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  • The Twins NEED a Shortstop


    Cody Pirkl

    While many fans fret about filling out the rotation, the shortstop position remains vacant. 2022 may hinge on pitching improvements, but it’s time to recognize that the Twins decision at shortstop may be the more important long term position to fill.

    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

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    This winter is likely the greatest in terms of free agent shortstops in the history of baseball. Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa etc. A perfect scenario for the Minnesota Twins who have an opening at the position and a farm system whose two most obvious candidates to grab that role are questionable at best. It’s unclear whether the Twins were ever open to blocking Royce Lewis and Austin Martin with a long term signing of a star free agent, but it appears the market has likely priced them out of it regardless.

    The Twins just simply were never going to pay this kind of money for any player of any caliber. It is what it is. It’s more likely that their plan was to hope that one of the stud shortstops waited out the market too long and were open to a shorter deal as we neared Spring Training. Something very unlikely when discussing such high profile players. As we enter the lockout and take the temperature of the market, things are continuing to look more and more bleak in terms of adding a shortstop.

    There are low end names such as a reunion with Andrelton Simmons, bringing in the recently DFAed Jose Iglesias, or checking in on the solid but unspectacular Freddy Galvis if his rumors of signing overseas aren’t true. Think these options are gross? All of them should be preferred to the alternative.

    It’s certainly a possibility that the Twins refuse to pay up for the studs and don’t see the point in bringing in another Andrelton Simmons type. After all, Jorge Polanco is coming off a year where he was the Twins best all-around player, and technically he could move right back over to being the quarterback of the infield. They could even move Luis Arraez back to second base. At face value this sounds just fine. I’d argue, however, that it would be an absolute disaster.

    Much of Jorge Polanco’s value in 2021 came from finally being healthy. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but there were talks attributing his improved health to not having as much wear and tear on his recurring ankle injury at second base. He also was much more valuable due to his ability to effectively play his new position. He posted -1 Outs Above Average at second base and flashed some gold glove caliber plays as he adjusted. He was much improved from his last full season (2019) at shortstop when he posted -22 Outs Above Average. Luis Arraez is also a significantly worse second baseman than Polanco, meaning a significant defensive downgrade at both positions.

    The Twins quite simply did not make many good decisions in 2021. Moving Polanco to second was probably their best. He reestablished himself as a core piece of the team and appeared to overcome his health issues with a move to a less demanding position. Moving Arraez into a utility role also turned him into a much more valuable player than if he were pitted at a position that he struggles at defensively. If the Twins decide that they don’t want to pay for a top-tier shortstop, that’s fine. If they decide the bottom tier isn’t impactful enough to spend on, that’s fine as well. They can’t do both. Walking back two of the better developments the team made in 2021 could carry consequences far beyond 2022.

    At this point in regards to Jorge Polanco, the Twins found something that works for both him and the team. He’s reemerged as a star player who’s under team control and can be a force for years to come at only 28 years old. He would immediately lose value by becoming one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball. He could lose a lot more than that if he moves back to a more physically-demanding position and reinjures his ankle which has been surgically repaired twice. Not worth saving a few bucks in my opinion.

    The Twins had few bright spots in 2021. They should be taking their shortstop search incredibly seriously to avoid wiping away one of those bright spots in 2022. The Twins don’t need a second baseman moving across the second base bag. They need a shortstop.

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    I don't think it's a coincidence that Polanco's bat took off with the move to 2B.  He was also healthier.  That's not a coincidence either.  They do need to bring in a shortstop.  I'd rather they roll with Martin or Lewis at SS than move Polanco back.  I agree entirely that that move was the best of the 2021 decisions.  Don't negate it by undoing it.

    Regarding Polanco, this seems like a "don't mess with success" scenario.  Find another solution.

