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  • If You Want Bold and Aggressive Moves, You've Got to Live with the Risk


    Nicholas Nelson

    With an upgrade atop the rotation shaping up as a clear need at the trade deadline, the division leaders targeted and acquired a frontline starter. They gave up a hefty prospect package to gain extended control, but now this big trade is in danger of blowing up completely after underwhelming performance gave way to a mysterious shoulder injury.

    Oh, did you think I was referencing Tyler Mahle? No, I'm talking about Frankie Montas.

    Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker and Bruce Kluckhohn, USA Today

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    Frankie Montas was one of the hottest names on the market at the trade deadline, and was known to be pursued by Minnesota last offseason. The Yankees acquired him alongside reliever Lou Trivino in exchange for four prospects on August 1st. The results have not been as hoped.

    Montas posted a 6.35 ERA in eight turns, including just one quality start, before undergoing an MRI on his shoulder this week. He landed on the injured list and there's a pretty good chance he won't pitch again for the Yankees in 2022. Barring further clarity around what's affecting him, Montas figures to be a bit of a question mark heading into next season, too.

    The Twins can obviously relate. They've gone through a similar ordeal with their own prized deadline pickup. Like Montas, Tyler Mahle had some known shoulder issues when he was acquired. Like Montas, those issues have now grown more problematic, even though – in both cases – MRI results revealed no structural damage, before or after the trades.

    This is what differentiates the Mahle outcome from, say, the Chris Paddack move, where the Twins accepted a rather extreme level of risk in the name of acquiring extended control of a good starter. That was a measured risk on its own, but it shouldn't be grouped with the one they took on Mahle, who (like Montas) was more typical of a deadline gambit.

    It's the nature of the beast: as a leveraged buyer in a seller's market, under big pressure to improve, you're going to have to take risks – like ponying up big prospect capital for a talented arm with ambiguous health concerns, or buying high on a breakout All-Star reliever who lacks a convincing track record. 

    Those who constantly advocate for these types of assertive showings from the front office now sound rather toothless when criticizing them in hindsight. While we can all see the overall results have been unsatisfactory – albeit hardly disastrous for a reigning last-place team – this front office was audacious in shaking things up. Isn't that what we want?

    The big deadline moves. Locking down Byron Buxton with a creative extension. Trading their highest-upside pitching prospect for Sonny Gray. Unloading Josh Donaldson's contract. Signing Carlos Correa to a historic deal (albeit at the expense of investment in pitching). 

    And going back a bit further, let's not forget about trading José Berríos to Toronto at the 2021 deadline, thus letting the Blue Jays sign him to a massive extension while flipping him into one of their breakthrough pitching prospects

    That one looks pretty good now. Others don't. And it's beyond valid to criticize the front office for these many moves that haven't panned out, especially those like the Paddack trade, which carried huge red flags from the start. (Although, if we're being honest, they were kinda right about Taylor Rogers, just as they were Berríos?)

    There's a big gap between "merits criticism" and "needs replacement." I'm not close to the latter point with Derek Falvey or Thad Levine, although changes at various levels of the organization are well warranted. In terms of leadership vision, we've experienced the opposite approach – one characterized by risk aversion and playing it safe. I dare say that's what sunk them last year when their biggest additions were Alex Colomé and JA Happ. 

    As the saying goes, scared money don't make money. Sometimes those bold gambles don't turn out as hoped, and you've got to live with the consequences. It happens even to the Yankees. That won't stop them from staying aggressive and shooting their shots in the future. It shouldn't stop the Twins either, albeit at a different scale given their resources.

     

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    Injuries doomed the Twins this year.   Without them, they are the team that was a consistent winner in April and May.  In 2023, a healthy Twins team should be an improved squad with the additions of Maeda and Mahle to the rotation, and adding Matt Wallner’s bat, along with Trevor Larnach.   Question marks are Polanco (is he overrated by us?), Kepler (Will he really significantly improve at the plate with the end of “the shift”) and the entire situation at Catcher.    I believe it is unlikely the Twins will suffer a similar tsunami of injuries.  There is room for optimism after this disappointing season. 

