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Posts posted by jharaldson

  1. 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.

  2. On 11/2/2021 at 3:14 PM, Brock Beauchamp said:

    Yeah, I forget how many ticker tape parades have been celebrated in ALC cities over the past two decades. Oh, wait, I know the number. Two.

    It's super-irritating to create a thread that specifically talks about regular season performance and constantly be hit with "herr derr POSTSEASON" because that's all Twins fans can ever talk about.

    We're all aware of the Twins postseason futility. I literally mention it in the first sentence of this topic.

    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.

  3. On 6/25/2021 at 7:35 PM, Nine of twelve said:

    A batter has less than 1.5 seconds to recognize what the pitch is (which is not always possible), to recognize where it's going, and to react accordingly. The argument that Buxton did not plan his reaction properly is borderline ridiculous, IMHO. I suppose you also think that it was Ray Chapman's fault that he allowed himself to be killed by Carl Mays.

    From what I can see in the link below it is actually less than 1.5 seconds.  

    Washington Post Baseball Swing Study


    Information about the pitch — its speed, trajectory and location — takes about 100 milliseconds, or a tenth of a second, to go from eye to brain. It takes another 150 milliseconds for the batter to start a swing and get the bat over the plate.

    This leaves 150 to 250 milli­seconds — a quarter of a second at most — for the hitter to decide whether to complete the swing and, if he opts to do so, where to place the bat.

    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.

  4. 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.  



  5. 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.  

  6. 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.


    They’ve had it listed that way for ages and it’s wrong.


    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:




    Santana’s deal includes a fifth-year vesting option based on innings pitched — either 200 in 2018 or a combined 400 in 2017-18 — but it does not include a no-trade provision.


    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?



    Well if Spotrac has it wrong then I guess I do too


    Pioneer Press reporter Mike Beradino reported it as an "OR" in his article in December of 2014 covering the signing:


    Santana’s deal includes a fifth-year vesting option based on innings pitched — either 200 in 2018 or a combined 400 in 2017-18 — but it does not include a no-trade provision.






    I think accusing Mauer of lying is just a bridge too far. It's odious of conspiracy theory, not deduction.


    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.  


    But I think you're missing part of the problem here; symptoms come and go and they're often hard to pin down as being concussion symptoms in the first place.


    Is it possible Mauer was bad at communicating things he clearly should have been communicating to the team? Absolutely, but it's probably a bit more complex than "he just didn't want to share important information with other people".


    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?



    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. 


    I do think this is a tough decision. But, I think he will be good for three more years, so if they can agree on that length, I do it. Even with the MI depth.

    Unless they are going to spend that in big time pitching, I don't know where else the money will even go.


    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.  

  12. I am all for silver linings but I think you have a couple items in here that do not qualify:


    One final thing to note: Santana has a clause in his contract that would have guaranteed his $14 million salary in 2019 if he reached 200 innings this season. That was a possibility Twins decision-makers needed to account for in their planning, and it might've made them more hesitant to commit payroll for next year. Now, as it it will be virtually impossible for Santana to eclipse the 200 mark, Minnesota has a true team option for 2019, when he'll be 36.


    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 Cubs are now committed to the righty through 2023. He'll be 37 when the pact expires. Although $21 million in annual salary is lower than most expected but it still becomes a hindrance quickly if he underperforms or battles injury. And those are legitimate apprehensions since Darvish is arguably a bigger long-term health risk than many of his peers.


    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.


    Not sure the taxes work that way, but even if they do, I can't see the Twins or anyone giving out a signing bonus like that. 


    Joe Mauer moved to Florida when he was drafted and established residency there in order to pay Florida state income taxes (0%) on his $5 million signing bonus.  Here is a quote from a Reusse story back in 2001 that I got off of WestlawNext:



    Joe Mauer: What could be the Twins' last act of Minnesota loyalty was to use the No. l draft pick on Mauer, the St. Paul high school star. Mauer was so moved he delayed most of the $5 million signing bonus until he could establish residency in Florida and avoid Minnesota taxes.


    I am pretty sure that Darvish would be treated the same way.  The signing bonus is taxed by your residency state and your actual paychecks are taxed based on where you played individual games.


    In regards to the size of the bonus, that is where the innovation comes in.  If no other team would do it then it is a differentiator for the Twins offer.


    The Twins max out payroll at just over 50% of revenue, so the bonus would have to be $30 million, not 60.


