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diehardtwinsfan

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  1. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to scottz for a blog entry, How the Twins Can Improve on 2019 Without Adding A Stud Starting Pitcher   
    They can't.
  2. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to scottz for a blog entry, Remaining Free Agents (and why they won't sign here)   
    Felix Hernandez RP 34 - Doesn't want to share crown with Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes
    Josh Donaldson 3B 34 - Loons kinda freak him out
    Jacoby Ellsbury CF 36 - No longer very good at baseball
    Dallas Keuchel SP 32 - Concerned that North Stars fans still aren't over it
    Edwin Encarnacion DH 37 - Weather too cold for imaginary parrot
    Alex Gordon CF 36 - Retro baby blue uniforms clash just a little with all his Royal blue gear
    Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 33 - Airport not close enough to the west coast
    Ryan Zimmerman 1B - Feels like anyone who has been through Zimmerman, MN might not like him right off the bat
    Russell Martin C 37 - Has heard a catcher is more likely to be concussed here
    Wei-Yin Chen RP 35 - 6.59 ERA in 2019
    Rich Hill SP 40 - He's 40
    Ben Zobrist 2B 39 - He's 39
    Martin Prado 3B 36 - Keeps alpacas in Texas
    Mark Trumbo DH 34 - Isn't Nelson Cruz
    Marcell Ozuna LF 29 - Sees how Rosario is treated
    Nick Castellanos RF - Unbalanced schedule - doesn't want to have to go back to Detroit that much
    Yasiel Puig RF 29 - Keeps fainting goats in 49 other states
    Alex Wood SP 29 - Insufficient quantities of chiropractors
    Trevor Cahill RP 32 - We've got a shot here
    Brian Dozier 2B 33 - Never heard of him
    Tommy Hunter RP 34 - Insists on being called Tommy, Lord of the North, and that just doesn't fly
    Jason Kipnis 2B 33 - Doesn't like state fairs
    Kole Calhoun RF 32 - Doesn't want to change his name to Kole Bde Maka Ska
    Ivan Nova SP 33 - Longs to reunite with Pittsburgh
    Starlin Castro 2B 30 - Likely to sign him and cash in when in gets to 2000 hits
    Juan Nicasio RP 33 - Doesn't realize how many good restaurants we have
    Todd Frazier 3B 34 - Would prefer not to be around so many lakes
    Corey Dickerson LF 31 - Would prefer many more lakes
    Jason Castro C 33 - Number of lakes is fine, but would like less fish
    Pat Neshek RP 39 - Homecoming is possible
    Andrew Cashner RP 33 - Friend of a friend has heard Minnesota "smells a little"
    Jason Vargas SP 37 - Too many Jasons already here
    C.C. Sabathia SP 39 - Too many C.C.s already here
    Cesar Hernandez 2B 30 - Would never live up to Cesar Tovar's precedent
    Jonathan Schoop 2B 28 - Never heard of him
    Welington Castillo C 33 - Minnesotans would latch on to the "Beef" nickname too much
    Dellin Betances RP 32 - Keeps ostriches in New York
    Anthony Swarzak RP 34 - Homecoming is possible
    Drew Smyly SP 31 - Look at all these free agents left
    Derek Holland RP 33 - I honestly didn't think this bit would be this long
    Mitch Moreland 1B 34 - Mitch Moreland? More like Mitch Lessland, huh?
    Julio Teheran SP 29 - If he's not good enough for Atlanta
    Fernando Rodney RP 43 - If he's still throwing, homecoming is possible
    Jordy Mercer SS 33 - Is he related to Bobby Mercer?
    Billy Hamilton CF 29 - Is he still fast?
    Taijuan Walker SP 27 - Let's give it a try, Taijuan.
    Sam Dyson RP 32 - I think this bit is over
    Brandon Kintzler RP 35 - Yeah, it's over
    C.J. Cron 1B 30 - Definitely over
    Eric Thames RF 33 -
    Steve Cishek RP 34 -
    Steven Pearce 1B 37
    Jedd Gyorko 3B 31
    Pedro Strop RP 35
    Kevin Pillar CF 31
    Collin McHugh RP 33
    Tyson Ross SP 33
    Robinson Chirinos C 36
    Arodys Vizcaino RP 29
    Juan Lagares CF 31
    Travis Shaw 3B 30
    Yolmer Sanchez 3B 28
    Danny Salazar SP 30
    Justin Smoak 1B 33
    Hector Rondon RP 32
    Wilmer Flores 2B 28
    Will Harris RP 35
    Steven Souza RF 31
    Jon Jay RF 35
    Matt Adams 1B 31
    Jarrod Dyson CF 35
    Jimmy Nelson RP 31
    Brock Holt 2B 32
    Brian Duensing RP 37
    Asdrubal Cabrera 2B 34
    Addison Russell SS 26
    Chad Bettis SP 31
    Yoshihisa Hirano RP 36
    Clay Buchholz SP 35
    Wade LeBlanc RP 35
    Lonnie Chisenhall RF 31
    Shawn Kelley RP 36
    Matt Duffy 3B 29
    Nate Jones RP 34
    Tony Cingrani RP 30
    Hernan Perez 2B 29
    David Phelps RP 33
    Matt Albers RP 37
    Justin Bour 1B 32
    Matt Moore SP 31
    Jose Iglesias SS 30
    Martin Maldonado C 33
    Jonny Venters RP 35
    Craig Stammen RP 36
    Jared Hughes RP 34
    Edinson Volquez RP 36
    Logan Forsythe 2B 33
    Derek Dietrich 2B 30
    Brian McCann C 36
    Hunter Pence RF 37
    Neil Walker 2B 34
    Gio Gonzalez SP 34
    Domingo Santana RF 27
    Devon Travis 2B 29
    J.C. Ramirez SP 31
    Kazuhisa Makita RP
    Francisco Liriano RP 36
    Devin Mesoraco C 32
    Tim Beckham 3B 30
    Curtis Granderson LF 39
    Kyle Barraclough RP 30
    Chris Rusin RP 33
    Luis Garcia RP 33
    John Axford RP 37
    Luis Avilan RP 30
    Brandon Guyer LF 34
    Ryan Tepera RP 32
    Daniel Hudson RP 33
    Matt Wieters C 34
    Tyler Clippard RP 35
    Brandon Maurer RP 29
    Jerry Blevins RP 36
    Robbie Erlin RP 29
    Cory Gearrin RP 34
    Ryan Buchter RP 33
    Aaron Loup RP 32
    Steven Wright RP 35
    Jeremy Hellickson RP 33
    Dominic Leone RP 28
    Dan Otero RP 35
    Bryan Hoay C 32
    Cory Spangenberg 2B 29
    Greg Bird 1B 27
    Melky Cabrera LF 35
    Kevin Plawecki C 29
    Caleb Joseph C 34
    Josh Phegley C 32
    Nicholas Tropeano SP 29
    Jose Lobaton C 35
    Gorkys Hernandez LF 32
    Adam Rosales 2B 37
    Ervin Santana SP 37
    Logan Morrison DH 32
    Erasmo Ramirez SP 30
    Matt Joyce LF 35
    Adeiny Hechavarria SS 31
    Josh Tomlin RP 35
    Ryan Goins 2B 32
    Jerad Eickhoff SP 29
    Bryan Mitchell RP 29
    John Ryan Murphy C 29
    Xavier Cedeno RP 33
    Tyler Saino SS 30
    Cheslor Cuthbert 3B 27
    Jesus Sucre C 32
    Kelby Tomlinson 2B 30
    Andres Blanco 3B 36
    Tom Koehler RP 34
    Josh Fields RP 34
    Javy Guerra RP 34
    Fernando Abad RP 34
    Ronald Torreyes 2B 27
    Guillermo Heredia CF 29
    Tony Barnette RP 36
    Gordon Beckham 2B 33
    J.B. Shuck LF 33
    Allen Webster SP 30
    Michael Blazek RP 31
    Cody Anderson SP 29
    Josh Thole C 33
    Pat Venditte RP 35
    Ryon Healy 1B 28
    Elias Diaz C 29
    Matt Grace RP 31
    Jose Pirela 2B 30
    Dan Straily SP 31
    Jesse Biddle RP 28
    Edubray Ramos RP 27
    Kevan Smith C 32
    Trevor Hildenberger RP 29
    Joey Rickard LF 29
    Jacob Barnes RP 30
    John Hicks C 30
    Daniel Stumpf RP 29
    Tyler Olson RP 30
    J.T. Riddle SS 28
    Aaron Brooks SP 30
    D.J. Johnson RP 30
    Jacob Nix SP 24
    Ryan Burr RP 26
    Rajai Davis CF 39
    Carlos Gomez RF 34
    Tyler Austin 1B 28 EDIT: I'm removing Tyler Austin from the list because dex8425 said he signed with a team in Japan, that it was a pretty good deal for Tyler Austin actually, and that dex8425 is taking any and all wagers that Tyler Austin will rake. Also, I read on mlbtraderumors or on a Doogie tweet that Tyler Austin's girlfriend preferred being near an airport in Japan, so we never had a shot anyway.
    Kohl Stewart RP 25
    Tim Peterson RP 29
    Felipe Paulino SP 36
    Hector Santiago RP 32
    Eric Sogard 2B 34
    Mike Morin RP 29
    Homer Bailey SP 34
    Blake Parker RP 35
    Brian Schlitter RP 34
    Brooks Pounders RP 29
    Danny Hultzen RP 30
    Caleb Frare RP 26
    Thyago Vieira RP 27
    Ryan Feierabend SP 34
    Derek Law RP 29
    Jim Adduci CF 35
    Jason Adam RP 28
    Rob Brantly C 30
    Wilkin Castillo C 36
    Rico Garcia P 26
    Isaac Galloway RF 30
    Humberto Arteaga SS 26
    Oscar Hernandez C 26
    Erick Mejia 2B 25
    Deven Marrero SS 29
    Ian Gibaut RP 26
    Peter O'Brien RF 29
    Jace Peterson 3B 30
    Yadiel Rivera 2B 28
    David Hale RP 32
    Tom Milone SP 33
    Josh Smith RP 32
    Drew Gagnon RP 30
    Fernando Salas RP 35
    Joe Hudson C 29
    Francisco Cervelli C 34
    Austin Adams P 33
    Joe Panik 2B 29
    Ross Detwiler RP 34
    Aaron Slegers SP 27
    Zac Rosscup RP 32
    Chris Owings 2B 28
    Robby Scott RP 30
    Juan Minaya RP 29
    Brad Miller 2B 30
    Charlie Tilson CF 27
    Mike Gerber OF 27
    Kris Negron RF 34
    Edwin Jackson SP 36
    Tyler Lyons RP 32
    Buddy hers RP 32
    Jonathan Lucroy C 34
    Tim Federowicz C 33
    Sean Gilmartin RP 30
    Cameron Maybin RF 33
    Rookie Davis SP 27
    Donnie Hart RP 29
    Sean Rodriguez 2B 35
    Ricardo Pinto RP 26
    Gabriel Ynoa SP 27
    Yonder Alonso 1B 33
    David Carpenter RP 34
    Tayler Scott SP 28
    Ryan Eades P 28
    Matt Kemp LF 35
    Pablo Sandoval 3B 33
    Bobby Wilson C 37
    Rene Rivera C 36
    Nick Vincent RP 33
    Juan Centeno C 30
    Ryan LaMarre LF 31
    Gregor Blanco RF 36
    Chris Stewart C 38
    Marcos Mateo RP 36
    Erik Kratz C 40
    Tim Collins RP 30
    Jeff Bianchi 2B 33
    Rubby De La Rosa SP 31
    Josh Edgin RP 33
    Jemile Weeks 2B 33
    Travis Snider RF 32
    Kila Ka'aihue 1B 36
    Mike Zagurski RP 37
    Shane Robinson CF 35
    Cliff Pennington SS 36
    Alex Wilson RP 33
    Danny Espinosa SS 33
    Ricky Nolasco SP 37
    Logan Kensing RP 37
    Dylan Axelrod RP 34
    Johnny Giavotella 2B 32
    Duane Below RP 34
    J.C. can C 40
    Chris Withrow RP 31
    Nick Franklin LF 29
    Rafael Lopez C 32
    George Kontos RP 35
    Seth Maness RP 31
    Alcides Escobar SS 33
    Grant Green LF 32
    Neftali Feliz RP 32
    J.J. Hoover RP 32
    Wilin Rosario 1B 31
    Chris Hatcher RP 35
    Dan Runzler RP 35
    Collin Balester RP 34
    Brandon Beachy SP 33
    Brandon Hicks 2B 34
    Henderson Alvarez SP 30
    Juan Jaime RP 32
    Alex Torres RP 32
    Robbie Ross RP 31
    Drew Hutchison SP 29
    Zach McAllister RP 32
    Cole Gillespie LF 36
    Stolmy Pimentel RP 30
    Michael Martinez 2B 37
    Dioner Navarro C 36
    Logan Ondrusek RP 35
    Stephen Pryor RP 30
    Fernando Rodriguez RP 36
    Ezequiel Carrera LF 33
    Wilkin Ramirez LF 34
    Emilio Bonifacio CF 35
    Mark Rogers RP 34
    B.J. Rosenberg RP 34
    Justin Sellers SS 34
    Moises Sierra RF 31
    Scott Van Slyke LF 33
    Josh Zeid RP 33
    Zach Putnam RP 32
    Shelby Miller SP 29
    David Lough RF 34
    Brad Boxberger RP 32
    Hector Sanchez C 30
  3. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from DannySD for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  4. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from SF Twins Fan for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  5. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from brvama for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  6. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from birdwatcher for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  7. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from DocBauer for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  8. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  9. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from howieramone2 for a blog entry, 2020 Offseason Blueprint   
    Overall, it's not hard to be excited about the Twins in 2020 given a 101 win season in 2019. The ending certainly wasn't ideal, but 2019 showed us that our window is open and it should be for a few years. Cleveland remains the only real competition in the central. Chicago is up and coming, but they are likely another year or two away before they can have a realistic shot of competing. KC and Detroit are dumpster fires right now. So with that in mind, it's up to Falvey and Levine to construct a roster that can not only win the central but advance deep into the post season.
     
    There's no question that starting pitching is our biggest need, and if I were running the team, this is where I would focus if I were them, but we need to start by trimming and expanding the roster in advance of the Rule V draft. The Twins already made the easiest of moves by picking up Nelson Cruz's option, but it gets a bit tougher from here: This is our current 40 man roster. The following players are free agents: Gibson, Odorizzi, Schoop, Romo, and Castro. That leaves us at 36 before changes are made. I'd DFA/nontender/trade if someone wants to give up something for the following as well: Sam Dyson, Kohl Stewart, Ronald Torreyes, Ryan Lamarre, Trevor Hildenberger, and Ian Miller. I would also not pick up Perez's option. That brings us down to 28 guys on the roster going into winter meetings. Buxton and Poppen will most definitely return, so that moves us up to 30. CJ Cron is a bit of a wild card here. His play may not be worth the money spent on tendering him, but there's no replacement waiting in the wings just yet (more on him in a bit, but I haven't removed his spot). So as it stands right now, we need the following (several starting pitchers, a backup catcher, an 2B (though there's a replacement in house), possibly a 1B, and if possible another shut down reliever). Other than starting pitching help, this team is in pretty good shape...
     
    So on that note, I'm going to start by tendering Odorizzi a QO, with the clear desire to sign him to a 3 year deal. I'm going to guestimate that at 3/45 to make it work, as the 17M QO is probably the starting point to a negotiation. Jake was very good for us this year, but I'm not sure he's good enough for teams to surrender a pick and pay him 50+M on a multi-year deal. That brings the roster to 31. With Odorizzi at 17M, our current payroll sits at 48M. I'm going to tender the following candidates with a note that I'd be willing to extend any extension candidate willing to sign a reasonable deal. Some players won't sign them (Buxton for sure as his value is low due to health), but I suspect a couple guys likely sign a longer term contract.
    Ehire Adrianza – $1.9MM
    Trevor May – $2.1MM (extension candidate)
    Eddie Rosario – $8.9MM (I'd stay year to year here, I could see trading him if a better FA option was available, but I'm most likely tendering him)
    Miguel Sano – $5.9MM (extension candidate)
    Byron Buxton – $2.9MM (extension candidate)
    Taylor Rogers – $3.9MM (extension candidate)
    Tyler Duffey – $1.1MM (extension candidate)
    Jose Berrios – $5.4MM (extension candidate)

    That's an additional 32.1M. Add Garver in there as he's not going anywhere, but his total is about .5M. That leaves payroll at roughly 81M without Cron. Cron's arb estimate is around 7.7M, which isn't terrible for a .780 OPS. He's roughly an average bat at 1B. The problem with him though is that there aren't ML ready options to take his place... not now at least. Rooker, Raley and Weil could use more seasoning, and Kirilloff is also questionable at this point. Next year at this time, one of those guys will hopefully be knocking at the door or perhaps even had some success at the major league level, but I'm not sure there should be a plan to count on a rookie to perform. Surveying the FA market, you have a couple options available. Josh Donaldson would likely be my primary target, as he could also play 3B giving Baldelli some flexibility with Sano/Garver at 1B on occasion as well. I doubt he comes cheap, and certainly not cheaper than Cron. He's likely going to get something similar to his salary last season and quite possibly a multi-year deal, so I'd guess around 20M. Zimmerman, Rizzo, and Thames all have club options available, and to be honest there really isn't much in terms of sure fire help out there. I don't think trading for a 1B makes any sense at all unless there's someone who is essentially on the last year of his deal and performing. In all, I think tendering Cron is the right answer here unless they know they can get Donaldson... and I doubt that. So I tender him at 7.7M bringing our payroll up to roughly 89M.
     
    I'm not quite sure who all needs protecting and exposing. I'm using roster resource and protecting anyone that has R5 or Dec 19 as their status if their play warrants it. That said, I know this tool isn't completely accurate, so hopefully I haven't missed anyone. I see 10 names that warrant discussion. Let's start with the easy ones:
     
    Candidates:
    Griffin Jax (protect)
    Luke Raley (protect)
    Jake Reed (expose. He was not good last year)
    Zander Wiel (expose. He was not good last year)

    It gets a bit more difficult from here.
    Travis Blankenhorn - He will likely get a crack at AAA in his age 23 season. He had a .785 OPS in AA, and really does seem to be turning a corner. Those numbers are nothing special, but question at hand is can he stick on a ML roster. I don't think it's worth the risk. I protect him.
    Jhoan Duran - Duran likely starts in AA in his age 22 season, though he could also be promoted as he did spent some time there. He does a fantastic job keeping the ball in the park. His walk rate is acceptable and he doesn't give a lot of hits. He's kept his K rate around 10/9 IP for the last 2 seasons. I protect him.
    Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers is a sleeper. I could see a bad team poaching him and stashing him with their extra spot as he will be 23 next season. The MLB roster size expands to 26 in 2020, and I think bad teams will use that to grab players like Chalmers with upside who may be exposed. The Twins have a few of them and ultimately I think someone gets left off. Chalmers is posting some sexy strike out numbers striking out 48 in 34 innings of relief work. He's also very stingy with the long ball. His walk rate though is scary as he gave 23 free passes. Bottom line for Chalmers is that right now, he won't do well on a major league roster. His AFL performance to date has not changed my view of this. I'm going to expose him.
    Tom Hackimer - Hackimer pitched pretty well in his age 25 season in AA. He's one that could possibly stick in a mop up role in MLB. I lean towards not protecting him as well given his age. He got the strikeouts this season, his walk rate was a bit high at just over 4 per 9 innings but overall had a pretty good season between high A and AA. He likely starts in AA or AAA, but I'm going to expose him.
    Jovani Moran - Moran is a similar pitcher to Chalmers if you look at the numbers. He gets lots of strikeouts and gives up too many free passes though he tends to be prone to the long ball. He will also be 23 next season. He's another one risking losing, but I think I expose him.
    Tyler Wells - Wells is the hardest one. He was absolutely money in the minors but TJS derailed his 2019 season before it started. He will be rehabbing and should be able to pitch most of the year. I think the upside is too good to risk this, so I keep him.

