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Patrick Wozniak

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Everything posted by Patrick Wozniak

  1. I don't disagree with you, but Avila really fell off as well - 40.7% K and 69 wRC+ in the 2nd half. With his age, it's a bit concerning.
  2. Great news! I'm also really glad Odorizzi took the QO - he has to be regretting it at this point.
  3. I just haven't heard anything linking him to Minnesota and feel like he will probably end up back in LA. But I'd be happy to be wrong!
  4. With Zack Wheeler signing with the Philadelphia Phillies for $118 million over five years, Minnesota’s interest turns to Madison Bumgarner. Like Wheeler, Bumgarner is now rumored to sign before winter meetings and the Twins are supposedly making a strong push to sign the left-hander.After just watching Wheeler’s market heat up and go beyond what anyone predicted, it seems likely that Bumgarner could end up with a bigger contract than expected, though likely still less than Wheeler. Cole Hamels also signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves could help the Twins, as Atlanta seemed to be the favorites to sign Bumgarner, but are now less likely to do so. Personally, I was in the sign-Wheeler camp, but a recent article by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has warmed me a bit more on Bumgarner. His number’s pitching outside of San Francisco definitely give me pause, but Rosenthal pointed to some encouraging stats in the 2019 version of Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s strikeout rate (24.1%) was his highest since 2016 while his walk rate (5.1%) was the lowest since 2015. That’s great, but also encouraging is the fact that his fastball velocity was also the highest it’s been since 2015. Of course, Wes Johnson is known for getting a little extra oomph out of the fastball, so Bumgarner may even be able to add a bit more to the 91.72 mph he averaged in 2019. However, the most interesting tidbit of the article has to do with the increase in spin rate that Bumgarner’s fastball saw last season. He had the greatest overall increase of all MLB pitchers, going from 2081 to 2405 for a difference of 324 from 2018 to 2019. The next four pitchers on the list, Lucas Giolito, Gerrit Cole, Mike Minor, and Matthew Boyd make for pretty good company. Minnesota’s embrace of analytics and technology may help to further enhance Bumgarner’s pitches. Of course, Bumgarner is a legend for what he has done in the postseason and his track record in that regard would certainly be attractive to a team like Minnesota, who hope to be contending for the length of Bumgarner’s contract. In addition to his postseason success, Bumgarner also pitched better against “good” teams in 2019 with a 3.68 ERA against the top-18 offenses according to Rosenthal, which would also be welcome. Now that Wheeler signed, Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all that is left of the second-tier of top free agent starters. With Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg seemingly out of the picture (not that they were ever in it), Bumgarner may be the Twins last chance, as Ryu seems unlikely to land in Minnesota. There are more than four teams in need of a front-end starter, so some teams are bound to be left out. If the Twins strikeout on Bumgarner, a trade may be the last hope in significantly improving the rotation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Twins Announce Plans to Extend Netting at Target Field — Just How Good is Blake Treinen, and Should the Twins Sign Him? — Twins High Impact Pitching Options Dwindling as Wheeler and Hamels Reach Agreements Click here to view the article
  5. After just watching Wheeler’s market heat up and go beyond what anyone predicted, it seems likely that Bumgarner could end up with a bigger contract than expected, though likely still less than Wheeler. Cole Hamels also signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves could help the Twins, as Atlanta seemed to be the favorites to sign Bumgarner, but are now less likely to do so. Personally, I was in the sign-Wheeler camp, but a recent article by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has warmed me a bit more on Bumgarner. His number’s pitching outside of San Francisco definitely give me pause, but Rosenthal pointed to some encouraging stats in the 2019 version of Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s strikeout rate (24.1%) was his highest since 2016 while his walk rate (5.1%) was the lowest since 2015. That’s great, but also encouraging is the fact that his fastball velocity was also the highest it’s been since 2015. Of course, Wes Johnson is known for getting a little extra oomph out of the fastball, so Bumgarner may even be able to add a bit more to the 91.72 mph he averaged in 2019. However, the most interesting tidbit of the article has to do with the increase in spin rate that Bumgarner’s fastball saw last season. He had the greatest overall increase of all MLB pitchers, going from 2081 to 2405 for a difference of 324 from 2018 to 2019. The next four pitchers on the list, Lucas Giolito, Gerrit Cole, Mike Minor, and Matthew Boyd make for pretty good company. Minnesota’s embrace of analytics and technology may help to further enhance Bumgarner’s pitches. Of course, Bumgarner is a legend for what he has done in the postseason and his track record in that regard would certainly be attractive to a team like Minnesota, who hope to be contending for the length of Bumgarner’s contract. In addition to his postseason success, Bumgarner also pitched better against “good” teams in 2019 with a 3.68 ERA against the top-18 offenses according to Rosenthal, which would also be welcome. Now that Wheeler signed, Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all that is left of the second-tier of top free agent starters. With Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg seemingly out of the picture (not that they were ever in it), Bumgarner may be the Twins last chance, as Ryu seems unlikely to land in Minnesota. There are more than four teams in need of a front-end starter, so some teams are bound to be left out. If the Twins strikeout on Bumgarner, a trade may be the last hope in significantly improving the rotation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Twins Announce Plans to Extend Netting at Target Field — Just How Good is Blake Treinen, and Should the Twins Sign Him? — Twins High Impact Pitching Options Dwindling as Wheeler and Hamels Reach Agreements