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    I applaud our FO for taking risks although many times those risks are based too much on certain stats and not on conditions that surrounds that risk. Last year I didn't buy into the positive hype with our only & last minute obtainees,Colume' (why did CWS let him go?) Happ (a slow LHP in a RH dominate hitting league) & doubtful Shoemaker. Happ & Shoemaker were a wash and they kept on doubling down on Colume' as closer eventhough it was absolute clear that he wasn't up to the job. 

    I was all in w/ the Gray trade and it has paid off. I didn't like them trading away Garver & Rogers, you may say that they didn't do anything away from MN, there's a reason for that. The reason much like Cruz that they did well here was that they were managed correctly here & not where they ended up. Trading them shorted us more in the already lacking BP & catching & didn't adequately replaced them. Trying to force Duffy & Pagan in the closing position and they failed miserably and again they kept doubling down to the point where it was detrimental.

    I applauded this FO for making bold moves at the deadline. All the trades looked terrific on paper & I graded them an A. But I've learned the hard way (I hope our FO has to) that at the deadline, teams have headlined their SPs from the beginning of the season. Showcasing them & squeezing every bit from them to make them shine, leaving very little left for receiving teams. 

    IMO the Twins need to make their bold moves in the off season not at the deadline. Try hard to make desireable trades & supplement those trades w/ FAs. So we can properly manage them throughout the season and have a premium player at the end.

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    1 hour ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    They should have traded Berrios and were wise to prioritize Buxton over him.   

    It's too soon to know whether Buxton was a better long-term investment than Berrios. Buxton's injury issues have not exactly gone away.  Berrios could have many more productive years than Buxton.

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    1 hour ago, cheeseheadgophfan said:

    Whoa.....let's pump the brakes a bit on Steer......he's hitting .218 with a .328 OBP....we have no idea if he's a flash in the pan or a legit major leaguer.  

    90% of the posters on here were fired up when they acquired Mahle.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Maybe, but that’s at the majors, and after not that much time at AAA. I’d rather have a guy with potential at AAA than 2 guys hitting for sub-.700 OPS’s in Wichita. This might’ve been the best time to trade Austin Martin

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    13 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

    Not me. 

    On a similar note, I made the point elsewhere that based on the logic of trading Berrios and Rogers, when they did, the front office should also be looking to trade Gray, Mahle, and Maeda this offseason. Would you agree?
     

    No. Can't agree with that. All three are currently on the Injured List and their trade value is at a low point, with the possible exception of Gray. I would say the value of Berrios and Rogers was pretty high when they were dealt. 

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    IMO the Twins need to make their bold moves in the off season not at the deadline.

    I agree with this statement as teams in need always get fleeced at the trade deadline.

    Trades...

    At the time I loved them as other than Fulmer, they gained years of control.  That said, we now have a year of Pagan, Mahle, Paddack, and 2-years of Lopez remaining while all four were marginal-to-bad and/or injured.  Sometimes paying extra for years of control does not always work out.

    Next year...

    We have a nice base of pitching going into the off season.  We need at lease one more quality arm in the BP.  We need to get the catching situation resolved so FA may be an option here.  We also need to get the backfill for the presumed CC4 opt out at SS resolved.  I would look into a quality 4th outfielder in FA so we do not fall back on call ups.

    The twice-through the rotation strategy needs review and based on that decision the FO needs to adjust to the type of pitching (both starting and relieving) that the strategy requires.  We cannot go through another year using the current strategy without loading up on some 2 inning guys.  It just burned out the BP.

    If they do this I feel that 2023 can definitely be an improvement over this year.

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    13 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

    Not me. 

    On a similar note, I made the point elsewhere that based on the logic of trading Berrios and Rogers, when they did, the front office should also be looking to trade Gray, Mahle, and Maeda this offseason. Would you agree?
     