    That leaves us with 5 additions. Our roster now sits at 36. We need to figure out at least 2 starting pitchers, a backup C, and ideally a shutdown RP. We're also sitting on a couple individuals (Harper, Poppen, and Gonsalves) that I'd like to keep but could be set free in the event a better opportunity comes along through cost cutting or trade.
     
    Falvey and Levine stated they weren't afraid to blow up the payroll when the windows is open, so now it's time to see if they will put the Pohlad's money to the test. They need pitching help badly, and having someone that can sit in front of Odorizzi and Berrios is a must in my opinion. Sign Gerrit Cole or Steven Strassburg (if he opts out) to a 5 or 6 year deal at 30M/season. That's probably what it will take to get either one of them. Feasibly, they could get them both and still have payroll sitting south of 150M, but I'm guessing that won't happen as much as I'd like and there are other needs I'd rather address... But they have to go big here, even if that means out bidding the competition by a significant margin. That moves payroll to $119M and gives us a pretty nice starting trio in Cole, Berrios, and Odorizzi. I'm guessing there's a QO attached here too for Cole at least, and I sacrifice the pick.
     
    They still need 2 more pitchers. I'm fine letting Dobnak, Thorpe, Gonsalves, and Smeltzer compete for one of the spots. Most of these guys did well enough that I'm not losing sleep over the role. It's Dobnak's to lose at this point, but he earned it in limited looks. The reality is that unless there's a trade in the works that involves sending one or two of these guys off as part of a deal for a more established option such as say Mike Minor, I think this spot is going to go to pre-arb guys. That's another 500k on the payroll. Note that I didn't mention Graterol. I'm assuming he's going to remain as a starter, but that also means he's capped at about 120 innings. He could be this guy as well, but I think he could pair well with Michael Pineda if they bring him back... which brings me to my next FA target:
     
    There are a few names I'd probably target here, they will have varying costs/years attached to them: Bumgardner, Wheeler, and Pineda would likely be my top 3. I'm personally not sold on Ryu from the Dodgers, but if my analytics guys liked him, then perhaps he's an option as well. Pineda actually pairs well with Graterol in that he can be stretched out and be the 5th starter in April/May and switch more to long relief/spot starting as the season wears on and Pineda returns from his suspension. That would keep Graterol's innings around 120 for the year (baring injury of course, which with Graterol is not low risk). Pineda would have been a QO option had he not been suspended. With roughly 40 days left on his suspension and of course the risk that he gets suspended again for longer, he's likely going to sign for much less than that. I'd offer him a 1/7 make good deal unless of course there's an unexpected price drop for the other guys on this list. That also means Graterol is on the 26 man, so that's another 500k to add to the payroll. If one of these other big names sign, I'm likely going to give Graterol a late start to his season in AAA and stretch him out to be the spot starter for the inevitable pitching injury. Once he gets closer to his 120, I'd shift him to the MLB pen during the stretch run.
     
    If you're keeping track at this point, I've added another 8M here and now I'm sitting at roughly 127M.
     
    Next up, I target a catcher. I'm not liking the idea of going with Astrudillo as my backup C. Rortvedt and Jeffers may be knocking at the door next year at this time, but counting on either in 2020 would not be wise. Astrudillo, while a fan favorite, still has options and is extremely valuable to the team earning frequent flier miles between Rochester and Minneapolis when someone gets hurt, so I'm going to sign someone. Retaining Castro is fine in my opinion if he's OK with a backup role. I'm looking though for no more than a two year deal. Castro works fine here, but I'd also target Austin Romine, Brian McCann, or Steven Voght. I'd be fine sacrificing a few home runs for some OBP. These guys are not young, so they won't be getting a huge deal. I'm going to guess it will be somewhere around 2/10-15, giving you a 5-8M cost in payroll. I'm going to assume this is 6M for now, bringing payroll up to 133.
     
    Last, I'm targeting a RP. I didn't learn my lesson about free agent relievers (and hopefully I'll update that blog at some point later this month), and there's 1 FA reliever that I want on this team and think that Falvey should pay for. I'm targeting Will Smith and spending what it takes to get him. I'm guessing he's signing for a 3-4 year deal at 10M+. He signed a 3/24 deal with SF in his last go around, and I have to think he's going to get at least that. I'm going to assume 3/30, but I'd be willing to pay more.
     
    That brings payroll up to 143.
     
    My 26 man roster is now as follows:
    C - Garver
    1B - Cron
    2B - Arraez or Gordon
    3B - Sano
    SS - Polanco
    CF - Buxton
    RF/LF - Rosario/Kepler
    DH - Cruz
     
    SP
    Cole/Strassburg, Berrios, Odorizzi, Graterol/Pineda or other pitching FA, Dobnak
     
    RP
    Smith, May, Duffey, Rodgers, Littell, Graterol, Harper (I'd have some open competition, but these are who I've penciled in).
     
    Bench
    Adrianza, Cave, Castro or other FA, Gonzalez
     
    I didn't count the salaries of Littell, Harper, and Cave or whomever internally would beat them out which comes out to another 1.5M. That puts my total payroll at roughly 144.5. I would hope this could go up a bit if my estimates were a bit low, but there's room there in my opinion.
     
    So there you have it. We can add a top shelf starter and relief pitcher and keep our payroll under 150M. I'm not sure what the front office will target, but this seems like a very reasonable option to field a very competitive team in 2020 and one with a good shot of advancing deep in the post season.
  10. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to mikelink45 for a blog entry, What New York has to say   
    I wondered how the New York Press would describe game 2 - here are some key quotes - and I cannot disagree with any of them:
     
    "Dobnak’s short outing was fairly predictable. A recent Uber driver against this lineup? Rather optimistic of the Twins. The last Twins rookie to start a game in the postseason was Brian Duensing at Yankee Stadium in 2009. Duensing gave up five runs in four and two-thirds innings and his father was hit by a car outside the stadium (he was O.K.)."
     
    "The Yankees did not homer off Dobnak, but they wore him down with hard-hit singles and doubles. Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli hooked Dobnak after the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning and turned to Tyler Duffey, a reliable reliever during the regular season. But Duffey was no better against the Yankees’ buzz-saw of a lineup, which began to pile on the runs."
     
    "The best-of-five series will shift to Minneapolis on Monday, with the Yankees one win away from clinching a berth in the A.L. Championship Series. And if the Twins cannot neutralize even the Yankees’ struggling hitters, they have little hope of extending their postseason."
     
    If you wonder what they wrote after game one - "Yankees fans, spoiled by 27 World Series trophies, might be frustrated by their team’s decade-long drought without adding another title. But consider the plight of Minnesota Twins fans when they learned of their team’s first-round postseason opponent.
    The Twins, who last won a World Series in 1991, have been eliminated in five of their six previous recent playoff appearances — in 2003, ’04, ’09, ’10 and ’17 — by the Yankees. In 15 postseason games between the two teams before this year, the Twins had won only twice — the first games of the American League division series in 2003 and 2004."
     
    "Interspersed between the blasts and runs, the dawdling game, which lasted 4 hours 15 minutes, featured 11 total relievers as both managers tried to navigate through the other’s potent lineup."
     
    I have nothing to add - let's just start by ending this losing streak! A moral victory is at least a victory.
  11. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to Heezy1323 for a blog entry, Buxton Shoulder Q&A- What is a shoulder 'subluxation'?   
    Byron Buxton Shoulder Injury Q&A
    heezy1323
     
     
    Byron Buxton, as we all know, is an outstanding center fielder for our Twins. Unfortunately, he has dealt with a variety of injuries that have cost him significant time over the past few seasons. This weekend he sustained an injury to his left shoulder that was termed a ‘subluxation’ and is headed back to the IL. By the sound of things, he is likely to be away from the big club for at least a few weeks. This is a tough blow for the Twins as the Indians make a push to catch up to a team that has led the division essentially all season.
     
    Medical terminology can be confusing, so I thought a post about shoulder subluxations might be of interest to TD readers. As usual- my disclaimer is that I am not a Twins team physician. I have not examined Byron nor seen any imaging of his injury. I am not speaking on behalf of the Twins. I am only hoping to familiarize TD readers with some of the concerns that may be ahead regarding injuries similar to Buxton’s.
    Question 1: How does the shoulder normally work?
    The shoulder is considered a ball-and-socket joint. The round ball (humeral head) sits in the socket (glenoid) similar to how a golf ball sits on a golf tee. Around the perimeter of the golf tee is a strong cartilage tissue called a labrum. The labrum surrounds the socket similar to the red gasket on a mason jar lid. Its function is to help act as a ‘bumper’ to hold the golf ball on the golf tee. It is also an attachment point for ligaments around the shoulder that also contribute to shoulder stability. The ligaments make up the ‘capsule’ of the shoulder joint. I often tell patients that the capsule is like a water balloon that surrounds the joint. The ligaments that make up the capsule form the connection between the ball and the socket.
     
    Question 2: What is a shoulder subluxation?
     
    The term ‘subluxation’ is typically used in situations where a joint partially (or nearly) dislocates. This is not specific to the shoulder and can happen in a number of other areas of the body as well (such as the kneecap, for example). This is distinct from a true ‘dislocation’ where the ball comes completely out of the socket and then goes back in.
     
    If someone dislocates their shoulder and it stays dislocated, it is typically clear what has happened. Xrays will show the ball dislocated from the socket and the shoulder will be manipulated to ‘reduce’ the ball back to its normal position. However, in some cases cases the ball can completely dislocate and go back in on its own very quickly. In these cases, an xray would often look normal. In most cases when there is concern about an injury of this type, an MRI is ordered. This of course shows additional details of the bone and soft tissue that cannot be seen on an xray alone. Usually an MRI will allow for a pretty solid conclusion as to whether the injury that occurred was a ‘subluxation’ (less severe) or a true ‘dislocation’ (more severe).
     
    There is, of course, a spectrum of damage that can occur with any injury and this is no exception. It’s possible that there was some minimal stretch to the ligaments around the shoulder and no other significant damage (best case). It’s also possible that there was more significant damage to the ligaments and potentially even a tear of the labrum (more worrisome). The MRI would typically give a good approximation of these issues. In most cases, the damage that occurs with a subluxation is less significant than that which occurs with a dislocation.
    Question 3: Does it make a difference that the injury is to his left shoulder rather than his right?
     
    In my opinion, absolutely. Because it is his non-throwing shoulder, the stresses placed on it are less. Even small issues with the ligaments can be problematic in the throwing shoulder- particularly someone who can approach 100mph on throws from the outfield.
     
    That said, the left shoulder is Byron’s front shoulder when hitting. In most hitters it is the front shoulder that is more stressed. It is possible that Buxton’s recovery is more affected at the plate than in the field (though that’s impossible to predict with certainty, of course).
     
    Question 4: Does this injury make it more likely that Byron will dislocate his shoulder in the future?
     
    Possibly. As discussed above, there is a spectrum of damage that can occur with this injury. If the damage is near the minimal end, it probably doesn’t have a significant effect on his likelihood of injuring this shoulder in the future. If there is more significant structural damage, it may place him at higher risk.
     
    Question 5: What is the purpose of the rehab?
     
    In addition to the capsule and labrum discussed above in question 1, the muscles around the shoulder also contribute to stability. I often tell patients to imagine that there is canopy over the top of the golf ball pulling it down onto the golf tee and helping to hold it in place. This is similar to the way your rotator cuff functions. I suspect rehab for Buxton will include strengthening exercises for a number of muscles around the shoulder that contribute to stability.
     
    Also, these muscles can be strained during the injury, so they can sometimes need additional time to recover along with the ligaments.
     
    Question 6: Will Buxton need surgery?
     
    This is essentially impossible to answer right now, likely even for the physicians and training staff involved in Byron’s care. As I sometimes tell my patients, “The crystal ball is a little murky.” Without knowing the extent of any structural issues in Byron’s shoulder, I would say that it is somewhat unlikely this will require surgery. I would expect that even if surgery is required, it would only occur after an attempt at non-surgical treatment has been unsuccessful.
     
    Question 7: How long will it be before he is able to return to play?
     
    This is also a difficult question to answer. The fact that the early word is that he will be out a few weeks is consistent with what I would expect from an injury like this. The rehab often takes time to regain full motion and strength. I would hope he can be back patrolling center field before the end of August, but it’s certainly possible this lingers into September. It seems unlikely that this would be a season-ending injury, but only time will tell.
     
     
    Clearly this Twins team is better when Byron is on the field rather than on the IL. Let’s hope he heals quickly and can help the Twins down the stretch. GO TWINS!
  12. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from Vanimal46 for a blog entry, 2019 Season FA relievers at the half way point   
    This is my second installment tracking all of the FA relievers. This was a personal nit to pick with the front office given the team's need and the plethora of available options. At the quarter pole though, the results were not as good as I'd have liked personally. At this point, the sample sizes are large enough that we should be able to get a feel for who was worth it, or if FA relievers really are just a crap shoot.
     
     
    The cream of the Crop:
     
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a complete bust, posting an ERA north of 7 out of the pen in 35 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP which sits close to 1.2. His HR rate has also skyrocketed sitting at around 1.5 per 9 innings.
     
    Andrew Miller - Miller has turned it around a bit since the quarter pole, but even now it's hard to say his 2/25 deal with an additional option is what the Cards hoped it would be. His numbers are currently sitting around his career average as opposed to the 2014-2017 version that we had all hoped he'd do. I cannot really call this a bust anymore, but I'm not sure he'd be a name highly talked of if he was pitching here. To put it in perspective, his ERA sits right around where the much maligned Blake Parker sits. Granted, his peripherals are much better which tells me he may continue to positively regress.
     
    Adam Ottavino - I hate the Yankees. He's been a stud. His walk rate seems to be the only negative. He's striking out 12+ per 9 innings and walking 6+... That said, his WHIP is a healthy 1.3 as batters cannot make contact with him.
     
    Craig Kimbrel - This was a name we all watched closely. He's only managed 3 appearances for the Cubs since signing, so it's a bit too early to track this one. He has been shelled so far... but then again, it's 3 appearances.
     
    Jeurys Familia - Familia thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed. His K rate is in line with his career norms, but he's walking more, giving up more hits, and giving up more home runs. His peripherals are pretty ugly right now and he sports a sparking 7.76 ERA in 31 appearances.
     
    Zach Britton - Britton signed a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has pitched reasonably well, though I'm not sure why. His K rate is pretty bad for a reliver and below his 7.34 career average. His walk rate is up as well. He's managed to lower his H/9 rate as well as keep the ball in the park. If he was pitching for MN, I think most of us would be on pins and needles, but he's gotten results thus far in his 37 innings of work.
     
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has improved substantially on his results this quarter. Despite that, he hasn't been that good. His K rate remains good, but he's still allowed more walks, hits, and home runs over his career average. And I'd add that his career marks aren't very good for a RP. LA has him for another two years.
     
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow soreness where he has been all season.
     
    In all, there has been only one real hit here in Ottavino. Miller is making a case for being added to this list as he's improved substantially over his numbers earlier this season. Britton has gotten results as well, but he appears to be on borrowed time.
     
    The Second Tier:
     
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the Mets, signing a 2/10 deal. It appears that he spent most of the second half of the quarter on the DL, as he's only logged 10.2 innings of work with a 4.22 ERA. He's got time to redeem himself, but this deal hasn't gone well.
     
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and has improved a bit on his numbers at the quarter turn. His ERA has dropped and his peripherals all look pretty good. Oakland has worked him hard as he's got 41.2 innings under his belt already this season. I'd say at this point that the signing has been good. I'm not sure the cause of the bloated ERA, but if I was guessing it would be the occasional big game as his peripherals say he's been pretty good.
     
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without. He's now in our minor league system. I'd say this is a good deal for the Twins getting him at the minimum if they can fix him, not so much for the Angels who will pay the rest of the 8M owed. Time will tell if we can do something, but this was no risk to us. He was a bust though for the Angels.
     
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever. At the quarter pole, the results weren't all that good, but they've moved into respectable territory at the half way mark. I'd say at this point, this is a good signing, especially for the price. Chavez could replace a few arms in our pen, but we'd be happy to upgrade him. His K rate is below average for a good reliever, but he does minimize walks and hits.
     
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and has been a complete disaster managing only 6 innings of very ugly baseball in the majors.
     
    There are only 5 names in this tier, and it has improved a bit as the season wore on. At the quarter pole, there
    wasn't a name on this tier that we'd be clamoring for. Now, Chavez and Soria both fall into a range of acceptable. That's not really high praise, but they appear to be trending in the right direction and could be reliable going forward.
     
    Cheap Fliers:
     
    Brad Brach - At the quarter pole, he wasn't that bad. At the half way mark, he's been horrible. The K rate is nice, but he's walking guys like crazy as well and still gives up hits. His ERA sits over 6 in 35 innings of work, and I'm sure he's part of the reason the Cubs went out and got Kimbrel.
     
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been so bad that they've only given him an additional 5 innings since the last time I wrote this piece. He's been injured for parts of it and largely ineffective when healthy.
     
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. He has regressed a bit since the quarter pole but has notched over 30 innings of OK work. He really needs to cut down on his walk rate a bit. This isn't a bad value signing, but he doesn't have a place on a contending team. He's been worse than Parker to put that in perspective.
     
    Greg Holland - Holland has regressed a bit from the quarter pole, and his numbers currently sit in line with his more recent 2015-2017 marks. He still doesn't look like the Holland of old, but for 3.25M, he's been cheap and effective. This is definitely still a win for AZ, and he'll likely be flipped for a lotto ticket by teams looking to replace busts on this list, but he's not pitching like a late pen option either.
     
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 32 innings at this point and would be a decent option in our pen. He's not elite, but he's gotten results to the tune of a 3.09 ERA. His biggest draw back has been the long ball. He'd be an upgrade over several members in our pen currently.
     
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness.... and he's still there. I have to call this a bust at this point.
     
    Blake Parker - At the time of signing, I simply noted that I didn't mind it if this was not the main RP piece we've added. Sadly, it was, and it wasn't even the best move. I'm not tracking Ryne Harper here as he was signed to a minor league deal, but he's out performed Parker. Parker, on the other hand, has out performed most of the people I'm tracking. This is technically a win for the front office, but literally everyone here wants him upgraded. Parker's biggest problem has been home runs, though his peripherals are all well below what they were when he was a successful MLB reliever. I think he might be adequate if kept in lower leverage situations/mop up duty, but relying on him with any kind of consistency in high leverage situations would be a mistake.
     