  6. Gordon is predicted to get 39 at-bats. I was just taking a look at the prospects who were projected exactly one AB.
  7. FanGraphs released the Steamer projections for the 2020 season earlier this month and today we will look at some of the more interesting projections for the Twins. As a whole, Minnesota had plenty of breakout seasons in 2019 so naturally some of the projects may seem a bit conservative, but I tried to pick out some projections that are debatable.Projection 1: Max Kepler will lead the team with 3.5 fWAR. This would obviously be a bit disappointing because four Twins players topped 3.5 fWAR in 2019 (Kepler, Cruz, Polanco, and Garver), but the projections take into account what the players did prior to 2019 so they may be lower than what we’d expect. But rather than debate the number, let’s debate the player. Kepler edged out Nelson Cruz 4.4 – 4.3 in 2019, but with so many quality players, can he do it again? Interestingly, Steamer projects Kepler to be slightly negative defensively, which seems unlikely. Projection 2: Byron Buxton will steal 23 bases. If Buxton is healthy, he would seem a clinch to top 23 steals. And Steamer does project Buxton to be fairly healthy, appearing in 139 games (We’ll take it!). However, the Twins don’t run much and Buxton’s career high is just 29 (2017, 140 games). Whatever confidence one might have in Buxton topping 23 steals is obviously directly related to how much time he spends on the field. Projection 3: Miguel Sano hits 38 bombas. Like Buxton’s steal total, this prediction will most likely be determined by Miguel Sano’s health. This total would have him finish just behind Nelson Cruz’s 39 projected homers and slightly ahead of his 34 hit in 2019 (105 games). Of course, there could be changes made to make the ball less lively in 2020, but Sano isn’t exactly hitting wall scrapers so he should be okay. Projection 4: Luis Arraez will finish with a .784 OPS. Luis Arraez was one of the great surprises of 2019 and finished the season with a .838 OPS. While seemingly everyone is in agreement about Arraez’s great plate discipline and ability to hit for average, he doesn’t profile as someone who will have much power. Unlike Sano, Arraez probably would be affected by a less-jumpy ball and the .784 OPS projection seems pretty spot on. Projection 5: Mitch Garver will play in 96 games. This number is interesting. Minnesota seems to favor keeping Garver well rested and it’s hard to argue with his 2019 results (155 wRC+, 93 games). But Garver’s bat was so good that it will be hard to keep him out of the lineup for 69 games. Of course, Garver has also had a history of injuries including some troubling concussions, so that will obviously also play a role in how much action he sees. Finally, the quality of whoever plays second catcher will also be a factor. Free-agent catchers are flying off the board, so if the Twins end up with a lesser-quality second-catching option, manager Rocco Baldelli may have a harder time keeping Garver on the bench. Projection 6: Ryan Jeffers, Trevor Larnach, Luke Raley, Travis Blankenhorn, and Royce Lewis will have 1 MLB at-bat in 2020. I’ll go out on the limb and say not all of these prospects will have exactly one big-league at-bat next year. Before you all go out and exclaim me the next Nostradamus, Steamer projected a lot of minor-league prospects to get one at-bat, so it’s basically predicting that most of these guys won’t see much MLB action in 2020. However, some of them likely will. Luke Raley and Travis Blankenhorn have already been added to the 40-man roster so they have fewer hurdles to jump. Royce Lewis and Trevor Larnach have the advantage of being the higher-regarded prospects, so they may have a better chance to be longer-term injury replacements. And Ryan Jeffers is a catcher and highly regarded for his bat and catch-framing so he also has a chance. So, the question here isn’t who will get one at-bat, but who will see the most time with the Twins in 2020? Now it’s your turn. What do you think about each projection? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — The Twins Should Bring Michael Pineda Back for 2020 — Get to Know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) — Justin Morneau Keeping Twins Territory Warm this Winter Click here to view the article
  8. Projection 1: Max Kepler will lead the team with 3.5 fWAR. This would obviously be a bit disappointing because four Twins players topped 3.5 fWAR in 2019 (Kepler, Cruz, Polanco, and Garver), but the projections take into account what the players did prior to 2019 so they may be lower than what we’d expect. But rather than debate the number, let’s debate the player. Kepler edged out Nelson Cruz 4.4 – 4.3 in 2019, but with so many quality players, can he do it again? Interestingly, Steamer projects Kepler to be slightly negative defensively, which seems unlikely. Projection 2: Byron Buxton will steal 23 bases. If Buxton is healthy, he would seem a clinch to top 23 steals. And Steamer does project Buxton to be fairly healthy, appearing in 139 games (We’ll take it!). However, the Twins don’t run much and Buxton’s career high is just 29 (2017, 140 games). Whatever confidence one might have in Buxton topping 23 steals is obviously directly related to how much time he spends on the field. Projection 3: Miguel Sano hits 38 bombas. Like Buxton’s steal total, this prediction will most likely be determined by Miguel Sano’s health. This total would have him finish just behind Nelson Cruz’s 39 projected homers and slightly ahead of his 34 hit in 2019 (105 games). Of course, there could be changes made to make the ball less lively in 2020, but Sano isn’t exactly hitting wall scrapers so he should be okay. Projection 4: Luis Arraez will finish with a .784 OPS. Luis Arraez was one of the great surprises of 2019 and finished the season with a .838 OPS. While seemingly everyone is in agreement about Arraez’s great plate discipline and ability to hit for average, he doesn’t profile as someone who will have much power. Unlike Sano, Arraez probably would be affected by a less-jumpy ball and the .784 OPS projection seems pretty spot on. Projection 5: Mitch Garver will play in 96 games. This number is interesting. Minnesota seems to favor keeping Garver well rested and it’s hard to argue with his 2019 results (155 wRC+, 93 games). But Garver’s bat was so good that it will be hard to keep him out of the lineup for 69 games. Of course, Garver has also had a history of injuries including some troubling concussions, so that will obviously also play a role in how much action he sees. Finally, the quality of whoever plays second catcher will also be a factor. Free-agent catchers are flying off the board, so if the Twins end up with a lesser-quality second-catching option, manager Rocco Baldelli may have a harder time keeping Garver on the bench. Projection 6: Ryan Jeffers, Trevor Larnach, Luke Raley, Travis Blankenhorn, and Royce Lewis will have 1 MLB at-bat in 2020. I’ll go out on the limb and say not all of these prospects will have exactly one big-league at-bat next year. Before you all go out and exclaim me the next Nostradamus, Steamer projected a lot of minor-league prospects to get one at-bat, so it’s basically predicting that most of these guys won’t see much MLB action in 2020. However, some of them likely will. Luke Raley and Travis Blankenhorn have already been added to the 40-man roster so they have fewer hurdles to jump. Royce Lewis and Trevor Larnach have the advantage of being the higher-regarded prospects, so they may have a better chance to be longer-term injury replacements. And Ryan Jeffers is a catcher and highly regarded for his bat and catch-framing so he also has a chance. So, the question here isn’t who will get one at-bat, but who will see the most time with the Twins in 2020? Now it’s your turn. What do you think about each projection? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — The Twins Should Bring Michael Pineda Back for 2020 — Get to Know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) — Justin Morneau Keeping Twins Territory Warm this Winter
  9. Yeah, OPS did rise overall. According to Baseball Reference it rose from .728 in 2018 to .758 this year. So a significant rise but not nearly as much as the .065 increase for L vs. L relievers.
