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  • The Darvish Contingency Plan


    Cody Christie

    Twins fans might not want to hear it but Yu Darvish is heading to the Chicago Cubs on a six-year deal that could be worth up to $150 million. Minnesota had made a formal offer to the top free agent pitcher but Darvish’s camp wanted clubs to stretch the deal to six years. The Cubs were willing to make that jump.

    Now that Darvish picked another club, Minnesota’s front office is going to have to act fast. There will likely be a domino effect with the first big name comimg off the board. That being said, there are a couple of different paths the Twins could take to solidify their rotation.

    Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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    Other Free Agent Options

    The second tier options for free agency include names like Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. National baseball writer Jon Heyman reported that “Alex Cobb is believed to be [the Twins] fallback choice for the rotation” after Darvish passes. Minnesota is reluctant to go past four or five years for any free agent pitcher so that also changes their approach with other free agent arms.

    Minnesota has been in contact with the other free agent pitchers but MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger says “their interest in Cobb has been a bit overstated.” Plenty of other teams have expressed interest in signing Lynn but most clubs believe his asking price is too high at this point.

    There may be some other options to add depth to the back-end of Minnesota’s starting rotation. Chris Tillman is coming off of shoulder surgery and could be a strong bounce-back candidate. Another option would be reuniting with Jaime Garcia, who made one start for the Twins last season before being dealt to the Yankees.

    Searching The Trade Market

    The Twins are considering a variety of options with Darvish off the market. 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson gave fans an update on the Darvish situation. In his podcast, he mentions the Twins are “maintaining regular trade talk” with the Rays. Tampa Bay has multiple pitchers who could be dealt and each one is going to come at a different cost.

    Chris Archer is the most coveted Rays pitcher. The former All-Star is signed to a team-friendly deal through 2019 with team options for 2020-21. He won’t turn 30 until next September so Tampa isn’t exactly in a hurry to have him pack his bags. Minnesota might have to deal multiple top prospects and maybe some young major league assets to acquire Archer.

    Another option could be Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi who has compiled a 3.71 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over the last three seasons. He is in his second year of arbitration eligibility so that means he won’t be a free agent until 2020. According to Wolfson, the Rays have a lot of interest in outfielder Max Kepler. Kepler turned 25 this weekend and he could be poised for a breakout season in 2018.

    With Darvish heading to Chicago, what’s the team’s next best option? Another free agent pitcher? Making a trade with Tampa Bay? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    How about speeding up the advance of the young arms below deck? It seems to me this a unique opportunity to do this with the class of potential young stars it appears the Twins already have on the starting diamond? A cultural look for one or two years of bringing up the young arms faster may be at a particular crossroads right now.

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    I get that nobody really wanted to hand out that 6th year, I really do.

     

    That said, it's a down market where the big spenders (Boston, NY, LA) weren't competing for Darvish. The Twins have a desperate need for a top of the rotation starter, and $21 M annually plus incentives seems like a very agreeable price. It feels like missed opportunity.

     

    Heres to holding out hope for a trade.....  

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    The Twins can still salvage their rotation woes.

     

    The whole Darvish thing feels like a con. 5/126 would have been a fair offer. Instead he signs for the same money but an additional year. How serious were they about signing him?

     

    I vote Cobb at 4/64 or a trade, but Orodizzi doesn't do mch for me; Archer does, but I'd really like to keep Kepler at this late point in the offseason with players reporting next week (or maybe already there)

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    It's times like these that make me really glad that I'm not the GM/Twins Brain trust.   My two cents worth... Archer isn't worth the price the Rays will demand.   Why?   They don't have to trade him, plus the team control.   We've all read the most likely STARTING​ asking price... Lewis.   It goes up from there.   If we were trying to get Kershaw... fine, I could close my eyes and pretend it was worth it.   But Archer??   He has loads up talent, but up to this point... that just hasn't married up to the numbers that he has put up.   

     

    Now, before the torches and pitchforks emerge... I'm not saying he doesn't have massive talent and potential.   Just that the potential and talent expressed on the field of play give me pause.   Especially with the price the Rays will exact from the Twins.   

     

    So, yes this may be a minority vote, but I just couldn't justify the price for the product desired.

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    Darn. Could we get Arrieta on a 3-year deal or something? We aren't we talking about him? Lynn and Cobb are more likely I reckon. And I'd take them in a heartbeat.

     

    I'm more in favor of signing a free agent, rather than trading away the farm for Archer. Don't get me wrong I love Archer as a pitcher but the asking price seems to high.

     

    Here's hoping the Twins are ready to open up their wallet. The dominoes are going to fall fast.

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    It would seem a little desperate at this point to overpay in a trade, i.e., give up Kepler

    I don't know, I think if TB wants Kepler as a main part of an Archer deal they're the one's overpaying. The guy can't hit lefties, he's almost certainly going to be a platoon player.

     

    But no interest in Cobb, the guy can't strike anyone out which is this staff's biggest problem. Unless the can get Arrietta on a one year deal, pass on the free agents, none of them have the ceiling to be what this team needs.

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    Darn. Could we get Arrieta on a 3-year deal or something? We aren't we talking about him? Lynn and Cobb are more likely I reckon. And I'd take them in a heartbeat.

     

    I'm more in favor of signing a free agent, rather than trading away the farm for Archer. Don't get me wrong I love Archer as a pitcher but the asking price seems to high.