    All with a season left. That is the reasoning they expressed when they ‘had’ to trade Berrios and Rodgers. One season left of contract/control. Exactly. We will see. Consistent or not?

    I see the Braves didn’t trade Freeman last year and are doing just fine. He helped them win a World Series and the Braves moved on. I see the Yankees didn’t have to trade Judge this year. Hmmmmm.  

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    12 hours ago, ashbury said:

    Pagan wasn't the type I'd have been hoping to get back, and indeed he was a throw-in (a possible DFA candidate at that), so comparing the two isn't productive. 

    But I was all for trading Rogers, who I thought to be an injury risk until he proves he isn't, as long as they had a plan for replacing his important role in the bullpen.  They didn't do that, and compounded the error by trading for a player, in Paddack, who was a bigger injury risk (as the Mets later attested) than Rogers himself.  That's what made it a bad trade.  Not Pagan.

    As for the article itself, it sets up a false dilemma.  The better option would have been to aim higher.  Beat Seattle's offer for Castillo for instance.  And we know from the Mahle trade what Cincy was interested in from us, so start from that and add something.  (No, I don't know what, but it wouldn't have to involve Royce Lewis etc.)

    Prime talent will cost you, but going for second best is a false economy.

    I agree in theory but not in practice. Aim higher for Castillo is a good take but what does that mean? What package gets you Castillo? Seattle sent 4 players to Cincinnati, including 3 of its top 5 prospects.  Two of our top 5 were just drafted, Lee and Prielipp, so they are not tradable under MLB rules until next year. The other 3 are Royce Lewis, Emanuel Rodriguez and Matt Wallner. The next 5 are SWR, Rayes, Urbino, Canterino and Varland. You do have to add back in Steer, Hajjar and Encarnacion-Strand since one would assume we wouldn't go after Mahle if we got Castillo. Other than Lewis, none are as good as what Seattle traded. Why? because our real top prospects are in the majors or hurt - Miranda, Kirilloff,  Larnach, and Celestino. 

    So looking at this in a factual context, trading for Luis Castillo with basically 1.4 years left on his contract would likely have cost us some package that looked like Miranda or Lewis, or perhaps both, plus 1 or 2 of SWR, Rodriguez, Steer or Wallner, plus one or two from farther down the list but good like Encarnacion-Strand, Julien, Palacios, Varland, or Hajjar. Something like Miranda or Lewis plus SWR, Wallner and Steer or Encarnacion-Strand, That's what it would take to beat Seattle's offer and I'm not even sure that beat Seattle's offer. Is that a trade that you would make?

    I agree that we should aim high and trade for the best. I actually think the FO did as well as it could with the prospects we had to trade. Now that may be on the FO's drafting and development track record, although many of the AAA players are from the prior regime. Still, you can only trade for the level of quality that you're able to give up and frankly we did not have a lot of quality to trade with all the injuries to young players and stalls in development.

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    Thanks, Nick. I agree with your thesis. I do think there's room for optimism for the 2023 season IF we have better health but we can't simply stand pat. This was kind of a transition year – out with the old in Garver, Donaldson, Berrios, and Rogers and in with the new in Jeffers, Ryan, Miranda, Larnach and Kirilloff. Unfortunately, injuries really robbed us of development on some of these guys. The only players to really develop this year were Ryan, Miranda, and Gordon. Hopefully the performance of those three is sustainable but we won't know that until at least next season. The trades were a mixed bag but can't really be evaluated in full until next season since a big part of the trades for Lopez and Mahle in particular involved control at least through 2023 and perhaps beyond. 