  10. I like your BIP and BVIP stats - a fun way to compare these guys. I do wonder how much pitching in SF inflates Bumgarner's numbers (BIP and BVIP) - I have to think his road splits would be significantly worse. It would be really fun get Ryu - he'll be good if healthy.
  11. New rule changes are coming to baseball in 2020 and one that could affect our Minnesota Twins is the three-batter minimum for relief pitchers. No, we’re not taking a look at how this could affect the Twins bullpen. Today we are interested in what effect it could have on Twins hitters.Recently Jayson Stark of The Athletic took a look at some of the numbers that defined baseball in 2019. One of the numbers he featured was the increase in the quantity of at-bats left-handed batters had against left-handed relievers. This number has gone up in recent years but obviously could be affected by the three-batter minimum that relievers will face. This will more or less eliminate one-out lefties and left-handed relievers will be required to face more right-handed hitters as well. Interestingly, left-handed relievers are already staying in to face more and more right-handed hitters. Stark points out the one-batter appearances by left-handed relievers has plummeted in recently years. However, left-handed hitters are facing more left-handed relievers than ever. The reason: with shorter outings by starting pitchers, managers are already expecting their lefty relievers to face multiple batters. This means that the lefty relievers of today must have the ability to get some right-handed hitters out with less emphasis on completely shutting down left-handed hitters. Naturally, this has been a good development for left-handed hitters. Across MLB left-handed hitters’ OPS rose 65 points in 2019 from the average LHB vs. LH Reliever OPS from 2010 – 2018. With LOOGYs being pushed to the wayside due to the rule change, managers will be forced to use left-hand relievers that are somewhat more effective against RHBs and therefore likely to be slightly less effective against LHBs. So, what that does this mean for Twins hitters? It could mean that left-hand hitters like Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Jake Cave see an additional uptick in production along with switch-hitting Jorge Polanco. Let’s take a look and see what, if any, improvement Twins LHBs saw against LHPs. Download attachment: Lefty wRC+ chart pic.png Pretty encouraging across the board. Part of Polanco’s and even more so Kepler’s breakouts can, at least in part, be attributed to their improvement in hitting southpaws. For his career Kepler has just an 80 wRC+ against lefties so he has definitely taken a big step forward. Rosario has also improved from his career 91 wRC+ vs. LHPs and in a smaller sample size Cave was able to reverse his platoon splits. As a team, the Twins were second to only the Astros in hitting against left-handed pitching (according to wRC+). Minnesota went from a team wRC+ of 90 vs lefties in 2018 (21st overall) to 126 in 2019. A big part of the improvement was due to Twins righty hitters crushing lefties (Hello Mr. Garver), but Minnesota’s left-handed hitters were able to go from a 92 wRC+ in 2018 to 99 in 2019 even with the loss of Joe Mauer. Considering the performances of right-handed hitters like Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano it is unsurprising that the Twins crushed lefties, but it is encouraging that the Twins left-handed hitters have shown improvement against southpaws and may very well continue to progress. Just how much is yet to be determined, but it’s nice to see crucial pieces of Minnesota’s core headed in the right direction. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions — Should the Twins Look to Add to the Bullpen? — Every Team Wants Zack Wheeler Click here to view the article
  12. Recently Jayson Stark of The Athletic took a look at some of the numbers that defined baseball in 2019. One of the numbers he featured was the increase in the quantity of at-bats left-handed batters had against left-handed relievers. This number has gone up in recent years but obviously could be affected by the three-batter minimum that relievers will face. This will more or less eliminate one-out lefties and left-handed relievers will be required to face more right-handed hitters as well. Interestingly, left-handed relievers are already staying in to face more and more right-handed hitters. Stark points out the one-batter appearances by left-handed relievers has plummeted in recently years. However, left-handed hitters are facing more left-handed relievers than ever. The reason: with shorter outings by starting pitchers, managers are already expecting their lefty relievers to face multiple batters. This means that the lefty relievers of today must have the ability to get some right-handed hitters out with less emphasis on completely shutting down left-handed hitters. Naturally, this has been a good development for left-handed hitters. Across MLB left-handed hitters’ OPS rose 65 points in 2019 from the average LHB vs. LH Reliever OPS from 2010 – 2018. With LOOGYs being pushed to the wayside due to the rule change, managers will be forced to use left-hand relievers that are somewhat more effective against RHBs and therefore likely to be slightly less effective against LHBs. So, what that does this mean for Twins hitters? It could mean that left-hand hitters like Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Jake Cave see an additional uptick in production along with switch-hitting Jorge Polanco. Let’s take a look and see what, if any, improvement Twins LHBs saw against LHPs. Pretty encouraging across the board. Part of Polanco’s and even more so Kepler’s breakouts can, at least in part, be attributed to their improvement in hitting southpaws. For his career Kepler has just an 80 wRC+ against lefties so he has definitely taken a big step forward. Rosario has also improved from his career 91 wRC+ vs. LHPs and in a smaller sample size Cave was able to reverse his platoon splits. As a team, the Twins were second to only the Astros in hitting against left-handed pitching (according to wRC+). Minnesota went from a team wRC+ of 90 vs lefties in 2018 (21st overall) to 126 in 2019. A big part of the improvement was due to Twins righty hitters crushing lefties (Hello Mr. Garver), but Minnesota’s left-handed hitters were able to go from a 92 wRC+ in 2018 to 99 in 2019 even with the loss of Joe Mauer. Considering the performances of right-handed hitters like Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano it is unsurprising that the Twins crushed lefties, but it is encouraging that the Twins left-handed hitters have shown improvement against southpaws and may very well continue to progress. Just how much is yet to be determined, but it’s nice to see crucial pieces of Minnesota’s core headed in the right direction. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions — Should the Twins Look to Add to the Bullpen? — Every Team Wants Zack Wheeler
