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  1. Mark G

    Mark G

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    dex8425

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/27/2021 in Blog Comments

  1. Pretty good assessment after the first paragraph. As for the first paragraph.......hmm, how to be polite. As good as Buxton is, yes, when healthy, he is not on the same planet as Rod Carew if you want to go into Twins history. Not only did Rod have the tools, he used them. He could turn a walk into a run better than anyone in the game. Buxton refuses to use his speed to the degree he not only could, but should, anywhere but in the field. He will not bunt, and steals sparingly (as in he could steal 3rd and even home far more often). In his own words, he is "looking to drive the ball", not worry about his average, even though a higher average would put him on base more, putting him in a position to do more with his speed. His athleticism may or may not be unmatched, but his production is far from unparalleled (no, production is not on a per game basis, it is season to season). You have to be on the field to produce; no one has yet to produce from the trainers room. Don't get me wrong; as I said, a good assessment from the 2nd paragraph down, but he has started more than 88 games only once in his career and until he does consistently, year in and year out, the jury will remain out. Doesn't mean I wouldn't sign him, but not for the money he thinks he is worth. Not yet, anyway.
    5 points
  2. I'm hearing this opinion a lot on the boards, but what we're hearing now is that it wasn't the guaranteed money that was the sticking point on the extension, it was something related to the structure of the incentives. So from a reasonableness perspective, the issue is apparently not the guaranteed money at all. but never let the truth get in the way of calling the Pohlad Family cheap...
    4 points
  3. Buxton's presence will not be missed on a nightly basis because he's never played on a nightly basis. Speed first outfielders with a long history of injury issues don't suddenly become more healthy in their 30's. He's not going to be consistently on the field. Frankly I think the Twins offer to him was more than I would've offered. I'd do a shorter higher AAV deal though.
    3 points
  4. Byron Buxton is the reason to go watch a game, he is worth the price of admission. Whether it is running down a ball in the outfield or hitting a triple or stealing a base. He can change the game on both sides of the ball, we don't or probably won't ever have that type of talent again. Pay him and pray he stays healthy for 120 games. Plus I don't think we will get a great offer after this year.
    3 points
  5. The Twins have already made an overly generous offer. He is a career .247 hitter and his yearly war is just 3.0. They offered him more than the Yanks gave Hicks. Berríos apparently wants $25M per year. Was nothing learned from the Mauer contract?
    3 points
  6. I agree that Buxton is good. However he is not great. He is a career, yes did you see that, career ..247 hitter. Don't even think of putting in with Carew and Puckett. Buxton was flailing away at the plate not too unlike Sano just very recently. I like him and hope he stays but he hasn't proven much of anything yet except how to miss 63% of his teams games the past 4 years. Don't compare to Donaldson big contract. Yes he's older and has had some injuries but he has a very good and productive background. Buxton does not. Find a way to sign him but let's be reasonable and realistic.
    3 points
  7. He is surely the fastest player we have ever had and he is certainly in the top 3 of all time centerfielders along with Kirby and Hunter...BUT, it was not that long ago that Buck couldn't consistently get hits, where he struck out and popped up. While it's true he has turned a corner, we can't possibly know his true value. or any players true value, unless they can play well at this level for a full season. This is not the year for Buck to be demanding a lot of money. The reason we paid JD what we did was because we were supposed to win our division and get to the playoffs in 2021. Don't get me wrong, it killed me to see Cruz go and it would kill me to see Buck go and be Superman for the competition...but at this point, I think we have all gotten accustomed to not having him our team because he hasn't been around. I agree that the ownership should not start tearing down what they only just built, but things did not work out like they planned this season. Buck aside, I think this team was woefully mismanaged by Rocco and his gang. From poor conditioning and injuries to horrible pitching decisions...leave them in too long, taken them out too soon, bring in the wrong reliever and then keep him in until the game is lost, etc, etc. Sano? really? Zero baseball IQ. There is plenty of blame to go around, but it started at the top. There is way too much talent on this team for them to be where they are...that is a team that is mismanaged.
    3 points
  8. I may be one of the few who like Simmons for a team that wants to be respectable. He will probably win a gold glove again this year. Although his batting numbers are not good he has had many timely hits. Unless we have a major league caliber defender at shortstop for next year, I would bring him back if the price is right.
    2 points
  9. Buxton is a career .247 hitter. He has only reached 50 RBI’s ONCE. He has only reached 20 stolen bases ONCE. He has only played 80 games ONCE. He is a LOT closer to Billy Hamilton than Mookie Betts. Despite this, he (and a lot of people on forums) seem to think he’s worth $30-35M per. I just can’t see a 1/4 of the payroll sitting on the bench for over half the year.
