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In My La Z boy

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  1. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Tim for a blog entry, Jorge Polanco and The Twins   
    For as much as a buzzkill the Twins 2021 season was, Jorge Polanco gave many Twins fans a reason to watch. 
    Breaking out in 2019, Polanco hit 22 HRs and drove in 79 RBI with a slash line of .295/.356/.485. Polanco scuffled during the 2020 covid shortened season but was also playing with an ankle injury that required offseason surgery and ultimately a shift to second base.
    The ankle clean up and position switch seemed to have paid off as Polanco had a career season in 2021. Overall he finished the season with a .269 AVG and an OPS of .826. Oh, and 33 bombs + 98 RBI. That's good for a WAR of 4.8 according to baseballrefrence. 
    One would think now would be a poor time for the Twins to move Jorge Polanco in a trade. The stacked free agent class includes Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien, and Javier Baez. Teams looking for a shortstop or second basemen will have plenty of options to chose from.
    But at what cost?
    Carlos Correa and Corey Seager are 1A and 1B in the class. Both are expected to receive contracts upwards of 260 million. Trevor Story had a down year offensively, but still grades out as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. He also is only 28 and teams will convince themselves he returns to form at the plate... 150-175 million sound right? Marcus Semien's fantastic 2021 campaign probably netted him a deal north of 115 million, as he was a top 5 hitter in baseball for much of the season. Javier Baez is a complete toss up for me. He is incredibly streaky at the plate, but got hot during his stint with the Mets and switched his approach at the plate. His ability to move around the diamond defensively and play a solid shortstop, second, and third is still a huge asset. You can't deny the flair and energy he brings to a team as well, star power means tickets... I'd guess a team buys in and pays close to 100 million.  While there are plenty of options teams can go on the open market, none will sign cheap. Aside from potentially Baez, you aren't bringing any of those players in for less than 100 mil, at the minimum. Fortunately, for the teams hesitant to commit that type of money, there is another option.
    Jorge Polanco
    **Before I'm slandered below for suggesting the Twins should trade their 2021 MVP, consider the facts.**
    Contract - Jorge Polanco, currently 27, is signed through 2025 at what is essentially a 4 year 35.5 million dollar contract. When you stack that up against what the market is going to command for the available options, that deal is an absolute bargain. Internal Replacements -  Second Base is really a position of strength for the Twins. Luis Arraez, still only 24 and under team control until 2026, has a career .313 AVG and .374 OBP over 275 games .. Yes, you are missing out on the power, but baseballreference had his 2021 WAR at 3.4, so by no means is it a massive downgrade. He isn't arb. eligible until 2023 as well.. Nick Gordon or the crown jewel in the Berrios deal, Austin Martin, could also be guys that could step into the position at some point next year. State of The Organization - The Twins need to look at this an opportunity to try and expedite the rebuilding process. Reality is 2022 is going to be a lost year, regardless of whether Polanco is on the roster or not. Is 2023 the year? Who knows, a lot will need to go right for the Twins between now and then .. But at that point you've only lost value on a player that will have 2 years remaining on his steal of a contract.  If you are hesitant to put Polanco in the same tier as the players in this upcoming FA class, Since 2019, here's where Polanco stacks up against the top middle infielders. 