  13. Great series! It would be really nice hear Marney more in the booth. I enjoy Morneau and Smalley but could do without several of the other former players and hearing the same old cliches from their playing days.
  14. Thanks. I wanted to make the trade happen so I gave up more than I would have wanted and with the Grandal signing it was easier to let Jeffers go.
  15. The Twins can breathe a little sigh of relief knowing that Jake Odorrizi will now join Jose Berrios in the rotation for 2020, but there is still plenty of work to be done. With money to spend and an open window, the focus will be improving the rotation and making the offense even stronger, while finding relief in the Rochester Shuttle.Let’s jump right in! Sign Catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year/$64 million deal First the Twins add a great all-around catcher who will make the team better on offense and defense while allowing Mitch Garver’s potent bat into the lineup more often. Grandal and Garver would split catching duties with Grandal taking the majority of the reps as the superior defender. Whoever is not catching would cover first. Miguel Sano would occasionally fill in at first to give one of the catching duo a day off, with Marwin Gonzalez or Ehire Adrianza covering third. This would mean non-tendering C.J. Cron, which is a bit of a pity because he might be due for some improvement in 2020. But no longer having Cron around is a small price to pay for the best catching duo in the MLB. Sign Pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year/$100 million deal Minnesota desperately needs to fill the rotation, and bringing in one of the best starting pitchers outside of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg would be a great start. Wheeler has great stuff and may be able to unlock another level under the tutelage of Wes Johnson. Since it is imperative that the Twins improve the rotation, Minnesota gives Wheeler a fifth year to ensure he makes his home in the Twin Cities. Retain Jake Odorrizi and Michael Pineda While not exciting new names, both Odorrizi and Pineda are quality pitchers who offer plenty of value. However, with the combination of Wheeler and Jose Berrios in the rotation for years to come and plenty of intriguing high-upside arms in the system, I prefer them on one-year deals even if it means paying a bit more. Thankfully, Odorrizi has already agreed to the qualifying offer of 17.8 million and I sign Pineda for one year at $12 million (with a bit of a reduction coming from his suspension). Trade SS Wander Javier, C Ryan Jeffers, and P Blayne Enlow to Miami for P Sandy Alcantara Alcantara gives Minnesota a high-velocity, high-upside arm to fill out the back of the rotation. While Odorrizi and Pineda would only be around for one more season, Alcantara has five more seasons of team control and is a nice young arm to mix in with some of the exciting arms on the farm for future rotations. Summary On offense the only players who leave are C.J. Cron and Jason Castro and they are replaced by Yasmani Grandal. This allows the offense to improve by the addition of Grandal’s bat along with Garver seeing more time in the lineup by covering first on a regular basis. Having Garver spend less time getting beat up behind the plate is a good way to offset the possibility of decreased production due to increased playing time. Download attachment: Blue Print chart 1.png Other than that, the offense stays pretty much the same. The 26th roster spot allows Astudillo to stay on the roster and occasionally catch, alleviating any Gardenhire-esque anxiety Rocco Baldelli may have about using Grandal or Garver as DH without a third catcher. Marwin Gonzalez remains a great insurance piece as the super-utility man and Ehire Adrianza and Jake Cave fill out a strong bench. Three familiar faces return to the rotation along with a couple of good starters who could see further improvement working with Wes Johnson. Wheeler is already a top of the rotation arm and Alcantara shows great potential, especially for a guy who slots as the fifth starter. Plus, both pitchers come from organizations that are fairly inept, so Minnesota’s improvements in player development and technology could provide an additional edge. Download attachment: Blue Print chart 2.png As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t made any additions to the bullpen. High-priced relievers have been a terrible investment in recent years throughout the MLB and the Twins were able to put together one of the better bullpens in 2019 with only the addition of Sergio Romo. I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing Romo back on a one-year deal but it isn’t really necessary. The trio of Rogers, Duffey, and May along with others such as Zack Littell and Cody Stashak will suffice. Download attachment: Blue Print chart 3.png Minnesota has plenty of young arms in AA/AAA, so the Rochester Shuttle will remain active in 2020. The bullpen can be reassessed at the trade deadline. Brusdar Graterol begins the year in the MLB bullpen in an effort to limit his innings for later in the year in case of a need in the rotation due to injury or ineffectiveness. He can transition into long relief and could also be sent down to AAA to get stretched out when needed. Lewis Thorpe also makes the team as a reliever to give the pen another lefty outside of Rogers. He can also serve as a long reliever and swing-starter if necessary. Finally, wavier-wire and slider-throwing machine Matt Wisler fills out the bottom of the pen. He gets the opportunity to be the Ryne Harper of 2020 but can easily be replaced by someone like Fernando Romero or Jorge Alcala and his leash should be short. The other focus of the offseason would be approaching Jose Berrios, Bryon Buxton, and Miguel Sano about extensions. The Polanco and Kepler extensions look brilliant at this point and locking up as much of the core as possible should be a priority. So, there you have it. Minnesota is able to significantly improve the team while keeping a realistic payroll in the neighborhood of $130 million. What would your blueprint look like for the Twins this winter? Download your copy of the Offseason Handbook and use it to construct a champion. Share your vision for discussion in our Create a Blueprint forum thread. More blueprints from our writers: Building a Bullpenner - Nick Nelson Making Big Betts - Nate Palmer Hooking a Big Fish - Ted Schwerzler The Window Just Opened - Jeremy Nygaard Cheat Off the Champs - Matthew Lenz Run It Back - Nash Walker Spending Every Penny - Cooper Carlson Click here to view the article
