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South Dakota Tom

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Everything posted by South Dakota Tom

  1. 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.
  2. I am assuming they try to keep Seager - but you are correct, Turner is their SS if Seager goes elsewhere.
  3. Here is one more weird out of the box thought about a position player - trade Miguel Sano (and pieces?) for Trea Turner. LA shifts Muncy back to 2b, Turner is in his last arb year (probably a QO candidate the year after), but is our SS for 2022 at least.
  4. Not disagreeing with that - thinking "at some point in the next year" as Miranda seems pretty locked in at 3b as a pathway.
  5. I'm in the Galvis, Iglesias, Simmons camp for a one-year SS deal - someone who will play the position every day but who we wouldn't freak out if he was displaced at some/any point of the season. I do not trade any of the players who had "down" or injured seasons (Kepler, Garver, Sano). Larnach stays in AAA, OF is an extended Buxton, Kepler, Celestino, and Martin. IF is Kiriloff, Polanco, SS, Donaldson - Arraez, Gordon. Sano is everyday DH, plus 1b and emergency 3b. That makes the bench Jeffers, Arraez, Gordon, Martin, but all guys who will get rotation time and ABs. Still trying to figure out how we get Miranda into the lineup, but I think that happens (either this off-season or mid-season next year) when we eat money and deal Donaldson. I think your quality LF is Celestino/Martin, creating a strong defensive outfield with no plodding sluggers. Dollars are spent on Pineda (1yr/$9M), Rodon (5 yrs/$125M, and yes I realize that is a huge leap of faith, but he's young and built for the long haul), to couple with Ober/Ryan and I think Winder or Balazovic or Duran fills the 5 slot, Sands/Vallimont/Woods Richardson/Strotman; some combination of Jax, Barnes, Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Burroughs, Gant are still around (some not) for depth. Maybe Maeda late in the year. 2 high-level relievers. Yup, once Miranda and Lewis (hope, hope, hope) man the left side of the infield, this is a shockingly young and athletic team built much more for 2023-2024; Kiriloff, Polanco, Lewis, Miranda, Celestino, Buxton, Kepler, Garver, Sano - Jeffers, Martin, Arraez, Gordon (though all 4 OFs can play center so maybe the 4th bench spot goes to that plodding slugger). Rodon, Ober, Pineda, Ryan, Winder. I think Buxton extension, Rodon, Pineda, 2 relievers plus SS spends all the money.
  6. Hard to argue, but this is subjective, right? When I thought of my answer, before reading the article, I said Arraez, Colome and Donaldson. Maybe some recency bias in there with Colome, but Josh has put together a pretty fine season without much recognition and Luis will forever be underrated until he wins that batting crown.....
  7. Someone currently in AA, probably, though if a AA pitcher goes off, he could easily be on the team before the end of 2022 (I'm not trying to get into whether or not someone qualifies for prospect status). My first thought was Woods Richardson, but I'm going with Blayne Enlow. Is it harder to pick a pitcher because if any of them are any good, they'll make the big club? Would I be smarter to pick a position player who is blocked or potentially blocked (Lewis, Martin) by age and our signing of a one-year shortstop?
  8. Already hoping for the best with Maeda but it feels like the whole timeline is shifting. Good-case scenario? Maeda, Big Mike, Carlos Rodon, Ober and Ryan. Another $10M/yr for Pineda and 5/110 for Rodon is well within the budget. Bad is trotting out next year’s version of Bailey, Shoemaker, Sanchez types. Better is running out a lot of rookies for 100 innings each as the result won’t be pretty but it will be fun to watch. Best is Maeda, Rodon, trade for a Sixto Sanchez or Zach Gallen by giving up some serious minor league talent and have Ober, Ryan, Dobnak, Duran, Balazovic, Winder et al rotate 3-5.
  9. I am more in favor of Refsynder as 4th OF than I am of Gordon at utility. I think Arraez, Miranda, and now Martin are going to be ahead of Gordon by early next year - competition for reserve outfield is probably between Refsnyder, Celestino and Garlick, assuming AK goes to first base.
  10. These articles are interesting, but incomplete. We could trade 100+ different players, if you include minor leaguers. The more interesting exercise is to assess where players fit in to a global plan for the team, and I'm talking specifically about 2022, since this season should only be used for audition purposes from here on out. My global plan keeps Buxton, for life or something close to it. My global plan says we need starting pitching, relief pitching, a shortstop, and the rest would be hopeful "upgrades" but more likely "bounce-backs." We can run around the diamond, but I like our catching depth and upside; I think Kiriloff is the first baseman of the future, so Sano comes into play (I believe he's our DH next year, since his resurgence is one of those stars you cling to and just dumping him when he's at his lowest value seems shortsighted); 2b is Polanco; 3b is JD, but in my optimistic future, it's Miranda and we use JD's salary for upgrades elsewhere. SS is Martin or Polanco with the other - or Miranda or Arraez - at 2b, but the position most ripe for a FA (Semien, Story, Baez, don't think LA is going to be outbid for Seager, or Correa from Houston) - here we also have to consider that our #1 and 2 prospects still have "SS" after their names, even if that designation has a multiple-position slash as well, Buxton, Kepler, Larnach, 4th OF (Celestino, Refsnyder, Garlick?). Rooker is a backup DH, who we might have to risk losing as there isn't room for him on the active roster. Starting pitching/relief pitching. Maeda, resign Big Mike, Ryan?, Balazovic?, Winder?, Ober? I feel like the rest of them lack the stuff or are too far away yet. The one guy I would like to add on a long-term deal is Rodon - I like guys who have always had the stuff, and are now just figuring it out. Relief corps - I have already gone on too long, so I'll let someone else put that together. I think there's enough in the system, if we keep Rogers and add at least one young controllable power arm from outside the system and fill the rest with the AA/AAA arms that have been oft-mentioned for call-ups this year or starters who don't make the cut. Maybe "what does it look like?" seems just a happier exercise than "who do we dump?"