    I do think we have to continue the housecleaning a little bit for that improvement to really take root. Assumedly Sano is gone. I like Kepler in the field, but he simply cannot hit well enough to start on a contending MLB team. Banning the shift is not going to change that. He either needs to be the fourth outfielder or traded. I would choose the latter. The bullpen has to be cleaned out and improved with at least two quality free agent relievers. Those two can take the spots held this year by Pagan and either Megill or Moran. That assumes that Theilbar will still be effective at age 36. We also need a middle of the order bat to play either a corner OF spot, 1B, 3B. or C. There isn't a lot out there but someone like Josh Bell or Andrew Benintendi would help this team a lot. 

    Bottom line is I don't think were too far away from a contending team but we can't simply sit down, hope for better health, and play the hand we have. I think this team still needs some augmentation in the bullpen and the lineup.

     

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    2 hours ago, Karbo said:

    I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons they don't want to come here is the way the staff is handled, IE the "plan".

    Seems doubtful since they weren't really doing it before this year (and seemingly turned to it as a response to nobody wanting to come here).

    Starting pitchers have averaged more innings per start under Rocco than the typical MLB SP during his tenure. 

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    Falvey should be fired. It's time. Articles like this desperate to find a way the front office should never take responsibility for the on field product confuse me.

    The Twins went out and took risks. Yes, they did. Bad risks. The Twins were empty on mid/front rotation arms coming into this season coming off a miserable failure of a year where the team finished dead last in the weakest division in baseball. What the Twins did have was a collection of back end starters after trading the best starter the Twins had developed in over a decade where almost all of the rotation potentials had lengthy and troubling injury histories. Dobnak, Ober, Smeltzer... None of them were reliable. The potential reinforcements in the minors, were iffy as well with the best option, Josh Winder, being shut down with a shoulder injury for most of the second half of 2021.

    Ryan was unproven, but looked like he could carry a back end spot. That left the Twins in a position where they needed to fill several spots in the rotation. Gray, Paddack, Archer, Bundy. All injury prone. Paddack came with a straight up 10/10 immediate start of the season blowout warning factor. A known partially torn UCL. There were other pitchers, more reliable pitchers to stabilize the risks, but the Twins passed. The Twins front office gambled, and gambled and gambled...

    The Twins front office implemented a TTO strategy with their pitchers. Yanking them consistently after 4-5 innings pitched. Nullifying any potential value even a great starter could hope to achieve. Maybe it was in a bid to keep the players on the field, but that failed. Maybe it was just because they believed pitchers would perform better... but in a vacuum without consideration for how the bullpen would pick up the extra 1-2 innings per game they'd need to pitch. Another failure.

    The Twins trainers, coaches and medical staff witnessed seemingly every single player on the team getting hurt. There's something more there than just luck. It's bad timing when the front office already had other gambles fail in the year.

    The front office recognized their self-created bullpen problem and their failed gambles in the rotation at the trade deadline, but the choices they made were to gamble again on a starter Mahle who had recently been on the IL with shoulder issues and the best options the Twins could find in the bullpen. All it cost was just about everything the farm system had left after the collapse of Martin and Balazovic. 

    The Twins end 2022 coming off a year in which they finished dead last in the division and will probably finish under .500 again despite extending the payroll to massive new records. Even the farm system has been gutted. The pitching "pipeline" has been a failure. The drafts have been pretty poor, and the prospects who looked good quickly got traded because of the failure at the MLB level.

    Perhaps the article writer should blame the front office for the risks they took rather than the fans for wanting a good team?

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    8 minutes ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

    I agree in theory but not in practice. Aim higher for Castillo is a good take but what does that mean? What package gets you Castillo? Seattle sent 4 players to Cincinnati, including 3 of its top 5 prospects.  Two of our top 5 were just drafted, Lee and Prielipp, so they are not tradable under MLB rules until next year. The other 3 are Royce Lewis, Emanuel Rodriguez and Matt Wallner. The next 5 are SWR, Rayes, Urbino, Canterino and Varland. You do have to add back in Steer, Hajjar and Encarnacion-Strand since one would assume we wouldn't go after Mahle if we got Castillo. Other than Lewis, none are as good as what Seattle traded. Why? because our real top prospects are in the majors or hurt - Miranda, Kirilloff,  Larnach, and Celestino. 

