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  1. Off season talks might make sense, but mid-season 'offers you can't refuse' are by definition inflated pricing, and are made for one reason only; to win in this season's playoffs. So UCL-strain pitchers need not apply. Winder looks to me like the real deal, if he and Ober can get/stay healthy, I'm much less interested in selling the farm for anything other than a #1-#2 starter. (Adding Winder and Ober to this staff in whatever role and/or adding another top starter and/or Maeda coming back will make the 'pen stronger.)
  2. Loved whiffle ball (have you seen the 'pro' version? check out YouTube)! But I don't see the rest of what you are seeing at all. Yep, bunting is down (and shouldn't be in the face of shifting, including bunting with 2 strikes and half an empty field). But the Twins are notorious for working counts. They have the premiere contact hitter in baseball in Arraez. They have one of the most frustrating hitters to face in Polanco (fouling off pitch after pitch). They had Jeffers bunt just the other day. They can hit the ball out of the yard. They have people like Kirilloff or even Larnach who drive the ball all over the park with pop. (or classically the other day, there was a guy on 3B with one out and Alex came up, and I told a friend 'I hereby guarantee a fly ball to drive in the run' and Kirilloff delivered. They still have others who swing from their heels on all counts (your 'risk' factor). They also have spectacular (if uneven) players in the field, and some pitchers who move the game along instead of re-setting their zen aura between every pitch. They have two past Platinum Glove winners (when healthy, the best CF and SS in baseball). Things may be frustrating at times (uncertainty is the essence of sport), but this is possibly the most interesting/fun Twins team I've seen in the past decade. And I'm loving the ride!
  3. My current list goes 1. Duran (then a pretty big gap, then...) 2. Jax 3. Pagan 4. and 5. TBDs The only top 5 list I'd put Thielbar (or Duffey) on right now is the DFA/Option list for who goes if better options come along. Caleb has had some moments, and you can't cherry-pick out innings where he gives up a grand slam after loading the bases, because it is not 'one bad pitch' but several bad pitches. Opponents have a .339 (!) on-base percentage against Thielbar, and his ERA is just under 6 (and not by accident). His ERA+ is 65, and his WAR is -.6 (and going down). The other day was one of his 'good' (as in no runs allowed) outings where he came in, filled the bases with terrible control, and escaped by the skin of his teeth (and a 3 pitch strikeout of Cron by Pagán). (Yes, Pagán has had control issues as well, but his are getting better, whereas Caleb's are not.) I'd love to see Emilio pushed down to 5 here, and there are potential short-term in-house candidates to bolster the 'pen (especially if we can get Winder/Ober back healthy and/or Moran can figure out the control thing and/or Schulfer/Sisk can transition to the majors, and/or Thornburg keeps it up in tighter games), but in-house or trade, it would be great to add at least two solid names (or more) to this list.
  4. Look, I like Joe Ryan, but all of your stats for him were pretty much matching him against rookies, and that isn't what the All-Star game is about. Matched against all pitchers, Ryan has no real case he is an All-Star. Duran has a case, and he has the growing rep as somebody who can wipe out an inning, and All Star managers have looked at that, and non-save RPs more recently. But it will be tough, given numbers, a player having to be picked from each team, a couple Twin rivals in Arraez and Correa, etc. Possible, but I wouldn't count on it.
  5. The OP is dead on as far as I'm concerned. The catchers should split time, and rarely DH (Sanchez has been a nice surprise on the O side, but only in a catcher context). Miranda has been one of the Twins' best bats this month, and he started only one game of the Cleveland series. Playing Kiriloff a lot at 1B makes sense; he already looks like the best defender there, but... ...they should also be giving him some games in the outfield; Alex played his first ever MLB game in RF in the playoffs, and looked calmly good there. Larnach's regression at the plate this month at least opens a window for a game or two a week in LF. I love Gio's great plays. Love them. But I also get the knock on him, and frankly if Franmil Reyes hadn't let up running home yesterday it would be tougher to claim Gio as a lockdown 3B today (Gio totally boots a short grounder that could have been an inning ending double play, leaving him just a throw to home that might have been late if Reyes hustles all the way). You certainly can't hurt Urshela by giving him an extra day or two off and playing Miranda at third. If the debate here is whether or not Miranda is a top prospect, I'll take any number of "top prospect" lists that listed Miranda in the top few pre-season, or the fact that he is the reigning Twins Minor League Player of the Year, or the fact that he's hit over .300 with pop since his recall (while playing mostly out of position), or even the fact that a team like the A's would probably demand him in a Montas trade package over some random blog comments to the contrary. (Also, the Twins aren't exactly enhancing any trade value by sitting him a lot, though he did come within a few feet of walking off the Guardians the other day as a pinch-hitter.)
