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Everything posted by jharaldson

  1. In the 5 years since his last full season of 2017 he has averaged 55 games a year in CF: 2018 - 27 2019 - 78 2020 - Short season so can't compare 2021 - 60 2022 - 54 He may be a 4 fWAR player based on the 54 games in CF last year plus his DH time but his lack of health contributed to the extended amount of playing time for Cave and Celestino in CF which in my mind had negative value for the team. For 2023 to be a success for Buxton he needs to find a way to be healthy enough to play 100 games in CF and be available for the playoffs should the Twins make them.
  2. I disagree with some of your analysis and level of blame: Kirilloff - The Twins went into last offseason and this spring training knowing they did nothing to fundamentally address Kirilloff's wrist injury which was a significant issue in 2021 already. The fact that this lingered and has resulted in a more definitive surgery in 2022 is a failure of the Front Office and something that was an easily foreseeable outcome of their decisions. Paddack - The Twins acquired Paddack knowing he had a partially torn UCL. Best case outcome was they get by for a season or 2 like they did with Maeda. Worst case was a complete tear and loss for the season. It looks like the Twins used their luck up in situations like these with Maeda and they got the worst outcome. Losing Paddack in 2022 was an easily foreseeable outcome and another Front Office failure. Mahle - He literally just came off the IL from a shoulder injury and we now know he was receiving special shoulder therapy because of issues from that. Perhaps there is a reason he was cheaper than the other frontline starters available at the deadline. This is another item the Twins Front Office needs to own as their failure. Buxton - The Twins Front Office knew that Buxton was a significant injury risk and that is why he was relatively cheap. The Front Office knew what they were getting into and if Cave and Celestino have not filled in as well as one might have hoped, that is the choice Front Office made. Ober/Winder - Both guys came into the season with injury issues. As Gleeman frequently states, if you want to count on young pitching then make sure you have 2/3 times as many young pitchers as you need. Joe Ryan was the 1 success and Ober and Winder are the 2 failures. This is a foreseeable outcome for the Twins Front Office. Maeda - The Twins acquired Maeda knowing he had elbow issues that would require surgery back to his signing with the Dodgers in 2016. Getting a season and a half out of him was good luck. The Front Office knew he was out for 2022 and should have planned accordingly. In short, when the Front Office is asked to value skill, cost to acquire, cost to own, and injury risk, they seem to always come down on the side of injury risk being the thing they care least about. I have no sympathy and a lot of blame to place on Falvey and Lavine when those injuries happen.
  3. Dan Hayes states at 4:00 PM yesterday that it is $380K and definitely not $750K. 2 hours later he reports that "industry" sources say it is "potentially" $750K. Not "Twins" sources, not "LSU" sources, and not "Wes Johnson" sources, but unrelated 3rd parties. Industry experts Kyle Boddy and Kendall Rogers from Driveline and D1Baseball have publicly disagreed on the number as well with Kyle supporting the $750-800K number (Double) and Kendall saying it is closer to $500K. The short of it is we have beat writers disagreeing with themselves and reporting numbers from experts who are disagreeing with other experts and both experts aren't in the actual negotiations. Kyle even responded to be pushed back and said "Whatever it is, it is a lot.....on the books that is." implying he had no idea what the number was beyond "a lot".
