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South Dakota Tom

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  1. I think the "if this guy's our SS, we're doomed" logic is misplaced. We've got money to spend, but if you spend $35M/yr on Correa, now we're down to $15M to address catcher, SP, RP, and RH OF. It sure strikes me that depth at C, SP, RP and RH OF are far worse than depth at SS, if you look beyond the first half of 2023. Some things are going to have to work out right for this team to win - it won't happen if you dedicate 75% of your available capital on a SS, especially one on a long contract. If we're going to be truly good, Lewis (and I'm betting on Brooks Lee) will be the stalwart SS on the team. We add 1 above-Gray SP, 1 above-Alcala/Lopez RP, a 2nd catcher, and a Haniger-type RF, and hope/trust that Jeffers, Arraez, Polanco, Lewis/Lee, Miranda, Kiriloff/Larnach, Buxton, Haniger, with a rotating DH and a Farmer, Gordon, 2nd catcher, Lewis/Lee (we'll see who actually moves to 4th OF, probably not either of these guys) backstock is enough. 3 yrs of deGrom at $35M, trade for a Jays catcher, trade Kepler to add 1 name to the Duran, Lopez, Alcala, Jax, Thielbar, Moran, Sands, Winder, Ober, Pagan relief pile, keeping at least 2 of them for 2+-inning stints. deGrom, Gray, Mahle, Maeda, Ryan (Ober, Winder, Varland, SWR, Canterino). You don't like that team? I haven't booked it on Roster Resource, but I'm thinking $50M between deGrom (who is probably closer to $40M) and Haniger, shed Kepler and save a few dollars getting a young RP, trade for a catcher, we're still under budget.
  2. Omar Narvaez, Tucker Barnhart, both bat left-handed (as do Stephen Vogt and Jason Castro but I'm leaving them off this list). I think Sean Murphy from the A's (who want to get Langaliers more playing time) might be a worthwhile investment and is not yet 28. We do need depth at that position, so something is going to happen.
  3. I would love to see a Sean Murphy signing now that the A’s brought up Langaliers. I don’t think CC is signing up again either (though it is possible) but I feel like they’ll use Palacios or even Urshela as SS until Lewis is ready and hope that they can rotate AK, Arraez, and Miranda at 1b. Miranda plays 3rd, or Urshela. If Larnach is healthy and we have Celestino and Gordon to sub in the OF, I don’t see any more position player moves. As many have said, structure the bullpen to have 3-4 multi-inning guys (1x through the order), some of whom you can rotate between AAA and the big club and 4-5 more 1-inning guys, all but one of whom you are willing to waive if they aren’t pitching well so you don’t get stuck with big contracts and clogged lineups. If any reasonable combination of Ryan, Gray, Mahle, Ober, Winder, Paddock, Maeda, make up a starting 5, those relievers become crucial. My personal opinion is that flexibility and numbers of arms are more important than “going out and getting two veterans.”
  4. Until injuries take us down a different path, I think we keep 14 pitchers through May. That means Garlick and Godoy (once Sanchez is ready to catch regularly) go down. Celestino goes down when Kiriloff is available, leaving Gordon, Arraez, Larnach, and Sanchez beyond the primary 8 in the field to be DH and bench. Good question, too, as to which of those gets added when we have to have 13 position players at end of next month Lots more questions when Sonny returns - one of the starting six is going to have to move into the shoes of Winder as long reliever #1, and then Winder returns when/if a starter goes down (probably back to long relief with the #6 starter back in the rotation, with Winder being starter #7). When we're capped at 13 pitchers at the end of May, you are going to be down to one long man (demoted 6th starter) and Jax goes down as we'll need 7 one-inning guys (right now Smith, Duffey, Coulombe, Duran, Thielbar, Stashak and Pagan). Can't have six starters and two long relievers with a 13-man pitching staff. Does Winder take the place of one of the short guys? Does Jax?
  5. Reaction on WS media won’t be pretty. Someone mentioned something about “kicking it around” IIFC.
  6. For the old man record, it was George “Scrap Iron” Gadaski. I remember a Saturday morning when he got to beat Nick Bockwinkle. Our jaws dropped.
