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  • Maybe the Twins Have a Spending Problem?


    Ted Schwerzler

    For years, fans have complained about the payroll of the Minnesota Twins. You simply cannot spend your way to a World Series; ask the New York Yankees. That said, this organization may very well still have an allocation problem.

    Image courtesy of © Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    No, the problem is not that the Twins don’t spend money, but rather that they don’t know HOW to spend money. Said another way, they don’t correctly know how to spend money.

    As we embark upon a quasi-deadline for homegrown talents like Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios, it seems the front office is faced with a decision to extend or deal both talents. Buxton would be looking at a payday north of $200 million as a free agent coming off a season of health. Jose Berrios wants to max out his value, and it seems he’s all but gone in this club’s mind. Those are problems, but only because they compound an already developing issue.

    Way back when the Twins paid Joe Mauer. He was worth every penny and was underpaid throughout his career. Nothing about his contract hamstrung a mid-market team without a salary cap. What prevented the hometown nine from winning was the lack of supplementation on the roster, both in youth and acquired talent.

    Fast forward to where we are now, and once again, the Twins are showing a lack of ability to spend wisely. This club paid Josh Donaldson nearly $100 million following one season with Atlanta. The Bringer of Rain posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line in 2019 while playing in 155 games. His first year in Minnesota was challenging in that the pandemic cut short any real season, but nagging leg injuries kept him to just 28 games and out of the most important during October.

    Look at what Donaldson has done for Minnesota, however, and it’s nothing short of what this club should’ve hoped. After his 124 OPS+ in Atlanta, Donaldson has posted a .244/.358/.485 slash and 135 OPS+ with the Twins. The slugging has slid a bit, but the ball has changed, and arguably the only knock has been losing a step defensively. After an injury-plagued season a year ago, he’s been one of the most consistently available Twins in 2021.

    So, here we are with a big contract given out to a free agent that’s performing, and Minnesota is looking at a teardown. Donaldson could be had for salary relief, Berrios could command prospects, and Buxton may be the most exciting asset the sport has seen in a long time. Once again, though, this club looks to have failed to spend.

    Over the winter, the thought process should’ve been acquiring talent to supplement this group. Alex Colome and Hansel Robles had appeal on paper, but neither is the impact arm the provides insurance for the group headlined by Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey. J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker were veteran starters with relatively decent floors, but neither would push Berrios or Kenta Maeda for the top of the rotation duty. When acquiring talent to raise the water level, this organization changed out oars and continued to tread water. Donaldson was a significant expense, and nothing was done to truly supplement him.

    Here we are now facing an awful result, and the outcome could be moving assets for hope in the future. Target Field was opened under the assumption that Minnesota would be able to retain its homegrown talent. Watching Buxton and Berrios be moved isn’t a reality that is supposed to take place. Suppressed payrolls for much of the past decade should pave the way for an influx of dollars to be utilized around a core that’s shown it can compete. Right now, it feels like that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I don’t believe that Minnesota’s strategy should be to play in the pool near a $200 million mark. Acquiring top-tier talent only to keep them on an island and then piecing things out for another cycle when things go wrong looks like a misappropriated allocation of funds. Development isn’t linear and should be the focus internally. Still, it’s time this organization made financial commitments to those they’ve seen bear fruit and then continue to support the roster as a whole with acquired talent that makes more sense than just cents on the dollar.

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    Got to agree with most of what you have written, Ted.  Although I cringe when reading the information about Mauer's value.  Have a hard time believing any/all of these statements about what Player X is or should be worth.  In a free market system, value is what is paid for a service, not some calculation of what it could/should be.  Sometimes there will be great deals, other times an overpay.

    Also agree that Donaldson is performing at or near what should have been expected, although a defensive whiz he no longer is.  With his aches and pain, not certain what the next two years will bring.  But as Tom Kelly said, "you are only as good as your next day's starting pitcher," Donaldson ain't a pitcher.  And that is what this FO seems to have forgotten, that pitching wins championships.