  16. Let’s jump right in! Sign Catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year/$64 million deal First the Twins add a great all-around catcher who will make the team better on offense and defense while allowing Mitch Garver’s potent bat into the lineup more often. Grandal and Garver would split catching duties with Grandal taking the majority of the reps as the superior defender. Whoever is not catching would cover first. Miguel Sano would occasionally fill in at first to give one of the catching duo a day off, with Marwin Gonzalez or Ehire Adrianza covering third. This would mean non-tendering C.J. Cron, which is a bit of a pity because he might be due for some improvement in 2020. But no longer having Cron around is a small price to pay for the best catching duo in the MLB. Sign Pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year/$100 million deal Minnesota desperately needs to fill the rotation, and bringing in one of the best starting pitchers outside of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg would be a great start. Wheeler has great stuff and may be able to unlock another level under the tutelage of Wes Johnson. Since it is imperative that the Twins improve the rotation, Minnesota gives Wheeler a fifth year to ensure he makes his home in the Twin Cities. Retain Jake Odorrizi and Michael Pineda While not exciting new names, both Odorrizi and Pineda are quality pitchers who offer plenty of value. However, with the combination of Wheeler and Jose Berrios in the rotation for years to come and plenty of intriguing high-upside arms in the system, I prefer them on one-year deals even if it means paying a bit more. Thankfully, Odorrizi has already agreed to the qualifying offer of 17.8 million and I sign Pineda for one year at $12 million (with a bit of a reduction coming from his suspension). Trade SS Wander Javier, C Ryan Jeffers, and P Blayne Enlow to Miami for P Sandy Alcantara Alcantara gives Minnesota a high-velocity, high-upside arm to fill out the back of the rotation. While Odorrizi and Pineda would only be around for one more season, Alcantara has five more seasons of team control and is a nice young arm to mix in with some of the exciting arms on the farm for future rotations. Summary On offense the only players who leave are C.J. Cron and Jason Castro and they are replaced by Yasmani Grandal. This allows the offense to improve by the addition of Grandal’s bat along with Garver seeing more time in the lineup by covering first on a regular basis. Having Garver spend less time getting beat up behind the plate is a good way to offset the possibility of decreased production due to increased playing time. Other than that, the offense stays pretty much the same. The 26th roster spot allows Astudillo to stay on the roster and occasionally catch, alleviating any Gardenhire-esque anxiety Rocco Baldelli may have about using Grandal or Garver as DH without a third catcher. Marwin Gonzalez remains a great insurance piece as the super-utility man and Ehire Adrianza and Jake Cave fill out a strong bench. Three familiar faces return to the rotation along with a couple of good starters who could see further improvement working with Wes Johnson. Wheeler is already a top of the rotation arm and Alcantara shows great potential, especially for a guy who slots as the fifth starter. Plus, both pitchers come from organizations that are fairly inept, so Minnesota’s improvements in player development and technology could provide an additional edge. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t made any additions to the bullpen. High-priced relievers have been a terrible investment in recent years throughout the MLB and the Twins were able to put together one of the better bullpens in 2019 with only the addition of Sergio Romo. I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing Romo back on a one-year deal but it isn’t really necessary. The trio of Rogers, Duffey, and May along with others such as Zack Littell and Cody Stashak will suffice. Minnesota has plenty of young arms in AA/AAA, so the Rochester Shuttle will remain active in 2020. The bullpen can be reassessed at the trade deadline. Brusdar Graterol begins the year in the MLB bullpen in an effort to limit his innings for later in the year in case of a need in the rotation due to injury or ineffectiveness. He can transition into long relief and could also be sent down to AAA to get stretched out when needed. Lewis Thorpe also makes the team as a reliever to give the pen another lefty outside of Rogers. He can also serve as a long reliever and swing-starter if necessary. Finally, wavier-wire and slider-throwing machine Matt Wisler fills out the bottom of the pen. He gets the opportunity to be the Ryne Harper of 2020 but can easily be replaced by someone like Fernando Romero or Jorge Alcala and his leash should be short. The other focus of the offseason would be approaching Jose Berrios, Bryon Buxton, and Miguel Sano about extensions. The Polanco and Kepler extensions look brilliant at this point and locking up as much of the core as possible should be a priority. So, there you have it. Minnesota is able to significantly improve the team while keeping a realistic payroll in the neighborhood of $130 million. What would your blueprint look like for the Twins this winter? Download your copy of the Offseason Handbook and use it to construct a champion. Share your vision for discussion in our Create a Blueprint forum thread. More blueprints from our writers: Building a Bullpenner - Nick Nelson Making Big Betts - Nate Palmer Hooking a Big Fish - Ted Schwerzler The Window Just Opened - Jeremy Nygaard Cheat Off the Champs - Matthew Lenz Run It Back - Nash Walker Spending Every Penny - Cooper Carlson
  17. Javier is actually who I chose to headline the trade I am proposing for Alcantara in my Offseason blueprint - it will be up on Tuesday.
