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Jeremy Nygaard

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Everything posted by Jeremy Nygaard

  1. Ceiling - if the power comes and he irons out all the defensive questions: Mookie Betts, with less speed. His floor: Marwin Gonzalez, Twins 2020. I do like my comp as a more versatile Luis Arraez as a median.
  2. I wouldn't worry too much about being a RP yet. He's going to end up there if he doesn't get the walks under control, but he's had a really weird year with the Olympics interrupting his year. I'll give his 2021 year of stats a pass.
  3. I love Martin and might drive the hype train. He was playing 3B at Vandy, but questions about his arm strength and accuracy led to a move to CF. You can live with seeing how that plays out while developing, but the likelihood is that SS/3B and CF won't be long-term homes. 2B/LF is probably how this plays out. He could turn out to be what you wish Arraez would be defensively, with a very similar offensive profile if the power doesn't develop.
  4. I think the organization is probably ok with their CF depth if Buxton sticks around. Celestino and Cave (I know) with Gordon and, potentially, Royce Lewis. With no Buxton, the depth chart is scary. (But in that event, you're signing someone to a one-year deal hoping to cash in at this time next year.)
  5. Traditionally, buying teams aren't trading major league contributors. And the selling teams are content to turn their major league players into younger, cheaper, controllable players. It's how the Padres got Fernando Tatis Jr for James Shields. It's how the Brewers got Josh Hader for Carlos Gomez. It's how the Mets got Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey. All seem lopsided towards the prospect side now. (And each team getting the prospects got more than just the guy I mentioned.) Obviously they don't always turn out. But that's what makes this all so entertaining.
  6. I wrote the Pineda piece prior to him pitching last night. His value is higher today than yesterday. Great question about the CBA... I have no idea. I'd *guess* it would still happen.
  7. All of these returns include a "big name" and I think that's the cover charge on doing business with the Twins about Berrios.
  8. It's one thing to say "we plan to compete" and another to make the moves to actually compete. I really think the FO planned/plans to compete in 2022, but then realized that moving Berrios/closing the 2022 window that was only slightly opened anyway might be less favorable then moving Berrios for a haul. If it's not a haul, they say, "Yeah, we always planned to compete in 2022." (Before trading Berrios in the offseason.)
  9. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway?
  10. The trade deadline is fast approaching, and Twins Daily has explored many of the teams that the Twins could potentially trade with. Let's take a shot at putting all of those puzzle pieces together and preview what the organization could look like when the dust settles. The Twins made their first big move sending Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay in exchange for two pitching prospects. There were reports over the weekend that Byron Buxton won't be signing a contract extension with the club and rumors of willingness to listen on team-controlled players such as Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers, and Max Kepler. So, where do we go from here? We're going to start with the players on expiring contracts. Trade Andrelton Simmons to the Reds for SS Gus Steiger. Steiger, who is from Minnetonka and played collegiately at South Dakota State, signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and would provide organizational depth in Fort Myers. The Twins would send no cash in the deal, leaving the Reds on the hook for the remaining $3.5 million on Simmons' contract. Trade Michael Pineda to the Astros for P Misaell Tamarez. Tamarez has less than 75 professional innings under his belt and has a walk rate over six, but he also strikes out more than a hitter per inning and has some ceiling. Tamarez would join the Fort Myers staff, where he could start or relieve. The Twins would get all of next year to evaluate Tamarez before deciding whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster. Pineda has $3.4 million left on his contract, which the Astros would pick up. I'd also expect Big Mike to be back with the Twins on a two-year deal this offseason. Trade Hansel Robles to the Red Sox for RP Durbin Feltman. Boston will give up Feltman, who may help in a bullpen someday, for Robles, who will help them in the bullpen for the rest of the year. Robles is owed less than $700,000 for the remainder of the year. Feltman, who has seen his velocity dip since turning pro in 2018, is the type of prospect on who the Twins could take a chance. If they can unlock some of that lost velocity, there is a chance he could be added to the 40-man when first eligible this upcoming offseason. Trade J.A. Happ to the Phillies for a PTBNL or cash. Happ broke into the big leagues with Philadelphia in 2007 and can provide rotational depth. The return for Happ would likely be a little bit of cash to offset his contract. He's still owed just shy of $3 million. The Twins would stay on the hook for almost all of that. The only other impending free agent is Alex Colome, who has been bad this year. If there's a team interested, he could be had for a meager price. Even if the Twins pay the remainder of his salary, the return will be low… in fact, it would be a win if someone else would be responsible for buying out his option. Before going on to the next - and definitely more debatable - part, one