    That's a 3 year sample size of productivity that puts him square in the discussion offensively as a top tier middle infielder. 
    Yes I am aware that some players on the list were injured, but that's apart of the game. Polanco was too.
    Who might be interested?
    The best fit for Polanco would be an organization that is entering their window to compete for a championship. Given how cheap his contract is, teams would have the ability to sign free agent starting pitching, which typically works out better, than say giving a position player like Javy Baez a 5 year / 100 million dollar deal. That model seems to have paid off for the Astros as well as the Dodgers to some extent.
    What teams fit that bill? I highly doubt an organization will trade for Polanco with intentions of playing him at short. So i'll highlight just teams with a second base need, There's a few, here are my favorite options.
    The Mariners, who received a 0.3 WAR from the second base position this past year, would be a great trade partner for the Twins. They don't really have a solidified plan at 2nd and on the prospect side it's slim.  Ranked with Baseball Americas top farm system, they have plenty of intriguing pitching prospects to deal from. Emerson Hancock, Matt Brash, George Kirby, and Brandon Williamson all look to be be starters long-term.. (I believe Brash will be the best) .... What about Noelvi Marte? one can dream.
    Miami has reportedly been getting pressure from ownership to win now and could be a possibility. This would mean they are comfortable moving Jazz Chisholm from 2nd to Short .. If they are, the Marlins hands down have the most pitching prospect depth to deal from in all of baseball. Max Meyer, Edward Cabrera, Eury Perez, and Jack Eder (though recovering from TJ) all could be in play ... (I'll take Perez of the 4 please).
    If the Blue Jays prioritize Robbie Ray over Marcus Semien, count them in as a Polanco fit. Toronto is right in their go for it window and may lean toward having a proven veteran to replace the production rather than banking on a prospect. A package of Orlevis Martinez/Jordan Gorshans and Nate Pearson doesn't sound all too bad. 
    __
    The Twins have a lot of work to do if they wanna get on back on track in the coming years.. This is all speculation, though I think it certainly is a route the Twins have to at least explore this winter. 
    Regardless, of what you want the Twins to do with Polanco, there is no denying he would bring back a haul. That might be the best thing for the Twins sustaining long-term success.
    *Also, don't check Baseballtradevalues.com for the prospects I mentioned. It rarely is correct, as most of us learned with the deals that occurred at the deadline. 
  2. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to bean5302 for a blog entry, Grading Falvey's Drafts   
    Grading Derek Falvey's Drafts
    With the minor leagues essentially done for the year, it’s a fair time to review the Derek Falvey’s performance through the drafts. Falvey has been in charge of the Twins’ front office for 5 drafts now, though there’s not close to enough data to judge the 2021 draft group’s actual playing performance.
    I believe Derek Falvey’s job has 6 major components, in no particular order. 1. MLB on field performance. 2. Free agency signings. 3. Trades. 4. Player conduct. 5. Drafting. 6. Player development.
    Drafting should be considered separate from player development as they’re not the same thing. Drafting involves identifying pre-professional talent while players are outside the organization and player development is all about finding the ways to improve players while in the system. For example, getting a 10th rounder to produce at the MLB level has almost nothing to do with the draft; that’s all player development.
    I’m concentrated on the first 3 rounds of the draft, which include Competitive Balance A and Competitive Balance B picks and works out to just about 100 players even in most years. Obviously, a 1st round / CBA is much more important than a 2nd round / CBB pick and then a 3rd rounder drops off more. I’ve chosen to grade the overall draft results on that scale. First Round/CBA = a multiplier of 2.00. Second Round/CBB = a multiplier of 1.50. 3rd Round = a multiplier of 1.00. My grades are subjective, based on performance of the pick, whether or not the front office reached to get the pick, how quickly the pick has advanced and my opinion of the projected performance of the pick at this point. I didn’t ding the Twins for any of the lost CBA/CBB picks due to free agency signings or trades except Hughes. The Twins essentially traded their late 2nd rounder, a CBB pick in 2019 for a little cash; that’s an absolute dereliction of duty and it’s worth a grade.
    Huge Reach = 2+ rounds ahead of MLB.com projection Reach = 1 round ahead of MLB.com projection Aggressive = ½ round ahead of MLB.com projection (i.e. CBA instead of 2nd round) On Par = In the round where projected, within a reasonable distance of expected. (i.e. picked 20th overall when projected at 25th) Deal = 1 round behind MLB.com projection Steal = 2+ rounds behind MLB.com projection  
    2017 Player Grade MLB Draft # Actual Draft # Selection Range Analysis Draft Age Level Last Perf. Progress Projection 1st Royce Lewis C 5 1 1-30 (Rnd1) On Par High School 22 AA D C B CBA Brent Rooker C 50 35 31-36 (CBA) Aggressive College 26 MLB B D C 2nd Landon Leach F 101 37 37-67 (Rnd2) Reach High School 21 A- F F F 3rd Blayne Enlow C 29 76 76-105 (Rnd3) Steal High School 22 A+ C D C 2018 Player Grade MLB Draft Proj # Actual Draft # Selection Range Analysis Draft Age Level Last Perform Progress Projection 1st Trevor Larnach C 26 20 1-30 (Rnd1) On Par College 24 MLB C B D 2nd Ryan Jeffers B >200 59 44-78 (Rnd2) Huge Reach College 24 MLB D A C 3rd Forfeit for Lynn 1yr N/A         N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2019 Player Grade MLB Draft Proj # Actual Draft # Selection Range Analysis Draft Age Age Level Last Perform Progress Projection 1st Keoni Cavaco F 28 13 1-30 (Rnd1) Aggressive High School 20 A- F C F CBA Matt Wallner D 60 39 31-41 (CBA) Aggressive College 23 A+ C C F 2nd Matt Canterino B 46 54 42-69 (Rnd2) On Par College 23 A+ A C A CBB Forefeit (to trade Hughes) F       Total Failure N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3rd Spencer Steer C >200 90 79-107 (Rnd3) Huge Reach College 23 AA C A C 2020 Player Grade MLB Draft Proj # Actual Draft # Selection Range Analysis Draft Age Age Level Last Perform Progress Projection 1st Aaron Sabato C 41 27 1-29 (Rnd1) Reach College 22 A+ B B D 2nd Alerick Soularie D 105 59 38-60 (Rnd2) Huge Reach College 22 A- D C C CBB Forefit in Maeda Trade N/A         N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3rd Forefit for Donaldson N/A         N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2021 Player Grade MLB Draft Proj # Actual Draft # Selection Range Analysis Draft Age Age Level Last Perform Progress Projection 1st Chase Petty A 27 26 1-29 (Rnd1) On Par High School 18 Rk Pass C N/A CBA Noah Miller C 62 36 31-36 (CBA) Aggressive High School 18 Rk Pass C N/A 2nd Steve Hajjar C 100 61 37-63 (Rnd2) Reach College 20 N/A Inc. D N/A 3rd Cade Povich D >250 98 72-101 (Rnd3) Huge Reach College 21 A- Pass B N/A  
    When reviewing the drafts, it seems apparent Derek Falvey believes his front office is a significantly better judge of player talent than MLB.com as he frequently drafts players well ahead of MLB.com’s projections. This doesn’t mean Falvey is wrong. MLB.com is just one source and it would be expected the Twins scouts could be superior to MLB.com’s. Draft picks routinely shift around during the season depending on their performance leading right up to the draft. Regardless, MLB.com’s projections are usually pretty close to other sources which makes for a good baseline as to the scouting world in general. If Falvey’s front office and scouting department is better, it should show up in the advancement and development of players.
    So how do things look? Well, in a nutshell, I’d give the front office a C- overall with a GPA of 1.76, but it’s a very incomplete picture. I believe 2022 will be critical to evaluating Falvey’s drafts. Lewis, Rooker, Larnach and Cavaco are on their last year of grace period to “prove it.” While Rooker and Larnach get major points for making it to the big show, neither has performed well enough to stick around.
    From a pitching standpoint, Falvey has only drafted 1 first round pitcher in 5 years and 8 chances. For the most part, Falvey has chosen guys with good breaking pitch offerings who were down the rankings a bit and focused on hitters with the highest picks. The only 1st rounder choice was 100mph high school flame thrower Chase Petty earlier this year. Petty received mixed rankings, but MLB was about as bullish on him as anybody else and Petty made his 1 start at the FCL Twins this year. Landon Leach, Matt Canterino and Steve Hajjar make up the 2nd round pitching selections. 2 of the 3 are big reaches and Leach is already a total bust. Canterino’s performance is a saving grace here as his injury history has slowed his advancement while Hajjar didn’t make a competitive appearance this year. 3rd rounders include Blayne Enlow and Cade Povich. Enlow was projected high, but velocity drops and concerns over signing him let the Twins save up some slot money and get the chance to make a run at him. Enlow’s situation sort of mirror’s Canterino’s. Injuries have derailed his advancement. Povich is just a head scratcher. He was way, way down almost all prospect lists if he even appeared at all. Prospectslive.com had him at 537, but the Twins apparently liked enough of what they saw to send him to the Low-A Ft. Myers Miracle. 
    Falvey has shown a strong affinity for aggressively pursuing bat only players with lots of power and not a lot of anything else. Rooker, Wallner and Sabato are all one tool wonders and all were a bit of a reach. Larnach is now in the same boat after his advanced eye at the plate turned out to be outmatched against more talented pitching. If they don’t rake, they’re busts and finding spots for all of those guys would be impossible on the roster, but it would also mean the drafts were hugely successful. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Rooker and Larnach are not getting the job done with Wallner advancing too slowly for his draft position and experience and Sabato narrowly avoiding a “bust” moniker this year with a hot last couple months. Soularie, another bat heavy big reach, has a little more defensive potential so the Twins are trying to see if he can stick at 2B. The Twins have also gone for the athleticism over everything approach a couple times with Royce Lewis and Keoni Cavaco. Lewis is the one Falvey really can’t afford to miss on. Lewis was a first overall pick who hasn’t played competitively in 2 years and wasn’t nearly good enough when he did play, but he’s such a gifted athlete with such a great character that it’s believed he can still turn the corner. Cavaco… well, the best thing which can honestly be said about him right now is it’s still a little too early to call him a bust. That said, if Cavaco doesn’t pick it up big time, he will wear the title by mid 2022. The Twins reached a bit with him, and if you’re reaching for your first rounder, it’s important to pay off and the Twins doubled down by reaching for Wallner for the same draft. Spencer Steer completed the 3/3 reaches for hitters in 2019 and was an out of the park, 6 run, grand slam style reach for good measure, but at least he’s still showing a glimmer of promise with some fast promotions. I’m not sure who was driving the car in 2019 is what I’m sayin’ here. Thank goodness Canterino pitched well in between his injury woes or the 2019 draft would honestly be looking potentially catastrophic here.
    Truthfully, draft results are finicky things to analyze, especially in the first 3-4 years and the loss of 2020's MiLB season really tightens the sample size here. Many quality MLB players have their hiccups in the minors or develop a little slower so the draft grades could really swing wildly next year. It would take quite a few things working out, but I could see the Falvey front office draft grade swinging all the way up into the C+ range next year… or tanking straight into F territory for that matter. I think it’s also important to consider this isn’t graded on a curve and a 2.00 GPA and a C grade for “average” isn’t a call to fire the front office; it means the front office is competent enough and doing their job well enough in a crazy competitive marketplace where many pieces have to fall into place to grade higher.
  3. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Greglw3 for a blog entry, A heavyweight name weighs in on Twins FO and organization   
    Frank Viola had a very interesting tweet this morning. In a recent thread, I intimated that I felt the manager and Falvey and Levine should be dismissed. I’ve vacillated on it but since then, the team and outlook seems even worse. I just found this tweet by Frank Viola, one of the Twins greatest pitchers ever to be a confirmation of what I’ve felt this year. 
    Does what Viola says surprise you? Does it carry weight with you? Do you agree? It rings far too true to me.
    The last sentence of his Tweet is the most significant one "Wrong leadership equals no chance to succeed." That sounds like a call for change to me. I would argue that the failure of Falvey, Levine and Baldelli has been so spectacular that the Twins would be better off replacing Falvey, Levine and Baldelli with the best GM, Manager and and President of baseball operations that they can find. This is a judgement that is probably analogous to the Twins releasing a player that they really like as a person and had high hopes for. It’s a business and winning is the paramount goal.
    There are way too many baseball moves that they’ve butchered to mention but the sequence that lead to Cave playing a significant role and still starting as we approach September is perhaps the most egregious of all. Not acquiring a better option for Buxton’s backup and a better replacement for Rosario cost the Twins wins. Happ and Shoemaker didn’t help.
     
     

  4. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to BaseballGenius123 for a blog entry, Why Am I a Twins Fan, And a Little About Myself   
    This post will be about why I am a Twins fan and some memories of the Twins, and a little about me. My name is Levi Hansen, I am 24 years old and I am from Rochester, Minnesota. I went to high school at Mayo High School and graduated in 2016. When I was in high school I knew that after I graduated I wanted to go to college and major in something that involved sports, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to go for. My senior year I decided I wanted to go to school and major in Athletic Training, after a couple years of doing this I found out that this wasn’t right for me, so I switched my major to Mass Communications, I graduated from Rochester Community and Technical College for my Associates Degree this last Spring Semester after I was done with my internship. For my internship I did play-by-play for the Yellowjackets at Rochester Community and Technical College men’s and women’s basketball team’s. At first I was really scared to do play-by-play because I am not a huge basketball fan in general, but halfway through the season the Athletic Director at school stopped me in the hallway after one of the games and told me that an assistant coach from one of the team’s really enjoyed listening to my play-by-play announcing, but the one thing I could change is to say the player’s names more instead of saying the jersey number. At the end of season I was really mad because I think I improved a lot throughout the season and I didn’t want the season to end.
    I think I got the love of sports, mostly baseball and football from my father, both my parents are from Trempealeau, Wisconsin, my dad grew up a huge Vikings fan, and when my mom was pregnant with me my dad would read the sports section of the newspaper to my mom’s growing stomach. I like to thank my dad for doing that because I love my Minnesota Twins no matter if they are one of the best teams in the regular season and sadly 0-18 in the last 18 playoff games, or if they are having a disappointing season like they are having this season. Ever since I was in Kindergarten my dad would ask myself, along with my younger brother and sister if we wanted to play youth sports, I played baseball, football, from Kindergarten thru my freshman year of high school and I wrestled from Kindergarten thru my 8th grade year, I truly miss playing all these sports. I also did Boy Scouts for a couple years and they would do a fun night at the Metrodome watching the Twins game and have some fun activities and at the end of the night the Boy Scouts could sleep on the turf. Those times were very fun.
    All good things come to an end. I decided I didn’t want to play football anymore after my freshman year, and I wasn’t good enough to make the high school team my freshman year, the players wanted me to stay and be the student manager my Sophomore year, I knew this was an easy choice I ended up managing the baseball team my sophomore year through my senior year for the baseball team and I ended up managing the football team my senior year both of them were so much fun being around a good group of guys and some good coaches. A little story. The Twins drafted Bradley Mathiowetz in the 2014 draft in one of the later rounds. Bradley was a couple years older than me in high school. I thought that was pretty cool that I went to high school and knew a Twins draftee either  though he ended up not signing. Bradley ended up being Mr. Baseball for Minnesota in 2014, Bradley was a treat to watch it seemed he hit a home run every at bat and he was a pretty great defensive catcher as well.
    Over my 24 years of being a Twins fan, there have been several good players, however my favorite Twins fan of all time is power hitting, gods defensive first basemen Justin Morneau. I think Justin could’ve been in the Hall Of Fame if it wasn’t for all the concussions he suffered while playing the game tough. Justin ended his playing career with 1,545 games played, 5,699 at- bats, 247 Home Runs with a .281 Batting Average, those are pretty good career numbers if you ask me. There was a time I got to meet Justin Morneau at the Metrodome. Years ago there was a reading contest through Cub Foods and people had to read a certain number of minutes to meet Justin, I completed the assignment not because I love to read (I only like to read sports books.) It was because I wanted to meet my favorite player. I remember going through the line as a little kid telling him he was my favorite player it was very fun meeting my favorite player. 
    The year 2020 was a very sad year with COVID making the world a not so very fun place to live. Spring Training was cut short because of it. When I heard there might not be baseball played last year I felt sick to my stomach and didn’t know what to do in my free time. When there wasn’t any baseball I found some fun baseball podcasts to listen to, I really enjoy Nash Walker’s podcasts and really like Aaron Gleeman and John Bonnes’s podcasts both podcasts are a treat to listen to, another podcast I love listening to are Twins Daily offseason podcasts. If there is ever a time that I could join a Twins Daily offseason podcast it would be so fun. I like listening to the podcasts because I just really like listening to people’s takes on my favorite sports team, most of their takes I agree with but, some I don’t. I wanted to pick up my blog I took a break off from writing on Twins Daily, but a couple months ago I stated blogging again. I love to blog on Twins Daily because I can write whatever comes to mind about the Twins, and people can comment on posts. When I found out there was going to be baseball, but only 60 games, without any fans I was really happy that ”America’s Favorite Pastime” was coming back. Other Twins fans can follow me on Twitter my handle is LeviHansen11
    Hopefully you guys like this post. My next post will be about the trades the Twins made at the trade deadline and if I like them or not. 
     
