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    Mike Sixel

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/03/2021 in all areas

  1. If basically the only real downside to a trade is "We had to give up an old player who was unlikely to be on the team next year and he's a really good dude"...then it's a pretty good trade. Look, I love Nelson Cruz as much as anyone, but we got two AAA pitchers that are considered to be good prospects from an organization that has a deep minor league system and a great reputation for developing pitching. The hate levels are low. The like levels are high.
    31 points
  2. I've been hard on this front office lately but they literally traded JA Happ for a live human being that plays baseball.
    27 points
  3. I think this is 100% unfair in this deal. Berrios was clear he was going to FA next year. They got a top 20 prospect, and a top 50-60 prospect, both in AA. I get being cynical, but this is not a good take, imo.
    23 points
  4. I think this deadline is playing out the way it probably should for the Twins. Patience is key here. The Cruz trade was the right move because the offer was good enough to move early. It looks like the rest of the offers have not been good enough. My view: 1. Don't trade Buxton, sign him. From what I read, the $80m guarantee is over 7 years is acceptable to both, the issue is the size of the escalators. There is a deal there, make it. The only way a midmarket team can keep someone this talented is to get lucky and take risk. That's what we need to do here. 2. Only trade Berrios now if you get a huge package. From the Dodgers, it must include either a Dustin May or Gavin Lux type player, +1 of their top starting pitching prospects like Gray or Peipot, plus an A+ or AA pitcher or shortstop with upside. Do not trade him unless you can get that. If all we're being offered is a lesser package, we can get that over the winter and it gives us a chance to re-sign him. Consider trading Donaldson to create the payroll space to give the money to Berrios. We need him more. 3. With two possible exceptions, trade all of the expiring contracts for effectively whatever you can get. It ain't going to be much given the performance of these guys but restocking the lower levels with guys that don't have to be on the 40 man roster right away has value. The point here is not the return. The point here is opening up opportunities now, not next year NOW, for the next wave of guys who might help us in 2022 through 2025. If you have to DFA guys like Happ to move him off the roster, do it. Colome is tougher because they still the hint of reclamation there as a middle of the bullpen guy and we need that. 4. The other exception is Pineda. Only trade him if you can get a solid to good return in the form of pitching that can be on the MLB roster next year or a shortstop. If you can't get that, try to re–sign him NOW. He wants to stay, is a solid number 3 or number 4 starter (#3 if he gives you 30 starts, #4 the more likely event he gives you 20 starts) and he wants to stay. 2 years $20 - $25 million. 5. Avoid the temptation to trade guys who can be contributing parts of a contending team in the 2022 – 2024 timeframe and for whom there are no obvious replacements like Duffy, Kepler, Polanco, Arraez, Maeda, etc. unless a team overpays. Do not let other teams take our decent quality players unless we decide to trade all of them and start over. I don't think were ready to do that nor do I think we need to do that. 6. PLAY the young guys so we can evaluate them for next year around what we need to find over the winter. In the field, that means Rooker, Gordon, Larnach, Miranda all get a lot of at bats. Same for Sano, Refsnyder and/or Contreras if the FO thinks they can be contributors next year. Celestino is not ready, so he goes back to AAA at the very least. Rotvedt is in the same boat and should stay in AAA. Whatever you do, do not play guys like Astudillo and Cave at the expense of these other guys. Astudillo and Cave might be numbers 25 – 30 on the roster next year but we already know what they can do. Let's not be 1 of those teams that tries to eke out another 3 – 5 wins this season by playing guys really have no long-term future as significant contributors. 7. PITCH the young guys for the same reason. Hopefully after the trade deadline dust settles, there will be room in the starting rotation for at least Jax and/or Barnes, and hopefully for Winder. Give all of these guys a minimum of 5 or 6 start down the stretch and keep Ober in the rotation until he reaches his innings limit, then sit him and give the last few starts to someone else. Hopefully the bullpen will have room for at least some of Hamilton, Vasquez, Moran, and Cano. Get those guys at least 10 – 15 appearances each, again so you can see what we have. Send Alcala back to AAA if you need to to create room. Look, all of this sucks and seems like every move we made over the winter backfired. Having said that, we are where we are. We need to have a plan to move forward to make things better as soon as possible. I think this plan does that and, more importantly gives us the data we see how far away we are by the end of the season. That helps make a decision on guys like Berrios and whether to try to re-sign guys like Cruz and Pineda if he's traded. Stop mucking around and commit to a re-tooling this year or we're going to be stuck in never never land again next year.
    18 points
  5. Well..it was fun having Nelly Cruz for these past few seasons. I will be cheering him on in the post season.
    18 points
  6. If I was to hazard a guess it would have something to do with Donaldson being in his stance ready for the pitch and Arraez is staring off into the outfield stands, facing away from the plate unable to see what was happening. Then, Arraez started moving around in Donaldson's line of sight to pick up the pitch. Arraez wasn't in position, he wasn't ready and he was distracting Donaldson. Feels pretty disrespectful to me. I don't think it's any big deal. More of just a "Come on, man! Get your head in the game!" The dugout conversation looked like a no biggie to me.
