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  1. The 2019 Twins were a top 5 team in all of those categories, except SB and triples. Usually top 2 or 3. The question is whether 2019 is the anomaly (juiced ball, career years), or 2020 (short season, short "spring" training, injuries). Personally, I don't think either year is very representative for what to expect going forward, but you could make an argument for either. Both 2019 (hitting) and 2020 (pitching) give reasons for hope for this season, which is what I think people are banking on.
  2. I think you're right that the main problem with the Capps trade was opportunity cost. We didn't have a lot of strong prospects at the time, and Ramos was blocked by Mauer, so he made the most sense to trade. Capps had an excellent 2010 but had been nontendered the year before, so he was in no way a sure thing. He would have been a fine pitcher to acquire, but not one to use a big trade piece on, much less our only real trade piece. Best thing about Capps is his full name: Matthew Dicus Capps. Awesome name, forgot about it until I looked up his stats.
  3. Per Cot's Contracts, here is Kenta Maeda's contract: Signed through 2023$3M annuallyAnnual roster bonus: $150,000 for making Opening Day rosterUp to $6.5M annually in performance bonuses based on games started: $1M each 15, 20 GS. $1.5M each for 25, 30, 32 GSUp to $3.5M annually in performance bonuses based on innings pitched: $250,000 each for 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190 IP. $750,000 200 IPIt's a great contract from a team perspective, because the team is only paying him bonuses if he's good enough to start a lot of games and pitch a lot of innings. And even then, the team isn't paying him much compared to the results he's getting. In 2019, he pitched 153 innings at a 4.04 ERA and was paid $8.4M, if my math is right.
  4. I didn't like this trade on gut reaction at losing Graterol, but I like it after thinking about it. Maeda isn't a top of the rotation guy, but he's solid, and under control through 2023. I think this move is about the future, not about this season. After this season, our only SPs are Berrios through 2023 and Pineda through 2021. Hopefully some of our prospects pan out, but it's really risky to rely on prospects for that many rotation spots. I like this because trade because Maeda helps solidify the rotation beyond this year, and at a low salary that doesn't limit us from making future moves.
  5. For comparison, here are the pitching comparisons using bWAR (based on ERA, not FIP). This passes the eye test much better to me - it's hard to argue that Gibson and Perez contributed much overall, even though they had their moments. Starting pitching: Players acquired (2019 bWAR): Homer Bailey (1.8), and Rich Hill (1.3) Players lost (2019 bWAR): Kyle Gibson (0.3), Martin Perez (0.2) Total +/- this offseason: +2.6 bWAR Relief pitching: Players acquired (2019 bWAR): Tyler Clippard (1.4), and Matt Wisler (-0.4) Players lost (2019 bWAR): Sam Dyson (-0.3) Total +/- this offseason: +1.3 bWAR The difference is that none of Gibson, Perez, and Wisler had good results last year, but Fangraphs thinks that they should have had better results if not for bad luck, bad defense, etc. Bailey was good last year, but Fangraphs thinks he should have been very good in a neutral environment, while it thinks Clippard and Hill would have been still decent, but worse overall in a neutral environment. This is why people get annoyed with advanced analytics, and I understand it completely. If bWAR and fWAR were labeled differently, there would be no problem. But having the same name and different formulas is needlessly confusing.
  6. The -0.2 for Dyson is just for his time with the Twins. He pitched well for the Giants. For Perez, the thing about fWAR for pitching is that it's based on FIP, not ERA. Perez had an FIP of 4.66 but an ERA of 5.12. So for Perez (and all other pitchers), Fangraphs is trying to measure how he should have pitched in a neutral environment, not how he actually pitched. I don't like fWAR for that reason - FIP is better at predicting future results, but not as helpful when we're trying to measure a player's actual contribution to a team in the past.
