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Andrew Luedtke

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Everything posted by Andrew Luedtke

  1. I agree. I would love to see more investment in the rotation and bullpen for that matter. However, I really feel this scenario is realistic. As much as I would love to see a $150-$170M payroll, I just don't see it happening. This off season at least.
  2. In January 2019, Thad Levine answered a question at Twins Fest: "The best time to acquire players of that magnitude is when your window to win is wide open, not when you got your fingers underneath the window and you're trying to jam the window open. I want to do it when we're projected to win the Central and we're ready to put our foot on someone's throat". After a fantastic 2019 season ending in a disappointing fashion, Derek Falvey addressed the media and is quoted as saying "We're going to target impact pitching". Well, time to put up or shut up, Falvine. I put together what I believe should be a realistic outcome for the 2020 offseason based on the above statements from the front office. 1. Leave the historic 2019 offense alone In this plan, I didn't change anything with the offense that set a MLB record for home runs. This includes picking up CJ Cron's option. As long as the team is healthy, they should have no problem scoring runs. Maybe the biggest move was the one not made - trading Eddie Rosario. I don't think the Twins (nor the fans) are going to like what the return for Rosario would be. Keeping the unofficial captain of this team intact will keep the offense rolling. Hopefully a healthy ankle will help him move around the outfield better improving on his down defensive metrics. I am hopeful Eddie might even take a step forward in 2020. 2. Beef up the bullpen The one silver lining in the Sam Dyson injury is that the Twins were forced to use other arms in high leverage situations down the stretch. They discovered Tyler Duffey and Zack Littell could be solid pieces in late innings. Adding to an already promising mix with Will Harris (2/$16M contract) and Drew Pomeranz (2/$7mil contract) will give Rocco plenty of options in 2020. Will Harris quitely had a 2019 season with a 1.50 ERA and 9.30 K/9 in 60 innings. Oh, and he has appeared in 23 postseason games - 12 of which came this year during the Astros World Series run. His age (35 on opening day) could be one cause for concern. A two year deal feels right, here. Drew Pomeranz is an interesting one. An absolute disaster in 2018 and most of 2019 makes this signing questionable. However, 26 innings of lights out baseball in Milwaukee make it seem like there may be more potential here. He has increased his velocity after a permanent move to the bullpen, has always been lights out vs lefties, and now will be working with Wes Johnon. Sign. Me. Up. Pair him with Taylor Rogers and we could be looking at a bullpen that is a nightmare for opposing managers playing matchups. Pomeranz would come at a discount, of course. 3. Sign a veteran backup catcher Martin Maldonado makes some sense here as a backup. Very poor offensively but a solid backstop. I would be open to other options here, such as Jason Castro on a one year deal, but am thinking he would want a chance to start somewhere else. I know Anaheim needs a catcher 4. Go find an "ace" starter and keep Jake Odorizzi OK, it's put up time, Falvine. Sign Zack Wheeler. When you said "impact pitching" - this is what it means. Not Kevin Correia or Mike Pelfrey which is some people's opinion of impact (*cough* Terry Ryan). Go get us a guy that is equal to, or, with the potential to be better than Jose Berrios. This free agent market is flush with solid top of the rotation targets that do not grow on trees, for the Minnesota farm system at least. I think Wheeler makes a lot of sense. A 5/$125M contract would be by far the biggest free agent contract in Twins history but, the time is now. There is no excuse. Get. It. Done. Zack Wheeler 2018-2019: Innings: 377 ERA: 3.65 K/9: 8.9 Yeah, I'd take that in this rotation. Other acceptable "ace" type pitchers - Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg, or Hyun-jin Ryu Also, depending on the outcome of Odorizzi and his qualifying offer, the Twins have to find a way to bring him back. If he rejects, they have the upper hand compared to other teams. A three year deal sounds about right. Plus, Jake likes it here. His kids are Vikings fans now. I pray for them. 5. Bring in a vet presence to stablize rotation MLB.com reported that Cole Hamels is open to a one-year deal on a win now club. Hey, Cole! Over here! Come on out to Minnesota. Bringing in a veteran like Cole with playoff experience (and a connection to Thad Levine, might I add) will stabalize the rotation and give a solid 4 starters to run train on the AL Central in the regular season, plus be ready for any October opposing matchup. Hamels put up soild numbers as a Cub. He was lights out in the first half of 2019 but an injury derailed the mid point of his season, and it never really seemed like he recovered. A 2020 rotation of: 1. Wheeler 2. Berrios 3. Odorizzi 4. Hamels 5. Dobnak/Graterol Sounds like a winning recipe to me. A recipe that might not add up to 101 regular season wins again, but hey, it can't do worse in the playoffs! *This was not a dare, @BaseballGods* Total payroll: $141.5 million A Twins franchise record but very realistic. Anything lower than this, with the free agent pitching market as stacked as it is and a desperate need to fill the rotation, is an absolute insult to the fanbase. The improbable 2019 Twins magic season captured fan interest in Minnesota again. We got a taste of playoff baseball at Target Field for the first time in 9 years and we want more. The window is wide open. It's time for the Pohlad's and the front office to honor their promises and give us a team to dream on in 2020. Foot, meet throat. Time to stomp on the competition in the AL central and get back to the playoffs.
  3. Andrew Luedtke

