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John Bonnes

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John Bonnes last won the day on July 17 2020

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  1. Aaron and John discuss the Twins inking Byron Buxton to a 7-year extension, signing starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, and sitting on their hands as the free agent starting pitching market dries up. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  2. John Bonnes

    Thanks

    Thank you for the kind and thoughtful post.
  3. I .... don't get it. Maybe they just have a lot more young talent than I'm aware of, but this feels like they're jumping the gun, or trying to load up on a loaded market for flipping purposes, but still ending up paying full price.
  4. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a half dozen teams, shame on me. How many times now since 2019 have we watched premier starting pitcher free agents sign for reasonable contracts like this one? In 2019 the narrative was just that they couldn't convince them to take their money. Are we going to hear that again with Gausman and Ray? They just couldn't stomach the opt-out, like they hesitated on Buxton's no-trade? Perhaps we just need to accept that this front office doesn't believe in paying for pitching, no matter what they might say about pursuing high-end talent.
  5. Two of the top four free agent starting pitchers are now spoken for, but early this morning, the Twins were linked to the biggest remaining prize, AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. Not surprisingly, they are not alone. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also listed the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Rangers and Angels as suitors for Ray’s services, and previously the Red Sox and Blue Jays had been mentioned. However, it’s worth noting that several of these teams have already signed free agent pitchers this offseason, perhaps limiting their interest. For instance, the Blue Jays reportedly now have an agreement with another of the other four premier pitchers on this list, Kevin Gausman. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to add Ray? Last year he posted a 2.84 ERA over 193.1 innings, striking out 11.5 per nine innings. Most importantly, the 30-year-old’s career struggles with his control completely disappeared: he walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings, after averaging 5.1 per nine from 2018-2020. If the Twins want to play, they’ll need to pay. MLBTradeRumors predicted Ray would receive a $130M contract, 5-year deal on the open market. Given some of the other contracts we’re seeing, that estimate may be a little high, but any deal would certainly exceed $100M. What’s more, they’ll also likely need to move fast. The two premier pitchers who are at least very close to greements - Gausman and Max Scherzer - have done so in in the last 24 hours as teams and players scramble to get something done before MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Wednesday. It is widely anticipate that event will lead to a work stoppage, effectively killing the offseason market for both sides. That urgency is further heightened by concerns that normally mundane details, like getting physicals done, will need to be completed by then for contracts to be valid. The Twins entered the offseason with at least three spots in their starting rotation to fill, and as of yet have not signed any free agents. They did, however, reach an agreement yesterday with star center fielder Byron Buxton on a 7-year extension. But starting pitching remains the team’s biggest need, and the available arms are dwindling fast. Even beyond the top four arms, other highly attractive targets like Noah Syndegaard, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Anthony Desclafini and many others have signed within the last two weeks. View full article
  6. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also listed the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Rangers and Angels as suitors for Ray’s services, and previously the Red Sox and Blue Jays had been mentioned. However, it’s worth noting that several of these teams have already signed free agent pitchers this offseason, perhaps limiting their interest. For instance, the Blue Jays reportedly now have an agreement with another of the other four premier pitchers on this list, Kevin Gausman. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to add Ray? Last year he posted a 2.84 ERA over 193.1 innings, striking out 11.5 per nine innings. Most importantly, the 30-year-old’s career struggles with his control completely disappeared: he walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings, after averaging 5.1 per nine from 2018-2020. If the Twins want to play, they’ll need to pay. MLBTradeRumors predicted Ray would receive a $130M contract, 5-year deal on the open market. Given some of the other contracts we’re seeing, that estimate may be a little high, but any deal would certainly exceed $100M. What’s more, they’ll also likely need to move fast. The two premier pitchers who are at least very close to greements - Gausman and Max Scherzer - have done so in in the last 24 hours as teams and players scramble to get something done before MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Wednesday. It is widely anticipate that event will lead to a work stoppage, effectively killing the offseason market for both sides. That urgency is further heightened by concerns that normally mundane details, like getting physicals done, will need to be completed by then for contracts to be valid. The Twins entered the offseason with at least three spots in their starting rotation to fill, and as of yet have not signed any free agents. They did, however, reach an agreement yesterday with star center fielder Byron Buxton on a 7-year extension. But starting pitching remains the team’s biggest need, and the available arms are dwindling fast. Even beyond the top four arms, other highly attractive targets like Noah Syndegaard, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Anthony Desclafini and many others have signed within the last two weeks.
