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John Bonnes

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  1. Those are some good insights. Attaching "innovation" to Joe seems spot on. It seems like a value that drives him. I also appreciate the insight about Jim. From the outside, we only seemed to hear from him once or twice per year. I guess your point that "he doesn't get in the way" seems to be about right, but I also didn't get the sense that he was driving change, as much as managing the organization (effectively, I think.)
  2. In a letter today, Jim Pohlad informed Minnesota Twins team employees that he will be stepping down from day-to-day operations of the team. Joe Pohlad, his nephew, will be taking over those responsibilities effective immediately and the role of Executive Chair. So where does that leave the Twins? Image courtesy of TwinsCentric, LLC Joe Pohlad has been involved with the Twins since 2007, working in areas of the organization that were preparing him for this leadership role. Most recently, as Executive Vice President, he was involved in the rollout of the new Twins branding, logo, and uniforms, including introducing the changes to the media and fans at the Mall of America earlier this month. He has also been involved in marketing and ticket sales areas within the Twins, and oversaw the Pohlads' media company Go Media. He's also been on the Pohlad Foundation's Board of Directors. Joe Pohlad has been more visible as a fan of the team than Jim Pohlad, who was viewed as generally hands-off. Joe Pohlad even attended Twins Daily's Winter Meltdown several years ago, and has confessed to being a Gleeman and the Geek podcast listener. He has discussed Twins Daily with me as well, admiring the passion and detail that is contributed by our writers and community. Joe Pohlad has often been involved in several of the Pohlads' and Twins' more aggressive initiatives, such as Go Media, which included acquiring two radio stations and BringMeTheNews.com. He served as the Executive VP of Brand Strategy and Growth for the Twins, which explains the involvement with the recent rebranding. In that role, he also oversaw the launch of the Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars, an effort to develop startups in technology, sports, and entertainment. What this means for the direction of the team is anybody's guess. In his letter, Jim Pohlad said he will remain involved as the Control Owner, which suggests at a high-level (including budget, cough, cough), he'll still be involved. However, Joe Pohlad's track record with the Twins suggests he is more likely to be focused on growth than status quo, perhaps aggressively. View full article
  3. Joe Pohlad has been involved with the Twins since 2007, working in areas of the organization that were preparing him for this leadership role. Most recently, as Executive Vice President, he was involved in the rollout of the new Twins branding, logo, and uniforms, including introducing the changes to the media and fans at the Mall of America earlier this month. He has also been involved in marketing and ticket sales areas within the Twins, and oversaw the Pohlads' media company Go Media. He's also been on the Pohlad Foundation's Board of Directors. Joe Pohlad has been more visible as a fan of the team than Jim Pohlad, who was viewed as generally hands-off. Joe Pohlad even attended Twins Daily's Winter Meltdown several years ago, and has confessed to being a Gleeman and the Geek podcast listener. He has discussed Twins Daily with me as well, admiring the passion and detail that is contributed by our writers and community. Joe Pohlad has often been involved in several of the Pohlads' and Twins' more aggressive initiatives, such as Go Media, which included acquiring two radio stations and BringMeTheNews.com. He served as the Executive VP of Brand Strategy and Growth for the Twins, which explains the involvement with the recent rebranding. In that role, he also oversaw the launch of the Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars, an effort to develop startups in technology, sports, and entertainment. What this means for the direction of the team is anybody's guess. In his letter, Jim Pohlad said he will remain involved as the Control Owner, which suggests at a high-level (including budget, cough, cough), he'll still be involved. However, Joe Pohlad's track record with the Twins suggests he is more likely to be focused on growth than status quo, perhaps aggressively.