  18. The Twins are free to pay whatever they would want, I was just making a loose estimation. I'm pretty sure Falvey and Lavine won't be calling me for advice anytime soon, so I think you're safe! For what it's worth I'm also not TD Admin, just a contributor. But yeah, I'm not at all an expert on trade costs and am generally protective of prospects, but I do think a young starter like Alcantara would be a wise investment.
  19. With numerous starting rotation holes to fill and plenty of other teams eager to sign free agents, the Twins seem destined to at least test the waters of the trade market. While pitchers who are nearing free agency seem most likely to be dangled by noncompetitive teams, it might be prudent to make a move for a younger, high-upside starter with numerous years of team control left.Of course, most every team wants young, cheap, and talented pitching so obtaining such a starter is easier said than done. And while not expensive in actual dollars, a young, team-controlled starter would likely be costly in prospect capital. Fortunitely, Minnesota happens to be rich in prospects and there may be opportunities to “buy” a young starter without necessarily giving up an elite prospect. The natural place to look for the coveted young starter would be in an organization that is unlikely to be competitive in the near future. Look no further than the Miami Marlins and Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins displayed a willingness to trade away talented young pitching at last season’s trade deadline when they shipped rookie pitcher Zac Gallen to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Plus, the Twins have experience in dealing with Miami’s front office with the Sergio Romo deadline trade. Gallen was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jazz Chisholm, a Double-A shortstop prospect whose stock was dropping due to inconsistency despite being a top-100 prospect. The trade was a headscratcher as Gallen, although unheralded as a prospect, was having a sensational rookie year (which continued with Arizona). This could work to Minnesota’s advantage as Miami seems to favor international bats (as they also received Lewin Diaz from the Twins in the Romo trade) and have displayed a willingness to part with young pitching (pitching prospect Chris Vallimont was included in the Romo trade) as they have little chance of being competitive in the near future. Alcantara would be a cheap young piece the Twins could add to their rotation, which would not only potentially fill a rotation spot for years to come (he’s under team control for the next five seasons), but allow Minnesota to allocate its financial resources to signing additional free-agent pitching. Plus, there is a lot to like in Alcantara. Alcantara throws both a four- and two-seam fastball along with a slider, changeup, and curve. He throws hard, averaging 95.6 on his four-seamer and 95.3 on his sinker, and would give pitching coach Wes Johnson plenty to work with. Alcantara showed the ability to go deep into games as he threw two complete-game shutouts and tallied 197.1 innings on the year. Also encouraging is the fact that he seemed to get better as the season progressed, pitching to a 2.78 ERA and allowing just a .595 OPS from August onward (74.1 innings). The biggest thing holding Alcantara back has been his lack of strikeouts combined with spotty control. In the first half of 2019 his K-BB% was just 5.3 % but that did rise to 11.6% in the second half and was up to 15.2 % in September/October. He has the stuff to get more strikeouts and working with Wes Johnson could go a long way toward maximizing Alcantara’s potential. The Twins have plenty of young international bats that may intrigue the Marlins, including Wander Javier, Gilberto Celestino, Yunior Severino, and Misael Urbina. Any of those young hitters alone are unlikely to be enough to acquire Alcantara, but including one of them in a package with another prospect or two in the 5 – 10 range might work. Outside of the Marlins and Alcantara there are plenty of tanking teams that may be willing to part with young pitching and the Twins would be wise to do their due diligence. Filling the rotation will be neither cheap or easy but it is imperative that Minnesota be ready to explore every opportunity. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Millennial Moxie: Reviewing Rocco's Rookie Year as Manager — Multiple Teams Are Interested in Kyle Gibson. Should the Twins Be? — Offseason Blueprint: Hooking a Big Fish Click here to view the article
  20. Of course, most every team wants young, cheap, and talented pitching so obtaining such a starter is easier said than done. And while not expensive in actual dollars, a young, team-controlled starter would likely be costly in prospect capital. Fortunitely, Minnesota happens to be rich in prospects and there may be opportunities to “buy” a young starter without necessarily giving up an elite prospect. The natural place to look for the coveted young starter would be in an organization that is unlikely to be competitive in the near future. Look no further than the Miami Marlins and Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins displayed a willingness to trade away talented young pitching at last season’s trade deadline when they shipped rookie pitcher Zac Gallen to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Plus, the Twins have experience in dealing with Miami’s front office with the Sergio Romo deadline trade. Gallen was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jazz Chisholm, a Double-A shortstop prospect whose stock was dropping due to inconsistency despite being a top-100 prospect. The trade was a headscratcher as Gallen, although unheralded as a prospect, was having a sensational rookie year (which continued with Arizona). This could work to Minnesota’s advantage as Miami seems to favor international bats (as they also received Lewin Diaz from the Twins in the Romo trade) and have displayed a willingness to part with young pitching (pitching prospect Chris Vallimont was included in the Romo trade) as they have little chance of being competitive in the near future. Alcantara would be a cheap young piece the Twins could add to their rotation, which would not only potentially fill a rotation spot for years to come (he’s under team control for the next five seasons), but allow Minnesota to allocate its financial resources to signing additional free-agent pitching. Plus, there is a lot to