as to how much he is leaving for.  We need the beat writers to provide the basic factual information and I think they have not delivered.  

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39 minutes ago, jharaldson said:

1 & 2 relate back to the long term "cheap Pohlads" narrative.  I have seen reports from beat writers that he is going to earn $750K and that the Twins do not have confirmation they would match.  I have also seen reports that he will earn $380K plus some school incentives and wanted to go back south for his family.  Depending on which is true we either have an entirely relatable story about a father wanting spend more time with his family or we have a team that was too cheap to keep their pitching coach mid-season for an extra $350K.

3 & 4 relate to the ongoing likelihood of this happening again.  If our coaching contracts are written so poorly that any coach can leave for an equal position in a similar league then I am going to express anger and frustration at our front office.  If our front office instead saw that Johnson was earnest in his desire to move home and released him from a binding contract as an act of kindness then I am more likely to look upon the front office in a positive manner.

5 & 6 relate to how skillfully the front office worked in setting precedent here.  One option is they didn't talk to MLB or care they are setting precedent for coaches being poached from the MLB from an inferior league mid-season and that the MLB is upset that the sport took a black eye with someone valuing recruiting at a lower level as more important that a first place team.  I could very easily see the MLB eating the remainder of Johnson's contract for 2022 and sidelining him until the offseason as a way to show other coaches that MLB will not accept this type of mid-season contract breaking.  Another option is that the Twins consulted with MLB and they both saw this as a unique case of a person wanting to go home and allowed this as a 1-time action that they don't believe sets precedent.   

To go to your core question of "What would change if had these answers?", the answer is my opinion of the front office.  I like my opinions to be based in facts and right now I don't know if I should be mad at the Cheap Pohlad's not matching a $350K raise after their stupid front office signed crap contracts with their coaches that allow them to leave for lateral positions at any time or if my opinion is we have a compassionate front office that let a guy go out of an iron-clad contract because they respected he wanted to spend more time with family and that it wasn't a money grab.  We are 5 pages into this discussion and there are still people sharing one tweet saying $750K and other folks disputing and sharing another tweet with a contract image that says $380K and we can't even agree as to how much he is leaving for.  We need the beat writers to provide the basic factual information and I think they have not delivered.  

You think they are paying different than other teams? Wes will make around 750k after salary, camps, booster money, etc. That is on Twitter. By beat writers. People sharing information are only sharing what is known as it is known.

Your opinion on what MLB would do is ridiculous. No company treats it's employees that way. 

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21 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

You think they are paying different than other teams? Wes will make around 750k after salary, camps, booster money, etc. That is on Twitter. By beat writers. People sharing information are only sharing what is known as it is known.

Your opinion on what MLB would do is ridiculous. No company treats it's employees that way. 

Also they didn't "allow" him to leave. He had every right to leave. I am truly baffled by that whole paragraph.

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On 6/27/2022 at 12:36 PM, BH67 said:

Wes would be assured of a trip there at least every other year before the weather became insanely hot.  And I expected someone to point out the geographical incongruence, so thank you...and I love a good BBQ preference debate. 🙂

North Carolina Eastern BBQ - pulled pork with a vinegar based sauce.

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3 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

You think they are paying different than other teams? Wes will make around 750k after salary, camps, booster money, etc. That is on Twitter. By beat writers. People sharing information are only sharing what is known as it is known.

Your opinion on what MLB would do is ridiculous. No company treats it's employees that way. 

Dan Hayes states at 4:00 PM yesterday that it is $380K and definitely not $750K.

 

Quote

Wes Johnson said this was a family decision. More time at home. Cited his 12-year-old daughter and wanting to be around.  This would qualify as a slight pay cut, and definitely not the $750,000 we initially heard. Also makes sense why he never asked #MNTwins for more

 

2 hours later he reports that "industry" sources say it is "potentially" $750K.  Not "Twins" sources, not "LSU" sources, and not "Wes Johnson" sources, but unrelated 3rd parties.  

Quote

Wes Johnson’s base LSU salary is $380,000 as reported by @BrodyAMiller.  Multiple industry sources said total compensatory package potentially in neighborhood of $750,000. He made $400,000 w/ #MNTwins  this season.  When asked about package, Johnson: “I can’t comment on that.”

Industry experts Kyle Boddy and Kendall Rogers from Driveline and D1Baseball have publicly disagreed on the number as well with Kyle supporting the $750-800K number (Double) and Kendall saying it is closer to $500K.

Quote

Hearing Wes Johnson is getting 500+. We will see when the final details come out. 

The short of it is we have beat writers disagreeing with themselves and reporting numbers from experts who are disagreeing with other experts and both experts aren't in the actual negotiations.  Kyle even responded to be pushed back and said "Whatever it is, it is a lot.....on the books that is." implying he had no idea what the number was beyond "a lot".

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9 hours ago, MN_ExPat said:

The rest of the SEC and college baseball has taken notice and we see teams such as LSU (and others) taking steps to "keep up with the Joneses".

Athletic departments don't want to keep up with the Joneses. They want to be better than all Joneses. I'm sure the LSU athletic department did a search and found that Johnson was far and away the best fit for their program. Moreover, I'm sure they realized very quickly that other programs would soon make the same finding. Hence they realized that it was in their best interest to act very quickly and make an un-refusable offer before someone else did. Kudos to LSU.

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:25 PM, chpettit19 said:

And last night said it was a decision based on being able to be around his family more.

Again, interesting, since he basically said the opposite when hired.

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6 hours ago, USAFChief said:

Again, interesting, since he basically said the opposite when hired.

I mean it's hard to argue he won't be able to spend more time with his daughter like he said. LSU played 62 games this season. 21 on the road. College teams play mostly Fri, Sat, Sun series, especially if there's real travel involved (not just a quick bus ride to play a local college). There's certainly travel with recruiting, and the job is a year round commitment, but he'll be home far more than he was with the Twins. Spring training alone is more days away from home than all the road games a college team plays.

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6 hours ago, USAFChief said:

Again, interesting, since he basically said the opposite when hired.

This makes him like almost everybody. People are fickle by nature. 

I'm sure he believed what he said in 2019 and I'm sure he believes what he is saying in 2022. 

Context, attitudes, perceptions, memories will adjust multiple times over the span of 3 years and they change for all of us.

I have hired many people who told me they were looking for X because they didn't like Y only to leave 6 months later because Y wasn't so bad and they don't like X.    

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