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Major League Ready

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Everything posted by Major League Ready

  1. While I agree developing prearb starter pitching is key to constructing a roster for a small/mid market team, I disagree with the strategy of building a BP via investing big money in RPs. Free agent RPs are the worst bet in baseball. They fail well over half the time and many of them don't just underperform, they perform at or below replacement level. There needs to be investment in the BP bust it needs to be measured. Use the money on a SS and/or invest in the best free agent SP you can convince to come here. Basically, follow the TB practices but use the incremental dollars we have to invest in keeping a player like Buxton and signing someone like Strohman / Rodon.
  2. I thought about that last night. Cruz is certainly among the best FA acquisitions this team has ever made. Then, his parting gift is to bring back a really nice prospect that might be an impact player for another 6+ years.. Who knows, maybe two. Yes, thank you Nelson Cruz. I hope he is back as a coach one day.
  3. I would add that Cruz is a great player but his ABs are better spent on giving prospects a shot the remainder of the this year. What he does or does not do for Tampa is not all that important in terms of judging this trade. It will be a good trade if Strotman becomes a decent BP arm. If Ryan becomes an average MLB pitcher, that's a great trade for us. Odorizzi gave us a couple good years for literally nothing in return. It's pretty crazy when a trade like this can't be acknowledged as successful.
  4. They need to fill 4 spots next year. 3 if Ryan establishes a spot in the rotation. If he shows he can be relied upon to start and If they intend to use 2022 to develop pitching prospects, he could bridge the gap until additional prospects are ready. A reliable starter in his final year of arbitration to bridge the gap until a prospect pushes their way on to the team would be a nice asset. Filling one of those spots for roughly $3M leaves more budget for a front of the rotation SP or a SS.
  5. I would hope they would wait until the end of the year to draft a “blueprint”. They are evaluating quite a few SP and RPs the rest of the way. Once that is done they will need to decide if they can realistically build a contender this off-season. I am not sure what that blueprint looks like but it looks unlikely to me. From there the blueprint takes shape based on how willing they are to allocate time at the big league level to prospects. Here is what I think that looks like. Position players - Start by trading Donaldson in the off-season and Miranda spends all or most of 2022 at the ML level. Martin still needs to prove he is ready. That might not be until June. I don't see Lewis here until 2023. They either go with a stop gap SS or give Palacios a chance. They could possibly trade Arraez for a SS that is blocked or a top pitching prospect if you can get it. Starting pitching – Sign a quality veteran for 2022 and beyond. He can lead and between him and Ober you have a start. Hopefully Ryan will establish himself over these last few weeks. This would be the idea year for a good bounce back candidate. They would get every chance here given the wide open rotation. The bounce back candidate or Dobnak or perhaps both get a shot at the start of the season. Prospects are shuffled in as they prove to be ready. I hope that includes Winder / Duran / Balazovic / Canterino / Enlow / SWR and maybe Cole Sands. RP – Rogers / Duffey / Alcala / Minaya is a good start. There is nothing wrong with the way these guys have pitched of late. I would put Jax in the BP and see how that works. Thielbar / Columbe / Garza are serviceable. We need to add a good LH RP. Is this a formula to contend? Of course not but 500 is realistic. There is no good plan for building an entire SP staff capable of realistically contending in one off-season. However, they could position themselves to realistically contend in 2023. Get Cave and Simmons out of this lineup replaced with Kirilloff / Garlick or Larnach and a decent hitting SS and we have a good lineup. By the end of 2022, Ober / Ryan should be sufficiently seasoned. It’s reasonable that at least one of Winder / Duran / Balazovic / Canterino / Enlow / SWR gets established in 2022. Having moved Donaldson (partial salary) and declining Sano’s option we will have plenty of salary room to add a top SP via free agency. Perhaps Jose Berrios. Of course, they have to be willing to play here but establish the rest of the rotation with prearb guys will be a scenario we have not seen here in recent or even distant memory.
  6. Yes, they should have found options that did not exist and spent money they did not have. Some here made a good call on Musgrove. The most popular FA option was Odorizzi. He has been mediocre at best. (.6 WAR) Lots of angst over not trading for Darvish and Snell. Darvish was good early but has given up 37 ER in his last 44 innings over 9 appearances. He will be 36 next year. Snell has been mediocre (4.31 ERA / 1.8 WAR and they give up a very good pitching prospect for him. He has already made it to the ML and has the same ERA as Snell and of course he is just getting his feet wet. He has a 60FV. The Rays also got Mejia in that tade along with a couple other prospects. Mejia is doing a good job as a part-time catcher. He has played in 70 games and produced 1.2 WAR. Bottom line is these moves that would have been very popular here would have done very little to improve the team in the short term and would have very likely hurt the team beyond this year. Snell or Darvish could have a big year next year but Snell is just being what Snell has been every year except the Cy Young award and putting trust in Darvish for a full season does not seem wise. I should add there was no support for Taijuan Walker. He was not high profile enough.