     
  5. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Assessing the Twins Trade Deadline   
    It’s been a few days since the Minnesota Twins allowed the dust to settle on their 2021 Trade Deadline moves. With some big names leaving the organization, and some big prospects entering, it’s time to take a look at the talent that moved places.
    The headliner was obviously the Jose Berrios move. As a fan, this one was always going to be hard to stomach. Berrios was drafted by the organization, developed, and became one of the best pitchers in Twins history. As it became increasingly evident that he would not sign a long-term extension with the club, moving him made more and more sense.
    Derek Falvey had to maximize the return on Berrios is there was going to be a deal, and he did absolutely that. I noted Austin Martin being my desired target should a swap with the Blue Jays be the plan of action. Still though, getting controllable pitching needed to happen considering Minnesota was moving an ace. To get both Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson was an absolute coup, and it was the strongest return any swap generated during the deadline.
     
    I wrote up the Cruz swap last week and getting Joe Ryan looks like a very strong return for a guy that’s an impending free agent and had limited suitors. While Nelson Cruz is great, there was never a point in which I thought he’d bring back much to work with. Instead, the Twins got Team USA’s game one starter in Ryan, and a flier that’s close to major league ready in Drew Strotman. No matter how Falvey organized this one, he did incredibly well.
    Flipping J.A. Happ to the Cardinals was impressive as well. I’ve kicked the notion that he could be seen as valuable to someone for weeks. That always was tongue in cheek with how poorly he’s pitched but leave it to St. Louis to make me look smart. John Gant is under team control in 2022, and that gives the Twins a veteran arm with a longer runway to decide a future on. He can both start and relieve, although he’s currently in Rocco Baldelli’s pen. Gant has pitched well above expectations this year, and his FIP suggests some massive regression is coming. That said, if the Twins can unlock another tier, they may have something to work with down the line.
    It wasn’t unexpected to see Hansel Robles moved, although I did think that Alex Colome may wind up being the more coveted reliever. Boston sent back a non-top 30 arm in Alex Scherff, but the 23-year-old has big strikeout numbers and is already at Double-A. Although he’s a reliever, that’s still a useful arm to add for an organization needing to develop pitchers for the highest level. 
    There has to be some criticism directed at Falvey and Thad Levine, although none of it should be for what they did. Instead, not trading Michael Pineda or Andrelton Simmons looks like a missed opportunity. Both are impending free agents and serve no purpose to this club down the stretch. I’d like to see Pineda back next season, but that could happen on the open market anyways. There’s no reason for this team to hold onto any semblance of respectability and turning the results over to youth makes more sense than ever. Simmons has been fine defensively, but he’s non-existent at the plate and some contender could’ve parted with a bag of balls for a shortstop upgrade.
    When the bell run on July 31, we had seen the most exciting trade deadline in Major League Baseball history come to an end. The Minnesota Twins bettered their future, and made some high impact moves that both Falvey and Levine should be praised for. Now it’ll be up to the organizational infrastructure to develop and best position these talents in an opportunity to bear fruit and turn the tides of the big-league club.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  6. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Trading Rogers is Risky for Twins   
    A handful of years back I wrote something along the lines of the Twins most necessary move was to deal Glen Perkins. He was competing at an All-Star level, and Minnesota was beyond terrible with no end in sight. A bad team didn’t need a closer, and the haul should’ve been handsome. In a similar spot, the Twins may be ill-advised to make that move with Taylor Rogers.
    Yes, the Major League club is not good. No, the farm system doesn’t have a ton of immediate answers. This season isn’t going to result in a second-half turnaround, and a bullpen that’s already bad isn’t and hasn’t been saved by one good arm. The key difference here, however, is how Derek Falvey and Thad Levine view themselves in 2022.
    Although good teams don’t necessarily need a closer, they absolutely need a strong bullpen. Moving Taylor Rogers with another year of team control, and as one of the most dominant relief arms in the sport, would suggest they don’t view a run coming in the year ahead either. Rocco Baldelli has seen his lineup come around over the past handful of weeks, but it’s still been pitching that has failed this club. While the rotation is chiefly to blame, supplementing and retooling the bullpen is a must for next season. Doing that with the additional hole that Rogers’ absence would cost becomes difficult.
    This season Rogers owns a 2.65 ERA along with a 12.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. In 2020 he posted an outlying 4.05 ERA, but it was hiding a 2.84 FIP and still fell in line the strikeout and walk rates across his career. The uncharacteristic 1.500 WHIP got Taylor last year and pitching in a short season without opportunity for positive regression didn’t help. His counting numbers are now back to who he always has been, and what the expectation should be.
    Baseball right now remains enamored with high leverage relievers. This winter we saw the Chicago White Sox drop $54 million on Liam Hendriks. I don’t now what Rogers will earn two seasons from now, but he’ll be hitting the free agent market at the same age Hendriks did this year. Saves are a goofy stat, but they do get paid for at least in arbitration, and Rogers currently has more than Hendriks did when he was signed by the South Siders.
    Maybe a team will blow the Twins away with a couple of top tier prospects. That doesn’t seem like a great bet given the relief trade market often seems to be filled with organizations looking to be opportunistic and capitalize on a veteran’s immediate success without much of a long-term commitment. If Falvey can find a taker willing to pony up though, then that’s a move Minnesota should consider.
    If flipping Rogers is being done because he fits the category of desirable asset and the return is just good enough, I’d hope that this front office would reconsider. Maybe they don’t have intentions to reload in 2022, or they see that as a lofty goal. Either way, venturing down the path to relevance in the season ahead gets unquestionable tougher by taking an arm like Rogers out of an already deficient area of this roster.
    Maybe you shouldn’t pay for relief help. The Twins best bullpen acquisitions this year were a waiver claim and a guy that cost $2 million. You certainly shouldn’t piece out the pen before you have to when you’re trying to re-ignite it though.
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  7. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Danchat for a blog entry, Top 30 Prospects - Summer 2021 Update   
    Continuing from my Top 30 Prospect Rankings in the winter, I have updated my standings in accordance to how well things have gone for the individual players. I'll try to keep this brief, but I can promise nothing!
    Format
    #Num - Pos Player (Winter Rating)
    Current Level - Quick Summary
    Graduated
    #1 OF Trevor Larnach
    #2 C Ryan Jeffers
    #3 OF Alex Kirilloff
    DFA'd
    #18 2B Travis Blankenhorn
    #35 SP Dakota Chalmers
     