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 24 innings thus far. A quick search didn't find any injuries, but Cleveland is clearly not heavily using him. He's been acceptable for them with some pretty good peripherals backing an ERA of 3. His HR rate is a bit higher than one would like. This again is a great value signing and would be better than just a mop up guy.
     
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He hadn't pitched at the quarter pole but now has 9.2 innings notched. This may end up being a good signing, time will tell. He hasn't pitched well enough to warrant someone giving up much in terms of prospects for him. Perhaps that changes in the next couple of weeks given the SSS issues at play here.
     
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's improved a bit on his quarter pole results, but he's pitched in only 16 innings thus far.
     
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly only to hit the IL with an injury. He appears to be starting rehab at this point. Not a bad gamble, but a bust.
     
    Adam Warren - Warren has been a bust in 28.2 bad innings for SD. He's gotten worse as the season went on and is costing 2.5M. I doubt he fetches much value at the deadline.
     
    Summarizing the fliers, there were some good finds here. No one in this group falls into a late inning option, but several would be perfectly acceptable in the next tier. I count 5 guys that are successful and that would be desired by a number of teams if they were available. None of those guys, however, would be that elite help they needed, but would be acceptable tier 2 BP options. There are 5 busts here and one guy in the too soon to tell.
     
    In all, my conclusion hasn't changed much. FA relievers haven't been an option. Only Ottavino has lived up to his status at the top, though through the half way point there are a number of names that would fit nicely into the tier 2 mark. Statistically speaking, the fliers have performed the best so far... and that's not high praise. The front office might have been right in not plunking down good money for help here. The problem is that they will now shell out some decent prospects for help here.
  13. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from birdwatcher for a blog entry, 2019 Season FA relievers at the half way point   
    This is my second installment tracking all of the FA relievers. This was a personal nit to pick with the front office given the team's need and the plethora of available options. At the quarter pole though, the results were not as good as I'd have liked personally. At this point, the sample sizes are large enough that we should be able to get a feel for who was worth it, or if FA relievers really are just a crap shoot.
     
     
    The cream of the Crop:
     
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a complete bust, posting an ERA north of 7 out of the pen in 35 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP which sits close to 1.2. His HR rate has also skyrocketed sitting at around 1.5 per 9 innings.
     
    Andrew Miller - Miller has turned it around a bit since the quarter pole, but even now it's hard to say his 2/25 deal with an additional option is what the Cards hoped it would be. His numbers are currently sitting around his career average as opposed to the 2014-2017 version that we had all hoped he'd do. I cannot really call this a bust anymore, but I'm not sure he'd be a name highly talked of if he was pitching here. To put it in perspective, his ERA sits right around where the much maligned Blake Parker sits. Granted, his peripherals are much better which tells me he may continue to positively regress.
     
    Adam Ottavino - I hate the Yankees. He's been a stud. His walk rate seems to be the only negative. He's striking out 12+ per 9 innings and walking 6+... That said, his WHIP is a healthy 1.3 as batters cannot make contact with him.
     
    Craig Kimbrel - This was a name we all watched closely. He's only managed 3 appearances for the Cubs since signing, so it's a bit too early to track this one. He has been shelled so far... but then again, it's 3 appearances.
     
    Jeurys Familia - Familia thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed. His K rate is in line with his career norms, but he's walking more, giving up more hits, and giving up more home runs. His peripherals are pretty ugly right now and he sports a sparking 7.76 ERA in 31 appearances.
     
    Zach Britton - Britton signed a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has pitched reasonably well, though I'm not sure why. His K rate is pretty bad for a reliver and below his 7.34 career average. His walk rate is up as well. He's managed to lower his H/9 rate as well as keep the ball in the park. If he was pitching for MN, I think most of us would be on pins and needles, but he's gotten results thus far in his 37 innings of work.
     
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has improved substantially on his results this quarter. Despite that, he hasn't been that good. His K rate remains good, but he's still allowed more walks, hits, and home runs over his career average. And I'd add that his career marks aren't very good for a RP. LA has him for another two years.
     
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow soreness where he has been all season.
     
    In all, there has been only one real hit here in Ottavino. Miller is making a case for being added to this list as he's improved substantially over his numbers earlier this season. Britton has gotten results as well, but he appears to be on borrowed time.
     
    The Second Tier:
     
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the Mets, signing a 2/10 deal. It appears that he spent most of the second half of the quarter on the DL, as he's only logged 10.2 innings of work with a 4.22 ERA. He's got time to redeem himself, but this deal hasn't gone well.
     
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and has improved a bit on his numbers at the quarter turn. His ERA has dropped and his peripherals all look pretty good. Oakland has worked him hard as he's got 41.2 innings under his belt already this season. I'd say at this point that the signing has been good. I'm not sure the cause of the bloated ERA, but if I was guessing it would be the occasional big game as his peripherals say he's been pretty good.
     
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without. He's now in our minor league system. I'd say this is a good deal for the Twins getting him at the minimum if they can fix him, not so much for the Angels who will pay the rest of the 8M owed. Time will tell if we can do something, but this was no risk to us. He was a bust though for the Angels.
     
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever. At the quarter pole, the results weren't all that good, but they've moved into respectable territory at the half way mark. I'd say at this point, this is a good signing, especially for the price. Chavez could replace a few arms in our pen, but we'd be happy to upgrade him. His K rate is below average for a good reliever, but he does minimize walks and hits.
     
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and has been a complete disaster managing only 6 innings of very ugly baseball in the majors.
     
    There are only 5 names in this tier, and it has improved a bit as the season wore on. At the quarter pole, there
    wasn't a name on this tier that we'd be clamoring for. Now, Chavez and Soria both fall into a range of acceptable. That's not really high praise, but they appear to be trending in the right direction and could be reliable going forward.
     
    Cheap Fliers:
     
    Brad Brach - At the quarter pole, he wasn't that bad. At the half way mark, he's been horrible. The K rate is nice, but he's walking guys like crazy as well and still gives up hits. His ERA sits over 6 in 35 innings of work, and I'm sure he's part of the reason the Cubs went out and got Kimbrel.
     
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been so bad that they've only given him an additional 5 innings since the last time I wrote this piece. He's been injured for parts of it and largely ineffective when healthy.
     
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. He has regressed a bit since the quarter pole but has notched over 30 innings of OK work. He really needs to cut down on his walk rate a bit. This isn't a bad value signing, but he doesn't have a place on a contending team. He's been worse than Parker to put that in perspective.
     
    Greg Holland - Holland has regressed a bit from the quarter pole, and his numbers currently sit in line with his more recent 2015-2017 marks. He still doesn't look like the Holland of old, but for 3.25M, he's been cheap and effective. This is definitely still a win for AZ, and he'll likely be flipped for a lotto ticket by teams looking to replace busts on this list, but he's not pitching like a late pen option either.
     
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 32 innings at this point and would be a decent option in our pen. He's not elite, but he's gotten results to the tune of a 3.09 ERA. His biggest draw back has been the long ball. He'd be an upgrade over several members in our pen currently.
     
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness.... and he's still there. I have to call this a bust at this point.
     
    Blake Parker - At the time of signing, I simply noted that I didn't mind it if this was not the main RP piece we've added. Sadly, it was, and it wasn't even the best move. I'm not tracking Ryne Harper here as he was signed to a minor league deal, but he's out performed Parker. Parker, on the other hand, has out performed most of the people I'm tracking. This is technically a win for the front office, but literally everyone here wants him upgraded. Parker's biggest problem has been home runs, though his peripherals are all well below what they were when he was a successful MLB reliever. I think he might be adequate if kept in lower leverage situations/mop up duty, but relying on him with any kind of consistency in high leverage situations would be a mistake.
     
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 24 innings thus far. A quick search didn't find any injuries, but Cleveland is clearly not heavily using him. He's been acceptable for them with some pretty good peripherals backing an ERA of 3. His HR rate is a bit higher than one would like. This again is a great value signing and would be better than just a mop up guy.
     
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He hadn't pitched at the quarter pole but now has 9.2 innings notched. This may end up being a good signing, time will tell. He hasn't pitched well enough to warrant someone giving up much in terms of prospects for him. Perhaps that changes in the next couple of weeks given the SSS issues at play here.
     
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's improved a bit on his quarter pole results, but he's pitched in only 16 innings thus far.
     
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly only to hit the IL with an injury. He appears to be starting rehab at this point. Not a bad gamble, but a bust.
     
    Adam Warren - Warren has been a bust in 28.2 bad innings for SD. He's gotten worse as the season went on and is costing 2.5M. I doubt he fetches much value at the deadline.
     
    Summarizing the fliers, there were some good finds here. No one in this group falls into a late inning option, but several would be perfectly acceptable in the next tier. I count 5 guys that are successful and that would be desired by a number of teams if they were available. None of those guys, however, would be that elite help they needed, but would be acceptable tier 2 BP options. There are 5 busts here and one guy in the too soon to tell.
     
    In all, my conclusion hasn't changed much. FA relievers haven't been an option. Only Ottavino has lived up to his status at the top, though through the half way point there are a number of names that would fit nicely into the tier 2 mark. Statistically speaking, the fliers have performed the best so far... and that's not high praise. The front office might have been right in not plunking down good money for help here. The problem is that they will now shell out some decent prospects for help here.
  14. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from woolywoolhouse for a blog entry, 2019 Season FA relievers at the half way point   
    This is my second installment tracking all of the FA relievers. This was a personal nit to pick with the front office given the team's need and the plethora of available options. At the quarter pole though, the results were not as good as I'd have liked personally. At this point, the sample sizes are large enough that we should be able to get a feel for who was worth it, or if FA relievers really are just a crap shoot.
     
     
    The cream of the Crop:
     
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a complete bust, posting an ERA north of 7 out of the pen in 35 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP which sits close to 1.2. His HR rate has also skyrocketed sitting at around 1.5 per 9 innings.
     
    Andrew Miller - Miller has turned it around a bit since the quarter pole, but even now it's hard to say his 2/25 deal with an additional option is what the Cards hoped it would be. His numbers are currently sitting around his career average as opposed to the 2014-2017 version that we had all hoped he'd do. I cannot really call this a bust anymore, but I'm not sure he'd be a name highly talked of if he was pitching here. To put it in perspective, his ERA sits right around where the much maligned Blake Parker sits. Granted, his peripherals are much better which tells me he may continue to positively regress.
     
    Adam Ottavino - I hate the Yankees. He's been a stud. His walk rate seems to be the only negative. He's striking out 12+ per 9 innings and walking 6+... That said, his WHIP is a healthy 1.3 as batters cannot make contact with him.
     
    Craig Kimbrel - This was a name we all watched closely. He's only managed 3 appearances for the Cubs since signing, so it's a bit too early to track this one. He has been shelled so far... but then again, it's 3 appearances.
     
    Jeurys Familia - Familia thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed. His K rate is in line with his career norms, but he's walking more, giving up more hits, and giving up more home runs. His peripherals are pretty ugly right now and he sports a sparking 7.76 ERA in 31 appearances.
     
    Zach Britton - Britton signed a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has pitched reasonably well, though I'm not sure why. His K rate is pretty bad for a reliver and below his 7.34 career average. His walk rate is up as well. He's managed to lower his H/9 rate as well as keep the ball in the park. If he was pitching for MN, I think most of us would be on pins and needles, but he's gotten results thus far in his 37 innings of work.
     
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has improved substantially on his results this quarter. Despite that, he hasn't been that good. His K rate remains good, but he's still allowed more walks, hits, and home runs over his career average. And I'd add that his career marks aren't very good for a RP. LA has him for another two years.
     
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow soreness where he has been all season.
     
    In all, there has been only one real hit here in Ottavino. Miller is making a case for being added to this list as he's improved substantially over his numbers earlier this season. Britton has gotten results as well, but he appears to be on borrowed time.
     
    The Second Tier:
     
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the Mets, signing a 2/10 deal. It appears that he spent most of the second half of the quarter on the DL, as he's only logged 10.2 innings of work with a 4.22 ERA. He's got time to redeem himself, but this deal hasn't gone well.
     
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and has improved a bit on his numbers at the quarter turn. His ERA has dropped and his peripherals all look pretty good. Oakland has worked him hard as he's got 41.2 innings under his belt already this season. I'd say at this point that the signing has been good. I'm not sure the cause of the bloated ERA, but if I was guessing it would be the occasional big game as his peripherals say he's been pretty good.
     
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without. He's now in our minor league system. I'd say this is a good deal for the Twins getting him at the minimum if they can fix him, not so much for the Angels who will pay the rest of the 8M owed. Time will tell if we can do something, but this was no risk to us. He was a bust though for the Angels.
     
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever. At the quarter pole, the results weren't all that good, but they've moved into respectable territory at the half way mark. I'd say at this point, this is a good signing, especially for the price. Chavez could replace a few arms in our pen, but we'd be happy to upgrade him. His K rate is below average for a good reliever, but he does minimize walks and hits.
     
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and has been a complete disaster managing only 6 innings of very ugly baseball in the majors.
     
    There are only 5 names in this tier, and it has improved a bit as the season wore on. At the quarter pole, there
    wasn't a name on this tier that we'd be clamoring for. Now, Chavez and Soria both fall into a range of acceptable. That's not really high praise, but they appear to be trending in the right direction and could be reliable going forward.
     
    Cheap Fliers:
     
    Brad Brach - At the quarter pole, he wasn't that bad. At the half way mark, he's been horrible. The K rate is nice, but he's walking guys like crazy as well and still gives up hits. His ERA sits over 6 in 35 innings of work, and I'm sure he's part of the reason the Cubs went out and got Kimbrel.
     
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been so bad that they've only given him an additional 5 innings since the last time I wrote this piece. He's been injured for parts of it and largely ineffective when healthy.
     
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. He has regressed a bit since the quarter pole but has notched over 30 innings of OK work. He really needs to cut down on his walk rate a bit. This isn't a bad value signing, but he doesn't have a place on a contending team. He's been worse than Parker to put that in perspective.
     
    Greg Holland - Holland has regressed a bit from the quarter pole, and his numbers currently sit in line with his more recent 2015-2017 marks. He still doesn't look like the Holland of old, but for 3.25M, he's been cheap and effective. This is definitely still a win for AZ, and he'll likely be flipped for a lotto ticket by teams looking to replace busts on this list, but he's not pitching like a late pen option either.
     
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 32 innings at this point and would be a decent option in our pen. He's not elite, but he's gotten results to the tune of a 3.09 ERA. His biggest draw back has been the long ball. He'd be an upgrade over several members in our pen currently.
     
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness.... and he's still there. I have to call this a bust at this point.
     
    Blake Parker - At the time of signing, I simply noted that I didn't mind it if this was not the main RP piece we've added. Sadly, it was, and it wasn't even the best move. I'm not tracking Ryne Harper here as he was signed to a minor league deal, but he's out performed Parker. Parker, on the other hand, has out performed most of the people I'm tracking. This is technically a win for the front office, but literally everyone here wants him upgraded. Parker's biggest problem has been home runs, though his peripherals are all well below what they were when he was a successful MLB reliever. I think he might be adequate if kept in lower leverage situations/mop up duty, but relying on him with any kind of consistency in high leverage situations would be a mistake.
     
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 24 innings thus far. A quick search didn't find any injuries, but Cleveland is clearly not heavily using him. He's been acceptable for them with some pretty good peripherals backing an ERA of 3. His HR rate is a bit higher than one would like. This again is a great value signing and would be better than just a mop up guy.
     
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He hadn't pitched at the quarter pole but now has 9.2 innings notched. This may end up being a good signing, time will tell. He hasn't pitched well enough to warrant someone giving up much in terms of prospects for him. Perhaps that changes in the next couple of weeks given the SSS issues at play here.
     
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's improved a bit on his quarter pole results, but he's pitched in only 16 innings thus far.
     
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly only to hit the IL with an injury. He appears to be starting rehab at this point. Not a bad gamble, but a bust.
     
    Adam Warren - Warren has been a bust in 28.2 bad innings for SD. He's gotten worse as the season went on and is costing 2.5M. I doubt he fetches much value at the deadline.
     
    Summarizing the fliers, there were some good finds here. No one in this group falls into a late inning option, but several would be perfectly acceptable in the next tier. I count 5 guys that are successful and that would be desired by a number of teams if they were available. None of those guys, however, would be that elite help they needed, but would be acceptable tier 2 BP options. There are 5 busts here and one guy in the too soon to tell.
     
    In all, my conclusion hasn't changed much. FA relievers haven't been an option. Only Ottavino has lived up to his status at the top, though through the half way point there are a number of names that would fit nicely into the tier 2 mark. Statistically speaking, the fliers have performed the best so far... and that's not high praise. The front office might have been right in not plunking down good money for help here. The problem is that they will now shell out some decent prospects for help here.
  15. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from nclahammer for a blog entry, 2019 Season FA relievers at the half way point   
    This is my second installment tracking all of the FA relievers. This was a personal nit to pick with the front office given the team's need and the plethora of available options. At the quarter pole though, the results were not as good as I'd have liked personally. At this point, the sample sizes are large enough that we should be able to get a feel for who was worth it, or if FA relievers really are just a crap shoot.
     
     
    The cream of the Crop:
     
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a complete bust, posting an ERA north of 7 out of the pen in 35 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP which sits close to 1.2. His HR rate has also skyrocketed sitting at around 1.5 per 9 innings.
     
    Andrew Miller - Miller has turned it around a bit since the quarter pole, but even now it's hard to say his 2/25 deal with an additional option is what the Cards hoped it would be. His numbers are currently sitting around his career average as opposed to the 2014-2017 version that we had all hoped he'd do. I cannot really call this a bust anymore, but I'm not sure he'd be a name highly talked of if he was pitching here. To put it in perspective, his ERA sits right around where the much maligned Blake Parker sits. Granted, his peripherals are much better which tells me he may continue to positively regress.
     
    Adam Ottavino - I hate the Yankees. He's been a stud. His walk rate seems to be the only negative. He's striking out 12+ per 9 innings and walking 6+... That said, his WHIP is a healthy 1.3 as batters cannot make contact with him.
     
    Craig Kimbrel - This was a name we all watched closely. He's only managed 3 appearances for the Cubs since signing, so it's a bit too early to track this one. He has been shelled so far... but then again, it's 3 appearances.
     
    Jeurys Familia - Familia thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed. His K rate is in line with his career norms, but he's walking more, giving up more hits, and giving up more home runs. His peripherals are pretty ugly right now and he sports a sparking 7.76 ERA in 31 appearances.
     
    Zach Britton - Britton signed a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has pitched reasonably well, though I'm not sure why. His K rate is pretty bad for a reliver and below his 7.34 career average. His walk rate is up as well. He's managed to lower his H/9 rate as well as keep the ball in the park. If he was pitching for MN, I think most of us would be on pins and needles, but he's gotten results thus far in his 37 innings of work.
     
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has improved substantially on his results this quarter. Despite that, he hasn't been that good. His K rate remains good, but he's still allowed more walks, hits, and home runs over his career average. And I'd add that his career marks aren't very good for a RP. LA has him for another two years.
     
