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About whosafraidofluigirussolo

  • Birthday 06/24/1981

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  1. In my experience reading Bowden: (a) he tends to throw "hey, this is a thought I had" at the wall without a lot of big-picture consideration; (b) while I tend to be skeptical of excessive claims of "coast bias" in the media, he really does seem to notice and focus on large markets and large contracts a lot more than everything else. He had an article a few weeks back giving "midseason grades" for the offseason, and he basically entirely based his grade ratings on how many contracts or dollars a team had committed, with little deeper analysis of any moves. If you wanna read transaction speculation and analysis for its own sake (which, in a slow lockout season...why not), Bowden can be worth a read, but he's not a particularly reliable or knowledgeable source.
  2. I like the idea of a trade with the A's for pitching quite a bit, but there have been some trade ideas floated with the A's sending two starting pitchers in the same deal, and I'm skeptical of whether that's realistic. This takes that a step farther with Oakland sending THREE starters away in a single trade. Reasons for skepticism IMHO: - The possibility that Oakland will sell off some players this winter to reduce payroll is persistent enough that there's probably something to it, but some early rumors included a target number for a pretty radical payroll reduction that I don't think was ever substantiated. So our expectations for an A's sell-off may be exaggerated; trading some guys won't necessarily mean tearing down their roster. - If they're going to trade several valuable players, moving them in separate deals would increase the talent pool and choices they have regarding the players who come back in the trades, and could increase the value they get back overall. It's hard for me to see why Oakland would do that deal, especially when it sends away Kaprielian, who could be an in-house replacement if and when they did trade other pitchers (the ones closer to free agency.) It's also not clear to me that the Twins would prioritize acquiring a new third baseman, even though Chapman is a really good one—Donaldson's 3B defense isn't really an issue right now and there's a reasonable chance that Miranda or Lewis ends up playing there...
  3. Small tidbit from a Fangraphs chat today (going on right now, as I post this): Rob 12:23 I know you hate hypotheticals but... bear with me. If a 70 raw power guy has trouble getting to it in game due to, say, a 30 hit tool, does the reverse hold true? Can a 70 hitter actualize his abilities if he only has 30 power? It seems like pitchers would be pretty adept at inducing weak contact from that profile. Kevin Goldstein 12:24 Sounds like Luis Arraez, no? Given some of the debates in Twins-centric circles about Arraez' value, it's interesting to remember that Fangraphs' writers, and some of their projections, really like him quite a bit.
  4. It might depend on how motivated Oakland is to cut payroll. Probably the rumors from early in the offseason, that they'd radically slash payroll to as little as $40-50 million, will end up being overblown. Maybe those rumors have people imagining the As' players coming cheaper than they really will. Arráez is more valuable than a "grab bag" player IMO, and Sands is just below the top tier of Twins pitching prospects. But I see your point - how much less valuable is Montas in trade than Berríos? Montas has less of a track record, and midseason urgency may have driven up the price for the Jays to trade for Berríos. But if you think they're loosely comparable, then Lewis or Martin would likely be in the trade conversation at least. If anything, that could be an argument for trading for Bassitt or Manaea. Those guys having only one year of team control left shouldn't matter too much to the Twins right now, when they need starting pitching so badly, and it would keep the acquisition cost lower.
  5. Maybe the consensus among predictions for Rodón's contract is that he'll take a short-term deal to prove he's healthy - I probably haven't read enough of the pundits to know - but one counterpoint to this was in Fangraphs' free agent predictions article: because of his checkered injury history, teams might want a longer-term deal, in order to get more chances at the "good," fully healthy Rodón. That's assuming he's healthy now.
  6. The Galvis news was surprising and a little weird to me. I'd think that with two of the top tier of shortstops on the free agent market going to one team, the outlook on the market for anyone else who might be a viable starting SS would only be better than it was a week or two ago. I wonder if non-marquee-tier free agents are more worried about being squeezed in a short negotiating period, after the lockout, than we would imagine from the outside.
