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Article: Minnesota Twins Prepare For Trade Deadline


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“With media the way it is, internet, Twitter, everything, it gets so much more hype than what actually goes on. You might sit there and no one is calling you back. You may say we’d love to trade. We've got guys or we’d like to trade for your guy and you do not get a call back. They literally do not call back. It’s strange. There is a lot of work that actually goes on to prepare for nothingness.”

 

I've always thought that was one of the more interesting parts of reading through older Twins history, especially the Griffith ownership years. There were certain teams we had lots of trades with, others, nothing. We'll never understand the ins and outs of every relationship, but it's funny to think that when you hear a trade rumor or suggestion, it may have literally no chance of happening, because the relationship is not there.

 

I think we also forget how much work ends up being 'wasted'. Imagine a guy like David Price, or our situation with Santana. Once it becomes clear that they aren't coming back, there's probably a year+ of working/researching potential trade partners. Just crazy.

 

Anyway, great article.

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With the minor league system in good shape, standing pat doesn't mean the Twins chose poorly.
You can never have enough good prospects. Most of them do not pan out anyway. It's an indentification and numbers game. The more good prospects you have usually the better results in what that group produces turns out.
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"On their website, the Twins have 14 people listed under Baseball Operations. By comparison, the Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball’s newest surging darling, have 37 Baseball Operations employees, involving both scouts and analysts"

 

 

Ouch

 

This struck me as bad also. I hope the Twins continue to move forward and build their baseball operations department. The days of the Twins out scouting other teams are over.

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Really great article, Parker. I appreciate the access that Jack Goin has given you both for this article and in the past.

 

I still have questions about how much importance is assigned to statistical analysis vs. scouting and as pointed out above, the discrepancy in the number of people assigned to baseball operations is troublesome. If someone has the time at some point, it would be interesting to compare baseball operations among teams -- not just by number of staff members but also by job title.

 

We've always been led to believe that the Twins scouting department is their strength. Is it a lot larger than other departments? Are they just longer term and supposedly better at their jobs? Is their "strength" just a long-held myth?

 

And obviously it would be interesting to see how other teams compare when it comes to stats and analysis and other operational positions.

 

The Twins have always prided themselves in the "Twins Way" when it comes to the fundamentals of baseball. I know some of us question whether they still adhere to that but obviously they did have a lot of success in the 2000's.

 

Have the Pirates and other small market teams now developed their own ways that will put them on the cutting edge of developing and maintaining their success while the Twins lag behind?

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Have the Pirates and other small market teams now developed their own ways that will put them on the cutting edge of developing and maintaining their success while the Twins lag behind?
With the top farm system in baseball, not very likely the Twins are lagging behind, but any rebuilding team is certainly an easy target.
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Great article. Very informative. Anytime we get an inside glimpse of an area of baseball we normally don't get to see is always interesting. Going definitely puts a lot of things into perspective.

 

That being said, being a Twins fan at the trade deadline has never been very rewarding. I don't remember the last trade deadline trade that got me excited. I understand it takes two to tango but it seems every year we can't find the right partner.

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With the top farm system in baseball, not very likely the Twins are lagging behind, but any rebuilding team is certainly an easy target.

 

Past successes should never excuse indifference to improving. I don't like my favorite team resting on their laurels, especially when tart of how this team got to having the best farm in baseball was A) being awful and B) taking advantage of a system that no longer exists in the same form. (Int. FA)

 

Great organizations celebrate their successes and look to stay ahead to keep them coming.

 

This article was really cool though, hopefully all that homework will land us some reasons to celebrate these last few months.

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Now that I've gone and looked at the Pirates list (should have done that first), the discrepancy in the number of personnel may well be due to the way they list people on the website more than a true difference -- it is really hard to sort through the position differences.

 

I'm not sure where Parker gets 37. The list I see on mlb.com has a lot more names than that and includes positions like minor league hitting coordinator.