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow soreness where he has been all season.
     
    In all, there has been only one real hit here in Ottavino. Miller is making a case for being added to this list as he's improved substantially over his numbers earlier this season. Britton has gotten results as well, but he appears to be on borrowed time.
     
    The Second Tier:
     
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the Mets, signing a 2/10 deal. It appears that he spent most of the second half of the quarter on the DL, as he's only logged 10.2 innings of work with a 4.22 ERA. He's got time to redeem himself, but this deal hasn't gone well.
     
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and has improved a bit on his numbers at the quarter turn. His ERA has dropped and his peripherals all look pretty good. Oakland has worked him hard as he's got 41.2 innings under his belt already this season. I'd say at this point that the signing has been good. I'm not sure the cause of the bloated ERA, but if I was guessing it would be the occasional big game as his peripherals say he's been pretty good.
     
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without. He's now in our minor league system. I'd say this is a good deal for the Twins getting him at the minimum if they can fix him, not so much for the Angels who will pay the rest of the 8M owed. Time will tell if we can do something, but this was no risk to us. He was a bust though for the Angels.
     
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever. At the quarter pole, the results weren't all that good, but they've moved into respectable territory at the half way mark. I'd say at this point, this is a good signing, especially for the price. Chavez could replace a few arms in our pen, but we'd be happy to upgrade him. His K rate is below average for a good reliever, but he does minimize walks and hits.
     
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and has been a complete disaster managing only 6 innings of very ugly baseball in the majors.
     
    There are only 5 names in this tier, and it has improved a bit as the season wore on. At the quarter pole, there
    wasn't a name on this tier that we'd be clamoring for. Now, Chavez and Soria both fall into a range of acceptable. That's not really high praise, but they appear to be trending in the right direction and could be reliable going forward.
     
    Cheap Fliers:
     
    Brad Brach - At the quarter pole, he wasn't that bad. At the half way mark, he's been horrible. The K rate is nice, but he's walking guys like crazy as well and still gives up hits. His ERA sits over 6 in 35 innings of work, and I'm sure he's part of the reason the Cubs went out and got Kimbrel.
     
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been so bad that they've only given him an additional 5 innings since the last time I wrote this piece. He's been injured for parts of it and largely ineffective when healthy.
     
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. He has regressed a bit since the quarter pole but has notched over 30 innings of OK work. He really needs to cut down on his walk rate a bit. This isn't a bad value signing, but he doesn't have a place on a contending team. He's been worse than Parker to put that in perspective.
     
    Greg Holland - Holland has regressed a bit from the quarter pole, and his numbers currently sit in line with his more recent 2015-2017 marks. He still doesn't look like the Holland of old, but for 3.25M, he's been cheap and effective. This is definitely still a win for AZ, and he'll likely be flipped for a lotto ticket by teams looking to replace busts on this list, but he's not pitching like a late pen option either.
     
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 32 innings at this point and would be a decent option in our pen. He's not elite, but he's gotten results to the tune of a 3.09 ERA. His biggest draw back has been the long ball. He'd be an upgrade over several members in our pen currently.
     
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness.... and he's still there. I have to call this a bust at this point.
     
    Blake Parker - At the time of signing, I simply noted that I didn't mind it if this was not the main RP piece we've added. Sadly, it was, and it wasn't even the best move. I'm not tracking Ryne Harper here as he was signed to a minor league deal, but he's out performed Parker. Parker, on the other hand, has out performed most of the people I'm tracking. This is technically a win for the front office, but literally everyone here wants him upgraded. Parker's biggest problem has been home runs, though his peripherals are all well below what they were when he was a successful MLB reliever. I think he might be adequate if kept in lower leverage situations/mop up duty, but relying on him with any kind of consistency in high leverage situations would be a mistake.
     
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 24 innings thus far. A quick search didn't find any injuries, but Cleveland is clearly not heavily using him. He's been acceptable for them with some pretty good peripherals backing an ERA of 3. His HR rate is a bit higher than one would like. This again is a great value signing and would be better than just a mop up guy.
     
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He hadn't pitched at the quarter pole but now has 9.2 innings notched. This may end up being a good signing, time will tell. He hasn't pitched well enough to warrant someone giving up much in terms of prospects for him. Perhaps that changes in the next couple of weeks given the SSS issues at play here.
     
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's improved a bit on his quarter pole results, but he's pitched in only 16 innings thus far.
     
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly only to hit the IL with an injury. He appears to be starting rehab at this point. Not a bad gamble, but a bust.
     
    Adam Warren - Warren has been a bust in 28.2 bad innings for SD. He's gotten worse as the season went on and is costing 2.5M. I doubt he fetches much value at the deadline.
     
    Summarizing the fliers, there were some good finds here. No one in this group falls into a late inning option, but several would be perfectly acceptable in the next tier. I count 5 guys that are successful and that would be desired by a number of teams if they were available. None of those guys, however, would be that elite help they needed, but would be acceptable tier 2 BP options. There are 5 busts here and one guy in the too soon to tell.
     
    In all, my conclusion hasn't changed much. FA relievers haven't been an option. Only Ottavino has lived up to his status at the top, though through the half way point there are a number of names that would fit nicely into the tier 2 mark. Statistically speaking, the fliers have performed the best so far... and that's not high praise. The front office might have been right in not plunking down good money for help here. The problem is that they will now shell out some decent prospects for help here.
  16. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for a blog entry, Surveying the 2018/19 Free Agent Relievers at the Quarter Pole   
    Gaging value in relief pitichers is always a difficult task given that they are prone to issues with small sample size. Many relievers who were good one season will regress the next, and as we've seen with Blake Parker, guys who were nothing special can turn into a very good option.
     
    Regardless, it was, without question, a point of contention this offseason among TD readers about the front office getting more help for the pen. I personally beat this horse dead on numerous occasions. I was happy with the Parker signing, but made it clear that I didn't want this to be the main acquisition. The pen so far has not been as bad as some of us (myself included) thought. It has essentially been slightly better than league average if WAR is be believed, though its peripherals definitely say that there's room for improvement.
     
    As such, I'm going to wade into the dollars vs. development debate and take a look at the FA relievers from the 2018 season to see if it was worth spending the money. I'll split these out by contract value. That's a bit arbitrary, but it does speak to the general demand for these players. My main source is this ESPN list. I'm not going to pretend that I've found all of them, so apologies if I missed a few. I'm not going to touch minor league signings.
     
    The cream of the Crop:
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a bust, posting an ERA north of 5 out of the pen in 20 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP.
    Andrew Miller - Another big name in the RP market, Miller has been, so far at least, a bust as well, posting a 4.80 ERA for the Cards after signing a 2/25 deal with an additional option. His K rate has improved this season but his WHIP has gotten worse with increases in hits, walks, and HRs per 9 innings.
    Adam Ottavino - Our first success story on the big name candidates comes from Ottavino, who thus far has been a dominant option in the back of the Yankees' pen. His control has been a bit worse than normal (walking 6.5 batters per 9), but his hit rate is an absurd 4.5 per 9 and his strike out rate has increased as well. So far at least the 3/27 contract he signed has been good for NY.
    Craig Kimbrel - He's still unsigned. So the book is still out.
    Jeurys Familia - Familia chose to remain with the Mets this offseason, and thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed as his ERA is also north of 5 and his WHIP has skyrocketed due in large part to doubling his walk rate. His HR rate has doubled too thus far.
    Zach Britton - Britton made bank signing a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has so far not disappointed. His K rate has increased substantially while the rest of his peripherals have remained pretty close to the same. His ERA is slightly lower as well.
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has been probably the worst of this bunch. His ERA sits over 8. His K rate has dropped and he's seen large increases in both his hit and HR rates in his 16 appearances. His walk has dropped though.
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow sorness.

    In all, there have only been two hits of the 7 who signed in this group. I cannot emphasize enough that SSS is a huge factor here, but only 2 of these guys would have helped our pen... and unfortunately both are pitching for NY.
     
    Second Tier
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the mets, signing a 2/10 deal. Risk aside, he hasn't performed well thus far posting a 4.8 ERA in only 10 games. His peripherals are all over the place and seems to be buoyed largely by a couple extra home runs. His K rate and BB rates are both down this year.
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and while the ERA is not pretty, his peripherals are in line with his career averages. Both his K rate and BB rates are up a bit and he has yet to give up a HR in his 21 innings. I'm not sure I'd call this a bust at this point as I think he's probably a victim of bad luck, but his 5.14 ERA is a bit ugly.
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without.
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and thus far every one of his peripherals have trended in the wrong direction. His ERA is north of 5.
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and is currently in the minors rehabbing due to a viral infection. His 3 inning ML sample is a bit too small to gage at this point, though the results weren't good.

    There are only 5 names in this tier, and so far every team wouldn't mind a do over. I could see a couple of these names evening out over the course of this season, but none of these guys would have helped us much at this point.
     
    Cheap Fliers
    Brad Brach - Brach has gotten results for the Cubs, but his peripherals say he's on borrowed time. His walk rate has doubled and his K rate is about at career norms. Still for 3 million dollar deal, Brach hasn't been bad.
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been horrible in 15 innings so far.
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. His ERA is a bit higher than we'd like for an RP at 3.63 but thus far he's performed. His K rate is way up as is his walk rate. Gearrin would be an upgrade over a couple players in our pen. Not bad for the money.
    Greg Holland - I have to tip my cap to those on the Holland bandwagon along with Arizona for picking him for only 3.25M. He's been worth it posting a 1.80 ERA. Despite an elevated walk rate, his WHIP is down. His K rate is up. He's given up less hits and kept the ball in the park in his 15 innings. He would be one of our best relievers.
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 14 innings, but has given up 9 hits and 2 runs in that span allowing for a 1.29 ERA.
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness. The book is still out here.
    Blake Parker - We know him. So far a win for the front office.
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 10 innings to the tune of a 4.5 ERA thus far. Not a bad find in the value category. His peripherals all look pretty good and he's one of the few pitchers whose BB rate has dropped so far this season. I'm going with a bit of bad luck on the ERA, but he wouldn't present much of an upgrade to our pen.
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He's yet to pitch.
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's appeared in 17 games and only pitched 9 innings with an ERA of 6.
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly. He's out a couple months due to a grade 2 strain of a lat muscle.
    Adam Warren - Warren has been OK for the Padres with a 3.72 ERA. That's not special, nor are his peripherals, but he hasn't been horrible either. Not bad for 2.5M.

    Of the 12 names on this list, there are only 3 clear misses at this point. Phelps was not expected to necessarily be pitching yet, so I'd say the jury is still out here. That may turn into a good deal for the Jays. Given their season though, he's likely going to be traded if he's pitching this summer. Holland, Kelley, and Parker have all been quite good for their teams. The other 6 fall under too soon to tell or value signings in that they haven't been bad, though they wouldn't necessarily be huge upgrades either.
     
    One other trend that I noticed is that most relievers seemed to have noticeable increases in their BB rates. I'm not sure if that's more on an emphasis on Ks (which also were generally up), but relief pitching outcomes seemed much more skewed to higher BB and K rates over these pitcher's career norms. That appears, thus far, to the be the case across MLB as well, as RPs in general are averaging 3.93 BB per 9 along with 9.42 K per 9. Both are thus far significantly higher than last year.
     
    Obviously, with these small samples, it's a bit too soon to tell on all of them, but for those of us (myself included) who wanted the Twins to do more, the results say that they would have likely missed.. The top tier has had some good performances, but has ultimately disappointed. The bottom tier has had about the same percentage of hits as the top tier along with some value guys who have performed as well as the top tier signings for much less. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like our front office hasn't done a bad job in this area.
  17. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from Mike Frasier Law for a blog entry, Surveying the 2018/19 Free Agent Relievers at the Quarter Pole   
    Gaging value in relief pitichers is always a difficult task given that they are prone to issues with small sample size. Many relievers who were good one season will regress the next, and as we've seen with Blake Parker, guys who were nothing special can turn into a very good option.
     
    Regardless, it was, without question, a point of contention this offseason among TD readers about the front office getting more help for the pen. I personally beat this horse dead on numerous occasions. I was happy with the Parker signing, but made it clear that I didn't want this to be the main acquisition. The pen so far has not been as bad as some of us (myself included) thought. It has essentially been slightly better than league average if WAR is be believed, though its peripherals definitely say that there's room for improvement.
     
    As such, I'm going to wade into the dollars vs. development debate and take a look at the FA relievers from the 2018 season to see if it was worth spending the money. I'll split these out by contract value. That's a bit arbitrary, but it does speak to the general demand for these players. My main source is this ESPN list. I'm not going to pretend that I've found all of them, so apologies if I missed a few. I'm not going to touch minor league signings.
     
    The cream of the Crop:
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a bust, posting an ERA north of 5 out of the pen in 20 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP.
    Andrew Miller - Another big name in the RP market, Miller has been, so far at least, a bust as well, posting a 4.80 ERA for the Cards after signing a 2/25 deal with an additional option. His K rate has improved this season but his WHIP has gotten worse with increases in hits, walks, and HRs per 9 innings.
    Adam Ottavino - Our first success story on the big name candidates comes from Ottavino, who thus far has been a dominant option in the back of the Yankees' pen. His control has been a bit worse than normal (walking 6.5 batters per 9), but his hit rate is an absurd 4.5 per 9 and his strike out rate has increased as well. So far at least the 3/27 contract he signed has been good for NY.
    Craig Kimbrel - He's still unsigned. So the book is still out.
    Jeurys Familia - Familia chose to remain with the Mets this offseason, and thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed as his ERA is also north of 5 and his WHIP has skyrocketed due in large part to doubling his walk rate. His HR rate has doubled too thus far.
    Zach Britton - Britton made bank signing a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has so far not disappointed. His K rate has increased substantially while the rest of his peripherals have remained pretty close to the same. His ERA is slightly lower as well.
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has been probably the worst of this bunch. His ERA sits over 8. His K rate has dropped and he's seen large increases in both his hit and HR rates in his 16 appearances. His walk has dropped though.
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow sorness.

    In all, there have only been two hits of the 7 who signed in this group. I cannot emphasize enough that SSS is a huge factor here, but only 2 of these guys would have helped our pen... and unfortunately both are pitching for NY.
     
    Second Tier
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the mets, signing a 2/10 deal. Risk aside, he hasn't performed well thus far posting a 4.8 ERA in only 10 games. His peripherals are all over the place and seems to be buoyed largely by a couple extra home runs. His K rate and BB rates are both down this year.
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and while the ERA is not pretty, his peripherals are in line with his career averages. Both his K rate and BB rates are up a bit and he has yet to give up a HR in his 21 innings. I'm not sure I'd call this a bust at this point as I think he's probably a victim of bad luck, but his 5.14 ERA is a bit ugly.
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without.
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and thus far every one of his peripherals have trended in the wrong direction. His ERA is north of 5.
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and is currently in the minors rehabbing due to a viral infection. His 3 inning ML sample is a bit too small to gage at this point, though the results weren't good.

    There are only 5 names in this tier, and so far every team wouldn't mind a do over. I could see a couple of these names evening out over the course of this season, but none of these guys would have helped us much at this point.
     
    Cheap Fliers
    Brad Brach - Brach has gotten results for the Cubs, but his peripherals say he's on borrowed time. His walk rate has doubled and his K rate is about at career norms. Still for 3 million dollar deal, Brach hasn't been bad.
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been horrible in 15 innings so far.
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. His ERA is a bit higher than we'd like for an RP at 3.63 but thus far he's performed. His K rate is way up as is his walk rate. Gearrin would be an upgrade over a couple players in our pen. Not bad for the money.
    Greg Holland - I have to tip my cap to those on the Holland bandwagon along with Arizona for picking him for only 3.25M. He's been worth it posting a 1.80 ERA. Despite an elevated walk rate, his WHIP is down. His K rate is up. He's given up less hits and kept the ball in the park in his 15 innings. He would be one of our best relievers.
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 14 innings, but has given up 9 hits and 2 runs in that span allowing for a 1.29 ERA.
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness. The book is still out here.
    Blake Parker - We know him. So far a win for the front office.
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 10 innings to the tune of a 4.5 ERA thus far. Not a bad find in the value category. His peripherals all look pretty good and he's one of the few pitchers whose BB rate has dropped so far this season. I'm going with a bit of bad luck on the ERA, but he wouldn't present much of an upgrade to our pen.
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He's yet to pitch.
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's appeared in 17 games and only pitched 9 innings with an ERA of 6.
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly. He's out a couple months due to a grade 2 strain of a lat muscle.
    Adam Warren - Warren has been OK for the Padres with a 3.72 ERA. That's not special, nor are his peripherals, but he hasn't been horrible either. Not bad for 2.5M.

    Of the 12 names on this list, there are only 3 clear misses at this point. Phelps was not expected to necessarily be pitching yet, so I'd say the jury is still out here. That may turn into a good deal for the Jays. Given their season though, he's likely going to be traded if he's pitching this summer. Holland, Kelley, and Parker have all been quite good for their teams. The other 6 fall under too soon to tell or value signings in that they haven't been bad, though they wouldn't necessarily be huge upgrades either.
     
    One other trend that I noticed is that most relievers seemed to have noticeable increases in their BB rates. I'm not sure if that's more on an emphasis on Ks (which also were generally up), but relief pitching outcomes seemed much more skewed to higher BB and K rates over these pitcher's career norms. That appears, thus far, to the be the case across MLB as well, as RPs in general are averaging 3.93 BB per 9 along with 9.42 K per 9. Both are thus far significantly higher than last year.
     
    Obviously, with these small samples, it's a bit too soon to tell on all of them, but for those of us (myself included) who wanted the Twins to do more, the results say that they would have likely missed.. The top tier has had some good performances, but has ultimately disappointed. The bottom tier has had about the same percentage of hits as the top tier along with some value guys who have performed as well as the top tier signings for much less. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like our front office hasn't done a bad job in this area.
  18. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from birdwatcher for a blog entry, Surveying the 2018/19 Free Agent Relievers at the Quarter Pole   
    Gaging value in relief pitichers is always a difficult task given that they are prone to issues with small sample size. Many relievers who were good one season will regress the next, and as we've seen with Blake Parker, guys who were nothing special can turn into a very good option.
     
    Regardless, it was, without question, a point of contention this offseason among TD readers about the front office getting more help for the pen. I personally beat this horse dead on numerous occasions. I was happy with the Parker signing, but made it clear that I didn't want this to be the main acquisition. The pen so far has not been as bad as some of us (myself included) thought. It has essentially been slightly better than league average if WAR is be believed, though its peripherals definitely say that there's room for improvement.
     
    As such, I'm going to wade into the dollars vs. development debate and take a look at the FA relievers from the 2018 season to see if it was worth spending the money. I'll split these out by contract value. That's a bit arbitrary, but it does speak to the general demand for these players. My main source is this ESPN list. I'm not going to pretend that I've found all of them, so apologies if I missed a few. I'm not going to touch minor league signings.
     