  7. The guy is a full decade younger than Happ and was good less than 2 years ago. They got him for the price of a middle reliever. I don't mind this as a back-end rotation addition at all. The fact that it happened within an hour of Stroman signing somewhere else...that part is discouraging.
  8. Yeah, Miami ostensibly is looking for outfield help too (even after signing Avisaíl García) but it seems like the Twins' big advantage in a hypothetical trade might have been that they had depth to trade from at either position.
  9. I'm not in the doomsayer camp about the Twins being inactive on the SP market while it's been moving so quickly, but there is starting to be a vibe of getting late early. The best starters left are Rodón, Stroman, Scherzer, Ray Other teams clearly looking for a starter include the Angels, Dodgers, Mets; possibly the Giants (especially if either of the reported signings of Wood and Cobb, currently not finalized, don't go through?) You can see a situation where the Twins get a front-line-ish starter in free agency, but it's going to have to be a decisive and expensive move. One good thing about Gausman's signing (5 years, $110M reported) is that it doesn't outpace the predictions like Semien's contract did.
  10. And the Mets finished off the day yesterday by signing Starling Marte, 4 years, $78M. Fun to see a team making such a sudden series of strikes, and none of these 3 guys seemed like particularly strong needs or fits for the Twins (maybe Canha) so it's mostly just fun to observe the burst of action without options getting slimmer.
  11. Re: the list of free agent starters, didn't Gausman and Stroman both take qualifying offers last year?
  12. When arb-eligible players agree to contracts before going to actual arbitration (which happens with the vast majority of eligible players), aren't those contracts only guaranteed in full after spring training ends?
  13. I wasn't planning to do one of these - the free agent class was too deep, with too many choices to make; the Twins roster needed too much work; it was just as easy not to care after a disappointing season. Then other teams started making moves and players started coming off the board, discussions of free agents and trades in the threads here brought up intriguing questions, and I remembered that indulging my half-baked ideas in this exercise had literally no real-world consequences! Case in point: I posted an original version of this that ran the 40-man roster up to 43 players, and had to edit the plan in several places after realizing that. Anyway, I tried to put a good team together here, and to do things that the Twins actually might do, but I also fully admit to not having encyclopedic knowledge of other teams' rosters or all the players on the free-agent market, and I'm trying some stuff for the hell of it. Let's get after it. 40-man roster cuts Charlie Barnes, Jharel Cotton, Ralph Garza, Juan Minaya, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe, Willians Astudillo, Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick Since not all the moves to come would happen at once in a real offseason, not everyone here will be a single round of cuts (e.g. before the Rule 5 draft), but these are the players I'm considering available to waive when I need their spots on the roster. Originally I had Danny Coulombe in place of Minaya here—those two are in kind of the same bucket, former minor-league free agent types who pitched fairly well and whom the Twins valued enough to keep thus far. I think Coulombe has been through waivers unclaimed more times than Minaya, making me think he's more likely to pass through again. However, I noticed the first 4 names on my list were all left-handed pitchers, and even with two good lefties in the MLB pen and a good LH relief prospect (Moran) in the wings, I didn't want to jettison quite so much of the Twins' depth in that area. I'm hoping that Minaya clears waivers and can stay in the org. We're going to try to sneak Cotton and Garza through waivers and keep them as well. Smeltzer and Thorpe are really easy to root for, but they're both out of options and it seems like it may be change-of-scenery time. There's nothing more we need to say about Astudillo (fun while it lasted though!) or Cave. A healthy Brent Rooker does similar things to Garlick and is a few years younger. 