  4. 1 & 2 relate back to the long term "cheap Pohlads" narrative. I have seen reports from beat writers that he is going to earn $750K and that the Twins do not have confirmation they would match. I have also seen reports that he will earn $380K plus some school incentives and wanted to go back south for his family. Depending on which is true we either have an entirely relatable story about a father wanting spend more time with his family or we have a team that was too cheap to keep their pitching coach mid-season for an extra $350K. 3 & 4 relate to the ongoing likelihood of this happening again. If our coaching contracts are written so poorly that any coach can leave for an equal position in a similar league then I am going to express anger and frustration at our front office. If our front office instead saw that Johnson was earnest in his desire to move home and released him from a binding contract as an act of kindness then I am more likely to look upon the front office in a positive manner. 5 & 6 relate to how skillfully the front office worked in setting precedent here. One option is they didn't talk to MLB or care they are setting precedent for coaches being poached from the MLB from an inferior league mid-season and that the MLB is upset that the sport took a black eye with someone valuing recruiting at a lower level as more important that a first place team. I could very easily see the MLB eating the remainder of Johnson's contract for 2022 and sidelining him until the offseason as a way to show other coaches that MLB will not accept this type of mid-season contract breaking. Another option is that the Twins consulted with MLB and they both saw this as a unique case of a person wanting to go home and allowed this as a 1-time action that they don't believe sets precedent. To go to your core question of "What would change if had these answers?", the answer is my opinion of the front office. I like my opinions to be based in facts and right now I don't know if I should be mad at the Cheap Pohlad's not matching a $350K raise after their stupid front office signed crap contracts with their coaches that allow them to leave for lateral positions at any time or if my opinion is we have a compassionate front office that let a guy go out of an iron-clad contract because they respected he wanted to spend more time with family and that it wasn't a money grab. We are 5 pages into this discussion and there are still people sharing one tweet saying $750K and other folks disputing and sharing another tweet with a contract image that says $380K and we can't even agree as to how much he is leaving for. We need the beat writers to provide the basic factual information and I think they have not delivered.
  5. I have personally been extremely underwhelmed by the reporting we have seen on this with basic questions being unanswered: Did the Twins offer to meet or beat his salary offer from LSU? Reporting I have seen has kept this vague and the answer was "we asked him what we needed to do to get him to stay." Be explicit and give us a yes/no on the money. If the Twins are evasive then tell us that they refuse to give a yes/no answer. What was the actual value of his contract with LSU? $750K was reported yesterday but today the actual contract comes out with $380K. Aaron Gleeman's reporting on this comes to the quote "There are a lot of ways to get college coaches paid.". Let's not speculate and actually report real numbers or don't report them at all. How long of a contract is Wes Johnson leaving? Does it expire at the end of this year? Is he on a 2 year deal? Was Wes Johnson legally able to exit this contract for similar work in a similar field or did it require the voluntary release of the Twins? How many other major league coaches have left for an equal level job in college mid-season. Is he the only one? Did the Twins consult with the commissioner on this situation? I can't imagine that the MLB likes the precedent that any other external, inferior league can come in mid-season and poach under-contract coaches at will for equal level jobs and potentially equal pay. Just like the MLBPA didn't allow A-Rod to choose to take a pay cut to get a trade to the Red Sox because of the precedent it would set I would think the MLB isn't too keen on this precedent. I am more annoyed by these series of seemingly straight-forward questions that we don't have answers to than if the situation is just that he wants to go back south and had someone offering similar money.