    18 points
  7. I love baseball in all of its dissectible minutiae. I delight in overthinking every at-bat, sweating every intense moment, and debating pointless frivolities. I get a kick out of analyzing and opining on the many twists and turns of a marathon season. And offseason. (If you frequent this site, you might have noticed.) But more than all that, I just love the baseball experience. Removing all of the stats, trends, trades, analytics, and hot takes, I am plain and simply a baseball fan to the core. I feel at peace in the ballpark, or with sounds of the game droning on my TV or radio. When I was a young pup riding the bus down Cedar Avenue to the Metrodome, I didn't care much about Kirby Puckett's OPS or Brad Radke's trade value. I was just happy to be wandering through this majestic Dome, eating a hot dog and staring on at the action alongside thousands of other contented folks. If the game went long, maybe I'd even get to stay out late on a school night. Much has changed since those days, but the fundamental source of my passion has not. And I was reminded of this very starkly in 2020, when a cherished annual summer routine – uninterrupted since I could remember (mind you, I was 9 years old when the '94 strike took place) – fell apart. As the pandemic unfolded two springs ago, I was highly skeptical a season of record could be salvaged. Happily I was wrong. Major League Baseball managed to pull off a shortened 60-game season, and it was entirely fine. Much better than nothing. But it never quite felt authentic, and was over almost as quickly as it began. (The Twins played their 60th game of this season five weeks ago.) Most crucially, like so many diehards across the country, I never got to attend a game. It's an irrelevant footnote in the face of all the tragedy and trauma faced by so many last year, but losing the ballpark experience was a bummer. I promised myself that when we emerged from it all and congregated once again at the stadium, I'd savor the hell out of it. And that I have. I've attended more Twins games at Target Field in the first half of this season than any previous. (And a couple at Kauffman Stadium!) I've run into random friends, heckled opposing outfielders, inhaled messy brats, beat the buzzer on bottom-of-seventh beers, and gazed wordlessly from my seat for indefinite stretches at the beautifully bland cadence of baseball, in all of its calm and rhythmic glory. Lord, did I miss it. I attended two games this past weekend, during a sweep of the Tigers to close out the first half. Let's just say it cemented my deep gratitude for the return of (relative) normalcy in the realm of baseball. On Friday I grabbed bleacher seats with high school friends and felt the electricity of the year's biggest crowd. The place was alive. Sunday, I joined up with a whole gaggle of Twins Daily writers – many of whom I'd scarcely had met before, what with the absence of events for 16 months – and we had a ball milling about on the Gray Duck Deck. Considerable Bomba Juice was consumed. These times are golden. They're what fuel my fandom and love for the sport, through thick and thin. I don't know if this year's Twins season would be described as thick or thin (kinda weird descriptors?), but what matters is we're all trudging through it together, and Sunday was an excellent reminder of that: a perfect punctuation to the best and worst damn first half of Twins baseball ever. The return of baseball as we know and love it would be way more fun, obviously, if our favorite team did not fall flat and completely erase any pretense of contention by the All-Star Game. But them's the breaks. The home team hasn't won much, and it's a shame. Still, those eternal words ring truer than ever: Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out with the crowd.
    18 points
  8. Think there needs to be some pretty big qualifiers on this. Major leaguer for major leaguer trades don't happen too often anymore. So going by major league WAR stats is going to make almost any trade within the first couple years look like a bad decision for the team getting prospects. James Shields had accumulated 2.0 bWAR with Chicago in 2017 and 2018 while Fernando Tatis Jr had accumulated 0 with San Diego. That's considered one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history. Tom says "for now" or "there's a lot to be determined yet," but to title the article the way it's titled and use WAR as the determining factor on success of these trades is really misleading. If Duran turns into an ace, or even a #2 or 3 starter the Twins crushed that deal. That doesn't even account for Maciel and De La Trinidad. Pressley went to Houston and watched his breaking ball spin rate go through the roof while being shown on camera spraying his arm with illegal substances. Ynoa had a 5.26 ERA in rookie ball when he was dealt. Lance Lynn had been a malcontent and pretty awful at pitching during his time here and wasn't going to be brought back the next year (late signing who was cranky he didn't get a big deal). Pressley, Ynoa, and Lynn are the only 3 guys on this list who the Twins could have used since they've been gone. That's 1 rookie ball pitcher they traded away in a "win now" move that fans around here beg for constantly, 1 veteran who wasn't pitching well and wasn't going to come back the next year on an under .500 team. And 1 reliever who I wish we still had, but started cheating when he went to his new team. If Alcala was performing the way his pure stuff suggests he should that trade would already be a wash. They got exactly what they were looking for with Romo and added a top 20 prospect for Lewin Diaz. They got a top 5 system and top 100 global prospect back for an Escobar rental. They certainly haven't crushed any of the trades yet, but they've also only dealt veteran rentals, low level prospects, and a reliever. What do you expect to get out of those deals beyond what they did? Title and feel of this article don't seem to match the reality of these trades in my opinion.
    18 points
  9. I mean, how can you not love this trade? even if it doesn't work, they added a RP in AA......
    17 points
  10. Sorry but this doesn't pass the smell test. Shoe was DFA'd, he was effectively a free agent, and he made the decision to stay with the Twins rather than go sign a minor league deal elsewhere. If you think your team and its coaching is a significant factor for your poor performance, then why on earth would you accept an option assignment to the minors with that same team?
    17 points
  11. I think the Twins did pretty well at the deadline. They did well in their trades of Berrios & Cruz, getting real value and quality players that are already playing and showing success at higher levels of the minors. They got rid of Happ, who had declined from being a solid pitcher in the first month or so of the season to a trash fire. The demerits are not moving Donaldson, Pineda, and Rogers (arguably Simmons too) but there are reasons for all of them, I think. We just don't know if there were good options for Donaldson that didn't require them eating far too much of the contract. He's still an excellent player when healthy and he's been pretty healthy this year so if they had to eat the rest of this year's salary (ok) and a big chunk of 2022 & 2023...then maybe not ok. Pineda is a guy they might be looking to keep to help anchor the rotation. Rogers was hurt and it probably tanked his value. Simmons is still a fine defender, but it didn't look like SS defense was an area of significant interest among contenders. I'd say they were slight winners by getting excellent value in the trades they made. It gets pulled back a little by not being able to make additional moves that seemed to make sense, but the net is still a positive for the Twins at the deadline. ESPN pegged them as losers...but most of that grade is influenced by the rotten season as a whole. That's fair, but looking at just the deadline moves, I'd say they "won" as much as you can when you're selling.
    16 points
  12. I wish Nelson Cruz the best in pursuing a WS ring with the Rays. I will be rooting for the Rays for the remainder of the year.