    The Twins made that statement in the past about their yearly revenue.  They haven't had a similar 1-time payout since 1998 when the Diamondbacks and the Rays came into the league and everyone got $10 million.  I would argue that unless they have a significant 1-time capital project (minor league facilities, international facilities, IT infrastructure, etc...) that there is not a valid reason for them to apply the 50% rule to this money and it should be available for this purpose.

  15. The Twins are going to get a 1 time cash infusion in Q1 of 2018 of between $50-$68 million due to the sale of BAMtech by MLB. 




    An innovative way to take advantage of this would be to offer Darvish a 5 year/$140 million contract but make $60 million a signing bonus.  The signing bonus would be taxed at Texas rates so he saves money plus he can invest that money and make it grow for him instead of waiting for it. It would also be good for the Twins because the yearly rate on that contract would go from $28 million to $16 million and give them more flexibility in the future.  


    I have a newborn in the house so I don't have time to do the math on this but a perfect correlation is one. No correlation is zero. Negative one is a reverse correlation.


    If you did the math correctly, .437 is a relatively strong correlation.


    My understanding is that a correlation factor of .437 is considered moderate.  I looked into a statistical paper and they had them ranked this way:


    .00-.19 “very weak”
    .20-.39 “weak”
    .40-.59 “moderate”
    .60-.79 “strong”
    .80-1.0 “very strong”




    Again, Occam's Razor here. We can either blame the majority of Mauer's decline on the concussion - which aligns with pretty much every Mauer stat we can find - or we have to use mental gymnastics to explain how Joe didn't suffer concussion effects but managed to stop hitting the ball hard, stop making contact as frequently, and had less discipline overall because he got old (which usually doesn't affect power/discipline nor does it usually happen in seven months) or because defenses shifted him (which makes no sense whatsoever).


    Regarding making contact as frequently, Joe had the majority of that decline prior to the concussion:



    2010 - 9.1%

    2011 - 11.4%

    2012 - 13.7%

    2013 - 17.5%


    2014 - 18.5%

    2015 - 16.8%

    2016 - 16.1%

    2017 - 13.4%


    This increase in K% was masked by his career high BABIP in 2013 and a 3rd best BABIP in 2012.  I don't think anyone is saying the concussion did not play an issue, I think people are arguing that there is more nuance to this.  If I were to assign blame for his decline I would probably use these percentages:


    Age/Injury - 45% (Pre-concussion contact rate reduction)

    Concussion - 45% (Post-concussion ISO/Hard Hit reduction)

    Shifts/Strike Zone - 10% (Contributor to lower BABIP in recent years)

  18. I think there are a couple of ways of looking at this topic.  The first is that not getting out when there are runners in scoring position.  By that metric many of the posts above are correct in his clutch ability.  


    Another way of looking at this isn't an absence of bad things (outs), but instead the presence of good things (runs).  I like RBI percentage for this because it measures what percent of runners on base do you drive in when you have the opportunity.  For 2017 Joe is ranked 120 out of 340 in the category:




    I usually don't remember the clutch walk but i do remember the clutch walkoff hit.


  19. I am going to interpret Nick's question as "Can we win a World Series with Mauer and/or Dozier?".  To examine this I am going to first look at how they are doing this year against their peers at their positions.


    Dozier OPS - .799
    Average 2B OPS - .734


    Mauer OPS - .733
    Average 1B OPS - .819


    Based on this I would say that Dozier is an above average 2B and Mauer is a well below average 1B.


    Next I am going to look at the World Series winners from the past 15 years to see what kind of production they got out of their 1B and 2B positions.







    As you can see Dozier is effectively an average World Series winning 2B and has a better OPS than 8 of the 15 World Series winning 2B over the past 15 years.


    You can also see that Mauer is performing significantly below what the average World Series winning 1B has done the past 15 years and his OPS is .048 points worse than the worst 1B in this list.


    In short, I think that Dozier produces enough to be a 2B on a World Series winner and I think Mauer cannot be the starter at 1B on a World Series winner.



    Very interesting thought, but keep in mind it's difficult to make a good selection on an 18 year old US citizen. Making a good decision on a 16 year old Dominican (or Venezuelan or wherever) is no easier.


    Agreed but I think I would have better odds if I could pick 10 of the top 30 available instead of 1 or 2.  Also, it would allow the Twins to submit a significantly higher offer for Otani:



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