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Everything posted by PatPfund

  1. Gray is an easy option call (yes). I'd open talks with him, but not be too quick to extend. (He's not young, and has his own injury history.) It cracks me up there is still Sano hope out there. The OPS+ cited in the OP (117?) would be great for a shortstop, but for a poor fielding 1B/DH it's pretty mediocre. Plus (like all of Miguel-follower stats) it is a career total, which totally obscures the fact that Sano has only had 3 (out of eight) good seasons; 2015, 2017, and 2019. He was terrible in 2020, terrible when it mattered last year before padding his stats in garbage time, and terrible again this year. He's 29, has the sort of big body that doesn't age well in this game, and has an injury history that suggests he is not likely to buck those odds. Buy him out, and offer him a minor league deal if he's floating around in February. Bundy is actually easy. No way you do the option, but for a guy who wanted him gone in May, he's sort of won me over a bit with his ability to wring the max out of meager stuff. I'd buy him out on good terms, and tell him to stay in touch, and see about adding him late (or talking bullpen). But don't get into a bidding war, or pay $8-9 million for a aging guy with a 87 mph fastball. When Winder and Ober get back in a few weeks (if not before) the Twins should talk to Archer about moving to the 'pen. He might have the stuff to dominate an inning, but as someone who used to like this project, he simply hasn't gained any length over the season, and he really isn't a starter right now; he's an opener. If he won't flex, I don't see him back. I could even see him being released this season. Of more immediate concern, though, Winder, Ober, and Maeda will need roster spots. Pagan might be one. I could see Archer being another. And Megill a third.
  2. They will have more players (hopefully) healthy, but not Paddack (probably more June-ish '23), and Lewis would have to be way ahead of schedule to be playing in the spring. Kirilloff's surgery is radical for a baseball player; he may be back at full strength or never play again. Dobnak hasn't had a healthy season in two years, so I'm not holding my breath. Twins also (possibly) lose Fulmer to FA, and I don't see either Bundy or Archer back (unless he wants to try bullpen work). A healthy Alcala probably makes the team, and I'm fine if Stashak, Coulombe, and Romero don't. Nobody is likely to claim them (Cotton and Smeltzer are probably better than all of them, and have both cleared waivers this season), and they can figure it out with the Saints or another organization. Pretty sure Byron will be in CF and Kepler in RF unless something radical happens (they are under contract) with Larnach front-runner for LF. Garlick is a nice role player, but if he is starting everyday this isn't a very good team.
  3. Great piece! You have good choices, but personally, I’d want Larnach back on offense, then Ober, Winder, Maeda in any order. The Jeffers bat was starting to make a difference late, but Leon makes that loss much less with better defense than either Sanchez or Jeffers.
  4. Actually, that is precisely what you do. Prospect status is temporary, you either bust, or graduate to the majors (nobody currently ranks Miranda among the Twins' top prospects, because he is no longer a prospect; he is, in fact, a former top prospect). The more accurate example is "Former U of M student becomes millionaire."
  5. Bummed out. Clearly some major talent, but most of the potential wasted due to injuries (some truly random, but a lot set up by his own admissions that fitness/diet wasn't a big priority in many offseasons). Don't know him enough to say for sure, but from the outside he looks like someone gifted with so much ability he just leaned on that rather than working to build on it. It can get you to the bigs, but talent plus work beats raw talent in the race to be elite. For sure, I think he fell in love with distance to the detriment of hitting (even with a clear example/mentor in Nelson Cruz), but that's not news. I also always thought the Twins did a major mis-service by not sending him down during his first regression. Nobody likes that, but sometimes you need to be benched, or get a chance to reset out of the spotlight to take the final step. But that's a guess, too. Maybe, despite the flash, he just wasn't good enough to stick, or too big to stay healthy. Definitely bummed out, though, because the potential was only touched in flashes.