    16 points
  13. Excellent write-up, Matthew. Well-researched and fair-minded. A home run. I think this story hit some of us hard because it fits one of the fear narratives we have about this organization under Falvey/Levine and Baldelli/Johnson - that they've got a dogmatic approach, they think they're the smartest people in baseball, and they pay more attention to numbers than to players. Plus, us fans have been hit hard by the reality that the team we had dreamed of seeing win a championship is now breaking apart and sinking to the bottom of MLB. "We had a 100-win pace ballclub for two years and all I got was this lousy AL Central Division Title T-Shirt." But, as some cooler heads have posted here, it is possible that the Twins can adjust quickly. It is possible that some of the problems are internal, but some are maybe from the new players themselves and some are just a matter of terrible luck with regard to injury and recovery. And as you note here, in the case of Shoemaker, maybe it's all three. That said, the Twins better be very open to criticism. They've traded away top players, they've given away new young stars for absolutely nothing, and, outside of Cruz, their FA signings performed terribly. They've got a lot of fair criticism coming this offseason - from fans and from players within the organization. Time to listen and to learn some hard lessons now.
    15 points
  14. I've posted this too much, but since this is a Pineda thread....... They have 2 veterans on the MLB roster to mentor the young players. I think we all under estimate the value of that. I'd try to extend Pineda 2 years. Then either sign or deal for a better SP in the off season. Pineda, Meada, FA/Trade + 2 from this system is what I'd start the year with. I think rotating the AAA / AA players thru this year, to get their feet wet and see their stuff against MLB players is important, and I think Pineda and Maeda being here to mentor them is also important.
    15 points
  15. You must be kidding. To get anything for Happ is amazing, flat out amazing. Is he also a Top 50 in baseball?
    15 points
  16. Takeaway #6. The Twins were not prepared to play this year. To have the manager say mid-season that they need to work on fundamentals and get back to playing fundamentally sound baseball, especially after winning 2 consecutive division titles really chaps my backside. What the heck were you working on, walk-up tunes and interviews?
    15 points
  17. In Minnesota baseball lore, David Ortiz is the equivalent of Boston's Bambino, or Wrigleyville's billy goat. The very mention of Big Papi causes a visceral shudder for any Twins fan within earshot, surfacing deep feelings of regret and lament. How differently things might have gone for the Twins had Ortiz stayed in Minnesota. (Aaron Gleeman wrote a fun "what if" article about this last year.) Naturally, the Ortiz example is invoked any time a promising Twins player departs unduly – the sports fan's equivalent of a PTSD reaction. Lingering fear of a recurrence envelopes us, clouding our judgment. In most cases, this apprehension proves unwarranted. Nonetheless, the Curse of Papi persists. You all know where I'm going with this: Is Byron Buxton the next David Ortiz?? In some ways, it's a fitting parallel. Ortiz left Minnesota in his late 20s, having shown flashes of standout ability, before immediately blossoming elsewhere. In Boston, he emerged as a perennial MVP contender, postseason legend, and franchise icon. It's all too easy to envision the same path for Buxton, except therein lies the difference: you don't need to imagine it. Buxton already IS that guy. He was the AL Player of the Month in April and has been one of the game's best players on a per-game basis for the last three years. After a long and meandering path, he has finally reached his true potential as a top-shelf elite MLB player. Yes, the injuries have remained a constant. But that's exactly why a long-term extension with Buxton would even be attainable right now for a team like the Twins. If not for the implications and associated risk of his health history, he'd likely be eyeing a deal outside of Minnesota's realistic scope. It might seem odd when you're talking about offering more than $100 million to a player whose track record is as sparse as Buxton's, but the Twins should theoretically be able to secure a relative bargain here due to the circumstances. Alas, the front office seems a tad too ambitious in its hunt for a bargain. The allure of signing Buxton long-term is that he can offer a potential impact on the level of a Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Fernando Tatis Jr., but at a fraction of the guaranteed commitment. That said, the clear value needs to be there for Buxton, who knows his level of ability, and it is evidently not. His camp rejected Minnesota's offer, which reportedly elevated from $73 million to $80 million in guaranteed money with a "unique incentive package." Sounds like those incentives were the sticking point. At this juncture we don't what was proposed or countered, so analyzing the negotiation is murky. Then again, it's also difficult to fathom what kind of request or suggested terms from Buxton's agent would make the Twins balk to the point they're giving up on an opportunity to secure this generational talent, at the precipice of true superstardom. A somewhat similar dynamic is at play with José Berríos, who was drafted the same year as Buxton and is also looking ahead to free agency at the end of 2022. One can certainly argue that Berríos is more critical to the Twins' future, given their scarcity of high-quality arms. But in a way, he is the antithesis of Buxton: ultra-reliable with a capped ceiling. Berríos has been one of the most durable and consistent pitchers in the game – steadily very good, just short of great, always available. Meanwhile, Buxton has improved every season in a setback-riddled career that's been full of ups and downs. He's just now reaching his full form, displaying game-changing greatness that is almost unparalleled. Yes, Berríos will be difficult to replace, in that arms like his don't come along often. The Twins certainly haven't proven adept at finding or developing them. But Buxton is irreplaceable in a more absolute sense. Athletes and human beings like him almost NEVER come along. His speed, power, and defense are off-the-charts good. He's one of the most entertaining players I've ever seen. And he's still getting better. I can see the rationale in moving on from Berríos. He's clearly intent on testing free agency and maximizing his earnings. There will be no discount or bonus-contingent contract in play there. And it's awfully hard for a mid-market team to build balanced contending rosters when paying one of their five starting pitchers $25+ million annually. Their everyday center fielder, though? One who's proven to be an MVP-caliber talent while on the field? And who won't even be reaching that salary range unless he's staying on the field enough to trigger incentives? I'm struggling to understand why the Twins aren't stepping up here. Target Field was ostensibly built for the exact purpose of keeping a player like this. From available evidence, it doesn't seem like the team is making a particularly hearty effort to do what it takes to retain him. Whatever Buxton's side is asking for – $30-plus million in annual achievable salary, an early opt-out clause, lower-than-desired bonus thresholds – none of those should be deal-breakers. Maybe there's still a way. Buxton said on Monday "it's not the end," leaving some faint cause for hope. But at this point, the outlook is grim. It's true that signing Buxton long-term would entail some risk. But it pales in comparison to the risk of watching him go elsewhere, shake off the snakebitten injury luck, and emerge as a late-blooming legend while Twins fans spend another decade lamenting the one that got away. In this case, it'd be a much less excusable gaffe than releasing David Ortiz. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    15 points
  18. I view prospects about as skeptically as anyone here, and even I like this deal. I love watching Cruz hit. He's been fantastic. But he's 41, not signed past this year, and the Twins are going nowhere. It'd be the height of irresponsibility to NOT deal Cruz.