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    I agree Cody.  The Twins DO have money to spend.  They've signed Buxton to a reasonable contract that protects both him and the team.  They've done nothing to replace Berrios and the money he would/should have been making.  So in my opinion, it comes down to this:  Do the Twins spend on starting pitcher Carlos Rodon and assume all the risk and reward that would come from such a commitment ??  Or do they take that money and invest in Trevor Story ??  If it was up to ME, I'd sign Story and make a blockbuster trade using Arraez and Larnach to bring Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt over from Oakland.  Things have come to a screeching halt with the expiration of the CBA but that's what I'd be working on. 

    Sign Story for 5 years and $125 million.

    Trade Arraez, Larnach, Sabato, Cole Sands and Thorpe to the A's for Montas and Bassitt.  It's a lot to give up and the Twins could lose Bassitt  after the 2022 season, but they need an arm like Montas to replace Berrios at the top of our rotation and who will be under team control for a couple years.  The Twins also need a quality arm like Bassitt to bridge the gap from opening day 2022 to whenever arms like Balazovic, Duran, Canterino, Winder and Woods-Richardson are ready.  The ability to add an arm or two via free agency has passed in my opinion.  And a pitching staff of Bundy, Ryan and Ober just isn't enough.  The above proposed trade is worthy, as judged by Baseball Trade Values, but I'd even go a little higher and swap some players out and swap in a Canterino, Winder or Duran if I had to.  They are all great prospects, but the Twins need a starting rotation NOW for 2022.  And there would be nothing preventing the Twins from working on extensions for Montas and Bassitt as soon as we acquired them.  For the short term, Montas and Bassitt are affordable.  But with all the young talent coming, even if minimum salaries go UP in the new CBA the Twins could have an affordable pitching staff with guys like Montas, Bassitt, Bundy, Ryan, Ober, and possibly Pineda if he's also brought back on a reasonable deal with guys like Balazovic, Dobnak, Woods-Richardson, Duran, Canterino, Winder and eventually Petty possibly being in the mix in mid-2022 and further down the road.

    Story gives the Twins an All Star caliber SS to pair up the middle with Polanco and Buxton.  In this scenario the Twins still have Garver, Jeffers and Rortvedt behind the plate.  That's a strong up the middle defensive core and Story's bat in the middle of the lineup doesn't hurt one bit.  

    The best FA pitching options are gone.  It's time to invest that money in a long term SS like Story and build the rotation through some bold trades.  Would 5-years $125 million get it done ?  I don't know. But I'd sure as heck find out.

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    16 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    I agree Cody.  The Twins DO have money to spend.  They've signed Buxton to a reasonable contract that protects both him and the team.  They've done nothing to replace Berrios and the money he would/should have been making.  So in my opinion, it comes down to this:  Do the Twins spend on starting pitcher Carlos Rodon and assume all the risk and reward that would come from such a commitment ??  Or do they take that money and invest in Trevor Story ??  If it was up to ME, I'd sign Story and make a blockbuster trade using Arraez and Larnach to bring Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt over from Oakland.  Things have come to a screeching halt with the expiration of the CBA but that's what I'd be working on. 

    Sign Story for 5 years and $125 million.

    Trade Arraez, Larnach, Sabato, Cole Sands and Thorpe to the A's for Montas and Bassitt.  It's a lot to give up and the Twins could lose Bassitt  after the 2022 season, but they need an arm like Montas to replace Berrios at the top of our rotation and who will be under team control for a couple years.  The Twins also need a quality arm like Bassitt to bridge the gap from opening day 2022 to whenever arms like Balazovic, Duran, Canterino, Winder and Woods-Richardson are ready.  The ability to add an arm or two via free agency has passed in my opinion.  And a pitching staff of Bundy, Ryan and Ober just isn't enough.  The above proposed trade is worthy, as judged by Baseball Trade Values, but I'd even go a little higher and swap some players out and swap in a Canterino, Winder or Duran if I had to.  They are all great prospects, but the Twins need a starting rotation NOW for 2022.  And there would be nothing preventing the Twins from working on extensions for Montas and Bassitt as soon as we acquired them.  For the short term, Montas and Bassitt are affordable.  But with all the young talent coming, even if minimum salaries go UP in the new CBA the Twins could have an affordable pitching staff with guys like Montas, Bassitt, Bundy, Ryan, Ober, and possibly Pineda if he's also brought back on a reasonable deal with guys like Balazovic, Dobnak, Woods-Richardson, Duran, Canterino, Winder and eventually Petty possibly being in the mix in mid-2022 and further down the road.