  4. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' ongoing efforts to re-sign Carlos Correa, why they're also making a push to bring in a veteran catcher, and the belief that the AL Central looks as winnable as ever right now. 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
  5. Aaron and John talk about the Twins trading for shortstop Kyle Farmer, trading away third baseman Gio Urshela, bringing back reliever Emilio Pagan, and unveiling new uniforms. 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
  6. We're starting to get hints of exactly how expensive a contract Carlos Correa might sign this winter, and how unrealistic his return to the Twins might be as a result. However, Twins fans' hopes have been bolstered by talk of the team being willing to work out a "creative" contract with Correa. What might that look like? Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports In a recent story on his substack, Matthew Trueblood laid out an excellent example of what a creative contract entails, and I'd like to unpack that. But before we do, it's essential to understand what a baseline contract looks like for comparison purposes. Fortunately, Trueblood speculates on that, too. It's intimidating: nine years at a $37M average annual value (AAV) totaling $333M. That deal is a "Bryce Harper" contract, meaning it has a no-trade clause for the player and no player opt-outs for the team. Both sides are making a long-term commitment that also gives Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, a record-setting contract AAV for a position player. Is that too much? I like the way Trueblood responds to that concern: "Those numbers sound gaudy. Tough. Get used to it. That's the reality of the sport right now, and Correa is going to get that kind of payday somewhere." (There is one additional factor that raises Correa’s price tag beyond just being a great, young player: unlike many other premier free agents, the Twins can't give him a qualifying offer. So there are no draft picks attached to signing him.) Even if the Twins have indeed offered Correa the biggest contract in Twins history - say, a 10-year, $270M deal - it would come nowhere close to that deal. It would likely finish in third place. Hell, he turned down a deal like that last year before he even signed with the Twins. So what about something more creative? That's a route Boras has gone before. Trueblood (you can sign up for his free newsletter here) lays out a somewhat complicated contract structure that gives Correa a record-setting deal but contains less guaranteed money overall. Here's an overview: It starts with a 4-year deal for $175M, which gives him a record-setting AAV of $43.75M. After that third year, there is a team option. Either the team can extend the contract for another five years, paying Correa $25M annually through his age 36 season. Or they can be on the hook for just the fourth year, but then…. At some point after the team decision, Correa has a player option. He can choose to extend the contract for three years for $60M or become a free agent. Similar to Correa's deal with the Twins, this provides him with insurance. There's a lot to unpack here. One way to break this down is to parse what the contract looks like on the extremes and in the middle, and compare it to the baseline contract. Worst-case scenario - Correa goes downhill fast. With $175M up front, and a $60 player opt-in, Correa gets $235M guaranteed in this deal. That's worse than he would get with the baseline contract, but he ends up with a seven-year deal that averages about $33.5M AAV. Meanwhile, the team has protected itself on the back end by committing more money on the front end. Best-case scenario – Correa thrives and continues to increase his value. Odds are the team opts to extend him, meaning they have him for $300M over nine years, which is also a little bit better than the baseline deal for the team (and worse for Correa) but still is worth ~$33M AAV over nine years. Middle Scenario – Correa thrives in his prime and then gradually falls off. Then both sides have decisions to make. The middle ground is that Correa makes $175M and then gauges the free agent market again after his 31-year-old season to see how it values him. He knows he's worth at least $60M over three years by opting back into his contract. We can diddle about the details; the structure is the most exciting aspect of it to me. I'd suggest that Correa should probably get more AAV up front and try to make the final numbers closer to an average AAV of $36M, but we can debate that in the comments. But the biggest takeaway is that even if the contract is "creative," it's still likely to be painful to those who are fiscally conservative. The Twins can be aggressive. They can be creative. But ultimately, they will have to be borderline crazy to land a prize as big as Correa. OK. Then call me crazy. I'm in. But let's not kid ourselves about what the Twins will be signing up for. View full article
