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mike8791

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  1. Nick "If you wanna play that "what if" game you'll never sign an elite free agent in the entire existence of your franchise. They'd be betting on their ability to develop cost-efficient pitching, but I'm okay with that. Even at a 150M payroll, I'm good with allocating $55M on two up-the-middle superstars in their prime in Correa and Buxton and building around them." Nick, while I can agree with your statement on playing the "what if" game, you are missing Steve's point here. With some glaring holes in the lineup, the pen, and perhaps top of the rotation, there is no way the Twins should be putting all their eggs in two baskets. $40MM to Correa precludes any other significant upgrades with a $140MM budget. We had Correa and Buxton(and his standard diminished playing time) in 22. How did that work out.? And has this FO shown the ability to develop an internal pitching pipeline? Yes, Ryan and Duran are very promising, but who else, after 6 years of drafting and development, can be counted on? And yet, you want to rely on this FO's track record? Concentrating on resigning Correa is a fool's errand unless it is combined with ownership's pronouncement that they are committed to breaking our playoff drought by giving the FO a clear directive that the only goal of 2023 is to win or else, and back this statement up by raising the budget to a $160-180MM range this offseason. I would have zero expectation of Jim Pohlad ever uttering such words, but there is always hope that the new generation will be different. C'mon Joe, let's pony up and get serious for a change! Twenty years without one playoff victory has made this franchise a laughingstock.
  2. I still contend that the Twins lack dependable middle-of-the-order bats who have a strong clutch gene, evidenced by their RBI production. The Twins are sorely lacking that and would continue to be even if they sign CC(note: look at last year's run production). Abreu was the perfect fit as a 1B/DH and cleanup hitter. But for a 3 year/$20MM/yr contract, I can see why the Twins would pass. Time will tell who's right here, but without a significant bump in the budget to $160-$180MM(are you listening Joe?) too many holes would be left unfilled. Yet the need still exists for an offensive upgrade. Two( and preferably 3) of the following should be hard targets for the FO: Contreras, Haninger, Bell, e.g. The Twins should make very competitive offers for at least 2 of these guys, trade Kepler in a package for a proven starter(Lopez would work nicely) and have money left over for a couple of proven arms for late inning relief. And if Joe really wants a playoff team, he should up the budget to be able to sign one of the top 4 SSs. Now that would be a wonderful Xmas present for all us suffering Twins fans!!
  3. Spot on Nick! I've watched Abreu here in Chicago for years. He is Mr. Clutch, as you noted, great leadership abilities, and an iron man, to boot. For a team with supposed above-average offense in 2022, 66 rbis to lead the team is a joke. All the stat heads can sneer at RBIs but someone has to drive in the runs when the opportunity exists. That's the definition of a cleanup hitter - a position sorely lacking in 2022. Abreu would be a great replacement for Cruz! All this hype about resigning Correa is just mystifying. For a bit more than the price of Correa we could probably sign Abreu, Contreras, and Haninger - and having an adequate starting SS in Farmer. In any case the Twins have at least $50MM to spend - enough to sign these 3. While I think Rodon should be our #1 priority, the likelihood of this particular FO running that "risk" of adding him for a minimum of $130MM over 5 yrs. seems remote. The offense needs attention and signing at least 2 of the 3 named above would go a long way to catapulting this lineup into a top 3rd in the league. With trading some of our excess like Kepler, maybe Martin and one of our younger starters like Ober, Winder, etc,, they should be able to land another front line starter, albeit not an ace. The offseason is one of choices. With all the current holes in the rotation, the pen, and the lineup, I would hate to be in Falvey's shoes this offseason. He needs to pull an inside straight to get this team back into legitimacy for the playoffs. But this is where he's put himself after 7 years of failure to build a pipeline.
  4. Practically, Scenario A makes the most sense, which is why this was a smart transaction. Farmer is a perfectly good interim fit at SS until someone is ready to take over full time. I liked Urshela as much as anyone but with Miranda needing playing time, Gio was expendable. With the usual limited budget and many holes to fill, signing one of the big 4 SS would probably yield no better than a .500 club(see 2022). With the money "saved" the Twins should be able to fill gaping holes at the top of the rotation, at catcher and adding more offense to the OF/DH. Filling one of these open slots by trade instead of FA should allow for bolstering the bullpen, as well, Their failure to do that last offseason was a principal reason for their late season collapse. In a Pohlad-less world, sure, it would be great to see payroll in the $160-180MM range, enabling a top 4 FA SS to be added, but that's a pipe dream, so let's just hope the whiz kids see the way clear to adding quality at a number of positions rather than one big name.