  7. Our window is now. We have a young core under control for a few more years, and some veterans who should be great now but aren't signed past 2020 or 2021. So we should make every move we can now, while it will have the most impact. That said, availability will be different between the offseason and the trade deadline. For example, from reading trade rumors, the Rockies don't seem like they really want to trade any of their players right now. That could change if they're out of contention by the trade deadline. Right now, the available SPs all seem to be declining pitchers on expensive contracts, which isn't very appealing. Waiting for the trade deadline is higher risk, but also potentially a better return.
  8. These are all good reasons to be cautious about Donaldson. And I understand you're playing devil's advocate. But I'd argue three points in response: 1. Certain skills age differently than others. And players who are elite at one skill will age differently than players who are elite at other skills. For example, Donaldson ranked 8th in all MLB in hard hit balls last year, and while that type of player will still decline with age, players who hit hard tend to remain above average in production later than other types of players. There's a good article on this from last year by Matt Hartzell. 2. While the charts you cited show average decline by age, do we know whether the decline is the same rate for elite players? I did a quick search, but couldn't find data on that. While I don't know whether it's true, I would guess people at the top of the game usually decline more slowly than average players, simply because they have some skill that made them elite in the first place. 3. Even if Donaldson does decline and we have to eat bad production at the end of the contract, that's the cost of doing business in MLB. If you want to ever sign a top tier free agent, you have to pay a premium that will be worth it at the beginning, but most likely decline and look like an overpay at the end of the contract. Otherwise, you'll never get high end players in free agency. So while it wouldn't surprise me if Donaldson declines by year 4, and/or his contract makes other signings more difficult, the alternative is not signing any elite players. I would rather take the risk of signing him, especially when our window is now.
  9. While everyone has understandably strong feelings about the offseason, I don't think people's positions are really that far apart. I think almost all of us can agree that: 1. The Twins should have a very strong 2020 season. 2. That season could be even better with impact signings and/or trades. The disagreements come down to whether a person wants to emphasize point 1 or point 2. One of the fun things about Twins Daily is that we can discuss and argue the fine points about things like this, when I would imagine most of us are pretty similar in how we feel. Same thing happens to John and Aaron on Gleeman and the Geek a lot, same opinion but different ways to get there.
  10. Arcia will always be a big "what if" to me. Guy could mash, and did nothing but hit in the minors. But I don't think it's a management issue. If it was, he would have caught on with another org. Instead, I think it's that baseball is really, really, hard. It's a game of inches, and a fraction of a second can make all the difference. Sometimes guys get tantalizingly close, but can't get over the last, toughest hurdle, for whatever reason. It's totally possible there was a way Arcia was mishandled that I'm missing, and I'm not a mechanics guy, but that's my thinking.
  11. Thanks for putting this together, Seth. It's a real trip down memory lane! Are there any players who stand out to you who should have been ranked differently in hindsight (either by you, or nationally)? To me, it's surprising looking back that Kepler and Polanco weren't ranked higher nationally. Maybe it's a home team bias, but I was always high on those two.
  12. There's a good chance that the Twins would end up regretting the last year or two of a Josh Donaldson contract, but that's the cost of doing business in MLB. To get an elite player now, you have to pay a premium and risk the end of the contract turning sour. We have a very strong team now, and should improve it any way we can. In an ideal world, I'd rather go get a high-end SP, but great SPs are rare, and everyone wants them. Like you said, maybe a trade for an SP is a possibility, but we don't know who's available and what teams are asking. Plus, most of the SPs who will be available are only available because they have their own question marks, in performance, salary, or both. Since we couldn't get any of the big name free agent SPs this year, better to spend money and go after Donaldson to make the team better. Don't leave it at that, make some trades for pitching too. Just don't make the perfect the enemy of the good.
  13. I'll be disappointed if we don't sign Ryu or Donaldson, and/or make trades for players around that value. Go for immediate upgrades now. It's ok if we lose value later on, whether from overpaying salary or losing prospects. That's just how MLB works.
  14. If there's a Twins/Brewers World Series, he can even start for both teams! Maybe even pitch to himself when he comes up in the order, Bugs Bunny style.
  15. 33 minutes after you wrote that, MLB Trade Rumors announced that the White Sox extended Abreu. Please say something about Twins signings next, John!
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