    The cream of the Crop:
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a bust, posting an ERA north of 5 out of the pen in 20 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP.
    Andrew Miller - Another big name in the RP market, Miller has been, so far at least, a bust as well, posting a 4.80 ERA for the Cards after signing a 2/25 deal with an additional option. His K rate has improved this season but his WHIP has gotten worse with increases in hits, walks, and HRs per 9 innings.
    Adam Ottavino - Our first success story on the big name candidates comes from Ottavino, who thus far has been a dominant option in the back of the Yankees' pen. His control has been a bit worse than normal (walking 6.5 batters per 9), but his hit rate is an absurd 4.5 per 9 and his strike out rate has increased as well. So far at least the 3/27 contract he signed has been good for NY.
    Craig Kimbrel - He's still unsigned. So the book is still out.
    Jeurys Familia - Familia chose to remain with the Mets this offseason, and thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed as his ERA is also north of 5 and his WHIP has skyrocketed due in large part to doubling his walk rate. His HR rate has doubled too thus far.
    Zach Britton - Britton made bank signing a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has so far not disappointed. His K rate has increased substantially while the rest of his peripherals have remained pretty close to the same. His ERA is slightly lower as well.
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has been probably the worst of this bunch. His ERA sits over 8. His K rate has dropped and he's seen large increases in both his hit and HR rates in his 16 appearances. His walk has dropped though.
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow sorness.

    In all, there have only been two hits of the 7 who signed in this group. I cannot emphasize enough that SSS is a huge factor here, but only 2 of these guys would have helped our pen... and unfortunately both are pitching for NY.
     
    Second Tier
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the mets, signing a 2/10 deal. Risk aside, he hasn't performed well thus far posting a 4.8 ERA in only 10 games. His peripherals are all over the place and seems to be buoyed largely by a couple extra home runs. His K rate and BB rates are both down this year.
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and while the ERA is not pretty, his peripherals are in line with his career averages. Both his K rate and BB rates are up a bit and he has yet to give up a HR in his 21 innings. I'm not sure I'd call this a bust at this point as I think he's probably a victim of bad luck, but his 5.14 ERA is a bit ugly.
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without.
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and thus far every one of his peripherals have trended in the wrong direction. His ERA is north of 5.
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and is currently in the minors rehabbing due to a viral infection. His 3 inning ML sample is a bit too small to gage at this point, though the results weren't good.

    There are only 5 names in this tier, and so far every team wouldn't mind a do over. I could see a couple of these names evening out over the course of this season, but none of these guys would have helped us much at this point.
     
    Cheap Fliers
    Brad Brach - Brach has gotten results for the Cubs, but his peripherals say he's on borrowed time. His walk rate has doubled and his K rate is about at career norms. Still for 3 million dollar deal, Brach hasn't been bad.
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been horrible in 15 innings so far.
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. His ERA is a bit higher than we'd like for an RP at 3.63 but thus far he's performed. His K rate is way up as is his walk rate. Gearrin would be an upgrade over a couple players in our pen. Not bad for the money.
    Greg Holland - I have to tip my cap to those on the Holland bandwagon along with Arizona for picking him for only 3.25M. He's been worth it posting a 1.80 ERA. Despite an elevated walk rate, his WHIP is down. His K rate is up. He's given up less hits and kept the ball in the park in his 15 innings. He would be one of our best relievers.
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 14 innings, but has given up 9 hits and 2 runs in that span allowing for a 1.29 ERA.
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness. The book is still out here.
    Blake Parker - We know him. So far a win for the front office.
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 10 innings to the tune of a 4.5 ERA thus far. Not a bad find in the value category. His peripherals all look pretty good and he's one of the few pitchers whose BB rate has dropped so far this season. I'm going with a bit of bad luck on the ERA, but he wouldn't present much of an upgrade to our pen.
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He's yet to pitch.
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's appeared in 17 games and only pitched 9 innings with an ERA of 6.
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly. He's out a couple months due to a grade 2 strain of a lat muscle.
    Adam Warren - Warren has been OK for the Padres with a 3.72 ERA. That's not special, nor are his peripherals, but he hasn't been horrible either. Not bad for 2.5M.

    Of the 12 names on this list, there are only 3 clear misses at this point. Phelps was not expected to necessarily be pitching yet, so I'd say the jury is still out here. That may turn into a good deal for the Jays. Given their season though, he's likely going to be traded if he's pitching this summer. Holland, Kelley, and Parker have all been quite good for their teams. The other 6 fall under too soon to tell or value signings in that they haven't been bad, though they wouldn't necessarily be huge upgrades either.
     
    One other trend that I noticed is that most relievers seemed to have noticeable increases in their BB rates. I'm not sure if that's more on an emphasis on Ks (which also were generally up), but relief pitching outcomes seemed much more skewed to higher BB and K rates over these pitcher's career norms. That appears, thus far, to the be the case across MLB as well, as RPs in general are averaging 3.93 BB per 9 along with 9.42 K per 9. Both are thus far significantly higher than last year.
     
    Obviously, with these small samples, it's a bit too soon to tell on all of them, but for those of us (myself included) who wanted the Twins to do more, the results say that they would have likely missed.. The top tier has had some good performances, but has ultimately disappointed. The bottom tier has had about the same percentage of hits as the top tier along with some value guys who have performed as well as the top tier signings for much less. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like our front office hasn't done a bad job in this area.
  19. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from nicksaviking for a blog entry, Surveying the 2018/19 Free Agent Relievers at the Quarter Pole   
    Gaging value in relief pitichers is always a difficult task given that they are prone to issues with small sample size. Many relievers who were good one season will regress the next, and as we've seen with Blake Parker, guys who were nothing special can turn into a very good option.
     
    Regardless, it was, without question, a point of contention this offseason among TD readers about the front office getting more help for the pen. I personally beat this horse dead on numerous occasions. I was happy with the Parker signing, but made it clear that I didn't want this to be the main acquisition. The pen so far has not been as bad as some of us (myself included) thought. It has essentially been slightly better than league average if WAR is be believed, though its peripherals definitely say that there's room for improvement.
     
    As such, I'm going to wade into the dollars vs. development debate and take a look at the FA relievers from the 2018 season to see if it was worth spending the money. I'll split these out by contract value. That's a bit arbitrary, but it does speak to the general demand for these players. My main source is this ESPN list. I'm not going to pretend that I've found all of them, so apologies if I missed a few. I'm not going to touch minor league signings.
     
    The cream of the Crop:
    Kelvin Herrera - Herrera signed a 2/17 deal with Chicago and has so far been a bust, posting an ERA north of 5 out of the pen in 20 appearances so far this season. His K rate has been acceptable, but his BB rate has risen along with his WHIP.
    Andrew Miller - Another big name in the RP market, Miller has been, so far at least, a bust as well, posting a 4.80 ERA for the Cards after signing a 2/25 deal with an additional option. His K rate has improved this season but his WHIP has gotten worse with increases in hits, walks, and HRs per 9 innings.
    Adam Ottavino - Our first success story on the big name candidates comes from Ottavino, who thus far has been a dominant option in the back of the Yankees' pen. His control has been a bit worse than normal (walking 6.5 batters per 9), but his hit rate is an absurd 4.5 per 9 and his strike out rate has increased as well. So far at least the 3/27 contract he signed has been good for NY.
    Craig Kimbrel - He's still unsigned. So the book is still out.
    Jeurys Familia - Familia chose to remain with the Mets this offseason, and thus far hasn't rewarded the 3/30 contract he signed as his ERA is also north of 5 and his WHIP has skyrocketed due in large part to doubling his walk rate. His HR rate has doubled too thus far.
    Zach Britton - Britton made bank signing a 3/39 deal with the Yankees and has so far not disappointed. His K rate has increased substantially while the rest of his peripherals have remained pretty close to the same. His ERA is slightly lower as well.
    Joe Kelly - Kelly signed a 3/25 deal with the LAD and has been probably the worst of this bunch. His ERA sits over 8. His K rate has dropped and he's seen large increases in both his hit and HR rates in his 16 appearances. His walk has dropped though.
    David Robertson - Robertson signed a 2/23 deal with Philly and has been a bust so far. He's pitched in only 7 innings and has been shelled. He's currently on the shelf with elbow sorness.

    In all, there have only been two hits of the 7 who signed in this group. I cannot emphasize enough that SSS is a huge factor here, but only 2 of these guys would have helped our pen... and unfortunately both are pitching for NY.
     
    Second Tier
    Justin Wilson - Wilson was a cheap grab for the mets, signing a 2/10 deal. Risk aside, he hasn't performed well thus far posting a 4.8 ERA in only 10 games. His peripherals are all over the place and seems to be buoyed largely by a couple extra home runs. His K rate and BB rates are both down this year.
    Joakim Soria - Soria signed a 2/15 deal with Oakland, and while the ERA is not pretty, his peripherals are in line with his career averages. Both his K rate and BB rates are up a bit and he has yet to give up a HR in his 21 innings. I'm not sure I'd call this a bust at this point as I think he's probably a victim of bad luck, but his 5.14 ERA is a bit ugly.
    Cody Allen - Allen signed a 1 year deal with the Angels and so far has not lived up to his 8.5M salary. His HR and BB rates have skyrocketed though he still maintains a sexy K rate. His 5.54 ERA is something we can all live without.
    Jesse Chavez - Chavez signed a 2/8 deal with Texas, and thus far every one of his peripherals have trended in the wrong direction. His ERA is north of 5.
    Trevor Rosenthal - Rosenthal has under performed his 1/7 deal and is currently in the minors rehabbing due to a viral infection. His 3 inning ML sample is a bit too small to gage at this point, though the results weren't good.

    There are only 5 names in this tier, and so far every team wouldn't mind a do over. I could see a couple of these names evening out over the course of this season, but none of these guys would have helped us much at this point.
     
    Cheap Fliers
    Brad Brach - Brach has gotten results for the Cubs, but his peripherals say he's on borrowed time. His walk rate has doubled and his K rate is about at career norms. Still for 3 million dollar deal, Brach hasn't been bad.
    Zach Duke - yes, that Zach Duke. He signed a 2M deal with the Reds and has been horrible in 15 innings so far.
    Cory Gearrin - the Mariners have, thus far, gotten a bargin with Gearrin for the 1.4M value of his contract. His ERA is a bit higher than we'd like for an RP at 3.63 but thus far he's performed. His K rate is way up as is his walk rate. Gearrin would be an upgrade over a couple players in our pen. Not bad for the money.
    Greg Holland - I have to tip my cap to those on the Holland bandwagon along with Arizona for picking him for only 3.25M. He's been worth it posting a 1.80 ERA. Despite an elevated walk rate, his WHIP is down. His K rate is up. He's given up less hits and kept the ball in the park in his 15 innings. He would be one of our best relievers.
    Shawn Kelley - Another nice find for the bargain price of 2.75M. Kelley has only pitched 14 innings, but has given up 9 hits and 2 runs in that span allowing for a 1.29 ERA.
    Aaron Loup - The Padres got him for 1.4M and he's been perfect so far this season. The only real problem is that it's a 4 inning sample as he hit the IL in early April with elbow soreness. The book is still out here.
    Blake Parker - We know him. So far a win for the front office.
    Oliver Perez - Perez signed a 2.5M deal with Cleveland. He has only pitched in 10 innings to the tune of a 4.5 ERA thus far. Not a bad find in the value category. His peripherals all look pretty good and he's one of the few pitchers whose BB rate has dropped so far this season. I'm going with a bit of bad luck on the ERA, but he wouldn't present much of an upgrade to our pen.
    David Phelps - The Blue Jays signed him in hopes that he recovers from TJS at some point this year and pitches. He went under the knife last spring. Not a bad risk for 2.5M. He's yet to pitch.
    Tony Sipp - Sipp signed for 1.25 for the Nats and has not been good. He's appeared in 17 games and only pitched 9 innings with an ERA of 6.
    Hunter Strickland - Strickland signed a 1.3M deal and has pitched all of 2 innings, and poorly. He's out a couple months due to a grade 2 strain of a lat muscle.
    Adam Warren - Warren has been OK for the Padres with a 3.72 ERA. That's not special, nor are his peripherals, but he hasn't been horrible either. Not bad for 2.5M.

    Of the 12 names on this list, there are only 3 clear misses at this point. Phelps was not expected to necessarily be pitching yet, so I'd say the jury is still out here. That may turn into a good deal for the Jays. Given their season though, he's likely going to be traded if he's pitching this summer. Holland, Kelley, and Parker have all been quite good for their teams. The other 6 fall under too soon to tell or value signings in that they haven't been bad, though they wouldn't necessarily be huge upgrades either.
     
    One other trend that I noticed is that most relievers seemed to have noticeable increases in their BB rates. I'm not sure if that's more on an emphasis on Ks (which also were generally up), but relief pitching outcomes seemed much more skewed to higher BB and K rates over these pitcher's career norms. That appears, thus far, to the be the case across MLB as well, as RPs in general are averaging 3.93 BB per 9 along with 9.42 K per 9. Both are thus far significantly higher than last year.
     
    Obviously, with these small samples, it's a bit too soon to tell on all of them, but for those of us (myself included) who wanted the Twins to do more, the results say that they would have likely missed.. The top tier has had some good performances, but has ultimately disappointed. The bottom tier has had about the same percentage of hits as the top tier along with some value guys who have performed as well as the top tier signings for much less. As much as I hate to say it, it looks like our front office hasn't done a bad job in this area.
  20. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to Sabir Aden for a blog entry, Rapid Fire Hot Takes on the Kepler-Polanco Extensions, and Stagnant Relief Pitcher Market   
    My Theoretical Mindset during the week;
    The status quo surrounding the Twins all offseason was their stubbornness and inability to commit to any outside assets (in free agency or on the trade block), yet until recently did the Twins finally break that narrative. But… they were in-house pieces. By committing to two sprightly and talented yet unproven stars, have they overplayed their hand on their future plans?
     
    The Twins right now are waltzing into what I would define as, a free-agency sweet spot. Where every added contributor would stabilize a liability, and boost their win total, which are at such a premium. The roster right now looks to be somewhere around the ballpark (lame pun not intended), to a potential spot in the postseason. Granted if nothing goes wrong (i.e injuries, supensions, curses) we could be staring towards a roster destined to secure a playoff, and readily prepared to be supplemented during the trade deadline. The added emphasis on a win or two or in the Twins case, blown-save-catastrophes-galore might end up sinking the ship when it comes to contention. If last year's bullpen collapses weren’t enough for you, I would say by far the Twins weakest position group lies in the most erratic, fragile and frail baseball clusters in all of baseball; the relievers.
     
    I spoke about this briefly in my last article, but what Keuchel or more importantly in Kimbrel possess is a semblance of stability so unprecedented that the last guy to be a stabilizer for us, is being inducted into our hall of fame. If we focus on Kimbrel in depth, the guy is as rare of a breed your ever going to find in the relief pitching industry. I’m not going to speak about Kimbrel in depth, but what really matters is that they both (Kimbrel and Keuchel) have walked the walks, and might play that kickstarter-trailblazer kinda player to get this steam boat sailing. Somehow the Twins front office has managed to finagle towards a somewhat competitive roster, and despite not committing to any external assets, keeping the books dry of anything, and keeping the payroll at or equal to ≈ 100 million is a remarkable feat, no doubt about it. But is it time for the Twins front office to relent and issue a blockbuster contract? That’s very debatable.
     
    Into the Nitty Gritty with Kepler and Polanco
    Here’s a basic 101 on how rookie contracts work:
    This rookie contract system is a focal point of the Collective Bargaining agreement and is tweaked and polished constantly, but it goes as follows;
     
    Typically ameuteur hitters agree to a contract with major league clubs coming out of school, or out of the states globally and major league clubs are given a 5 year window on either promoting the player, or releasing him. That promotion would then start the ticking on his 6-7 year free agency departure clock, and would stay with his team through his prime and peak years on a cheap deal, until he would reach free agency (expectedly after he would be years past his best seasons*). During his 3-4 year seasons, the players earns close to nothing on a athletic player scale (I say this because 500k seems like money heaven to me). If the team elects to let the player stick around, when the player hits his 5-7 year season he can contest for a slight raise, provided if both sides agree to a compromise. Until his 7th or 8th year does the player final get his rights to a free departure, and test the market for his free agency rights.
    *there are exception to this (Nelson Cruz etc).
     
    We’ve seen this philosophy catch some steam in the present, with several clubs purchasing the rights of players who aren’t “seasoned or proven”, and maybe haven’t even made it to the league in some cases. What this leaves fans to savor is team friendly-contracts sculpted to buyout years of arbitration, for a couple years of free agency. Theoretically, this consumes the prime or peak years from a player, but is it really worth it. Let’s take a look.
     
    *Tabulated according to Spotrac


    For Kepler and Polanco, we’re seeing a hike in annual pay, over the arbitration years that somewhat amount to as what the players would earn in full amount in free agency. Both Kepler and Polanco have received somewhat mildly-risky contracts. Both have underachieved in their time on the major league spectrum, and in Polanco's case been busted for doping with PEDS. These contracts (5yr, 35 mill & 5yr, 25 mill) aren’t going to hinder or cripple the Twins in the future. What I find to be quite interesting is that the Twins have a healthy and expanding prospect pipeline coursing with talent, and yet they still inclined to purchase the underwhelming services of Kepler and Polanco. According to my fortune predictor (oh boy I’m talented fellow, yeet) these are the scenarios I see turning out. When the Twins finally open the window to a championship pursuit, either…
    Polanco and Kepler are shrewd bargains
    Or they both continue to lag Twins lineup, and logjam the outfield rotation (with prospects + Cave)
    I decided to input Scott Kingery, because I thought his situation with the Phillies is an excellent example of when jumping the gun isn’t as picture perfect as it might seem. His contract is nearly identical in terms with Polanco and Kepler, mainly because they have the same backfire caveats and loopholes in dispatching Kingery once he gets old. Kingery hasn’t developed as rapidly as one would expect his minor league numbers would indicate, and played to the tune of a NEGATIVE W.A.R!!! (-1.5). The Phils thought he would form a dynamite paring with Hoskins and the future skeleton of that team. Instead, Manager Gabe Kapler is juggling at-bats between Maikel Franco and Kingery, who are competing to “win or earn” third base. This just hits me clear in the head as when this doesn’t work as anticipated. Just some added insight….
     
    Both of these scenarios have their pros and cons. You might have to shuffle playing time between the chain of prospects and the fitful likes of Kepler, and/or Polanco. In this case you unload Kepler and/or Polanco for equitable return values, and propel prospects to replace them. Or both Kepler and Polanco emerge as building blocks and thrive, and you yield for a established major league chip, and supplement for an immediate push (hopefully sooner rather than later). The time tables are rough and tweakable, but both the former and latter are good problems to have.
     
    In my mind the extinction of the concept for paying someone for what they’re worth is truly baffling me. It strikes me as that teams are playing with fire and lottery tickets, and trying to pull a quick on the player/(s). The truth to the matter is they aren’t premising the agreement toward constructive proof but rather on whim, Lady Luck, and canniness. Even with the comprehensive and elaborate analytics (which I’m all for, frankly) I don’t think it’s plausible in the right shape of mind to predict someone future who hasn’t set a baseline for what their ascension might be. For all I know, Kepler could go and revert into a complete shell of himself and morph into the eternal spirit of Nick Punto. That might be a little far-fetched, but the guy hasn’t established himself as any kind of consistent regular. He isn’t a ‘proven’ left handed vs left handed hitter (granted he improved from his abysmal marks from a year ago, but there’s a lot more left to be desired). He could turn into a complete sponge against lefty’s, and be relegated to an exclusive platoon role against righties. He’s an admirable right-fielder whose play is fairly consistent, but nothing out-worldly ala The Buck. Could he be in line for a regression? I guess that’s up to him.
     