    Story gives the Twins an All Star caliber SS to pair up the middle with Polanco and Buxton.  In this scenario the Twins still have Garver, Jeffers and Rortvedt behind the plate.  That's a strong up the middle defensive core and Story's bat in the middle of the lineup doesn't hurt one bit.  

    The best FA pitching options are gone.  It's time to invest that money in a long term SS like Story and build the rotation through some bold trades.  Would 5-years $125 million get it done ?  I don't know. But I'd sure as heck find out.

    What we gain would be much better than what we lose, in that trade to cover a big hole. If we go after Story, it wouldn't hurt having Lewis and Martin as super utility players. The depth that they provide would be like or even better as LA did with Taylor and Hernandez. They would be invaluable.

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    Paying up for Story reminds me of paying up for Donaldson. We supposedly don't land Wheeler (like we tried?) - and we settle for offense/defense in Donaldson. We need quality pitching as a top priority. If we pass on Donaldson we are in better shape today. I say pass on Story. We seem intent on running out a bunch of kids on the mound. I'll bet we also are intent on running a kid out to shortstop. They got their Buxton signing done. Not sure they sign a big deal for anyone else as things stand today? Let's see how Nick Gordon looks at short this spring might be the thinking until we get to Lewis or Martin.

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    I find myself in the minority once again, but I can see bringing back Simmons for continuity sake, and for the defense he would provide what may very well be a young and inexperienced pitching staff.  He would have to take a cut, but he would have to take that anywhere and I believe his bat will improve after a down year.  He remained healthy last year and appears to be pretty durable.  When the right internal candidate has a breakthrough he can take the job and run with it, but in the meantime it would help to have a gold glove caliber glove behind a pitching staff that is very likely to need it.  DON'T move Polanco; in his case it screams if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  And he ain't broke.  

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    I know it does not excite anyone but re-sign Simmons for another year. He has to hit better as he cannot do any worse than he did last year. His defensive value is still good to great. Keep Polanco at 2nd and keep the position open for Lewis or Martin or Palacios. If you want offense go for Chris Taylor who gives a lot of versatility.

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    You might be right about them wanting to run a kid out at SS "In My La Z Boy"  but I think Story and Donaldson while similar, are also much different. Both are good RH hitters.  Guys you generally can count on to produce.  Story plays a much more premium position (SS) than Donaldson (3B) and he plays it at an elite level.  Story is a darn good SS.  Plus, Donaldson has had injury concerns for virtually his entire career.  Story does not.  So there are similarities, but also differences.  

    And Dr. Gast, I agree that Lewis and Martin could become super-utility types and that's what I would see from them when they first come up.  But I don't think the Twins would limit them to that.  Martin could very well develop into a heck of a LF'er who could play some CF to spell Buxton.  Lewis could still turn into a pretty good SS while also becoming valuable as a guy who could play all around the field.  Remember, Chris Taylor has played a lot of SS for the Dodgers when Seager had been hurt.  Story may eventually move to 3B and Lewis become the SS after 3-4 years.  The Twins may draft a kid who is a tremendous SS prospect as well.  it's hard to project 3-5 years down the road.  But what I'm trying to do is put the Twins in a competitive position for 2022 as well as beyond that with a Story signing and the blockbuster trade with Oakland for BOTH Montas and Bassitt.  And the Twins have the assets to remake and even out their roster if they have the guts to do it.

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    Any plan that has Polanco going back to SS is a bad plan, IMHO. And as long as Trevor Story is still on the market, I'd be trying to sign him. If they're not going to land a top starter (and it sure looks like that's not going to happen for...reasons? hard to understand, that), then put some money at SS. I'm a big fan of Story, who is excellent defensively (and should be quality there for the next 5 years) and I think he'll hit just fine. 