  6. Great piece. The last play was a bummer, but it doesn't overcast the week for me. The Twins made really good moves, the team should be stronger, and each of the adds has had one or more moments to shine. Cole Sands actually (finally?) looked like he might be a useful pitcher tonight, and the Twins played a possible playoff matchup quite well (something noted by the Jays TV crew) this weekend. Who knows how it will all shake out, but the Twins are already playing meaningful games about two months later than last year with a great chance of October baseball in Minnesota. This sort of chance is what baseball fans live for!
  7. I guess you can repeat "interesting take" as much as you want, but the timeline is pretty public (the Twins acquire Kiner-Falefa; the Yankees contact the Twins about him immediately and eat Donaldson's money to get him, all on the weekend; the Twins are linked in Story rumors right away, because they now have payroll and need a shortstop; Boras sees the situation and contacts the Twins; the two sides work out a deal and Correa agrees mid-week). We weren't "trying" to dump JD's contract, we had done so before any Correa contact. Boras only made contact, because the Twins had freed up the money and entered the top-level SS market. So he didn't fall into our laps, the Twins took active steps to enter the premium SS market, and they got one. Not even my take. https://www.mlb.com/news/carlos-correa-road-to-signing-with-twins
  8. Well. A few things. It's August, and one of the worst teams (the Twins) in the AL last year, a team whose season was already done at this point in 2021 is one of the better teams this year, and is in first place in the division (and has been most of the year). That's a win, not a fail. Nobody seems to remember that most of the offseason was wasted in the stupid lockout. Our front office, and the rest of MLB's did nothing for months, because they couldn't. Once the stupid lockout ended, no team was more active than the Twins, acquiring the best pitcher in our rotation, inking another who has probably made more starts than any other SP (though really Archer is more of an Opener), churning the closing spot to add an SP and RP, churning the catcher spot to land a SS, then churning the top of the payroll and acquiring arguably the top shortstop in baseball. So definitively NOT planning to fail. Or failing to plan since they had deals ready to roll ASAP. Can we just stop with the 'Correa fell in our laps' stuff? It just isn't true. The Twins used the Yankee interest in our new shortstop to dump Josh Donaldson's salary AND vacate the SS position precisely to jump into the top of the free agent SS market. Yep, they were targeting Story, but the ONLY reason Boras contacted the Twins is they had already done the work to make a deal with Carlos feasible. Without that work, Boras does not call, and if he did the Twins wouldn't have been able to afford him, and Correa is playing elsewhere. On the other hand, their pitching plans failed. Bundy pitches with more guts than Happ or Matty Shoe, but not really any more talent. Hard to say how much of last offseason's original plan was shredded by the stupid lockout, but if the Falvines haven't figured out to stop building around washed up castoff arms next year could register in the Fail category. But maybe we should enjoy this year, and not freak about next year until... next year?
  9. The question of whether or not this is a team you push in a lot of 'future' chips to fix now is the key question. I think this past week has actually made it clearer; there is too much to fix with 'big' moves, and our ability to make both big and medium moves has been damaged. Winder's injury both takes out a possible #3-#4 starter, and/or a potent trade chip. Sano's trade value really is now zero. Kirilloff has both lost his trade value, and put giant question marks over his ability to cover the production hole that would open if you traded Miranda. Archer is regressing after moving from competent Opener to borderline starter, to hip issue, to weak Opener. Ryan is either in a doldrum, or scouts have figured out how to time his deceptive but not very fast fastball. Our pitching coach praised by our pitchers, quit mid-season. I still think we can win the division making minimal moves (crappy week, and still in first; three flawed teams duking it out). I also like our young core, and the way Palacios is hitting in St Paul (since he might be the critical SS bridge to Lewis next year). Winning in the playoffs, though, looks like it would now take two SPs (and one would have to be Gray-level or better), and probably a #4 type to replace Winder. Plus a couple RPs (one back end worthy). At inflated trade deadline prices, that is more that we can afford (maybe more than we even have). So I'd see if we could find an SP for something reasonable (Eovaldi from Boston?), and a Romo type reliever for cheap, and not trade Miranda or too many top prospects. Win the division, see if magic strikes in the playoffs, and build for next year with more reasonable offseason prices. (And hopefully take the lesson that being "in" on Rodon counts for nothing if you are then shipping big prospects to get him mid-year, when a bit more money could have had him months earlier.)