  11. I would also like to know the future of the "two position players on each side of second base" question. Max's value increases substantially if they cannot shift on him, as he's been unwilling or unable to go to the opposite field. Really hard to assess his value without knowing what the rules are going to be for the next several years.
  12. Perception being more important than reality, I only see deals happening for the expiring contracts - that means Cruz, Pineda and possibly Simmons, possibly Robles. This FO has no desire to retrench, or to admit defeat of their long-term plan by giving up any of Polanco, Berrios, Buxton, Sano, Maeda, Rogers, or Kepler (many of whom would be "selling low" at this point). As much as we (and I say "we" as diehard fans) understand that the JD contract would be beneficial to move to improve payroll flexibility. it is a hard sell to the general public. Strikes me the future scenarios should be focused on minor league promotions, whatever return we can get for expiring contracts, and whatever payroll flexibility arises from those same contracts for 2022 and beyond.
  13. Lots of good points above. Whenever you trade a mlb player at the deadline because the team is out of contention, you "could" get a middling mlb or AAA ballplayer back, or a prospect with upside. It's a gamble, but the upside prospect is probably worth the risk when they pan out, rather than a known quantity with limited ability to help the big league club. Plus, (again as pointed out) it takes some time for these long-shot, low-level, crap-shoot prospects to realize their ultimate value - whether zero or something substantial. And could you please (for those of us who don't know the prospects by face or uniform number), add a parenthetical with the name of the person pictured whenever you use a photo? Thanks.
  14. The article last week indicating we needed to go 13-5, or 12-6, over the stretch through the end of June, was spot on. The hard part is facing the future once we don't do that. If it is clear that Berrios and Buxton are not going to sign extensions (or the team isn't willing to pay what it takes to get them to sign), time is our enemy. Their value drops with each passing week, until the narrative becomes "but they are only signed for (half a season) (one more year)." Much easier to tweak a strong lineup than retool, but it is hopeless to waste your most tradable assets on the tiny possibility that 2021 (or even a bounce-back 2022 that leads to above-average second-tier baseball) is worth clinging to. Stinks thinking about trading Berrios and Buxton (and Cruz and Pineda and Simmons), but if it brings back, I don't know, young controllable pitching, they couldn't be any more unwatchable than they are now.....
  15. No team is going to do well with 4 guys in the lineup hitting a buck and a quarter. It is too easy to pitch around the remaining lineup and when the Twins are successful it is because they are tough 1-9, which just hasn't happened (yet). In the glass-half-full view, though, that time will come. There are enough players on this team, now, to perform. When we can trot out a consistent lineup of our catching duo (but not leading off, fer criminy sakes), Sano, Polanco/Arraez, Simmons, Donaldson, Kiriloff, Buxton, Kepler and Cruz, with some reasonable combination of 2nd catcher/Arraez/Gordon or Astudillo/4th outfielder who could play all 3 spots - Cave or Broxton perhaps, but not thrown into an everyday role - it allows a more balanced lineup with potential (not always realized potential) at every spot. Just looking at the slash lines of our (other-than-Arraez) leadoff and 5-9 hitters all season is vomit-inducing.
  16. He is also, reportedly, a king of the clubhouse. Keeping everyone happy (even if not as happy as he is!) is a real value, and all reports are that he excels in that area. Chemistry, stress reduction, social lubrication, comic relief. I don't care what you call it, he's the kind of guy you want on your side.
  17. The drop from the 40-man is tough - looks like either Anderson or Devin Smeltzer to me. I think with Devin's numbers this spring, he'd have a better chance of making it through waivers.
  18. My very strong sense is that the Twins will not add a ML guaranteed contract barring injury. The ability to utilize multiple relievers with options in the last two spots effectively expands your relief corps to 12-14 guys. Fill it with 8 vets and you shut down that flexibility, which is the third rail for this FO.
  19. Polanco plus Canterino plus Rijo plus competitive balance pick. He would be lovely to have.
  20. Just perusing Gameday and saw the bizarre end of the 3rd inning described as two different players out at 3rd base without a ball being put into play. Anyone tell me what happened?
