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  • With Snell and Darvish Gone, What’s Left on the Starting Pitching Market?


    Tom Froemming

    It was a fun day to be a San Diego Padres fan, but what about the rest of us!? The Padres’ front office took a big bite out of the starting pitching trade market the past 24 hours.

    Image courtesy of © Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

    Sunday evening, the Padres agreed to a trade to acquire Blake Snell from Tampa Bay. Tonight, they are finalizing another deal to add Yu Darvish from the Cubs. Quite the 24 hours for A.J. Preller & Co.

    So what rotation pieces are left on the free agent and trade markets? I took a look in the video below.

    This free agent class was pretty soft in terms of starting pitching, but it was further weakened when Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman accepted their qualifying offers. Now that Lance Lynn, Snell and Darvish have all been dealt, the trade market has also been thinned out.

    Here's another look at the list included in the video:

    Screenshot 2020-12-28 at 9.13.13 PM.png

    Kenta Maeda ended up being a starter primed for a breakout, can the Twins’ front office identify and acquire a similar pitcher this offseason?

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    I think we're all interested in Tanaka but just expect he will still re-sign with the Yankees. If not, would he want to be in the Midwest?

     

    I still think the best replacement for Odorizzi is Odorizzi.

     

    I am interested in Walker and Richards, both of whom appear healthy at this time.

     

    Kluber, healthy, at 85-90% of his old self would be very interesting. But is he, can he be that?

     

    Why does the answer seem so obvious to me?

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    Wow, the Padres are all in.  Pitching was there only weakness and barring injury they look poised to try and take over the Dodgers.  I still don't feel like the padres have great depth but if they stay healthy look out.  They just might be the best team out there.

     

    I like the Twins and I know emotion makes me over react but it just feels like we are second tier compared to the top 4 to 6 teams in baseball.  Injuries and young players on the rise can change things but it takes a strong core of above average players to make it anywhere in the playoffs these days.

     

    Kudos to the Padres for winning the offseason now they need good health to make it all work.

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    Took 2 guy off the market that likely weren't Twins targets, but also set the price for pitching if we are going to go the trade route.  

     

    Still some quality arms on the trade market and via free agency. we know the market now so go out and get the guy you feel fits.   My choice is sign Paxton and work out a deal for Castillo and Castellanos.  

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    Wow. Good for San Diego. Davies is about Pineda and then four handsome rookies, none as highly rated as our legendary Wander Javier or even Keoni Cavaco. Where are you Dusty? 

    Apparently, clubs love the Padres youngsters. Are our young prospects, below the top five or six, valued by any teams?

    MLB has the Twins with 21 players ranked as 45 overall or higher, the Padres 16. That includes those traded by San Diego today. 

    The trades today make it difficult to predict a Twins trade.

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    The Padres have given up one of their Top 7 prospects to get Snell and Darvish. The two situations were very different. 

     

    The Cubs clearly are just dumping salary. I think they got the Padres 11, 13, 15 and 17 prospects (or something like that)... Then again, the Padres system is loaded, so their 11-20 prospects might be the Cubs 5-14 prospect range types. 

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    The Padres have given up one of their Top 7 prospects to get Snell and Darvish. The two situations were very different.

     

    The Cubs clearly are just dumping salary. I think they got the Padres 11, 13, 15 and 17 prospects (or something like that)... Then again, the Padres system is loaded, so their 11-20 prospects might be the Cubs 5-14 prospect range types.

    Definitely just a salary dump. A pretty bad look for an iconic baseball franchise, if you ask me.

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    The Darvish trade is going to take forever to analyze and the Cubs are hard to figure. 

    Talent evaluations are pretty crude, but the Twins rough equivalents are Javier, Holland, Urbina, and Soularie - all players with skills at lower levels. 

    My quick take is that Tampa did well and that the Cubs must know something about either Darvish or those lower level prospects. That trade is strange.

    Yes, a couple of these players were highly sought in the international signing market, but sending off Darvish at this time doesn't make any sense. The Cubs have nearly the same financial resources as New York or LA. 

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    The Darvish trade is going to take forever to analyze and the Cubs are hard to figure.

    Talent evaluations are pretty crude, but the Twins rough equivalents are Javier, Holland, Urbina, and Soularie - all players with skills at lower levels.

    My quick take is that Tampa did well and that the Cubs must know something about either Darvish or those lower level prospects. That trade is strange.

