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mike8791

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  1. Ted, understand importance of depth, but for a contender, it must be quality depth - pitchers who can step in and at the very least, give the team at least a reasonable chance of a W. Unfortunately, there is not one on this list who seem able to do this, at least based on their minor league /brief major league performance. At best, these are all AAAA players who will do nothing to move the needle. #6-10 "starters" will have to either come from the bargain basement bin or from our strong current prospect list, e.g, Winder, Woods-Richardson, Balazovic, even Varland. With that said, if August/September performance is a decent indicator of future performance, Ober and Ryan look like pretty good bets to at least be #4/#5 starters next year, and Pineda should be resigned to slot in the middle. I for one have a little more confidence now in next year's rotation than I did at the trade deadline, even though the loss of Maeda is huge. The big question is whether this FO has the chops to lasso two top starters? They have the payroll space to add one of the top FA starters and excess positional players/top prospects to land a #2 starter via trade. With an improving pen and a couple of astute moves, I feel contending in 2022 is more of a possibility now than 2 months ago, but relying on the names above should not be in the plan going forward.
  2. Max is who he is. After 6+ years in majors, he has not shown much improvement. With the Twins dire needs for pitching, his greatest value now is a trade piece in procuring a young, major league pitcher with some demonstrated success in the bigs. No, he would not be the centerpiece, but a vital cog in a package deal. While our OF situation is far from settled, assuming Bux is resigned, we have a promising backup in Celestino, and a bevy of prospects like Kirillof, Larnach, Rooker, and even Gordon now who can play a decent corner OF with at least the same offense that Max has provided. Withb a great fielding CF like Bux or Celestino, the Twins can afford to sacrifice some corner defense if it leads to overall team improvment. If this FO is agressive, a Kepler, Arraez or Jeffers/Garver + one of our 10 good pitching prospects should yield a top arm. Could Kepler go on a tear in the future? Sure, but unlikely. He is a much more valuable trade piece - relatively young, cost controlled, ability to play multiple positions with decent power. That combination is still worth something. It's up to the FO to Max -imize this value.
  3. Nice work, Bean. While it's certainly easy to quibble with some of your grades, I would guess most of us would agree their 5 years of drafting have been well below average. Yes, we can give them the benefit of the doubt on certain circumstances, e.g., one year of development was lost, it takes more than 4 years of minor league ball to establish a player's chops at the big league level, etc., etc..... But there is no rational argument for this FO's failure to develop at least one bullpen arm in 4+ years. This is a pretty low bar, but Falvey can't even pass this one. We each have our pet peeves, like you, and frankly they lost me when drafting Lewis #1 overall, in a year with several "can't miss" rotation arms( Gore, McKay, Pearson, Wright) Lewis might yet develop but his clock is running out and he appears to have whiffed on his chance to fill the all-important SS position, that is still a black hole 4+ years later. Throw in two other highly questionnable # 1 picks in Cavacao and Sabato, and no wonder there is so much grumblling from the fan base, especially when you add in their massive failures in FA. As many have said before, give these guys one more year, but its sink or swim time. One other point not addressed and that is the ability of the scouting director. Sean Johnson was promoted 2 months after Falvey took over. The former Head Scout, Deron Johnson, was kicked upstairs after 10 years in charge. While D. Johnson had some terrible drafts, especially among pitchers, he did well in 2012(Buxton, Berrios, Duffy, Rogers) and 2016 (Kirillof, Rortvedt, Jose Miranda, Akil Baddoo, Jax, Balazovic and Rooker). Yes, these players have had longer to develop(and some are still prospects), but those two years alone put him ahead of the current Johnson. My question: with scouting so critical to building a repeatable contender: should Ryans' scouting system have been more thoroughly overhauled? I realize hindsight is always 20;20, but the failure to keep the window open, especially for a mid-market team, starts with the draft and the scouting director in charge of the drafts.
