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  • Notebook: SP Trades and Spring Training on the Horizon?


    Andrew Luedtke

    A couple starting pitchers were traded, a Red Sox legend retired, and is Spring Training really starting this month? Here's a recap of today's news in Major League Baseball.

    Image courtesy of © Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    MLBPA rejects MLB’s offer on a shortened season:

    Late last week MLB submitted a proposal to the MLB Players Association that would delay the start of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. See below tweet from Tim Brown at Yahoo Shorts on details of MLB’s proposal.

    https://twitter.com/TBrownYahoo/status/1355949230897041411?s=20

    However, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that the MLBPA is likely to reject the MLB’s offer, thus meaning the regular season and spring training will start as scheduled. He indicated there would be a final decision coming sometime early this week. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for the Minnesota Twins on Feb. 18th. Their first Grapefruit League game is Feb. 27th.

    Tonight, news broke that the MLBPA officially rejects.

    https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1356433134091292672

    So, game on?

    Alex Cobb traded to the Angels

    Although the deal has not yet been made official by the clubs, it appears that the Orioles have traded RHP Alex Cobb to the Angels in return for 2B Jahmai Jones. Jones was the Angels second round pick in 2015 and their #8 rated prospect.

    Cobb is in the last year of his 4/$57M deal signed in 2018 and at the time, was a free agent target of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins ended up going in a different direction acquiring Cobb’s former teammate, Jake Odorizzi, and signing Lance Lynn to a one-year deal.

    In 2020, Cobb had a 4.30 ERA in 10 GS. He projects to fill out the Angels rotation that now includes Dylan Bundy, Jose Quintana, Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, and Shohei Ohtani.

    This takes another trade target off the board for the Twins and perhaps rules out the Angels as a landing spot for Trevor Bauer?

    https://twitter.com/FabianArdaya/status/1356310830338306048?s=20

    Jordan Yamamoto traded to the Mets

    Late last week it was announced that the Marlins DFA’ed RHP Jordan Yamamoto to make room for new free agent acquisition Anthony Bass. In a somewhat surprising move, Twins fans took to Twitter and instantly made the connection that he could be a fit to fill out the 2021 rotation. One Twins Daily writer (*cough* Cody Pirkl), was a little more than excited that Yamamoto might end up in Minnesota. So much so, that I counted twenty (20!) tweets from him that mentioned the words “Yamamoto” dating back to Oct. 2020. I will give him credit, he identified Yamamoto as a target early.

    https://twitter.com/CodyPirkl/status/1325912229062062089?s=20

    However, it was announced today that Yamamoto has been traded to the Mets for minor league infielder, Federico Polanco.

    It’s unclear whether the Twins were “in” on Yamamoto.

    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1356330401938223108?s=20

    A Red Sox Icon Retires

    After 14 MLB seasons, Dustin Pedroia has announced his retirement. In 74 career games vs the Twins, Pedroia batted .363/.410/.536 with eight HR. He won the 2008 MVP award with 16 first place votes beating out Justin Morneau, who finished second, and Joe Mauer, who finished fourth.

    As a Twins fan, I was shocked to see that Pedroia ONLY batted .363 in his career vs Minnesota ... it seemed worse.

    https://twitter.com/MLB_PLAYERS/status/1356300059843952643?s=20

    MLB The Show has its poster boy!

    Rightfully so, Fernando Tatis has earned himself the cover spot on this year's version of MLB The Show -- and he is bat flipping nonetheless!

    XBox owners can finally rejoice as this is the first year it will be available on this console.

    The countdown begins as The Show hits stores on 4.20.21.

    https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1356242757468217345?s=20

    Happy PECOTA Projection Day

    Baseball Prospectus has announced that their PECOTA projections are now available for download (subscription required).

    PECOTA, which stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm is BP’s model that projects individual and team performance for the upcoming year.

    I have not had the opportunity to dig into the numbers myself, but I am sure there will be plenty of Twins specific content coming to Twins Daily very soon!

    Here’s a nice piece from Matthew Trueblood to get you started.

    https://twitter.com/cdgoldstein/status/1356250178529841153?s=20

    2021 Carribean Series in Full Swing

    Yesterday marked the first day of the Carribean Series. A 63-year-old international competition featuring the champions of the Latin American Winter Leagues. This year, competition includes six teams and concludes Feb. 6.

    Some games can be found on ESPN Deportes.

    #OldFriend Oswaldo Arcia and current Minnesota Twin, Willians Astudillo are playing for the Caribes de Anzoátegui representing Venezuela.

    Some other notable players in the tournament include Yadier Molina, Carlos Martínez, Robinson Canó, and Melky Cabrera.

    https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1356421633976774656?s=20

    Hanser Alberto signs with Kansas City

    I’ve made no secret about my infatuation with a certain free agent middle infielder over the last week on Twitter. Even after signing Andrelton Simmons, moving Polanco to 2B, and Arraez to the flex role, the Twins still have a need for a second utility player.

    Alberto seemed to have checked a lot of boxes. He was affordable, could play multiple positions and mashes LHP. Since 2019, Alberto has posted a .942 OPS vs southpaws.

    However, on Sunday night, it was announced he was signing a minor league deal with the Royals.

    The 2nd utility position remains open for the 2021 Twins.

    David Youngs wrote a nice breakdown on Twins Daily last week comparing an internal option vs Marwin Gonzalez.

    https://twitter.com/andluedtke/status/1354661146846965760?s=20

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY

    2021 Winter Meltdown Glasses still on sale!

    STONKS! The 3 Twins Players You Need to Invest in Right Now

    3 Ways Fans Can Use the Enhanced Game Score Leaderboard

    You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.

