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  • Will the Twins Submit To Jake Odorizzi A Qualifying Offer?


    Cody Christie

    Jose Berrios is the only current member of the Twins rotation under team control for next season. Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, and Kyle Gibson will all be able to test the free agent waters. This could leave the Twins scrambling to fill their rotation with free agents and other players currently in the organization. If the Twins want to maximize their current window, it could make sense to for the team to submit a qualifying offer to Mr. Odorizzi.

    Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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    Qualifying Offer Process

    As part of MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams can make a one-year “qualifying offer” to a player that has never previously received a qualifying offer and only if that player has been on the team’s roster for the entire season. This means in-season acquisitions are ineligible for a qualifying offer.

    This qualifying offer is worth the mean salary of the 125 highest-paid players in the big leagues. During last off-season, MLB’s qualifying offer was $17.9 million, which was up $500,000 from 2018. Last season, seven players received a qualifying offer and the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu was the only player to accept the offer. In the seven previous offseasons with this system in place, there have been 80 qualifying offers issued, and only six (Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker, Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters, and Ryu) have been accepted.

    All-Star First Half

    Odorizzi put together a strong first half of the season to be selected to his first All-Star Game. An injury caused him to miss the game, but it still doesn’t take anything away from what he was able to do in the first half. Plus, it also allowed teammate Jose Berrios to make his second All-Star appearance.

    In 17 first-half starts, Odorizzi posted a 3.15 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. He added a 96 to 30 strikeout to walk ratio while striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings. This was in a first half where baseballs were flying out of the park at a record rate.

    He won 10 straight decisions from April 17 through July 20. During that stretch, he held opposing batters to a .209/.261/.289 (.550) batting line which helped him post a 1.52 ERA and a 70 to 15 strikeout to walk ratio. He was one of the best pitchers for a good stretch of the first half and he helped the Twins to stretch their lead in the AL Central.

    Second Half Struggle

    It would have been almost impossible for Odorizzi to keep up his first half pace during the second half of the season. His ERA has rose to 4.28 and his WHIP has jumped up to 1.47 in nine games started. He has struck out 49 batters and limited them to 19 walks, but hitters have found a way to get to Odorizzi more regularly in the second half.

    Entering play on Monday, opposing batters are hitting .271/.341/.453 (.794) with 23 extra-base hits. He only allowed 19 extra-base hits in the first half and that was in eight more starts than the second half. According to Baseball Savant, his hard-hit percentage and exit velocity are all near the league average. He has still been able to keep his K% and xBA above league average and that has helped him to be successful. He’s been able to do this with a fastball velocity and fastball spin rate that are below league average.

    Odorizzi might not be the most likely candidate for a qualifying offer, but it might make sense for the Twins to add some rotation stability to next season. He has made $21.45 million through his career so a $18 million payday might be tough for him to reject. He’s never made more than $9.5 million in a season, but will the Twins front office think he is worth the amount invested?

    Should the Twins make a qualifying offer to Odorizzi? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    No.

     

    They will absolutely offer him a raise and an extension. I believe they will offer him 2yrs, or a 2 + 1 that us easy to hit. They might even offer him 3yrs. He will have the choice of financial security and a fair raise, guessing somewhere around $12-14M per. Despite needs for SO everywhere, the FA market has clearly changed. And past history would state that he is a good pitcher, but not a $18-25M per front of the rotation starter.

     

    He is borderline outstanding, most days, for 5+ IP. And I'd love to have him back. The only way he would get a QO is because the FO would expect him to decline and potentially gather a draft pick. I just don't think this will happen.

     

    FWIW, I believe the FO will make a similar move with Pineda. I believe they will make a somewhat smaller and "safer" offer to Gibson, especially considering he is a bit older and now facing some health concerns. Gibson is probably more a 1 or 1+ with a possible 2yr offer but no more.

     

    None of this precludes a trade or FA option to be added. But I believe they will hope to keep 2 of Odorizzi, Pineda and Gibson on board.

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    He should be able to get at least a two year offer, and probably a 3-year at $12-14 a year. So doubt he would take the one-year from the Twins if it looks like he could get more money over time.

     

    Would you offer him $35 million for three years? 

     

    Of course the Twins have little to lose if they would offer him a qualifying offer. Plus they get compensation if he walks.

     

     

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    Paying an extra 4-6MM while limiting it to a 1 year deal is a fair trade off if I'm the Twins. They have only one starter returning with decisions to make on the other 4. I foresee a trade for a top starter and then bringing back one or both of Pineda and Odoriizzi. Hell I may extend them each a QO and hope they both take it or bring back a draft pick. 

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    1) More than 90% of Qualifying Offers are refused. 2) QOs are for one year and I've heard there is no such thing as a bad one-year deal. 3) Despite his inability to pitch deep into games, Odorizzi had an All-Star first half and is pitching acceptably in the second half. 