  10. Truly awful. One of the most amazing things about the 8-5 triple play the Twins had against the White Sox is that for a change, the other team was stupider on the bases than the home nine. (I know it will never happen for several reasons, but it's too bad Molitor couldn't do some base-running drills in Spring Training. This team's running skills are so consistently bad it clearly gets back to coaching fundamentals, or the lack thereof.)
  11. From someone who went all rant on your last piece, I really liked this. Good data, and effectively presented (reinforcing some general impressions I had, but the Jeffers graph in particular caught my attention. Longer upswing than I was giving him credit for.
  12. What's crazy is people hyper-ventilating about the Rule 5 draft in July. The front office is savvy enough to figure it out, and no we won't be able to protect any player who might have a future MLB career, and no we don't have to, and no we shouldn't be basing any mid-season trade priorities on a 40-man "crunch". Trade to help the team; if that involves a front-line pitcher, then a few to several of these "crunch" pieces will be gone. (Miranda? Steer? Wallner? Canterino? SWR? All of them? You are not going to get a game-changing piece by trading table scraps.) And take a deep breath. The Twins minor league system is rated around 15th. Rule 5 players need to stay on the drafting team's roster the whole of the next season or be offered back. Unless he turns it around, is anybody thinking Sawyer Gibson-Long is MLB ready next year? Several mentioned CAN be exposed and probably won't get drafted the same way nobody claimed Smeltzer off waivers at the end of spring training. And yeah, I would not offer arbitration to any of Cotton/Coulombe/Romero/Garlick. They are interchangeable parts in MLB. If the Twins can't do better, then they won't BE better next year. And yeah, I get how a roster works. The point is, this is only a crisis if you try to manipulate things in-season. If you wait until after the season, it is simply the roster churn that happens every year. And after the season, many items now shifting all over the place will have set in place. (Ex: we'll actually know if SGL recovers enough to need protection rather than guessing 'what if'.)
  13. @Major League Ready Say you need (well, want) 10 spots. At the end of the season, the contracts of Urshela, Sanchez, Thielbar, Duffey, Joe Smith, Garlick, Bundy, Cotton, and Coulombe expire. The Twins are HIGHLY unlikely to pick up Sano's option. So all of these are no longer on the 40-man unless/until resigned. You don't resign Urshela unless you trade Miranda (and Steer). It's possible they pitch a deal to Sanchez early depending on their catching plans. The rest are arms in one of the worst bullpens in the AL and Bundy. There is zero incentive to lock those slots down. So there are 8 spots assuming you sign Sanchez. Unless Dobnak shows he can pitch, they should waive him (but they'd have to eat money, so maybe not yet). They can remove Romero, though, so nine. Cano, Archer, Godoy, Strotman, and maybe Sands should prove more value, or they could be removed as well. Frankly Archer is going backward; unless he is open to a 'pen move, I don't want him back. Thats five more slots, so 14 total slots on the 40 man opened up. Finally, you do need to take some risks; if you fill your 40-man with players who are not MLB-ready next year, you limit your in-season moves. Rule 5 draftees are only lost if they can't stick on the drafting team's 40-man all next year. If you put marginal talent on the 40-man, you might lose them forever next spring when injuries mean you have to expose them to waivers. The Twins system is not highly rated, so take some chances (we get to pick, too). Trade if it helps, don't if you are just dumping prospects for middle-level RPs.
  14. All of the players mentioned in the OP are viable trade assets of varying value. Sure, trade them if that helps the team (especially in getting a top arm), but there really is no "crunch", so don't trade now just to trade, or trade to fix a problem that doesn't exist yet. (We can also deal in a more measured atmosphere after the season and before the Rule 5 draft if needed.) When Mr Froemming posted a video on this topic (and I highly recommend his YouTube channel TFTwins), I looked at the 40-man including the 60-day IL, and identified something like 18 players who are likely to leave (like Correa), have their contracts run out (lots and lots of those, and they drop off the 40 immediately after the season), need to step up their games to prove they need protecting (like Strotman, Sands or Dobnak), or are just unlikely to be picked (like Stashak or Coulombe). It's worth keeping in mind that right now, the Twins farm system isn't considered elite, and maybe not even top half. We love and see the potential in many of these players, but it is far likelier that teams gamble their roster spots on higher rated prospects from another system. We can protect most of the elites, and the rest is part of player movement. (We'll have a chance to pick up players as well.)