 

They also list the names of their scouts and the Twins don't.

 

We all know that the Twins have similar positions, they just don't list them all.

 

But the Pirates do have positions called: Director, Baseball Systems Development; Data Architect; and Quantitative Analysis.

 

I assume one of those may be the equivalent of Jack Goin whose position is Manager, Major League Administration and Baseball Research.

 

But the Twins do look "thin" on the baseball operations side.

Edited by JB_Iowa
added Jack Goin info; changed conclusion
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Past successes should never excuse indifference to improving. I don't like my favorite team resting on their laurels, especially when tart of how this team got to having the best farm in baseball was A) being awful and B) taking advantage of a system that no longer exists in the same form. (Int. FA)

 

Great organizations celebrate their successes and look to stay ahead to keep them coming.

 

This article was really cool though, hopefully all that homework will land us some reasons to celebrate these last few months.

 

You're not minimizing the accomplishments of the FO of your favorite team are you?

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You're not minimizing the accomplishments of the FO of your favorite team are you?

 

Was any of it inaccurate? I'm glad we hit big on Buxton and possibly others. Smith was brilliant bringing in international talent. But we can no longer do what Smith did and I hope we don't continue to draft in the top 5 much longer.

 

So, no, I'm not minimizing. We've done some things really well. I'm just not content resting on laurels. A pat on the back shouldn't distract this team from getting ahead of the curve, not behind. (Something this organization could be criticized fairly for much of the last 20 years. They rely on traditional methods to a fault and it has hampered them from being innovative)

Edited by TheLeviathan
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“With media the way it is, internet, Twitter, everything, it gets so much more hype than what actually goes on. You might sit there and no one is calling you back. You may say we’d love to trade. We've got guys or we’d like to trade for your guy and you do not get a call back. They literally do not call back. It’s strange. There is a lot of work that actually goes on to prepare for nothingness.”
Everyone, prepare.
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Interesting article. The thing that jumped out about it was how passive the Twins appear in the process. Not calling, but waiting to be called. Hearing from a scout that another scout says they like this player, and then going back and telling that scout that they should call us. Using the press to float names as trade bait, and waiting for calls after the name appears on Trade Rumors. Waiting until the All Star Break down 10 games before knowing your season is lost.

 

Discouraging depiction, in my view, but not totally inconsistent with what my perception of their approach has been...selling low, waiting too long, not aggressively pursuing deals.

 

I'm trying to think how Span and Revere fit into this narrative. I honestly think both were driven by the other teams.

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Interesting article. The thing that jumped out about it was how passive the Twins appear in the process. Not calling, but waiting to be called. Hearing from a scout that another scout says they like this player, and then going back and telling that scout that they should call us. Using the press to float names as trade bait, and waiting for calls after the name appears on Trade Rumors. Waiting until the All Star Break down 10 games before knowing your season is lost.

 

Discouraging depiction, in my view, but not totally inconsistent with what my perception of their approach has been...selling low, waiting too long, not aggressively pursuing deals.

 

I'm trying to think how Span and Revere fit into this narrative. I honestly think both were driven by the other teams.

 

1. Other teams know you are selling and know what you have.

2. Look at the haul Miami got by aggressively bundling and marketing their players.

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Interesting article. The thing that jumped out about it was how passive the Twins appear in the process. Not calling, but waiting to be called. Hearing from a scout that another scout says they like this player, and then going back and telling that scout that they should call us. Using the press to float names as trade bait, and waiting for calls after the name appears on Trade Rumors. Waiting until the All Star Break down 10 games before knowing your season is lost.

 

Discouraging depiction, in my view, but not totally inconsistent with what my perception of their approach has been...selling low, waiting too long, not aggressively pursuing deals.

 

I'm trying to think how Span and Revere fit into this narrative. I honestly think both were driven by the other teams.

 

You maximize your return when the other teams drive it.