     

    I believe absolutely that the Twins should extend a Qualifying Offer to Jake, and negotiate on a 2-3 year extension. That gives absolutely no guarantee that he'll be a Twin next year. 

     

    In addition, FWIW, I'd extend a Qualifying Offer to Pineda, too. 

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    I'd normally think he'd accept the QO, but there won't be a ton of quality free agent starters available next year so another team might be willing to spend the pick to get him. As for his salary, if Lance Lynn can get 3/30M after last season, you'd think Odorizzi has a shot at 3/36M, which might be more attractive than the QO figure considering he'll be 30 years old.

     

    So unless this team plans on tossing money around and seriously thinks Gerrit Cole would come to Minnesota (a Southern CA kid? I'd bet Minnesota is already crossed off of his list), I'd probably gamble and offer the QO to Odorizzi knowing that the worst that can happen is overpaying for one year of a serviceable but average starter.

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    Big Mike should be a priority.  But Odo will get a nice contract somewhere, it might as well be here, unless its a 5 @ $20 or something stupid like that.  I'm not sure I'd even offer anything to Gibson.  I know health issues have affected him, but doing charity work in a contract season was risky at best.  God bless him.

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    Count me among those who believe the Twins will attempt to resign/extend/QO to all three, Gibson, Pineda and Odorizzi.  Gibby may be a one year offer for about what he made this year to see where his body is at next year.  Pineda and Odorizzi would be longer offers.  If they decline, wouldn't surprise me to see a QO to both or either.

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    The Twins have one starter signed for next season

     

    This is a bit of a fallacy.   For next season the Twins have signed:

     

    Berrios

    Smeltzer

    Thorpe

    Dobnak

    Poppen

    Jax

    Barnes  etc. 

     

     

    All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

     

    Romero &

    Graterol

     

    who should also be on the conversation

     

    plus they have an option on

     

    Perez.

     

    That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters.  This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation.  Plus that Gonsalves guy.

     

    It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi.  They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

    Edited by Thrylos
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    You can't give a middle of the rotation pitch a QO. If the team is going to spend top 125 money then do it on a proven top of the rotation pitcher in free agency. While it would be good to see him come back the #1 priority of the free agent pitchers is Pineda.

     

    Top 125 money will not get you a proven top of the rotation pitcher in free agency--it will take top 12 money to do that.

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    This is a bit of a fallacy.   For next season the Twins have signed:

     

    Berrios

    Smeltzer

    Thorpe

    Dobnak

    Poppen

    Jax

    Barnes  etc. 

     

     

    All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

     

    Romero &

    Graterol

     

    who should also be on the conversation

     

    plus they have an option on

     

    Perez.

     

    That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters.  This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation.  Plus that Gonsalves guy.

     

    It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi.  They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

     

    While this is technically true, I don't think anyone is ok with next year's rotation being Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Thorpe, and Dobnak.  I'm certainly ok with the members of the Rochester shuttle collectively being our 5th starter, but if they're asked to be more than that, or Perez is asked to be more than the 4th starter, we should all be very upset with ownership.

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    They don't really have an option. They need to keep one, if not two, of the three free agents.

     

    Having money, and actually signing free agents you want, doesn't always happen. They'll have to outbid lots of teams for the few really good free agent starters.

     

    And no, they aren't going into next year with three or four rookie starters to start the year. No serious playoff contender does that.

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    I want him back. If I'm actually a GM I'd ask my analytics staff to confirm my hypothesis that he's the kind of pitcher who will continue to be effective into his early 30s, so a 3-year commitment doesn't scare me if it's at a reasonable price (somewhere below the QO level, per year). If we can't agree to terms, QO him.

     

    Ditto with Big Mike, for what it's worth. You can't go into an off-season with so many question marks in the rotation. I'm on the fence about Gibson - bad luck for him to get seriously ill during a contract year, but baseball's a cruel business and the FO has to be hard-headed about it.

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    This is a bit of a fallacy. For next season the Twins have signed:

     

    Berrios

    Smeltzer

    Thorpe

    Dobnak

    Poppen

    Jax

    Barnes etc.

     

     

    All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

     

    Romero &

    Graterol

     

    who should also be on the conversation

     

    plus they have an option on

     

    Perez.

     

    That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters. This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation. Plus that Gonsalves guy.

     

    It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi. They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

    I like the plan but it's almost impossible to pull off. Many argue the price of starting pitching was too high at the deadline (despite Kuechel sitting forever and Stroman going for an average package). The Twins missed a huge opportunity to improve for next year AND get a stud for this year's playoffs. Unforgivable in my estimation. When the bidding heats up this winter the Twins will bow out like they always do. Perhaps smartly. But we'll be fielding a broken rotation which will cost even more to improve. At which point people will say you can't mortgage your future to acquire 1 or 2 arms. So we will perhaps smartly hold pat at next year's deadline and go into 2021 selling Larnach as the next Kepler, Kiriloff as the next Kubel and Lewis as the next Buxton. And say you don't sign big free agents when you're rebuilding. Rinse. Repeat. Edited by Jham
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    Cool -- I was thinking of these questions yesterday and considered starting a thread. Here's my thoughts...