    Top 30 Prospects
    #30 - 2B Edouard Julien (Not Ranked)
    A - A former 18th round pick, Julien is raking at Fort Myers. Has a long way to go, but he's on my radar now.
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    #29 - CF Gabriel Maciel (#24)
    A+ - Maciel got off to a rough start and has shown zero pop in his bat. He profiles as a Ben Revere type.
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    #28 - 3B Seth Gray (#32)
    A+ - Gray has shown improvement at the plate and has a high .368 OBP. Part of that is because of 9 HBPs (hit by pitches).
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    #27 - 2B Will Holland (#26)
    A - Got a late start and has been a bit shaky in a small sample size.
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    #26 - SP Luis Rijo (#23)
    A+ - Got a late start, pitched in one game, and hit the IL with a forearm strain. This reeks of a lost season.
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    #25 - SS Jermaine Palacios (NR)
    AA - Palacios is quite the story. He was the only prospect in the Odorizzi trade with the Rays, but he completely flopped in AA Montgomery. He signed back with the Twins in free agency and is hitting up a storm (.850 OPS with great OBP and some power) and he already profiles well as a defender. He always had a high ceiling, which earns him a spot in the top 30.
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    #24 - OF Emmanuel Rodriguez (#29)
    Not playing yet.
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    #23 - OF Alerick Soularie (#28)
    Not playing yet / injured.
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    #22 - RP Yennier Cano (NR)
    AAA - Cano crushed AA with a 13.7 K/9 ratio and doesn't hand out too many walks. The 27 year old Cuban is now pitching at AAA and should debut in August/September for the Twins as a reliever.
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    #21 - RP Edwar Colina (#15)
    On the 60 day IL after having bone spurs removed from his elbow. Still the organization's best reliever prospect, Colina missing a year of development is awful for both him and the Twins.
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    #20 - C Ben Rortvedt (#20)
    MLB - He's filling in as the backup catcher, and as I speculated before, he's a strong defender who can't hit. He'll do better than .140, but he's always going to be a liability at the plate.
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    #19 - SS Danny De Andrade (#25)
    Not playing yet
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    #18 - 2B/CF Nick Gordon (#22)
    MLB - Gordon went from potential DFA candidate to a quality bench player. Even with almost 2 years off, his swing looks good and his speed gives him SB opportunities and can fill in as a CF. This is likely his ceiling, though.
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    #17 - SS Wander Javier (#19)
    AA - Javier is looking better at the plate, but is still only hitting .692 OPS. His future may be as a backup SS who can field better than most, but can't hit.
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    #16 - 2B Spencer Steer (#21)
    A+ - Steer is absolutely raking at Cedar Rapids with a .915 OPS, 10 HRs, and .405 OBP. He may earn a late promotion to AA and has potential to climb higher if he keeps hitting.
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    #15 - SP Blayne Enlow (#16)
    A+ - Looked great in 3 starts, but then needed Tommy John surgery. The first of a bundle of quality starting pitcher prospects, this injury sets him back at least a year.
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    #14 - 1B/DH Brent Rooker (#7)
    AAA - Rooker plummets down the rankings after looking terrible in his short MLB stint and getting passed up by the likes of Garlick, Refsnyder, Gordon (for MLB ABs, not outfield play). He's hit well in St. Paul (.925 OPS 11 HRs), but he turns 27 soon, and if he can't hit MLB pitching, he has no place on any roster.
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    #13 - CF Misael Urbina (#14)
    A - Urbina has struggled at Fort Myers, but he's only 19. It's too early to be concerned.
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    #12 - 3B Keoni Cavaco (#13)
    A - Cavaco is hitting better, though with no power and too many Ks. At just 20, he has a long ways to go.
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    #11 - SP Bailey Ober (#33)
    MLB - Ober takes a massive leap up as I originally projected him as a reliever. He's looked better than expected in the Twins' rotation, and while he has been hittable and given a strict inning limit, he's been able to strike out some of the league's best hitters. If he get more innings under his belt, he could solidify himself as a decent MLB starter.
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    #10 - SP Josh Winder (#27)
    AA - I initially rated Winder too low, as he's now dominating AA with a WHIP under 1.0, 10.7 K/9, and 5.4 innings per start. At this rate he will be able to graduate in 2022 and he profiles as a mid-rotation starter, not just a back-end guy.
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    #9 - 1B Aaron Sabato (#9)
    A - Many thought Sabato might start at A+, but instead he starts at the bottom and he's been bad at the plate. A 33 K% in the minors is a big red flag. It is early, but like Rooker you have to wonder if his power-first approach will sink him at the plate.
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    #8 - CF Gilberto Celestino (#10)
    MLB - Celestino went from AA to MLB in the span of two days, and unsurprisingly looked shaky at the plate. He needs more time to work on his bat, but 2022 will be his final option year (had to be protected from Rule 5 draft). It'd be nice to use Celestino as a Buxton substitute.
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    #7 - SP Cole Sands (#12)
    AA - Like Winder, Sands looked very good at AA, albeit with a few too many walks. Unfortunately, he's on the IL with an undisclosed injury.
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    #6 - OF/1B Matt Wallner (#8)
    A+ - Wallner was hitting at a ridiculous 1.005 OPS (.333/.384) before hitting the IL with a hamate bone injury. He did have a 38% K rate in that small sample size.
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    #5 - 3B Jose Miranda (#17)
    AA - I mentioned last time that Miranda needed to take a big step forward, and that's exactly what he did. With an insane 1.0006 OPS (.348/.415), 12 HRs, and a microscopic 10% K rate, Miranda looks like the real deal despite his struggles in the lower minors. It's fair to debate if he can stay at 3B full-time, but his bat looks like it has MLB staying power.
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    #4 - SP Matt Canterino (#11)
    A+ - Canterino looked flat-out unhittable until hitting the IL with elbow issues. Hope for the best, everyone.
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    #3 - SP Jhoan Duran (#5)
    AAA - Duran has struggled with injuries and command so far, and has now been shut down with an elbow problem. This is looking like a lost season.
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    #2 - SP Jordan Balazovic (#6)
    AA - After missing time with a back problem, Balazovic is ramping up and has been a bit shaky. He has nasty stuff, but needs to get more innings under his belt.
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    #1 - SS/CF Royce Lewis (#4)
    Torn ACL - With my top three graduated, Lewis took over the top spot, but of course blew his ACL in Spring Training. He should be ready for the 2022 season where he will likely start in AAA. 
     

    Rule 5 Eligible Prospects for Winter 2021:
    Royce Lewis
    Jermaine Palacios
    Jose Miranda
    Josh Winder
    Cole Sands
    Wander Javier
    Gabriel Maciel
    Blayne Enlow
  8. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to the_brute_squad for a blog entry, What's wrong with Nick's column   
    There are many things in Nick's article that are incorrect, and some that I agree with. This isn't meant to attack but to show a different viewpoint that he might not see.
     
    "Our community is broken. Our country is broken."
    We live in the greatest country on earth. Our community/country is not broken. You are stating your opinion as fact. A tragic death lead to a protest which lead to planned riots and anarchists coming to Mpls and many large cities throughout the nation. There are problems with bad police. There are problems with bad media that spreads divide. There are problems with bad plumbers, electricians, bankers, etc... that believe the divide and buy into the hate and anger. Go to most communities and you'll see blacks, whites, brown, you name the color, all get along.People that live in the same community or neighborhood will defend those they associate with regardless of color because of their shared interests or shared sense of community.
    "To shy away from this conversation is to contribute to the widespread apathy and complacency that has brought us to this tragic state." "Unaware of what the mask meant."
    Why does he need to get involved in the conversation? There isn't one person I've seen in social media whether they be on the left or right that has condoned the former cops horrible actions. He's been condemned in every corner. Believe it or not he doesn't have to post his every thought on social issues. He already got harassed by wearing a blue lives matter face mask. (To those people that shamed him, shame on you. Those officers protect your freedoms and risk their lives every day. A cop in Waseca is learning to walk again because he was shot by meth dealer/addict). There's nothing wrong with supporting the police because 99% of them are good and want to uphold the law. What does the mask mean? It means that police lives matter, too. By saying that police lives don't matter you create the divide that was mentioned earlier.
     
    "Racism has no place in our world and I do not in any way support the actions that we all witnessed that led to George Floyd’s passing.”
    Max denounced racism. He denounced the murder. He doesn't need to part of a demonstration to make a change. He can do that by backing his friends in his own private way. Because you don't see him out on the streets carrying a sign or screaming at the police doesn't make his statements any less important.
    "Not into politics [peace sign]." This is the attitude that has gotten our society to this point: comfortable white people choosing to excuse themselves from the conversation, because it doesn't affect them personally."
    Do you actually believe we have a more civil society with the combination of social media and politics? He doesn't need to be into politics...at least no publicly. He can have Walter Mondale buttons or Barry Goldwater signs in his garage for all we know. This murder is not political and murder never should be. "comfortable white" people? Seriously??? If a person isn't interested in politics it doesn't make them a comfortable white person. Would you say the same about someone that's black and not involved in political discourse? You are making a group think statement that everyone must think and act as you.
     
    "Kepler's comments come as a slap in the face to a grieving and enraged community where he's supposed to be a leader."
    I've spent a lot of time on social media lately and I haven't seen one person clamoring to hear Max Keplers take on the protests/riots. As a matter of fact I haven't seen anyone wondering what any of the MN Twins, Vikings, or any other professional organization is saying. It's not a slap in the face to the community at all. The community doesn't need Max Kepler to say anything. Who appointed him as a leader and what is he a leader of? Most people that I know don't look to baseball players as leaders. They look to him to make plays on the field.
    I personally don't care what Chris Cuomo says. I had to get that in only because your news source quote pegs you as left of center. If you had quoted people on both sides of the aisle it adds credibility. That's more of a journalism critique than anything else.
    "precisely what perpetuates a lack of change that is destroying us."
    Kepler on the sidelines isn't the problem. What's the underlying problem? Is it the people in the city or the people running it. If it's the people in the city then the problem was there long before Max got here. If it's the people running the city you have to look at who has been running the city for decades. The problem isn't new so you're going to have to go back. If people won't vote for a change then the problem will continue.
     
    "Kepler and the Twins aren't playing baseball due to a global health crisis that has sadly been framed as "political" by some".
    It is sad that a health crisis is political. 80% of the deaths in MN have been in Long term care facilities. A new study out of Max's home country shows that a majority of the people would have eventually died this year regardless. When all the info doesn't come out and people are left in the dark it's going to become political.
    "our site's audience is predominately white, and relatively affluent. We are the voices needed most in this fight."
    Soft bigotry at it's finest. Our voices our no more important than the poorest minority in the poorest area of Minneapolis/St Paul. I can't speak to their plight, any injustice (real or perceived), or relate to what it's like to get pulled over because of color. I can only advocate for justice for every human being that walks the earth.
     