    2 points
  10. Going from a .900 OPS to a .750 OPS with one player doesn't kill the offense. Our offense is still above average and with the talent coming up I see no reason for our offense to have any issues for the foreseeable future. We could even sign a top hitting SS to make a super offense again. That would be fun. We have enough pitching to build our staff back up both in the pen and rotation. because of all the low cost players, we should have plenty of money for free agency and or prospect capital for trades. While Thor is a fun target, I don't know if he is the value a pitcher coming back from injury used to be. Other teams are bidding on those pitchers now so I don't know if we can get the same value like when we signed Pineda 4 years ago. That would be fun to resign Cruz. I don't see how we can with all of our DH bats we already have with Sano, Rooker, Arraez and every now and then Donaldson should get a day there too. but if we can make it happen that would be cool. going into next season we have a competitive lineup and bench with only minor tweaks needed. 1B Killeroff and Sano 2B Polanco and Arraez SS Austin Martin and Lewis or FA 3B Donaldson, Miranda C Garver, Jeffers, and Rortvedt OF Kepler OF Larnach OF Buxton DH Rooker, Sano, Donaldson Bench Cave, Gordon, Celestino, (players listed above not starting) Our rotation has: Maeda Pineda (likely resigning) Ober, Dobnak, Barnes, Thorpe, Smeltzer, and then you have our closest to ready prospects (Balazovich, Duran, Winder, Joe Ryan) followed by the next tier of prospects who could be ready by midseason (Strottman, Vallimont, Woods-Richardson, Sands) and we could still sign another FA starting Pitcher. Bullpen: Rogers Duffey Alcala Theilbar Farrell, Coulombe, Thorpe, Smeltzer, Dobnak, Burrows, Law, Stashak, Moran other starters who are not in the rotation and we can sign a reliever or 2 this offseason as well. This feels like we are only a few players away from competing again next year and some of those players could come from the minors. The big scare is the rotation. Does anyone have an update for our 2022 season budget? What are we committed to spending and what do we have available to sign players?
    2 points
  11. No question, this is a bad team now. How can it be anything else when your best hitter and pitcher are traded? But the FO had little choice but to trade both Cruz and Berrios now while their value was highest. Berrios made it pretty plain he was going to test FA. If he wanted to be paid like an ace, Twins had to trade him. Cruz at 41 is a stud, but to expect him to continue at this high level is just unrealistic. While yes, the Twins are in a rebuilding mode and as things stand now, contention in 2022 looks like a big stretch, the future does look brighter than it did several days ago, especially in the rotation. To accelerate the improvement, they need to resign Pineda and hope that one or two of their top 10 prospects can contribute positively by 2023. They have at least doubled their chances of that happening if we can believe the baseball pundits. With Jax and Ober pitching reasonably well to date, it's feasible one of them plus one of the other prospects will solidify the #4 and 5 spots by 2023. Admittedly the offense is a big unknown. So long as they can escape any major injuries, Donaldson and Buxton are middle lineup, above average hitters. Guys like Arraez, Polanco, Garver have by and large established their offense. We should expect at least one of Kirillof or Larnach to contribute to this core, and I'm not quite ready to write off Sano and Kepler yet. They still show flashes now and then, though not nearly enough to count on. With Miranda and possibly Martin showing great promise, additional reinforcement should occur by 2023. None of the above is any guarantee of a rapid return to contention. This FO must get a lot smarter in signing FAs. A FA signing of someone like Thor or Stroman is essential. This team has no ace and likely will not for the next 2-3 years. Ditto for bullpen additions. At least two closer-types needs to be added. We should also transition a guy like Duran to the pen as soon as he is off the IL and bring up guys like Cano, Hamilton and Moran to see who might stick. Signing Buxton to a LT contract is an absolute must. If the FO fails at this very achievable goal, heads should roll. And speaking of rolling heads, Rocco tops the list. He and at least a few of his coaches just don't cut it. If this year has shown nothing else, lack of leadership, lack of stressing fundamentals and poor game management have not been the sole cause of futility, but they certainly haven't helped. With some smarter FA moves, signings and player development, this team should start making noise by 2023!
    2 points
  12. …his production is unparalleled… career .298 OBP and 96 wRC+. I mean, come on. He’s a talented player that has recently shown signs IN EXTREMELY SMALL SAMPLES that he could be a very valuable player. But even then, only if he reverses a long term trend of injury and sporadic play. I want him, but I’m not breaking the bank for him.