    With Berrios out the door, not a clue how they solve this mess.  Still hoping they sign Buxton and if I could understand what was written about Jose the other day, hopefully they will pony up market dollars and extend him during the offseason.  

    If they need to remain in the under-$150M club, they may have to cut loose a few of the bad contracts currently on the club, with Donaldson being the biggest.  I keep shaking my head when thinking of what the Rays do every year with a payroll that is what, less than two-thirds of the Twins.  Can you imagine how dominant the Rays would be with the Twins payroll?  Time for the front-office to get to work and be better than they have these last several years.

     

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    It seems like we are at a crossroads. We are a small market team that cannot compete financially with the big boys to stay competitive every year.  I hate the tear down and rebuild strategy as we get windows that often fail due to the lack of funds to supplement the core.  Maybe it’s time to mimic the Rays and Athletics approaches to trade players ahead of the curve to acquire rising stars in an effort to be competitive year in and year out.

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    The Twins spent a lot more than I was expecting this year.  When I thought they were done, they spent another $20-$30M.  

    It seems that extra $20-$30M was wasted, as in the players they added late have not been helpful or necessary.

    I guess it's sort of like a painting or recording a song.  You have to know when to stop.  There is a point where adding more starts to make things worse.

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    Yeah I had my share of questions the offseason they signed Donaldson.  Most of the board wanted that money spent on more pitching but also acknowledged third base had been a bit of a black hole for the team.  Many of us questioned at that time already if the Twins shouldn't put that money into contract extensions for Berrios and Buxton.  Of Course Buxton was hurt a bunch and it was then and still is now hard to gauge his value since he hasn't played close to a full season in a long time.  So not completely surprised nothing got done there.

    At the time I thought that would have been the best time to try to sign Berrios long term or at least extended several years.  I believe they would have had decent leverage as Berrios was a bit of an up and down pitcher those years.  Still you could see he was always going to be a good starter.  I don't know what was offered but they likely needed to up it much more than they did.  If they would have just invested in Berrios they would have been in a much different spot right now.  They are very risk averse when investing in pitching which makes sense because they tend to get hurt so much but in this case they had a young durable starter to invest in and they didn't.

    Still 3rd base was a black hole that needed to be filled and they filled it with a very good player.  They managed a trade for Maeda and it looked like they were ready to compete through their 2 to 3 year window.  Then this year it all fell a part.

    With Lewis's injury they could really use Donaldson's Money allocated to the shortstop position.  And of course it looks like they are going to need more pitching.  I get that they wanted to strengthen in the infield by signing Donaldson but I think in the end those funds would have been more useful in other areas.  I do question the FO's priorities at times. I just think in the end spending that money on 3rd base is going to hurt more than help in the long run.

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    In isolation the Donaldson deal looks fine after two years. 

    Is it possible that the mistake was devoting so many dollars to position players and then trying to get with one year deals on pitching?

    Let’s suppose they could have won the Ryu deal with the Donaldson money and then did a one year deals on a 1B? Are they better off? Does a more reliable starting pitcher have a positive impact on the whole staff by reducing the load on the bullpen?

    note- if you are interested in debating again whether Ryu or another would have signed with the Twins let’s find an already existing thread to do that. The wonder here is whether the Twins are devoting too little of the budget on pitching.

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    1 hour ago, tony&rodney said:

    This is the difficulty of being a Twins fan. You are 100% correct that both Mauer and Donaldson were solid decisions and paid off financially. The Twins inability to go to the next step in their roster additions has been both confusing and frustrating. There is always next year.

    Nothing confusing about it.....and they know the frustration will go away the following Spring. What you just wrote....is what the Twins management knows [and hopes] all Twins fans will say.....in perpetuity!! They blamed the Dome for not affording Tori Hunter and Johann Santana. Signing Mauer was more about marketing than anything.

    Baseball needs a salary cap to keep these team owners from using "small market" as an excuse to not put the best team on the field. taxpayers paid for half the billion dollar stadium, 40,000 fans will show up every game for the right team, TV covers fans in a 5 state area. We have a guy who hates sports and loves to make movies as an owner.