    "a meaningless platitude, copping out with a "not into politics" comment is not an option...."We need to confront these issues seriously,"
    It's meaningless to you if you view it that way. To me it means he wants peace and you see, not into politics is an option. I believe what bothers you is he's not into your politics and you want him to be. Politics is a touchy issue. The blue lives matter mask proved it. He plays for 100% of Minnesotans, not just the ones who want him to be politically active.
    Everyone - at least caring, logical people, want injustice to end. What really needs to happen right now is justice for George Floyd.
  9. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Cody Pirkl for a blog entry, Opinion/Rant: Don't Give Another Dime for Maeda   
    Late last night we heard rumblings of a deal held up due to a questionable physical between the players exchanged with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Twins. This morning we found this to be true, as Ken Rosenthal confirmed. The deal is currently in limbo, as we wait to find out the next step between the teams exchanging Mookie Betts, David Price, Kenta Maeda and Brusdar Graterol.
     
    Rosenthal reports today that the physical in question is that of Brusdar Graterol's. What is truly ridiculous is the wording given behind the hold up. Essentially Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox have decided that they see Graterol as a reliever long term. Totally fine. What's the next step the Red Sox take however? Of course, they're asking for more.
     
    Graterol was already reported to be Boston's number one prospect if the deal went through. The 21 year old flamethrower hovered around the 3-5 mark in the Twins system. They also received Alex Verdugo, a 23 year old who put up 2.2 wins in only 106 games last season. It may not seem like a lot for Mookie Betts and David Price, but Boston stands to lose Bett's for nothing but a draft pick. As for Price, his injury history is arguably worse than Graterol's, with the difference being that he's 34 and owed almost $100m over the next 3 years, all to be paid by the Dodgers if the deal goes through.
     
    The Red Sox have watched teams around them improve all offseason. Meanwhile, it seems that their goal has been to offload Betts. They even brought the Twins in on it to be a third team to make things work. They likely identified a piece they wanted in return, ultimately being Graterol. His injury history was public knowledge up to this point. The Twins even announced that they were using him in the bullpen going forward. Seems pretty ridiculous to me that they get down to dotting the i's and crossing the t's and all of a sudden have an issue with all of this.
     
    This leads me to my point for writing this other than to rant about the Sox trying to gouge our Twins farm system. I love Kenta Maeda and was very excited to have him pitching in a Twins jersey. That being said, he's projected to slot in as our number 3. Very valuable, but there's a cap on that value. I also love Graterol and was sad to see him go. I believed it was a fair trade, though I recognized that there was a chance the Twins already regret the trade down the line.
     
    The Twins were already projected to win the Central fairly handily before acquiring Maeda. Maeda however, didn't even move the needle that much.
     

     
    The Twins were trying to be active in the trade market, but this isn't a bona fide ace that's fallen into their lap. The front office shouldn't be pressured to feel like this is a deal that needs to be done at all costs. Worst case scenario, Graterol is throwing 100 mph gas out of the bullpen to open the season and we continue to pursue trades elsewhere.
     
    For the Red Sox to ask for more than Verdugo and what would be their number 1 pitching prospect, a 21 year old flamethrower who's already showcased his ability to get outs at the Major League level, is ridiculous. They're likely sitting in 3rd place in the east in 2020 with little salary space to work with (which they suddenly care about). They're in no position to decide a top prospect's future mid trade and demand more.
     
    If the Red Sox want to play hard ball and pretend they hold all the cards, I say let them. Let them try to compete with the Yankees and Rays who make active attempts to get better while the Sox sit dormant for the next 3 offseasons while being weighed down by the remaining $96m owed to the 34 year old David Price. Let them enjoy one last season of Mookie Betts before cashing him in for a draft pick. Don't offer another piece, whether it's cash or a prospect. If Graterol is wearing a Twins jersey to start 2020, that's far from a failure.
  10. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to sthpstm for a blog entry, Fool me thrice...what do the Twins know that forced the Graterol trade   
    The trade of Brusdar Graterol has brought a lot of emotions and grand presumptions from fans and commentators. Unfortunately, most of the reactions, assumptions and presumptions of this trade are wrong.
    Stick with me here, but the Twins HAD to trade Graterol and in doing so this organization has FINALLY sold high on a prospect. All we have to do is look at the past to see what happened here.
    When Falvey and Levine were hired, they talked about research and development and opined that perhaps keeping players healthy and using research on available medical data might be the next market inefficiency. While this is likely what lead to the decisions to sign Pineda and Hill, it seems reasonable that not all of the results of this research would lead to signing players. It has also lead to pointing to data on what type of player to avoid.
     
    Approximately 2 years ago, 2 transactions occurred that I believe hint to what lead to the departure of Graterol. These transactions were befuddling to many of us - the Twins let two future stud relievers in JT Chargois and Nick Burdi leave for nothing. Burdi was left unprotected and was selected in the rule 5 draft by the Phillies before being traded to the Pirates. Chargois was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. The bullpen was in desperate need of help from strikeout pitchers and yet the Twins let go of perhaps their two most likely young pitchers that could do that. And they have started to show that striking out batters is definitely what they can do! Oh, except they've not been able to do much of it because they can't stay on the field. Nick Burdi has barely pitched since heading to Pittsburgh. While JT Chargois has not been injured to the same extent, the results have not been there. He is now heading to Japan, having been released by the Dodgers.
    These two were well regarded prospects. Certainly the Twins could have gotten something for them at some point. But they didn't and instead had to let them go for nothing.
    Not so with Graterol who was another high-octane pitcher, and most likely a reliever, with a history of injury troubles. So rather than bemoan the fact that he was traded and won't be pitching 200 innings and winning a Cy Young, be thrilled that the Twins have finally shown that they have learned the lessons of the past. I certainly don't know what data the Twins have found to tell them to let these to go. But clearly they saw something that told them that having these two players on their 40 man roster was not worth it. It was better to let them go and protect other players who could serve as MLB players and as depth for the roster in 2018, 2019, and moving forward. For Graterol, rather than sitting through more years of injury-shortened seasons, and perhaps a second TJ surgery, the Twins cashed in for a solid starting pitcher in Kenta Maeda. One who, while having his own red flags should contribute through the season and into October. So don't be stressed, be thankful that you cheer for a team that has finally figured out what they're doing, even if we don't always immediately get it.
    On a final note, I've heard some prognosticators prognosticating that now that the Twins have traded a prospect for immediate help, they are going to start trading other top prospects for help at the trade deadline. I think this is wishful assumption making based on nothing concrete. All we know right now is that if the Twins have identified a high risk player, they'll be willing to cash in that chip rather than end up getting nothing.
  11. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Blockbuster Deal Sends Maeda to the Twins   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine just put an absolute bow on the 2020 Minnesota Twins offseason. After acquiring Josh Donaldson in January, the refrain was whether or not he could pitch. Now nabbing Kenta Maeda from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the answer is yes he can.
     
    Across Twins Territory there should be some absolute shock with this one. Not only was the impact-pitching arm acquired, but it absolutely cost an impact prospect. Brusdar Graterol showed up on the Major League scene last summer and brandished his triple-digit fastball. Showing off the bazooka arm, it was hard not to dream on him as a starting prospect.
     
    It was apparent that there have been concerns about what Graterol profiles at in the bigs however. He’s never pitched more than 102 innings in a season, and he never worked exclusively as a starter in 2019. The talk going into the year was that Minnesota would unleash him in the pen, and the feeling was he had not yet developed the necessary secondary stuff to make it multiple times through the order.
     
    Any time you see a big name prospect like this moved, it’s going to be hard to sift through the feelings. The message from Minnesota here is clear however. The window is open and the front office has kicked down the door. They see Graterol as a reliever long term, and conversely viewed him as the third best option in the up and coming trio including Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran.
     
    In Maeda the Twins get their coveted impact arm. He’s soon-to-be 32-years-old and is not a free agent until 2024. He will be paid just $3.125 million per year the rest of his deal, and he’s a strikeout threat pumping double-digits per nine innings. I'm not sure Minnesota viewed the tradeoff like this when the offseason started, but they passed on signing a 30-year-old Madison Bumgarner (with nearly identical numbers) to a five-year deal paying $17 million per season. In comparison, their decision looks pretty good.
     

     
    Although Maeda’s ERA’s haven’t always been glowing, he’s posted a FIP north of 4.00 just once in his four year MLB career. Walks have crept up in recent years, but he generally does a good job avoiding danger. Slotting in behind both Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, there’s zero reason why he can’t elevate and assume an even large role in the rotation.
     
    This move pushes Minnesota’s payroll up above $140 million landing somewhere around $145 million. That’s a nice expansion on the previous record of $128.4 million in 2018, and gives them plenty of flexibility now and in the future.
    Buckle up Twins fans; we’ve got a contender here.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  12. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Dome Dogg for a blog entry, Data: Marwin May Have Cheated Most In '17   
    According to Twitter user Tony Adams, Marwin Gonzalez may have cheated more than any other player in 2017. He watched every Astros game he could find video on, then compiled the number of times he heard the ol' garbage can bang per player.
     
    Gonzalez heard the bang 147 times in 776 pitches (18.9%).
     
    The data is here. What a massive undertaking by Adams.
     
    http://signstealingscandal.com/
  13. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Play the rookies   
    So we whiffed in FA and now we have the feeling that we never really had a chance and no one wants to come here! Boo hoo! People say trade the prospects. Wait a minute - they have to come here. They have no choice. For six years they are ours. So lets play them. Cleveland where our FO was trained moved their prospects up to their team and have had a good winning record for a few years now.
     