  7. A. Are we trading Rogers / Duffey / Thielbar / Polanco / Kepler / Arraez / Garver / Donaldson and Sano. If not, how is this a rebuild? B. Many players care 1st about money and 2nd playing where they are comfortable. There are plenty of players with better track records than Buxton who stayed with a team because they simply preferred to stay. Players don't like their lives disrupted and a dollar in MN is the same as a dollar anywhere else, tax rates not withstanding.
  8. Retooling for 1 year and a complete rebuild are two very different things. Pretending we can rebuild a complete rotation in one year is a good way to prolong the process.
  9. I wish they would have gone with your pick. Carroll would be a great add to our farm system which could really use a legit CF prospect and he has 70 speed. I don't see why our OF depth should have played a factor when Carroll is obvious to stick in CF. Our depth was/is all corner OFers. Bryson Stott would have been a great pick too. He is already at AA and would probably be the most likely to stick at SS. The possibility of Scott and Miranda anchoring the left side for the next several years would be great. I sure hope Cavaco breaks out because the options picked right after him would likely have been part of the solution.
  10. So what realistic plan constructs an entire starting rotation in one off-season. What mid-market team has ever even attempted to acquire 4 SPs capable of contending? The answer is there is no realistic plan to build a contending staff from nothing in one off-season, at least not for any team than perhaps the Yankees or Dodgers who could buy the SPs if there were that many available. The problem is not so much the plan but the concept of a $300M revenue team constructing a contending rotation from nothing in one off-season.
  11. I am assuming you mean opening day of 2022. That would be relevant if we were counting on them to contribute to a contending team. The strategy of a mid market team producing a contending rotation in the off-season without counting on an absurd level of luck would be incompetent on the part of our FO. Any attempt is likely to perpetuate mediocrity or worse. So why manage the roster as if this is the goal. All of the prospects I mentioned have a reasonably good chance of being ready to pitch at the ML level at some point in 2022. If you don't believe ML experience is important, we should fill the rotation with established pitchers and let our prospects sit in AAA. That's sounds like a really good way to continue to be bad to me. Developing pitching is basically a prerequisite to contending for a mid or small market team so shouldn't our strategy facilitate that need?
  12. That's some backward wisdom. If you fill a spot, it's not open for a prospect. It's not complicated. This does not cause a problem If we contending. It does create a problem giving a prospect that is ready innings at the ML level. We are going to have four opening, three if they give Dobnak a shot so the question is how many spots do we need for the guys that will be ready. Guys that should or could be ready next year .... Balazovic / Ryan / Woods Richardson / Duran / Canterino / Enlow / Winder and Sands. That's 8 if you don't count Jax or Barnes. Is it a good idea to fill the rotation with Pineda types and fail to provide these guys the ML experience they need for this team to move forward. That's a good way to be a 500 team and prolong that level of play. This team's future is largely dependent on developing our SP prospects. Let's get on with it.
  13. The roster construction you mention here and earlier sure seems to contribute to the inconsistency of this team and a horrible record against LHP. Too many slow guys who are below average defenders and can't run the bases. I would guess this particular problem is why the continue to give Rooker an opportunity. Not that he solves the below average defender portion of this problem. IMO, a good way to start this retool is to move Donaldson this off-season and bring up Miranda. We don't need him blocking Miranda and we don't need his $21.75M contract on the books in 2023 or the $8M buyout in 2024 because I seriously doubt he is going to be worth the $16M option. Let's do what we need to next year to retool this roster and bring up the myriad of SP prospects who should be ready and use that money to bring back Jose Berrios or someone like him in 2023. Arraez and Polanco are redundant in my view. Trade one of them this off-season for a SS that is near ready or a stud pitching prospect if you can get one. Finding a RH outfielder and a long-term SS would make a big difference on this roster. Finding a SS to pair with Miranda would bode well for the next several years. Polanco or Arraez at 2B and one of several options will work at 1B. Sign Buxton and put Kirilloff in the OF. We have plenty of 1B. Add the RH OFer that started this tangent and you have a very good roster of position players. I should add we have a bunch of guys in the minors + Gordon that look to be good utility players.
  14. Agree with the pitching part. Donaldson is signed through 2023 and a $16M option for 2024 withan $8M buyout. We would be better off long-term to get out of that contract ASAP and transition to Miranda next year. Ideally, we trade Donaldson and pay $5-7M of his salary. I believe Miranda could produce as well as a 3y y/o Donaldson in 2023. Take the extra $15M and sign a $30M SP instead of a $15M SP or sign Buxton. Actually, they could afford both with Donaldson off the books.