    I'm not opposed to doing a bridge signing until Royce Lewis is ready, but they have to sign a legitimate defender at SS this offseason because they simply can't go into the season with the options being Polanco, Nick Gordon, and hoping that Royce is ready by midseason. If that ends up being the plan then every time Falvey gets asked a question it should be prefaced with "We know you're a damned liar, but..."

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    If this team isn’t going to get three significantly better starting pitchers, I don’t think it matters who’s at SS.

    If they are punting this year, I’m not against moving Polanco back to SS as it would really help reinforce to the young pitchers the importance of striking the batters out.

    That last paragraph was approximately 60% joke.

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    2 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    I agree Cody.  The Twins DO have money to spend.  They've signed Buxton to a reasonable contract that protects both him and the team.  They've done nothing to replace Berrios and the money he would/should have been making.  So in my opinion, it comes down to this:  Do the Twins spend on starting pitcher Carlos Rodon and assume all the risk and reward that would come from such a commitment ??  Or do they take that money and invest in Trevor Story ??  If it was up to ME, I'd sign Story and make a blockbuster trade using Arraez and Larnach to bring Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt over from Oakland.  Things have come to a screeching halt with the expiration of the CBA but that's what I'd be working on. 

    Sign Story for 5 years and $125 million.

    Trade Arraez, Larnach, Sabato, Cole Sands and Thorpe to the A's for Montas and Bassitt.  It's a lot to give up and the Twins could lose Bassitt  after the 2022 season, but they need an arm like Montas to replace Berrios at the top of our rotation and who will be under team control for a couple years.  The Twins also need a quality arm like Bassitt to bridge the gap from opening day 2022 to whenever arms like Balazovic, Duran, Canterino, Winder and Woods-Richardson are ready.  The ability to add an arm or two via free agency has passed in my opinion.  And a pitching staff of Bundy, Ryan and Ober just isn't enough.  The above proposed trade is worthy, as judged by Baseball Trade Values, but I'd even go a little higher and swap some players out and swap in a Canterino, Winder or Duran if I had to.  They are all great prospects, but the Twins need a starting rotation NOW for 2022.  And there would be nothing preventing the Twins from working on extensions for Montas and Bassitt as soon as we acquired them.  For the short term, Montas and Bassitt are affordable.  But with all the young talent coming, even if minimum salaries go UP in the new CBA the Twins could have an affordable pitching staff with guys like Montas, Bassitt, Bundy, Ryan, Ober, and possibly Pineda if he's also brought back on a reasonable deal with guys like Balazovic, Dobnak, Woods-Richardson, Duran, Canterino, Winder and eventually Petty possibly being in the mix in mid-2022 and further down the road.

    Story gives the Twins an All Star caliber SS to pair up the middle with Polanco and Buxton.  In this scenario the Twins still have Garver, Jeffers and Rortvedt behind the plate.  That's a strong up the middle defensive core and Story's bat in the middle of the lineup doesn't hurt one bit.  

    The best FA pitching options are gone.  It's time to invest that money in a long term SS like Story and build the rotation through some bold trades.  Would 5-years $125 million get it done ?  I don't know. But I'd sure as heck find out.

    Lets not forget we have Maeda coming back perhaps late next year or at least 2023

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    Thoughts reading the thread…

    How much longer will Story be effective at SS. Defense does not age well at SS.

    Is defense at SS still important enough to sign a short term glove first defender?

    Why did the author choose to use OOA for the defensive metric over UZR or DRS? I had been using it also but ran into some studies that turned me back to RDS and UZR  for infielders. Is there anything that points to OOA for middle infielders as more reliable?

    Donaldson was much worse than any other 3B last year according to UZR. Should we be worried? Most of the negative came from errors. Polanco was similar at SS with his poor UZR tied to errors in 2019. He had a positive UZR at SS in 2020.

    Does SS cause considerably more stress on the ankle than 2B? Is there any other case where a player moved to 2B in order to reduce stress on their legs?