    15 points
  19. The payroll aspect helps the Twins more than it hurts, I suspect. 1. Outside of Donaldson, all of the Twins’ best trade chips are either cost-controlled or cheap for their performance level. 2. The Twins are likely in a position to absorb some or all of a player’s salary if the other team cannot, which will give them negotiating power to demand a higher return.
    15 points
  20. Sad? Becoming a #4 starter is a fantastic outcome for a 12th round pick. And if they were to go on a playoff run, he could move to the pen and possibly gain a couple ticks on his fastball, likely increasing his K rate. This organization has a woeful track record with starting pitching, but Ober could be a sign of things to come.
    14 points
  21. Before we rush to call the Twins cheap skates, shouldn't we know a bit more about the "unique incentives package" and Buxton's counter-offer? Hayes seems to hint that Buxton wants more assured money in case he gets hurt again, which is totally reasonable, but isn't it also reasonable for the team to be wary of that? If the incentives are low-ball and meaningless, then I'd say the Twins are being cheap. If, however, he can hit 20M a year by just getting on the field, say, 60% of the time than I'd say they aren't being cheap at all. Only ten players in the entire league have gotten contracts in free agency over 4 years in the last three offseasons. Only 5 that have gotten 7 years or more in term: Harper, Machado, Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg. Teams don't hand out deals like this much anymore, so it wouldn't take those incentives being all that elaborate for them to be well in line with MLB behavior right now. (I'd argue they would be acting very generously on the term aspect relative to the rest of the league)
    14 points
  22. What if Astudillo ends up pitching to Ohtani?
    14 points
  23. Critique of a front office is easy to make in the midst of a deeply disappointing season. While many fans are languishing over the incoming July trade deadline, I've heard a lot of complaints about the lack of waiver claims made this season by the Minnesota Twins. Why are the Twins continuing to trot out the likes of Colomé, Happ, and (formerly) Shoemaker, when the front office can claim replacement-level players from other teams for essentially nothing? The outright waiver transaction process is a deeply complicated one. Whenever a team wants to remove a player that is already on the 40-man roster, that player must first be offered to each of the other 29 major league teams. If another team claims that player, the player goes on that new team's 40-man roster. The full definition from MLB can be found here. Because I'm insane, and this season is awful, I decided to compile a list of every player that the Falvey/Levine front office has claimed from other organizations, in addition to players they've lost via waiver claims. How have they fared in the waiver claim game? Should they pick up the pace, now that they have nothing to lose? Do these claims actually amount to anything? These questions are important... but so is the trip down memory lane, once you read some of these names. Players Acquired Via Waiver Claim Date of Claim Player Claimed Position Team Claimed From fWAR in Minnesota 2/6/2017 Ehire Adrianza UTL IF San Francisco Giants 2.1 5/10/2017 Adam Wilk LHP New York Mets -0.2 6/7/2017 Chris Heston RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 0.0 3/24/2018 Kenny Vargas 1B Cincinatti Reds - 4/26/2018 David Hale RHP New York Yankees -0.2 5/28/2018 Taylor Motter UTL Seattle Mariners -0.3 8/3/2018 Johnny Field RF Cleveland Indians 0.1 8/3/2018 Oliver Drake RHP Cleveland Indians 0.2 10/31/2018 Michael Reed CF Atlanta Braves - 11/26/2018 C.J. Cron 1B Tampa Bay Rays 0.3 10/29/2019 Matt Wisler RHP Seattle Mariners 0.6 10/30/2020 Ian Gibault RHP Texas Rangers - 10/30/2020 Brandon Waddell LHP Pittsburgh Pirates -0.3 2/5/2021 Ian Hamilton RHP Philadelphia Phillies - 2/11/2021 Kyle Garlick RF Atlanta Braves 0.3 6/22/2021 Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers - Total fWAR 2.6 The Twins have claimed a total of 16 players from opposing organizations since Falvey/Levine took over after the 2016 World Series. Of these 16 claims, their most consequential claim was their very first one. Ehire Adrianza was never a star, but a very productive role player for a number of contending Twins teams. After that, the list isn't so impressive. Matt Wisler was great at slinging sliders in the bullpen during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Twins cut him last offseason in a puzzling move. C.J. Cron and the currently-injured Kyle Garlick have been the largest "successes" outside of Adrianza and Wisler, each account for 0.3 fWAR as right-handed hitters that were acquired to mash left-handed pitching. Most of these players did not remain on the 40-man roster for a long time. Quite a few were lost to waivers shortly after the Twins acquired them, which include Kenny Vargas, Johnny Field, Oliver Drake, and Brandon Waddell. Such is the life on the waiver wire for many MLB players. Players Lost Via Waiver Claim Date of Claim Player Position Team Claimed By fWAR after Minnesota 11/18/2016 Adam Brett Walker LF Milwaukee Brewers - 8/26/2017 Tim Melville RHP San Diego Padres -0.2 9/14/2017 Engelb Vielma SS San Francisco Giants -0.1 11/3/2017 Randy Rosario LHP Chicago Cubs -0.3 11/3/2017 Daniel Palka OF Chicago White Sox -0.7 11/6/2017 Nik Turley LHP Pittsburgh Pirates 0.2 1/22/2018 Buddy Boshers LHP Houston Astros 0.1 2/23/2018 JT Chargois RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 0.5 3/22/2018 Kenny Vargas 1B Cincinatti Reds - 7/9/2018 Ryan LaMarre CF Chicago White Sox 0.4 10/10/2018 Juan Graterol C Cincinatti Reds -0.2 11/1/2018 Johnny Field RF Chicago Cubs - 11/1/2018 Oliver Drake RHP Tampa Bay Rays 0.4 1/11/2019 Aaron Slegers RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 0.4 5/26/2019 Austin Adams RHP Detroit Tigers -0.1 7/20/2019 Adalberto Mejia LHP Los Angeles Angels 0.0 8/14/2019 Ryan Eades RHP Baltimore Orioles -0.2 9/16/2019 Marcos Diplan RHP Detroit Tigers - 11/4/2019 Stephen Gonsalves LHP New York Mets - 9/5/2020 Ildemaro Vargas 2B Chicago Cubs -0.5 10/1/2020 Sean Poppen RHP Pittsburgh Pirates -0.1 5/8/2021 Brandon Waddell LHP Baltimore Orioles 0 5/14/2021 Travis Blankenhorn 2B Los Angeles Dodgers -0.1 6/5/2021 Dakota Chalmers RHP Chicago Cubs - 6/18/2021 Shaun Anderson RHP Texas Rangers - Total fWAR -0.5 You'll immediately notice this list of players lost via waivers during the Falvyey/Levine regime is a lot longer than the list of players they've acquired via waivers. All together, they have lost 25 players, which is 9 more players than they've claimed from other teams. The good news for the organization, is that this cumulative list has not come back to bite them. 10 of the 25 claimed players provided negative value for their new teams, after departing Minnesota. Daniel Palka's 2017 season really sunk this group, as he posted a -1.4 fWAR in only 93 plate appearances for the White Sox (after he provided 0.7 fWAR and a 109 wRC+ in 2018). The largest losses from this group have definitely been in the relief category, highlighted by JT Chargois, Oliver Drake, and Aaron Slegers. However, most of these players have had inconsistent careers, injuries, or both, in their time after playing for Minnesota. Even when factoring in some bullpen pieces this organization might regret losing, the total fWAR from these players after departing the Twins is -0.5 fWAR. The current front office has been right far more than wrong, when deciding how to churn the 40-man roster. Yearly Trends And Overall Takeaway Year Players Claimed From Other Teams Players Claimed By Other Teams 2016/2017 3 6 2018 7 7 2019 1 6 2020 2 2 2021 3 4 Total Players 16 25 Total fWAR 2.6 -0.5 fWAR Difference 3.1 Overall, the Twins have gained 3.1 fWAR from their decisions to gain and lose players from the waiver wire. That's a pretty decent result for a type of front office transaction that is often overlooked. It averages out to about 0.69 fWAR per season, factoring in the 4.5 seasons of the Falvey/Levine regime. Most of that waiver activity came in 2017 and 2018, when the front office was still adjusting to their inherited players from the previous front office. Successful teams don't always gamble roster spots on players exposed to outright waivers, which is evident in the 2019 team. One major caveat to point out across the yearly trend is that teams were probably hesitant to claim players from other organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, so 2020 and early 2021 should be viewed through that lens. However, that didn't stop the Twins from claiming 3 bullpen arms (Ian Gibault, Brandon Waddell, and Ian Hamilton), and Kyle Garlick this offseason. The jury is still out on these claims, but Waddell did not go well. The most interesting thing about 2021 is that the Twins lost 4 players during their early season free-fall (Brandon Waddell, Travis Blankenhorn, Dakota Chalmers, and Shaun Anderson), before claiming Beau Burrows a few weeks ago from the Detroit Tigers. Is former first-round draft pick Beau Burrows the tip of the iceberg? Now that 2021 is officially kaput, will the front office be more aggressive? I sure hope so. Moves will be made in the next few weeks, and this 40-man roster will be significantly different as we approach the trade deadline. The 40-man roster will likely be smaller, and the Twins will be in front of the line when contenders have to cut players to account for their deadline additions. Waiver claims are rarely sexy transactions, but sometimes you stumble into a Ehire Adrianza or a Matt Wisler. The Twins have proven to be more successful than not when it comes to their waiver claim game. It's time to play, because there's simply nothing to lose.
    14 points
  24. Another year for the MLB draft, another year that I will be waiting by the phone...just in case. Don't the Twins need an almost 50 year old left-handed pitcher, who was mediocre in high school, with some, umm, command issues? I guess I could be a LOOGY at this point in my not-so-illustrious baseball career. Your move, Falvine. Make the call. I'm still waiting!
    14 points
  25. It was actually one of the better baseball games I’ve seen all year. Fast paced, crisp, and engaging.
    14 points
  26. None of us have enough first hand knowledge to know the real story. But thanks for all the information, Matt. What concerns me is whether or not the Twins are trying to get all pitchers to focus on some of the same things, ie,, throw X pitch high in the zone, throw more sliders, etc. Every pitcher is different, would expect the best staff would be one that gets the most out of each pitcher based on his individual strengths.
