Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • Past Front Offices Still Impacting the 2022 Twins


    Cody Christie

    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine should rightfully get credit for the team's current success, but eleven players on the current 40-man roster were acquired under the previous regime. So, which players are tied to Bill Smith and Terry Ryan's front offices?

    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today

    Twins Video

    Bill Smith Contributions (2007-2011)
    Smith faced a challenging time in Twins history as he took over the GM role. Torii Hunter was on his way out the door, and the team needed to trade Johan Santana. The Twins lost a Game 163 (2008) and won the division twice (2009-10) during his tenure. Despite these positive results, Smith couldn’t survive the 2011 campaign as the Twins lost 99 games. It was one of the most disappointing seasons in Twins history, but he helped sign three core pieces to the current roster. 

    Smith’s lasting legacy with the Twins connects to the 2009 international signing class, which was tremendous in retrospect. Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, and Max Kepler signed as part of this class. These players have combined for 37.3 total WAR and two All-Star appearances in their big-league careers. Sano’s Twins tenure may conclude in 2022, but Kepler and Polanco are under team control for multiple more seasons. 

    Terry Ryan Contributions (2012-2016)
    Ryan served as GM for two different stints, so it makes sense for his fingerprints to be all over the Twins organization over the last decade. When taking over from Smith, Ryan got the opportunity to pick the second overall pick, and the organization decided on Byron Buxton. Multiple pitchers were in the conversation for Minnesota, but Buxton has accumulated the fourth-most WAR among players from the 2012 first round. He is now the face of the franchise, and he will be in a Twins uniform for over a decade after Ryan was fired. 

    Minnesota signed Luis Arraez as an international free agent during the 2013 signing class. He has been worth 5.9 WAR in his career while hitting .312/.374/.400 (.748) with a 130 OPS+. Nick Gordon was a top-5 draft pick under the Ryan regime. His professional career hasn’t progressed perfectly, but he has shown the club the value he can provide over the last two seasons. These players look like they will be part of the team’s roster for multiple seasons moving forward. 

    Minnesota’s bullpen picture is also covered with players acquired by Ryan. Tyler Duffey was a fifth-round pick in 2012, and he has been one of the team’s best relievers since 2019. Cody Stashak, a 13th-round pick in 2015, has been terrific to start the 2022 season, and he has yet to become arbitration-eligible. The Twins took Griffin Jax in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Ryan’s last with the organization. This season, he is transitioning to the bullpen, and signs point to him fitting well into his new role

    Other prospects on the 40-man roster were also acquired under the Ryan regime. Jovani Moran was a seventh-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, and he has the potential to be a dominant late-inning reliever. His change-up is a dominant pitch, and it has helped him post a 13.4 K/9 in his minor league career. Jordan Balazovic was a fifth-round pick in 2016, and he currently ranks as Twins Daily’s fifth overall prospect. Entering the season, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus each had him in the back-half of their top-100 prospects. He recently made his Triple-A debut, so there is a good chance his big-league debut will be in 2022. 

    Smith and Ryan might not be regarded highly because of how each left the organization. However, their impact will be felt years after their departure. Besides Buxton, which of these players will provide the most long-term value to the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

     

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    — Become a Twins Daily Caretaker

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    I have always gave credit to Smith for his signings of Sano, Kepler, and Polonco.  However, outside of those three signings, that most likely he personally had little to actually do with, he was the worst GM we had in my knowledge.  Terrible trades, terrible signings of other FA.  He was always in the hear and now, and never had a backup plan.  He also overvalued "closers". 

    I always liked Ryan and thought he was a good judge of talent overall, but he was outdated when he returned to the game.  He was still thinking the game was played like in the 90's and early 2000's.  He had many misses in the draft too, but that happens with all GM's no one hits on every pick in the MLB draft first round or otherwise. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Terry Ryan was great in his first stint as he was very good at identifying talent and was ahead of the league in finding market inefficiencies to build a contender with a lower payroll.

    Bill Smith had that terrific international signing class, and basically nothing else. Completely whiffed on the biggest task he had and that was the Johan Santana situation. I think Smith was in way over his head, but leaving Sano, Kepler, and Jorge was certainly useful for Ryan and Falvey.

    Ryan was still very good at identifying talent when he came back, but, as @Trov said, the game had passed him by and he wasn't building a team that could compete in the current baseball environment and was way, way, way behind the times in terms of player development and technology.

    Falvey came in and updated the technology, analytics department, and player development programs and has had terrific success (outside of 2021) on the whole. He has done a great job of maximizing the players the previous regimes had left him.