  4. If any of these above moves represent the biggest trades this FO makes in the offseason, color 2022 a rebuilding year(and likely the the last year Falvine is associated with the Twins). As others have said, these guys are all projects similar to some of our top prospects. What we need to be significantly more competitive next year are top-of-the-rotation pieces. We have the money for one top FA and position players to trade for another established, young pitcher. Nothing wrong with these type of posts, but I sure would like to aim a bit higher. This contentment with mediocrity, after 19 straight playoff losses is frustrating to an old fan who well remembers the excitement of 87/91. Do I think this FO will make the moves necessary to return this team to a contender in 2022? No, nor do I consider their employment beyond next year a step in the right direction. Hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid it's just not in this organization's DNA(from ownership on down) to take the necessary risks to do what should be done.
  5. Hawk, love pie charts!! They provide a clear picture of the subject. Naturally, there will be differences of opinion. Here are mine: 1. FO : have to go 50% here(and that's probably too low). After the last two seasons, it was pretty obvious the window was wide open. It should also have been obvious that if the Twins were to keep pace with the agressive White Sox that they needed to add at least one top starter and top bullpen pitcher. To believe Maeda would continue his hot streak in 2021 was just unrealistic. Berrios was never an ace. Though a solid #2 or 3, he all too often had meltdowns in critical situations and matched up poorly with other teams' aces in playoffs. Instead, the Wonder Boys dumpster dived once again, with Happ and the Shoe the result. Yes, their dismal showing was far worse than most expected, but still, no one saw an improved rotation because of their addition. Likewise, bargain hunting for pen pieces went about as expected. There was a reason the Sox dumped Colome and added Hendricks: the Sox wanted to win in 2021. With Rogers falloff in 2020, our bullpen was a crying need, but all we got was Robles and the ill-fated Colome(more on him later). 2. Rocco/ Coaches(should be combined) - 25%. Rocco is the manager so coach's performance falls under his mantle. The lack of leadership and fundamentals was evident early on. This team lacked the resiliency to bounce back from falling behind. Their fundamentals were lousy, as you pointed out. Rocco babied his players like no one else I've seen in 60 years of following the franchise. Pre-game practices were voluntary until after the trade deadline. Viola rightfully pointed out this glaring omission. Yes, the hitting coaches were subpar but why didn't the mgr/FO do something earlier? A manager still learning on the job is not the right guy for a team that had won 2 consecutive division titles. 3. The Players - 10%. Many played below their norms, especially in the first 2 months when the race was enfolding. Was that a result of a general softness on this team, a softness we have seen in 19 straight playoff losses? We'll never know, but questions must be asked about this squad's mental toughness. Why weren't they ready at the get-go? We can talk about bullpen improvement since August 1st, but is that because the pressure was off and the pen had little to lose when it was obvious they were cooked? 4. Injuries - 10%. Sure we had some injuries and Buxton's particularly hurt, but every team had critical injuriies this year. The Sox lost their two star OFs and starting catcher for more than half of the year. The Dodgers lost more than half their rotation for 50% of the year. The list goes on and on. Good teams have the depth to respond, bad teams don't. Injuries are a pretty lame excuse for this team's nosedive. 5. Colome - 5%. Have to reserve special mention for his blown saves at the start. These blown saves early on set the negative tone for the entire season(or at least until the Twins were way out of contention). I never thought I'd see the nightmare of Ron Davis, but Colome certainly followed closely when it most counted. So yes, there's enough blame to go around, but the FO?Rocco deserve the lion share!
  6. While Baez would be tempting on a one year deal(if possible), Twins need pitching, period, as well as resigning Bux. With a probable $40-50MM available to spend this offseason(hopefully after Bux's incentives), they must add two top-of-the-rotation starters plus one closer-type and a second good pen arm. While they should be able to trade for one #2 pitcher, a top starter like Stroman, Ray, Rodon, Gausman is going to cost $20-25MM/yr. A closer-type, like Kimbrel, maybe $15 MM, so there simply isn't enough money for one of the good SS FAs. Resigning Simmons for a lesser amount makes the most sense. Baez might be the most available FA SS but adding him would only mean the lineup is even less contact-hitting oriented. We need more high OBP players, not more all or nothing ones. Of course, if Pohlad and Falvey are not serious about contending as soon as next year, then forget the above narrative. In either case, it still makes little sense to spend big on the SS position.