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    Could the Twins second utility position be filled by Astudillo? Doesn't play shortstop, but can play second, third, the corner outfield and catch. Isn't great at any of them, but also not the worst in the league. Assuming there is a 26 man roster again, is there?, might be the best choice for that 13th slot on the bench.

     

    I thought the MLB proposal was reasonable. Disappointed that it got rejected outright. Unless they can get vaccinations for all teams/personnel by early March, there will be cancelled games. And heck, will Arizona even allow the teams to enter their spring training sites next week? Hopefully, they will get back together this week.

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    The most exciting thing for me in the MLB proposal was going back to 154 games.   I see some big issues this season with the Brazilian, South African, and British varients making their way through the country.

     

    None of the moves or players moved would have excited me.  It sounds like normal baseball routine moves.  Do we really need a second Utility player?  Can't Blankenhorn be that guy?

    What is left for us it the decision - Cruz or rookie shuffle at DH and who fills out the BP. 

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    If this rejected proposal is any indication of our odds to have a normal season or any season next year it does not look good. Players sited injury concerns. Last year the wanted the opposite. As many games jammed in as possible and playing into much colder weather. Of course, cold weather would promote injury and increase Covid danger. 

     

    What is the players cut of the expanded playoffs? The net is that they turned down additional compensation (playoff cut), right? Their give was apparently adjusting their schedules. Does not bode well for baseball next year.

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    This has nothing to do with this article. Just an observation about the Eddie signing. The fact he could only get a one year 8 million deal points out the Twins Brass were correct on his true value ...

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    Astudillo could definitely fit what they are looking for. Since they have Simmons and Polanco, they don't need a guy who can play SS. Rocco might view having 3 catchers on the roster advantageous anyways for late game substitutions. I also would keep an eye on Blakenhorn. He could be a guy to fill that role.

    Could the Twins second utility position be filled by Astudillo? Doesn't play shortstop, but can play second, third, the corner outfield and catch. Isn't great at any of them, but also not the worst in the league. Assuming there is a 26 man roster again, is there?, might be the best choice for that 13th slot on the bench.

     

    I thought the MLB proposal was reasonable. Disappointed that it got rejected outright. Unless they can get vaccinations for all teams/personnel by early March, there will be cancelled games. And heck, will Arizona even allow the teams to enter their spring training sites next week? Hopefully, they will get back together this week.

     

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    It seems there was a lot at play here with how the Player's viewed the MLB's offer. This article breaks it down pretty well. The Passan article I cited earlier in the Notebook piece does too. I think it would be a different conversation if this was December and not two weeks before Spring Training begins, not to mention all the players that are already at their teams facilities. 

    If this rejected proposal is any indication of our odds to have a normal season or any season next year it does not look good. Players sited injury concerns. Last year the wanted the opposite. As many games jammed in as possible and playing into much colder weather. Of course, cold weather would promote injury and increase Covid danger. 

     

    What is the players cut of the expanded playoffs? The net is that they turned down additional compensation (playoff cut), right? Their give was apparently adjusting their schedules. Does not bode well for baseball next year.

     

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    Why should they accept the offer?

     

    A good number of these guys get one shot to make money that could change the trajectory of their descendants for generations, and it’s already been on hold for a year. They’ve been working for this their entire life.

     

    We’re not talking about going back empty handed to your Chanhassen cul-de-sac and watching Netflix with Wal-Mart delivering your groceries. We’re also not talking about Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz types, who already have millions in the bank.

     

    How many questioning their decision have family living in abject poverty in Venezuela, for example? And how many are still collecting their salary from their home office in Chanhassen? Wild guess, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

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    Could the Twins second utility position be filled by Astudillo? Doesn't play shortstop, but can play second, third, the corner outfield and catch. Isn't great at any of them, but also not the worst in the league. Assuming there is a 26 man roster again, is there?, might be the best choice for that 13th slot on the bench.

     

    I thought the MLB proposal was reasonable. Disappointed that it got rejected outright. Unless they can get vaccinations for all teams/personnel by early March, there will be cancelled games. And heck, will Arizona even allow the teams to enter their spring training sites next week? Hopefully, they will get back together this week.

     

     

    Could the Twins second utility position be filled by Astudillo? Doesn't play shortstop, but can play second, third, the corner outfield and catch. Isn't great at any of them, but also not the worst in the league. Assuming there is a 26 man roster again, is there?, might be the best choice for that 13th slot on the bench.

     

    I thought the MLB proposal was reasonable. Disappointed that it got rejected outright. Unless they can get vaccinations for all teams/personnel by early March, there will be cancelled games. And heck, will Arizona even allow the teams to enter their spring training sites next week? Hopefully, they will get back together this week.

    Sure.  If the goal is to NOT be competitive.

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    Why should they accept the offer?

    A good number of these guys get one shot to make money that could change the trajectory of their descendants for generations, and it’s already been on hold for a year. They’ve been working for this their entire life.

    We’re not talking about going back empty handed to your Chanhassen cul-de-sac and watching Netflix with Wal-Mart delivering your groceries. We’re also not talking about Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz types, who already have millions in the bank.

     

     

    What SPECIFICALLY comprised the players financially. They were to receive 100% compensation for 154 games. They actually left money on the table. I am not sure what their cut of expanded playoffs was to be but they certainly could have countered and easily gotten an incremental $100M for players on playoff teams.

     

    They were asked to adjust their schedule in the midst of a global pandemic but they could not be inconvenienced. 

     

    And no we we are not talking Cul-de-sac money. The average player makes more in one season than those folks living in Chanhassen make in 50 years of working for a living. MLB players are about as fortunate as they come. 

     

    BTW ... Had the income of those "average" folks increased at the same pace as MLB players over the last 50 years, those average folks would be making $3.17M year or roughly 45 times that or the average household. I would say MLB players have been extremely fortunate. 

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