  21. Always fun to project the futures of these guys, and slotting them into future rosters in a "best-case scenario" way. It always appeared that Eddie being non-tendered was AKs invitation to the big leagues. Simmons on a one-year deal says the same (theoretically) about Lewis; Nellie's (probably) last year with the Twins might be the opening for a lot of guys - Larnach, Sabato, Rooker, Wallner - depending on how each performs in 2021. But there's no room for all of them in the short term, and by that I mean 2021 or 2022. Byron has 2 years left, barring an extension, and Celestino (in my eyes) seems the heir apparent if we cannot extend Buxton. The only available slots for slugging corner OF/1B/DH guys appears to be 4th OF (Cave's spot now), DH, or a Sano trade (or Sano playing DH and one of the above sliding into 1B, though I like Miguel's defense there right now). Given that, like the FO, I don't want to get rid of any of our prospects, how do you rank those guys to slide into the openings we do have? Larnach first? Then Sabato, Wallner, Rooker? 2021 is going to be very consequential in that competition.
  22. Right now, I'd project the opening day lineup to consist of Sano at 1b, Polanco at 2b, Simmons at ss, Donaldson at 3b, Arraez in LF, Buxton in CF, Kepler in RF, and Garver catching. Assuming a 13-man position player active roster, that leaves 5 spots open. Ryan Jeffers is one. Jake Cave is another. At some point, sooner rather than later, Alex Kiriloff is a third. Brent Rooker is a fourth, leaving Lamonte Wade, Astudillo, Blankenhorn, Gordon to fill in (or rotate in) the final spot. Once Kiriloff arrives, left field stops rotating, and while Cave is backup outfielder number one, having Rooker in the lineup (as well as Arraez, who is not great in LF, but his bat needs to stay in the lineup), tilts toward a second infield utility player being handiest. We can argue over who that should be (Astudillo as 3rd catcher, 3b, LF?; Blankenhorn or Gordon), but I'm sticking with my hopeful prediction of Gordon taking on that part-time skeleton key spot, offering some speed, flexibility, and reasonable pop. The depth chart says that (after catcher), Rooker backs up 1B, or potentially Kiriloff or Kepler, with Cave getting an OF start; Arraez backs up 2b along with Gordon; Polanco backs up SS; Arraez or Polanco or Sano backs up 3b, depending on whether the team prefers keeping Jorge to a primary-2b, sometimes ss role or moves him around more. Once Kiriloff arrives in LF, (or RF, if they want to shift Kepler to LF), there will be fewer ABs available for any outfield position reserves. DH, then, rotates between a handful of players - Sano (Rooker plays 1b, or Kiriloff plays 1b with Cave/Arraez in LF), Donaldson (Arraez or Polanco plays 3b, the other plays 2b), Rooker, Cave, Arraez as DH with no substitutions needed, maybe Polanco with Arraez playing 2b. While a Cruz reunion is favored by many, and for good reason (this is not to bash Nellie, who is a leader and great baseball player), none of the above is possible with a single, non-position-player taking on 500+ at-bats in the DH slot. There is a sound argument that Cruz's production would dwarf doling out 500 ABs between Rooker, Arraez, Cave, or whichever catcher isn't starting that day, but there's a logical argument that it wouldn't. And then there's the money. I think the figures thrown around ($12M with incentives to $15-16) are a little light, and gobbles up all - or almost all - of the remaining budget. I don't pretend to know what that number is, and clearly the team isn't saying, but multiple reports indicate that the annual salary for Cruz would constitute the lion's share of it. This team needs bullpen help and (in my opinion) one more starting pitcher for depth. We can hope against hope that Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Happ and Dobnak all make 30 starts, but it never happens. We can hope against hope that Smeltzer, Thorpe, Duran and Balazovic can ably fill in, but that, too, walks a thin rope (and depending on how it shakes out, Thorpe could be lost from that depth chart if he doesn't make the relief corps). 8-9 starters is not enough, especially when two have never pitched a major league inning, and all are expected to throw 250% of their 2020 innings. It is also noteworthy how close our top prospects are to reaching ML level - a glance at the MLB prospects list https://www.mlb.com/prospects/2020/twins/ reflects that no less than a dozen of the top 30 (those who haven't already appeared in a big league game) have "2021" as their anticipated date of arrival. I don't see a dozen spots opening up this year, but wouldn't it be nice that if Celestino pounds AAA, or Miranda or Larnach or Lewis, that we would have the ability to move pieces around to make that happen. Our clearest open path to at-bats in 2021 is through the DH slot. The remaining 8 offensive starters seem pretty locked in (again, once AK moves to everyday play). The same dollars that bring us Cruz could fetch a couple of relievers (Colome, Rosenthal, Kennedy, Clippard?) and a starter (Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Carlos Rodon, Cole Hamels?) who slip through the cracks. One final point - I know the team will miss the homers from Eddie and Nelson, but this team too often sat around waiting for some player to hit a bomb. The playoffs the past two years only highlight that shortcoming. Improved flexibility throughout, better defense, room for promotion from prospects, and more reliance on 1-9 rather than solo homers, while beefing up pitching depth, seems a stronger formula for success in 2021 (and beyond).
  23. Nick Gordon or wait for the waiver wire. There is usually an Adrianza out there who doesn't make a roster cut. All I am say-ing, is give Nick a chance.
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