  7. Earlier, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Minnesota Twins were "closing in on" agreement on a contract extension with Byron Buxton. Now, Jeff Passan is reporting that an agreement is in place for over $100M and will keep Buxton under team control through the 2028 season. Buxton represents one of the biggest pivot points of the Twins’ offseason and perhaps several seasons into the future. When healthy, he’s performed at an MVP level, most recently posting a 1005 OPS in 235 AB in 2021. However, his career with the Twins has been uneven, and not just because of the usual hype around a #1 overall prospect. Since Buxton first joined the team in 2015, he’s only had one year with 500 plate appearances, and indeed only one with over 331. His injuries have ranged from seemingly self-inflicted problems due to his aggressive defense in center field, to worrisome nagging injuries like hip strains and foot injuries, to flukey injuries like a broken finger from being hit by a pitch. On the other hand, he’s been absolutely elite defensively throughout his time with the Twins, and recently his offense has reached a similar level. This year he hit .306 with 19 home runs in just 61 games, a pace that makes him a 50-home run threat over a full season. He’s also only 27 years old, entering the peak period of many players' careers. He is due to be a free agent next offseason, compelling the Twins to either sign him to an extension or trade him this offseason, lest they risk having him leave next year for nothing more than a compensatory draft pick. That urgency is further heightened by the threat of an impending work stoppage starting as soon as Wednesday night. If an extension or trade iss not made by then, there is a chance any such move would be delayed until some unknown point in a potentially compressed offseason, or thwarted altogether. A deal would likely represent the biggest deal the Twins have made since they signed Joe Mauer to a contract extension in 2010 for $184 million dollars. That deal was also for a rare talent who contributed defensively, was at the peak of his ability, and on the verge of free agency. The deal with Mauer aged poorly, as leg problems and concussions limited his ability to stay at catcher and stay in the lineup. With Buxton having more health questions, the reality is it makes him more affordable; it’s unlikely the Twins could complete a deal without the built-in discount his health history affords them. The Mauer deal also took place as the Twins were completing a run of division-winning seasons and trying to lengthen their competitive window. Twins’ management’s next to-do for this offseason is to find some starting pitchers whom Buxton’s Gold Glove can assist with his range in center field. While the size of Buxton’s deal is likely significant, the Twins entered the offseason with as much as $50M or so to spend on free agents. A deal with Buxton is likely to maintain that capability. Indeed, Ken Rosenthal has just published contract details: The extension guarantees $15M per year (except this year, when he still would've been under arbitration) plus very large bonuses for MVP bonuses and a series of $500K bonuses if he stays healthy for over 500 plate appearances. It is a very creative contract. I can't think of any that has had a bonus structure remotely similar to it. The deal essentially rewards Buxton extra money for staying healthy for a full season, handsomely for MVP-caliber production, but still guarantees him base salary commensurate to a top center fielder. If the Twins had traded Buxton instead, it would be hard for them to pretend that they could expect to be competitive in 2022. They would have lost their best offensive and defensive player, while also trying to replace 60% of their starting rotation. Retaining Buxton keeps the option of competing in 2022 alive. It should also make him one of the core pieces of the next competitive Twins team. Further pieces will still need to be assembled, but the deal represents a serious effort by the Twins to compete by locking up high-end home-grown talent for a long time. We'll add details as they emerge. In the meantime, give us your initial thoughts below. View full article
  8. Since Buxton first joined the team in 2015, he’s only had one year with 500 plate appearances, and indeed only one with over 331. His injuries have ranged from seemingly self-inflicted problems due to his aggressive defense in center field, to worrisome nagging injuries like hip strains and foot injuries, to flukey injuries like a broken finger from being hit by a pitch. On the other hand, he’s been absolutely elite defensively throughout his time with the Twins, and recently his offense has reached a similar level. This year he hit .306 with 19 home runs in just 61 games, a pace that makes him a 50-home run threat over a full season. He’s also only 27 years old, entering the peak period of many players' careers. He is due to be a free agent next