    13 points
  27. This post is exactly correct in that it identifies the necessary switch in franchise strategy given the poor results this year (this is what small to mid market teams do when the window clearly has closed - that’s just today’s MLB) and where the primary responsibility now resides for the successful execution of that strategy (coaching staff throughout the organization), Think about this possible starting lineup in 2023: 1. Arraez (2B) 2. Martin (LF) 3. Buxton (CF) 4. Kiriloff (1B) 5. Miranda (3B) 6. Polanco (DH) 7. Larnach (RF) 8. Garver/Jeffers/Rortvedt (C) 9. Lewis (SS) Bench: Gordon, Rooker, Celestino Obviously, there will be changes to this (i.e., maybe a Kepler or Sano turn things around), but the point is that with Buxton, Polanco and maybe Garver making about $25-30MM and the rest making close to league minimum, these 14 players cost under $40MM. Now think about the pitching staff. We should be able to develop at least three, hopefully 4, solid #2s-#3s out of the ten or so candidates currently in the system. Ideally, another three or four are in the pen. That’s over half of the staff on league minimum - let’s say another $10MM. Ownership will clearly spend $120-140MM to pursue a championship. There is now $70-90MM available to: a) add one or two #1-2 starters, b) build a shutdown pen like we used to have and like the ChiSox are doing, and c) add one or two solid position players/bats. There is a solid strategy here. The three key decisions under team control are to resign Buxton, play the young guys in 2021 and 2022 to see what you’ve got, and make sure you have the right coaching staff. As a mid market franchise, we can’t be blessed to realistically compete every year, We’ve had great runs and the possibility is there for another to develop. I, for one, am looking forward to watching the remainder of this year and next to see the plan develop.
    13 points
  28. I don't get why so many people are disappointed in not trading Donaldson
    13 points
  29. This would be the Eddie Rosario with a sub-.700 OPS, an 84 wRC+, and whose new team traded him away in 4 months? That Eddie? The hurry in trading Berrios is that if you wait to trade him until next year, your best case scenario is 1 top 100 prospect, and your worst case scenario is he needs Tommy John, and you can't even QO him for a comp pick, meaning you get literally nothing.
    13 points
  30. As I surmised in the game thread, I'm guessing that he didn't go to the pen for two reasons: 1. It is a lost season, and he and the FO want to see if their pitchers can get out of jams. 2. The FO is trying to deal (or willing to deal) the three RPs that were on the bench, and he was instructed not to use them before the game even started. I'm guessing it is both of those.
    13 points
  31. I dare to say this because the risk can't be avoided. But could Buxton be a Puckett kind of face of the franchise? His talent and his potential is game breaking. Could he languish in the unfortunate hall of "what Could have been"? Absolutely! And the Twins could have a burn that lingers for a few years. But how do you ever "go for it" unless you take a risk once in a while? Despite being a frustrated fan, I can easily get why the Twins are trying to play things safe. I mean, realistically, how can you commit 10% plus of your payroll to a guy you don't even know can be on the field for 100 games or more? But how can you not ignore what he does when on the field and HAVE to believe that bad luck HAS to even out at sometime? That's the rub. $15M per with decent, honest incentives for 100 games and then 120 games that raise the annual value to $25M. Toss in an opt out after 4yrs if you need to. If he rejects that, I'm not sure what you are supposed to do at that point.
    13 points
  32. I bet he and Brian Duensing would fetch quite the return.
    13 points
  33. Seth: In his time with the Twins, Cruz played in 258 games. He hit .304/.386/.598 (.984) with 435 doubles, 76 home runs and 191 RBI Holy cow that's a lot of doubles. :)
    13 points
  34. Fangraphs gives both new pitchers a 45 FV (Future Value) score. That would put them ahead of every Twins minor league pitcher right now except Balazovic, Duran, and Canterino. Edit: actually Winder has a 45 FV too in their midseason update: https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2021-in-season-prospect-list/summary?sort=-1,1&team=min&type=0
    13 points
  35. I don’t want to hear anything about Berrios walking two guys to start the 2nd. He ended the day with one ER through 7 giving up one hit and striking out 10! We can’t have a lineup who strands 8 plus runners every single game. We had 8 hits off of one of the best pitchers in the game right now and only scored a run. That’s the real killer.
    13 points
  36. Guys, I think Ober's development is clearly a success. He's getting better every start and showing signs of being a consistent back end starter - 4 or 5 spot. Those guys do not grow on trees and are pretty valuable. Yes, he's not a #1 or #2 but that doesn't mean he isn't important. I can absolutely see him as the 4th or 5th starter at the beginning of next season. There is one thing that puzzles me. I understand that we're watching his innings but why 4-5 innings for another 10-12 starts instead of 6 plus innings for another 7-8 starts? that's what we need next year - starters that can go 6 plus innings. Let's see if he can be one of those guys and whether he can navigate that 3rd time through the lineup. Yes, that mans shutting him down in early September but that might be a good thing. We have a lot of potential starters to evaluate THIS YEAR - Ober, Jax, Barnes, Ryan, Winder, Thorpe, Balazovic, at the very least. Leave a few starts for those guys. run piggy back starts - e.g., Jax as long as he can go followed by Barnes hopefully to the end of the game - but get these guys on the mound and find out if they're ready for the big time. Commit to the re-tool NOW, don't waste this year.
    12 points
  37. Get yer vaccines dammit. Florida just set a state record for new cases today with 21,000+
    12 points
  38. I wonder about those above who are critical for the Twins talking about trading Buxton. We don't know the context of how that happened. As I read it, they received calls inquiring about Buxton. Well, if someone calls you are gonna take it. Doesn't mean you ever considered moving him which is what the end result was. Also agree with the general consensus that I will miss Berrios, a lot. But after reading a national report that said the Jays got robbed and Nick's piece on Martin, I am excited that the return was big...really big. As for winning or losing at the deadline, is a win for me...big one. The two pitchers from Tampa for two months of Cruz is a huge return, much bigger than most expected. Furthermore, it would not be a surprise if at least one of the two is pitching every fifth day at Target Field next spring. If the reports I read are true, the Twins won the Berrios trade even though we will miss a special young man. Who knows, maybe the Twins go out and offer market value a year from this winter and he comes home...although I agree that would be contrary to how they usually do business. As for the Happ and Robles trade, I am amazed they got anything for that duo. Yes, they had to eat an unknown part of their contracts for the next two months, but to get any return is flat out robbery...IMO. And they got an actual major league pitcher as part of the Happ return. To be honest, I don't understand either of these deals. So for me its a huge win. Yes, there were others they didn't move. But did anyone expect them to be able to move Donaldson and his huge contract? Was a bit surprised that Pineda wasn't traded. Left me wondering if they will sign him to a two year extension before the year ends. But not knowing what, if anything, was offered for Pineda and others makes it hard to say they failed by not trading someone because if the offer wasn't adequate it makes sense to say no.