    I love Morneau......you people may think he drones on and doesn't know when to shut up. But he said [in so many words]...the Twins are having a year that is an aberration and is a tweak or two away from contending for the AL Central [admittedly, not a lofty goal...but hey]. Bert would have never said that and instead circled someone, wished someone a happy birthday, and then gone back to sleep [until the next opportunity came around to embarrass Dick Bremer on the air]. Morneau is smart and interesting......and in this case....I believe correct. he suggested concentrating on starting pitching [hardest to come by]. Bullpen help is inconsistent and seemingly is always available...next attack this......and keep the everyday players.

    This article is correct as well. It is not the dynamic duo that is to blame. They agree with Moreau. The Pohlads are caring on the legacy of cheapness that Calvin Griffith started. That is who is to blame....as always.

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    We had this grand idea that we could sustain a playoff caliber club for a decade like we did in the 2000s, and it’s not coming to fruition. 
     

    The landscape in baseball has changed. Almost every FO has an analytical approach, focusing on draft and development. It’s time to admit our window of contention should be similar to Kansas City. We don’t need to spend $175 million to win, but when the stars align like they did in 2019, it’s crucial to push all of the chips in. 
     

    In regards to allocation of funds this year, we wasted $18 million on 4 pitchers who have provided minimal value, and $11 million to a now part time 1B who’s been replacement level since 2019. 

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    16 minutes ago, FritzDahmus said:

    Nothing confusing about it.....and they know the frustration will go away the following Spring. What you just wrote....is what the Twins management knows [and hopes] all Twins fans will say.....in perpetuity!! They blamed the Dome for not affording Tori Hunter and Johann Santana. Signing Mauer was more about marketing than anything.

    Baseball needs a salary cap to keep these team owners from using "small market" as an excuse to not put the best team on the field. taxpayers paid for half the billion dollar stadium, 40,000 fans will show up every game for the right team, TV covers fans in a 5 state area. We have a guy who hates sports and loves to make movies as an owner.

    I love Morneau......you people may think he drones on and doesn't know when to shut up. But he said [in so many words]...the Twins are having a year that is an aberration and is a tweak or two away from contending for the AL Central [admittedly, not a lofty goal...but hey]. Bert would have never said that and instead circled someone, wished someone a happy birthday, and then gone back to sleep [until the next opportunity came around to embarrass Dick Bremer on the air]. Morneau is smart and interesting......and in this case....I believe correct. he suggested concentrating on starting pitching [hardest to come by]. Bullpen help is inconsistent and seemingly is always available...next attack this......and keep the everyday players.

    This article is correct as well. It is not the dynamic duo that is to blame. They agree with Moreau. The Pohlads are caring on the legacy of cheapness that Calvin Griffith started. That is who is to blame....as always.

    Target Field didn't cost a 'billion dollars.'  If memory serves, it was in the mid-$400M with Hennepin County paying around $350M+/-.  It was the Vikings Stadium that I believe was well over a billion.  Since opening, the Twins have paid the vast majority of the dollars put in to improve the ballpark which I believe has been the better part of $100M.  

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    You have hit on the perpetual MN problem.

    Build up a core of talented players, but never complete the puzzle with the right trade or signing. Who care about minor league "potential talent" when the time to WIN is now! Trade for the pieces you need when you have a core than can win!

    There will Always be more talent in next years draft.

    How do the Lakers go from worst team in the league to champions in a few short years? Hiw do the Vikings continually build up one side of the team while ignoring the other. How does the Wild do the same thing.

    Great defense and coach, no offense. Vice versa.

    Trading Brusdar for Maeda was brilliant.

    Giving away Presley who went on to see the major league record with 30 straight appearances and zero runs (Alcala aside) was a disaster. A closer has been the #1 need on this team ever since Joe Nathan.

    They had a window of opportunity and it is now gone. The players like Berrios, Buxton wont stay because of this issue. 

    Houston made a couple of good traders & signings to supplement there core (Brantley, Pressley) and got lucky with some young pitchers. The twins (outside of Maeda) have not. 