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One of the things that stood out about the last GATG podcast was Aaron mentioning that Perkins' contract might be too long to get proper value for it. I've been thinking about the same thing for awhile now (actually, since the Span situation last season)... That Perkins having 3 1/2 seasons on his contract will offer little in value over Perkins having 1 1/2 (or 2 1/2) seasons on his contract. For some reason, GMs seem to undervalue longer-term contracts at the deadline, as if they're so transfixed on fixing this season that they overlook potential needs in future seasons, even if the overall value is much higher for the franchise.

 

I don't expect Perkins to go anywhere. If anything, he is moved in the offseason, the same as Span.

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One of the things that stood out about the last GATG podcast was Aaron mentioning that Perkins' contract might be too long to get proper value for it. I've been thinking about the same thing for awhile now (actually, since the Span situation last season)... That Perkins having 3 1/2 seasons on his contract will offer little in value over Perkins having 1 1/2 (or 2 1/2) seasons on his contract. For some reason, GMs seem to undervalue longer-term contracts at the deadline, as if they're so transfixed on fixing this season that they overlook potential needs in future seasons, even if the overall value is much higher for the franchise.

 

I don't expect Perkins to go anywhere. If anything, he is moved in the offseason, the same as Span.

 

How many trades involve players whose production greatly eclipses their payroll and have many years left on the contract? I would guess most of the time this occurs is when a player is still under their original team control and therefore young and inexpensive. Not many teams are going to trade these players because even if the team isn't currently competitive the belief/hope is that they will be within a few years. Look at Giancarlo Stanton, Miami isn't looking to move him. I also think if Perkins wasn't a reliever we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. Let's say it's Pedroia instead and he's signed for $7 million per season through 2016 are we even contemplating trading him?

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I don't expect Perkins to go anywhere. If anything, he is moved in the offseason, the same as Span.

 

I don't think Perkins gets moved in the offseason, simply because not many relievers are traded at that time. There are generally a half dozen guys with closer experience on the market and only a few of them get a large contract. Additionally, many teams seem to prefer to test out guys in their own system. After all, very few closers come through the system viewed as a "future closer," most teams experiment or just stumble upon them, as the Twins did with Perkins.

 

As far as I can tell, Andrew Bailey was the only recent closer traded in the offseason where the buying team's intent was to keep him as a closer. I think this might be a rare position where desperation at the trade deadline would cause the price to be higher than in the offseason.

 

But I also don't think he gets moved by the end of the month.

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How many trades involve players whose production greatly eclipses their payroll and have many years left on the contract? I would guess most of the time this occurs is when a player is still under their original team control and therefore young and inexpensive. Not many teams are going to trade these players because even if the team isn't currently competitive the belief/hope is that they will be within a few years. Look at Giancarlo Stanton, Miami isn't looking to move him. I also think if Perkins wasn't a reliever we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. Let's say it's Pedroia instead and he's signed for $7 million per season through 2016 are we even contemplating trading him?

 

This situation is pretty uncommon in several ways, I think.

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That is a great point on Perkins. Similar thinking/valuation probably came into play for Willingham last year - much less value than we think.

 

Twins might not get great value for Perkins so probably better to keep him. Best value will probably be from middle relievers, in that they might get something for a pretty fungible resource.

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One of the things that stood out about the last GATG podcast was Aaron mentioning that Perkins' contract might be too long to get proper value for it. I've been thinking about the same thing for awhile now (actually, since the Span situation last season)... That Perkins having 3 1/2 seasons on his contract will offer little in value over Perkins having 1 1/2 (or 2 1/2) seasons on his contract. For some reason, GMs seem to undervalue longer-term contracts at the deadline, as if they're so transfixed on fixing this season that they overlook potential needs in future seasons, even if the overall value is much higher for the franchise.

 

I don't expect Perkins to go anywhere. If anything, he is moved in the offseason, the same as Span.