  7. Some things are going to have to go right for the team. One pitcher coming up and dominating would be necessary to any recipe for (ultimate) success, and probably a second stalwart #4+ along with playoff-worthy starters among the 1-4 we already have. You think a frontline starter is coming along who is gonna get inexpensive as the year rolls on? Best chance of that is a rental (my preference) in the Doyle Alexander mode. Best part is that we can do both. Adding that final piece becomes good strategy on a team that is one piece away, but this whole thing never happens without one or two young pups pitching nosebleed baseball.
  8. All these issues dovetail together. You use Winder, Balazovic, Duran, Enlow, Strotman, early in the season, you are maximizing their major league innings but push them into a place they may not be ready for. You sign Cueto or Archer, those next-man-up players are going to use up their innings in the minors. Under both scenarios, they aren't available later in the season, as none of them has a sufficient workload track record to produce an entire season of starting pitching. Do you rely on other teams fading, and other pitchers becoming available (and affordable) later in the season? We might not like it, but I think the team views the combination of a 28-man roster and the additional off-days through the first month to avoid having to make any decision at all (unless something falls into their laps). Just hope that they are still competitive and don't get off to a 2021-like start and their season is finished in the first month. I see them using Jax, Cotton, Stashak, and Thorpe to open or fill in innings in the early part of the season, when fewer spot starts are needed. Then they promote one of Balazovic, Duran, Strotman, Winder or Enlow (or others) or rotate some combination of those guys. Given that each one can be sent back down 5 times, it appears you can rotate five guys five times each every five days gives you 125+ days of baseball even if each guy only starts one game. You would like to think that some of them will do well enough as a 5th starter to justify multiple starts before being rotated back out again. With careful management of their innings in the minors (2-3 inning starts, 50-60 pitch limits) that might stretch an entire season. These things do have a way of working themselves out - someone from the minors elevates into a clear starter (Canterino, Varland, Henriquez, Sands, Woods Richardson), or Winder, Balazovic, Duran, Enlow, Strotman levels up successfully. We're going to need some of that to happen in almost any set of circumstances.
  9. Negotiation is what I do every day in my job so I wondered about another side note and people’s thoughts about it. It was reported that four owners (they can only lose 7 and still pass a deal) voted against even offering the current MLB proposal. I have to believe that MLB will ensure that number gets to 7 very quickly as some kind of demonstration of “last and best” unity among owners. Just as 100% rejection by MLBPA shows their resolve. It is posturing rather than problem-solving. You have a problem with the CBT threshold? Tie it to the inflation rate. Where to start in year one? Add inflation to the number from 5 years ago and start there. I also think adding a floor to payroll in addition to the tax threshold takes care of a lot of problems with tanking and revenue sharing and can also be tied to an economic indicator to move in future years. solve the on-field issues. Stop rewarding teams for sucking. Have a salary floor, minimum salary and tax threshold and the money will essentially be redistributed in a reasonable way (though there will be exceptions as the overpaid vet might hog up a large salary to hit the minimum rather than a million each to 10 other guys). Fix the game itself. Tie the next (2027) CBA starting point to the overall growth or contraction of the game from 2022 to 2027 and reset from there.
  10. Agree there’s no harm in asking, always. I’m generally in favor of keeping Sano and JD to start the season, unless trading JD leads directly to those dollars being spent on Trevor Story. I do see a problem with the NL DH being that they aren’t creating an additional roster spot. Some teams probably already have the late-inning designated “we need a homer” pinch hitter on their roster already and will just promote those at-bats.
  11. Twins need a 15-man bullpen. Every contract they sign with a 40-man guarantee is one less spot to rotate or test young starters in short stints. They need to pick a path (and as much as we are skeptical I think they are). No way to sign these guys plus run 5-7 arms up and down. I like the selections here but deny that we can maximize our burgeoning corps and any hope for the future with every “win now” roster-block we add.
