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  • What Would a Dramatic Roster Upheaval Look Like for the Twins?


    Nick Nelson

    We recently released our Twins Roster & Payroll Creation tool, which allows any user to take a shot at crafting their own offseason blueprint for the team. (As I did last week.)

    The tool also can be used to map out different scenarios and strategic approaches. Here I'll try to answer a pertinent question: what would a major shakeup and roster overhaul look like for the Twins this winter?

    Image courtesy of Benny Sieu, David Dermer, David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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    To be clear, the scenario we're hypothesizing here is not a commitment to a rebuild, which could involve gutting the payroll, trading stars for distant prospects, and letting the kids run. 

    Instead, we're trying to depict what it might look like if the organization says, "We still want to compete, we still want to spend, but the current mix just isn't working." It will involve keeping some core pieces in place, but unloading large or expiring contracts and charting a new, dramatically different course for the franchise. 

    This means starting with...

    THE SUBTRACTIONS

    Trade 1B Miguel Sanó to San Diego Padres for OF Samuel Zavala

    This is mainly a salary dump. The Twins owe Sanó $9.25M in 2022, with a $3M team option for 2023, so I have them picking up that option amount (added to the "Dead Money" section) while San Diego takes on the rest of his salary and exchanges a lotto ticket in 17-year-old Samuel Zavala. He's an athletic rookie-ball outfielder ranked as the organization's #17 prospect.

    This idea presumes that universal DH is implemented, which seems like a safe bet. The championship-minded Padres could use more pop in the lineup, with first baseman Eric Hosmer and the corner outfielders not providing a ton. 

    Trade 3B Josh Donaldson to Washington Nationals for RHP Joan Adon and LHP Matt Cronin

    Another trade aimed more at salary relief than upgrading talent. This swap was proposed by J.D. Cameron in his story for the Offseason Handbook, so I'll just repurpose it here because it seems like a reasonable framework for a Donaldson deal: Washington sends a couple of mid-tier pitching prospects (ranked #12 and #22 in their system) while taking on two-thirds of JD's remaining commitment. The Twins eat the rest of his salary, so $7M gets added to the Dead Money pool.

    Trade OF Byron Buxton to Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Mick Abel and RHP Francisco Morales

    Here the Twins start getting some real value back. If they determine that an extension with Buxton can't be reached, this is the logical path. Philadelphia reportedly expressed interest in Buxton around the deadline, so here the two sides revisit and strike an accord now that the star center fielder is healthy. 

    For a cost-efficient final year of Buxton's control, Philadelphia gives up its #1 pitching prospect in Abel, who was drafted 15th overall in 2020 (10 picks after Austin Martin) and was ranked by MLB Pipeline ahead of this season as the game's #76 prospect. 

    Abel offers plentiful upside, but he's still a ways off (pitched in Single-A this year and turned 20 in August). To round out the package, Philly adds in Morales, their #6-ranked prospect. He's 22 and reached Triple-A this season, and would bring further depth to Minnesota's substantial crop of near-ready arms in the minors. 

    To be clear, I don't personally endorse a move like this – I think failing to retain Buxton would be a colossal mistake – but if they can't make an extension happen, this feels like a reasonable way to soften the blow by acquiring some quality talent in offsetting the loss.

    Non-tender Taylor Rogers

    Of course a trade would be preferable, but in this scenario I'm assuming the Twins (and other teams) don't feel confident enough in his injured finger to tender an offer in the $7M range, because they feel they can make that money stretch further in free agency. (We'll get to the reallocation of these funds in the bullpen shortly.)

    THE ADDITIONS

    A lineup that's lost three key fixtures in Sanó, Donaldson in Buxton now needs an infusion, and of course there are still those three open rotation spots to address – not to mention a closer spot to fill. The good news is that the above moves have left us with about $85M in spending money for 2022 (assuming a steady $130M payroll). 

    Let's take advantage of this flexibility with a free-agent spending spree, led by two landmark signings that radically reshape the franchise's identity.

    Sign SP Robbie Ray to a 5-year, $125M contract

    At long last, the Twins make their long-awaited plunge into the deep end of the pitching market, signing Ray to the largest free agent contract in team history, coming off a spectacular season in Toronto that will likely earn the Cy Young Award. Ray led the league in strikeouts, innings, and ERA. 

    It had the looks of a true breakout for the 30-year-old, but Ray's mediocre previous run (4.53 ERA from 2018 through 2020) should keep him out of the Gerrit Cole range, meaning the Twins could plausibly win a bidding war. 