  15. Time to bury the Sano/Ortiz connection forever. The Twins have stuck with Sano longer by two seasons now than they did with Ortiz, and Sano is NEVER going to be Ortiz. (In Sano's age 29 season, he has never had even 80 RBI in a season, in Ortiz's age 29 season, he was on his way to hitting 47 HR, and a career high 147 RBI, the third of 5 straight seasons over 100.) And that's okay. All he needs to be is a healthy, engaged Miguel Sano to possibly provide a spark for an offense that gets shut out A LOT. If it doesn't work, move on.
  16. Bard would be a good and affordable pickup. I'm hoping, though, that a front-line starter is added as well, pushing someone decent out of the rotation and into the 'pen. The thought of Thielbar pitching high-leverage playoff situations (he just injured himself while finally getting his ERA under 5 for the first time since April) makes me weep in advance.
  17. I'm not totally against an Urshela trade since I'm not seeing him back next year (unless Miranda is involved in a Montas/Castillo/?-SP trade), but... ...the "obvious" move is to simply option Celestino to StP. He has options, has plateaued, and could play every day for the Saints. Kirilloff becomes the regular LF, Sano is 1B/DH, Arraez is 1B/DH/2B, Miranda is 3B/DH, Urshela is 3B. Byron actually rests most days when not in the field (last I heard batting caused more pain that fielding). Gordon comes off the bench. Catchers probably almost never DH. Also, if (after mashing on rehab) Sano comes in swinging well, he easily has trade value. Lower than most points, but any contending team in need of a power bat would probably cough up a decent relief arm to get Sano. (Though frankly, if he's hitting, I think the Twins ride out the season with him, and I'd be okay with that even if I know he'll drive me nuts several times in the next few months.)
  18. Well, I was alive and following the Twins in both '87 and '91. Nobody considered the '87 team a massive threat to take it all, especially when they clinched, then ended the year on a losing streak. But you are 100% wrong about '91. It was a very good team, a team with a better record than the favored Blue Jays. Here is a sentence from the Wikipedia entry on the '91 ALCS: "Newspapers were predicting a series of tense and close contests in the following ALCS, as the Twins seemed to have the slightly stronger team, but the Blue Jays had won the season series between the two teams 8-4." So hardly the "snowball's chance" of your memory. Your point about the Twins making off season moves doesn't really fit here, since we are talking trade deadline moves, not offseason where the prices are more reasonable. (Who ever said a team should make no moves in the off-season? Certainly not me.) Maybe you consider Sal, Joe, and the body of Steve Carlton to be of significance; I don't (though the Niekro nail file incident was hilarious). And your last sentence makes my point exactly. I'm not calling them cowards, but ironically applying your 'no moves means you live in fear' standard. My original point (maybe obscured in all the back and forth) is that we shouldn't make moves just to make moves. That is how the Cubs ended up giving $70 million to a solid, but health challenged pitcher like Stroman (just because you pay for an ace doesn't add talent to the signee). And helped wreck their team (along with other 'all in' moves). I'm all over this site in advocating for acquiring a #1-#2 starter, and paying for it (no, Mahle doesn't meet that standard, but a healthy Montas or Castillo would, and so would others). If we can't make a trade like that, I'm for holding on to prospects, and making stronger moves in the offseason (we'll likely have Correa's salary to play with), and come back better next year.
  19. You probably should check up on Twins history. The '87 Twins were middling all right (85-77). And the only significant move the Twins made was to add Don Baylor for a low prospect (player to be named later, the famous Enrique Rios). Totally gutless inactivity driven by fear no doubt! The '91 Twins were NOT middling; they had the MLB's longest win streak (15 games, which you can see ending in A Few Good Men, damn that movie!), and finished 28 games over .500. They also lived in even more fear than the '87 Twins, because they made no trade deadline moves of significance. Cowards!