    So looking at this in a factual context, trading for Luis Castillo with basically 1.4 years left on his contract would likely have cost us some package that looked like Miranda or Lewis, or perhaps both, plus 1 or 2 of SWR, Rodriguez, Steer or Wallner, plus one or two from farther down the list but good like Encarnacion-Strand, Julien, Palacios, Varland, or Hajjar. Something like Miranda or Lewis plus SWR, Wallner and Steer or Encarnacion-Strand, That's what it would take to beat Seattle's offer and I'm not even sure that beat Seattle's offer. Is that a trade that you would make?

    I agree that we should aim high and trade for the best. I actually think the FO did as well as it could with the prospects we had to trade. Now that may be on the FO's drafting and development track record, although many of the AAA players are from the prior regime. Still, you can only trade for the level of quality that you're able to give up and frankly we did not have a lot of quality to trade with all the injuries to young players and stalls in development.

    Pushback from a couple of people on my take, and looking narrowly at the deadline (which indeed was the topic of the article), I can't disagree.  I think my view was stated in a bigger-picture way, toward roster construction during the off-season, but I didn't flesh it out.  Basically, I was lukewarm on getting a non-ironman like Sonny Gray, at least in exchange for our top draft choice (a pitcher, at that), and was skeptical about Mahle given the recent shoulder woes (a red flag for any pitcher).  But those two trade with the Red give us a good idea, in the rear view mirror, of what prospects of ours they were interested in, and how they valued them.  WHAT IF (that useless phrase) those considerable assets had been applied to getting Castillo, last off-season?  Even though he was coming off a down season, I think I'd have liked him better than either of the two we got, and we might not have had to add a Royce Lewis type of player to a package headlined by Petty, Steer, CES and Hajjar.  Pitching is the coin of the realm and that is two good arms in the package, plus a middle infielder and a potent bat, and that should have been appealing for the best pitcher of the three starters Cincy was shopping around. 

    Going back to the deadline itself, the FO had put themselves in an arguably impossible position due to the roster they had constructed prior to the season.  I didn't say much about the Mahle acquisition at the time, partly not to be raining on everyone's parade during the excitement of Having Done Something At The Deadline For Once.  But partly because I was hoping against hope that our FO's professional analytics types had drawn out something better with their access to good data, than my amateur analytics approach of "steer clear of guys recently injured, unless the price is low."  The price wasn't low.

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    18 minutes ago, ashbury said:

    Pushback from a couple of people on my take, and looking narrowly at the deadline (which indeed was the topic of the article), I can't disagree.  I think my view was stated in a bigger-picture way, toward roster construction during the off-season, but I didn't flesh it out.  Basically, I was lukewarm on getting a non-ironman like Sonny Gray, at least in exchange for our top draft choice (a pitcher, at that), and was skeptical about Mahle given the recent shoulder woes (a red flag for any pitcher).  But those two trade with the Red give us a good idea, in the rear view mirror, of what prospects of ours they were interested in, and how they valued them.  WHAT IF (that useless phrase) those considerable assets had been applied to getting Castillo, last off-season?  Even though he was coming off a down season, I think I'd have liked him better than either of the two we got, and we might not have had to add a Royce Lewis type of player to a package headlined by Petty, Steer, CES and Hajjar.  Pitching is the coin of the realm and that is two good arms in the package, plus a middle infielder and a potent bat, and that should have been appealing for the best pitcher of the three starters Cincy was shopping around. 

    Going back to the deadline itself, the FO had put themselves in an arguably impossible position due to the roster they had constructed prior to the season.  I didn't say much about the Mahle acquisition at the time, partly not to be raining on everyone's parade during the excitement of Having Done Something At The Deadline For Once.  But partly because I was hoping against hope that our FO's professional analytics types had drawn out something better with their access to good data, than my amateur analytics approach of "steer clear of guys recently injured, unless the price is low."  The price wasn't low.