thing that needs to be discussed (because it will get a lot of consideration) is the 40-man roster. Except for Drew Strotman, none of the actual or projected returns to this point include someone on the 40-man roster. The Twins also have five players on the 60-day IL that will need to be activated this offseason. Now, granted, the roster has several fringe-40-man players that can be removed, but the organization has to be very careful about the position they put themselves in with acquiring players. Part of the reason Tampa Bay was ok giving up two of their top prospects for Cruz likely had to do with the crunch they were going to face this offseason. (They probably would have lost Strotman on outright waivers.) Just by my quick estimation, there are eight players (seven pitchers!) that I think are more likely to get added to the 40-man than not either later this season or in the offseason. If the Twins are going to rebuild, they would be wise to acquire prospects who are at least a year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster. Whatever Taylor Rogers did to his finger last night puts his status on the trade market in question. If healthy - and if I were calling the shots - I would have him very available. But for this exercise, he will remain with the Twins. I'm not going to trade Josh Donaldson either. My stance would be that I would make him available, but I want a fair prospect return. The money complicates that. The Twins, in my opinion, will move Donaldson if someone is willing to take on the remainder of his contract. That will minimize the return. Josh Donaldson is too good of a baseball player just to give away. I'll listen on Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but I don't see either getting moved. Kenta Maeda as well. For an overpay, I'd move every one of them. Now for the big dogs… Not only do I think Byron Buxton will not be moved, I believe a whirlwind Trade Deadline Week is going to be capped off with a Byron Buxton extension. Maybe it won't be Friday because the front office will be busy. But soon enough that the fanbase won't be able to check out for the year. Jose Berrios is a different story. Even a week ago, I wasn't convinced that Berrios was going anywhere. Now I've done a complete 180 and think there is no way he's not traded. And there's going to be a market. Take your pick… San Diego is aggressive, has prospects, and is forward-thinking enough to pull off another blockbuster. Would they include any of their four top prospects? Would MacKenzie Gore, who's been a mess lately, even be enough? Or would the Twins shoot for the injured CJ Abrams or Robert Hassell? Could the Twins bring back Eric Hosmer's bad contract to help the Padres out financially and ask for another top prospect too? The Dodgers don't want to share the spotlight. Is it really a possibility that they offer Dustin May? If so, that is a conversation that needs to be had. Maybe the Giants won't want to be outdone, and though they can't offer a top-end pitching prospect, they do have prospect currency, including SS Marco Luciano and C Joey Bart. There should be enough interest that the Twins don't have to settle for prospects that aren't in the top tier. The AL East is also worth watching. Toronto (P Nate Pearson and SS Austin Martin) and New York (P Deivi Garcia) would both be able to move the needle. The NL East is just as interesting. The Mets have the prospects, but all are a few promotions from the major yet. (Plus, Kevin Mulvey is no longer available.) The Braves could be a match. So what would I do….? I'd call Trader Jerry and make a deal with the Mariners. The basic framework would be Jose Berrios for P George Kirby. Kirby is a Top 20 prospect and hasn't reached AA yet (but will soon). The Mariners are also in the market for an infielder. Does expanding the deal to include Jorge Polanco make sense? Would the Mariners have any interest in taking on Josh Donaldson? Does DiPoto want to roll the dice on Taylor Rogers being ready soon and helping out down the stretch? It would be hard to bet against the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or Yankees in a bidding war, but the Mariners are a longshot who could make the best deal for both teams. Maybe the holes these trades would create would have to be filled internally, which may not seem to scream "we're competing in 2022," but in a season with so many questions and so few answers, do we really want to be tricked into thinking that's possible anyway? View full article
  11. The Braves find themselves in a precarious position after losing one of the game’s young superstars, Ronald Acuna, to a season-ending injury right before the All-Star break. They may end up tempted to move some of their pending free agents as the month comes to a close. But with only a handful of games separating them from the East-leading Mets, they are currently one of the few teams in baseball already aggressively buying. What’s Their Situation? Atlanta is the three-time defending division champs and came one game short of the World Series last year. They currently find themselves behind the Mets and neck-and-neck with the Phillies. Their odds to win the division, though, trail only New York, according to Vegas Insider. What Do They Need? Down all three outfield starters from Opening Day, the Braves would need to start there. Acuna is out for the season (at least), Marcell Ozuna’s status in society needs to be resolved before a Major League team even considers playing him again and Christian Pache, recovered from injury, is back in the minor leagues after struggling. The Braves started out their second half by acquiring Joc Pederson from the Cubs. Pederson fills a spot for this season, but has a hefty mutual option for next year that will likely lead to the Braves choosing to let Pederson head to free agency Looking ahead, you can’t confidently place a single player in their 2022 Opening Day outfield. The pitching staff is in pretty good shape. While it’s possible they add some reinforcements, the priority for the Braves - if they choose to add - is the outfield. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Max Kepler, under contract for around $20 million and three more seasons after this one, is the most obvious fit. He’s both versatile and affordable and could be viewed as expendable with the emergence of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. In 2019, Austin Riley, currently manning third base for the Braves, primarily played left field. The reason: Josh Donaldson. Donaldson had a great year (124 OPS+) and used it to sucker a team into committing at least $90 million to him. The Braves didn’t want to commit the years and cash to Donaldson in free agency, so it would require the Twins to kick in a large amount of money. Hansel Robles could be a cheap bullpen option for any team looking to make a bullpen upgrade. Especially if that team isn’t sure where it’s going to stand in August. Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers could help out any team who plans to compete in 2022, though if the Twins were motivated to move them, that market would probably grow in the off-season. Who Could The Twins Get Back? Kyle Muller, RHP, 23yo - Muller is MLB-ready and has spent time both with the Braves and at AAA. He may not project as more than a mid- to late-rotation contributor if he can’t bring his walk rate down. But at 23, Muller still has upside. Freddy Tarnok, RHP, 22yo - Tarnok is a prospect who comes with both a high-ceiling and a low-floor. The fastball that nearly reaches triple-digits is something to like. His slider and changeup are still works in progress. If both improve, you have a starter with a lot of potential. If neither become a usable pitch, you likely end up with someone who never cracks the big-league roster. Ambioris Tavarez, SS, 17yo - The Twins have added a number of shortstops to their system over the last ten years, yet there is no obvious answer to the question, “Who is the Twins shortstop of the future?” Tavarez has yet to make his professional debut. But if the Twins are building for the future, adding another shortstop would make sense. View full article
  12. What’s Their Situation? Atlanta is the three-time defending division champs and came one game short of the World Series last year. They currently find themselves behind the Mets and neck-and-neck with the Phillies. Their odds to win the division, though, trail only New York, according to Vegas Insider. What Do They Need? Down all three outfield starters from Opening Day, the Braves would need to start there. Acuna is out for the season (at least), Marcell Ozuna’s status in society needs to be resolved before a Major League team even considers playing him again and Christian Pache, recovered from injury, is back in the minor leagues after struggling. The Braves started out their second half by acquiring Joc Pederson from the Cubs. Pederson fills a spot for this season, but has a hefty mutual option for next year that will likely lead to the Braves choosing to let Pederson head to free agency Looking ahead, you can’t confidently place a single player in their 2022 Opening Day outfield. The pitching staff is in pretty good shape. While it’s possible they add some reinforcements, the priority for the Braves - if they choose to add - is the outfield. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Max Kepler, under contract for around $20 million and three more seasons after this one, is the most obvious fit. He’s both versatile and affordable and could be viewed as expendable with the emergence of Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. In 2019, Austin Riley, currently manning third base for the Braves, primarily played left field. The reason: Josh Donaldson. Donaldson had a great year (124 OPS+) and used it to sucker a team into committing at least $90 million to him. The Braves didn’t want to commit the years and cash to Donaldson in free agency, so it would require the Twins to kick in a large amount of money. Hansel Robles could be a cheap bullpen option for any team looking to make a bullpen upgrade. Especially if that team isn’t sure where it’s going to stand in August. Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers could help out any team who plans to compete in 2022, though if the Twins were motivated to move them, that market would probably grow in the off-season. Who Could The Twins Get Back? Kyle Muller, RHP, 23yo - Muller is MLB-ready and has spent time both with the Braves and at AAA. He may not project as more than a mid- to late-rotation contributor if he can’t bring his walk rate down. But at 23, Muller still has upside. Freddy Tarnok, RHP, 22yo - Tarnok is a prospect who comes with both a high-ceiling and a low-floor. The fastball that nearly reaches triple-digits is something to like. His slider and changeup are still works in progress. If both improve, you have a starter with a lot of potential. If neither become a usable pitch, you likely end up with someone who never cracks the big-league roster. Ambioris Tavarez, SS, 17yo - The Twins have added a number of shortstops to their system over the last ten years, yet there is no obvious answer to the question, “Who is the Twins shortstop of the future?” Tavarez has yet to make his professional debut. But if the Twins are building for the future, adding another shortstop would make sense.