    Forget where they were in the minors - many teams are now running players out at a much younger age - see Acuna (22), Soto (19), Tatis 20, Jimenez (23), Lindor (22), Corey Seager (21), Corea (21), Gleyber Torres (22)... Forget the lets play keep them in the minors for years and push them forward. Noah Syndergaard is one of our targets and he is 26 and came in to the league at 22.
     
    Many players have started young and succeeded:
    Vada Pinson, RF: 19 years, 247 days in 1958 (Reds) ...
    Sibby Sisti, 2B: 19 years, 265 days in 1940 (Bees) ...
    Brooks Robinson, 3B: 19 years, 332 days in 1957 (Orioles) ...
    Rogers Hornsby, SS: 19 years, 351 days in 1916 (Cardinals) ...
    Adrian Beltre, 3B: 19 years, 363 days in 1999 (Dodgers)
     
    Lewis is still our number one rated player - put him at 3B if you want to put Sano at 1B. If he is not ready put Kiriloff, Rooker, or Raley at 1B.
     
    If Wade or Kiriloff is better than Cave then replace cave. Put Kiriloff or Larnach in LF since people complain about Eddie Rosario.
     
    If Lewis is going to take Marwin's place give him time at all the positions.
     
    Then package Gonzales, Rosario, and Cave and instead of trading prospects trade these players for Boyd or some other starter.
     
    I want to see the team start to push the envelop and get away from scraping up the crumbs at the end of FA.
    In other words, what is the plan?
  14. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Falvey and Lavine fear loss of readers for TD   
    As I read our reactions to each missed free agent and the excitement of the winter meetings I have come to the conclusion that the FO really is concerned about readership and postings on TD. I mean we have had a "why we should sign him" article about every FA that has been signed so far. Just to be clear - not signed by us. We went from everyone with an arm that has not fallen off to all the hitters who can add to Bomba mania.
     
    We debate, we anguish, and we hope. Well at least we read and post.
     
     
    So imagine if we made the first big signing of the off season. Over - done, nothing to talk about. So we wait.
     
     
    Then we get four articles about the winter meetings which actually turned into reports about other teams signings.
     
     
    So we write about how Dobnak is better than we think (how do you know what we think?). Maybe the Twins would sign another level of pitcher - no. Maybe the next level. How perfect an opportunity for our favorite site. If the Twins had not passed on all the players we have heard from we would not be writing about all the FA that we have never heard of. They are FAs? Wow, who cares? Well we do.
     
     
    Gleeman and the Geek get a chance to really dig deep into the pool of possible. We get to anguish and almost forgot we had 101 wins with this same group of players - sorry we did lose Cron, Perez, and Gibson. But now we can talk about the wisdom of Wisler and trading Eddie Rosario - the player we say was not as good as people think he is but we can trade him to the dumb teams who do not know he is as bad as TD writers think he is.
     
     
    So thank you Mr Falvey and Mr Levine.
  15. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Nash Walker for a blog entry, Why the Reds and Twins Should Talk About Trevor Bauer   
    As I was pondering about the potential rotation for the Twins in 2020, I remembered something. It had been in the back of my mind but it came to the forefront today.
     
    Thad Levine, in an interview with Aaron Gleeman, proclaimed that the Twins explored a trade during the season for Trevor Bauer. I can not remember the exact quote, but it went something like this: “We are interested in the player (Bauer), but it is unlikely that the Minnesota Twins will make a deal with the Cleveland Indians.”
     
    Of course, a trade between the Twins and Indians is unlikely to take place as they have become bitter division rivals, especially in 2019.
     
    Bauer was instead dealt to the Reds at the deadline in a three-team transaction that sent Yasiel Puig and Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, while prospect Taylor Trammell moved from Cincinnati to San Diego.
     
    Bauer seemed excited to get out of Cleveland, later deeming that he “did not have fun there.” In 10 starts with Cincinnati, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA and 2-5 record. The right-hander gave up 12 home runs in 56 ⅓ innings.
     
    Bauer was coming off a phenomenal season in 2018 where his FIP was a miniscule 2.44. Bauer went 12-6 and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while making his first All-Star game. He is a proven power pitcher with an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine in his career.
     
    Cleveland has a surplus of pitchers, and dealing Bauer was a smart move. The irony is that Cincinnati does not need him either. The Reds have 2019 breakout Luis Castillo and another All-Star in Sonny Gray. Both are under team control until 2024. Additionally, the Reds top two (and three of their top four) prospects are pitchers.
     
    The Reds ranked 11th in the National League in team OPS in 2019 and their main priority will be acquiring impact bats this offseason. They are reportedly in on both Yasmani Grandal and Didi Gregorius.
     
    In order for this to happen, they need to shed salary. Bauer is estimated to make $18.6 million in his final year of arbitration. The Reds already have nearly $110 million tied up in 2020, and their total payroll was $128 million in 2019.
     
    They should be salivating at the opportunity to pick up someone like Eddie Rosario, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 109 runs in 2019. For the Twins, Rosario is below average, but for a team like the Reds, he would arguably be their second best bat next to Eugenio Suarez and will cost a manageable $9 million or so in 2020.
     
    That is where the Twins start. As Bauer only has one year of team control remaining, the Reds may not demand too much. Rosario and 24-year-old Nick Gordon, who hit .298/.342/.459 at Triple-A in 2019, should do the trick.
     
    The Reds are losing shortstop José Iglesias to free agency and Gordon seems ready for the big leagues. If Cincinnati misses out on Gregorius, they need a better backup plan than current starter José Peraza, who hit .239/.285/.346 in 2019.
     
    If you are doubting that the Reds would do this, I hear you. Remember though that Cincinnati has a below-average farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and will lose Bauer next winter regardless. They can cash in now while still looking to compete in 2020. They would and should seriously consider this proposition.
     
    With this deal, the Twins gain an immediate top of the rotation arm in Bauer and do not strip the premier end of their farm system. Rosario, Gordon and a throw in of second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, who posted a .786 OPS at Double-A in 2019, will get this done.
     
    Jake Odorizzi is likely to return in one way or another, and Darren Wolfson confirmed Tuesday that the Twins are talking with Zack Wheeler:
     
    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1194376558200406018?s=20
     
    The Twins could potentially start with a rotation of Wheeler, Jose Berríos, Odorizzi, and Bauer in 2020 with Brusdar Graterol on his way to starting soon. Yikes. Good luck, MLB.
     
    Would you want to face this team in the postseason? I sure would not.
  16. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Moving Eddie Rosario, but Where?   
    If there’s a lineup fixture from the 2019 Minnesota Twins that Derek Falvey should look to move before 2020, it’s Eddie Rosario. Despite lacking outfield depth down the stretch, the organization should be flush with options in the coming season, and a cheap commodity could be picked up on the open market. When trying to capitalize on return, this is the time. The elephant in the room is whether any of the other 29 teams see adequate value.
     
    You’ll quickly hear that Rosario hit a career high 32 dingers this season, and he plated 109 runs. His .276 average was the lowest it’s been since 2016, but his .500 SLG just missed being a career high. Entering his second year of arbitration eligibility he’s projected to get just shy of $9 million (per MLB Trade Rumors), and performance would only create an increase from there. If we stop at that then there’s little reason not to be enamored by his performance.
     
    It’s when you consider that Rosario produced just a .300 OBP, .329 wOBA, and 103 wRC+ (100 is league average). He’s still the guy that doesn’t walk at all (3.7%) and has no relative clue where the strike zone is (46.3% chase rate). In the Postseason he was an absolute abomination, and even his “good” production in game three came through pitches he had no business generating positive results off. Unfortunately stepping out of the batter’s box doesn’t make it any better.
     
    During his debut season Rosario posted an 11 DRS in the outfield. His 16 assists were reflective of a strong arm and astute mind that constantly had him in position to make a play. His arm still performs above average (he had 8 assists in 2019) but the DRS dropped all the way to -8. He posted a career worst -5.6 UZR ranking 44th among 50 qualifying outfielders. Often looking disengaged, and if not then overmatched, defensive prowess is no longer a calling card of his.
     
    When Falvey and Thad Levine approach the opposition this winter, they’ll be looking to engage trade partners for pitching. Dangling Rosario as a preferred trade chip, they’ll be working with the premise that the best is yet to come. Their sell must be in the form of a 28-year-old still waiting to hit his peak, and one that can do significantly more than his 1.2 fWAR this season. At $9 million he’s no longer a cheap commodity, and team control isn’t appealing if Rosario becomes a non-tender player a year from now.
     
    You can bet that those in the game are smarter than getting sucked in by hollow production stats largely derived by the 127 starts out of the cleanup spot. Minnesota won’t likely see the return they seek in a one for one swap and making Eddie the foundation of a deal could result in a project or fresh situation type of return. There’s nothing wrong with both sides in a trade coming out as winners, but unlike the Aaron Hicks deal of a few seasons ago, it’s Minnesota that will be pawning off promise as opposed to projectable production.
     
    Rocco Baldelli probably isn’t thrilled about the idea of rookies Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, or Alex Kirilloff starting in the Opening Day outfield for a team coming off 100+ wins. Those prospects could immediately force play their way into action though, and a veteran presence manning the fort vacated by Rosario until they are ready is hardly a difficult ask. Much like Byron Buxton being mentioned in talks for the Mets Noah Syndergaard, Rosario was representative of an immovable asset during the season. While Buxton is still untouchable for a handful of reasons, it’s Rosario that now is unprotected by current clubhouse chemistry.
     