    The great unknown is what players like Buxton, Rogers, and Duffey would've been under a Ryan lead regime. There were different philosophies that Ryan followed in pitching development, for example, than what Falvey has put in place. Would Ryan and Co. have pushed their coaches to teach Rogers his slider? No way to know for sure, but that's a Falvey staple in pitching development. I think Ryan gets put down more than he should (by me as well) for his second stint, but I have no doubt that firing him was the right move as the league passed him by. Always a fun thought exercise to look back and guess at what may have been under Ryan or Smith the last handful of years.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, Trov said:

    I have always gave credit to Smith for his signings of Sano, Kepler, and Polonco.  However, outside of those three signings, that most likely he personally had little to actually do with, he was the worst GM we had in my knowledge.  Terrible trades, terrible signings of other FA.  He was always in the hear and now, and never had a backup plan.  He also overvalued "closers". 

    I always liked Ryan and thought he was a good judge of talent overall, but he was outdated when he returned to the game.  He was still thinking the game was played like in the 90's and early 2000's.  He had many misses in the draft too, but that happens with all GM's no one hits on every pick in the MLB draft first round or otherwise. 

    Terrible free agent signings? Smith did a good job with a limited budget. A budget he elevated through the retention of key players who didn't make it to free agency like Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer and Nathan. Smith brought in Orlando Hudson, Joe Crede, Jim Thome and Carl Pavano and all wound up being good free agent signings.

    The waterfall of trades wound up being pretty poor as Smith continued to lose ground with each step. It's not like all his trades were bad, though, or super impactful. Smith brought in Orlando Cabrera in 2009 which was a good move. Gomez for Hardy was a good trade. It was the Hardy for Hoey trade which was terrible, but as I recall, Gardy was a driving force on getting rid of Hardy. Capps for Ramos got the most vitriol, but Ramos never really amounted to anything due to injuries and Capps was very good down the stretch for the Twins in 2010 who were relying on the very shaky Jon Rauch to close games at the time.

    Honestly, the Capps for Ramos trade and the singular bad season in 2011 seemed to cement Twins fans' opinions on Smith who became the scapegoat for poor decisions by Ryan in 2012 and later.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    In regard to this front office, previous front offices are obviously having an impact still, though it's waning quickly as we've now entered year 6 of the Falvey regime. We're starting to enter into the phase where previous regime draft picks have either made it to the big show or won't ever make it and contracts signed under previous regimes have long played out. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

    Bill Smith had that terrific international signing class, and basically nothing else. Completely whiffed on the biggest task he had and that was the Johan Santana situation. I think Smith was in way over his head, but leaving Sano, Kepler, and Jorge was certainly useful for Ryan and Falvey.

    The Santana trade was brutal (should've just kept him for a year and taken the pick, given the unique contract demands of the situation) but at least Gomez because an above average MLBer (post-Twins).

    I still shake my head at the Garza/Bartlett/Young/Harris/Pridie trade.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Ryan was a class act , he stayed when contractions were being discussed and he could have gone to Toronto  who did offer him the same position fir the blue jays ....

    And he was a good judge of talent , he worked harder than any GM that I know of ,  he was always scouting the minor league games looking for talent  ....

    Is he still with Philadelphia Phillies  , they hired him in 2021 ????

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Ryan's second stint signaled  the change in philosophy from "pitch to contact" and hit to the opposite field to power pitching and hitting.  Most of the results of those changes came after his departure.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 hour ago, dxpavelka said:

    Ryan's second stint signaled  the change in philosophy from "pitch to contact" and hit to the opposite field to power pitching and hitting.  Most of the results of those changes came after his departure.

    You bring up a very interesting point (at least to me).  Pitch to contact, hit to the opposite field, sacrificing runners along, stealing bases and using the hit and run,,,,,,,,,,,,,vs..........., power pitching (leading to more arm injuries and huge pitching staffs), launch angles for more power hitting (leading to lower averages and more strike outs), refusing to bunt for sacrifices or hits, fewer walks and, basically, waiting for the home run to win the game.  We link Ryan/Smith to the first style and Falvey/Levine to the second.  I know I am going to be a minority of one on this page, but give me A over B every day of the year.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Past front offices are always going to impact the current one... always. Unless they are the Seattle Kraken... new front offices enter the job with what the past front office left behind. 

    The most important task of any front office is to increase the value of the players on their roster. This is where the organization under Ryan failed and this is where I'm hopeful that Falvey and Lavine will end up fixing. 

    I'd like to believe than any of us would have drafted Byron Buxton in 2012. What happens next is what matters.  