     

    Pineda: I don't consider myself a prospect junkie, but go back and read up on him. He was once BA's No. 16 prospect, he finished fifth in ROY and was an all-star as a rookie. As effective as he's been this year, he's still coming back from TJS. Folks are wanting to pick up an ace in the mode of Berrios or better and then have been complaining that Berrios hasn't been pitching as well as Pineda. I think Pineda is as good or better as Berrios. Yes, I offer a QO and try to negotiate to something like 2/$30 with an option, or even 3/$42. As noted, many QOs are declined, in which we get the pick. 

     

    Odo: He didn't have quite the profile as Big Mike coming up, but has been incredibly durable. There can't be many guys who have had more than 188 starts in the past six years. I offer him pretty much the same as Mike, but maybe $1-$2 million less per year given that he's a year older and doesn't have quite the upside. Again, if he declines, we get the pick.

     

    Gibson: This is a tough one, and a lot may depend on whether he can get back this year and whether he gets the clean bill of health. Assuming those are good, I say, "Kyle, with your UC and your age, we can't give you a QO. But we're going to give you the opportunity to get QO money. For your service and generally solid year despite the health issues, we'll offer you a slight bump to $10M, with innings incentives that will get you to $18M at 200 IP." And perhaps even include some option possibilities.  

     

    Perez: And I pick up Perez's option. 

     

    But what about Brusdar and friends? First, even with those offers, I doubt you'll get the whole gang back together. But if they do, so what? The Twins have been incredibly lucky with health this year. Going into tonight, they have needed only seven (count 'em, 7) starts from outside of those five guys, and two of those were 26th-man starts. The odds of that happening again are very slim. One of these guys will get hurt and open a spot.

     

    And even if they don't, and Brusdar kicks down the door, remember that he still hasn't gone past 102 innings, so he's likely to be on some sort of innings limit. If he spends a month or two in Rochester going about 80 pitches per start, that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

     

    And if Perez (and to an extent Gibson) don't stay healthy and effective, they aren't huge contracts to eat (think Addison Reedish). Or, they try turning them into bullpen assets before showing them the door. [Or even trade options, if they are suffering from an embarrassment of riches. (I'd be glad to be so embarrassed, by the way.)]

     

     

     

     

    As comparison, look at the Dodgers. They've gotten 24+ starts so far from Buehler, Maeda, Ryu, and Kershaw, plus 13 from Stripling and 10 from Hill. Now at the end of the season, they're looking for a spot for Urias, so they are transitioning him into the rotation shuffling Maeda to the bullpen (where he got a 4-inning save for my fantasy team last night, but I digress). We don't have Dodger money, but the model works. We also don't have money wrapped up in a Kershaw contract. 

     

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    While this is technically true, I don't think anyone is ok with next year's rotation being Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Thorpe, and Dobnak.  I'm certainly ok with the members of the Rochester shuttle collectively being our 5th starter, but if they're asked to be more than that, or Perez is asked to be more than the 4th starter, we should all be very upset with ownership.

     

    As I indicated, the Twins need to get 2 starters better than Berrios next offseason.  So Perez fourth and Smeltzer fifth or Romero fourth and Graterol fifth will be more than fine with me.  The window is short and they need to go all out.  Thus re-signing Odorizzi for a lot of $ is a bad option.  They don't need him.  They need better pitchers.

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    As I indicated, the Twins need to get 2 starters better than Berrios next offseason.  So Perez fourth and Smeltzer fifth or Romero fourth and Graterol fifth will be more than fine with me.  The window is short and they need to go all out.  Thus re-signing Odorizzi for a lot of $ is a bad option.  They don't need him.  They need better pitchers.

     

    There aren't going to be two better pitchers than Berrios going to any one team, let alone here. That's just not realistic, given history of all of MLB.

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    I personally would not give QO.  If you want him back work out a contract you expect him to sign.  If you go QO, then him and his agent say that is starting offer and will want more, which he will not get, go into offseason with QO over his head and end up Lance Lynn style.  Think about it, past Cy Young winners have not got signed because of the QO.  So if offered Odo should accept it, but then he may resent team for it and Odo strikes me as one that needs to be in good mood to perform well.  Of the three FA to be, I would like to see Twins sign one and it would be Big Mike.  He has been most consistant pitcher this year and been getting better as year goes on.  I would not want 3 or 4 rookie, near rookie pitchers.  Maybe they go out to sign a FA not sure what will be there though. 

     

    For Odo, I personally would pass though. 

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