    I don't see how they can improve their pitching enough and afford to keep what they have. The problem is the best trade bait they have is Polanco and Kepler and they are the kind of supplemental players who are signed to favorable contracts that you need to win. Tha last 3 years they were 1 starter and 1 closer away from the World Series. 

    And quit with the dam* infield shift.

    They lost that series to Houston on two seeing eye grounders to where the 2nd baseman should have been.

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    Twins have had a spending problem ever since free agency started about 1975. Calvin Griffith was totally overmatched and Carl Pohlad, while a little better than Griffith, was still not willing to spend to be a serious power, My impression is that Jim Pohlad is the least penurious of all 1975 forward Twins owners but I could be wrong.

    One example of a team that truly did buy WS title was the Florida Marlins in their 5th year. An Amazon link shows a book about that team. They sold off most of their winning assets after winning the WS.

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    It seems to me that one of the issues is that the Twins have an approach that sometimes (whether analytical or not) devalues their own talent and often overvalues other people's talent.  I think often times a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  You really don't know how a player from somewhere else is going to mesh with the team you currently have.  I get it, everyone is going to say; they are professionals, they are getting paid a lot to play this game they the players need to adjust.  But, they are human too.  So when you have players that you already know and can trust to stick to the program that you have laid out then sometimes I think that is worth way more than trying to build a team based on fantasy value.  Analytically a player may be worth this much, but in the wrong situation that value may go down.  So I really feel that the Twins need to focus on what they have sometimes over what looks shiny and new out there.  So I mean one instance I can think of is Rich Hill.  They had him last year and let him fly, but then went and replaced him with Matt Shoemaker, I mean they are making close to the same amount of money? So why let a guy go that actually performed for you pretty well, I know he had a few injuries and dings last year, but you had him and replaced him with someone that is now terrible.  Another instance, now this one is fairly speculative, but Brad Hand is a Minnesota boy, it seemed like from articles that were written that Hand was pretty interested in coming home, instead the Twins pick up Colome, I don't think their salaries are that far off, probably like 10 mill vs 6 mill.  But from what I felt like I read is that Hand wanted to be here Colome just wanted to play baseball I don't think Colome really cares one way or the other about being in Minnesota.  These types of things are not really measurable via analytics, but I dare to say that had the Twins had Hand closing games and Rich Hill as the 5th starter that they still might not be in 1st place, but they'd be doing much better than they are right now.  Heck Jake Odorizzi made it clear he likes it in Minnesota, I'd venture to say that with him instead of JA Happ again the Twins would probably be in a better place and I don't think their salaries are that much different either.  Probably both close to 10 million.  So now when we start talking about Jose Berrios, yeah you can get rid of him via a trade or what not, but Jose has been here for a long time and understands the program, so whoever you pick up to replace him, may analytically look to be on par with Jose but may not feel any loyalty whatsoever towards the Twins organization and as a result may not pitch anywhere close numbers wise to what Jose would have done.  So they can just pick and pluck new and different pieces year in and year out, and they could even end up spending more, but they may never regain the clubhouse culture that the homegrown kids developed together.  So analytics does a great job predicting how a player may play, but it can't tell you how well they will mesh with the new club.  Now to me, it seems a lot easier to add a new personality or two at the trade deadline, like they did with Shannon Stewart.  Now when you put a guy onto a team that is already winning they can usually buy into that, and in the meantime develop a relationship with the new squad.  Winning seems to do those kinds of things.  So I feel that the Twins need to place more importance on trying to keep their own guys vs going out and getting replacements every year.  Also, when a guy says he likes it in Minnesota, don't use that as some form of weakness to try and get them to sign cheap, pay that guy what he is worth because he actually wants to be here because you will not be able to replace that.  I mean Lance Lynn, Tom Here are all examples of guys that didn't want to be here and how did they perform?  Not very good, for the Twins.  So again, sometimes you need to look at a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Target Field didn't cost a 'billion dollars.'  If memory serves, it was in the mid-$400M with Hennepin County paying around $350M+/-.  It was the Vikings Stadium that I believe was well over a billion.  Since opening, the Twins have paid the vast majority of the dollars put in to improve the ballpark which I believe has been the better part of $100M.  