    Trades are almost always equal value on paper when they are made... So if you want to win a trade... you have to help the player you acquired better and increase the value. What happens next is what matters. 

    Increasing the value of players is the most important function of the front office and all of the people they have working for him. 

    We had a long dry spell of... no superstars (high value players) under Terry Ryan. Why?

    No Twin reaching free agency got the big contract after they ran through their service time with the Twins... No Twin had the value to get anything of value in a trade before they reached free agency. The Orioles produced Manny Machado. Where was the Twins equivalent of Manny Machado? Where was the Twins equivalent of Cody Bellinger? The Dodgers were always drafting late in the round, while the Twins were always drafting early and the Dodgers cranked out superstars underneath their superstars already on their roster. Where were the Twins version of Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler? 

    We cranked out Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe and we got the full 6 years out of them and when they each hit free agency... there was barely any interest in them. We produced average players and played them like they were high value. 

    This is why the front office needed a change. And if we need to change again... this would be why we would need to in the future. Development.  

    This articles acknowledges the role played by the past front offices. Yeah... the new home owner is going to get the condition of the house they bought as is. It's what happen next is what matters. 

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    16 hours ago, bean5302 said:

    Terrible free agent signings? Smith did a good job with a limited budget. A budget he elevated through the retention of key players who didn't make it to free agency like Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer and Nathan. Smith brought in Orlando Hudson, Joe Crede, Jim Thome and Carl Pavano and all wound up being good free agent signings.

    The waterfall of trades wound up being pretty poor as Smith continued to lose ground with each step. It's not like all his trades were bad, though, or super impactful. Smith brought in Orlando Cabrera in 2009 which was a good move. Gomez for Hardy was a good trade. It was the Hardy for Hoey trade which was terrible, but as I recall, Gardy was a driving force on getting rid of Hardy. Capps for Ramos got the most vitriol, but Ramos never really amounted to anything due to injuries and Capps was very good down the stretch for the Twins in 2010 who were relying on the very shaky Jon Rauch to close games at the time.

    Honestly, the Capps for Ramos trade and the singular bad season in 2011 seemed to cement Twins fans' opinions on Smith who became the scapegoat for poor decisions by Ryan in 2012 and later.

    You seem to have some rose colored glasses on some of those transactions.  First Hudson was 2.9 WAR in his one year with Twins.  Good, but not great.  He was smart enough not to sign him beyond 1 year, but not like he made some super find, he just got a guy at end of career that had 1 last decent season in him.  Crede played his final year with us to a tune of 2.3 WAR, with .9 from offense.  Again, not like he lit the world on fire with Twins he was just above replacement. Simply because a guy was not a 100% bust does not make him a good signing.  Both played 1 year with Twins.

    Thome was a good signing overall, but he blew the trade when he shipped Thome out.  Pavano had a good year for us, an okay year for us, and 2 half years that was not good. The trade and subsequent signing of Capps was terrible.  He had one good half year, but he gave up a top prospect catcher for a good couple months for a closer, with two follow up terrible years.  The issue was he overpaid for Capps.  Yes, you can say Ramos never did become amazing, but at the time Smith could have got much more for Ramos.  While we talk about trades, lets talk about giving up Bartlet and Garza for Young, that was terrible.  The Gomez for Hardy I was all for and loved it, until we signed nishi and traded Hardy for two terrible bullpen arms.  Smith kept trading away high value guys, for low value guys. 

    As I said I give Smith some credit for talent he brought in, but as a whole his time with Twins was filled with mostly bad moves that kept piling on.  The Joe signing did not end up being great as the last few years the contract was paying him too much money for the lower output of a first baseman.  I was fine with the signing though knowing that would happen at the end of it.  Smith also blew the Santana trade, he could have got much better players than basically Gomez, who would have been fine if the end of that trade did not end up with 2 terrible bullpen guys that did nothing. He basically traded Santana for nothing when it was all said and done. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On 5/12/2022 at 1:17 AM, Mark G said:

    You bring up a very interesting point (at least to me).  Pitch to contact, hit to the opposite field, sacrificing runners along, stealing bases and using the hit and run,,,,,,,,,,,,,vs..........., power pitching (leading to more arm injuries and huge pitching staffs), launch angles for more power hitting (leading to lower averages and more strike outs), refusing to bunt for sacrifices or hits, fewer walks and, basically, waiting for the home run to win the game.  We link Ryan/Smith to the first style and Falvey/Levine to the second.  I know I am going to be a minority of one on this page, but give me A over B every day of the year.  

    Actually the organizational philosophy change occurred when Ryan took over for the second time but few of the players manifested it at the big league level until after he was gone.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...