  15. Enlow might not be enough under the radar guy to be the next Ober but I have a feeling he emerges next year. I guess Sands is the same kind of under the radar prospect that could turn into a solid MLB starter. Valimont is nothing like Ober in that he struggles with command and Ober has plus command. However, he has the stuff and he would be very good if he were able to develop even average command. He is 24 and it does not seem to be improving so I have my doubts. I am hoping moving to the BP and getting more frequent reps helps his control. Sawyer Gibson-Long is the one that most reminds me of Ober. Great command. He would be a good bet if he could dial up the velo a couple mph like Ober was able to do.
  16. I meant the whole thing is a bit perplexing. I am assuming they signed him because he has been reliable. He starts great. Then, goes off the rails and back to pitching very well. While he was not necessarily my first choice, I thought he was a solid signing. This season was cursed.
  17. You think the Cardinals pitching coach fixed him over night?
  18. I am at a loss as to what we should conclude from his sudden improvement.
  19. If it makes you feel better, they failed. The Pohlad’s know the plan failed. Reasonable plans / actions fail quite frequently in MLB. Players get injured and good players underperform. There is an endless list of high dollar FAs and trades that fail. In other businesses, we expect certain failures as well. What gets people fired is the pursuit of questionable judgement because it’s expeditious or utilizes strategies with a low probability of success. The strategy going forward should not be based on the failure of the previous plan. It should be based on the merit of the plan in terms of achieving the goal of sustained success. The continued employment of Falvey and Levine should be a product of their ability to bring forth a plan to come back from the current failure. I would hope the Pohlad’s will ask for a concept plan at the end of the season. They should let them go if they do not believe in the plan and vision Falvey / Levine present. If they believe in the plan, they should allow them to manage that plan. If it fails, it would suggest they are unable to execute and they should be let go.
  20. Whenever I present to a client’s senior management team or board of directors, I prepare for their likely questions and responses. In this case, I imagine going before the board and presenting a future state plan and concluding we should proceed with a focus on contending next year. Point 1 – We need to replace the entire starting pitching staff and a couple RPs. Here is my plan complete with FA acquisitions and trades. Their response …. Is it feasible to replace an entire SP staff to the point of building a contender? No, extremely low odds. How often is this feat accomplished and how much will it cost. Never, any team in this position retools in some form taking 1-5 years, longer in the case of many teams throughout history. $75-80M will BP additions. What are the odds of it working out? Very Very Small Will this plan facilitate sustained success? No. It will put a better product on the field next year at the expense of giving prospects playing time at the MLB level. We will also have to trade away prospects that would improve our future outlook. Point 2 – If all the acquisitions work out which has about a 15% probability, we would still need to resolve our SS issue so we need to spend another $25M. Then, we need to hope Donaldson stays healthy and productive, Kirilloff comes back from injury and Sano is more like the last month than the previous 4 months. Oh and we need Buxton to stay healthy and produce like he did in April. To which they respond … How long would or relative position change if you took a year to focus on development and could you put a reasonably good product on the field during the interim? We have about 10 SPs that are ready or could be by ready for the ML level by 2023. By 2023 we could field 4-5 solid SPs. Then, we could add a top of the rotation SP in 2023. We could trade Donaldson and transition Miranda in 2022. We would take a hit on his salary but it would position us to sign a top SP and retain Buxton. We have BP prospects and some SPs that could be used to solidify a very good BO by 2023. It is also likely Martin Lewis will be ready by 2023 but we would need at least one roster spot if not two to get them transitioned. We could also trade Arraez for a SS that will be ready by 2023 if we are not confident in Lewis / Martin at SS. To which they respond … you believe the former strategy is better than the latter. Yes, we need to take a shot at contention even though the likelihood of success is extremely low. To which they responds … please get out of our board room, we will not be needing your services in the future.
  21. I never once heard them say they could put a contending team on the field every year. What I heard them say was that their GOAL was sustained success. What else would you want them to say? For anyone who knows the game at all to interpret that statement to mean they will put a contender on the field every year is incredibly simplistic thinking. It's just not possible so why would anyone interpret their statement to be such a promise. Then, to lash out with "they should just trade everyone" is simply a crude approach. Teams going through many different variations of rebuilding and retooling. It makes exactly zero sense to trade off every established asset. They have a solid core. The BP already looks much improved and they have numerous MLB ready starting pitching prospects. Establishing those SPs by 2023 would put them in the enviable position of anchoring 3 or 4 spots in their rotation with prearb players. That positioning would allow them to sign a very top tier free agent SP which most mid market teams are never able to afford. Incompetence is pursuing a bad plan because it's expeditious.
  22. Cabrera is an interesting case. He has only played 60 Milb games since turning 20. He had 102 games in Rookie ball from 17-19. He really has not had time to develop. How is his defense / range / arm?
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