  6. Ha! Not only did I think we would lose, I assumed we had for three hours. (Went into work enforced info blackout right after Thielbar gave up the double in the 9th. Speculating fairly seriously that he MUST have pictures of Rocco doing something bad, because he was brought in to face, yeah, a lefty, but a lefty who hits .320 against lefties. Gotta assume he either has totally lost faith in Duffey and Thornburg (who hasn't pitched all week), or he is saving them for the Rockies game tomorrow. (Remember back to Monday when our bullpen was all rested?)
  7. Your deal does make more sense for the Twins, but not Correa. It is roughly $100 million less, and there is close to zero chance Correa will make $100 million while he is 35-37 (it certainly wouldn't be at SS). That means it is DEEPLY in his interest to max out his current worth now when he can lure a team into thinking the wasted end-contract seasons are worth it. Barring injury, or his performance going in the tank (which I don't expect), Correa will opt out. If/when he opts out, he probably has about 5 years where he might be worth $35 million per, and that is as far as the Twins should look. in their offers. If/when he signs elsewhere, we should tip our cap for (hopefully) a great year, and take that $35 mill out for a spin on the FA market.
  8. This is a worthwhile exercise, not because you get a starter for, say, Gio, but because you should consider veteran elements to a deal with prospects. Still.... This only identifies two veterans; you are not trading Correa unless you are a seller, and as many have pointed out, Sano has negative value, and has no time to create some. Polanco and Arraez and Buxton are more likely to be traded than Correa right now (and probably Jorge could make the 'vets to trade' list). Though it is likely a partner will want more prospects than vets, as someone pointed out, that isn't all (as Cruz for Ryan proved last season). But unless it involves getting a pitcher to slot in the top half of the rotation, I'm not super interested in 'pitching depth'. That isn't going to win a playoff series.
  9. If we don't add a very good starting pitcher (not somebody to compete for the #4 or #5 spots), we don't need relievers. It doesn't matter who is in your 'pen if you start a game down by 5 runs, because you sent a marginal starter to the mound. I ripped the Capps trade in another thread, not because of how Capps pitched in the playoffs, but because he never got a chance to come into a close game. Also, because the Twins the Twins, who were chasing a starter, missed out on that and ended up trading their top prospect for a pitcher who was signed as a waived free agent, had a hot half season, then reverted to the norm and was quickly out of baseball. That is my biggest fear, that we get so used to thinking of our top prospects as disposable that we slip from good deal mode to "trade them for whatever we can get." Nobody on this list is worth a Miranda or Steer or Larnach. And if they can't get a starter first, they shouldn't make a deal at all. The biggest step needed to improve the bullpen is to decide to move on from Duffey, Thielbar, and likely Joe Smith (the early season days of batters being baffled by funky slow stuff is gone; as much for Smith as it likely is for Dylan Bundy). Get your head in that space, and you have some likely fixes in-house (Moran or Sisk could pitch better than Thielbar right now, and a new starter would push a better arm into the 'pen than Duffey).
  10. Exactly! Like him the best of these options, and if they'd help us clear some 40-man dross, the salary might be worth the gamble.
  11. We don't need bullpen arms to win a playoff game, and winning a playoff series (or more) is the ONLY reason the Twins should be "buying" this trade season. If we are making moves just to win a crappy division, and get swept in the first round, I'd rather roll with what we have, keep our prospects, and build for next year. (And relievers? Remember the stupid Ramos for Capps trade? Probably better than you remember the playoff games Matt Capps decided in our favor before he was quickly out of baseball. Since that was zero wins secured.) The only thing that will move the needle on playoff success is a starter good enough right now to fit into our top three, and none of these targets fit that mold as far as I can tell. (if it were offseason, sure, but "fixing" a pitcher mid-season seems too dubious to be dumping prospects.) Not saying the OP is wrong, just saying making the moves suggested are wrong. Unless the Rockies want a package of Strotman, Sands, Thielbar, and Duffey. I'd be all over that!