  13. 100% agree. And you're getting hardly anything - maybe nothing - for someone taking Donaldson's entire contract. (Might have to throw a prospect in with him.) He's more valuable to the Twins.
  14. For sure, Donaldson's potential return depends almost exclusively on the money the Twins would send. So it would be extremely difficult to cover that whole scope.
  15. Maybe one of the three develop into a top 30 prospect. If your best return includes getting a top 25-type prospect catching prospect, you don't pass on that cause you drafted three college catchers.
  16. If you look back to 2018 when the Twins made five or six trades, they didn't acquire any big name prospects. Aside from Forsythe, DeJong and Austin, no one even made big league contributions until Smeltzer came up. Three years later, there have been a bunch more who have debuted. Alcala was probably the best prospect at the time of the trades. Celestino has a chance to be ok. Duran is one of the best prospects in the organization. Luke Raley was used in the Maeda move. I also think the Twins have enough depth, if - and it's a HUGE if - healthy that they can focus more on the high-risk/high-reward prospects that may payoff in four or five years. That might be an unpopular opinion, but if you're out of it and can get anything that provides value beyond this season, you do it. Donaldson is interesting. I would prefer to keep him.
  17. What’s Their Situation? The Brewers have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NL Central but still need to close the gap on the top of the NL West if they want to have a chance at home-field advantage. The Brewers currently have the 7th-best odds of winning the World Series, according to Vegas Insider, and their deadline mentality should be “we’re going for it.” They may not match up perfectly, but there is no way the Brewers don’t call the Twins and vice versa. There is too much that the Brewers could use that the Twins have for them to not have conversations for at least a few players. What Do They Need? If the Brewers intend to go for it, they need to do it at their most significant areas of weakness: First base (-2.0 bWAR, last in NL) and third base (-1.2 bWAR, 13th). Milwaukee needs to do something at these positions to give themselves a shot at postseason success. The Brewers may also want to improve their bullpen. Don’t get me wrong, the Brewers bullpen, led by Josh Hader, has been terrific in 2021. It ranks 7th in opposing batting average (.221) and is tied for first in strikeouts per nine (11.0). But aside from Hader, who has posted otherworldly numbers (15.6 K/9, 281 ERA+), plus the rebounding Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, and Brent Suter, there are places to upgrade. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Josh Donaldson would fill the Brewers’ greatest on-field need. It’s the other stuff - contract and injuries - that give Brewers fans pause. And that doesn’t even get into all the other recent happenings that could potentially make Donaldson not well-liked in other clubhouses. Jose Berrios, under control in 2022, is an excellent fit for 29 teams not named the Twins and the Brewers are no exception, but he, like Taylor Rogers, would both be luxuries, and it’s hard to say how much the Brewers want to deplete their farm system. Nelson Cruz isn’t an obvious fit for a National League team, but Craig Counsell is well known for doing things out of the ordinary. And even Brewers bloggers are sipping that Kool-Aid. At a minimum, could you imagine having that option on the bench every game? Plus, there are DH days available in September with trips to Cleveland and Detroit, not to mention a late August visit to none other than Target Field. Additionally, Michael Pineda as a #4 starter, Hansel Robles as another mid-innings option, and Miguel Sano getting a change of scenery and opportunities at first and/or third base might all be things the Brewers front office discusses. Who Could The Twins Get Back? Unless the Twins are moving Berrios, I can’t believe any of Garrett Mitchell, Brice Turang, or Hedbert Perez would be available. Ethan Small and Aaron Ashby are probably safe to be included in that group as well. The strength of the Brewers system is behind the plate. Depending on which ranking outlet you prefer, the club boasts six catchers in their Top 22 prospects, or maybe you want to call it three in the top 10. It’s not that the Twins don’t have catching options, but quick, who’s their highest-rated catching prospect? (I’ll give you a hint, when you take Jeffers and Rortvedt out, neither MLB.com nor Baseball America has a catcher listed. TwinsDaily’s midseason rankings go 20-deep… no catchers.) Nick Kahle, C, 23yo - Kahle is probably the most likely match from a value perspective. He would profile as a backup with a chance to be more, considering he’s still got a few years to up his stock and has only played 76 games since being drafted. Kahle did play in both the American Association and