40-man roster adds Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Chris Vallimont, Blayne Enlow My guess is that I'm being more generous estimating 40-man additions than others, but while adding these guys to the 40 does mean tying up roster spots, some deals to come will counterbalance that a bit. Next, let's get this over with: Sign Byron Buxton to a contract extension, 7 years, $105M...ish (possibly more) Okay. There are reports that the Twins and Buxton had the framework of a contract in place a few months ago and talks broke down over the structure of incentives. There was a report of a contract proposal for 7 years/$100M, which may or may not have included the incentives. We don't know how accurate these numbers are or how much the incentives change the deal, and we can't know what's informing the Twins FO's valuation of Buxton going forward. I'm avoiding speculating, but I'm moving ahead with the belief that there's still motivation for a deal on both sides. The incentives are such a variable here that I can only estimate, but I'm thinking one of two things: either the base pay is closer to $15M/year and the incentives are modest and don't change the deal that much; or it's a slightly lower base with more lucrative incentives that BB won't hit every year. So we can still estimate a $15M average salary over the life of the deal. I'm backloading the deal slightly (he's at $13M for 2022) and there's a lot of guessing in every aspect here. Trade RHP Cole Sands, IF/OF Alerick Soularie (plus) to Oakland for RHP Chris Bassitt Trade RHP Chris Vallimont to Houston for RHP Jake Odorizzi Trade IF Spencer Steer to St. Louis for SS Paul DeJong Part of my strategy here, especially while projecting moves right now with the 40-man deadline and Rule 5 draft looming, was to make 40-man-neutral moves (only the DeJong trade is a net gain on the Twins' 40.) Bassitt is only under team control for one more year but has been really good the last couple years. He'll take a good prospect or two to acquire; I think Sands is a good prospect, but this may be a little light. I'm noting "plus" on this trade to indicate that we could add a depth piece or two, but these are the key players. St. Louis seems to get the most out of multi-positional players who can hit a bit, and Steer gives them another guy like that to work with. DeJong had a down year, but has some power and is a legitimate shortstop. He has a guaranteed contract for the next two years that ties up a bit of payroll, but not a lot. He could be an expensive utility player or trade bait by late 2022 if Royce Lewis really forces the issue at SS, but he also gives the Twins 2-4 years of insurance at the position. I'm spitballing the Odorizzi trade largely on the basis of a Houston beat writer speculating that the Astros may look to trade starting depth after signing Verlander. Odorizzi had a year to forget in Houston and could come back to the team and coaching staff that got some of his best pitching. As a "run it back" move, this is a bit higher on both risk and reward than signing Pineda. In Vallimont I'm giving up a decent prospect but only one, giving the Astros a potential piece for their transient bullpen, and taking Odo's whole salary in turn. I was really, really tempted to try to trade Jermaine Palacios for Odorizzi again. Sign Carlos Rodón for 4 years, $68M This deal is a little scary, with the uncertainty on the health of Rodón's arm. MLB Trade Rumors predicted that he'd go for max annual value on a one-year contract with a team willing to take that risk, presumably to show he's healthy and hit the market again. Fangraphs predicted that teams would want to go 3-4 years with Rodón, more because of his overall injury history than his recent injury—more chances for him to pitch like an ace, interspersed with the predicted IL stints. The latter makes more sense to me. They'd need to be really confident in his current health, but with Bassitt also at the front of the rotation this year, Maeda back in 2023, and minor-league depth coming, the Twins are going to absorb the risk for the chance of the reward in this scenario. Plus, how fun will it be if Rodón can stay healthy and the Twins get to run him out against the White Sox over and over? Sign Michael Lorenzen for 1 year, $4.5M I'm picking this guy partially because he just seems interesting. Jim Bowden in the Athletic noted his high-spin fastball. He's a good hitter...for a pitcher, but good enough that the Reds gave him some time as a pinch-hitter and an outfielder. In a league with a DH, the two-way thing maybe isn't as valuable if the player isn't at an Ohtani level, but still...why not keep a pitcher who can hit around. Lorenzen reportedly is interested in starting, and he doesn't get guaranteed a spot in the rotation in this scenario. However, he's potentially the 6th starter, and that's valuable to