  5. Sorry, if the Twins are going to build a competitive pen, no one on this list should be counted on, at least in 2023. And if you think the Twins pen is solid as of now, look again. Aside from Duran(who has one great season), there is not another reliever on the roster who we can count on for the last 3 innings of a close ballgame. As many have noted, Lopez may or may not be a flash in the pan, and yet he is arguably next in line to Duran. Jax is way overrated, as evidenced by his low ranking in the all important IRS ranking. Thielbar pitched well but is by no means a shut-down reliever. The rest are all mediocre long shots. Having whiffed badly last season in the FA reliever market, the FO must step up and sign at least two of the top of the 2023 FA reliever class, e.g., Suarez/Robertson/Jansen/ Kimbrel if the Twins are going to take a big step up in competitiveness. Argue who is best going forward, but this is a major hole that must be filled externally.
  6. Nice article, Cody. If the Twins are going to win in '23, guys like Garlick, Celestino, Cave, etc. should not be around by next spring. We need a solid RH OF with good enough defense to slot in at a corner. Trading from minor league depth does not seem realistic. That ship has sailed, leaving FA the only way to go. Guys like Larnach and Kirillof cannot be counted on and even if these two erstwhile stars can overcome injuries and previous erratic perrformances, relying on either at thisd point is more a dream than reality. Wallner is a possibility but has defensive deficiencies, bats LH, and has far too slim of a major league record to be counted on. The good news is that corner FA OFs are usually plentiful so help is available here if the FO takes off their rose-colored glasses and recognizes the need for improvement..
  7. Go big or go home, Nick. Right now the Twins have 2 reliable starters and same number of relievers. The FO should be tarred and feathered for this state of affairs. Just unbelievable they have not acquired one decent reliever after last year's s....storm. Getting Gray was a plus but if they really were serious about contention this year, Bundy/Archer?? Really. But Nick is proposing they go for it with 5 trades within the week. Let's step back and see what they really need to hold on to the division and yes, even win a playoff series. First and foremost, they need 2 legit starters. Begin with a #1.(neither Ryan or Gray can be depended on to shut down a playoff team in a Game 1. Montas, Castillo, Rodon or Lopez would do, followed by a pickup of Blake Snell, now a clear choice over Thor. Two top arms for the pen are just as important. Guys like Robertson or Bard would be a nice start but there are a number of other relievers out there who would slide right in back of Duran. Finally, a veteran backup catcher would be nice but not the priority of the other 2 groups. The Twins have excess offense players, like Sano, Steer, Waller, Gordon, and loads of hi and lo-minor pitchers to offer. Do I think this FO is capable of shooting for the moon here? No, but it is possible given our excess OF and IF depth at the minor and major league levels. Hell, what was the sense of signing Correa if you don't follow through with trades for a first place team. But no nibblin' this time! Go big or.....
  8. I've always loved Thor but sadly, the 2022 version seems a pale shadow of his former self. I think most of us want this FO to go all in for a #1 or 2 starter by Aug. 2. To do otherwise would not only be irrational after signing Correa and trading a #1 draft pick for Gray, but a slap in the face to Twin players and fans. The idea of looking for perhaps a top of rotation guy who might be undervalued is a good one and squares with this org's MO. Thor is not that guy, but perhaps Snell or Rodon is. Snell has been a big disappointment, but recent starts have been encouraging and his stats are still well above average. Most importantly, he is on a team with surplus pitching but lacking offense. I would think Sano would be of interest to the Pods, providing we throw in some $. Darvish would be a better add, but doubt the Pods can afford to let him go. The Twins whiffed on Rodon when the strike ended. No surprise there. This FO is risk averse, but Rodon has proven himself this year so the risk level is less now and the uposide higher. Yes, unlikely SF would want to unload him, but now that he is able to opt out of his contract, the possibility of a trade could be more enticing for a team with a high salary structure. He would likely cost much less than Castillo or Montas in terms of prospects but would fit in above Ryan and Gray in our shaky rotation. This FO has focused on pitching retreads and the results speak for themselves, yet somehow this team is into the running for a playoff berth. Go big or go home!