  12. Trade (A/A+ level prospects) with Cardinals for DeJong to play ss. Take a gamble on Rodon (4/75?). I think JD is worth $15M/yr to someone and let Miranda/Arraez play 3b. That pays most of Rodon. Kiriloff is 1b, Sano is DH. Larnach Buxton Kepler. Pineda or trade with Cincy for Mahlke or Sonny Gray. Add a $5-8M back of bullpen arm. Then be aggressive with AAA arms for reinforcements. Rodon, Gray, Bundy, Ryan, Ober. Garver Kiriloff Polanco DeJong Miranda, Larnach Buxton Kepler Sano. Bench is Arraez, Gordon Celestino and Jeffers. If all breaks right, a decent team. If it doesn’t then we need to see the Winders and Balazovics, Martin, Lewis on a shorter promotion timeline to angle toward 2023.
  13. I liked this the most of any I have read. Lots of moves but the shaken-up team has a lot of upside. Maybe I just like trades more than FA signings. Thanks for taking your shot!
  14. Rosenthal had an interesting article today in the Athletic about promoting starting pitching by limiting the size of a pitching staff, and losing your DH when you pull your starter, but I think the greatest impact is going to be on pitching. I can see the Twins using a Rays-like deployment of pitchers, having perhaps 4 or 5 starters who go 5, then spreading the innings among the remaining 8-9 "relievers." Given that the chances of us obtaining 5 starters (meaning, at least 3 "new" starters) who average 5 innings each is remote, we need several 2-3 inning guys. Maybe 150 innings is the new 200. Anyway, if we get 5 starters who get to 150 innings (and I know it won't be the same 5 guys all season), we still need about 670 innings from the relievers (and that's assuming we lose half our road games so I'm averaging 8.75 innings/game). Trotting Duffy, Alcala and Rogers out for an inning each every other game is only going to cover 250 of those, so somewhere we need 420 innings out of the remaining 5. I think the only way we get there is to have 10 guys, including the ones with options who float between AAA and MLB, keeping arms fresh. The list has a lot of those guys on it, though - Winder, Balazovic, Canterino, Duran, Woods-Richardson, Strotman, Smeltzer, Barnes, Dobnak, Stashak, Thielbar, Jax, etc. They can potentially have these guys get their feet wet pitching 2-3 inning stints, and if one or more shows that he should be in the top-5, so much the better. I'm guessing we won't have 5 locked-in starting spots at any point in the season for longer than a couple of weeks. Assuming they don't increase the roster size, or if they do, imposing a 13-pitcher limit, we are going to have a short bench, and (as mentioned above) with the need for positional flexibility and rotating time off, we would have a difficult time using a full-time DH. Arraez, Donaldson, Garver, Sano playing or DH'ing 5 times a week with one day off (coupled with the pitching strategy set forth above) is the most Baldellian of tactics.
  15. The "dump so-and-so" trade philosophies are the opposite of my thinking. Sano? You'd be selling low. Kepler? Same. The sell-high candidates right now are Buxton, Polanco, Miranda and possibly Donaldson (esp if there is an NL DH), and since I want my team to be actually good, I think the only one of those that I would actively shop would be JD. Yes, we would eat some salary, but it would open up 3b for Miranda, extra Arraez at-bats, and if Sano does actually shed 30 pounds, he can play there as well on occasion. I agree with the one-year SS free-agent thinking (though my dream SS is Trea Turner if LA keeps Seager). I don't think we're out-bidding for the top SS anyway, so the Galvis/Iglesias/Simmons combo would pave the way for a mid-season Lewis/Martin promotion (wishful thinking). Celestino is my opening day LF, and an outfield of Celestino, Buxton, Kepler is very strong defensively. Kiriloff/Polanco/Iglesias/Miranda (Arraez/Gordon); Celestino/Buxton/Kepler (Larnach or Rooker); Garver/Jeffers. Sano is DH. All 3 outfielders can play center, as well as Gordon; Polanco is backup at SS, with Gordon in emergencies. Arraez can get ABs as 2b/3b (no more outfield) and some DH, Kiriloff can play LF, Miranda can have a few days at 2b with Arraez or Sano at 3b and Polanco DH or day off. DH is Kiriloff or Sano (whichever isn't playing 1b that day) with Larnach, Arraez, Garver. Gordon is our pinch-runner late in games. $ (no more Donaldson, no 3rd arb year for Berrios, no Colome) is all spent on Buxton and pitching (and I've advocated for Pineda and Rodon, filling every bullpen slot with existing players, extra starters, or low-cost fliers). Plan B is keep JD, and substitute Miranda for Celestino in the above scenarios.
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