  6. As this lockout stretches on I have been thinking back to the last time this happened. The year was 1994 and Friends had just premiered on NBC, OJ Simpson captured all of our interest while slowly evading police in his white Bronco, and the MLB and MLBPA buzzkilled my fall by killing baseball and the World Series. I thought it might be fun to take the issues that were being discussed during that work stoppage and see in hindsight who had it right. Drug Testing In 1994 the owners submitted a drug testing program as part of their proposal for a labor agreement. Selig commented on this in testimony to Congress later: While MLB gave up way too quickly on this, it was the MLBPA that pushed back. David Cone, a rep for the players at the time, had some negative memories of his experience: In retrospect, with all of the issues impacting the Hall of Fame and the steroid class that followed I would say that the players truly screwed up this part of the negotiations. Arbitration As part of their proposal to the players the MLB was willing to reduce the years of team control from 6 years to 4 years: The players maintained a hardline opposition to a hard cap, which the owners had tied this proposal to, and ultimately rejected it. In 2022 they have given up on their request to remove 1 year of team control and are now shooting for more Super 2 status. In addition, the good, young players of this generation are feeling some pressure to sign early extensions that are team friendly because of the team control and I bet they would appreciate being 2 years closer to free agency now. Another loss in hindsight for the players. Cap In 1994 the owners submitted a proposal where they would split revenues with the players 50/50 in exchange for a hard cap across all team. The players rejected this equal distribution of revenue and instead compromised on a luxury tax that is not based on revenue and has effectively been used as a cap since. In 2021, the payroll for all teams was roughly $4B while the revenue for all teams was roughly $12B. My math has that at a 33% distribution which means the revered Donald Fehr and the MLB Players negotiated themselves a deal where they earn 17% less revenue. In 2021 that means the players could have earned $2B more under the owners 1994 proposal. I don't think that all would have gone to the best players either because even with all that new obligation I would think that the Angels would not increase the money they pay Trout from $37M a year to $56M a year and it would likely mean a lot bigger floor of minimum salaries to meet the %50 revenue obligation. I would call this a 3rd strike for players. Conclusion In short, we wouldn't have had the steroid era as badly, players could be free agents 2 years quicker, players would be making 50% more, and we would have had a 1994 World Series if the players hadn't declared a strike and accepted the owners offer. If only Mr. Peabody's Wayback machine was real?
  7. One of the things I think gets forgotten in these negotiations is that the owners are likely still remembering back to the end of 2020 where, according to Forbes, they lost $1 Billion due to empty stadiums but full paychecks to players. They look at the NBA where their players worked with ownership and agreed to a %25 paycut to reflect empty stadiums and to the NHL where the players agreed to a %20 paycut and a %10 deferral. The owners must remember when they put an 82 season on the table with some paycuts to try and put a dent in those losses and the players rejecting it. In the proposal the owners put forward a minimum salaried guy like Luis Arraez would have made $256K in 82 games but guys like Donaldson would have taken a good sized cut. The players preferred a system where Arraez made $208K in 60 games so Donaldson could get his full pay. I don't see any good will the players have built with the owners that would incentivize them to negotiate a favorable deal to the players. They probably think they gave enough in 2020.
  8. Let's look at the regular season then. The Twins have gone 32-109 against the Yankees since 2002. That .227 Winning% is worse than the New York Mets baseline of 40-120 that is commonly used as replacement level. Seeing the Twins getting dominated by the Yankees year after year and seeing the Twins and AL Central have so many issues in the postseason make me think that we need to weight your "mediocre" scale. In FIP they often have a ballpark rating to adjust expected ERA up or down depending on ease of hitting HR and such. I am going to apply a factor to teams in the AL Central. An 81-81 team in the AL East is better than an 81-81 team in the Central so while you used +-10 games to get to 76-86 and 86-76 I am going to use 80 as my starting point and go 80-82 and 90-72 which means requiring 4 additional wins per season to get out of "mediocre" for an AL Central team. This adjusts your table to the following: 2002: 94-67 - Good 2003: 90-72 - Mediocre 2004: 92-70 - Good 2005: 83-79 - Mediocre 2006: 96-66 - Good 2007: 79-83 - Bad 2008: 88-75 - Mediocre 2009: 87-76 - Mediocre 2010: 94-68 - Good 2011: 63-99 - Bad 2012: 66-96 - Bad 2013: 66-96 - Bad 2014: 70-92 - Bad 2015: 83-79 - Mediocre 2016: 59-103 - Bad 2017: 85-77 - Mediocre 2018: 78-84 - Bad 2019: 101-61 - Good 2020: Too short to compare 2021: 73-89 - Bad I personally view 14 of the past 20 season as either mediocre or bad.
  9. From what I can see in the link below it is actually less than 1.5 seconds. Washington Post Baseball Swing Study I'm not saying that this is easy, it is incredibly hard. But being able to identify a pitch is part of what distinguishes a professional from a minor leaguer and is a defined and recognized skill in major league baseball. In regards to Chapman, from what I can read his injury was caused as a result of the ball being excessively darkened by spit, dirt, and other substances plus the fact the game had extended into the late afternoon with no artificial lights. Not being able to react because you can't see the ball vs. not reacting well to a ball that is fully visible and is well-lit are two entirely different things.