    I see your point and tend to agree. I do think that the FO did not do enough to address the bullpen this off season. I really wonder if that was the result of thinking that 2022 would be a development year not a contending year. The 2021 deadline and off season moves seemed to have 2023 more in mind than 2022. I do have more confidence that Mahle will be a valuable asset in 2023 and I think SWR may easily be part of the rotation by mid season. I hope the FO has learned its lesson and will be proactive this off season in shaping the bullpen and giving the lineup another bat or two. I think it's unlikely that we will be able to improve the rotation because there's not much out there and it will be badly over priced. I think we could be competitive next year with the rotation we have lined up IF we have a much better bullpen and a lineup capable of scoring more than 3 runs on occasion. 

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    14 hours ago, Nick Nelson said:

    Takes two to tango. I feel like it's been made pretty clear that free agent pitchers generally don't want to come here, so that's not really an avenue for "building the pitching staff." 

     

    18 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

    Seems doubtful since they weren't really doing it before this year (and seemingly turned to it as a response to nobody wanting to come here).

    What FA pitchers are turning down larger offers from the Twins to pitch elsewhere? Honestly, can you name a single instance where that has happened? Why perpetuate such an obviously false narrative? 

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    1 hour ago, Bigfork Twins Guy said:

    IMO the Twins need to make their bold moves in the off season not at the deadline.

    I agree with this statement as teams in need always get fleeced at the trade deadline.

    Trades...

    At the time I loved them as other than Fulmer, they gained years of control.  That said, we now have a year of Pagan, Mahle, Paddack, and 2-years of Lopez remaining while all four were marginal-to-bad and/or injured.  Sometimes paying extra for years of control does not always work out.

    Next year...

    We have a nice base of pitching going into the off season.  We need at lease one more quality arm in the BP.  We need to get the catching situation resolved so FA may be an option here.  We also need to get the backfill for the presumed CC4 opt out at SS resolved.  I would look into a quality 4th outfielder in FA so we do not fall back on call ups.

    The twice-through the rotation strategy needs review and based on that decision the FO needs to adjust to the type of pitching (both starting and relieving) that the strategy requires.  We cannot go through another year using the current strategy without loading up on some 2 inning guys.  It just burned out the BP.

    If they do this I feel that 2023 can definitely be an improvement over this year.

    I wish TD had an icon indicating more than 'like,' you something like 'really like!'

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    13 hours ago, beckmt said:

    I am not as down.  For the first time, I feel the Twins have excess starting pitching and a decent bullpen.  I would like to see them resign Fullmer as the bullpen to me seems to be the weaker area.  It is hard when you only have 3 or 4 starting position players available from the start of the year.  This is basically a AAA club they are running out there.  The good news is the Gordon at least looks like a super utility guy, and an outfielder or two will probably come through next year. (Wallner, Laurach, Kirloff).  Twins with this many young players will have money to spend.  The only question is whether they use is wisely.  

    Mahle is the big question mark to me as is this arm injury serious or just a blip.  Do we extend him for a year or two to try and extract value if he is out for most of 2023.  How many of the Twins young pitchers develop and are we looking at 2023 or 2024.  Lots of good offseason discussion and plenty of room for risk taking. 

    The injuries have become the biggest problem/question mark in my mind at this point, now multiple years into this without a solution, and I have no idea how you fix that other than hoping for better luck or auditing your medical staff/procedures (which, if they haven't already been looking at closely, it's a dereliction of duty by the front office). It's just impossible to adequately plan a roster while losing starters and others you were counting on in significant roles for extended periods at the clip they've been losing them. They will have a lot of money again this offseason, they at least better spend it. And they need to give up the 'sign whatever falls into our lap at a discount by the end of the offseason' strategy they've been employing, because that isn't working. Target the guys you actually want, and be aggressive. I'm sick of hearing the excuse that they don't want to come here. That's been the case with a couple over the years perhaps (Wheeler is one that comes to mind), but overpay if you have to and most will be happy to sign with the Twins. That's a bogus Terry Ryan line he used to feed the media to cover his a$$ but clearly Falvine aren't above taking a couple pages out of the old playbook. 