    I believe the budget was $545M and it came in at $555M to build Target Field.

    Target Field Construction

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    1 hour ago, FritzDahmus said:

    Nothing confusing about it.....and they know the frustration will go away the following Spring. What you just wrote....is what the Twins management knows [and hopes] all Twins fans will say.....in perpetuity!! They blamed the Dome for not affording Tori Hunter and Johann Santana. Signing Mauer was more about marketing than anything.

    Baseball needs a salary cap to keep these team owners from using "small market" as an excuse to not put the best team on the field. taxpayers paid for half the billion dollar stadium, 40,000 fans will show up every game for the right team, TV covers fans in a 5 state area. We have a guy who hates sports and loves to make movies as an owner.

    I love Morneau......you people may think he drones on and doesn't know when to shut up. But he said [in so many words]...the Twins are having a year that is an aberration and is a tweak or two away from contending for the AL Central [admittedly, not a lofty goal...but hey]. Bert would have never said that and instead circled someone, wished someone a happy birthday, and then gone back to sleep [until the next opportunity came around to embarrass Dick Bremer on the air]. Morneau is smart and interesting......and in this case....I believe correct. he suggested concentrating on starting pitching [hardest to come by]. Bullpen help is inconsistent and seemingly is always available...next attack this......and keep the everyday players.

    This article is correct as well. It is not the dynamic duo that is to blame. They agree with Moreau. The Pohlads are caring on the legacy of cheapness that Calvin Griffith started. That is who is to blame....as always.

    I agree with much of what you are saying, especially the part about Morneau droning on....and on....and on......but I digress.  The one I listen to every time he comes on, and speaks his mind as well, is Jim Kaat; he is not afraid to give an honest critique on the home team.  How that guy is not in the Hall of Fame is beyond my ability to understand.

    Morneau may very well be right about being a tweak or two away, but 4 of the pieces that would make them competitive are free agents after next year, and if we have determined either we can't/won't pay them or they just don't want to sign now and play the market, we have to trade them while we can get something in return.  And right now, the FO thinks that info is on a need to know basis and we don't need to know, so until the 30th comes and goes, who knows if we will try for that tweak ourselves, or sell it to another team.  Personally, I would buy this July, not sell, and see if we can mitigate the loss of some of the free agents.  That would put us in a position to go for it next year.  But I am usually in the minority, so I won't hold my breath.

    And you are right; baseball needs a salary cap.  Any sport with free agency needs a lid or it loses its competitive balance.

     

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    The Twins spend under the league median every year and refuse to spend when they have an obvious need and opportunity for a World Series run. The ownership is very opposed to long contracts due to risk, but they're willing to take the same annual risk across multiple short contracts which don't pan out. Couple all that with the inability the organization has at developing pitching and the Twins find themselves at the spot they're in now.

    I disagree the Twins cannot afford to spend $150MM. You need to spend money to make money. When the Twins put a winning product on the field, they'll get the revenue they need for the $150MM budget.

     

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    Here is how I see it.  They tried like hell to get Wheeler.  He wanted to play on the east coast.  They tried to get a couple others to no avail.  That’s how it goes when you are competing against teams in cities more attractive to players, especially when those cities have far more revenue.  So, they signed Donaldson as the best alternative.  We would have better with Wheeler.  Would we be contending this year. Of course not.  So was signing Donaldson one of our primary problems?

    Was it reasonable to assume Donaldson at 3B and Sano at 1B would improve the team?  No doubt.  Is the problem in this equation that they signed Sano or that Sano is performing very poorly?  It’s really simplistic to point to spending as the problem.

    Where does the Donaldson signing rank in terms of the problems with this team?  Very low.  The premise seems to be we can’t supplement our core.  Call me crazy but I don’t look at the performing player and see the primary problem.  I would look at the core and determine if I actually had a core that could contend and if not why.  What caused the poor performance this year?  Is it how payroll was allocated?  Here is my top ten more relevant problems.