    2 points
  13. If Buxton is sure he can make a lot more $$$ down the line, and the Twins FO can't count on him staying on the field for more than 70-80 games a year, why not shorten the # of years being offered? Instead of $80 mil for 7 years, how about $80 mil (with incentives for games played) for 5 years? If he's constantly injured, the Twins don't have him on the books after 2026. If he's health, he more than earns his money and is still young enough to go get another big contract elsewhere at age 32.
    2 points
  14. Agreed, on all counts. I think these guys - Falvey, Levine, and Baldelli - are all smart, knowledgeable baseball minds. Yet they make an offer to Buxton that is, even with a "don't take it personally" attitude, close to, if not over the line, insulting. Of course we don't know the incentives, but still, $80 million (11 mil/year) guaranteed is insufficient. Make a reasonable offer and then let the chips fall where they may, but don't lose Buxton without even entering the sweepstakes.
    2 points
  15. For sure. I think it's more likely they slide Polanco back over to SS (or bring back Simmons for less than he's paid this year) until Lewis or Martin can take over as I don't think they want to spend big on one of the big $ FA SS. Their 40 man is really where the questions come in. I'm not totally sure who all needs to be protected, but I know there's a number of guys. They're going to have to make the right decisions there and spend more or less all of their FA $ on pitching. I hope their plan isn't to go into next year with young guys all over the pitching staff. I think the offense stays basically the same and they bring in a bunch of veteran arms and the young guys are the depth and get their chances as the year goes on. Don't know enough about the 40 man to know how many vets they can bring in, but there's plenty of dead weight to be cut from the pitching side right now.
    1 point
  16. Sorry I wasn't suggesting the offense couldn't compete next year, I was saying the Team as a whole, when you roster including pitching and non-pitching is over half rookies or partial second year players, plus some of the one that aren't are off of injury. Plus the team that was mentioned had zero depth except for more rookies, I guess I could have assumed that triple A would have filled with older vets ready to step in when somebody gets hurt or when one of the rookies needs to be sent down. For example it listed Lewis and Martin and possibly a FA for SS. Doesn't it have to be the opposite way? sign a FA with Lewis (I can't imagine him in MN before next Sept) and Martin as possible backups? and if one of them absolutely force their way on the team, that is awesome. I guess my real point is the FO has to be prepared for injuries and prospects just not being good (Rooker for example at the start of the year), isn't that way they signed Garlick, Refsnyder, and kept Cave or Wade?
    1 point
  17. The Twins are currently tied for 11th in MLB in runs scored. So suggesting the offense can't compete next year seems a little more pessimistic than necessary. Pitching is a whole different mess, but the offense has been good enough to compete for the division this year. Losing Cruz obviously hurts (I don't think they resign him), but that's the only bat that won't be back next year (I don't think Simmons is back either, but losing him isn't hurting the offense). If Buxton returns and can play 100 games (not holding my breath, but there's a chance) the offense is more than good enough. That's what I read "going into next season we have a competitive lineup and bench" to mean. Think that's a more than reasonable stance. The pitching is the question. Harder to see them turning that around by next year, but with 50m(ish) to spend and a prospect or 2 contributing there's a path to contention for the division. Even if they don't get someone as good or better than Berrios, there's more than ample opportunity to raise the performance of the staff as a whole. Not to WS good, but it wouldn't take much to improve them to a league average pitching staff. I'm not predicting they catch Chicago next year, but I think there's a very decent chance next year is drastically better than this one with an outside chance of a SF style surprise contention year. Big offseason for the FO, though. Have to hit on a number of arms.
    1 point
  18. Thank you! You said it much better than I could. There is NO reason the '22 Twins can't compete. Our Lineup is too stacked. We just need average pitching and our above average lineup will carry us to contention. Then as we develop the pitching and supplement our lineup with young cheap talent, watch out WS!
    1 point
  19. I'm sad to say it, but trusting this FO to bolster this team to anything resembling contention with FA signings seems like a real stretch after 2021. Plus, as we've seen, a lot of big names don't want to be here ... even when we were good. The path ahead is a Rays-like restructuring and a hell of a lot of patience. It will help if the FO can avoid giving away the AL Rookie of the Year to a division rivals too.
    1 point
  20. From the results I have seen Cruz is probably not too happy where he is and he already has stated he would like to come back. 2019 had some short terms veterans that truly bolstered the team, maybe they will do that again and then play the rookies on and off to see who has a future.