offseason, compelling the Twins to either sign him to an extension or trade him this offseason, lest they risk having him leave next year for nothing more than a compensatory draft pick. That urgency is further heightened by the threat of an impending work stoppage starting as soon as Wednesday night. If an extension or trade iss not made by then, there is a chance any such move would be delayed until some unknown point in a potentially compressed offseason, or thwarted altogether. A deal would likely represent the biggest deal the Twins have made since they signed Joe Mauer to a contract extension in 2010 for $184 million dollars. That deal was also for a rare talent who contributed defensively, was at the peak of his ability, and on the verge of free agency. The deal with Mauer aged poorly, as leg problems and concussions limited his ability to stay at catcher and stay in the lineup. With Buxton having more health questions, the reality is it makes him more affordable; it’s unlikely the Twins could complete a deal without the built-in discount his health history affords them. The Mauer deal also took place as the Twins were completing a run of division-winning seasons and trying to lengthen their competitive window. Twins’ management’s next to-do for this offseason is to find some starting pitchers whom Buxton’s Gold Glove can assist with his range in center field. While the size of Buxton’s deal is likely significant, the Twins entered the offseason with as much as $50M or so to spend on free agents. A deal with Buxton is likely to maintain that capability. Indeed, Ken Rosenthal has just published contract details: The extension guarantees $15M per year (except this year, when he still would've been under arbitration) plus very large bonuses for MVP bonuses and a series of $500K bonuses if he stays healthy for over 500 plate appearances. It is a very creative contract. I can't think of any that has had a bonus structure remotely similar to it. The deal essentially rewards Buxton extra money for staying healthy for a full season, handsomely for MVP-caliber production, but still guarantees him base salary commensurate to a top center fielder. If the Twins had traded Buxton instead, it would be hard for them to pretend that they could expect to be competitive in 2022. They would have lost their best offensive and defensive player, while also trying to replace 60% of their starting rotation. Retaining Buxton keeps the option of competing in 2022 alive. It should also make him one of the core pieces of the next competitive Twins team. Further pieces will still need to be assembled, but the deal represents a serious effort by the Twins to compete by locking up high-end home-grown talent for a long time. We'll add details as they emerge. In the meantime, give us your initial thoughts below.
  9. Aaron and John discuss the growing urgency of Byron Buxton's situation, the dwindling free agent starting pitching market, the likelihood of the Twins signing a top shortstop, and pending arbitration decisions. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  10. Aaron and John discuss Jose Berrios' new contract, Byron Buxton's contract negotiations, the Twins' 40-man roster moves, and share audio of their discussion with Patrick Reusse about Billy Martin's most notorious dust-ups. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  11. Hmm. OK. So they are locking them out so the players can't strike in August? I mean, I guess. That would certainly be the worst case scenario for the owners. I have trouble believing the players would do that, but I suppose it's a pretty big risk to go into the season with.
  12. Ok, somebody tell me what factor I'm missing. I had missed this story from Dayn Perry about the state of the CBA negotiations when it came out. I found this part interesting: "A lockout means the owners shut down the industry as a means to hasten and add urgency to CBA negotiations. When a labor stoppage happens on the player side, it's a strike, but that's not likely to happen. That's because the owners will almost certainly lock out the players if no agreement is in place soon after the outgoing one expires. The owners could allow the offseason to proceed under the usual circumstances while negotiations continued, but that's probably not going to happen." Why are we so sure that the owners would do that, exactly? They are, seemingly, happy with the agreement right now. Player salaries have gone down. For the most part it is the players pushing for changes to things like tanking, service time, qualifying offers, etc. Wouldn't it be better for the owners to decide they are happy to keep the usual circumstances in place? Make the players strike if they want to change things. Plus the uncertainty of where all this is going puts a natural damper on the marketplace. It makes me think we might have a fairly "normal" offseason after all. What factor am I missing here?
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