    Yes, a couple of these players were highly sought in the international signing market, but sending off Darvish at this time doesn't make any sense. The Cubs have nearly the same financial resources as New York or LA.

    Not according to the owners. The cubs just don't have any money.....

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    Agree with Vanimal46

    .. not a good look for the Cubs.

     

    I wasn't hoping for the Twins to trade for Darvish because the salary would be tough for our team to fit, but the Cubs ....

     

    Sure hope baseball isn't heading for lockouts and such. We could use a calm 2021.

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    I think there are plenty of good pitching targets out there for us. We are only short 1 starter. And we have Thorpe and Smeltzer available for depth and others on the way. I think we could go many different ways here. Odorrizzi, Hill, Musgrove in trade with Pittsburgh and 2 starters from Reds. There are others. I do hope we get something done before too many options disappear.

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    I think there are plenty of good pitching targets out there for us. We are only short 1 starter. And we have Thorpe and Smeltzer available for depth and others on the way. I think we could go many different ways here. Odorrizzi, Hill, Musgrove in trade with Pittsburgh and 2 starters from Reds. There are others. I do hope we get something done before too many options disappear.

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    I don't know. I never really thought the Twins were interested in trading for either of these guys. I don't know what the Pads gave up to get the two pitchers?

    Padres had one of the best if not the best farm system in MLB. They just bet the farm on these 2 guys. If they are depending that Snell will pitch much more than 5 innings/ game, I believe they'll be disappointed

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    Frustrating as a Twins fan to see all this activity and nothing much yet from the Twins.

    It LOOKS like the Padres got a LOT of talent for none of their BEST prospects.  On the surface, they're the clear winners.  But they've just unloaded a LOT of depth from their farm system.  One draft isn't going to replace it all.

    If the object is to win a World Series the Padres are doing everything possible.

     

    I like Paxton as a target (we need a LH in the rotation) but he's always had injury issues.  And I actually like Sugano.  With Maeda here, we could be a good fit for him. 

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    Musgrove should be an easy trade target to snag from the lowly Pirates.  Living in Pittsburgh area, they booted Josh Bell to Nationals that was equal to a easy haul for Nationals and a salary dump by Pirates.  Pirates aren't competitive, don't want high salary guys even if they are only a few million per year.  The Pirates are minor league team, minor league ownership in a MLB stadium and uniform only.  Give me musgrove and couple of minors leaguers and some cash and put in the rotation

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    Mets are sold and the Cubs are in a salary dump. Clear evidence that teams and owners were hit hard and effected by last year's losses. Expect it may have been worse for those teams who didn't maintain fiscal discipline...like the Twins.

     

    Don't know why our FO hasn't done anything yet. However, there has been so little movement on the FA market that they could be sitting back and waiting for the market and agents to realize that the world has changed before signing a few key players closer to spring training...whenever that may be, although certainly not in mid-February which is now only 6 weeks away.

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    Kudos to Preller and the Pods!!  They see a wider-open window and blew the top off the hot stove league.  Trade for Darvish was clearly a win(not trading any of their top 5 prospects) and while Snell trade was more costly, the Pods are set for 3 years in their rotation(once Clevinger returns).

     

    Obviously, all other GMs, incl. the Twins, look pretty lame in comparison right now, but the Twins' needs in their rotation are still glaring.  Yes, their top 3 are a strength, but after that, look out below(Dobnak was mediocre once AL batters figured out his average stuff) and no one else looks ready to contribute in 2021.

     

    So, now that these two studs are gone(and Bauer is obviously out of reach), what's left?  One would think that if this franchise is committed to breaking their pitiful postseason streak it is incumbent upon them to add more quality to the rotation.  Why they haven't resigned Odo is becoming more troublesome by the day.  He easily slots in as a solid #3/4 starter.  After that, going after one of the Reds' starters, Castillo or Gray, makes a lot of sense, as they are the best of the rest.  We have the prospects and could also add a starter like Polanco, assuming a top FA SS is also signed.  The Reds will demand a lot for Castillo, maybe too high a price for the Twins brass to pay, but we do have the pieces to spare to at least get Gray done, if not Castillo.  I don't see anyone else on the list of "available starters" that could move the needle.

     

    This front office has never shown the risk-taking ability to pull off the type of trades that Preller has so I remain very sceptical Falvine will act agressively  this offseason.  It's just not in this franchise's DNA to be risk takers, as witnessed by our playoff futility.  Hope I'm pleasantly surprised but don't bet on it!!