    We will sit on wait on a potential deal to be consummated, but while we do there must be an understanding that the front office will need to be astute salesmen while getting any swap done.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  17. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Who’s Winning the World Series?   
    Taking a view at the Major League Baseball Postseason there’s an incredible number of great storylines to follow. You have the lowest payroll in baseball making the field, a major league record setting home run lineup, and a handful of expected participants. For the next month we’ll be treated to the culmination of a 162-game schedule used to produce only the best of the best.
     
    Looking back at how I saw things entering the year, I didn’t do too horribly. Looks like I’ll nail a couple of award winners, and four of the six division champs. From there things went downhill, but this is our chance to get it right in October. Let’s get into it.
     
    Wild Card Round:
    Rays over Athletics
    Nationals over Brewers
     
    We’ve got two intriguing matchups for a one-game situation here. In the American League Tampa Bay is probably the most welcoming team of needing to win a single game. They’ve pieced together nine inning affairs all season long and they still have frontline pitching in the rotation to come out firing. I like the Oakland lineup a good deal more than what Tampa brings to the table but believe that this game will be won on the bump.
     
    In the National League we get two teams that got hot down the stretch. Milwaukee is without their MVP, and the pitching is a definite question mark there, but they’ve had some key contributors step up in big ways. I liked the Nationals as a World Series team before the season started, and I still wouldn’t be shocked if they made a run. Their rotation rivals that of the Houston Astros at the top, and the lineup is filled with guys that can burn you. There’s zero denying the bullpen is a complete mess, but if they could provide some room for the starting arms, they’ll ride them hard.
     
    Divisional Round:
    Twins over Yankees
    Astros over Rays
    Braves over Cardinals
    Dodgers over Nationals
     
    Arguably the greatest narrative going into the Postseason is the history Minnesota brings with it. They haven’t won a game in October since 2004, and they’ve been dominated by the New York Yankees. One thing about that rings certain though, it’s history and you can bet no one in that clubhouse gives a damn. The pitching matchups, rotation and bullpen, are relatively even. So, to are lineups that went one-two in home run production this season. James Paxton being a lefty against the powerful righty Twins lineup will set the stage in game one. If the Twins steal one in New York, and they’ve been great on the road, this series will get interesting quick.
     
    I don’t think you can make much argument against Houston being the best team in baseball. They have the rotation, bullpen, and lineup to compete with anyone. Charlie Morton will do his best against his former team, but I’m not sure that Tampa has the lineup to hang with the Astros over the course of a five-game series. The pitching matchups with Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow contributing are going to be great, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this be a bit of a test for A.J. Hinch’s club.
     
    If there’s a team that could surprise in the National League, I think it’s the Braves. They’re filled with youth that’s contributing in big ways, and their lineup is as potent as anyone. Josh Donaldson has re-emerged as a star, and his presence with Freddie Freeman should provide plenty of veteran leadership for Brian Snitker’s club. St. Louis performed admirably down the stretch to put themselves in this position, but I’m not sure they were tested in the NL Central. They’ll take a game or two, but just don’t see enough here for any real noise.
     
    I’d still love to put the Nationals in a position to make the World Series, and while Los Angeles has some bullpen woes of their own, I just don’t trust Washington enough behind their three horses. Juan Soto is going to be fun on a big stage, but the Dodgers are littered with talent and they’ll pull the right strings to advance. Dave Roberts has been here plenty, and wanting to get over the hump, this is probably his best opportunity.
     
    Championship Round:
    Astros over Twins
    Dodgers over Braves
     
    There’s a significant amount of parallels between Houston and Minnesota. Similarly constructed organizations at this point, the Twins are still looking at the Astros in a light of what they aspire to be. In a seven-game series when Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke can all take the ball twice if need be, Rocco Baldelli’s piecemeal rotation is going to be up against it. Minnesota is going to need to blast their way to victories at the hitter friendly Minute Maid, but they’ll be doing it against arms that have no intention of giving up runs. It will be fun to see the Twins garner this experience, and while nothing is certain next year, there’s a good deal of returning youth that can use it as fuel to a fire propelling them to take the next step.
     
    A toss up goes to the favorite here. If the Dodgers pen is going to be exposed before the World Series, this is the lineup capable of doing it. Atlanta is the real deal offensively, and while they’ll face Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, there’s no one they’re going to be afraid of. Cody Bellinger could have wrapped up an MVP when the regular season concluded, and though he slowed down some in stretches this year, elevating when the lights are brightest wouldn’t be unexpected for the young star.
     
    Two top seeds matching up together, the two best teams in baseball for much of the year, let me have it.
     
    World Series:
    Astros over Dodgers
     
    Just too good to get knocked off, and too hungry to be denied, Houston gets back to the top of the baseball world. Houston didn’t revamp their whole way of operating and develop this much talent to win one title. After falling short in 2018, they’ll get their second ring in three years. Alex Bregman looks like an MVP candidate, Yordan Alvarez is the unquestioned AL Rookie of the Year, and there’s a host of veterans that make this the most dangerous organization in the sport. I don’t expect a veteran club like the Dodgers to put up anything short of a difficult test, but Houston would need to get in their own way to come up empty handed here.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  18. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, Clearing Space - the Outfield   
    Reading the blogs and comments I see a lot of people looking at the outfielders and whether we should trade Rosario for starting pitching, put Jake Cave on the roster for Post Season and how to handle the surplus in the minors. September is a big audition month and a time to give some players a little rest. We have too many players who need to be added to the 40 man and not enough room. Do we trade, do we DFA, do we get rid of players already on the roster? Do we allow free agents to leave?
     
    So how do we clear the surplus? As I pondered the Rosario trade idea I was struck with the fact that Eddie is a nice player, but in many ways he his not much above replacement in a league where everyone hits HRs. I see Eddie behind Buxton and Kepler, but trading requires the other teams to value your player as high as you would like them too and I do not see Eddie bringing in the SP that we dream of. Nor do I see Cave as a full time player being better than Eddie - another just above replacement performer - nice but not essential.
     
    My thought is that if we want something; the player teams will value highest is Buxton. Buxton has now had 1250 big league at bats and this was his best year, but overall he has hit 237/292/706, His defense is what we really value, but he has to be on the field to provide defense.
     
    April 1, 2014 Buxton put on injury list by Fort Myers, and again in Fort Myers on May 11 and July 6. July 26, 2015 on DL (Twins) thumb injury. July 15, 2017 Buxton on DL, groin injury. April 2018 on IL for migraines; May 10 broken toe and July 14 back on IL with left wrist strain. In August 2018 he was on the DL in Rochester with a left wrist injury, in June 2019 he was on the IL with a right wrist injury, July 16 on the IL with concussion symptoms, and again on July 23, concussion again, and August 3 - left shoulder subluxation.
     
    He played five years in 388/810 games - 48%. How long before injuries and age remove speed and reduce him to a nice, but not great OF?
     
    He is valued by us and many others - if we want a starting pitcher Byron might be the best bait. But do we have another CF? Kepler probably moves there and in two years we would be surrounded by Larnach and Kiriloff and our OF defense would not be great. I cannot see this team extending Rosario and I do not see Cave as more than a place holder. Is there a CF in the system?
     
    So I see Rosario going, at least as a FA, Cave as a place holder and Buxton probably still here, but a good trade bait. I see Larnach and Kiriloff coming up, I see Rooker going somewhere else and I see Wade as never more than a fourth OF and probably playing for another team - maybe Gardy would like him in Detroit.
  19. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Twins Show Poise in Winning Deadline   
    For weeks we’ve heard talk of the big names. Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, and Noah Syndergaard were all assets expected to be moved at the July 31 trade deadline. Because the Minnesota Twins are one of the best teams in baseball they were consistently linked to the best gets, and so too were every other major market. In the end, that trio went nowhere, but it’s in how Minnesota executed on their moves that makes the maneuvering something to get behind.
     
    Without hammering out more thoughts on Sergio Romo, it’s hard to see that move as anything but a come up. I already wrote about the move when it happened over the weekend, but they turned a guy who was going to be lost during the Rule 5 draft into a strong reliever and an equal or better prospect. Knowing the goal was relief help, Derek Falvey struck early on the former Marlins close.
     
    As the deadline neared on Tuesday afternoon, apprehension began to set in. Hours faded away, they turned into minutes, and the 3pm CT mark came and went. Then there was a tweet Darren Wolfson sent simply saying, “Stay tuned.” As long as deals are finalized with the league office prior to the cutoff, they go through. Having not yet been reported, Minnesota was in fact making a move.
     
    All along it was thought that Smith was the San Francisco Giants reliever on his way out of town. Stringing together some victories of late however, Bruce Bochy’s club is going to make one more run and held onto their top starter and reliever. In doing this, Falvey likely pivoted to what can be argued as a better get.
     
    Sam Dyson is a 31-year-old reliever with closing experience. Having familiarity with Thad Levine from his Texas days, Dyson closed out 38 games for the Rangers in 2016. This year he’s posted a 2.47 ERA 2.74 FIP 8.3 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9. He doesn’t still throw upper 90’s like earlier in his career, but he sits in the middle and doesn’t give up free bases. Under team control through next season as well, this move plays into the future.
     

     
    Going into the deadline I opined that the Twins could do no worse than two relievers with a starter pushing someone to the bullpen as gravy. None of the big relief names moved and Dyson represents the best arm to switch teams. Outside of Chris Martin, who is an impending free agent, Romo likely comes in above the rest as well.
     