  7. In a recent story on his substack, Matthew Trueblood laid out an excellent example of what a creative contract entails, and I'd like to unpack that. But before we do, it's essential to understand what a baseline contract looks like for comparison purposes. Fortunately, Trueblood speculates on that, too. It's intimidating: nine years at a $37M average annual value (AAV) totaling $333M. That deal is a "Bryce Harper" contract, meaning it has a no-trade clause for the player and no player opt-outs for the team. Both sides are making a long-term commitment that also gives Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, a record-setting contract AAV for a position player. Is that too much? I like the way Trueblood responds to that concern: "Those numbers sound gaudy. Tough. Get used to it. That's the reality of the sport right now, and Correa is going to get that kind of payday somewhere." (There is one additional factor that raises Correa’s price tag beyond just being a great, young player: unlike many other premier free agents, the Twins can't give him a qualifying offer. So there are no draft picks attached to signing him.) Even if the Twins have indeed offered Correa the biggest contract in Twins history - say, a 10-year, $270M deal - it would come nowhere close to that deal. It would likely finish in third place. Hell, he turned down a deal like that last year before he even signed with the Twins. So what about something more creative? That's a route Boras has gone before. Trueblood (you can sign up for his free newsletter here) lays out a somewhat complicated contract structure that gives Correa a record-setting deal but contains less guaranteed money overall. Here's an overview: It starts with a 4-year deal for $175M, which gives him a record-setting AAV of $43.75M. After that third year, there is a team option. Either the team can extend the contract for another five years, paying Correa $25M annually through his age 36 season. Or they can be on the hook for just the fourth year, but then…. At some point after the team decision, Correa has a player option. He can choose to extend the contract for three years for $60M or become a free agent. Similar to Correa's deal with the Twins, this provides him with insurance. There's a lot to unpack here. One way to break this down is to parse what the contract looks like on the extremes and in the middle, and compare it to the baseline contract. Worst-case scenario - Correa goes downhill fast. With $175M up front, and a $60 player opt-in, Correa gets $235M guaranteed in this deal. That's worse than he would get with the baseline contract, but he ends up with a seven-year deal that averages about $33.5M AAV. Meanwhile, the team has protected itself on the back end by committing more money on the front end. Best-case scenario – Correa thrives and continues to increase his value. Odds are the team opts to extend him, meaning they have him for $300M over nine years, which is also a little bit better than the baseline deal for the team (and worse for Correa) but still is worth ~$33M AAV over nine years. Middle Scenario – Correa thrives in his prime and then gradually falls off. Then both sides have decisions to make. The middle ground is that Correa makes $175M and then gauges the free agent market again after his 31-year-old season to see how it values him. He knows he's worth at least $60M over three years by opting back into his contract. We can diddle about the details; the structure is the most exciting aspect of it to me. I'd suggest that Correa should probably get more AAV up front and try to make the final numbers closer to an average AAV of $36M, but we can debate that in the comments. But the biggest takeaway is that even if the contract is "creative," it's still likely to be painful to those who are fiscally conservative. The Twins can be aggressive. They can be creative. But ultimately, they will have to be borderline crazy to land a prize as big as Correa. OK. Then call me crazy. I'm in. But let's not kid ourselves about what the Twins will be signing up for.
  8. Aaron and John talk about the free-agent pitching market and whether the Twins should go all-in for someone like Carlos Rodon, why Gio Urshela is no sure thing to be on the team next week, and the state of the 40-man roster as the offseason kicks into gear. 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
  9. Aaron and John discuss what kind of contract they would offer to Carlos Correa, the free agent shorstop market, John being a jinx at the World Series, and Miguel Sano's Twins' legacy. 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. John Bonnes, walking the streets of Philly like a boss, examines the past several years of Philadelphia baseball under Dave Dombrowski and how the team became an unlikely World Series contender in 2022. View full video
  11. John Bonnes, walking the streets of Philly like a boss, examines the past several years of Philadelphia baseball under Dave Dombrowski and how the team became an unlikely World Series contender in 2022.
  12. Since this week was the 20th anniversary of Senator Paul Wellstone's death, I thought I might run one of my favorite columns, which I wrote to eulogize him. I got quite a bit of feedback on it, and it mostly left me depressed, since many missed the point of the column. Many readers who were critical of the column couldn't see beyond his politics, and even more sadly, neither could many of his supporters who praised it. For me, the magic of Wellstone wasn't what he fought for, it was how he fought. He made the impossible, possible and he inspired a generation to challenge their assumptions about the world and about themselves. That's the lantern that he brought to my life. The Lantern Bearer 10/29/2002 A Lantern Bearer's light went out this weekend. And the world grew darker. We react to the infinite realities the world holds in a straightforward way. We simplify it by choosing, consciously or not, which reality we care to embrace. But whichever illusion we choose can also constrain us and too often turns into a shadow that we dare not challenge. How do people react to you when you leave a room? Do they laugh at you? Some might. Of course, some might admire you. And some won't like you and some will and some won't give you a second thought, one way or the other. Which illusion do you subscribe to? And how does that shadow world modify what you say or do before you leave the room? Illusions like that are everywhere. And are so all-encompassing as to be invisible, like water to a fish. And then comes a Lantern Bearer, who holds up their light to the shadows and walks through them and takes us along. They remind us that we created these shadows, and that we can dispel them. We just have to pick up our lanterns, hold them out in front of us, and walk bravely forward. Think your idea can never work? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think that which you care about cannot be achieved? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think you are alone in your passion? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. The world has room for you, your energy, and your passion. Indeed, it desperately needs it. A Lantern Bearer's light went out this weekend. And the world grew darker. Paul Wellstone's death left sizeable holes in our world in many ways. An election, uncompleted. A Senate, undecided. A movement, leaderless. A family, parentless. But the largest hole might be spiritual. For a slice of my generation, he wasn't just someone who championed their political philosophy, but someone who reminded them of the joy and strength that flows from acting in a fundamentally moral way. "I lost my Kennedy." one friend told his wife this weekend. His believers flocked to the Twins Cities and followed him to Washington. They participated in a system that they otherwise might have disdained. And they watched him challenge the shadows. Think an outsider can't change the system? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think voting your conscience will alienate you from the decision makers? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think a good man can't hold onto his convictions when clothed with the trappings of power? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. And then the believers started picking up their own lanterns. A Lantern Bearer's light went out this weekend. And it happened the way it always seems to with lantern bearers. Suddenly. Tragically. Too damn early. And, of course, the world grew darker. When a bright light is suddenly taken away, isn't that always when things are darkest? But that, too, is an illusion. Time passes, the eyes adjust, and one starts seeing the other sources of light. Because this Lantern Bearer's light has spread throughout this generation. Some lantern bearers are trying to change how politics works. Some are ushering underprivileged kids into college. And if you look around, you'll find hundreds more have raised their own lanterns, found their own path, and chased their own shadows. Is it still too dark? Sure. So maybe it's time you picked up your lantern. Think your voice won't be heard? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think you're powerless? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. Think YOU can't make a difference? That's just a shadow - hold up your light and walk through it. A Lantern Bearer's light went out this weekend. And a thousand more Lantern Bearers strode forward.
  13. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' biggest offseason needs, Carlos Correa vs. Carlos Rodon, the hiring of new head trainer Nick Paparesta, and sending the Bonneses to Philadelphia for the World Series, with a cameo by Dan Hayes. 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
  14. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' payroll and spending room going into 2023, what to do with Gio Urshela and Max Kepler, watching the Yankees face non-Twins opponents in the playoffs, dropping players from the 40-man roster, and Carlos Correa dominating the Diamond Awards. 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
  15. Aaron and John talk about the Twins firing their trainer and not firing any coaches, the latest on Carlos Correa, reviewing our preseason over/under picks, filling out our team MVP ballots, and why a "good offer" can be subjective. 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
  16. First, you’ll have a chance to build your own Twins roster. We’ve built out the basics, but you can add the players and salaries that you think the Twins need to target. If you’re looking for ideas or numbers, you can just keep reading Twins Daily or even better… Become a Twins Daily Caretaker. Caretakers have already started getting chapters of Twins Daily’s Offseason Handbook, which breaks down all the free agent, arbitration, and trade options the Twins front office will face. We’ll be sending out more chapters each week. Not only is it free to our Caretakers, but it’s the ONLY way to get the Offseason Handbook this year. Sign up here! The second great thing you can do is share your Payroll Blueprint in our forums, but just clicking on the “Share Blueprint to Forums” button at the bottom of the form. You’ll be able to connect with the most passionate, educated and civil Twins community on the internet, get feedback and build support. So want to start a movement to sign Justin Verlander? Nab a true closer? Trade away Jorge Polanco? Well, show us how you would do it by clicking through to TwinsPayroll.com and working through your ideas. Then share it with us. Because obsessing about the Twins is what we do.