  7. Have to add my No to the chorus here. Why give up a starting, albeit average, corner OF for a guy who is not a quality SS? Our list of middle IF prospects who fall short as SSs goes on and on - Polanco, Gordon, Lewis(if scouting reports are accurate), nor do Miranda or Martin seem to fit well at arguably the most important defensive position. Might as well resign Simmons for another gap year while we hope one of younger SS prospects emerge as a long term answer. If I'm trading Kepler, I want to use him as a key piece in acquiring as young, controlled starter who has already shown potential to be a #1 or, at worse, a #2 next year. That is a far more pressing need if FO really intends to return to contention next year.
  8. There are no "underrated" Twins players this year. Underperforming most definitely. Ober is by no means underrated. He is a promising prospect, but came to the Twins with little expecations. Thielbar has turned things around, but so has most of the pen once the Twins fell out of contention. What is his %inherited runs scored? Well below average last time I looked. He is not a core bullpen arm that can be counted on in late inning situations. And lastly, Arraez's defensive liabilities and lack of power seem to limit him to a utility type player, unless Polanco or Donaldson are traded. No, best use of Arraez is as a trade piece in an attempt to acquire an above average starter. If anyone should be added to an underappreciated list, it might be Farrell, who is been pretty consistent, albeit in a SSS. But that's it. The number of disappointments far outweigh the pleasant surprises in this dreary season.
  9. Bean, thanks for the data that supports those of us who feel FA is only a fool's game for teams like the Twins emphasizing bargains rather than quality. The big question is whether this losing operating philosophy stems from Pohlad's tight-fistedness or incompetence of the FO. My guess is this past futility reflects more on ownership. Pohlad's banking background seems to inhibit him from foregoing short term profits instead of investing in long term success. Of course, I cannot possibly know what JP is thinking, but the results speak for themselves. He hires guys like Ryan and Falvey who share his bargain basement outlook on spending. Ryan(at least in his first go-round) proved adept at some shrewd trades and had some drafting success. Likewise, Falvey has acquired some good pitching vis the trade route(drafting success TBD). Basically, the problem is Pohlad's leadership in not enunciating an operating philosophy that would allow for the team to be legitimate contenders for a World Championship. No, Ryan and Falvey don't get free passes here, either. Their unwillingness to make some significant mid-season trades that might have elevated an already competitive club into a legitimate WS contender has been a glaring weakness for 20 years. Me thinks we have a two-headed monster : a passive owner who looks at the P&L statement as the end-all to his stewardship and risk-averse GM's who are selected because of basic agreement with this "don't-rock-the-boat" approach. The results speak for themselves, not just this year, but for the last 18 years of zero playoff success.
  10. Just two thoughts: 1. Maybe a good thing Buxton sluggish in his return. If he returned like he left - firing on all cylinders - he might be much harder for Twins to sign. This way, his expectations might be tempered somewhat. Signing Buxton is still the most important move going forward. 2. Regarding Simmons, wonder if Twins should sign Iglesias who was just released by Angels. Would like to see in last month if he is a possibility for the needed fill-in on 2022 team. Seems like Simmons has expended any goodwill and Iglesias seems to be better offensively, at least, as well as being a better fielder than any one now on the roster.
  11. Like your analyses! Agree with the likely ceiling for top Twin prospects. If Winder can stay healthy, he seems to have best potential among our top 10 prospects. All the rest look like back-end starters or potential relievers(Duran, Canterino). Sure, there could be a big surprise awaiting, but how likely are one of these guys going to add a superior third pitch relatively late in their development career? As bean states, this analysis makes it even more imperative that FO goes after two starters this offseason not currently in the Twin's system. As many of us said that's a high hill to climb, but doable nonetheless.