    12 points
  39. I love Martin and might drive the hype train. He was playing 3B at Vandy, but questions about his arm strength and accuracy led to a move to CF. You can live with seeing how that plays out while developing, but the likelihood is that SS/3B and CF won't be long-term homes. 2B/LF is probably how this plays out. He could turn out to be what you wish Arraez would be defensively, with a very similar offensive profile if the power doesn't develop.
    12 points
  40. Nelson Cruz's contract is up after this year, therefore holding onto him does nothing to build the team for next year. The Twins are allowed to sign him to a new contract this offseason as well. Making a trade for two pitchers having success in AAA actually is building for next year. You know what's not building for next year? Hanging on to a 41 year old on an expiring contract so he can hit 15 more home runs for a team that's going to lose 90 games.
    12 points
  41. #3 Reason to Like This Deal – The Timing Congrats, Minnesota. You're kind of a big deal. Your team just made the biggest trade of the trade deadline so far because Cruz was the best bat on the trade market. That market was a bit limited, given that he can't play in the National League, but he was still the big dog. And believe it or not, the question you should be asking was, "Why did they make the deal so early?" The Twins have been out of the postseason race for a month, but often a deal like this is not made until a day or two before the deadline. Sometimes it's not made until the afternoon of the trade deadline. Seeing a deal come together a week early suggests one of two things, both positive for the Twins: They got an offer they could not refuse. That's good news. They gave "buyers" a deadline for their best deal. I suspect the latter. The Twins looked at the market and decided to push the first domino. They still have at least Michael Pineda, Andrelton Simmons, and Hansel Robles to move, and they want to start fielding offers. It also might be that they saw teams waiting on making offers for someone like Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant until Cruz had found a landing spot. That's important because the Twins are likely trying to move Josh Donaldson. That's more difficult until Bryant is traded, since Bryant doesn't have $50M attached to him as Donaldson does. So even if the Twins insisted on the timing, it's a ploy that suits their needs. #3 Reason to Hate This Deal - Beware the Rays The Rays have earned the title of the Smartest Team in Any Deal. It's happened over and over, even when the names involved were premier players like Blake Snell or Chris Archer. It's hard to win a trade with the Rays. That said, the last deal the Twins made with the Rays has turned out great. Before the 2018 season, the Rays traded Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for prospect Jermaine Palacio. Odorizzi only had one good year with the Twins – but it was a terrific year, posting a 3.51 ERA in 2019 and resurrecting his career. Meanwhile, Palacios is back in the Twins organization. He's playing at AA-Witchita this year. He's 24 years old and having a breakout season, posting a 782 OPS as a shortstop after leaving the Rays' farm system. So, at the very least, the Twins weren't fleeced in that deal. #2 – Reason to Like the Deal – The Twins NAILED a Need Was the Twins' starting pitching the biggest reason for this year's disappointing season? Maybe not. But it's within the top four for sure, and feel free to debate the order in the comments. (Your candidates: starting pitching, injuries, [insert your favorite rant here], Alex Colome). But if the Twins want to take advantage of the competitive window they have from 2022-2024, they need major-league ready (and preferably cost-controlled) pitching. That's precisely what they got in this trade. The Twins only have two starting pitchers returning next year – Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios. This year's backup plans - Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe – have been injured. So have all three of the top pitching prospects in the organization: Jhoan Duran, Matt Canterino, and Jordan Balozovic. Plus, the Twins likely have only about $40M to spend on the free agent market next year. Getting back cost-controlled but solid major league pitching is no easy task in Major League Baseball. Looking at the other players the Twins could trade, very few could field that return. Nelson Cruz was their best (and maybe last) chance to do so, and they pulled it off. #2 Reason to Hate It – Nelly's Gone Losing Nelson Cruz sucks. He was a perfect fit for this team, and the team ended up being a perfect fit for him. Even though he played for the Twins from when he was 38 to 41 years old, he posted the highest OPS (984) of his career for any team. Read that again. Texas (823 OPS) and Seattle (908 OPS) revere him. But Cruz never played better for any team – unless he does so for the Rays. And I hope he does. Kick some ass, Nelly. Plus, of course, the whole leadership thing. Cruz was the MVP for both full seasons he played for the Twins, and while his performance certainly justified it, it was his teammates' testimonials that made that choice a no-doubter. He doesn't call attention to himself with histrionics or conspicuous public displays. He just led. The media didn't hear that from Cruz. They learned about it from his teammates. That's how you know it was real. Which brings us to the best reason to dislike this trade... #1 Reason to Hate It – And He Ain't Coming Back Sometimes you have to leave the past behind, and I suspect the Twins recognize that. Cruz will turn 42 years old next year, and that presents a significant risk. They also have younger bats, like Brent Rooker and maybe even Mitch Garver or Luis Arraez, that they would like to try as a designated hitter. Plus, he will likely cost any team over $10M to sign, and we've already covered the potential payroll squeeze that awaits this team. It's not impossible. The Twins love him, clearly. Cruz loves them right back. So never say never. But this season revealed so many leaks in the Twins' ship that I'll be surprised if they expend resources to bring Nellie back for one more year. It would have been nice to have him around a few more months, given that reality. #1 Reason to Like The Trade – They Did Pretty Good If you screw up the players you get back, none of it means a damn thing. We won't know for sure about these guys until their Twins' careers are over, but there are some things to be excited about with the players the Twins got in return. The lesser (right now) of the two prospects is Drew Strotman. It's worth noting that he's the higher draft pick of the two, so he was not always second fiddle. He's also on the Rays' 40-man roster, which is a negative to his value in terms of roster management, but shows just how impressed the Rays were with him just last year. He has a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and added an impressive cutter last year to complete the package. That potential hasn't been displayed yet this year in AAA. He's had decent results (3.39 ERA) but is walking way too many batters. But he's also just 24 years old, and this is his first taste of AAA after skipping AA altogether. The more intriguing prospect is Joe Ryan. He wasn't particularly near a top 100 prospect in preseason rankings, but it'll be interesting to see if that has changed given his performance this year in AAA. Tallying 75K in 57 IP, with just ten walks and a 0.789(!) WHIP, can change expectations. His profile is funky enough to either cast doubt or raise eyebrows. He has a mid-90s fastball that batters have trouble picking up due to his delivery. The COVID year allowed him to work with the Rays coaching staff on his secondary offerings, which seem to have improved. Plus, he is a bit of a free spirit, based on this profile of his development in Sports Illustrated. If Twins fans want a preview of him, check out the US Olympic Baseball team. He's on it. Or make your way to CHS Field in St. Paul in August. Or maybe you won't need to cross the river. He might be ready for a trial at Target Field before the year is over. The Twins did reasonably well in their first move of the trade deadline season. They made a solid and aggressive move at a good time, getting quality players and filling a need. It also sets them up nicely for more moves before the July 30th deadline. But yeah, it's a shame it had to come to this. And the team will need to wait and see if their move turns out as well as they hope.