    So, we've got our rotation-fronter. Now we turn our attention to a big splash at the shortstop position to counteract the significant subtraction of electricity from Buxton and others.

    Sign SS Javier Báez to a 4-year, $88M contract

    Like Ray, Báez is a high-tier prospect in his free agent class, but not quite at the top because he has some warts. Namely, Báez hasn't been all that great the past couple years. But in 2018 and 2019 he broke out as a superstar, finishing as MVP runner-up in the former.

    Báez would be well worth the $22M AAV if he his 2021 performance (3.6 fWAR) becomes his norm, but the Twins are banking on a return to form of sorts from the 29-year-old. He becomes a cornerstone next to Jorge Polanco, while the Twins hope that one of Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, or Gilberto Celestino can emerge in center to solidify their long-term strength up the middle. 

    WIth that, we turn our attention back to the rotation.

    Sign SP Eduardo Rodriguez to a 3-year, $36M contract

    Rodriguez's advanced metrics shine a much more favorable light on him than his ERA, so it'll be interesting to see how the market gauges him. Based on FanGraphs' value calculation, E-Rod's 3.8 fWAR with Boston in 2021 made him worth nearly $30M; his record of durability and his age (only 28) help his case as well. 

    Still, it's hard to see someone signing Rodriguez to a mega-deal coming off a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. This looks like the type of opportunistic buy-low play the Twins aspire toward. The framework and approach are not dissimilar to the Rangers' (highly effective) strategy in free agent signings like Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson.

    Sign OF Mark Canha to a 3-year, $30M contract

    Even with Baez added to the mix, the position player group still needs more veteran reinforcements to aid the internally-driven evolution of the lineup. Canha looks like a nice fit – he's a right-handed bat capable of playing left field, center, and first base. On-base skills are his calling card, as illustrated by a .377 OBP over the past three seasons. He's been a steady fixture for the A's. 

    There will surely be some reservations about handing the reins to Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach as starters. Canha's presence in the lineup mitigates the rookie risk by provide needed experience and leadership.

    Sign RP Raisel Iglesias to a 2-year, $16M contract

    The loss of Rogers obviously leaves a huge hole at the end of the bullpen. To address it, we're signing Iglesias coming off a great year with the Angels. His track record as a closer (134 saves and a 2.87 ERA over the past five years) may have yielded a bigger deal in years past, but I wonder if the league's generally declining fixation on the save statistic – along with a competitive high end of free agency that also includes Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and Mark Melancon – might keep Iglesias relatively affordable.

    The FA relief market is notoriously volatile, but Iglesias looks like as much of a sure thing as you're going to find. (Of course, the same could've been said about Addison Reed when they the Twins signed him to a similar deal in 2018.) In case you can't tell, I'm not too enthusiastic about throwing guaranteed money at relievers, which is why this is my only significant move in the bullpen. But in order for this unit to have a fighting chance, we needed at least one.

    Sign SP Corey Kluber to a 1-year, $7M contract

    We've got a bit of money left and one key vacancy to account for: the third rotation spot. Kluber fits the bill as a short-term stopgap with some upside. Since signing his one-year, $11 deal with the Yankees for 2021, Kluber has gotten a year older and dealt with more injuries. His velocity was down, he was limited to 16 starts and 80 innings, and he did not appear in the postseason.

    With that said, the 35-year-old showed enough positive signs while on the field – 3.83 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 9.2 K/9 rate, above-average ratings in many key Statcast metrics – to merit belief that his tank is not yet emptied.

    SUMMARY

    overhaulroster.png

    This plan represents a complete change in direction for the Twins, both substantively and stylistically. In Buxton, Donaldson, and Sanó, we're losing our three most established power bats, eschewing the homer-driven Bomba Squad offensive model in search of greater balance and a youth infusion.

    I'd imagine an Opening Day lineup that looks something like this:

    1. Arraez, 3B
    2. Baez, SS
    3. Polanco, 2B
    4. Kirilloff, 1B
    5. Garver, DH
    6. Kepler, CF
    7. Canha, LF
    8. Larnach, RF
    9. Jeffers, C

    On the pitching side, Ray and Rodriguez become veteran building blocks – to be rejoined by Kenta Maeda in 2023 – as the system feeds the rest of the rotation. We're counting on Iglesias to become an anchor in the back of the bullpen, supported by returns of Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, Caleb Thielbar, and Juan Minaya.  