    Is it possible the most upside in wins is Polanco at SS, Arraez at 2B and spend all available budget as a result on pitching?

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    Agree with my fellow TDers that Polanco at SS is not an option - almost as stupid as moving Sano to RF. 
     

    If Story can truly be signed for $125MM over 5 years that is a no brainer. We have the cash, particularly if we move Josh to help pay for it. 
     

    Do we not think that an infield of Miranda, Story, Polanco, and Kiriloff is not a stellar proposition for the next five years?  Throw in Arraez and Gordon as utility. Sano (primary DH) can sub at 1B and Martin and Lewis (hopefully our two primary future corner outfielders along with Larnach) can sub at both SS and CF if needed. With Jeffers and Rortvedt (and Garver for some time) behind the dish, this infield lineup would be our overall strongest in terms of both defense and offense in a very long time. This entire lineup, including the OF, would cost less than $70MM - leaving $60-70MM left for the staff. 
     

    So if Story can be had for $125MM/5, then trade Josh to get it done and start using the remaining $ on pitching.

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    Below is a roster with Story. It includes the players the Twins have currently. The numbers are close. Additional signings and trades would add to the total. What is not clear at all is the budget set by Pohlad.

    The lack of action may mean that $100-110 M is what Falvey has been handed. Many of us used $130 M. If a budget can accommodate $120 M, more or less, then Story with the additions via trades suggested by many like TopGun#22 work and serve the team best for both 2022 and the future. Adding Bassitt and Montas adds $12.6 M (CB-$8.8 M plus FM-$5.2 M minus those two displaced, $1.4), but subtracts $1.4 M (Arraez -$2 M minus rookie salary) bringing the total to $120.45. If there is room to spend $120-130 M, there is zero reason not to make all efforts within reason to bring in pitchers with experience to help the Twins young prospects learn and grow.

    A figure of $100 M totally changes the entire look and plans need to reflect that reality. 

    image.png.b83ab9d6c85638553a7b20606d30aca8.png

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    I confess I am a tad cynical by nature, but I don't see them making a move on Story.  If they refused to be a player for any of the free agent pitchers--they were linked only to Ray and they wanted a 3 year deal apparently--I can't see them going for a shortstop for 5 years.  I would say that Story is the weakest of the big names given his recent performance and getting the Colorado boost at home as he has hit .303 with .972 OPS at Coors and .241 and with a .752 OPS on the road, but he is still a big time guy who would make the Twins better. I suspect they will end up signing a fill in for a year thinking that Lewis will be ready by 23.  As for trades for pitching, I would like to see a couple of the Oakland starters here but I fail to see the logic of spending nothing on free agent pitchers, and trading assets for any pitcher with only one year of control.  To save 45 million, they will trade Arraez, Larnach, Sands, and Sabato and maybe more only to end up with 3 total years of control over 2 pitchers.  It almost qualifies as malpractice that they did not sign at least one starter to a five year contract, and then trade for Montas or Castillo which would give them a fine rotation for the next two years, and if they cannot (or refuse to) sign them to an extension, by then a couple of your top prospects might be ready and hopefully Ryan and Ober will be even better.  With 40 plus million to spend, what in the world are they going to spend it on if not at least one starting pitcher in a tremendous free agent class?  I suspect the plan is to piece together a starting staff while suggesting they are developing "the next great trend in starting pitching" using openers and shuttling relief pitchers between Target field and St. Paul.  These guys really do think they are the smartest guys in the room.  I really hope for all our sakes that they are, but I fear their arrogance is going to be their Achilles heel.

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    My preference would be for them to go out and get Story. I don't think the comparison to Donaldson, as mentioned above, is close. Story plays a premier position, is much younger, and doesn't have the injury history. He isn't gonna be leftovers like Donaldson was.

    I'm OK with Polanco moving back to SS if we can't land Story. We have so many options at 2B like Arraez, Gordon, Miranda, Martin. If Polanco continues to produce at the plate, then the defense gets a little worse but you can spend more money on pitching. They better sign Rodon in this scenario, otherwise where are they going to spend it if not Rodon or Story?