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    This seems like a great year to make a few trades at a lower cost than usual. I'd be fine if the Twins focused on trades rather than FA signings. Get Cruz back, trade for a guy like Sonny Gray, maybe trade for Marwin's replacement, sign a few relievers to 1 year deals... this seems achievable this offseason. 

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    Definitely just a salary dump. A pretty bad look for an iconic baseball franchise, if you ask me.

    The Red Sox do it to Betts, then the Cubs do it to Darvish the following offseason.

     

    MLB needs to get its house in order if they want to stay competitive with other sports. They have so many problems that badly need to be resolved, as it's getting harder to be excited about baseball pretty much every year.

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    How many times do we see teams sign big contracts and then have the regrets?  Pujols, Ryan Howard, Melvin Upton...then the team is financially strapped, does give away trades, limps along.  There is a message here, but MLB owners do not seem to read it.  Hopefully the next three years of Donaldson will not be filled with regret.  The Padres made wise trades - Darvish (34) who is performing at top level has only two more years after 2021 and should be at least an above average pitcher at that point. Snell, with less owed to him is only 28 meaning he might be reaching a peak.  For those who doubt his ability to go more than 5 innings I can only say it up to the team to develop a good strategy and Snell has the talent for 7 innings.  With Dinelson (24) they have three ACEs and two good pitchers to round out the rotation.  Then there is Chris Paddock who would be the best #4 or #5 in MLB. And next year they have Clevinger who will be 31 to make 4 ACES.   I love their aggressiveness because they have the team to play behind these pitchers. 

     

    Teams have certain windows open - look at the Twins.  We were on top in 2019, now we have moved on from Rosario, Cruz is a question mark, Garver may or may not go back to the form we dream up.  Are the new rookies going to push us upward or are we going to slide back?  I am hoping for up.

     

    Our rotation had one ACE in Maeda if he goes back to form he is a two  and two twos in Berrios and Pineda.  I loved the Dobnak story, but I think his story is over.  So do we have the courage to go Balazovic and Duran who have upside or do we sign Odorizzi again for a good number 3.  Stack that up with the Padres, Braves, and Dodgers.  And then there is the BP.  In a couple months all this could be moot, but right now that playoff win is a long way away.

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    The Red Sox do it to Betts, then the Cubs do it to Darvish the following offseason.

     

    MLB needs to get its house in order if they want to stay competitive with other sports. They have so many problems that badly need to be resolved, as it's getting harder to be excited about baseball pretty much every year.

    Other sports have salary caps to maintain salary comps. The NBA is an outlier, but NHL and NFL definitely maintain viability of all franchises because of the cap. That will never happen in MLB and will hurt MLB longterm. That is not to say that the capitalist in me believes there should be a cap. That is a subject for a different discussion.

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    Other sports have salary caps to maintain salary comps. The NBA is an outlier, but NHL and NFL definitely maintain viability of all franchises because of the cap. That will never happen in MLB and will hurt MLB longterm. That is not to say that the capitalist in me believes there should be a cap. That is a subject for a different discussion.

     

    does the capitalist in you believe in teh draft and salary controls and team control of players even if they aren't under contract?

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    How many times do we see teams sign big contracts and then have the regrets?  Pujols, Ryan Howard, Melvin Upton...then the team is financially strapped, does give away trades, limps along.  There is a message here, but MLB owners do not seem to read it.  Hopefully the next three years of Donaldson will not be filled with regret.  The Padres made wise trades - Darvish (34) who is performing at top level has only two more years after 2021 and should be at least an above average pitcher at that point. Snell, with less owed to him is only 28 meaning he might be reaching a peak.  For those who doubt his ability to go more than 5 innings I can only say it up to the team to develop a good strategy and Snell has the talent for 7 innings.  With Dinelson (24) they have three ACEs and two good pitchers to round out the rotation.  Then there is Chris Paddock who would be the best #4 or #5 in MLB. And next year they have Clevinger who will be 31 to make 4 ACES.   I love their aggressiveness because they have the team to play behind these pitchers. 

     

    Teams have certain windows open - look at the Twins.  We were on top in 2019, now we have moved on from Rosario, Cruz is a question mark, Garver may or may not go back to the form we dream up.  Are the new rookies going to push us upward or are we going to slide back?  I am hoping for up.