    Typically young players similar to Kepler and Polanco both experiences growing pains, and excruciatingly painful rough patches, but what usually leaves with people is that semblance of promise and hope that a player instills into a fanbase. Kepler and Polanco are by no means generational cornerstone players, but what Kepler and Polanco possess is that consistency a team as inconsistent as the Twins desperately needs. Every position has been a constantly rotating carousel of prospects, and the Twins decided to shore this up, by agreeing to terms with Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco each on intriguing multi year contract that speak to the mindset of the Falvine Front Office. I guess I’m playing Devil’s Advocate right now, because I’m sputtering trying to unravel their rationale.
     


     
    There aren’t many other motives for Kepler &co and Polanco &co not to reject these deal like this. This is guaranteed money your dealing with, and the signals and indicators in this suppressed markets wouldn’t sway them that they would command much more (or any offers at all) in the open market. I wanted to take a closer examination at Kepler’s logic in this, because I find much more faith in Polanco, RF is a much more vital to Target Field, and granted he got the more lucrative contract.
     
    In Kepler’s case, in some ways your betting with yourself; do you believe that Kepler would turn into a monster player and demand a lucrative contract, or do you settle with what in turn is an appealing and secure the offered multi year deal. It’s as playing with fire in the Twins perspective, and in light of him settling you could deconstruct this in either two way:
     
    1. I’m concerned that Kepler would settle with a buy-low contract like this and is satisfied with staying average
    2. Or the Twins got an absolute steal of a player.
     
    The downsides and upsides are obviously staring us in the eyes. The guys looks he’s a got plenty of a Major League regular’s tools, but the intangibles are worrisome to me. He looks flustered, and stoic at the plate. His demeanor is “I’m under radar, so don’t notice me”. But he’s got those flashes of phenom and potential like he could rake, on an at bat to at bat basis. He got a great, pretty left handed stroke (if that’s worth anything). During 2018, we saw, provided if he hunkers down and locks in that he could hit lefties and for power. 2018 was the year he exorcised those demons and the knocks of his same handed ineptness, and not to mention he’s an above average right fielder. That’s what scares me locking into a promising yet unproven commodity.
     
    I have hunch that Kepler’s in for a breakout, quasi- bounceback campaign. I conjured up 7 imperative objectives, if Kepler wants to exponentially improve, and turns his contrast into a bargain.
    Don’t regress
    Don’t becomes injured (is that harsh?)
    Rake and Clobber
    Don’t flail to back-foot breaking ball
    Keep Smoking the Ball (Guy is getting better over career)
    Keep hitting lefties,
    Let development take its course (don’t rush it)
    - I literally had this stray though, but what if players get mad at their annual salary and if they’re not getting due compensation, play below their abilities. In this case, does Kepler play to the boundary of his abilities?
     
    Just on a side tangent, I stumbled on something interesting when looking through Kepler’s Numbers…..
     




     
    I recall times last year that Kepler had his extreme cold spells and fits at the plate, and I wanted to see how much of this was a byproduct of bad luck. wOBA is simply a synthesized linear statistic where singles/walks are considered as a the primary building block, and incrementally scales a hit as for it’s due result. Expected wOBA is as self-explanatory as it sounds, and just express the quality of contact and how it yields to on field results. Their are some flaws to this that might apply to Kepler (for being left handed), but if a player scorches a frozen rope and persists to label it INTO THE SHIFT, xwOBA would flag that as an unlucky hit, even though the entire left side of the infield is just begging for a bunt down the left field line. This is what hinders the stat, and I haven’t found a way to quantify how much this action has tainted Kepler’s stat value. But other than that, the stat has enlightened me with some tell-tale suspicions that Kepler slumps have accentuated because of the fact he is inducing himself into slumps. I added Trout’s statistic because quite honestly, the guy is the poster boy of hitting and is a golden standard benchmark stat. The reason why we don’t see the traditional pronounced periodical slumps in Trout, (IMO) is because Trout has found a way to amplify his stretches of success, and mask the monstrosities of his slumps and skids, which help maintain sparkling wOBA’s. (Or maybe he’s just too good to be bad????)
     
    This is an excellent inherent trait to have, because...
    It’s a great sign of a confidence booster
    It reinforces & enhances your overall stat...➡️ (Solid+Amazing=Really Good)
    This all might be baloney, but I find it interesting that Kepler’s more distinct patches of droughts tend to follow the Expected wOBA. The thing is, events like this are very common young hitters, (Heck, in real life too). Kepler rides the Hot-Hand like a wave, but when he hits his lows he virtually touches rock bottom. I just find it intriguing that this kinda-gives us a view to Kepler’s psyche during this plate appearances, to my understanding. Is it that Kepler’s gloom and doom approach at the plate is making that his Expected wOBA mimics and dampens his wOBA? That’s the real question…...
     
    I bet my theory will get invalidated, but I think this hints toward some better and consistent productions from Kepler in this upcoming season. Maybe just a little forward thought, the vote of confidence upstairs, in this new contract, encouragement from the staff, and some years under the belt will aid Max in carving-it-up in the Bigs.
     
    But if Kepler gets better (which I’m all inclined to believe), and if his performance does ride along an expected course, Kepler’s 8th and 7th year salaries are at complete bargain bottom prices. I also believe to some minuscule or macroscopic level (or really anything in between), that this instills some motivation into players. Disregarding why people rip players who pale in comparison near nothing to the owners, it’s a vote of confidence from the Front Office. It’s not like them handing contracts is routine kinda thing, and it issues sort of closure or something close after all summer people were calling for their collective heads. I do like these contracts, if that’s what you came to read this for, but still believe (no matter how much the PR department iterates it), where Buxton and Sano go, so do the Twins. I do hope success for all these player because they will take the fall if everything crashes and burns. Both Sano and Buxton in my mind aren’t ever going to have a year of this magnitude to prove doubters and/or the FO they were destined for stardom. To make the postseason I think the Journey runs right square through Buxton and Sano cascades, and to qualify to the playoffs I think it’s unequivocally contingent if Sano and Buxton rise to the occasion.
     
    This all surmises to probably befuddling you more prior to reading my tyrade/spiel but let’s simplify into simpler terms; if Kepler plays at or near a 4-5 WAR per year,(which is roughly fringe all-star level) this contract is a boon for the Twins. It's a bust if Kepler plays to a 1-3 WAR level (because the Twins have plenty of role players to insert). This also applies to some degree with Polanco.
  21. Like
    diehardtwinsfan reacted to Heezy1323 for a blog entry, Royce Lewis Knee Q&A   
    Royce Lewis: Patellar Tendinopathy
    Heezy1323
     
    The Twins community recently received some concerning news about highly-regarded prospect Royce Lewis. Lewis left the Cedar Rapids Kernels Saturday game with what is being reported as ‘patellar tendinitis’, which has been causing him trouble off-and-on for about a month. But what is ‘patellar tendinitis’ exactly? And what might it mean for Royce going forward? Let’s discuss:
     
    Question 1: Where is the ‘patella tendon’?
    The patella tendon is the tendon that goes from your kneecap (also called the patella) down to the upper part of your shin bone (tibia). It is the attachment of your quadriceps muscle group to your lower leg, and it is what allows people to extend the knee.
     


     
    Question 2: What is ‘patellar tendinitis’?
    Patella tendinitis is a term commonly used to refer to activity-related pain that occurs near the attachment of the patella tendon to the patella. The suffix ‘-itis’ is used to indicate inflammation. While the term is commonly used, in actuality a more appropriate term is ‘patella tendinopathy’, which refers to degenerative changes within the tendon in the absence of inflammation (which is more accurately the case in this diagnosis). This difference is important when considering treatment options.
     


    Question 3: Royce is clearly a high-level athlete. Why did he get this problem?
    Patellar tendinopathy is also commonly called ‘jumper’s knee’ since it occurs most frequently in athletes that do a lot of jumping. In some studies of professional volleyball and basketball players, the incidence of jumper’s knee has been shown to be more than 30%. It is much less common in non-jumping athletes, but still occurs in around 2-3% of soccer players. I was not able to find any information specifically discussing the incidence in baseball players.
    It is unclear exactly why this problem occurs. It is most likely a combination of factors including BMI, flat feet, muscle imbalance in the quad/hamstrings, low flexibility, and intrinsic properties of the patellar tendon. There are likely other factors as well, including overuse.
    The area involved is usually located directly at the bottom end of the patella/top part of the tendon. Symptoms usually come on gradually over time. Initially, the knee typically hurts only with activity. Over time, if the condition worsens, pain may begin to be present even at rest.
     
    Question 4: How is patella tendinopathy diagnosed?
    The diagnosis is usually fairly clear from the history and physical exam of the athlete. Xrays are usually normal, though in some cases calcifications of the tendon may be visible. An MRI is the standard test to identify the extent of the problem and also to rule out other problems inside the knee. The area of the tendon involved in the problem is typically fairly small- around the size of a couple tic-tacs.
     


    Question 5: How is patella tendinopathy treated?
    The most commonly prescribed treatment for patellar tendinopathy is rest from vigorous activity and specific physical therapy exercises (called eccentric exercises). These exercises are designed to strengthen the quad muscles, stretch the hamstrings and ultimately cause favorable adaptation of the knee. The time needed for symptoms to resolve can be highly variable, but often takes at least a few weeks.
    When therapy isn’t effective, other treatments can be tried including various injections and ultrasound. At this time, there is no significant evidence that PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections are helpful for this condition, though I suspect it is being considered. There is, to my knowledge, no significant data on stem cell injections for this problem.
     
    Question 6: Is surgery ever needed for patellar tendinopathy?
    Rarely, yes. In most studies, around 10% of patients will fail to respond to appropriate conservative treatment. In these cases, surgery may be needed. There are two main options: open surgery and arthroscopic surgery. In either case, the procedure is similar- the area of affected tendon is excised and a small (a few millimeters) part of the patella bone is removed to stimulate healing. Therapy is begun soon after surgery. The success rate for return to sports is around 80% for both surgeries, with return after the arthroscopic version being quicker on average. Usually, 4-6 months is needed for full return to sports after surgery.
     
    Question 7: Is Royce at increased risk of rupturing the patella tendon because of this problem?
    No. Having patella tendinopathy does not appear to place anyone at increased risk of having a patella tendon rupture when compared to those without the problem.
     
    Overall, I believe the most likely scenario to be that Lewis’ body is adjusting to playing professional baseball every day and he is having some minor issues as a result. I don’t expect this to be a substantial problem going forward, though the possibility that this requires surgery in the future does exist. Hopefully he will get through rehab quickly and be back on the field soon.
  22. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from glunn for a blog entry, My 2016 offseason plan   
    103. That's truly a terrible number, and it's been some time since the Twins have been able to earn the top pick overall. This season was an abomination, especially given the high hopes that Twins fans had coming in. There's no need to really go over what went wrong.There's a number of things, but pitching most definitely tops the list. It finished second and third as well.
     
    Falvey and the new GM (presumably Levine at this point) will likely have their hands full as they tackle what will be an interesting offseason. The offensive core of the team is largely there, and if they don't move quickly, they will be looking at decent pitching by the time the offense leaves I'm going to assume we won't be a playoff team in 2017. We might repeat 2015 if things fall right. I do think the team as a whole underperformed, but not to the tune of a 30 game swing that they would need to make in order to be competitive. I'm not going to punt on 2017, but I am going to commit to getting some young pitching and see what we have with the guys who are ready.
     
     
    Tender/nontender:
     
    I'm going to tender Gibson, Escobar, Kintzler, and Pressley. They are all relatively cheap, and while none were really great, they've shown promise to varying degrees. The pen wasn't very good, but with plenty of help on the way, I think you have to hold out hope for some of them.
     
    On the nontender side, I'd attempt to trade Plouffe, Santiago, and Milone. I suspect that all will be non-tendered, but this definitely qualifies for the take what you can get... and I'm not expecting much.
     
    Mauer/Perkins/Hughes:
     
    I start dialing Mauer's role back a bit. I'd want him playing against RHers as often as possible, but I'm telling him to plan on playing some 3rd and occasional OF. Vargas earned a shot to start and I want to see what we have in Park. He was impressive in April, got hurt and tried playing through it. He was pretty good when demoted to Rochester and re-injured the same wrist injury leading to surgery and shut down. He's going to get a shot. If either Vargas or Park fails, that puts Mauer back at 1B/DH. Bottom line is that I don't want the 2 years remaining on Mauer's contract to prevent the Twins from seeing what they have in Vargas and Park. The same goes true for Palka and Walker in the minors, as I fully expect to see one of them in the majors at some point.
     
    Hughes will be slated for the pen, with a chance to earn a starting role. His injury is a difficult one to return from, and as such he's not in my plans. Perkins is not in my plans either. He will certainly get a shot to regain his old role should he be healthy this spring, but both of these guys have huge question marks. Perkins is only signed through 2017, so he's an easy one going forward as he's likely going to spend some or all of it on the 60 day DL.
     
    Trades:
     
    On the trade side, I'm firmly shopping Dozier. He will get value, the question is what. The Yankees might be a good fit, but I doubt Sanchez in on the table and most of their good pitching prospects will be starting in AA, where most of our good ones will start. For now, I'm going to pretend that the Pirates will trade Glasnow and prospects for him. I don't know if they would do that, but that is the type of trade I'd want to target, namely high upside pitching that is major league ready or close to it. I wouldn't be against a Yankees trade that netted some guys like Justus Sheffield, but that wouldn't be my first plan (unless the Yankees were to offer Gary Sanchez).
     
    Santana would be shopped as well. I'd seek more catching help here than pitching, as no team with MLB ready high upside pitching is going to trade to trade it to acquire a MLB pitcher. They would certainly trade guys in the lower minors, which I'd be fine with, but I'd hope Santana could add some competition in at the C spot. If not, I'd take a nice package of prospects if one was offered. I would be just as willing to keep Santana around too, but I do not think his value will be any higher this July, and there's plenty of risk should the team not move him.
     
     
    Coaching changes:
     
    While I suspect Falvey and the new GM will stick with Molitor for 2017, I'd probably make new on field management a priority. After watching this team, I'm convinced that Molitor is not the guy you want at the helm for managing young help. His treatment of guys like Berrios, Polanco, and Chargois this season was head scratching at best. While I recognize that a manager doesn't have a whole lot of options to work with when it comes to getting performance out of young major league players, I don't think Molitor showed that he was suited for that task. My preference is to find a manager who specializes in developing young talent, as transitioning and development are probably the biggest needs this organization faces. I would likely look closely at some of Joe Maddon's lieutenants in Chicago, and I would give one of them the top spot.
     
    International:
     
    If Shohei Otani is posted, I would bid heavily on him. Any potential Cuban posting would be of interest too. Those could potentially change the landscape of the final roster, but I'm not going to assume any are on the roster come opening day.
     
    Free Agency:
     
    I like what Buxton did in September, but one month isn't going to change my opinion on him that much. I'm getting a potential 1 year filler that can serve as a starter or capable 4th OF, and I will not be handing Buxton the job. He will be the starter if he earns it or in Rochester if he does not. I would target a guy like Austin Jackson or Carlos Gomez. Players like that are likely going to get a 1 year contract to rebuild value, and should be able to be shipped away relatively easily should Buxton finally earn the job.
     
    I would sign one of Gregg Holland, Drew Storen, or some other buy low RP candidate to bolster the pen.
     
    40 man additions/removal:
    As of this writing, 38 names are on the 40 man. Dozier is traded. I'm assuming that Santana ends up being traded as well, though I'm not certain he will get that catcher that they need. That takes us to 36. Non tendering or trading Plouffe and Santiago (Milone is already gone) takes us to 34.
     
    I suspect one of Hughes/Perkins returns and gets off the 60 day, but I think the odds clearly say at least one is likely to be gone for 2017 as well. Likewise, a free agent CF on a one year deal takes up a spot, as does a reliever like Holland/Storen. Regardless, you cannot count on that, so you have to keep their spots for now.
     
    Other DFA guys: Centeno, Grossman, DSan, Boshers, Landa. This takes us from 34 down to 29.
    Players to add: Garver, Granite, Palka, Romero, Jorge, Zach Jones, Vielma or Goodrum (as I need a MI backup). I leave Thrope off b/c I doubt anyone takes him, but if I'm unsure, he's a must add. That brings us back to 35. I'm assuming that we get 1 major league pitcher for Dozier and for fun, let's just assume a catcher is picked up too. F
     
    Finally, since I used FA to pick up a 1 year option for CF as well as an RP, I'm up to 40. I've also got some flexibility in guys like Murphy/Wimmers/Tonkin who I'd be quick to drop if needed, but would be willing to give a chance as long as there isn't a huge roster crunch. I'm fully expecting Hughes and/or Perkins to make their way back to the 60 day DL this spring, but you cannot really do anything about that until it happens.
     
    Final Roster:
     
    C - Murphy/acquisition/Garver
    1B - Park/Mauer
    DH - Vargas/Mauer
    2B - Polanco
    SS - Escobar
    3B - Sano/Mauer
    LF - Rosario/Mauer
    CF - Acquisition/Buxton
    RF - Kepler/Mauer
     
    Bench: Mauer, Vielma, Garver or Murphy, CF acquisition (note that if Buxton starts in the minors, I'd likely consider bringing Palka up and letting Rosario be the backup CF)
     
    SP - Gibson, May, potential Dozier acquisition piece, Berrios, and Mejia.
    RB - Kintzler, Chargois, Pressley, FA acquisition, Hughes, Tonkin, rotating spot between minor league options (Melotakis, Duffey, Hildenberger, Burdi, Reed).
  23. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from Cory Engelhardt for a blog entry, My 2016 offseason plan   
    103. That's truly a terrible number, and it's been some time since the Twins have been able to earn the top pick overall. This season was an abomination, especially given the high hopes that Twins fans had coming in. There's no need to really go over what went wrong.There's a number of things, but pitching most definitely tops the list. It finished second and third as well.
     
    Falvey and the new GM (presumably Levine at this point) will likely have their hands full as they tackle what will be an interesting offseason. The offensive core of the team is largely there, and if they don't move quickly, they will be looking at decent pitching by the time the offense leaves I'm going to assume we won't be a playoff team in 2017. We might repeat 2015 if things fall right. I do think the team as a whole underperformed, but not to the tune of a 30 game swing that they would need to make in order to be competitive. I'm not going to punt on 2017, but I am going to commit to getting some young pitching and see what we have with the guys who are ready.
     
     
    Tender/nontender:
     
    I'm going to tender Gibson, Escobar, Kintzler, and Pressley. They are all relatively cheap, and while none were really great, they've shown promise to varying degrees. The pen wasn't very good, but with plenty of help on the way, I think you have to hold out hope for some of them.
     
    On the nontender side, I'd attempt to trade Plouffe, Santiago, and Milone. I suspect that all will be non-tendered, but this definitely qualifies for the take what you can get... and I'm not expecting much.
     