like in Alcantara. Alcantara throws both a four- and two-seam fastball along with a slider, changeup, and curve. He throws hard, averaging 95.6 on his four-seamer and 95.3 on his sinker, and would give pitching coach Wes Johnson plenty to work with. Alcantara showed the ability to go deep into games as he threw two complete-game shutouts and tallied 197.1 innings on the year. Also encouraging is the fact that he seemed to get better as the season progressed, pitching to a 2.78 ERA and allowing just a .595 OPS from August onward (74.1 innings). The biggest thing holding Alcantara back has been his lack of strikeouts combined with spotty control. In the first half of 2019 his K-BB% was just 5.3 % but that did rise to 11.6% in the second half and was up to 15.2 % in September/October. He has the stuff to get more strikeouts and working with Wes Johnson could go a long way toward maximizing Alcantara’s potential. The Twins have plenty of young international bats that may intrigue the Marlins, including Wander Javier, Gilberto Celestino, Yunior Severino, and Misael Urbina. Any of those young hitters alone are unlikely to be enough to acquire Alcantara, but including one of them in a package with another prospect or two in the 5 – 10 range might work. Outside of the Marlins and Alcantara there are plenty of tanking teams that may be willing to part with young pitching and the Twins would be wise to do their due diligence. Filling the rotation will be neither cheap or easy but it is imperative that Minnesota be ready to explore every opportunity. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Millennial Moxie: Reviewing Rocco's Rookie Year as Manager — Multiple Teams Are Interested in Kyle Gibson. Should the Twins Be? — Offseason Blueprint: Hooking a Big Fish
  21. The Minnesota Twins did plenty of things well in 2019, winning the AL Central and setting the all-time record for home runs, but one thing they didn’t do was steal many bases. With Byron Buxton hurt for much of the season and the ball flying out of the park like never before, the Twins were Minnesota Nice on the base paths, swiping a league-low 28 bags.The Twins ran sparingly, and when they did try to take a base, they were incredibly inefficient. Minnesota baserunners attempted only 49 steals, but were caught 21 times, for a league-worst 57% success rate. Given their lack of success and propensity for hitting long-balls, it isn’t surprising that the Twins stayed put. The Twins didn’t run much in 2018 either, taking just 47 bags, putting them in 27th place. They were more efficient (63%) but still not where you want to be (above 70%) and the team lead was shared by Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier with just eight steals. With the Twins running less than ever and smacking bombas like never before is there any reason to care about the stolen base in today’s game? And is there any chance that Minnesota will see an uptake in steals for 2020? Starting with the first question, the stolen base does seem to be an area where teams can still grab an advantage in the modern game. While the Twins have been extremely inefficient stealing bases, baseball as a whole is more efficient than ever. In fact, 13 of the last 14 seasons rank as the most efficient since 1920. With more information available than ever before, it’s easier to target which combinations of pitchers and catchers are prime to steal on, greatly increasing the chances of success. There is also a good chance that the juiced ball of 2019 will be less juicy in 2020. The ball was a big story in 2019 and it was widely speculated that the ball was altered for the postseason to lessen home runs. MLB is set to investigate the ball this offseason and it seems all but certain to be less home run friendly in 2020. With fewer balls leaving the park and increased base-stealing efficiency, the stolen base could play a bigger role going forward. As far as the potential for Minnesota swiping more bags next year, there will be no bigger factor then the health of Byron Buxton. Buxton ranks third in the league with a sprint speed of 30.3 feet/second and his elite speed helps him to be an extremely efficient base stealer. For his career he has stolen 60 bases and been caught only eight times (88.24% success rate). Buxton stole a career-high 29 bags in 140 games in 2017 (he was only caught once!) and he should be encouraged to run with greater frequency. After Buxton, things look quite a bit bleaker in the base-stealing department. Polanco is the next fastest runner with a 28.2 ft/sec sprint speed, but he is not a particularly adept base stealer. He stole just four bases in 2019, although he did have 13 steals back in 2017. Lamonte Wade Jr., Max Kepler, and Jake Cave all have above-average speed, but they combined for only one stolen base this year and Kepler was thrown out five times. Top-prospect Royce Lewis has elite speed, but he will likely spend most if not all of 2020 in the minor leagues. Given that Minnesota will most likely run out pretty much the same set of position players in 2020, if they are going to steal more they will have to be smart about it. With the overall lack of flashy base runners, the Twins will have to pick their spots carefully if they hope to become more proficient on the base paths. A healthy Byron Buxton could go a long way towards making that happen. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — "Robot Umpires" Coming to Some Affiliated Parks Next Season — Important Dates for the 2020 Offseason — Twins Can Spend Themselves Into Uncharted Territory Click here to view the article