    Would the Twins actually follow a path this drastic during the offseason? I doubt it. But there are signs that a significant shakeup could be at hand. This blueprint shows a semi-extreme version of what this could look like in practice.

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    There's quite a bit to digest here.  I think I'd hate to see most of it play out, but if it came to it, I'd love to see the FO actually make that level of commitment to overhaul the roster.  And to me, the linchpin of all of that is Buxton.  If can't extend him, they have to trade him.  And if they trade him, now would be the time to make other drastic moves to avoid a long rebuild.  

    That said, there are a few of these I wouldn't mind seeing regardless.  Trading Sano and Donaldson could make some sense, and gambling on Ray isn't a bad idea either.

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    I love it. I don’t even care if we trade Buxton in this scenario. I sort of welcome a bit of an overhaul and nabbing a team’s number one prospect is a pretty nice proposition. I like the additions and that team could be pretty competitive. 

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    The premise is flawed by the notion that the Twins have at least an average chance to sign free agents. They don't. Not even close. The club has had only one significant free agent signing in recent memory. Donaldson. How did they do it? He had $100mm stuck in his mind and the Twins paid it when no one else would. Any roster construction discussion has to be based upon not who we want but who we can get. For a variety of reasons, (bad weather, bad taxes, decades of playoff irrelevancy) that is a very short list. For instance, there is a best chance that the Twins start selling BOGO beer than signing Javy Baez.   

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    Don't read this if you do not want to hear a disappointed ticked off fan. 

    I would hate to see Sano go but would love to see him flourish in another environment. 

    Buxton is as good as gone and we will go back to trying to make prospects into above average MLB talent.  How much did the Twins medical staff have to do not to keep him healthy? 

    It will be a long time if ever that we will see another Berrios.  His success had more to do with his drive for perfection than the Twins development staff.  He improved in Toronto in just a few months. 

    It has been a fun reunion watching the WS to see players the front office thought were throw-away's playing on one of the biggest stages in professional sports.  I want that to happen for Buxton and Sano.  Eddie is getting everything a kid dreams of when playing baseball.  WS game with the crowd chanting your name.  That is what the All-Stars of the MLB want as much or more than money. The Twins get into the bidding wars knowing most of the big talent players won't come here so they can save face at least pretending they have a shot.   

    Last off-season was the first in MANY years that I was excited that they were finally getting there but it ended up being the worst season ever.  Not the number of losses but the overall disappointment and let down.  Now if they trade away Sano and Buxton there will be nothing at all to watch or at least no fan favorites to cheer for.  We are not going to see another pitcher like Berrios in the near future.  Buxton is the most exciting player in the MLB.  Besides Polanco and Donaldson I don't think any of our players would be starters for most teams. 

    Adding to this is the greed of the owners that have TV contracts that prohibit a good majority of people from being able to watch the Twins on TV and the cost of going to the games is ridiculous especially to see a bad team play is going to hurt the Twins so need to cut payroll more and more.  It is a never ending cycle. I didn't spend any money at all on the Twins this year not even the 3.99 per month fee to listen to them on the internet.   

    Tough for someone who loves the game and I am grateful that I got to be excited to watch the WS and see Eddie thrive.  I am sad our kids and grandkids will not get to experience what we did with the 87 or 91 teams or the days of Mauer, Perkins, Morneau, Puckett, Hunter, Cuddyher, Guardardo, etc.  What is is like to be on the edge of your seat for all players to get up to bat or watch a meaningful nail-biter game.  For that to happen the Twins need new owners and I don't see that happening either.  

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    Wow! Some very negative comments lamenting the future that may or may not happen. They absolutely have to sign Buxton long term regardless of his injury history.  I’m not a big Sano fan, given his many unprofessional at bats, but he did show some improvement over the last 60 games. So I wouldn’t trade him for a 17 year old in a salary dump. I can see a Donaldson where the Twins have to eat some salary. Berrios gave Toronto what he gave the Twins: every 5 starts he’d pitch really well two times, two mediocre starts, and then he’d struggle or an absolute stinker. That’s who he is, a solid number three starter. I don’t see them dumping Rogers. Miranda will hopefully make the opening day roster. As for free agent pitching I hope they can sign a fairly young starter with a strong upside and hope some of their minor league starting pitchers are ready to take the next step. Realistically they are looking at 2023 unless they go for a complete rebuild, in which case it will be a longer timeline.