    1 point
  21. The long rebuild can't be helped, I'm afraid. We're one of the five worst MLB teams, and we got significantly worse for 2022 after the Berrios trade. Cruz is also unlikely to resign here next year. So, it's going to have to be a game of patience with a rookie team. Again.
    1 point
  22. This is the part of the article that I don't understand: "Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have put in an infrastructure of sustainability and competitiveness." How so? They had a great 2019, an okay 2020, and are now again a bottom-5 team in all of MLB. I've watched this team for a long time, and I wouldn't describe them as remotely "competitive." It's disappointing. I wanted them to do these things, but they haven't. Not yet, at least, and patience is wearing thin.
    1 point
  23. Hard to argue his "athleticism is unmatched", The part that "his production is unparalleled" even with the caveat "when healthy" is true for a 27 game stretch. I too hope for more of that production but he should not be mentioned in the same breadth as Kirby Puckett where production is concerned at least not at this point. Puckett produced a career WAR of 44.9. Rod Carew produced a career 72 WAR and had a 5 year stretch where he produced 35 WAR.
    1 point
  24. Yep. I'd be willing to bet Donaldson ends up with more career WAR than Buxton.
    1 point
  25. I like the post but Buxton hasn’t been healthy 459 games out of 1134 games roughly. He has been injured for more than half his career. Trade him.
    1 point
  26. People see $80M over 7 and fail to read about the creative escalators in the contract. Did the Twins make those escalators too hard to achieve? Or was the money not high enough for Buxton's agent? We will probably never know, but we will keep hearing that the Twins only offered $80M
    1 point
  27. I get where you're coming from, but as Forrest Gump would say, fragile is as fragile does......in a nutshell, he appears to be fragile. Twice in recent seasons he has gotten hurt simply running (Forrest never did ); not by crashing into walls, diving for balls, or sliding into bases, just by running. And I have to admit, I am one of the folks who wonder how many other players would have broken a bone getting hit by that pitch, or is he just fragile? There are only so many flukish injuries the same athlete can get before a pattern sets in. And, yes, JD injures himself just running as well, but he isn't in his mid 20's anymore. I guess my point is I don't know if folks are criticizing so much, as they are lamenting his history and wondering, because of said history, if he is worth anywhere near as much as he thinks he is.
    1 point
  28. I do wish there would be some let-up on the constant criticism of Buxton's injury history. For example, the reason he is currently on the IL - a broken hand when hit by a pitch. Now, would any other player be criticized for being too fragile for an injury like that? Maybe Donaldson, but for anyone else that would just be bad luck or timing. But no, because its Buxton, he's fragile. Or his crashes into the wall - if he doesn't try to catch those, then he's criticized for not trying. I am not trying to minimize the frequency of these injuries, but if he wasn't so "fragile", he would be criticized for being "soft"
    1 point
  29. I would love to see the Twins get May and either Lux, Peipot or Gray for Berrios. I would even throw in Robles to "help" the Dodgers bullpen. If they want Berrios and Rogers, we need to get back May, plus Lux, Gray or Gonsolin, and a solid relief prospect like Bruihl or Jackson. A starting pitcher, starting SS and decent upside MiLB pitcher.
    1 point
  30. Top Gun: Yes, I purposely left return for Berrios out, as now it's just pure speculation what that might be. At first glance, yes, the Dodgers seem to be in great need for a starter and late inning reliever. May would be great as a return. I'd add Lux in the package, along with another top prospect like Pepiot or Gonsolin. Problem is Friedman hates giving up top prospects and I think May would be untouchable. The Pods also look like a good trade prospect with guys like Weathers and Paddack intriguing. No telling what Preller will do, but SD would be my second favorite trade target. Bottom line: Twins FO needs to be blown away to trade Berrios/Rogers and while I think they should, given Berrios' seeming demand for ace $ and Rogers still uneven, as indicated by his %Inherited Runners Scored, I doubt Falvey will pull the trigger. I agree that offense will take a step back next year, but chalk it up to growing pains. With our needs in the pen and rotation, just not much left over to add bats. I pushed for Twins this past offseason to trade Polanco for package of Castellanos and Gray or Castillo, but that was not to happen. And while I am as unhappy with Sano as everyone else, his trade value is so low we're better off holding on to him for DH duties. Rooker will never be better than a AAAA player and there is no one else on the farm that looks like an upgrade. Strum: Have to disagree here. Both Arraez and Polanco are too valuable to slot into a utility role. This lineup needs consistency and these two have been providing it. A guy like Gordon could fill the bill until Lewis is ready, at which time, trading Polanco or Arraez might be feasible. In the meantime, each of these guys should focus in their offensive contributions instead of manning several positions. Bad idea, especially for a young guy like Arraez.