     

    Our rotation had one ACE in Maeda if he goes back to form he is a two  and two twos in Berrios and Pineda.  I loved the Dobnak story, but I think his story is over.  So do we have the courage to go Balazovic and Duran who have upside or do we sign Odorizzi again for a good number 3.  Stack that up with the Padres, Braves, and Dodgers.  And then there is the BP.  In a couple months all this could be moot, but right now that playoff win is a long way away.

    I think the frustrating part is that the Twins and the Padres are pretty similar in their payroll abilities. The Pads will be about 150 this year and I think we all would have expected that from the Twins in a normal 2021. The Pads are doing what I think we all wish the Twins would and treating 2020 as an outlier loss year and taking advantage of the most obvious market inefficiency ever...90% of the league trying to cut money.

     

    They are mixing their young, cheap talent (to be fair Twins don't have a Tatis Jr) with expensive veterans to build a complete team. If Kiriloff, Larnach, Lewis, Balazovich, and Duran all hit (not likely, unfortunately) they will be in a spot to have 5 uber cheaper core players for the next 3 years and reasonably priced for the 3 or 4 after that. The Pads believed in their system and took swings on Meyers, Hosmer, and Machado before they saw what all their kids could do and now they're doubling down. Would be fun to see the Twins do the same. If you think Kiriloff and Larnach are ready to be above average MLB bats pencil them in and take a chance or 2 on guys to fill other holes. If you think Lewis is ready some point this year don't spend on a utility IF and make a splash with a deal for Castellanos and Castillo.

     

    The Twins could do what the Pads are doing. I get why they aren't, but man it must be fun to be a Padre fan today.

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    The Twins could do what the Pads are doing. I get why they aren't, but man it must be fun to be a Padre fan today.

     

    Exactly what was going through my head yesterday.

     

    Seeing what was given up for Snell, I was a little upset we didn't make a similar offer.

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    Other sports have salary caps to maintain salary comps. The NBA is an outlier, but NHL and NFL definitely maintain viability of all franchises because of the cap. That will never happen in MLB and will hurt MLB longterm. That is not to say that the capitalist in me believes there should be a cap. That is a subject for a different discussion.

    A salary cap isn't the only solution. One can use various draft incentives, a salary floor, and more rigorous luxury taxes to increase overall competitiveness. Except none of those things will likely happen, as MLB long ago showed us how much it's willing to sacrifice the quality of the sport for short-term profits.

     

    Every year, it's becoming more apparent to me that baseball needs a complete overhaul to avoid being left behind by more exciting, flexible sports. Those changes include both on-field and top-level changes that drastically change how the sport operates.

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    A salary cap isn't the only solution. One can use various draft incentives, a salary floor, and more rigorous luxury taxes to increase overall competitiveness. Except none of those things will likely happen, as MLB long ago showed us how much it's willing to sacrifice the quality of the sport for short-term profits.

     

    Every year, it's becoming more apparent to me that baseball needs a complete overhaul to avoid being left behind by more exciting, flexible sports. Those changes include both on-field and top-level changes that drastically change how the sport operates.

     

    Boston and the Cubs aren't cutting costs because they don't have enough revenue......MLB teams appear to be owned by owners the least interested in winning of all the sports. (i know you know this, just replying that money isn't really the issue here)

     

    Money isn't an issue for most teams, really.....the complete lack of caring if you win, and maximizing profit is the issue (it's an issue if you care about there being better teams, not if you care about the owners making more money, which some here do).

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    Boston and the Cubs aren't cutting costs because they don't have enough revenue......MLB teams appear to be owned by owners the least interested in winning of all the sports. (i know you know this, just replying that money isn't really the issue here)

     

    Money isn't an issue for most teams, really.....the complete lack of caring if you win, and maximizing profit is the issue (it's an issue if you care about there being better teams, not if you care about the owners making more money, which some here do).

    Oh, for sure, which is why I'm increasingly in favor of some kind of draft incentive for not tanking. The NBA lottery is a fine place to start the conversation but I'm not sure it's the right answer or only answer.

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    I think we're all interested in Tanaka but just expect he will still re-sign with the Yankees. If not, would he want to be in the Midwest?

    I still think the best replacement for Odorizzi is Odorizzi.

    I am interested in Walker and Richards, both of whom appear healthy at this time.

    Kluber, healthy, at 85-90% of his old self would be very interesting. But is he, can he be that?

    Why does the answer seem so obvious to me?

    Odorizzi in the #4 spot and Walker as a #5 would be terrific imo

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