    12 points
  42. Well, the Odorizzi trade went very poorly for them. Palacios flunked out of their minor league system and is back in ours, and we got two reasonably priced seasons out of him.
    12 points
  43. @Greglw3 Berríos threw just 94 pitches last night and sailed through six innings, allowing fewer baserunners than innings pitched. And this is what vexes me about fandom and baseball management. Half the fanbase is screaming at Baldelli for pulling pitchers too early while the other half is screaming at him for leaving in pitchers for too long. What's most likely is that Baldelli uses his pitchers in a pretty similar way to other managers, he's just not pulling the right strings and/or rolling snake eyes way more than usual this season.
    12 points
  44. Glad to see Garver hitting the ball right away and Jake Cave running at full speed. Phrases like "back fracture" are kind of terrifying to me, and regardless of how people feel about his abilities on the field at the MLB level, I'd think nobody wishes those kinds of injuries on anybody. The fact Balazovic got through 7.0 innings on just 90 pitches and only 2 more batters than the minimum is awesome. That's serious efficiency to go along with the double digit strikeouts. Hope he can keep it going and get up to 100 innings.
    12 points
  45. Agreed. But, love ya dude, at some point we all just have to drop the Badoo angst. I hope the best for the kid, I really do. And maybe he will continue to excel and maybe he will bottom out. Maybe he's out "payment" for receiving Santana as a rule 5, traded for, balancing act in the scheme of the cosmos. But we need to move on. IF this was a past Twins team coming off a 90-100 loss season, they may have protected him. But an A level ball player with missed time is just not going to be protected on the 40 man for a contending team with players ahead of him in the system. Weird stuff just happens! And I know you were only making a simple comment, but as an organization and fan base, I really hope we can just let this one go. Kirilloff and Larnach are here to stay. They both impress the hell out of me with their approach, despite being rookies, Larnach being pressed in to full time duty earlier than expected maybe more so. And AK has been playing and producing with a wrist that needs rest and treatment. These 2 guys are here to stay and only going to get better. We can take that away from a disappointing 2021. I was concerned that Jeffers 2020 was going to come back and bite him, It hasn but only because he's still so young. We can all see the potential. In a lost season, everything he's doing and gaining and learning will help his future. I feel bad for Rortvedt at this point and hope be will take what he's experiencing right now and use it to grow when he's sent down when Garver comes back. The same for Celistino. He's been pressed in to duty AFTER Cave, Kepler, Refsnyder and even Garlick taking turns in CF. And now Gordon has been learning CF on the fly. Not going off topic, just extrapolating how a lost season can bring value of experience to AK and Larnach and others. And I've mentioned those who could and should benefit going forward, (keep Gordon playing for goodness sake)! But you also mentioned Miranda. Even though he's not part of the OP, sorry Cody, we just can't ignore what he's doing. From every report we've ever heard and listened to, it was only about him finding his power to go along with his approach and potential defense and versatility as a good athlete to establish himself. He's doing that now. Again, not trying to steal the OP. What the Twins OF needs is a quality, reliable RH bat to work with Larnach, Kepler and Kirilloff....who will also play 1B....though I just don't know right now who that will be. IF Donaldson is traded, Arraez is the first guy to fill in. But in this lost season, there will be an open 40 man spot for Miranda to continue to step forward. There will be growing pains as there have been for Kirilloff and Larnach, but at some point you also have to just promote and "run with it" in regard to a top prospect.
    12 points
  46. Twins are 3rd in HRs in MLB this year, where has that gotten them. Draft pitching, pitching, and more pitching, the best way Twins to have a true ace pitcher is by drafting one.
    12 points
  47. Gavin Williams for me. What else are the Twins looking for? If you haven't checked it out, you must watch his performance against Vandy and Jack Leiter in the CWS. 13K's in 7 IP and 2 unearned, looked nasty. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.. and more Pitching.
    12 points
  48. Isn't he the guy Hrbek pulled off the bag in '91?
    11 points
  49. Why trade Rooker until you’ve played him some more and give him a chance to see what he can do? He isn’t going to get us anything significant in return unless we can find a team willing to trade a blocked shortstop or pitching prospect in return for a blocked outfield/DH prospect. Seems pretty unlikely. He is worth more to us than he is to anybody else, so why trade him? I guess I could see him as the minor-league throw in to even out a different trade. I think the better thing to do is to do what they’re doing, call him up, put him in the lineup as a DH Or outfielder and see if he can find that hitting stroke he seem to have a couple of years ago in a small sample. There’s nothing for us in trading him now so why do it.
    11 points
  50. Thanks for all your draft coverage this year! Much appreciated!
    11 points
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