     

    Here's hoping the Twins are ready to open up their wallet. The dominoes are going to fall fast.

    As much as many didn’t want Yu for 6 years, I’m not sure I’d want any of those for 4 years. And I especially don’t want Arrieta for even 3. I think he’s on a very fast decline. Maybe 2 with an option, but definitely not guaranteed. You’re right that Archer is going to cost way too much. Eh, I just don’t know. I’m really not at all surprised Yu went elsewhere, but we really need front-end help ... that’s really not any of those left. I’d rather look for really short-term deals and hope someone steps up.
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    There are at 105m payroll already. I think that probably takes Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb out. They might be able to push to 115 or even 120 (but they'll sell off really quick if they aren't in it to save the Pohlads some money). I think realistically we're going to get someone like Jaime Garcia or maybe a trade for Odorizzi.

     

    This really shouldn't be surprising. Pohlads took Falvey from Cleveland and they built their teams through FA and drafts. We aren't going to be a big payroll team. Levine and Falvey are going to be following the Ryan model and we just hope that they do it even better.

    Edited by gunnarthor
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    I don't know, I think if TB wants Kepler as a main part of an Archer deal they're the one's overpaying. The guy can't hit lefties, he's almost certainly going to be a platoon player.

    But no interest in Cobb, the guy can't strike anyone out which is this staff's biggest problem. Unless the can get Arrietta on a one year deal, pass on the free agents, none of them have the ceiling to be what this team needs.

    On the other hand, Kepler is part of the chemistry of this team, and he could make a jump in how he hits lefties this year. As for Cobb, I just see him as the next best FA to Darvish. Lynn would not be a fit here except maybe a short 1-2 year deal and Arrieta is toast. Cobb is not a difference maker, no, but he would be 1 of our top 3 starters.
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    There are at 105m payroll already. I think that probably takes Arrieta, Lynn and Cobb out. They might be able to push to 115 or even 120 (but they'll sell off really quick if they aren't in it to save the Pohlads some money). I think realistically we're going to get someone like Jaime Garcia or maybe a trade for Odorizzi.

     

    This really shouldn't be surprising. Pohlads took Falvey from Cleveland and they built their teams through FA and drafts. We aren't going to be a big payroll team. Levine and Falvey are going to be following the Ryan model and we just hope that they do it even better.

     

    Since Ryan obviously perfected his own model are we to assume the absolute pinnacle of this model is winning a weak division only and quickly bowing out of the playoffs?

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    On the other hand, Kepler is part of the chemistry of this team, and he could make a jump in how he hits lefties this year. As for Cobb, I just see him as the next best FA to Darvish. Lynn would not be a fit here except maybe a short 1-2 year deal and Arrieta is toast. Cobb is not a difference maker, no, but he would be 1 of our top 3 starters.

     

    Bartolo would be a top three starter on this roster.

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    I never want to hear the Twins say they are in on a player in free agency until after they sign them cause they are full of crap till they do. They will never go for it.

    I was giving Lavine and Falvey rhe benefit of the doubt but today we can see they are Ryan 2.0 with some stats but no spine.

    I am somewhat sympathetic to this opinion, but maybe not as harsh on Falvine. They will next likely read from their 3x5 card. The one that says how JP will let them spend anything they wish to improve the club. This is a Pohlad enterprise. There ain't gonna be no cash folks. That said I would take a run at Archer. While I was always and am a Kepler fan, none of the position players are worth anything in reality without pitching. I would rather miss Kepler than see a whole roster wasted trying to out slug the entire league.
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    I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

     

    I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.  I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

     

    Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.  If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

     

    I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

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    Since Ryan obviously perfected his own model are we to assume the absolute pinnacle of this model is winning a weak division only and quickly bowing out of the playoffs?

    Since that didn't happen in the Ryan era either, I'd say the best case scenario is winning the world series.

     

    We have an incredible nucleus of talent right now with some decent AA/AAA depth behind it. Yeah, I'm bummed but I never expected ownership to step up. This team will win b/c of development and trades. We still might make a trade, who knows. But we aren't going to sign guys like Darvish. It's too expensive and too risky for the Twins.

     

    It looks like the FO did a nice job of improving the bullpen and they probably aren't done yet with the rotation but it'll probably be a smaller move than we all are hoping for.

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    I'd probably make a push Archer hoping that he turns into a stud with an improved defense behind him and (hopefully) better run support. If the Twins front believe he is going to be more valuable over the next four years than Kepler will then pull the trigger. I agree that it is easier to replace position players than it is to obtain or develop starting pitching. I'm a Kepler believer, but you have to give up something to get something. 

     

    I do think the roster looks better with Archer on it than Kepler on it.  I also think that in four years looking back at how Archer and Darvish perform, we, as fans, won't be too disappointed.

     

    Offer the Rays Kepler, Gordon, their pick of Gonsalves/Romero, and their pick of a wildcard Thorpe/Graterol/Baddoo/Enlow/Palacios for Archer and maybe a wildcard from their system.  If they pass, they pass and at that point we know the asking price is too high and probably not worth the plunge.

     

    I'd look to sign Maybin or Gomez to a one year deal with a team option for 2019. No way they sign Martinez, although that would be a pretty nice addition to an already solid offense.

    You want to throw in a plow, too?

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