    Mauer/Perkins/Hughes:
     
    I start dialing Mauer's role back a bit. I'd want him playing against RHers as often as possible, but I'm telling him to plan on playing some 3rd and occasional OF. Vargas earned a shot to start and I want to see what we have in Park. He was impressive in April, got hurt and tried playing through it. He was pretty good when demoted to Rochester and re-injured the same wrist injury leading to surgery and shut down. He's going to get a shot. If either Vargas or Park fails, that puts Mauer back at 1B/DH. Bottom line is that I don't want the 2 years remaining on Mauer's contract to prevent the Twins from seeing what they have in Vargas and Park. The same goes true for Palka and Walker in the minors, as I fully expect to see one of them in the majors at some point.
     
    Hughes will be slated for the pen, with a chance to earn a starting role. His injury is a difficult one to return from, and as such he's not in my plans. Perkins is not in my plans either. He will certainly get a shot to regain his old role should he be healthy this spring, but both of these guys have huge question marks. Perkins is only signed through 2017, so he's an easy one going forward as he's likely going to spend some or all of it on the 60 day DL.
     
    Trades:
     
    On the trade side, I'm firmly shopping Dozier. He will get value, the question is what. The Yankees might be a good fit, but I doubt Sanchez in on the table and most of their good pitching prospects will be starting in AA, where most of our good ones will start. For now, I'm going to pretend that the Pirates will trade Glasnow and prospects for him. I don't know if they would do that, but that is the type of trade I'd want to target, namely high upside pitching that is major league ready or close to it. I wouldn't be against a Yankees trade that netted some guys like Justus Sheffield, but that wouldn't be my first plan (unless the Yankees were to offer Gary Sanchez).
     
    Santana would be shopped as well. I'd seek more catching help here than pitching, as no team with MLB ready high upside pitching is going to trade to trade it to acquire a MLB pitcher. They would certainly trade guys in the lower minors, which I'd be fine with, but I'd hope Santana could add some competition in at the C spot. If not, I'd take a nice package of prospects if one was offered. I would be just as willing to keep Santana around too, but I do not think his value will be any higher this July, and there's plenty of risk should the team not move him.
     
     
    Coaching changes:
     
    While I suspect Falvey and the new GM will stick with Molitor for 2017, I'd probably make new on field management a priority. After watching this team, I'm convinced that Molitor is not the guy you want at the helm for managing young help. His treatment of guys like Berrios, Polanco, and Chargois this season was head scratching at best. While I recognize that a manager doesn't have a whole lot of options to work with when it comes to getting performance out of young major league players, I don't think Molitor showed that he was suited for that task. My preference is to find a manager who specializes in developing young talent, as transitioning and development are probably the biggest needs this organization faces. I would likely look closely at some of Joe Maddon's lieutenants in Chicago, and I would give one of them the top spot.
     
    International:
     
    If Shohei Otani is posted, I would bid heavily on him. Any potential Cuban posting would be of interest too. Those could potentially change the landscape of the final roster, but I'm not going to assume any are on the roster come opening day.
     
    Free Agency:
     
    I like what Buxton did in September, but one month isn't going to change my opinion on him that much. I'm getting a potential 1 year filler that can serve as a starter or capable 4th OF, and I will not be handing Buxton the job. He will be the starter if he earns it or in Rochester if he does not. I would target a guy like Austin Jackson or Carlos Gomez. Players like that are likely going to get a 1 year contract to rebuild value, and should be able to be shipped away relatively easily should Buxton finally earn the job.
     
    I would sign one of Gregg Holland, Drew Storen, or some other buy low RP candidate to bolster the pen.
     
    40 man additions/removal:
    As of this writing, 38 names are on the 40 man. Dozier is traded. I'm assuming that Santana ends up being traded as well, though I'm not certain he will get that catcher that they need. That takes us to 36. Non tendering or trading Plouffe and Santiago (Milone is already gone) takes us to 34.
     
    I suspect one of Hughes/Perkins returns and gets off the 60 day, but I think the odds clearly say at least one is likely to be gone for 2017 as well. Likewise, a free agent CF on a one year deal takes up a spot, as does a reliever like Holland/Storen. Regardless, you cannot count on that, so you have to keep their spots for now.
     
    Other DFA guys: Centeno, Grossman, DSan, Boshers, Landa. This takes us from 34 down to 29.
    Players to add: Garver, Granite, Palka, Romero, Jorge, Zach Jones, Vielma or Goodrum (as I need a MI backup). I leave Thrope off b/c I doubt anyone takes him, but if I'm unsure, he's a must add. That brings us back to 35. I'm assuming that we get 1 major league pitcher for Dozier and for fun, let's just assume a catcher is picked up too. F
     
    Finally, since I used FA to pick up a 1 year option for CF as well as an RP, I'm up to 40. I've also got some flexibility in guys like Murphy/Wimmers/Tonkin who I'd be quick to drop if needed, but would be willing to give a chance as long as there isn't a huge roster crunch. I'm fully expecting Hughes and/or Perkins to make their way back to the 60 day DL this spring, but you cannot really do anything about that until it happens.
     
    Final Roster:
     
    C - Murphy/acquisition/Garver
    1B - Park/Mauer
    DH - Vargas/Mauer
    2B - Polanco
    SS - Escobar
    3B - Sano/Mauer
    LF - Rosario/Mauer
    CF - Acquisition/Buxton
    RF - Kepler/Mauer
     
    Bench: Mauer, Vielma, Garver or Murphy, CF acquisition (note that if Buxton starts in the minors, I'd likely consider bringing Palka up and letting Rosario be the backup CF)
     
    SP - Gibson, May, potential Dozier acquisition piece, Berrios, and Mejia.
    RB - Kintzler, Chargois, Pressley, FA acquisition, Hughes, Tonkin, rotating spot between minor league options (Melotakis, Duffey, Hildenberger, Burdi, Reed).
  24. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from olivia11 for a blog entry, My 2016 offseason plan   
    103. That's truly a terrible number, and it's been some time since the Twins have been able to earn the top pick overall. This season was an abomination, especially given the high hopes that Twins fans had coming in. There's no need to really go over what went wrong.There's a number of things, but pitching most definitely tops the list. It finished second and third as well.
     
    Falvey and the new GM (presumably Levine at this point) will likely have their hands full as they tackle what will be an interesting offseason. The offensive core of the team is largely there, and if they don't move quickly, they will be looking at decent pitching by the time the offense leaves I'm going to assume we won't be a playoff team in 2017. We might repeat 2015 if things fall right. I do think the team as a whole underperformed, but not to the tune of a 30 game swing that they would need to make in order to be competitive. I'm not going to punt on 2017, but I am going to commit to getting some young pitching and see what we have with the guys who are ready.
     
     
    Tender/nontender:
     
    I'm going to tender Gibson, Escobar, Kintzler, and Pressley. They are all relatively cheap, and while none were really great, they've shown promise to varying degrees. The pen wasn't very good, but with plenty of help on the way, I think you have to hold out hope for some of them.
     
    On the nontender side, I'd attempt to trade Plouffe, Santiago, and Milone. I suspect that all will be non-tendered, but this definitely qualifies for the take what you can get... and I'm not expecting much.
     
    Mauer/Perkins/Hughes:
     
    I start dialing Mauer's role back a bit. I'd want him playing against RHers as often as possible, but I'm telling him to plan on playing some 3rd and occasional OF. Vargas earned a shot to start and I want to see what we have in Park. He was impressive in April, got hurt and tried playing through it. He was pretty good when demoted to Rochester and re-injured the same wrist injury leading to surgery and shut down. He's going to get a shot. If either Vargas or Park fails, that puts Mauer back at 1B/DH. Bottom line is that I don't want the 2 years remaining on Mauer's contract to prevent the Twins from seeing what they have in Vargas and Park. The same goes true for Palka and Walker in the minors, as I fully expect to see one of them in the majors at some point.
     
    Hughes will be slated for the pen, with a chance to earn a starting role. His injury is a difficult one to return from, and as such he's not in my plans. Perkins is not in my plans either. He will certainly get a shot to regain his old role should he be healthy this spring, but both of these guys have huge question marks. Perkins is only signed through 2017, so he's an easy one going forward as he's likely going to spend some or all of it on the 60 day DL.
     
    Trades:
     
    On the trade side, I'm firmly shopping Dozier. He will get value, the question is what. The Yankees might be a good fit, but I doubt Sanchez in on the table and most of their good pitching prospects will be starting in AA, where most of our good ones will start. For now, I'm going to pretend that the Pirates will trade Glasnow and prospects for him. I don't know if they would do that, but that is the type of trade I'd want to target, namely high upside pitching that is major league ready or close to it. I wouldn't be against a Yankees trade that netted some guys like Justus Sheffield, but that wouldn't be my first plan (unless the Yankees were to offer Gary Sanchez).
     
    Santana would be shopped as well. I'd seek more catching help here than pitching, as no team with MLB ready high upside pitching is going to trade to trade it to acquire a MLB pitcher. They would certainly trade guys in the lower minors, which I'd be fine with, but I'd hope Santana could add some competition in at the C spot. If not, I'd take a nice package of prospects if one was offered. I would be just as willing to keep Santana around too, but I do not think his value will be any higher this July, and there's plenty of risk should the team not move him.
     
     
    Coaching changes:
     
    While I suspect Falvey and the new GM will stick with Molitor for 2017, I'd probably make new on field management a priority. After watching this team, I'm convinced that Molitor is not the guy you want at the helm for managing young help. His treatment of guys like Berrios, Polanco, and Chargois this season was head scratching at best. While I recognize that a manager doesn't have a whole lot of options to work with when it comes to getting performance out of young major league players, I don't think Molitor showed that he was suited for that task. My preference is to find a manager who specializes in developing young talent, as transitioning and development are probably the biggest needs this organization faces. I would likely look closely at some of Joe Maddon's lieutenants in Chicago, and I would give one of them the top spot.
     
    International:
     
    If Shohei Otani is posted, I would bid heavily on him. Any potential Cuban posting would be of interest too. Those could potentially change the landscape of the final roster, but I'm not going to assume any are on the roster come opening day.
     
    Free Agency:
     
    I like what Buxton did in September, but one month isn't going to change my opinion on him that much. I'm getting a potential 1 year filler that can serve as a starter or capable 4th OF, and I will not be handing Buxton the job. He will be the starter if he earns it or in Rochester if he does not. I would target a guy like Austin Jackson or Carlos Gomez. Players like that are likely going to get a 1 year contract to rebuild value, and should be able to be shipped away relatively easily should Buxton finally earn the job.
     
    I would sign one of Gregg Holland, Drew Storen, or some other buy low RP candidate to bolster the pen.
     
    40 man additions/removal:
    As of this writing, 38 names are on the 40 man. Dozier is traded. I'm assuming that Santana ends up being traded as well, though I'm not certain he will get that catcher that they need. That takes us to 36. Non tendering or trading Plouffe and Santiago (Milone is already gone) takes us to 34.
     
    I suspect one of Hughes/Perkins returns and gets off the 60 day, but I think the odds clearly say at least one is likely to be gone for 2017 as well. Likewise, a free agent CF on a one year deal takes up a spot, as does a reliever like Holland/Storen. Regardless, you cannot count on that, so you have to keep their spots for now.
     
    Other DFA guys: Centeno, Grossman, DSan, Boshers, Landa. This takes us from 34 down to 29.
    Players to add: Garver, Granite, Palka, Romero, Jorge, Zach Jones, Vielma or Goodrum (as I need a MI backup). I leave Thrope off b/c I doubt anyone takes him, but if I'm unsure, he's a must add. That brings us back to 35. I'm assuming that we get 1 major league pitcher for Dozier and for fun, let's just assume a catcher is picked up too. F
     
    Finally, since I used FA to pick up a 1 year option for CF as well as an RP, I'm up to 40. I've also got some flexibility in guys like Murphy/Wimmers/Tonkin who I'd be quick to drop if needed, but would be willing to give a chance as long as there isn't a huge roster crunch. I'm fully expecting Hughes and/or Perkins to make their way back to the 60 day DL this spring, but you cannot really do anything about that until it happens.
     
    Final Roster:
     
    C - Murphy/acquisition/Garver
    1B - Park/Mauer
    DH - Vargas/Mauer
    2B - Polanco
    SS - Escobar
    3B - Sano/Mauer
    LF - Rosario/Mauer
    CF - Acquisition/Buxton
    RF - Kepler/Mauer
     
    Bench: Mauer, Vielma, Garver or Murphy, CF acquisition (note that if Buxton starts in the minors, I'd likely consider bringing Palka up and letting Rosario be the backup CF)
     
    SP - Gibson, May, potential Dozier acquisition piece, Berrios, and Mejia.
    RB - Kintzler, Chargois, Pressley, FA acquisition, Hughes, Tonkin, rotating spot between minor league options (Melotakis, Duffey, Hildenberger, Burdi, Reed).
  25. Like
    diehardtwinsfan got a reaction from glunn for a blog entry, 2015 Top 30 prospects   
    I like doing prospect lists sometime after the draft and after some rookie ball has been played. In part because it's a bit of a slow time of the year in the minor league forums and in the last few years, it's been relatively slow in the major league forums. This is a link to my top 25 from last season. Most of these guys are still in the system, and that has a lot to do with the fact that they were mostly excelling at the lower levels. That has changed with a lot of guys showing good results in AA/AAA, and I suspect Terry Ryan is going to have some interesting offseason choices to make this winter. First, let's start with the graduations:
     
    Trevor May (6th) - I've been more of a believer in May then a lot of people. I still think that long term, he could profile as a 1/2 type, though likely more a 2 at this point. His major league season thus far has been pretty successful for his first full year campaign. I suspect over the next couple of season that he will improve on that significantly. Regardless, at this point, May is a nice asset in the rotation and would be coveted by a lot of teams if he was available.
     
    Kennys Vargas (10) - I suppose the 1B/DH could still technically flirt with being listed, but after spending most of the second half and a part of this season in the majors, I'm removing him altogether. He definitely still has some work to do, but he's definitely still middle of the order potential. I suspect he will be a full time regular come 2016.
     
    Eddie Rosario (11) - Rosario is still a work in progress at the plate, but he's a nice defensive OF and is making enough contact to stay with the club. He's likely to be this year's Danny Santana, and I half expect him to return to the minors at some point, but he's done a good job to remind us why he used to be so highly rated.
    Also removed from last year's list was Sean Gilmartin who was released this spring. He was 16th on my list last season and is having a reasonably decent season in his rookie year as a relief pitcher for the Mets. Now for the good stuff:
     
    _________________
    1) Miguel Sano 3B (2) - Sano continues to be a work in progress at 3B, but his bat is probably pretty close to being ready. He got off to a slow start given the rust, but since the calendar turned to May, his OPS has been greater than .900 and he's hitting plenty of home runs and doubles to continue cementing him as one of the leagues better power hitting prospects. He has plenty of power and excellent plate discipline. He does strike out quite a bit, but he's good at laying off pitches out of the zone and generates quite a few walks as well. His brief trial has gone well enough to say that his bat is ready. His real problem right now is that he's blocked at the major league level. He can probably play some DH in the short term, but in the long term, the Twins need him in the field to make room for Vargas and/or Arcia. Trevor Plouffe is firmly entrenched at 3rd and has been very good. Joe Mauer is at first, and while Mauer hasn't been that good this year, I highly doubt the team moves him. Sano should however, be an immediate, middle of the order impact bat for this team at a position in the league where OPS is weak. In his prime, I suspect he may have a few MVP type seasons and I expect him to be long term fixture on a contending team.
     
    2) Byron Buxton CF (1)- Buxton got off to a slow start after missing a season. His defense is pretty good, but he's struggled with breaking pitches. Starting in May, he really turned it on posting an OPS > .900 in AA ball and was called up to the Twins. He struggles more with major league pitching than Sano does, and as such his bat is definitely not ready at this point, but given that no one is really blocking him, he's going to get every opportunity to succeed. The reason why he's still on this list has more to do with a lengthy DL stay that has kept him off the field. That said, I fully expect to see him take a big step forward in 2016, though he may find himself spending some time in AAA at first. Long term, he's likely to be an elite bat and elite glove at a key defensive position. I see him more as a leadoff type, but if his power increases, I could see him becoming a 3 hitter. He could likely have some MVP seasons as well and should be a cornerstone player for a contending team.
     
     
    3) Jose Berrios SP (5) - Berrios has done nothing but prove the naysayers wrong. He was a compensation pick out of high school whose biggest knock was size and a relatively flat fastball that kept him from going higher on the lists. He dominated rookie ball, which given his age is a good thing, though his first year in the MWL was nothing special (it wasn't bad, just not that great). In 2014 he really broke out, adding a few ticks to his fastball and even making it up for a brief AAA stint. He returned to AA in 2015 and has been every bit as good, and he was recently promoted to AAA. He has mid 90s speed on his fastball and has excellent control. He strikes out more than a batter per inning. I'm not quite sure he is an ACE, but I do think he will be a very good number 2 at the major league level. His problem at the moment is that the Twins have a bit of a glut in pitching. I know that seems rather odd given the org's history, but as it stands right now, we have too many starters at the major league level and a few decent ones in Rochester as well. I suspect that trades this offseason will free up some space there, but Berrios may have a problem on the ETA front. I'm guessing he ETAs in 2016 as an injury call up and will likely be in the rotation full time at some point in 2017 after the team manages to trade either Nolasco or Santana. This might be the main casualty of the FA spending the front office has done for pitchers as it's going to be hard to work in some of these younger pitchers when Hughes, Nolasco, and Santana are pretty much assured spots and Gibson and May are both pitching well themselves.
     
    4) Max Kepler OF/1B (23) - I had soured quite a bit on Kepler because other than a nice stint in rookie ball, he really hadn't done much in terms of production. At this point last year, he had just started to turn a corner in FTM and that could easily be attributed to a small sample. He kept it up for the remainder of the year and has responded to one of the harder minor league jumps by putting on a show in AA all season long being one of their better hitters. While he hasn't been launching home runs all over the place like some of his counterparts, he has speed, some power, and can play all 3 OF positions (though he's probably not an ideal CF). He isn't a huge walk machine, but he also doesn't strike out much either. His K/BB ratio this season in Chattanooga is nearly a 1 to 1 ratio. Kepler has that high ceiling that people covet, and given that he won't be 23 until spring training next year, I think it's likely that he's going to have a very nice major league career. This is his second season on the 40 man, and he has 2 more before he's out of options. I suspect he's likely going to finish up in AAA at some point this season and have the ability to audition for a major league role in 2016. I expect him to see his first call up next year.
     
    5) Tyler Jay (unrnk) SP - There's a lot to like from this kid, with his biggest question mark being how his velocity will hold up as a full time starter. He worked primarily as a relief pitcher in college, but this lefty has a 4 pitch mix that could all be plus pitches. He already has a pretty high workload for a college reliever and will finish this season in the relief role, possibly in AA at some point. I expect him to be sent back to FTM this spring and work there as a starter. Like the other pitchers in the top 10, the lefty has top of the rotation potential, especially if he can pitch in the mid 90s (he's currently upper 90s as a reliever). His pitches all leave from the same arm slot giving him a deceptive delivery and making it harder for opposing hitters to pick up on his off speed repertoire.
     