this team given the volatility of their other pitchers due to youth and health. He's been more serviceable than good, but given his (again) interesting and slightly unusual skills, and the potential to serve as rotation depth, I'm paying him about the same amount he made in his last arbitration year to see what a new team and coaching staff can do with him. Sign Héctor Neris, Mychal Givens, or some guy like that for 1 year, $4.5M Fudging a little here, but given a deep free-agent class, the idea is to spend a few million on some experienced relief pitching from outside the top tiers of free agents. Neris and Givens both have been closers on other teams. Someone else could fit this bill, probably. Sign Josh Harrison for 1 year, $2M Harrison has been signing 1-year deals for less than this over the last couple years, but he's played pretty well as a role player. He can play several positions in the infield and outfield (the As trusted him to stand at shortstop, at least) and he can hit a bit. Lineup shuffling I'm penciling Sanó in as primary DH, but expect to rotate players through that slot a lot. The Twins have seemed open to, if not actively interested in, Kirilloff playing more 1B. I'm giving Rooker another chance to get regular reps in the outfield, but Kirilloff and almost anyone on the bench can step into an outfield corner. Arráez is listed as a reserve but will play a lot; how much he plays in the outfield may depend on his knees. Gordon, Arráez and Harrison all have experience at multiple positions in the OF and IF. There isn't a defense-first backup shortstop, but there are 3-4 guys who could play there if needed. On call in the minors Larnach, Miranda, Celestino, Rortvedt, Moran, and Stashak all could play/pitch in the majors now if needed, but here they'll be on hand in the minors as depth. None of them are out of options, as far as I know. Jharel Cotton and Danny Coulombe are both out of options. I wanted to try to keep Cotton on the roster through spring training, at least, and to hold a spot for him and Coulombe to compete for, but given the 40-man crunch, I'm holding onto Coulombe for lefty depth (as noted above) and hoping that some of other the dropped/waived pitchers will clear and stay on hand in the minors. Other thoughts If I can go "buy" one front-line starter, I would consider Gausman or Stroman as well, and I'd be comfortable going a few $M more per year with them than I gave Rodón. I think there's a strong chance Gausman goes back to SF, and probably a decent chance the Mets open the wallet for Stroman too. Between Stroman's likely higher price tag and Rodón's health risk, I can really see the justification for preferring either one. I'm going for relatively "easy targets" with the trades I made here—one player likely to move in a cost-cutting deal and two promising veterans who've had rough sailing lately and could be bought low. I also would be interested in higher-upside, longer-term trade targets; the Marlins' pitching depth is one example that comes to mind. If the rumors that Miami wants to add hitters at C and OF are true, then I'd listen on Jeffers, Larnach, Garver, and probably Kirilloff for someone like Pablo López. I'm expecting that the higher-valued the trade targets (in terms of both talent and years of control) the more difficult it could be to match up, as each team aims to be sure it's not getting screwed. Ultimately for this blueprint I took the somewhat obvious trades that would make some sense for all sides, without giving up the Twins' top prospects who we hope to see filtering into this roster over the next couple years. Position Player $ (in Millions) Position Player ($ in Millions) DEAD MONEY C Garver $ 3.50 SP1 Rodón $ 17.00 Position Player ($ in Millions) 1B Kirilloff $ 0.60 SP2 Bassitt $ 8.80 SP Maeda (injured) $ 3.00 2B Polanco $ 5.50 SP3 Odorizzi $ 8.00 RP Colome (buyout) $ 1.25 3B Donaldson $ 21.00 SP4 Ober $ 0.60 SS DeJong $ 6.17 SP5 Ryan $ 0.60 LF Rooker $ 0.60 CF Buxton $ 13.00 RP Rogers $ 7.00 RF Kepler $ 6.75 RP Duffey $ 3.50 DH Sanó $ 9.25 RP Thielbar $ 1.50 TOTAL $ 133.72 RP Alcala $ 0.60 BUDGET $137M (5% raise) Utility Harrison $ 2.00 RP Dobnak $ 0.80 AVAILABLE $3.28 Utility Arraez $ 1.50 RP Lorenzen $ 4.50 Utility Gordon $ 0.60 RP Coulombe/Cotton $ 1.00 Backup C Jeffers $ 0.60 RP Neris/Givens $ 4.50
  14. The Athletic speculates about whether Houston now may be motivated to deal another starter from the back end of their starting pitching depth. Would Odorizzi make sense for the Twins, buying low on a guy they've worked with before?
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