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Zach Hartford

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  1. I wouldn't want Taylor for more than two years either. If he wants 3+ then I would completely be out on him. Taylor isn't about recency bias, he's been very solid for the last four or five years. Marwin had one good year with the Astros, and it seemed the only reason he was good is because he knew what pitch was coming. I think Chris Taylor would start at SS but would end up playing all around the field when injuries happen, which is what makes him so valuable.
  2. I think there's more value in Kepler's bat than a .200 batting average. In the shortened 2020 season he posted a 109 OPS+ and in 2021 had a 98 OPS+. Although those aren't anything special, I think his defense is worth it and we don't really have another option for right field anyway. If the right trade comes around then I wouldn't be opposed to getting rid of him.
  3. I think there is room in the budget to address both pitching and an outfield/utility spot.
  4. I've seen Mark Canha comments a few times now! I would be a really big fan of that. I think he is a more developed Brent Rooker. I think he would go somewhere in the $8-10 million range, which I don't know if the Twins would be willing to pay him that but I think it would be worth it. He would thrive hating home runs into the second and third deck.
  5. I think Taylor would be getting paid $12-14 million per year. Yes, I'm sure he would be starting out as the SS for Opening Day, but he would be playing all over the place like he has been for the Dodgers. I think he would be a great investment to solidify a real bat in the lineup instead of an Astudillo, Cave, Celestino.
  6. I like Mark Canha a lot, but I don't see the Twins going after him. I see him as a more developed Brent Rooker. The only problem with him is his defense. I would assume he'll be getting paid in the $10 million range which I don't think would be worth the price for the Twins.
  7. I would love to see Buxton being able to play 130 games. It is a very good conversation, but the only thing I'm worried about is it ending up like this year. I think if we have a solidified LF option than whoever that is would be able to get into a rhythm and make a real contribution to the team, rather than being a liability like the position was in 2021.
  8. Jake Cave was probably the second worst hitter on the team in 2021. He should be non-tendered this offseason. Buxton and Kepler are two of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. Plugging someone in left field with not great fielding wouldn't be the worst thing because of the other two we have in the outfield. There are plenty of Rosario in-house replacements: Rooker, Larnach, Kirilloff, Gordon, Celestino, Martin, Lewis.
  9. Taylor is better in the outfield than he is in the infield according to UZR, OAA, and DRS. But he would serve a super utility role when injuries happen. I also think Arraez will be at 3B often to keep Donaldson healthy, and we will see Donaldon DH much more often.
  10. The Twins have a very interesting outfield core. On paper, they probably have one of the deepest groups of outfielders in the league. But, looking at this season the Twins used 11 different outfielders to combine for 0.1 bWAR combined. That ranked 13th in the entire league. Obviously a disappointing season all around, but especially when it comes to outfield production that was supposed to be so good. Now there's a lot of questions to be answered this offseason when it comes to who should be starting in the outfield, contract extensions, and prospects. The number one question that needs to be answered in the outfield is Max Kepler. He had an outstanding 2019 season in which he slashed .252/.336/.519(!!) and hit 36 home runs. But was that season just an outlier because of the juiced balls? Kepler's next highest SLG% compared to 2019 was .439, his next highest home run total is 20, and next highest OPS to his .855 in 2019 was .760 in the shortened 2020 season. Now we wouldn't be fairly taking about Max without talking about his elite defense in right field. Kepler ranked 2nd amongst all right fielder's in OAA in since 2016. The underlying question is: what should be done with Kepler? Trade? Hope that he'll come back to 2019 Max? Let's not forget about the six year extension that the Twins signed him to before the 2019 season worth $7 million AAV. This is why I don't think the Twins should trade him. Even if he hits to a roughly league average 98 OPS+ like he did in 2021, he still has that top tier defense that is well worth the money that the Twins are giving him. I do think that he is a better hitter than what he showed this year, and should be the Twins starting right fielder for years to come. There's been a lot of excellent articles written on Byron Buxton and I will refer you to Mahlk's article if you want to get into contract specifics. In short, the Twins should pay whatever to lock him up for the next 5-7 years. There is no player in baseball like Buxton, and when healthy he is a MVP candidate. This really just leaves open the left field position. This is tough because there are so many candidates for the position. Arraez was the primary left fielder in 2021, Brent Rooker was also used out there while Arraez spent time at third base, Nick Gordon played there, Kirilloff also rotated in his very short 2021 season. There's also the potential of Trevor Larnach, and even top prospects that have been spending more time in the outfield like Royce Lewis and newly acquired Austin Martin. Even thought the Twins have all of these options, there is also the possibility of free agency for that left field spot. That's where I think the Twins should go. Chris Taylor should be the Twins primary left fielder in the 2022 season. Taylor has hit at an above league average rate every year since 2017, according to OPS+. He is an extremely durable player, which the Twins could certainly use, and can play anywhere in the field. He would be an incredible utility player that can fill in anywhere when needed. This would work perfectly for the Twins because we saw many injuries last year, and depth is always necessary for a team to be successful over a 162 game stretch. Taylor would be perfect for a one to two year bridge until Royce Lewis and Austin Martin are ready to take the league by storm. I think the Twins would be able to get him somewhere in the $12-14 million AAV range. As always, let me know what you think the Twins outfield situation should look like for the 2022 season. Thank you for reading! Follow me on twitter @zach_hartford if you want to talk anything Twins, or baseball in general.
  11. Couldn't agree more! Hopefully those that understand the newer statistics used today can see how elite he really was. As we know, wins aren't an important pitcher stat. Gotta keep our fingers crossed for the writers to vote him in.
  12. My original argument falls back on the point that he should've won the 2005 Cy Young, and every pitcher that has won 3 Cy Young's is or will be in the HOF. He also pitched at an elite level for more than three years. From 2002-10 his worst ERA+ was 129. He was 3rd in Cy Young voting in 2008, in which he led the league in ERA and IP.
  13. Awesome article! Really well broken down. That's the most outrageous part to me is the fact that he was a one and done on the ballot. I would understand more if he sat on the ballot for a while and didn't make it, but he was very overlooked.
  14. I think that when someone dominates the league as much as he did for that three year stretch that should be enough. Johan absolutely deserves to be in before Jim Kaat. Johan accumulated more WAR than Kaat in half of the seasons Kaat played. Kaat didn't win a single Cy Young, the highest he finished was 4th. Johan has much better of a resume.
  15. There's a lot more to statistics than just WAR. He led the league in almost every category for three years straight and should've won three straight Cy Young Awards. If he would've won it in 2005, then he would be in the HOF.
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