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    1 hour ago, Johnny Ringo said:

    The premise is flawed by the notion that the Twins have at least an average chance to sign free agents. They don't. Not even close. The club has had only one significant free agent signing in recent memory. Donaldson.   

    You seem to have a pretty high bar for "significant." Nelson Cruz was not a significant free agent signing? 

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    It is a fun article and the team looks good.  Of course I have things I don't like - Kluber!  I would see our rookies being better than him.  Finally I would have Miranda in the lineup. 

    In the roster blueprint I had Miranda written in as the starting 3B, so my thought is that he'd be starting there pretty regularly. I just put Arraez in the Opening Day lineup because if it's against a RHP I figure that's what they'd do.

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    All of it is interesting, and I read it closely to see if my first impression was in the ballpark or I needed to rethink.  Two points stick out instantly: first, we are back to trading top major league talent for top minor league talent, and second, all of the free agent money on the mound seems to be going to SP, not the pen.  Nontendering Rogers and signing Aglesias appears to be a wash, meaning the pen is going to be predominantly low in budget and experience.  And with this teams (and many others today) love affair with 5 inning starts and bullpen games, I wonder what happens if this bullpen falters.  One can hope that with quality starters we will let them handle the bulk of the innings, but that would mean allowing them to go through the lineup 3 and.......wait for it.......even 4 times; what do we all think the odds of that are?  So I hope the pen is as good as we all are hoping for because they will be overworked as usual.  

    I have to agree with Johnny Ringo in the belief we don't have much of a chance to sign top flight free agents, Nelson Cruz notwithstanding, at least in the pitching category.  This FO doesn't have a great track record in signing top tier pitchers, and that is what you are counting on above.  I don't mind the starting 9 at all, but I don't think Garver is going to take over the DH spot on a regular basis, and that is what it appears the roster above will require; either that, or keep 3 catchers, which is not something this team usually does (especially one that hasn't proven he can hit major league pitching).  Spending 74 mil on 5 players and hoping that they fill out an otherwise low budget lineup is asking a lot from this FO.  And with their marriage to analytics, they won't get their money's worth out of the SP's, because they will not let them go a 4th time through the lineup.  

    Overall, trading the players you list is probably the right thing to do.  Buxton is going to want more money than he is worth, and Donaldson is already being paid more than he is worth.  Trading Sano opens up first base for Kirilloff, where he is better suited, and it shores up the infield defense much better.  And Arraez can hold down third until Miranda is ready, which he will be soon.  Kepler in center I assume is temporary, but he is virsatile, and will probably either get moved back to right eventually, or traded in July.  A pretty fair team in the field overall.  Now, for the 52 mil on 4 pitchers......it all rests on that, doesn't it?  

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    I like it. As a general idea and plan, not the exact thing that will happen. I think a sizable shakeup would be good. I hope the FO is learning and will make adjustments. Hopefully it includes watching the playoffs and seeing how much just putting the ball in play helps teams. Smoltz keeps saying "pass the baton" over and over and it's what I hope the Twins look for in hitters moving forward. I just don't think you can sustain success with a lineup of more HR or K guys than guys who cut down their swings and put the ball in play with 2 strikes.

    I hope they've learned over the last 5 years and make a bold statement this offseason to change some things and go into 2022 with a team that can compete. I think it's possible and moves like the ones here (not a fan of paying Baez 22 a year, though) would go a long way to getting things straightened out.

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    Fun to read. Thanks for it. I want them to keep Buxton, Donaldson, and Kepler. Trade Sano for pitching. I'm not all that worried about the offense with the right coaching. It's the pitching that needs an overhaul along with young talent. Mike Florio wrote about the Vikings that every year they're 'just good enough' to keep up hope but never anything but bridesmaids. The same goes, obviously, for the Twins. We need to revisit 1991 and get to the big games. 

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    I'm on board with shaking things up as it's getting pretty stale around here, but I don't think that lineup looks terribly fearsome. Kirilloff may be the best option for the cleanup spot, but I think that speaks more to the make up of the team than it does to his production. 

    If the Twins are going to splurge on a SS, Baez is the last one I'd want. If we're signing a guy with a legit shot at leading the league in strikeouts, I'd rather have Story who at least has a track record of getting on base. Baez's inability to work a count and draw walks is going to wear out his welcome quicker than you can say Eddie Rosario. I also don't like the idea of pairing the high strikeout/low OBP Baez at the top of the order with Arraez, who will only ever be on first base. Polanco will never see at bats with runners in scoring position.