Australia during the 2020 season to work on his development. Abner Uribe, RHP, 20yo - You’re not going to find Uribe at the top of any prospect lists… unless you sort by mph. He’s a lottery ticket, no doubt, and he’s already spending most of his time coming out of the bullpen, but he’s a flamethrower who’s broken 100 mph. Zavier Warren, C, 22yo - The Twins would be wise to ask about catcher/utility player Warren, who may have the chops to stick behind the plate, but has the bat and athleticism to play elsewhere. Antoine Kelly, LHP, 21yo - Kelly projects as one of the higher-ceiling pitchers in the system after being drafted in 2019 and showing off his powerful fastball in rookie league. He impressed during his stint at the alternate training site, but momentum was lost when he underwent Thoracic Outlet Surgery this spring. An already high-risk/high-reward prospect has seen the gap between his floor and ceiling widen even further and is a huge question mark. But that’s the fun of the trade deadline.
  18. The Brewers came within one game of the 2018 World Series and three years later are in a position to make another playoff run. They have to go for it. They’ve never won a National League pennant and haven’t appeared in a World Series since losing to the Cardinals in 1982. What’s Their Situation? The Brewers have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NL Central but still need to close the gap on the top of the NL West if they want to have a chance at home-field advantage. The Brewers currently have the 7th-best odds of winning the World Series, according to Vegas Insider, and their deadline mentality should be “we’re going for it.” They may not match up perfectly, but there is no way the Brewers don’t call the Twins and vice versa. There is too much that the Brewers could use that the Twins have for them to not have conversations for at least a few players. What Do They Need? If the Brewers intend to go for it, they need to do it at their most significant areas of weakness: First base (-2.0 bWAR, last in NL) and third base (-1.2 bWAR, 13th). Milwaukee needs to do something at these positions to give themselves a shot at postseason success. The Brewers may also want to improve their bullpen. Don’t get me wrong, the Brewers bullpen, led by Josh Hader, has been terrific in 2021. It ranks 7th in opposing batting average (.221) and is tied for first in strikeouts per nine (11.0). But aside from Hader, who has posted otherworldly numbers (15.6 K/9, 281 ERA+), plus the rebounding Devin Williams, Brad Boxberger, and Brent Suter, there are places to upgrade. Which Twins Are the Best Fit? Josh Donaldson would fill the Brewers’ greatest on-field need. It’s the other stuff - contract and injuries - that give Brewers fans pause. And that doesn’t even get into all the other recent happenings that could potentially make Donaldson not well-liked in other clubhouses. Jose Berrios, under control in 2022, is an excellent fit for 29 teams not named the Twins and the Brewers are no exception, but he, like Taylor Rogers, would both be luxuries, and it’s hard to say how much the Brewers want to deplete their farm system. Nelson Cruz isn’t an obvious fit for a National League team, but Craig Counsell is well known for doing things out of the ordinary. And even Brewers bloggers are sipping that Kool-Aid. At a minimum, could you imagine having that option on the bench every game? Plus, there are DH days available in September with trips to Cleveland and Detroit, not to mention a late August visit to none other than Target Field. Additionally, Michael Pineda as a #4 starter, Hansel Robles as another mid-innings option, and Miguel Sano getting a change of scenery and opportunities at first and/or third base might all be things the Brewers front office discusses. Who Could The Twins Get Back? Unless the Twins are moving Berrios, I can’t believe any of Garrett Mitchell, Brice Turang, or Hedbert Perez would be available. Ethan Small and Aaron Ashby are probably safe to be included in that group as well. The strength of the Brewers system is behind the plate. Depending on which ranking outlet you prefer, the club boasts six catchers in their Top 22 prospects, or maybe you want to call it three in the top 10. It’s not that the Twins don’t have catching options, but quick, who’s their highest-rated catching prospect? (I’ll give you a hint, when you take Jeffers and Rortvedt out, neither MLB.com nor Baseball America has a catcher listed. TwinsDaily’s midseason rankings go 20-deep… no catchers.) Nick Kahle, C, 23yo - Kahle is probably the most likely match from a value perspective. He would profile as a backup with a chance to be more, considering he’s still got a few years to up his stock and has only played 76 games since being drafted. Kahle did play in both the American Association and Australia during the 2020 season to work on his development. Abner Uribe, RHP, 20yo - You’re not going to find Uribe at the top of any prospect lists… unless you sort by