  9. Cody, appreciate this update, but I wonder if you've drunk the Kool Aid. If Balazovic is our 5th best prospect, we're in big trouble. He reminds me of Fernando Romero - another highly-touted, overrated prospect.. This guy is a falling projectile. And if Preilipp is our best pitching prospect, we're in even bigger trouble. With recent TJ surgery, he's a risk even before he throws his first pro pitch. I like Canterino, but his injury history is also a huge red flag. SWR has been traded twice in last 2 years. There must be a reason, as his current underwhelming season demonstrates. And I just can't attribute top prospect status to a guy who hasn't hit even AA yet. Don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but this FO has focused on offense in their 6 drafts and our imbalance on the major league roster is proof. The only two young pitchers this FO has "developed"(Ryan and Duran) have come from trades, not the draft. And that is the reason this franchise has floundered since 1991. Neither Ryan nor Falvey have demonstrated a knack for internal development of pitchers; hence, the 19 game streak of futility. There's a wide swath of "Minnesota Nice" devotees on TD, but probably more who are frustrated with 30 seasons of ineptitude. WS or bust!!
  10. Nice find, but the Twins need pen help now! Guys like Bard, Robertson, or Bednar should be targeted first. It is frustrating that this org. refuses to understand the benefits of a shutdown closer! And its just as frustrating that our FO pitching whisperers have been unable to develop a closer in 5 years(not to dismiss Duran but they seem resistant to designating him in the closer role). Get a closer, then worry about adding guys like Nardi. Hopefully, these are not bmutually exclusive tasks for the Boy Wonders.
  11. One would think that by signing Correa, Buxton and trading for Gray, this FO is serious about winning this year. Of course, other actions,e.g., trading Rogers, not beefing up their pen in the offseason, belies this notion so who really knows what their grand plan is. But since it is so illogical with a first place team and a huge addition like Correa that even the Wonder Boys are not at least somewhat interested in making an added push for the playoffs by Aug. 2nd, then yes, the Twins should make this trade for Castillo - a badly needed top-of-the-rotation arm to augment a suddenly flailing rotation. Steer is certainly expendable, given our surplus MI talent, although I wouldn't mind switching Martin if the Reds insisted. SWR is exactly the kind of prospect who a rebuilding team would want and while Winder has been a pleasant surprise, he might very well settle into a back-of-the-rotation arm. I would be fine with substituting Ober for Winder and perhaps add a lower level pitching prospect if needed to seal the deal. Any FO worth their salt would pull the trigger on a reasonable trade like this, again assuming they wanted to send the message to fans and players alike that they believe in this 2022 team. If not, they should pack their bags and find another sucker like JP. And good luck with that!!!
  12. Ho Hum! Sorry guys, but this all sounds more like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. Has anyone noticed that while the pen has gotten most of the bad press lately, it is the rotation, that not surprisingly has sprung a bunch of leaks lately? Guys like Smeltzer, Winder, Ober and yes, evenRyan(post IR) are not playoff ready pitchers. No, I'm not writing off this group's surprisingly good performance in the first half, but looking at the peripherals, is anyone surprised they are falling to the norm? Even Sonny Gray, their so-called "ace" has joined the crowd with his bomb in Texas. The FO tried putting lipstick on a pig, but it's still a .....And that's not even considering our bullpen problems. To this observer, as currently constituted, this is at best a .500 team in a weak division. If the Sox ever wake up, they'll leave the Twins in the dust. But because this hasn't happened, it is shame on Falvine if they don't strike agressively in going after at least two playoff-caliber starters by Aug. 2nd. With Sano's return to duty imminent, the FO should be on the phone to SD to consummate a trade for Snell. No, I don't think this team will be in the hunt for Montas or Castillo but there are some short term veterans likely available, incl. Thor, Rodon, Greinke, who might be available. And bullpen help is certainly available if the FO is willing to trade some of our excess high minors talent, e.g., Steer, Wallner, Larnach, Martin and/or one of our top 10 pitching prospects. Unfortunately, like his predecessor, Falvey has never shown the fortitude to go for it midseason. Bottom line, if Falvey sits on his hands, after making a big push for contention with the signing of Buxton and Correa, then isn't that a dereliction of his duties and a reason for termination? It's sort of amazing that even with this FO's abject failure to address the obvious weaknesses in pitching this past offseason(and then exacerbating them by the ill-fated Rogers trade), this team is still in the hunt for the postseason. These opportunities don't come along frequently with this franchise. Managment owes it to the fans to capitalize on their current position to act forcefully now, not nibble around the edges with minor moves that really don't disguise basic failings.