    1 point
  31. Interesting take Mike. One small change: I would include Garver as someone I wouldn't trade, but if we have Steve Garvey to play 1B I'd hang on to that guy ! I actually like the look of the pitching staff you've laid out for next year, but there's something missing: If we trade Berrios we need to include some kind of guess as to who replaces him in the deal coming back. Thor would be a FA acquisition, not somebody we would get back in a deal for Jose. I believe that for the Twins to be "competitive" next year their pitching staff needs to be rebuilt. Both SP's and RP's. Let's assume we sign Thor to a FA contract. He's coming back from TJ so this next season is quite a gamble to see how he does. Still, it's worth the gamble. We retain Maeda and possibly Pineda (it remains to be seen WHAT we could get in a Pineda deal) and MLB Trade Values puts him at -.70 for a value. We're better off keeping him. Balazovic will certainly be a strong possibility and Ryan REALLY intrigues me. But what could we get for Berrios ? If we traded him to the pitching desperate Padres we could see a return of LHP Ryan Weathers, who at 21 years old has impressed me in two separate games I watched him pitch (he's been on the IL lately but appears to be ready to start on 7/30 for the Padres vs. the Rockies) and once top pitching prospect LHP Mackenzie Gore. Berrios has a value of 40.8. Weathers is 19.4 and Gore 17.5 (36.9 total). So you can see that the Padres might even need to include something else to even things out. Personally, I'd take this deal as is. The Twins save not having to pay Berrios next season and in the future. And they have Weathers on MLB minimums for several season as well as Gore. THAT frees up money to be spent on a true closer like Rosenthal or Yates for next season as well as looking at possibly bringing Cruz back. In my GM world there is no way I'm continuing with Sano. I trade him now before the deadline or more likely this winter. I'm done with him. I look to add a 4th outfielder who can play all three positions and hit a little. He's my insurance for Buxton going down. I realize you just simply can't replace Buck when he's hurt, but you can't just fall off a cliff without him either. So now here's what I have to choose from for starting pitching: Thor, Weathers, Gore, Maeda, Ryan, Balazovic, maybe Pineda and Dobnak. That's tremendous depth. I should also include Strotman who we just acquired in the Cruz trade with Tampa Bay. He's at AAA and is very close to MLB ready. If I add a real closer (Rosenthal, Yates, ??) and retain Rogers and Duffey with Alcala and possibly someone like Edwar Colina next season I have a pen that could work. The Twins lineup needs to be done with rally killers like Sano and needs a consistent bat like Cruz. If we can't get Nellie to come back, then I would look to add a good bat. Someone like Nick Castellanos. He could play some OF, DH and maybe he or Garver could play some 1B. But the Twins would need to do SOMETHING to replace the excellence and consistency of Cruz, and with Castellanos a FA I think his bat would do quite well batting 3rd or cleanup. I could see going one more year with Polanco at SS and Arraez at 2B so I can gauge what we have with Lewis. It's not the best up the middle "D" but if both Polanco and Arraez HIT like their capable we could get by. If we don't trade Berrios to the Padres for that package, the pitching hurting Dodgers are interesting. LA just won their first World Series since 1988 in a 60-game season. The pressure is on to repeat. They have Bauer in trouble, Kershaw on the IL and are stumbling and bumbling. No one does LESS with more than Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts. The Dodgers are loaded with prospects. You could trade them Berrios for Dustin May (a great young pitcher out for the season with TJ) and have your choice of several other intriguing Dodgers prospects. The Dodgers need pitching NOW. Maybe despite the fact they are always madly in love with their prospects they will feel the pressure to move some of those prospects because their rotation is in tatters and their BP has blown 3 games in row. Berrios and Taylor Rogers could bring back a TON. We have about a week for all this delicious trade speculation before the deadline and then all winter as well. Can the Twins FO navigate this to their advantage or do they crash the good ship Twins on the rocks, sending everyone into a raging sea of despair?? We'll just have to wait to find out.
    1 point
  32. While I'm not ready for a rebuild, these are the types of heavy returns which the Twins would need to have if they choose to start over. I'm also of the mind to push San Diego for C. J. Abrams.
    1 point
  33. I would say no to either deal. I'm not in the total rebuild camp and thats what these trades are. Another 2-3 years of bad teams waiting for young pitchers to advance with no experienced #1 to show them the way sounds like long losing summers.
    1 point
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