mph. He’s a lottery ticket, no doubt, and he’s already spending most of his time coming out of the bullpen, but he’s a flamethrower who’s broken 100 mph. Zavier Warren, C, 22yo - The Twins would be wise to ask about catcher/utility player Warren, who may have the chops to stick behind the plate, but has the bat and athleticism to play elsewhere. Antoine Kelly, LHP, 21yo - Kelly projects as one of the higher-ceiling pitchers in the system after being drafted in 2019 and showing off his powerful fastball in rookie league. He impressed during his stint at the alternate training site, but momentum was lost when he underwent Thoracic Outlet Surgery this spring. An already high-risk/high-reward prospect has seen the gap between his floor and ceiling widen even further and is a huge question mark. But that’s the fun of the trade deadline. View full article
  19. It may have been. There have been a lot of new rules that haven't erased the old rules permanently etched in my brain.
  20. Like I said, I'm not sure that the years are right. Maybe they're too long... but the idea is simply to start the clock at the initial signing, not an arbitrary time that the team decides, and then give the teams the option to stop and start as they desire. There are going to be groups of players that would look at this and think, "Nope. This is bad for us." Look at the current setup and it's probably the same. But the idea that the Union is going to negotiate a deal that makes it better for all the player groups... well, the owners aren't going to fall for that either. I do think, though, that in this world of give-and-take, the players would give a little bit to escape the perils of Service Time Manipulation. If it was simply aged-based free agency, don't you think that would have the same, negative impact on drafting older, college players? I'd avoid drafting them altogether... and sign a whole bunch of 16 year olds instead.
  21. The current system is going to prevent Kris Bryant from reaching free agency until he's 30.
  22. You're already giving up a ton of years with minor league years + optional years + six years of service. Even the best players aren't hitting free agency within 10 years of signing. Sure, maybe the years are too long. But let's start the clock at signing so we can move on from the in-career (lack of) moves that pit teams vs players. There would probably be better players getting non-tendered... or likely traded.
  23. “Service Time Manipulation” has become a common term in regards to baseball over the last few years. It has again reared its ugly head after comments made by former Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather became public.Mather, inexplicably, shared unspoken but well-known secrets about how teams… well, his team, specifically, will keep MLB-ready players in the minors to prolong team control for an additional season. This isn’t new and certainly isn’t a secret. The Cubs did it to Kris Bryant. The Blue Jays did it to Vlad, Jr. The Twins, who never played service time games under Terry Ryan, did it to Byron Buxton in 2018 by not bringing him back for September, while healthy, to leave him 12 days short of achieving a “service year.” Because of that, Buxton will enter his last year of arbitration after this season, instead of becoming a free agent. Some might argue that manipulating service time after winning a Gold Glove and receiving MVP votes is an even worse look than doing it before a player’s major league career begins, but I digress. That is not the point of this article. This is an idea of how to fix the problem. It’s just an idea. It’s not designed to solve all the problems; however, it is designed to eliminate “service time manipulation.” (Ultimately, teams and agents will continue to look for loopholes to best serve the side they are on.) Currently, players need to be on a major league roster for 172 days to get credit for a full year. There are exceptions, for example, if you’re on the 40-man roster and start the season on an optional assignment and get recalled within the first 20 days of the season, you get credit for those service days. Kris Bryant was not on the 40-man, so the Cubs simply held him down until 171 days were left in the season, selected his contract and knew that, no matter what, they’d have his service for almost seven full seasons instead of six. One solution would be to handle free agency the same way as Super-2 status and award the top group (for arbitration it’s 17%) of players with 5+ years of service time free agency at the conclusion of the season. I wouldn’t love it and teams would likely never agree to it. Could you imagine going into a trade deadline and not knowing if your best pitcher is going to be a free agent after this season or next season? Another solution would be to make all players free agent-eligible after three years of arbitration, which would essentially let Super-2 players hit free agency one year sooner. It would be simple enough, but teams would still control