  13. mike8791

    Sano Situation

    Reading the San Diego blogs, rumors are that they are looking to get salary relief by dumping Snell or Clevinger, with the former a more desirable choice because of salary. This dovetails well with Sano's situation in Minny. In case you haven't looked, Snell seems to have returned to form in his last outing(11Ks). Granted, he has been a disappointment overall but he seems to have regained his speed and control. This would be a win-win for both teams, with the Twins perhaps having to throw in some money or a midlevel prospect. There is no place on this team now for Sano with rise of Arraez, Kirillof and Miranda. The Twins offense is perking nicely now. What they need is pitching. Snell is well worth the gamble, especially if we are looking to end our playoff doldrums.
  14. Following up on Whitey, yes, the loss reflects on some intrinsic weaknesses in Rocco's game-time strategies, including: 1. The Twins lineup is badly depleted now with injuries to Correa, Larnach, and Sano - to name 3. So why is their best hitter remaining, BB, kept out of the lineup, including even PH? Just inexplicable in a close game with one of the 2 major competitors in the Div. This is on Rocco and perhaps the FO if they are, indeed, calling the shots. Quit babying our best player! Games count now just as much as in Sept. 2. Rocco's ineptness is even more apparent in his bullpen usage last nite. He blew thru our arguably 5 best relievers now, to leave Cotton the last arm remaining for extra innings. Are Thielbar(15 pitches), Duffey(5), Smith(15), Pagan(9), and Duran(12) so fragile that they couldn't go longer? With a runner on second to start extra innings, you want your best(and in the Twin's case, only) flamethrower for that inning. I can see using Duran for the 9th with a save opportunity, but not a tie game. Giving Duffey or Thielbar an extra inning would have allowed that, but alas we get Cotton - and the loss. I know there are those on TD will accuse the writer of second guessing but Rocco's mismanagment of the pen last night is not a fluke. We have seen it consistently during his stewardship. He babies his players to the point of absurdity. Not that he is the only one to blame. It was obvious to most of us this team badly needed a second closer alternative this offseason - and that was before trading Rogers!! We got a good pickup in Smith but that was it. While Duran has emerged as a potential closer, Rocco(and maybe the FO) are too risk averse to hand him the job, preferring instead to use the closer by committee. With the current quality of RPs, can we still afford to gamble in every tight game. Annoint Duran the closer and see how that goes. There is no one else on the roster who is even close. With a now winnable Central Division Title possible, does anyone still think Rocco has the smarts to steer this team to playoff territory? To this observer, the clear answer is NO. Replace him with a more demanding, experienced guy with a modicum of baseball savvy.
  15. SSS, but the performance of Bundy and Archer, together with the continued brilliance of Ober and Ryan, both relatively unheralded in their respective orgs, certainly deserves kudos. Much too early to call Wes the "pitching whisperer", at least until a couple more months pass, but the rotation's surprising strong start gives credence to Johnson's creds. I can only wish his touch could be translated to our pen, where as of now, Johnson has failed at any transformation of a Twins minor leaguer into a trustworthy late-inning shutdown reliever. With Duran's touted "stuff", why isn't he ready for closer situations? This is still a major hole in the pen. Why haven't the Twins been able to develop a single minor leaguer into a steady reliever in Falvine's 5+ years in charge? A lot of this weakness should be laid at Falvine's feet., starting with the trade of Pressley when the window of contention was wide open and continuing thru 2022 when they traded Rogers, their only suitable closer going into the season. Joe Smith is likely a solid addition but certainly not the pitcher to stabilize a very shaky pen. The big failing of the FO was not to tap into a very deep FA reliever class to fill the glaring holes so apparent last year. With Duffy and Thielbar so shaky, why were retreads like Stashak, Rhomero, and Coulombe brought up instead of one or two of our top starting minor leaguers? . Is this failure a result of a subpar minor league pitching development staff, poor drafting or a combination of the two? Is Johnson's skill level applicable for only starting pitching.? In a weaker-than-expected Central Div., this team should be a solid contender this year, but their bullpen still looks like their achilles heel.
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