  22. The Twins ran sparingly, and when they did try to take a base, they were incredibly inefficient. Minnesota baserunners attempted only 49 steals, but were caught 21 times, for a league-worst 57% success rate. Given their lack of success and propensity for hitting long-balls, it isn’t surprising that the Twins stayed put. The Twins didn’t run much in 2018 either, taking just 47 bags, putting them in 27th place. They were more efficient (63%) but still not where you want to be (above 70%) and the team lead was shared by Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier with just eight steals. With the Twins running less than ever and smacking bombas like never before is there any reason to care about the stolen base in today’s game? And is there any chance that Minnesota will see an uptake in steals for 2020? Starting with the first question, the stolen base does seem to be an area where teams can still grab an advantage in the modern game. While the Twins have been extremely inefficient stealing bases, baseball as a whole is more efficient than ever. In fact, 13 of the last 14 seasons rank as the most efficient since 1920. With more information available than ever before, it’s easier to target which combinations of pitchers and catchers are prime to steal on, greatly increasing the chances of success. There is also a good chance that the juiced ball of 2019 will be less juicy in 2020. The ball was a big story in 2019 and it was widely speculated that the ball was altered for the postseason to lessen home runs. MLB is set to investigate the ball this offseason and it seems all but certain to be less home run friendly in 2020. With fewer balls leaving the park and increased base-stealing efficiency, the stolen base could play a bigger role going forward. As far as the potential for Minnesota swiping more bags next year, there will be no bigger factor then the health of Byron Buxton. Buxton ranks third in the league with a sprint speed of 30.3 feet/second and his elite speed helps him to be an extremely efficient base stealer. For his career he has stolen 60 bases and been caught only eight times (88.24% success rate). Buxton stole a career-high 29 bags in 140 games in 2017 (he was only caught once!) and he should be encouraged to run with greater frequency. After Buxton, things look quite a bit bleaker in the base-stealing department. Polanco is the next fastest runner with a 28.2 ft/sec sprint speed, but he is not a particularly adept base stealer. He stole just four bases in 2019, although he did have 13 steals back in 2017. Lamonte Wade Jr., Max Kepler, and Jake Cave all have above-average speed, but they combined for only one stolen base this year and Kepler was thrown out five times. Top-prospect Royce Lewis has elite speed, but he will likely spend most if not all of 2020 in the minor leagues. Given that Minnesota will most likely run out pretty much the same set of position players in 2020, if they are going to steal more they will have to be smart about it. With the overall lack of flashy base runners, the Twins will have to pick their spots carefully if they hope to become more proficient on the base paths. A healthy Byron Buxton could go a long way towards making that happen. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — "Robot Umpires" Coming to Some Affiliated Parks Next Season — Important Dates for the 2020 Offseason — Twins Can Spend Themselves Into Uncharted Territory
  23. With the competitive window blown wide open, money to spend, and a great need for starting pitching, spending big money on a free-agent catcher may seem counterproductive, but it might be one of Minnesota’s best opportunities to improve in 2020.While obtaining starting pitching is priority number one, spending big money on free-agent pitching is easier said than done. Plenty of other teams will be in on the top starters and even though the Twins have built a good team, the prospect of playing and living in Minnesota isn’t always that enticing. Of course, the Minnesota will have to find a way to fill the rotation, but with catcher Jason Castro becoming a free-agent, back-up catcher is one spot where the Twins could spend and greatly improve the ball club. Mitch Garver emerged as one of, if not the best hitting catcher in baseball, and spending big on another catcher may seem unnecessary or even wasteful, but it is a way to add value to the current club. Garver worked hard to improve his defense and pitch framing but is unlikely to ever be better than average behind the dish and seemed to thrive with plenty of rest, as Manager Rocco Baldelli has prioritized for his catchers. With that said, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal is likely to become a free-agent this offseason. He has a mutual option for 2020 with the Brewers but seems all but certain to test the market and look for a multi-year contract. Grandal won’t come cheap and is on the wrong side of 30, but signing Grandal could immediately improve Minnesota’s offense, defense, and pitching. Grandal not only is a great hitting catcher (121 wRC+ in 2019, 119 wRC+ career), but he also ranks as one of the top defensive catchers in the League. FanGraphs has only J.T. Realmuto and Austin Hedges ranked ahead of Grandal defensively and he ranks second in pitch framing. Adding a great pitch framer would further enhance whatever group of starters the Twins end up with. Grandal will not come cheap. He earned $18 million in 2019, in what would essentially be a one-year deal if he declines his option as is expected. Since 2015 his fWAR has consistently been very good, ranging from a low of 4.1 to a high of 5.8, with a 5.2 fWAR in 2019. But again, now is as good a time to spend as ever for the Twins and they should have at least 70 million to spend this offseason. Signing Grandal should not inhibit Minnesota from signing (and trading for) some starters as well. If the Twins do sign Grandal, they would need to figure out how to split time with Garver. Since Grandal is the superior backstop, it would make more sense for him to get the majority of starts behind the plate. However, as mentioned, the Twins seem to prefer well-rested catchers so something close to a 60-40 split in favor of Grandal might work best. Naturally the Twins will want both Garver's and Grandal’s potent bats in the lineup more often than not and with Nelson Cruz taking the lion’s share of DH duty, first base is the best option. Grandal played first in 20 games (16 starts) in 2019 and there has been much talk of getting Garver more reps at first, so that should be feasible. It would probably mean letting C.J. Cron go, and splitting first between Garver, Grandal, and possibly Miguel Sano and Marwin Gonzalez. The two catchers could also see some time at DH as Cruz will need some rest days and is likely to miss some time due to injury. While adding starting pitching is a must, there are other ways to improve the team, and adding an additional piece that is likely to improve both the offense and pitching may prove to be prudent. Plus, there has never been a better time to spend. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Eddie Rosario Continued to Trend Downward in 2019 — 3 Pitchers Who Complement the Twins Defensive Strengths — Jose Berrios Has Tough Road to First Gold Glove Click here to view the article
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