    I would sign Andrelton Simmons to backup Polanco. He could start against lefties moving Polanco to 2B and occasionally DH. Late in games if we're leading you could sub in Simmons for Arraez to bolster the defense moving Polanco over.

    Could Martin be a better option at SS than Polanco? I see MLB.com rates his arm as a 45 and defense at 50, so SS for the long term seems to me overly optimistic for him. But if it were to bridge a gap for Lewis than maybe he could play there in '22.

    I'm looking past 2022 anyway so Story for 5 or 6 years would would still be a fit, but I don't want to trade away prospects for a win now strategy.

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    Top Gunn:  Trade Arraez, Larnach, Sabato, Cole Sands and Thorpe to the A's for Montas and Bassitt.

    There are many reasons why this trade will never happen, the first of which is in 5 years this FO has never shown the b***s to pull off a trade of this magnitude.  They're only adept at trading MLers for prospects at the trade deadline and picking up mid-level starters who have flaws(Odo, Pineda, Maeda) for prospects.  The second reason this will never happen is the slate of available starters is now greatly reduced, meaning a ton of teams will be bidding for the few available proven ML pitchers available in trade.  The 5 player package you propose includes one utility player without a real position, a formerly top corner OF prospect who has little defensive ability and tailed off badly enough to be sent back to the minors, and 3 other marginal prospects who have little trade value(except to Twin fans).

    The Twins should go all in for the one FA pitcher, Rodon, who has shown top-of-the-rotation talent with the downside risk of being injury prone.  That didn't stop the brass from signing Buxton to a 7 year contract.  Why should it stop them from signing a player who would not cost them any trade capital at a reasonable 2-3 year contract, and at an AAV that would not be much higher than Story's?  It makes so much sense that you might ask why The Wonder Boys didn't get it done by the lockout deadline?  

    If Rodon were signed, the Twins would have plenty of trade capital to acquire one of the top available starters - Castillo, Gray, Montas, Bassitt, or Lopez, any of whom would slot in as a #2 arm on a contender's staff.  A possible package including two of the following - Arraez, Kepler, Jeffers/Garvey and one or two of our top 10 pitching prospects would be very attractive to one of the A's, Marlins or Reds.  These losses are palatable, given the strength of our minor league pitching staff, catcher, corner OF and middle infield positions.  Resigning Pineda, signing a good fielding SS for a 1-2 year contract, and adding two significant relievers would round out a vastly improved roster in 2022.

    Falvey is on the hot seat.  If he can't make the moves to give us a fighting chance for contention in 2022 then time for him to find a job he can handle.  In any case, he has a long ways to go now with much less leeway than two months ago.

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    The Twins made no obvious efforts to sign any significant pitcher or shortstop so far this offseason and both categories of players were flying off the board. It really doesn't make a lot of sense for them to wait before making these types of signings, especially with the owners proposing a salary floor if they were intending on building this year.

    Buxton is a semi-notable signing since he's only making $9MM next year.

    I think it's very clear at this point, based on the Twins' moves and non-moves they're planning on tanking in 2022.

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    I get it. It's the off-season and we need to have something baseball to talk about, but I can't get into these discussions on potential shortstop trades, acquisitions, etc. The 2021 Twins sucked. Big time. That implies the Twins have more than one problem to resolve so they don't suck in 2022 and shortstop, in my mind, pales in significance to signing Buxton and acquiring a decent starting pitcher. We got Buxton inked, how many more wins is that? We get a decent pitcher how many more wins would that be? We sign a shortstop, what appears to be a suddenly rare commodity, how many more wins would that be? Let's all rank the three positions by potential wins and thus priority; if it doesn't come up Buxton No. 1, Pitcher No. 2 and shortstop No. 3 on 95% of Twins fans' lists I'd be damned surprised.

    So why all the angst over shortstop?