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    Lots of conversation here about last off-season and whether or not the Twins FO did enough prior to this year.  No one seems to remember that there wasn't an off-season.  The league was shut down what, a week or two after the World Series?  Then when they were able to begin doing business it was a one-week sprint to the opening of training camp.

    We shouldn't be throwing stones, at least big ones, for what they didn't accomplish last winter.

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    1 minute ago, roger said:

    Lots of conversation here about last off-season and whether or not the Twins FO did enough prior to this year.  No seems to remember that there wasn't an off-season.  The league was shut down what, a week or two after the World Series?  Then when they were able to begin doing business it was a one-week sprint to the opening of training camp.

    We shouldn't be throwing stones, at least big ones, for what they didn't accomplish last winter.

    Those 2-3 weeks before the shutdown was the highest amount of activity baseball has seen in years. For some reason, Falvey and Levine were asleep at the wheel when every top starting pitcher was signed before the lockout. 

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    13 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

    Scratch-off tickets are cheap but the odds are terrible

    I think the front office was using pull tabs (cardboard crack). They were chasing the big payouts on what they thought was a a hot box. They blew all the cash they had (existing team), then maxed out their ATM (record payroll), then borrowed from their friends (wiped out the farm) and only hit playbacks.

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    3 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

    IMO the Twins need to make their bold moves in the off season not at the deadline.

    I agree with this, though they did make bold moves this past offseason dealing away Donaldson and Garver (both positive moves), extending Buxton, signing Correa and trading for Gray. Buying at the trade deadline is almost never a net positive for an organization.

    This offseason's bold decisions will involve Kepler and Polanco and perhaps Urshela and Gray,

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    14 hours ago, Blyleven2011 said:

    I'm a risk taker  , but I would not invest in damaged goods  ....

     

    So Rodon is off the table?

    Rodon, Kershaw, and DeGrom, will the most "injury prone" SP known to be available in FA this offseason. I would invest in any of them if there is a shot of landing them (there won't be with Kershaw and DeGrom).

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    1 minute ago, DJL44 said:

    ...This offseason's bold decisions will involve... perhaps Urshela...

    I don't know how much surplus value Urshela has. First, the Twins have to give him a contract ($10MMish in arbitration 3 after making $6.5MM this year) with him becoming a free agent at the end of next year. Is he worth $10MM? Ehhhhhhh... maybe. So with that contract does he have any trade value? Probably not.

     

    I think the Twins will non-tender him.

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    1 hour ago, bean5302 said:

    Falvey should be fired. It's time. Articles like this desperate to find a way the front office should never take responsibility for the on field product confuse me.

    The Twins went out and took risks. Yes, they did. Bad risks. The Twins were empty on mid/front rotation arms coming into this season coming off a miserable failure of a year where the team finished dead last in the weakest division in baseball. What the Twins did have was a collection of back end starters after trading the best starter the Twins had developed in over a decade where almost all of the rotation potentials had lengthy and troubling injury histories. Dobnak, Ober, Smeltzer... None of them were reliable. The potential reinforcements in the minors, were iffy as well with the best option, Josh Winder, being shut down with a shoulder injury for most of the second half of 2021.

    Ryan was unproven, but looked like he could carry a back end spot. That left the Twins in a position where they needed to fill several spots in the rotation. Gray, Paddack, Archer, Bundy. All injury prone. Paddack came with a straight up 10/10 immediate start of the season blowout warning factor. A known partially torn UCL. There were other pitchers, more reliable pitchers to stabilize the risks, but the Twins passed. The Twins front office gambled, and gambled and gambled...