On the flip side, it's rare to have a proven commodity with a team friendly contract who is on the tradeing block. Usually the response is "Well, thhis is a great player today, but I have to pay this play for two years more, and next year is never a cetrainty". Longer contracts are a risk that GMs take, not go into because they want to.

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How many trades involve players whose production greatly eclipses their payroll and have many years left on the contract? I would guess most of the time this occurs is when a player is still under their original team control and therefore young and inexpensive. Not many teams are going to trade these players because even if the team isn't currently competitive the belief/hope is that they will be within a few years. Look at Giancarlo Stanton, Miami isn't looking to move him. I also think if Perkins wasn't a reliever we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. Let's say it's Pedroia instead and he's signed for $7 million per season through 2016 are we even contemplating trading him?

 

Comparing an elite hitter to an elite closer is apples and oranges. There are very few elite 2B players and for the most part all the elite guys will likely be elite guys in the foreseeable future. If you look at all the closers from 3 years ago and compare them to the closers today there are likely only 4-5 who even still have a job closing today and of those maybe 3 would be considered elite.

 

But I don't see a team offering enough for the FO to pull the trigger on a trade for Perkins. He offers too much value for the contract currently.

 

Note that I didn't actually look up #s from my example above but I have looked at it in the past and the turnover at closer is crazy high.

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I looked at 30 year closers in the last 20 years. Most remain effective through age 33. The most common reason for dropping off was that they really were not that effective at 30.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0Apr9y6uWjOUKdGxlNzJJRXQzTGx6WDVfLWp0a2JBcmc&usp=drive_web

 

There were some guys that got injured but it was less than the rate of set up men and probably no greater risk of injury than a 23 year old pitching prospect they might get in return.

 

I also looked at every trade for closers the last several summers. The returns were below what most on this site expect.

 

I believe the following...

 

- Perkins is likely to remain effective through age 33.

- While injury is possible, it is no more likely that he will be injured than a pitching prospect we might acquire for him.

- Relievers haven't received great returns in trade. Certainly not the level of a starting pitcher or heart of the order hitter

- Team friendly, long term contracts are more valuable in the offseason when teams are less focused on the short term.

 

While I don't expect Ryan to get a top starting pitching prospect (or maybe a top SS prospect) in return, it is the value that he needs to seek knowing keeping Perkins is of significant value.

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That is a great point on Perkins. Similar thinking/valuation probably came into play for Willingham last year - much less value than we think.

 

Twins might not get great value for Perkins so probably better to keep him. Best value will probably be from middle relievers, in that they might get something for a pretty fungible resource.

 

I think Perkins would still bring back the best return in prospects, it possibly would just be less than we would hope for. Regardless of the contract Perkins is still the best reliever we have by far and as such would command the largest return when compared to Burton, Fien, etc....

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Comparing an elite hitter to an elite closer is apples and oranges. There are very few elite 2B players and for the most part all the elite guys will likely be elite guys in the foreseeable future. If you look at all the closers from 3 years ago and compare them to the closers today there are likely only 4-5 who even still have a job closing today and of those maybe 3 would be considered elite.

 

But I don't see a team offering enough for the FO to pull the trigger on a trade for Perkins. He offers too much value for the contract currently.

 

Note that I didn't actually look up #s from my example above but I have looked at it in the past and the turnover at closer is crazy high.

 

I think you and I are on the same page here. I was trying to make the point that Perkins is a very unique case and it is hard to know what the outcome of a trade would look like.

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I think you and I are on the same page here. I was trying to make the point that Perkins is a very unique case and it is hard to know what the outcome of a trade would look like.

 

I see. Yeah if he is traded I would expect the return would be quite good since the Twins aren't actively trying to move him as they are with Morneau. My guess would be a top 50 prospect or possibly a top 100 pitcher plus another in the top 150 with upside.

 

It would be different if they were dumping payroll (they aren't) or if he was in the last year of a deal (he's not).

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