    There are a number of reasons far more

    1. We have not developed starting pitching
    2. How have we done developing BP arms?
    3. Does Buxton’s inability to stay on the field pose a problem?
    4. Injuries other than Buxton.
    5. How is Sano working out?
    6. Is Kepler as good as we hoped?
    7. How did Rosario perform in 2019/2020?  Was he a difference maker?
    8. Did the Jay / Stewart / Gordon / Bard picks contribute to our ability to build a contender?
    9. Polanco is not a SS and Lewis development has been derailed by injury.
    10. JA Happ / Colome signings.

    The loss of 2020 really hurt our ability to augment the rotation and BP so blame that on the pandemic.  We are not going to find out if this regime can develop pitching until Balazovic / Winder / Canterino / ETC get a shot at the MLB level.

    BTW … The player value is one of the most ill-conceived concepts in baseball.  How can player value be the same for all teams when the bottom revenue teams have literally three times the revenue?  These teams can’t possibly view value propositions in the same way.   

    I was on the fence where the Donaldson signing was concerned because of his age but I can't possibly look at this team and conclude the problem is/was even remotely due to spending on Donaldson.

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    Signing Josh Donaldson isn't the problem. Most of us were excited when he came to Minnesota. Signing Nelson Cruz was one of the best FA signings I've ever seen the Twins do. They almost balance each other out.

    The problem I see is timing. Most of the teams that have won a World Series the last few decades (including the Twins) had a core group of young players that all came up together with a few decent veteran FA signings sprinkled in to supplement that core group of players.

    Our timing with our core group of young players never seems to be coordinated or timed out well. I think the Twins take entirely too long to bring some of these younger players up. (Buxton, Sano, Arraez the most recent exceptions).

    We need to develop the minor league teams better and get a solid core of great players moving through the system together. The Rays, Astros, Padres, Marlins, Royals, etc. have shown that model works well and is a lot cheaper than pinning your hopes on FA signings. 

     

     

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    59 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Here is how I see it.  They tried like hell to get Wheeler.  He wanted to play on the east coast.  They tried to get a couple others to no avail...

    I've never understood how fans convince themselves of this. The Twins made uncompetitive offers to Wheeler and Darvish for just two examples. Either the front office failed to anticipate what would be competitive or they weren't really expecting to sign those pitchers. If the Twins had made Wheeler a 5 / 125MM offer or Darvish a 6 / 130MM, they'd both be wearing Twins uniforms today.

    The only way the "player X wanted to play somewhere else" works is if your team actually makes an offer of essentially equal or higher value.

    As far as "value" goes, it's based on WAR, but value is not equal to different teams and that's explained when you research the metric. 1 win is a lot more valuable to a team with 89 wins than it would be to a team with 60 wins or 110 wins. The point is not to determine value for a specific team in a specific season. The intent is to determine an approximate value for a player in MLB as a whole because these metrics are used to evaluate the players themselves, not the teams.

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    The Twins signed Donaldson. They tried to sign Wheeler and Darvish. 

    Makes no sense that they can't pay Berrios and Buxton. I'm failing to understand why you can offer big money deals to players who didn't play for the Twins last year, but when it comes to your own players of the same caliber, you need to stick to your guns and insist on getting a still-in-arbitration discount.

    If I didn't know any better, I might suspect they are dealing with these players in a way so as not to upset the rest of the league by letting the players set a precedent for how teams need to deal with arbitration-eligible star players. 

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    3 hours ago, Dman said:

    At the time I thought that would have been the best time to try to sign Berrios long term or at least extended several years.  I believe they would have had decent leverage as Berrios was a bit of an up and down pitcher those years.  Still you could see he was always going to be a good starter.  I don't know what was offered but they likely needed to up it much more than they did.  If they would have just invested in Berrios they would have been in a much different spot right now.  They are very risk averse when investing in pitching which makes sense because they tend to get hurt so much but in this case they had a young durable starter to invest in and they didn't.

    We would be better off today?  I think the Twins would have the exact same team except possibly without Donaldson if they had met whatever demands Berrios might have had.  Berrios would still be Berrios.  And what if his demands were for 10 years and $250M?  Is that a worthwhile "investment?"