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    1 hour ago, Nick Nelson said:

    You seem to have a pretty high bar for "significant." Nelson Cruz was not a significant free agent signing? 

    I love Cruz. But one year deals for a guy at the end of his (glorious) career are not significant. 

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    Hard pass on Baez at that price. His plate approach is not likely to age well and his SS defense has already started slipping over the last couple seasons. While I liked Andrelton Simmons more than most on a one year deal, I don't want to end up on a $20mil+ contract for a couple years down the road to have Simmons 2.0. 

    If he'd sign for 4/$60mil, I'm fine with taking that chance the coming regression is not brutal. I'd still rather get DeJong (Cardinals) or Urias (Orioles) to play SS for the next year or two. 

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    Nick, thanks for this very controversial proposal, but it sounds more like a rebuild, given the fact you have lost 3 of our top 4 offensive players with no immediate return.  Why with all our supposed good prospects now do we add more?  Wouldn't it be better to trade some prospects in a package for at least one young emerging starter rather than two middle rotation guys like E Rod and Kluber?

    Like addition of Iglesias but would rather keep Rogers and instead add two relievers from the group of Knebel, Tepera or maybe Yates.  That is a major boost to a very middlin' pen.

    Baez addition would bring a spark, to the SS position, but as others have said, he is now an all or nothing hitter, probably more like Sano.  Why not just keep Sano.? Your lineup overall is much weaker than present with 4 potential question marks:  Jeffers, Kepler, Larnach and Miranda.  

    Best part of your proposal is going big for Ray.  We need an ace to be a factor in the playoffs, no matter what the cost.  And bringing in a strong #2 starter via trade and a solid #3 guy(perhaps Thor or even Pineda) would greatly improve this team's chances for contention in 2022, assuming we do not lose 3 of our top 4 hitters.  Sure I'd like to add a stud SS but without adding to your $130MM budget ceiling don't see how that's possible given our glaring holes in the rotation.  If Pohlad is honest about a quick return to contention, he better be open to raising that "ceiling" so many on TD are fixating on.

    And I have to join the chorus, adding a big NO on trading our one true star, Buxton.  This is not a contending team w/o him.

     

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    38 minutes ago, twinsfansd said:

    What happened to Garver?

     

    I have him at DH, although I envision him spending a decent amount of time at catcher and maybe 1B as well, with Arraez, Miranda, Rooker, etc all rotating through the DH spot.

    My thought is that Garver is more likely to stay healthy this way, and IF he can stay relatively healthy he's a decent replacement for Cruz. (Cruz the last 3 years: 936 OPS / Garver: 894.) I actually think it's a wise approach regardless of what else the Twins do. It gives Jeffers more of a chance to play regularly and find his stride, plus I guess I'm not as down on others on Rortvedt as a backup C.

     

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    When you finish last in your division, I would say all options are on the table to try to improve including a rebuild. I agree with one of the other responses that Twins have poor record of attracting top pitching FAs. Top FA pitchers want the money but also want to win-last place team may not look that attractive. Trades may be a more realistic option, but very hard to predict. Did anyone see the Maeda trade coming a couple of years ago? There are plenty of difficult decisions for Twins this offseason.

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    It looks like a fair trade for Buxton. I wonder if Atlanta can't do better (after they lose the Series to the Astros)>

    I don't know where the values for Eduardo Rodriguez and Raisel Iglesias come from. They seem to be 60 cents on the dollar.

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    If the Twins are going to be able to trade for a very good starting pitcher (as opposed to signing a very good free agent starter,), then I think Miranda will be part of what the Twins will have to give up in order to get a very good starter (if there are very good starters available for trade). I would love to see Miranda playing for the Twins, but I am not counting on it. 

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    2 hours ago, Nick Nelson said:

    I have him at DH, although I envision him spending a decent amount of time at catcher and maybe 1B as well, with Arraez, Miranda, Rooker, etc all rotating through the DH spot.

    My thought is that Garver is more likely to stay healthy this way, and IF he can stay relatively healthy he's a decent replacement for Cruz. (Cruz the last 3 years: 936 OPS / Garver: 894.) I actually think it's a wise approach regardless of what else the Twins do. It gives Jeffers more of a chance to play regularly and find his stride, plus I guess I'm not as down on others on Rortvedt as a backup C.