  17. Put your GM’s hat on and sharpen those pencils, it’s time for you to devise the 2023 Twins roster. On second thought, you won’t need a pencil. Just go to our updated TwinsPayroll.com. For that matter, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Twins CBO Derek Falvey in a hat, so you can skip that step, too. But do check out TwinsPayroll.com because you’re going to be able to do two great things: Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports First, you’ll have a chance to build your own Twins roster. We’ve built out the basics, but you can add the players and salaries that you think the Twins need to target. If you’re looking for ideas or numbers, you can just keep reading Twins Daily or even better… Become a Twins Daily Caretaker. Caretakers have already started getting chapters of Twins Daily’s Offseason Handbook, which breaks down all the free agent, arbitration, and trade options the Twins front office will face. We’ll be sending out more chapters each week. Not only is it free to our Caretakers, but it’s the ONLY way to get the Offseason Handbook this year. Sign up here! The second great thing you can do is share your Payroll Blueprint in our forums, but just clicking on the “Share Blueprint to Forums” button at the bottom of the form. You’ll be able to connect with the most passionate, educated and civil Twins community on the internet, get feedback and build support. So want to start a movement to sign Justin Verlander? Nab a true closer? Trade away Jorge Polanco? Well, show us how you would do it by clicking through to TwinsPayroll.com and working through your ideas. Then share it with us. Because obsessing about the Twins is what we do. View full article
  18. What do you do with a blank canvas? Draw? Write? Scribble? A blank canvas provides endless potential, but nearly as much intimidation to those who don’t know what they’re doing – or what they want to do. Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports This offseason, we’ll see what Falvine does with their blank canvas, because there has never been a Twins team that could pivot in so many directions in an offseason. It’s the result of sticking to short contracts, dumping Josh Donaldson, and developing minor leaguers to fill spots. But now they are faced with the challenge: what do they do with a blank canvas? You likely don’t need to be convinced that payroll is the Twins’ primary limitation every offseason. So, to get some idea of what to expect, every offseason we break down the Twins’ roster’s payroll for the upcoming season at a back-of-the-napkin level. The goal isn’t to precisely define each player’s upcoming salary; there are too many unknowns. The goal is to get close enough to be directional, call out what we know and don’t know, and the decisions the team likely needs to make. OK – it’s not a COMPLETELY blank canvas. The Twins have some obligations, and they have some no-brainers, at least as a starting point for this discussion. So let’s start filling in some blanks. We can always adjust them later. (And so can Falvey and Thad Levine. Which is what makes it a blank canvas.) The Lineup Let’s go position by position, starting with… Catcher – Ryan Jeffers is a no-brainer to return, provided you think he’ll return to full health from his broken thumb, and all indications are he will. He’s also a no-brainer because he still hasn’t reached arbitration, so he’s likely to be paid slightly in excess of $700K. Whether you trust him to be the starting catcher or the backup is up to you, but either way he’s on our list. Gary Sanchez and Sandy Leon, on the other hand, are both free agents. We’ll need to leave them off the napkin. First Base – Luis Arraez mostly filled this role, and will be in his second year of arbitration, though he has two more years of team control after that because he hit arbitration a year than most players. He’ll get a significant raise to $4-5M, Still that’s a bargain for him so he’s obviously added to the napkin. Jose Miranda also saw a lot of time at first base, and he’ll be coming back at close to MLB’s $700K minimum wage. It’s a no-brainer that he needs to be on this napkin somewhere. We’re just not sure where yet…. If you would like another thousand-plus words of details and charts on individual player's salaries, then you’re going to LOVE the Offseason Handbook, as that’s the tip of the iceberg. Plus, you get to support all Twins Daily’s great writers who work every day throughout the offseason to deep dive into the Twins. Sign up here. But in this story, we'll skip to the conclusion.... A Blank Canvas Adding all that up represents about $95M in salary, which leaves the Twins almost $45M in salary to spend. That’s a big number, but could get even bigger if they want to trade away some salaries like that of Max Kepler or Gio Urshela, which would free up $15M to $20M more. Even more striking is that there aren’t many true holes to fill. The team certainly needs to figure out what to do at shortstop, but even there, Royce Lewis is expected to return midseason. As exciting as he looked this season, nobody would blame the Twins if they only signed a fill-in shortstop so Lewis could step in as soon as he’s recovered from his knee surgery. This is what a blank canvas looks like. The Twins have lots of money, and very few true gaps. So which direction do they go? Add a dependable big bat? A high-end shortstop? A dependable #1 starter? Or another closer-caliber bullpen arm? All of those moves could be prioritized, but none of them are required. After six years of organization building, including two years of disappointing sub-.500 finishes, the team and its management are at a crossroads. The self-imposed limitations they’ve placed on long-term deals, along with a surge of prospects hitting the major league roster, have given them this offseason of opportunity. But it also means there are no excuses. The team has worked for, and achieved, a blank canvas. Now we’ll see what they do with it. View full article
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