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    1 minute ago, nicksaviking said:

    The Twins signed Donaldson. They tried to sign Wheeler and Darvish. 

    Makes no sense that they can't pay Berrios and Buxton. I'm failing to understand why you can offer big money deals to players who didn't play for the Twins last year, but when it comes to your own players of the same caliber, you need to stick to your guns and insist on getting a discount.

    I think this what I am struggling with as well.  My thinking is they must feel they only have room for one of those types of contracts.  That is why in some ways I feel Donaldson is addition by subtraction.  His contract is the "one" big contract they are willing to do and until that is close to coming off the books they won't do another.  It was kind of the same deal with Mauer was it not?

    I don't think the Donaldson deal has been a bad one at least not yet but if it is at the expense of losing a young solid pitcher then I don't like how they allocated their money to get value.  

    If they can make the money\budget work paying both players then why wouldn't they do it since they have not had great luck in free agency.  Berrios has been a durable pitcher with solid results and should have some room to improve as well.  I guess that is where I am struggling.  If there was ever a player to bet on it seems like Jose is the one.  Why let him go?

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    3 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

    We would be better off today?  I think the Twins would have the exact same team except possibly without Donaldson if they had met whatever demands Berrios might have had.  Berrios would still be Berrios.  And what if his demands were for 10 years and $250M?  Is that a worthwhile "investment?"

    Well like you said you would have Berrios for 10 more years.  A top of the rotation arm that you don't have to worry about.  You could have put Arraez or any number of players at 3rd and gotten decent production. Who is replacing Berrios anytime soon?  Berrios seems a much more important building block to me than Donaldson.  We do get Donaldson for 2 or 3 more years but with Berrios gone do you feel the team is going to get better or worse?

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    2 hours ago, Greglw3 said:

    Twins have had a spending problem ever since free agency started about 1975. Calvin Griffith was totally overmatched and Carl Pohlad, while a little better than Griffith, was still not willing to spend to be a serious power, My impression is that Jim Pohlad is the least penurious of all 1975 forward Twins owners but I could be wrong.

    I'm not sure the Pohlads were not ready to pay players.  Some Twins player (Hrbek?) was the highest paid player in the league for a few weeks.  I believe he was the first million-dollar player.  But the Pohlads were in no way prepared for the salary inflation that started in the 90s, that's for sure.    (Or, if they were, Terry Ryan wasn't.)

    At the end of the day, it's hard to forgive anyone in the front office in that era after they tried to fold the team.

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    3 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

    I'm not sure the Pohlads were not ready to pay players.  Some Twins player (Hrbek?) was the highest paid player in the league for a few weeks.  I believe he was the first million-dollar player.  But the Pohlads were in no way prepared for the salary inflation that started in the 90s, that's for sure.    (Or, if they were, Terry Ryan wasn't.)

    I believe Puckett was baseballs first 3 million dollar player. 3 years 9 million dollars, remember the good ole days.

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    45 minutes ago, twinssporto said:

    Our timing with our core group of young players never seems to be coordinated or timed out well. I think the Twins take entirely too long to bring some of these younger players up. (Buxton, Sano, Arraez the most recent exceptions).

    Buxton debuted in his age 21 season, and had 500 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season (i.e. he was a starter).

    Sano debuted in his age 22 season, and had 495 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Arraez debuted in his age 22 season, and has been a starter ever since

    Other examples

    Polanco debuted in his age 20 season, and had 500 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Kepler debuted in his age 22 season, and had 447 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Kiriloff debuted this year, in his age 23 season, and would have gotten 500 PA's if not for injury (might have debuted last year, if not for COVID

    Rosario debuted in his age 23 season, and got 474 PA's in the majors that year

    Larnach debuted this year, in his age 24 season, and will probably get 500 PA's (also might have debuted last year if not for COVID)

    Berrios debuted in his age 22 season, and was a full time starter in his age 23 season (25 starts in the majors)

    Jeffers debuted in his age 23 season, and has been a full time starter this year in his age 24 season

     

    The old stereotype that the Twins don't promote young players is just that--old.  It's not fact-based at all any more.