    The Twins front office implemented a TTO strategy with their pitchers. Yanking them consistently after 4-5 innings pitched. Nullifying any potential value even a great starter could hope to achieve. Maybe it was in a bid to keep the players on the field, but that failed. Maybe it was just because they believed pitchers would perform better... but in a vacuum without consideration for how the bullpen would pick up the extra 1-2 innings per game they'd need to pitch. Another failure.

    The Twins trainers, coaches and medical staff witnessed seemingly every single player on the team getting hurt. There's something more there than just luck. It's bad timing when the front office already had other gambles fail in the year.

    The front office recognized their self-created bullpen problem and their failed gambles in the rotation at the trade deadline, but the choices they made were to gamble again on a starter Mahle who had recently been on the IL with shoulder issues and the best options the Twins could find in the bullpen. All it cost was just about everything the farm system had left after the collapse of Martin and Balazovic. 

    The Twins end 2022 coming off a year in which they finished dead last in the division and will probably finish under .500 again despite extending the payroll to massive new records. Even the farm system has been gutted. The pitching "pipeline" has been a failure. The drafts have been pretty poor, and the prospects who looked good quickly got traded because of the failure at the MLB level.

    Perhaps the article writer should blame the front office for the risks they took rather than the fans for wanting a good team?

    The farm system isn't close to gutted. Not even a little.

    I think that last sentence indicates that you don't agree that risk is real, frankly. Of course the fans want a good team, so does the FO and ownership. Sometimes you take chances and they don't work. 

    They spent weeks/months playing their 5-9th best OFers, often all three at once. 

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    44 minutes ago, Minny505 said:

    So Rodon is off the table?

    Rodon, Kershaw, and DeGrom, will the most "injury prone" SP known to be available in FA this offseason. I would invest in any of them if there is a shot of landing them (there won't be with Kershaw and DeGrom).

    I would invest in rodon  as he is a needed left handed starter the rotation needs , did he land on the IL list this year with San Francisco  ???

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    38 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    The farm system isn't close to gutted. Not even a little.

    I think that last sentence indicates that you don't agree that risk is real, frankly. Of course the fans want a good team, so does the FO and ownership. Sometimes you take chances and they don't work. 

    They spent weeks/months playing their 5-9th best OFers, often all three at once. 

    They had the 23rd ranked farm system on mlb.com at the mid season mark. Then traded away 4 of their top 5 draft selections in the 2021 draft in the last calendar year. Not even a little gutted? 

    I’d bet they’re no more than 20th in 2023 preseason rankings. 

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    16 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

    Imagine if they had done nothing! 

    Paddock is different than Mahle, as they paid very little for him because of the risk. People seem to forget that

     

    I think they also were able to get Mahle without giving up any top prospects (just former 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks, and only Encarnacion-Strand is having a really solid year, in AA) because they were aware that he'd been having shoulder problems. The Twins evidently like to target pitchers with questionable health, either recent injuries or surgeries, because they can get talent at a discount, hoping that the pitcher can avoid a more serious injury in the near future or they can catch the guy on the rebound. They see it as a market inefficiency. It's a risk, but a deliberate part of the plan.

    I get why that would be appealing to a front office that is trying to build a rotation on a mid-level budget, and hasn't had great pitching prospects ready to come up from the farm, but going after a Mahle like that isn't bold and aggressive. Getting Jorge Lopez, a failed SP who had 3 big months in the pen, but had been getting hammered in July, by trading last year's 3rd round pick and a teenage lottery ticket, isn't really so bold, either. That's taking a flyer on a couple of guys with red flags and hoping for the best.

    I'd like to see the Twins make a bold and aggressive move to improve the rotation next year. But that would mean spending more money, or trading top prospects or a player in the lineup with real value. They usually shy away from big longterm FA deals (the Correa deal essentially ensured that he could stay for one year if he delivered value, or might stay for 2-3 years if he fell short), and it's hard to see them trading top prospects or a good veteran like Polanco, either.

     

     

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