this and could potentially hold players down longer to miss the Super-2 threshold, thus extending team control for a year. (The advantage would be that the “threshold” isn’t known until the end of the season and that free agency is still three (or four) seasons away.) The problem with both ideas and the current method is they are both based on service time and clubs hold all the control over that. Therein lies the rub. So let’s peel this back even further, to when teams first acquire player’s rights. Without getting into all the minutiae of how everything works from initial player acquisition to free agency, the basic timeline goes like this: Players are drafted (typically as high school seniors or third-year college players) or signed internationally (at 16 years old).Teams sign players to a minor-league contract that can be renewed up to six times.After four or five years (depending on how old the player was when acquired), teams must protect the player on the 40-man roster or risk losing him.Once a player is on the 40-man roster, he can be held in the minor leagues for three (or four) years on “optional assignments.”When a player reaches three years of MLB service (or if you’re a Super-2), you enter your three (or four) arbitration years.Once a player reaches six years of service, he finally becomes a free agent.So, in theory, you can hold a player in the minors for seven years, add him to the 40-man for three seasons and then finally see him make his debut 11 years after joining the organization, potentially making him free agent-eligible up to 17 years after being brought into the organization. (This never happens, by the way. But could.) More likely, though, players are added to the 40-man when they’d be Rule 5 eligible (after four or five years), bounce up and down for a year or two and then are major leagues, hitting free agency 10-13 years after being drafted or initially signed. For reference, Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios were drafted in 2012 and will be free agent-eligible after the 2022 season. Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler were signed in 2009. While all three have signed extensions, Sano would reach free agent-eligible service time after the 2021 season, while Polanco and Kepler are likely to do it after the 2022 season. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis, two of the fastest moving prospects, would hit free agency 10 years after becoming professionals. So let’s eliminate “service time” all together from free agent eligibility as it seems to all balance itself out over time anyway. Here’s the idea: If you’re signed at 19 or older, teams get 11 seasons of control. If you’re signed at 17 or 18, teams get 12 seasons of control. If you’re signed at 16, teams get 13 seasons of control. If you miss a significant amount of any season (“significant” can be negotiated or defined by someone independent… but I’m thinking Tommy John surgery), add one year of control. After your third season accumulating service time in the Major League, you’re eligible for arbitration. (If you are on the roster for one day or every day, it counts towards the three seasons.) Every season from the fourth season until free agency, you are eligible for arbitration. If you win League MVP or Cy Young at any point before your last two years of control, the last season of control becomes a player option at a price to be determined and accepted or declined prior to the last season of control. The motivation for everyone now becomes getting your best players to the show quicker. For teams, it is more seasons of your player; For players, it is more chances to make money. What do you think? Is it time to abolish the current rules and start over? Or do we simply adopt the rules laid out above? Disclaimers: Are the 11, 12 and 13 years of control the right lengths? I don’t know, but it’s a start. And it’s close. Whenever I say “arbitration,” I’m talking about a process that helps determine salaries. I think the current process is garbage, but how to fix arbitration is a story for another day. Does the ability to reduce control have to be tied to winning MVP or Cy Young? Absolutely not. Not specifically those awards nor only those awards. Could an independent metric like WAR be a factor? Yes! All told, this would be a great thing to negotiate in the CBA. I just don’t want it to have anything to do with the amount of days a player has spent in the major leagues. I used Soto and Tatis as examples and, as such, they would basically spend three extra years in the majors before free agency, which theoretically seems like a not great deal for them. Players could and would still sign big deals like Tatis did. On the flip side of that, Soto *could* go through the arbitration process six times. Could you imagine how much money he would stand to make in those final three years? He could be the highest paid player in baseball. Click here to view the article
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