    If you find yourself disappointed that the likes of Thor, MadBum, or Greinke won’t be in the home dugout any time soon I’d like to offer some perspective. First and foremost, neither of the first two players switched teams. The Mets asked for the most important player on the Twins roster in the middle of a season, while the Giants we’re holding a big name with declining performance back for a king’s ransom.
     
    Houston did well to land Greinke, and coming in after the buzzer he certainly provided the big bang to end the day. The former Diamondbacks starter would’ve been an ideal candidate for Minnesota as adding salary is certainly an avenue they could’ve went down. He would’ve helped to solidify the rotation and also is under contract. He is 35-years-old though, and most importantly had a full no-trade clause. It was his choice where he went, and that wasn’t here.
     
    Almost as what the Twins got at the deadline is what they held onto. With the big names floated for weeks, so two were prospects like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar Graterol, and Trevor Larnach. Falvey added talent in the most necessary part of the roster without giving up a single top 20 prospect. Lewin Diaz was the highest ceiling moved, and he was unquestionably buried behind some better depth. Jaylin Davis is having an incredible 2019, but it’s come out of nowhere and again is in an area of depth.
     
    You want to see a team start to push chips in when a window opens, but you must be certain that it isn’t just cracked. The Astros have made waves the last two seasons now in the midst of a third straight 100 win campaign. The Cubs traded Gleyber Torres in a final piece World Series move after winning 97 games the year prior, and are now looking at a fifth straight 90 win campaign. Those types of moves are risky but were beyond substantiated.
     
    Minnesota should win 100 games this year but it comes on the heels of a losing season. This core looks the part of a team that should be a Postseason and World Series contender for at least the next five seasons. They have no less than 15 players that are impact talent and will be 32-years-old or under four years from now. Rocco Baldelli’s 25-man roster is good enough right now to beat anyone in the Postseason. In 2020 and beyond, some of the additional depth can be turned into more talent, as the opportunity stays present.
     
    To summarize the past few weeks that led up to a frenzied couple of hours today, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine showed poised perfection in how they handled talent acquisition. The big league club got substantially better. The farm system did not get any worse. Sustained winning is still a probable outcome and the team from Twins Territory is as dangerous as it’s ever been.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  20. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Ted Schwerzler for a blog entry, Twins Swing Strong Deal for Romo   
    For weeks it's been apparent that the Minnesota Twins need bullpen help. As we've gotten closer to the trade deadline the certainty that moves would be made has only become more clear. Tonight while in the midst of a battle with the Chicago White Sox, Derek Falvey was working the phones and landed RHP Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins.
     
    Romo was a free agent this offseason and signed with Miami on a one-year, $2.5 million pact. He was someone I liked for the Twins but the front office decided to stand pat after the acquisition of Blake Parker. Romo was abysmal to start the season for Miami but has been lights out of late, and his dominant slider remains as good as it's ever been.
     
    Since May 22nd Romo has pitched in 22 games going 21.2 IP. He has a 2.49 ERA and a .585 OPS against. The strikeouts have been down this year and he was at just 16/3 K/BB over that stretch, but the stuff may be as good as it's ever been. Right now he owns a whiff rate near 14% in 2019 and his 40% chase rate is a career best.
     
    When you've been doing this for as long as Romo has, and without ever being a velocity pitcher, it's the offspeed stuff that must work. Sergio throws his slider nearly 60% of the time and it's continued to be an incredible offering. His slider posts an RPM of 2852 which is 9th best among sliders in baseball this season.
     
    Falvey obviously had to part with an asset in trade, and choosing Lewin Diaz makes a lot of sense here. He's a 22-year-old that posted a sub-.600 OPS at Fort Myers last season. Having put in significant work to get his body right this winter, he's having a breakout campaign with 19 HRs and an OPS north of .900 split between A+/AA. That's really where the good news for the Twins and Diaz ends however.
     
    Lewin would need to be added to the 40 man roster this winter or be subject to the Rule 5 draft. He went unprotected and unchosen last year, but that wasn't going to happen after the results this year. In that scenario the Twins lose him for nothing. He's a great defender at first and a nice power bat, but he's also behind at least Miguel Sano, Brent Rooker, and Alex Kirilloff for major league reps at first base in the not-so-distant future.
     
    This wasn't a one for one trade either. Minnesota also got back 2018 5th round pick Chris Vallimont from the Marlins. He's pitching at Low-A currently as a starter and the righty has been a high strikeout, low walk hurler in his young pro career. He too is 22-years-old but is not subject to 40 man necessity yet and gives the Twins depth on the mound, where they need it more. Reports have also suggested Minnesota picks up a PTBNL in the deal.
     
    It would be hard to see a Diaz for Vallimont swap as anything but a win for Minnesota. They get a more usable asset and the expiration date is pushed out. If the assumption was that Diaz could be packaged to net a bigger return that's one thing, but you'd have to imagine Falvey explored those options as well. This isn't going to be the Twins only move, and probably not even their only move for the pen. As a first deal though, they smashed this one out of the park.
     
    For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  21. Like
    In My La Z boy reacted to Patrick Wozniak for a blog entry, End of the Rope for Schoop?   
    With the trade deadline quickly approaching Twins fans are rightly focused on adding pitching to the major league roster. The offensive is still on a record setting home run pace and has great major and minor league depth, so any offensive additions would be superfluous. However, the Twins may be able to add by subtraction.
     
    Jonathan Schoop may have been the least significant off season offense upgrade the Twins added due to the savvy additions of Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzales. However, the front office still had high hopes for Schoop who was signed on a one year deal. Schoop, of course was an all-star in 2017, when he had a career year with Baltimore slashing .293/.338/.503 for an OPS of .841. He mashed 32 long balls and 105 RBI in a 160 games. Schoop came crashing back down to earth in 2018 with and ugly .682 OPS between Baltimore and Milwaukee. While Falvey and company many have been dreaming of a return to 2017, it certainly wasn’t out of the question to expect something closer to Schoop's career averages.
     
    And to be fair to Schoop this is what he has done. He is currently slashing .256/.305/.458 for an OPS of .763 while playing slightly above average second base. This is even slightly better than Schoop’s career averages. He has been good for 1.5 Bref WAR and by all accounts is a beloved member in the clubhouse. However, while Schoop looked like his former 2017 self coming out of the gate (OPS of .819 through May 31), more recently he has looked like the Schoop of 2018 (OPS of .672 since June 1). More frustrating to fans, Schoop seems to excel in blowout games (how many garbage time HRs has he hit?) while consistently striking out in “clutch” situations. The numbers seem to back up the eye as Schoop is hitting .163/.230/.438 with RISP and .205/.279/.231 in late inning pressure situations. The problem is with a lineup full of power hitters, Schoop becomes a bit redundant, and more importantly the Twins have better options for second base. Plenty of them as it turns out. Let’s take a look.
     
    All Arraez
     
    Luis Arraez has been nothing short of amazing in his first big league stint. He is currently slashing .385/.444/.510 for an OPS of .955. In 29 games he has already accumulated 1.1 Bref WAR. Arraez is obviously playing a bit over his head right now, but he has been a good hitter throughout his minor league career and between AA-AAA this year he hit .344/.409/.401. He is not going to hit .400 or slug over .500 long term but his plate approach is very refreshing. On a team of free swingers and power hitters Arraez looks like a nice table setter and in his short time with the twins has come up with several “clutch” hits. His rather twitchy batting style is also extremely entertaining to watch. Arraez has played all over the field for the Twins, including third base, short stop, and left field, but he is clearly best suited for second base where he has spent the majority of his minor league career. Arraez is firmly implanted as the front runner for second base next year and it is also becoming increasingly apparent that he is the answer now.
     
    The Others
     
    Both Marwin Gonzales and Ehire Adrianza currently appear to be better options than Schoop at second base as well. A large part of the value in both of these players is their versatility, so sticking Arraez at second clearly makes the most sense. However, were something to happen to Arraez both of these players are more than capable of filling in. Both players started the year ice cold so their stats took a bit of a dip because of this (pretty much the opposite of Schoop). Gonzales currently has an OPS of .748 with a 1.9 Bref War and Adrianza has a .788 OPS with a 1.1 Bref War in only 148 plate appearances. If one of them were to fill in at second for Schoop (or Arraez) the other would still be available for the utility role.
     
    What to do with Schoop?
     
    Cutting Schoop is probably ill advised. Although it would give more at bats to the previously mention trio, Schoop has played well enough that cutting him wouldn’t really make sense. Could he be traded for pitching? This is very unlikely as he is on a one-year deal and the Twins will most likely be trading with non-contenders who are uninterested in a rental. There are, however, a couple of long-shot possibilities. One would be a three-way trade with Schoop going to another contender (presumably because of an injuring to the team’s second baseman) and a pitcher from the third non-contending club coming to the twins. Another possibility could be Schoop being a thrown-in to offshoot an incoming player’s salary (similar to the Twins acquiring Logan Forsythe from the Dodgers in the Dozier trade). Again, this is unlikely.
     
    The best course of action is probably just to keep Schoop and relegate him to a bench role with less and less playing time. He could occasionally fill in against lefties and seems like the ideal guy to have around the clubhouse (assuming he doesn’t become bitter about his decreased roll). He would also be a valuable depth piece as we have seen how hard injuries can hit.
     
    What do you think? Should Schoop be our starting second baseman, a role player, or be removed from the team all together?
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