  12. Matt, afraid I have to strongly disagree here. First, there is plenty of payroll space to spend on one top FA. With about an $80MM starting forecast going into the offseason, there should be enough($20-25MM) for a top FA pitcher in his prime, resign Buxton($10MM in incentives), sign a proven closer, e.g., Kimbrel at $15MM). Plus, resigning Pineda or some comparable #3($10MM), a stop gap SS($5-10MM) and additional proven bullpen piece($5MM). Is a $150MM payroll excessive for a mid market team? Not if you want to return to competitiveness. Secondly, if the FO can think big for once, there is no reason they couldn't pull a Preller and risk giving up some prize prospect(s) plus one or two of our current roster to net an up and coming major league starter to slot in the #2 spot. We have an overload of corner OFs, middle IFs and maybe even catchers. If Falvey can't secure an emerging starter with a package of Arraez, Kepler/Larnach or Jeffers, plus one of our top 10 prospects, then we've got the wrong man in the position. Sure, we'd have to overpay for the right guy, but I'd rather do that than wait for our prospects to contribute enough to make this team a true contender. Relying on prospects alone is likely a sure way to become the Pirates of the AL Central. The other fallacy in your argument is that if we took the more moderate path, wouldn't our window on offense be closing by 2024? Donaldson is gone, so is Sano and Garver in all likelihood. Can these guys be adequately replaced by Kirillof, Larnach, Martin, Miranda by 2024? And can the pitching prospects you mentioned be likely to form the core of a contender's staff by then? How has dumpster diving/waiting for pitching prospects to develop worked for this organization in the last 10 years? Let's dream big for a change!
  13. Interesting take! Thanks! Noticed Iglesias DFA'd by Angels. While his defensive stats are down this year, seems he'd make a better stopgap than Simmons now and next year. Should Twins bite?
  14. Nick N: I'm amazed by how many people can already say with assurance how all these pitchers will perform next year. I bet you wouldn't have viewed Rodon as a 2021 impact guy one year ago. Or Gausman two years ago. Things change. People get healthy and turn corners. I'm not recommending anyone specifically, I'm just saying that quality arms are sourced from that middle tier of starters every year. Can the Twins make the right pick and take the right steps to get them there? That's the question. Are you saying we should ignore current success of these pitchers? Granted, there are no guarantees, but FO should be looking at probabilities here - who gives them the best chance to rebound into contention next year? Is it Cobb/Heaney or Rodon/Thor/Gausman? As many respondents on this post have already mentioned, there is no way a cautious approach to the offseason will get the Twins back to respectability - not with all the holes in the pitching staff alone. The real questions are: will ownership open up their wallet to allow for out-of-the-box thinking and is Falvey the guy to succeed at this process? Nibbling at the edges in FA/trading is one of the reasons this franchise has set the all-time record streak of playoff losses. Many of us are fed up with this embarrassment and want more!
  15. Nick, if Falvey's and Pohlad's pronouncements on rebounding to "contention" next year are to be believed, then your recommendations to rebuild the rotation for next year would fall far short, I'm afraid. Just going for FAs like Kluber, Heaney, Cobb, Morton is a drop in the bucket.. This team needs two top starters: Rodon, Thor, Gausman, or Stroman in FA and a rising star like Alcantara or Lopez from Miami in trade. Anything less and you're looking at mediocrity. It's possible that one of Ryan or Ober can succeed over a full season next year, but unlikely both do. Dobnak's weaknesses have been well exposed. He cannot be considered as a positive on a contending staff, nor can guys like Balozavic, Winder, Duran, Strotman, be counted on for much at the major league level, at least next year. We just can't afford to rely on hope in prospects for a solid rebound in 2022. Pohlad's actions must backup his pronouncements - expand the budget to at least $150-160MM and tell Falvey he expects them to be agressive in FA, as well as give up some talent to get more pitching - or else! This team's mediocrity has always stemmed from lack of resolve and leadership at the top, as reflected in their choices for FO help. This don't- rock- the- boat attitude has resulted in the longest losing streak in playoff history. If Pohlad is satisfied with that record, he should do right by the Twins fan base and sell to an owner who truly wants a winner.
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