  10. I will disagree with the fact that this injury is not Buxton's fault. Below I have 2 screenshots from the pitch that hit him. The first shows him with his hands protected behind his triceps and the second is from a fraction of a second later when he had brought his hands in to start a swinging motion. He obviously massively misjudged this ball and instead of protecting his hands during a non-swing he had to instead try to protect them mid-swing which is why they were out there in plain sight. Better pitch identification and him reacting by turning his left shoulder in instead of bringing his hands into the zone would have prevented this injury.
  11. Something a little outside the box I would like to see is the Twins go after Yu Darvish on a trade. He ranked 7th among all starters in K% and 10th in xFIP. His ERA and FIP were inflated due to uncharacteristically high HR% which may be solved by leaving Wrigley and can help reduce his trade cost. he is down to 4Y/$81M on his contract which helps reduce the risk.
  12. In regards to the 3AM discussion, I would ask that people would evaluate this based on the culture of the Dominican Republic and not in US standards. I traveled to Brazil last year and because they are used to having American guests they worked with a restaurant to ensure they would be open at 8PM when they were going to take us out to eat. I asked why this is and they said because it is so hot out during the day that most activity takes place at night and that late dinners at 10,11,12 is fairly common. I am not sure how many cultural norms Brazil and the Dominican Republic share but it seems like a possibility that this is one.
  13. Just to confirm, I had done some research and found that Mike Beradino reported it as an "OR" in 2014 when the contract was signed: https://www.twincities.com/2014/12/12/twins-signing-ervin-santana-about-more-than-the-arm/ I would trust Beradino over all of the other sources as I think he may have actually spoken to someone vs just being an aggregator of news articles written by others. Are you saying Mike is wrong as well?
  14. Pioneer Press reporter Mike Beradino reported it as an "OR" in his article in December of 2014 covering the signing: https://www.twincities.com/2014/12/12/twins-signing-ervin-santana-about-more-than-the-arm/
  15. Here are 3 things I take as facts: - Joe Mauer revealed in March of 2016 that he had been experiencing vision issues during the previous season. - The Twins were surprised at this fact and were not aware of Joe's vision issues. - The Twins medical staff asked Joe dozens, if not hundreds of times, a set of specific concussion related questions between August 2013 and March 2016. I would be interested in another theory as to how these can all be true that doesn't involve Joe Mauer lying about his symptoms to the Twins medical staff.
  16. I have had a concussion and had to follow up on it with my doctor. At every visit I was specifically asked a number of questions: 1. Are you having headaches or memory issues? 2. Are you experiencing any vision issues including blurred vision, sensitivity to light, etc... 3. Are you feeling sluggish? etc... I would answer these honestly each time because a concussion is a serious injury. I have a hard time believing that Mauer was not asked these questions on a frequent basis by the Twins staff because after the Morneau concussion they truly understood how serious an injury this is. By frequently I mean no less than once a week and more likely it was once before any game. I would guess he was asked these questions hundreds of times between having the concussion and revealing his vision issues in spring training, 2016. Based on the Twins surprise when Mauer revealed these vision issues I have to assume that when he was asked these questions that he lied to the Twins.
  17. I think Mike is on point here and I think I have a pathway that the Twins can use to get this done. The Twins have a big advantage over the competition, they can influence the amount he can get paid this year. I would go to Brian with the following points: 1. Daniel Murphy was right after you in WAR for 2B last season and his free agent contract in 2016 was 3 years/$37.5 million. 2. $5.5 million of that was deferred. 3. We have room in our 2018 budget due to BAMTech to get you more money immediately. My formal offer would be the following: - 3 years/$45 million - No deferred money - $6 million raise in 2018 to bring his salary up to $15 million - $5 million signing bonus This would allow us to use our financial flexibility over the next few years but comes off the books as guys like Buxton, Sano, and Rosario hit free agency.