    6) Alex Meyer (3) SP/RP - This season has been difficult for Meyer, and I'm willing to give him a pass this year given his potential, but to say it has been disappointing is an understatement. Meyer has high 90s stuff with a devastating off speed pitch and a change up that's a work in progress. His problem has been the dreaded 'consistency', as he's seen his walk rate climb as he moved up the ladder, with things falling a part this season in AAA. He moved to the pen, which I'm assuming is temporary, and has had a bit of a resurgence in Rochester, but he's yet to replicate his season last year, which is not good. I think this is probably worst of it and suspect he'll start to improve a bit, though I suspect he's going to spend a good chunk of 2016 at Rochester again. His biggest problem right now is that he doesn't throw enough strikes. Hopefully he can figure that out as that will be the difference between being an ace or having a major league career.
     
    7) Stephen Gonsalves (13) SP - The hard throwing lefty was originally considered to be late first round type talent in the 2013 draft, but fell due to some minor off field issues as well as signability concerns. He's been rather good in the Minnesota system with a career WHIP today of just over 1.0 and a K/9 north of 10. He's a lefty with mid 90s stuff, so at this point, a floor in the pen seems very realistic. Ceiling wise, he has top of the rotation potential. He's just moved to high A, so he has a ways to go before he hits the majors, but he's likely looking at AA at some point next season.
     
    8) Kohl Stewart (4) SP - Stewart was pretty good in his first career year in Cedar Rapids last season, though his K rate left a bit to be desired. He hasn't exactly stood out in high A this year, and that K rate has actually been worse this year (though it has been improving of late). That said, he has 4 pitches that are potential plus pitches, has mid 90s heat, and is 20 years old this year, much younger than his counterparts. He's also never really been a full time pitcher, so people need to be a bit more patient with him as he has more to learn than most prospects. But with that in mind, he has top of the rotation potential and should not be ignored. I do think at some point he's going to have to put things together, whether that is through repeating high A next season or continuing to aggressively push him, I'm not sure. I suspect he returns to high A and will be in line for a midseason promotion to AA if things go well. The Twins have another 3 seasons with him before he's a 40 man decision, so there's plenty of time. That said, there are a lot of guys who are succeeding at much higher levels, with similar potential. That's a good thing, and it's also a big reason for his drop. One thing that's been somewhat encouraging, is that he has been striking out more guys of late. Perhaps he's putting it together, who knows. Only time will tell there.
     
    9) Chih-Wei Hu (14) SP - Hu was a pleasant surprise last year posting some fairly impressive results for Cedar Rapids, though at age 20, I ranked him a bit lower on the list. Not that 20 is a bad age for the Midwest league, but he there were several younger pitchers also doing quite well in the MWL. Hu responded to the FSL this season by nothing short of sheer dominance, continuing his breakout. He gets plenty of Ks (though he's seen a significant drop in his K rate as the season has worn on) and limits both walks and the long ball quite effectively. From what I've read, the righty throws in the mid 90s with a decent assortment of off speed offerings. High A is a bit of a pitchers haven, so his transition to AA will likely tell us where he's going to ultimately fit on the pecking order, but right now, I still think he can be a top half of the rotation arm, and he has done nothing to dissuade that opinion.
     
    10) Jorge Polanco 2B/SS (6) - Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I'm not quite as high on Polanco as others. He does get the credit of doing this in an up the middle position, though his defense from what I understand still needs considerable work. To his credit, he's 21 in AAA. He's putting up decent numbers, but not much in terms of power or plate discipline. His OPS, however is nothing special. While that's pretty good for a SS, it's not stand out, high ceiling type and his defense is presently not good enough at the position to make it worthwhile. His other real problem is that he's burned 2 options already. I'm guessing he may be one of those guys eligible for four options, which means he won't be forcing a decision until 2018, at which point he should certainly be ready. He's received 2 very brief call ups, but those were more for emergency situations. I would probably have him finish out the season in AA and then start in AAA next year. I suspect he will receive another call up at some point in 2016, and hopefully for more than an emergency. He may be the SS of the future, but in all honesty, I could see him being dangled with someone else to pickup someone with a bit higher ceiling. While SS is not a strength of the organization, there are options in the high minors and the majors. Eduardo Escobar is putting up league average offensive numbers and playing average to better defense (though for some inexplicable reason, he's not getting as much playing time at SS one would like. Santana and Polanco should be competing for the role extensively, and both of the ability to break out and be an above average player there. From the Twins standpoint, patience may be a virtue as I suspect one of the two of them will eventually claim that role.
     
    To summarize the top 10, I'm rather impressed with the fact that only 2 guys on this list do not play up the middle defensive positions. Technically, Sano at 3B still occupies a premium position, just not up the middle, and Kepler could play CF in a pinch, both of whom look like they could potentially play at an elite level at some point in their careers. There are also six pitchers listed, all of whom could slot in as 1-3 type pitchers to complement a young core that already holds two very promising pitchers in Gibson and May. While there is a bit of a glut in a few of these positions, the advantage here is that these guys could be used to net some premium talent at another position of need. With that in mind though, they already have a core of higher ceiling guys in Arcia, Rosario, Gibson, May, and Vargas to complement excellent production from Plouffe and Dozier. This team is likely going to win a lot of games over the next 5-10 seasons and will have both depth to whether injury as well as the ability to acquire help wherever they need it.
     
    11) Nick Gordon (7) SS - Last year's number 1 pick has been aggressively moved just like the previous two picks in Buxton and Stewart. Gordon has not done as well. Granted, he's young for his league and has managed to hold his own, but he hasn't impressed much. He's likely to stick at SS, which elevates him quite a bit in the prospect world. To be fair though, he's 19 and in low A. Expecting him to do what Buxton did is probably unfair. Offensively, we saw a nice uptick in his numbers for June and so far in July his OPS is well over .800, so he may be figuring it out. He's probably not going to be the next coming of A-Rod, but an average to slightly above bat playing average to above average defense is still very valuable. His drop here has more to do with the ascension of other prospects and should not be considered an indictment on his play. Granted there's room to go here, but he'd be a very valuable prospect in a number of systems.
     
    12) Travis Harrison (16) 3B/LF - Harrison, despite his age, gets little love in the prospect world. He was snubbed for the all star game in AA despite being a very good 3B this season. He's cooled off a bit of late, which is probably part of the reason he gets overlooked, but he's still been a very good performer. He's 22, in AA, holds a career minor league OPS over .750 and keeps his OBP more than .100 points above his average. He has some power to go with it. He's been overshadowed by the likes of Sano, Kepler, and Walker. He has the requisite skills needed to be a major leaguer. His ceiling is an above average major league regular. He probably won't be a star, but it's quite possible that he has an all star type season or two at some point in his career. Given the Twins depth presently, Harrison might find himself with another team at some point, as there really isn't a place to put him if his higher ceiling counter parts can establish themselves.
     
    13) Adam Brett Walker (17) RF - Walker is one of the more polarizing prospects at Twins Daily as he has put up some rather gaudy numbers at each stop. He's on pace this year to club more than 30 home runs, which is pretty impressive for a minor leaguer, and he's led his league in home runs for the last couple of seasons. Bottom line, he has 80 raw power. The down side is his inability to take a walk and the fact that he strikes out a lot. Despite posting an OPS over .900 in AA, his peripherals have actually worsened, with a strikeout to walk ratio more than 5 to 1. On one end, AA doesn't seem to be challenging him, but on the other end, he's getting worse in the areas that he needs to be improving. He isn't a 40 man decision until the end of the 2016 season, which is good. I suspect he will remain in AA and start next season in Rochester. How that plays out is yet to be seen. Perhaps he can be that outlier that defies statistics, but I suspect major league pitchers will do a good job exposing those problems. His defense is pretty suspect as well, so carving out a role as a defensive OF won't be happening. Given that he's performing at AA, he likely has a floor as a late inning pinch hit all or nothing type bat, which isn't a bad person to bring in during a high leverage situation where pitchers have to be a bit more careful when they pitch. As a ceiling, there's no question that he can be a star if he figures out those contact issues, but time is not really on his side anymore, as he still is not learning plate discipline.
     
    14) Lewis Thorpe (12) SP - Thorpe is another high ceiling prospect who would likely be quite a bit higher on this list had it not been for a UCL injury that required Tommy John surgery. He's out all year after putting together a fairly impressive start for a 17/18 year old in the MWL. His overall numbers weren't spectacular, but when you look at his month to month numbers, you can see improvement. His 18/19 season is lost and he'll start in the MWL again I assume next year. The lefty throws in the mid 90s and could be another top of the rotation arm.
     
    15) Tyler Duffey (21) SP - Duffey continues to defy expectations as he moves up the ladder as well as improving on those peripheral stats that we tend to pay attention to. The converted closer probably profiles more as a #3 ceiling, but he's looking more and more to have a back of the rotation floor. These types of guys are pretty valuable. He does have some decent velocity, and has been able to raise his minor league career K rate to around 7.4. His walk rate is pretty miniscule as he's hovered around 2 this season and has a minor league career rate under that number. Now in Rochester, he's another arm that can be counted on for depth and possibly a spot in the rotation.
     
    16) Josmil Pinto (8) C - Pinto is the first catcher on this list, and his play this season has been less than impressive. He was kept in AAA to work on his glove, but his bat this season has been pretty bad as well. Given he has a minor league career OPS of over .800, I'm hoping his offensive play this year is simply a victim of some bad luck, recovering from a concussion, and the fact that he's working hard on his glove. I had hoped he would have graduated from this list to be a counter part to Suzuki, but thus far, that hasn't been the plan. At 26, he's not really young anymore and his option status is going to force the Twins to find a spot for him shortly. He should be able to be part of a decent catching tandem, with an obvious bent towards his offense.
     
    17) Wander Javier SS (unrnk) - Remember when the Twins signed Miguel Sano and he was instantaneously their top prospect? That alone was a testimony to how bad their farm system was at this point. The Twins made news on July 2nd signing Javier to a team international FA record of $4 million dollars, which will make Javier a very watched prospect. At age 16, there are lots of questions, particularly if he will stick at short, and there's some disagreeing opinions among scouts that have watched him. On the top side, he should be average to above with all of his tools with as many as 3 60 grade tools when he matures. That's pretty good as a SS, as he could be a middle order bat at a premium position. Of course, he's 16 and hasn't played professionally yet, so time tell.
     
    18) Taylor Rogers (unrnk) SP - I haven't given Rogers a lot of love due to what I think is a relatively low ceiling (back of the rotation arm), but Rogers continues to perform and owns a career minor league ERA around 3 with a career K/9 around 7. The ERA is standout, which Rogers gets by minimizing hits and walks, essential for any pitcher, but he lacks the swing and miss stuff that makes me think it will play as anything more than a 4/5 type guy in the majors. That said, he's now in AAA and putting up numbers similar to his minor league numbers. At this point I'd say his ceiling is probably a #3, which isn't a bad thing, but he's still more likely to be a 4/5. That said, given his age and performance I think the chance of hitting the floor is pretty high. He's blocked by a lot of guys in the Twins system, so I wouldn't be surprised if his career really takes off with another team. He could also be moved into a relief role as his numbers against lefties stand out. It's possible that this would add a tick or two to his FB and he could be a dominant reliever.
     
    19) Mitch Garver (15) C - He got off to a pretty bad start but has really turned it up since June. I'm glad given the fact that catching is pretty weak in the system right now. Garver looks to be a good defensive catcher but can swing the bat a bit. He's not a power guy, but he does keep the OBP up and hit a lot of doubles. That's pretty valuable given how bad ML catchers hit. His first two months were pretty bad, but he cracked an .836 OPS in June and his July OPS is over .700. He may be one of those guys who needs some time to adjust to new levels. AA will be the big test for his bat.
     
    20) Nick Burdi (10) RP - Nick Burdi has lost the luster that he had last year in what has definitely been a difficult year for him. While his strike out numbers were good in AA, he was waking a batter every other inning on average and giving up way too many hits to make it work. He brings 100 MPH heat, but as well all know, major league hitters can hit a 100 MPH pitch. That doesn't mean that there's no hope for him. He's been very successful in Fort Meyers since his demotion, and given that the Twins are working on his mechanics he will likely be just fine. What it really means is that he's probably not going to be in the majors this year, and the soonest he will be auditioning for them will be next year. I hold out hope that Burdi will be promoted back to AA at some point this season and will be much better than what he was.
     
    Last year, it was said that the 11-20 Twins list would be better than a lot of team's top 10 lists. With graduations (and expected graduations), I don't think this statement will hold true for many teams, except those with dreadful farm systems, but there is some really nice depth here, and this 11-20 list is still quite a bit better than most teams 11-20 lists. It's a nice mix with 4 pitchers, one of whom could be that coveted ace, 2 catchers, a SS, and some OF/3B help as well. A good number of these guys are high enough in the org to guarantee a major league look at some point when the need arises, or command enough value to be shipped away for something. Quite a few have higher ceilings as well, but at this level, there's lots of question marks. The highest ceiling of this section (Thorpe) underwent Tommy John this spring. Walker has impressive power, but his inability to lay off pitches limits the type of impact he will have in the majors. Harrison looks like a Trevor Plouffe type prospect: above average, may take some time to develop, and will likely put up some quietly decent numbers. I suspect some of these guys will take some big steps forward next year, and a couple might even crack some top 100 lists in the coming years.
     
    21) JT Chargois (unrnk) RP - In the same mold as Burdi, Chargois can really dial up the heat to around triple digits. He's a tad older and is seeing his first taste of AA (and struggling a bit), but he's another reliever that could conceivably be in Minnesota in shorter order. His career has been thus far plague by injuries, which is largely what has kept him from moving up faster. He gets lots of Ks and keeps the home run rate low, allowing only 1 in 48 career major league innings. Chargois has potential to be a back of the bullpen stud. I expect him to restart in AA and likely be a mid-season promotion to Rochester in 2016.
     
    22) Jermaine Palacios (unrnk) SS - During the lean years, a kid like this would be a top 10 prospect. He just turned 19 (July 19), and carries an OPS as a SS over .900 which is pretty impressive, even for a kid in the GCL. Rookie ball stats certainly can be taken with a grain of salt, but there's something to be said about a guy who is doing it when he's younger than his league. Recent examples in our history include Sano, Rosario, and Arcia, all of whom murdered opposing pitches in the GCL. Palacios hasn't been quite that good, but he's been significantly better than the league at an important defensive position. He might yet get a shot in Elizabethon, but will likely be there next year or possibly even the MWL next year.
     
    23) Levi Michael (unrnk) 2B - After years of sub par performance, I had largely written the former first round pick off; however, Michael broke out last season and has continued his break out this year in AA posting an OPS over .800 with a keen eye for plate discipline. He doesn't need to be a great hitter to make the majors as a 2B, but he's blocked at the major league level by Dozier and has lots of competition as well. He's a 40 man decision this offseason, and I have a hard time believing he's going to be left exposed, though I could see him packaged as a means to acquire major league help or potentially international FA dollars as there's a bit of a glut at his position. That said, given his performance at AA, he's got a very real chance of making the majors in some capacity.
     
    24) Luis Arraez (unrnk) 2B - Arraez is Palacios' double play partner on the GCL Twins. The slightly younger counterpart is also putting up good numbers in the GCL at an even younger age, as he won't turn 19 until next season. His OPS isn't quite as impressive, and his performance has tailed off of late, but he makes very good contact with a decent amount of speed. He too is a ways off, but is thus far out performing his much higher priced international FA counterparts.
     
    25) Brandon Peterson (unrnk) RP - Peterson is finishing up his second full season with the Twins after being drafted in the 13th round in 2013. His minor league career to date has a K/9 of over 12, though he is not quite as stingy with the walks as some would like. He does induce a lot of weak contact as his career hits/9 sits at an absurd value UNDER 6. He's given up 1 home run in the last 2 seasons combined. His transition to AA hasn't come without bumps, but he's still putting up some very respectable numbers as a 23 year old in AA.
     
    26) Mat Batts (unrnk) SP - The 2014 17th rounder is having an excellent season, one that has been a surprise given how far down he was drafted. He's maintained an ERA around 2 across both low A and high A and gets a fair amount of Ks to go with it. To go with that, he keeps the home runs down (2 HRs in 100 IP this season so far) and is stingy with the walks as well with a BB/9 of around 2 this season across both levels. He earned a mid season promotion to Fort Meyers and has adjusted seamlessly. The lefty should start in AA next season, which will be a very good test to indicate what his future might hold for the Twins. Given his age and draft status, you won't see him on many prospect lists this year, but if he continues dominating hitters, he's going to be a much more known name next year at this time.
     
    27) Travis Blankenhorn (unrnk) 3B - The 2015 3rd rounder impressed right out of the gate posting pretty respectable numbers in a 14 game sample at the GCL. This earned him a promotion to E-town, where he's done even better. He's 18, and is forcing himself into the Cedar Rapids picture for the 2016 season, so there's a lot to like about this young 3B. His plate discipline has been respectable thus far and he has a modest amount of power to go with it. The ceiling seems fairly high for this kid.
     
    28) Amaurys Minier (22) 1B/3B/OF - As a big bonus sign in the international market, Minier has shown occasional flashes to justify the signing. However, his overall result line has been less than impressive. He's young, so there's plenty of time/potential here, but he's going to remain lower on this list until he can start hitting more consistently. His batting average at E-town currently sits right around the Mendoza line. At 19, he has plenty of room for improvement.
     
    29) Huascar Ynoa (unrnk) SP - Ynoa was another big bonus sign from last year and has been pretty decent in the DSL in his age 17 season. He's got to work a bit more on his control, but this is somewhat normal for a 17 year old kid. I like the upside, but at his current age he has a long long way to go before achieving that.
     
    30) Lewin Diaz (unrnk) 1B - Diaz was another high priced international free agent signing for around 1.2 M during the 2013 international signing period. He impressed during his age 17 stint in the DSL, but his first taste of action in the states has been less than impressive. His average is low, though he has pretty good plate discipline maintaining an OBP .100 higher than his average. His power, however, has been non-existent. That could definitely be a small sample, as he's only 20 games into his season, and at his age it's not too much of a concern just yet.
     
     
    HM: Aaron Sleegers, Jake Reed (20), Zach Jones, Jean Carlos Arias, Trey Cabbage, Miguel Gonzalez, Alex Swim, Jason Kanzler, Max Murphy, AJ Achter, Dallas Gallant, Trevor Hildenberger, Zach Granite, Niko Goodrum, Trey Vavra, Tanner English, Danny Ortiz, Engelb Vielma, and Cameron Boozer.
     
    This is my 3rd prospect list, and I have to admit that the deeper I go, the harder this gets. There's lots of deserving guys who have been left off the list, and at the lower ranks, there really isn't much that distinguishes them. I try to find a nice balance between results and ceiling, though once you get into the lower ranks, ceiling tends to take precedence. While the reality says that many of these guys won't make it, what I really like is that the Twins system is pretty deep everywhere except catcher and the minor leagues should do a good job providing impact pieces either in trades or in call ups for the majors during their resurgence. As a team, the Twins look posed to be a force in the AL central as soon as next season and will likely remain there for a good 5-10 years given the depth they have in their minors.
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