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Everything posted by whosafraidofluigirussolo

  1. 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.
  2. Re: the list of free agent starters, didn't Gausman and Stroman both take qualifying offers last year?
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. 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?
  6. Yeah, it's not hard at all to see that working. With the borderline 40-man guys, it could be a little tricky because the Twins now have less than 2 days to decide whether those guys are worth adding—knowing they could be trade bait but otherwise will take up a roster spot—and if they don't add them, those players suddenly become less valuable in trade when another team might have a crack at drafting them in a few weeks. Hopefully the Twins FO has had enough conversations to have some feel for how other teams value the likes of Severino, Vallimont, etc. Maybe there's a way to work this out by putting those guys on a PTBNL list along with some non-Rule 5-eligible players too.
  7. This also makes me wonder how much more likely the Mets are to top the bidding for Stroman now.
  8. When Oakland's readiness to deal those 3 starters was reported initially, I was more interested in Montas because of the extra year of team control, but I'm coming around to Bassitt and Manaea more now. Being in their last year of arbitration will keep the cost to acquire one of those guys lower, and adding a starter for one year may not be such a problem when Maeda is coming back and the odds are that at least one pitching prospect who isn't ready in 2022 will be ready in 2023. What about Dobnak plus a higher-upside minor leaguer or two for a trade like this? Oakland would value the cost certainty of Dobnak's contract, and if they're really selling off this winter they'll likely need some MLB-ready players back in trades.
  9. Wow - Syndergaard was a case where it really looked like the QO made sense on both sides. I guess this contract probably indicates that he was seriously considering taking the QO and the Angels wanted him enough to give him the same length and more money.
  10. Everything you're saying here (this excerpt and beyond) makes sense. Reports from the summer were that: negotiations on an extension had made headway; it was going to be an incentive-laden contract; and the point where the sides hadn't found agreement yet was not the base pay, but the incentives. The Athletic reported this, and maybe other outlets did too; the Athletic writers, at least, have referenced it again since the first report. Gleeman's point about this makes sense too: it's strange that incentives would be the hangup, since incentives would tend to come into play in a situation that was good for both sides. So it's a little weird to square these sides of the situation. Did that report from the summer mischaracterize the level of agreement on the basic contract structure? Is a basis of an agreement actually in place, and they're waiting for the new CBA in order to revisit? Did one side change their minds?
  11. Zero chance that all 3 of those guys are in the rotation or on the roster, I think. Even as much as Twins fans are conditioned to expect the team's forays in the free agent market to be modest and/or disappointing...even though we've seen them fall short with a few big-ticket pitching targets like Darvish and Wheeler in recent years...I don't believe that given the state of their MLB-level pitching and the statements from the front office, they would possibly go through this offseason without some significant outside reinforcement to the rotation. It will be interesting, though, to see the decisions they make on those 3 guys, who all had some promise as back-end starters not so long ago. Dobnak would seem to be in the safest spot because they gave him a multi-year contract, but maybe that makes him the easiest to demote or outright. Thorpe is the one I root for the most, but he's probably done the least to put it together in the majors.
  12. I thought of something similar: Arraez plus non-top-tier prospect (outside the Twins' top 10-15) to Oakland for Montas and Andrus. The Twins take the underwater last year of Andrus' contract in order to give the A's payroll relief (since they seem to need to cut payroll) and to lessen the acquisition cost for Montas, but also this gives them a decent defensive shortstop for a year, if they indeed believe that Lewis can handle SS longer-term. Arraez is one of my favorite Twins so I don't love the idea of moving him but I'm coming around to thinking he could make sense as a trade chip, and I imagine Oakland could use his bat, versatility, and affordable salary.
  13. This stretches the definition of "news," but MLB Trade Rumors just posted its top 50 free-agent predictions, which is always a fun read. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/11/top-50-mlb-free-agent-rankings.html Their list is entirely educated guesses, not anything from inside sources as best I know, but it's interesting to read the guesses of writers who cover transactions from a league-wide perspective. This year rather than publishing a single team prediction for each player based on some kind of consensus from the list's writers, they published each of the 3 writers' individual guesses. I agree with the basic outline of what they predict for the Twins—they won't play at the very top of the market, but it's realistic that they invest substantially in free agency given the major need for pitching. Each of the writers picks one of the top five starters on the list, either Stroman or Rodríguez, to go to the Twins, and there are guesses of Wood, Kluber and Knebel for further pitching reinforcement later in the list.
  14. I could see the Reds waiving Miley as an indication that they're more likely to keep Gray, i.e. if the two pitchers make about the same salary, they prioritized the one they rate higher.
  15. Matt Garza did. That's the one example that springs to mind. It was 15 years ago, so your point still stands, but also to another point above, draft picks debuting that fast isn't really common with other teams either.
  16. As long as this thread has grown to encompass trading for young pitchers as opposed to signing older ones: I just went to Baseball Trade Values dot com to play around with Twins/Marlins trades; apparently their front page features recent trades that people have calculated, and this was at the top: "Twins get: Jesús Luzardo, Max Meyer; Marlins get Ryan Jeffers, Trevor Larnach" The values their system calculates are about even, but this seems like an case where those values wouldn't line up with what both teams want from a deal...but holy hell, that would be great to see as a real trade.
  17. I bet the $25M allotted here is already higher than other estimates we're going to see for Ray. He was great this year, but he hasn't been consistently this good and had a clunker in 2020.
  18. Lefties with particular vulnerability to home runs are a tough fit for Target Field (which has played well for right-handed pull power over the years, though those park factors can change over time) - so signing Heaney seems like asking for trouble. But I like E-Rod as a target.
  19. We're trending toward a World Series where I wish both teams could lose
  20. Arraez seems like an odd fit on this list, IMO. (I also think 2-3 of those other guys will keep roster spots for now too, but agree that they're all on the bubble to some degree.)
  21. I thought i remembered something about Rooker's stolen-base numbers in college, so I looked them up. It looks like he only ran during his final college season, but that season he stole 18 bases at a 78% success rate. With the caveat that stolen bases aren't equivalent to raw speed, it seems like his issue in the outfield may be reads and routes more than speed? I recall some discussion of one of Rooker's "highlight" catches late in the season, and this seems to track - he may have taken a worse route to that ball than another defender would, but he also had the closing speed to get to it.
  22. Do you mean, see if Martin is ready to play SS? He's probably the least likely to end up a shortstop of the 3 players mentioned, and they're all more or less at the same level of the minors (Lewis would be a level ahead at least, if not in the majors now, but the injury basically puts him back a year, so in a similar spot to the others.) I do like the general logic of leaving flexibility at shortstop, though, and not spending lots of capital on an older player who would tie up the position for multiple years.
  23. Not opposed to that either. Iglesias was mostly an example for comparison, as another player who's been demoted due to defensive struggles this year (and I'd bet on "fixing" a formerly great defensive player before one who's always been stretched.)
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