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    30 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

    I've never understood how fans convince themselves of this. The Twins made uncompetitive offers to Wheeler and Darvish for just two examples. Either the front office failed to anticipate what would be competitive or they weren't really expecting to sign those pitchers. If the Twins had made Wheeler a 5 / 125MM offer or Darvish a 6 / 130MM, they'd both be wearing Twins uniforms today.

    The only way the "player X wanted to play somewhere else" works is if your team actually makes an offer of essentially equal or higher value.

    As far as "value" goes, it's based on WAR, but value is not equal to different teams and that's explained when you research the metric. 1 win is a lot more valuable to a team with 89 wins than it would be to a team with 60 wins or 110 wins. The point is not to determine value for a specific team in a specific season. The intent is to determine an approximate value for a player in MLB as a whole because these metrics are used to evaluate the players themselves, not the teams.

    This is not even close to true.  It has been reliably reported that Wheeler's agent wouldn't even listen to offers from the Twins--the Twins were expressly told not to waste their time.  As for Yu Darvish, he has posted 8.2 WAR (all in the NL as well) since 2018, which ranks him 32nd in all of baseball.  Do you think the Twins can realistically compete while paying 2nd/3rd starters $20M+ a year?

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    5 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

    Buxton debuted in his age 21 season, and had 500 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season (i.e. he was a starter).

    Sano debuted in his age 22 season, and had 495 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Arraez debuted in his age 22 season, and has been a starter ever since

    Other examples

    Polanco debuted in his age 20 season, and had 500 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Kepler debuted in his age 22 season, and had 447 PA's in the majors in his age 23 season

    Kiriloff debuted this year, in his age 23 season, and would have gotten 500 PA's if not for injury (might have debuted last year, if not for COVID

    Rosario debuted in his age 23 season, and got 474 PA's in the majors that year

    Larnach debuted this year, in his age 24 season, and will probably get 500 PA's (also might have debuted last year if not for COVID)

    Berrios debuted in his age 22 season, and was a full time starter in his age 23 season (25 starts in the majors)

    Jeffers debuted in his age 23 season, and has been a full time starter this year in his age 24 season

     

    The old stereotype that the Twins don't promote young players is just that--old.  It's not fact-based at all any more.

    Well the problem there is quite obvious once you notice it. You listed 10 players but only 1 is a pitcher.

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    19 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

    Well the problem there is quite obvious once you notice it. You listed 10 players but only 1 is a pitcher.

    Yeah, the pitching pipeline is a little dry over the past 3-4 years.  Maybe that's why a pitching-focused front office was brought in after 2016.

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    53 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

    I've never understood how fans convince themselves of this. The Twins made uncompetitive offers to Wheeler and Darvish for just two examples. Either the front office failed to anticipate what would be competitive or they weren't really expecting to sign those pitchers. If the Twins had made Wheeler a 5 / 125MM offer or Darvish a 6 / 130MM, they'd both be wearing Twins uniforms today.

    The only way the "player X wanted to play somewhere else" works is if your team actually makes an offer of essentially equal or higher value.

    As far as "value" goes, it's based on WAR, but value is not equal to different teams and that's explained when you research the metric. 1 win is a lot more valuable to a team with 89 wins than it would be to a team with 60 wins or 110 wins. The point is not to determine value for a specific team in a specific season. The intent is to determine an approximate value for a player in MLB as a whole because these metrics are used to evaluate the players themselves, not the teams.

    That bolded sentences don't prove your point. In fact it far more shows the point you're trying to disprove. Offering the same deal as the teams that signed players and having them choose different cities (Wheeler openly talked about wanting to stay on the east coast) is the exact definition of players preferring to play in other cities despite the Twins offering competitive deals. The Twins having to pay more than other teams to get players to come here doesn't equal competitive offers, it equals above market deals to make up for players not wanting to come here (whether it's location, FO, ownership, competitive window, whatever).

    Having to pay more to get players to come here isn't good asset management.

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