    I also wonder why Gordon, supposedly a shortstop throughout his minor league career, is so bad at fielding and/or throwing from short that he's automatically written off and instead considered only a utility player. Does mobility issues (range) or a poor arm at short suddenly disappear when he plays center field? Or third? Does his glove turn to stone at short, but not at the hot corner? How come this kid's been automatically written off so completely at short he isn't even been giving any consideration? Instead the talk's about signing one of the three or four elite shortstops for a ton of money when we still haven't landed a high-ranked pitcher.

    And if it's so important to land an elite shortstop but there's only four possibilities, who the hell is playing short on the other couple dozen teams? Do they all have their own elite shortstops? Or are the majority of them getting by with some average blokes (Gordon caliber) at short and yet still win more games than the Twins?

    But enjoy the discussions. What the hell, when the Twins ain't playing you have to let your imagination run wild. By mid-January when the snow's hind-end deep, the brass moneys have all been neutered and I've memorized "Major League",  "Love of the Game" and "The Natural"... again, I imagine I'll be working on my own baseball novel. Hint: the hero is a pitcher, not a shortstop.

    Imagine that.

     

     

     

     

     

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    1 hour ago, tony&rodney said:

     

    Below is a roster with Story. It includes the players the Twins have currently. The numbers are close. Additional signings and trades would add to the total. What is not clear at all is the budget set by Pohlad.

    The lack of action may mean that $100-110 M is what Falvey has been handed. Many of us used $130 M. If a budget can accommodate $120 M, more or less, then Story with the additions via trades suggested by many like TopGun#22 work and serve the team best for both 2022 and the future. Adding Bassitt and Montas adds $12.6 M (CB-$8.8 M plus FM-$5.2 M minus those two displaced, $1.4), but subtracts $1.4 M (Arraez -$2 M minus rookie salary) bringing the total to $120.45. If there is room to spend $120-130 M, there is zero reason not to make all efforts within reason to bring in pitchers with experience to help the Twins young prospects learn and grow.

    A figure of $100 M totally changes the entire look and plans need to reflect that reality. 

    image.png.b83ab9d6c85638553a7b20606d30aca8.png

    Very interesting, and financially plausible, but two things scare me a little.  I cringe at Kirilloff in the OF and Sano at 1B, because both score low in those two positions.  Kirilloff scores much better at 1B and Sano could DH and spell in the field without having to be there too often.  And that SP staff is somewhat iffy from top to bottom; all of them have the ability to succeed, but most have not proven they can consistently.  Good bats all told, and a decent pen.  Good thought process.  It would have potential, but don't buy your playoff tickets just yet.  

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    I like to stay away from speculating about trading X for Y.  Way beyond my pay grade.  But you do pose an interesting question.  As for an answer?  I don't have a clue who, but expect the Twins will have a player playing shortstop come opening day.

    I do have one question that stuck out from your post, at least to me.  Texas signed Seager to a 10-year $325M contract.  Where do they get the revenue for such a move?  Does their new stadium give that much more revenue than say the Twins and other similar non major market teams?

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    This seems to be a bit of an oversimplification. Certainly Polanco at second was good for him but it wasn’t good for Arraez.   Similarly if we pay for a shortstop we’ll get less pitching in free agency. I am not sure there is a good answer here when you have two second basemen on your roster. Dealing one of these guys foe some starting pitching or an everyday SS might be the best move.  

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    Trevor Story has never OPSed .800 on the road in any season.  Get him away from Coors, and he's not a top-tier offensive player.  He's still a solid major league hitter, and very valuable because he's a good shortstop, but I'm afraid he will be underappreciated by whichever fan base gets him.  He might end up like Greg Gagne, a very underrated member of the Twins championship teams, or probably a notch higher.  There's a shortage of such players, thus an "overpay" - but that's the Stupidity Tax for not having developed a player of this caliber for ourselves.

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    I vote no to Story or to moving Polanco back.  I prefer trading Sano, Arraez for pitching.  I am ok with an infield of Kiriloff, Polanco, glove first SS free agent and Donaldson.  Gordon and Miranda as backups.

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