  18. I am all for silver linings but I think you have a couple items in here that do not qualify: I don't get how this is a silver lining. There were 15 players last year that pitched 200+ innings. The average WAR was 4.4 with the lowest being 2.0. I don't know any contending team that would turn down a 1 year/$14 million contract for that kind of production. WAR Link For comparison purposes, the 4 big free agent pitchers this year (Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, Lynn) had an average WAR of 2.5 with the low being 1.4 and they seem to be in line for 4-6 year contracts for $15-21 million a year. Free Agent WAR Link The Twins are a mid-market team and should be expected to be middle of the pack on payroll. The median salary in MLB is about $135 million (Link). Inflation was 2.13% in 2017 (Link). If we project that over the next 6 years the median payroll in 2023 will be $153 million or higher, as MLB payroll has grown significantly faster than inflation in the past. The Twins have no payroll obligations past 2019 and should easily be able to absorb 13.7% of their payroll being dead money. They got by this year with Phil Hughes, Nolasco, Park, and Perkins consuming 25% of their payroll.
  19. This Twins have had a bit of a tortured history with analytics. In 2010 Rob Antony did an interview with TwinsDaily’s own Parker Hageman and revealed some interesting facts about the Twins and Sabermetrics. Antony stated this about their analytics department, “we're probably one of the last, if not the last, team to address it with a person dedicated solely to that.”. He went on further to fail to understand some fairly basic concepts about Sabermetrics. He thought FIP was “first strike in inning pitched” and was unable to guess about BABIP. He then revealed they had just hired their analytics guy and stated he would be “Gathering information and creating databases. This will be his first year. The guy that we brought in will start creating systems to build a foundation of our own that we can look at.” This is what I primarily want to get into as I have a background in IT. In corporate America one of the techniques we use to understand what our competition is doing is to analyze their job postings. Have they posted an unusually large amount of Sales positions? Are they looking at specific geographic locations that have a concentration of talent? Are they asking for specific or unusual technical skills? These are all things we can look at to try to get an idea of intent and structure. I applied this technique to the Twins and their development job postings and found some interesting things. 2014 Posting 2015 Posting One of the common details in both job postings is the fact that the Twins were looking for a developer who had experience doing front-end work (HTML, JavaScript), middle tier (.NET Framework, ASP.MVC), and the data layer (SQL Server). This implies a couple of things. The first is that the Twins are employing a standard three-tier architecture for their analytics. It also implies that they only have “full stack” developers, which means they are required to know and to be able to develop in all 3 of their architecture tiers. This is problematic because is you are required to be able to code in everything that usually means you are unable to specialize or gain really in-depth knowledge on any single tier. For the Twins to take the next step in analytics I think they need to be hiring specialists in each of these areas. Another thing I noticed is that the only data store they referred to is SQL Server. The reason that this is important is that the industry still values relational datamarts like SQL Server but they are also moving in the direction of unstructured Big Data repositories as well. Applications like Hadoop, HBASE, MongoDB, and many others allow unstructured data to be quickly stored and analyzed which allows for more experimentation by analysts when compared to a structured DB. I think the PITCH f/x and Trackman data has likely been analyzed enough but I think the next frontier is going into some less structured data. Putting medical records into a big data store and analyzing test results and notes to find patterns in identifying healthier players. Putting free text scouting reports into it and running natural language analytics on them using IBM Watson or some other AI service to identify key language or sentiments that indicate a player that is more likely to succeed. The addition of weather data and the analysis of its impact on specific players. I think there is a lot of room to grow here. In short, I think it is likely this lack of specialization and not embracing the newer Big Data technologies led Thad Levine and Derek Falvey to go in a new direction this last fall with the analytics department. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hiring surge described in a recent article by Pat Reusse did not include hires to address these concerns. I am interested in your thoughts and feedback.
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