  20. FYI, after tonight, Duffey's ERA (3.86) is pretty close to that of Taylor Rogers (3.72).
  21. Option 1 is the only option. The Twins are in first, the market is dubious at best (if even possible by contract), and the Twins are in first. And in case I missed it, the Twins are in first. One of the most foolish things I've heard is that if Correa walks, we get nothing. Wrong. We get what we paid for, a chance to be competitive. The Twins are in first. We also get a championship player working with a lot of our up and coming players teaching and showing them how to be MLB players (just ask Miranda and Lewis). If we make the playoffs (likely even if we make no moves), we'll have a champion shortstop showing our historically bad post-season team how to prepare and play in that charged atmosphere. Which is worth far more than anything we could possibly get from a trade. Which would be foolish anyway, because the Twins are in first.
  22. I don't get the Laureano talk (almost twice as valuable as Montas is goofy, especially for a 28 y.o. player who has played more 90 games once in his career, and whose best stats were back before he got caught cheating with PEDs, but I don't really care since...) ...We don't need to pay prospects to get another outfielder. We also shouldn't even be thinking Montas until he shows after 2-3 starts he can help us THIS year. If he can't, and we aren't sure about next year, then I'd top my offer at Drew Strotman (and be fine if/when the A's sucker somebody else).
  23. Agreed, but that isn't the same as 'you have to go all-in every time you have a pair of jacks.' Look, I"m enjoying this year as a great rebound from last year's terrible Twins. But I'm also not blind. This is a solidly middle AL team. There isn't one Twins starting pitcher I'd put in the AL top 20. The 'pen is dreadful. The hitting is statistically great, but they also get shutout more than pretty much everyone. Fielding zooms from the sublime to the stupefying. We're lucky if the catchers throw out two base-stealers in a month. Our base-running is often a travesty. (My favorite part of the Twins' 8-5 triple play recently was that for once, we weren't the team running around like deranged Little Leaguers.) We are not a player away from winning it all, but we do show signs of being good with a better future (assuming we don't throw it all away, like... you know, the Cubs). This team, with full years from Maeda, Winder, Miranda, Larnach, and Kirilloff; and majority years from Paddach and Lewis should be much better even with Correa gone. I'm looking forward to seeing that team just as much as I am watching the rest of this year play out. Additions or no. Plus, if you are taking "shots" because you are afraid someone will think you are 'operating from a position of fear', then that is exactly what you ARE doing.
  24. Eek. Where the Cubs want to be is both instructional, and a warning for the local nine. Robertson should be a target of interest, but this club also could have signed him last offseason, and if they send a good prospect, they'll essentially be giving up a good prospect, and likely a pitching prospect for 20-ish innings. So maybe this offseason, consider signing a Robertson or two at moderate pay to establish a floor under a recently terrible 'pen. (And if the Twins are terrible, you can flip them.) Stroman should be the Rip Van Winkle of sleeper prospects. Awful contract, and a damaged arm (that honestly was good, but not great when healthy). Stroman was part of the Cubs going 'all in', and they are now bust. A purely cautionary tale for the fanbase (and hopefully the Twins) about committing all of your assets for years, because you won a few games in a row. Best bet for the Twins is to look to teams with a deeper pitching inventory so they are trading position players (and prospects) for a very few arms. (Or heaven forbid, admit our team is improving, but not quite to championship level, and stand pat.) Yes, it is tougher, but as the Cruz trade showed last year, positions-for-arms can be done; if we get hooked on sending out our pitching future for 'all in' desperation plays, we won't be long in returning to where the Cubs now dwell.
  25. At least it's ballpark (if Castillo is healthy). Though I'd look for a prospect position player to move instead of Winder, because the "pitching pipeline" has an air bubble in it (with very dubious Saints starting prospects not name Winder), and your Gray/Castillo 1 and 2 could be gone after next year.
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