     

    I'll go one better, Nick.  I foresee Rortvedt as the Twins starting catcher beginning in 2023.  His bat will improve and be ok, while his defense is so much better than either of the other two he will become the #1 guy.  Biggest question is which of the two he shares the catcher spot with?

    Will also second those comments who want Kepler to stay in right, which is automatic after they extend Buxton.  As for pitching, signing Pineda as the free agent and another trade like the Odorizzi or Maeda trades works for me.

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    6 hours ago, MABB1959 said:

    Don't read this if you do not want to hear a disappointed ticked off fan. 

    I would hate to see Sano go but would love to see him flourish in another environment. 

    Buxton is as good as gone and we will go back to trying to make prospects into above average MLB talent.  How much did the Twins medical staff have to do not to keep him healthy? 

    It will be a long time if ever that we will see another Berrios.  His success had more to do with his drive for perfection than the Twins development staff.  He improved in Toronto in just a few months. 

    It has been a fun reunion watching the WS to see players the front office thought were throw-away's playing on one of the biggest stages in professional sports.  I want that to happen for Buxton and Sano.  Eddie is getting everything a kid dreams of when playing baseball.  WS game with the crowd chanting your name.  That is what the All-Stars of the MLB want as much or more than money. The Twins get into the bidding wars knowing most of the big talent players won't come here so they can save face at least pretending they have a shot.   

    Last off-season was the first in MANY years that I was excited that they were finally getting there but it ended up being the worst season ever.  Not the number of losses but the overall disappointment and let down.  Now if they trade away Sano and Buxton there will be nothing at all to watch or at least no fan favorites to cheer for.  We are not going to see another pitcher like Berrios in the near future.  Buxton is the most exciting player in the MLB.  Besides Polanco and Donaldson I don't think any of our players would be starters for most teams. 

    Adding to this is the greed of the owners that have TV contracts that prohibit a good majority of people from being able to watch the Twins on TV and the cost of going to the games is ridiculous especially to see a bad team play is going to hurt the Twins so need to cut payroll more and more.  It is a never ending cycle. I didn't spend any money at all on the Twins this year not even the 3.99 per month fee to listen to them on the internet.   

    Tough for someone who loves the game and I am grateful that I got to be excited to watch the WS and see Eddie thrive.  I am sad our kids and grandkids will not get to experience what we did with the 87 or 91 teams or the days of Mauer, Perkins, Morneau, Puckett, Hunter, Cuddyher, Guardardo, etc.  What is is like to be on the edge of your seat for all players to get up to bat or watch a meaningful nail-biter game.  For that to happen the Twins need new owners and I don't see that happening either.  

    Sad, but true.

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    It's a really interesting exercise, and not impossible. I'd hate to lose Buxton; would much rather deal Kepler for a lesser return and re-sign Buxton but I understand that part of this is about being radical. If we were making these kinds of drastic moves, I'd much rather go after Trevor Story than Baez at SS, especially since I'm not convinced Story would cost substantially more?

    I have no feel for how much Kluber has left; that's one of the more questionable ideas here, but the risk is relatively minimal on a 1 year deal.

    I'm unenthusiastic about Canaha. while I agree under this construct that the Twins need some veteran reinforcements in the lineup...I can't say I'm excited about spending 3 years on Canaha. (If we lock down SS on a multi-year deal, we still might need a place for Austin Martin, who could slot in LF in a year quite well, and we have other hitters in the pipeline.) I might be more interested in looking for someone cheaper on a 1-2 year deal here, especially if the extra $ ensure we land Story.

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    I like the OBP aspect that Canha brings to the club. He does seem to have a lot of helium right now though so his value might be inflated. Tommy Pham is a pretty similar player offensively, you could probably do him quite a bit cheaper in both years and salary. Not that I have a strong opinion either way, I've never been terribly thrilled with signing this caliber of free agents.

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    A nice thought provoking proposal.  I am a little concerned with the hit to the defense by losing Donaldson and Buxton and Baez is probably not that good either.  I might take the Baez money and sign a cheaper better defensive SS and flow the rest of the dollars to the bullpen and OF.  I don't want to count on Larnach and Rooker as OF options next year - let them get some more AAA time.   Also want to sit Kepler against lefties as well so need to roster an outfielder that can play CF and hit lefties - like Buxton - lol!  I would keep him.    In the bullpen maybe keep Rogers and add Iglesias

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