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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/25/2021 in Blog Entries

  1. Byron Buxton is quite arguably the most talented player in Minnesota Twins history. His athleticism is unmatched, and his production is unparalleled. Then there’s the caveat, when healthy. With the hometown nine looking at the doldrums of the division, and the 2021 Major League Baseball trade deadline looming, plenty of storms are brewing on the roster construction front. One of the most reported is that of Minnesota’s failed attempts at a contract extension with their star centerfielder. Currently shelved after being hit by a pitch, Buxton had rebuffed the latest seven-year, $80 million pact that would add addition earning opportunity through incentives. That deal was just a $7 million increase over the previous offer, and still nearly $20 million shy of where this front office paid another oft-injured 3rd basemen (who is five years older) just two seasons ago. The refrain regarding Buxton’s availability is a common one, he has been shelved often throughout his career. The reality though, is that it is through the injury history where the Twins find themselves offered grace. Because he’s been unavailable, Buxton’s $200 million or more payday is not going to happen. He would command plenty on the open market with more competition bidding on his services, but it’s the Twins who have the table and the realistic opportunity because of how his career has played out. Coming into 2021 the team was expected to be good. Unfortunately, the front office has watched each of its offseason acquisitions tie together career-worst seasons, as well as regression from plenty of holdover talents. Unless there’s an admittance of poor talent assessment virtually across the whole roster, then there should be reason to look at this season as an outlier. 2022 represents an opportunity to reload. If the core of this club was seen as competitive before, and that’s been proven through their track record of winning, an alteration of that belief shouldn’t be so swift. To suggest there’s an attempt at competing in the year ahead while dealing the team’s best player would be hollow at best. Certainly, both Jose Berrios and Buxton should command a haul when it comes to prospect capital in exchange for their services. The volatility of those players will always be high however, and you’d need at least two reaching something like the 95th percentile of their hopefully outcomes to feel good about what you gave up. Berrios would love a gaping hole in an already poor rotation, and Buxton’s presence would be missed on a nightly basis. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have put in an infrastructure of sustainability and competitiveness. They should be commended for that. Bailing on that process at the Major League level rather than supplementing what they have fostered would be a hard pill to swallow, and one worthy of substantial criticism. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
    2 points
  2. Before we look into our crystal balls post-deadline, a quick review of what's just transpired might be in order. First, we lost our best hitter and best pitcher. For this very reason, chances are this season is going to get even worse. Three of our new starters will likely be Ober, Jax and Barnes, none of whom figures to be better than a #5 starter. The bullpen has arguably gotten worse without Rogers and Robles. And the offense will likely continue to be erratic - some big run production outings against below average pitching, but more likely low run production against even average pitching. And with a very difficult August schedule, the likelihood of the Twins climbing out of the cellar looks mighty slim. But let's look at the bright side. The Twins prospect depth greatly improved. We've added at least 3 top 10 prospects, probably catapulting our depleted, injury-stricken minor league system into the top ten in MLB, at least on paper anyway. And just as importantly, we kept several players who can be building blocks going forward. You cannot underestimate the importance of Maeda and Pineda, solid #2 and #3 starters in leading a reenergized rotation in 2021. Nor can you ignore the importance of having a Donaldson and hopefully healthy Buxton leading the offense next year. Which brings me to my first point : they need to resign both Pineda and Buxton if this team has any chance of jumping into contention in 2023. This team will likely not be a playoff contender next year but for them to bounce back to at least a .500 record and set the stage for contention in 2023, these 4 players must be kept.. Continuing on the bright side, this FO did a great job in the trade department. They received at least 3-4 players who should be playing in the big leagues as soon as next year, but most likely by 2023. The rotation's future looks much brighter with guys like Joe Ryan and SWR, not to mention our top prospects, Winder and Balozavic, should yield one or two rotation mainstays by 2023. Which brings me to point#2: Sign a FA with ace potential this offseason. My first choice is Syndergaard who should be more affordable due to injury but still young enough to lead a contending staff. He should be an offseason priority. This is a risk but one well worth taking if the team is committed to rebounding quickly. The new additions will also mitigate against rushing some of our younger prospects and perhaps switching some to relievers. Which brings me to the bullpen. We added some middling prospects, one of whom might prove valuable in the pen. We still have Rogers, Duffy and Thielbar, with a few minor leaguers on the verge. Let;s bring up guys like Cano, Hamilton, and Moran and see how they do. Coulombe has looked decent. Point #3: they must spend the $ for a top FA reliever. Any suggestions? I'm at a loss here. And let's try to get Alcala straightened out at AAA now, as well as transitioning Duran to the pen. This is still a dumpster fire but at least it can't get much worse than it is now. So count me as positive for the retool. It sure beats a long rebuild!!
    1 point
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