  12. This is a good snapshot, but hopefully not fully correct. Because if it is... ...if the Twins are short a top quality starter (with which I agree), and most of the bullpen is junk outside of Duran (which isn't fully true, but Duffey, Thielbar, and probably Smith look like major liabilities), and we are only an average offense (not true except for the complete outages; the Twins are one of the leading scorers in the AL)... ...well, then there is little point making moves by the deadline, because you simply are NOT going to fix your rotation, bullpen, and offense with overpriced deadline trades. Better at that point to roll with what you have, and develop/build for next year. BUT, if you can improve your offense's consistency by adding a high average/high power/clutch bat like Alex Kirilloff, and help the rotation by getting Winder and/or Ober back healthy and productive, and improve your bullpen by adding a top quality starter and thereby push an arm or two into the bullpen (Winder has the stuff to be a high leverage arm; Ober might as well), and add someone internal like Sisk or Schulfer (or both)... ...well, then it boils down to adding a quality starting pitcher, and that is fully worth pushing chips into the pot to get.
  13. Agree with most that Correa hasn't been much of a surprise (though FAs don't always perform as paid). Jax has been golden, and Kepler my happiest surprise (love him, but was ready to throw him overboard and move on). Agree with some/many that Celestino (who was originally roster fodder who might get sent down without playing much or at all) has been a big surprise. The talent was there, and now it has fully adapted to MLB at the plate and in the field. Smeltzer, though, should be on the original list instead of Correa; he has seriously bailed out a rotation felled by injuries, and has done so to such an extent that he should stay in the rotation until he proves he doesn't belong. (Not only competitive starts, but deep-bullpen-saving starts.) One sad honorable mention, is the contribution by absence of Miguel Sano. This team is clearly better without him, and I pretty much dread his return. Who knows, maybe the fear of being bypassed has him working hard to recover, and his rehab games will be marked by listening to coaching, and developing a more rounded batting approach (like ones he has temporarily flashed in the past). But I'm not holding my breath.
  14. I don't see any way Correa is back next year short of a serious injury for him this year, or a collapse in the shortstop market. (Last year's market was warped by the extended lock out, which won't happen next year.) Correa has done nothing but add to his value so far, and for his part he will need to sign the long term deal he wants/needs ASAP since year-to-year contracts as he starts to edge out of his prime years means he would likely lose a LOT of money 5-10 years from now. Which is precisely why the Twins should NOT be the team that signs him to the long term deal. This isn't NY or Boston or LA or Chicago where there is a huge reservoir of TV money to cover the wasted back ends of these long deals, and the back ends ARE ALWAYS wasted money (or more rationally money paid over ten years for 5-7 years of prime output). (Want a current example? Everybody is excited that Miguel Cabrera got his 3000th hit this season, and he's great for baseball and all, but... the Tigers over the past 5.33 seasons have paid him a total of $158 million for a combined WAR of -1.1. Just as his contract helped make the Tigers very good in the early days, it all but locked in their ongoing status as bottom feeders for the past half-decade. The Twins simply can't afford the 10 year, $300 million thing for a SS who would be in his late 30s at the end.) Options 2 and 3 are the same thing. Play Palacios until Royce is ready, and use him to spell Royce after that. Gio would be an internal option as well if he is back, and if he hits enough to justify the drop in D; Miranda could play third. Gordon would need a lot of work before I'd want to see him everyday, but I'd give him that shot in Spring Training.
  15. He's definitely an issue, and I think you are right that he might be sent down to work on hitting with less pressure (and real incentive). It's not great he's 25, but it also isn't too late to get better if the talent is there. Trips down have helped Buxton, Kirilloff, Larnach, and even Sano (temporarily) just to name some recent folks. Going down, and getting to stand in the box and just watch lefties pitch basically gave Denard Span a 10+ productive year. The minors might not fix him, but Godoy can certainly catch as well as Jeffers, and displayed a decent batting eye earlier this year, and there is no better time than now to see if they can get Jeffers right. I can't see how the team would be worse in the short run.
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