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  4. Here is my 2020 off-season blueprint. - Leave the historic offense alone - Beef up the bullpen (Will Harris & Pomeranz additions) - Sign a veteran backup catcher to a one-year deal who is solid defensively (Martin Maldonado) - Go find an "ace" starter (Zach Wheeler) while keeping Odorizzi - Bring in vet presence on a short term deal to help the rotation (Cole Hamels) Payroll: a modest $141.5M This team might not win 101 games again but looks like a force in the playoffs, on paper, at least. What do you all think?
  5. I have thought about this exact same thing @rgarfinkle. I like Greinke and definitely think he would be an "ace" for this staff for at least 2 years. He does come with concerns though. He is 34 years old and has 4 years remaining on his contract. If we were able to give up more in order for Arizona to eat some of his remaining contract, count me in. However, I don't see a deal getting done before the season. Arizona is very much going for it this year. If they are out of it at the trade deadline, maybe there is an opportunity then.
  6. As we sit here the night before the first Pitchers and Catchers workout for the Minnesota Twins, the starting rotation is at best...uh, incomplete? Ervin Santana's surprising injury news last week left the Twins with basically only two "locks" to break camp at the end of March. Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson. As it stands, the last three spots will have to come from a combination of Adalberto Meija, Phil Hughes, Aaron Slegers, Dietrich Enns, Stephen Gonsalves, and Fernando Romero. The latter two have 4 combined starts in AAA. You may be asking yourself: What is a Dietrich Enns? (Twins received him in the Jaime Garcia trade last season). I thought Phil Hughes retired? (I wish). While the thought of a top prospect contributing at the Major League level right away is enticing, the Twins are probably best suited to let them develop. Adding 1 or better yet, TWO, starters no doubt helps this team try to get back to the postseason in 2018. Yu Darvish signing with the Cubs on Saturday left Twins fans shattered, as their #1 option went off the board. This leaves Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb as the top remaining free agents. While there are many blogs that have speculated on how those three would contribute to the team, I will be focusing on the Twins trade options. Chris Archer Age: 29 Contract status: Signed thru 2019. Team option in ‘20 & ‘21 (AAV $8.415mil) 162 gm Average: 3.63 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 204 IP, 9.7 K/9, 1.214 WHIP Immediately after the Darvish news broke over the weekend, Twins fans began clamoring on Twitter to trade for Chris Archer. It is without question Archer would improve this team but at what cost? Thad Levine stated earlier today that "The prospect of kind of weakening one part of your team to strengthen another is not appealing." He was of course speaking in reference to the Major League 25 man roster. As recently as two weeks ago, the Twins offered a trade for Chris Archer. The package was believed to include Max Kepler. With how favorable Archer’s contract is, the prospect of the Rays building a new stadium, and having several young prospects graduating through their system, they are not in any urgency to get rid of him. A package of Kepler, Nick Gordon (#8 prospect via Baseball America), and Gonsalves (#4 prospect) would most likely not be enough to lure him away. Look at as recently as last season’s Chris Sale trade. It took the Red Sox’s #1 prospect (and #1 prospect in all of baseball) Yoan Moncada, plus Michael Kopech (Boston’s #5 prospect) and two others. The bar has been set. If I were the Rays, my price for Archer starts at either Byron Buxton or Royce Lewis. Seeing as those may be untouchable for the Twins front office, a deal for Archer is unlikely...onto the next option. Jake Odorizzi Age: 27 Contract status: Arb eligible ‘18 & ‘19 162 gm Average: 3.83 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 188 IP, 8.2 K/9, 1.219 WHIP At 27 years old with two years to go before he is a free agent (2020 season), Odorizzi would be a clear upgrade to this rotation. Most likely slotting in right behind Santana & Berrios. Relying mostly on his low 90’s fastball (thrown 48% of the time) and his splitter (23%) to generate swings and misses, Odorizzi has had plenty of success getting American League hitters out. However, both the fastball and splitter have led to more fly balls due to the way Odorizzi mechanics work. His slight armside run and the way he releases the ball create more backspin than most pitchers. He allowed 30 home runs last year. For a right handed pitcher, he has had good success keeping left handed hitters at bay, something Twins pitchers (especially Jose Berrios) struggled with in 2017. Lefties hit just .210 off him with an OPS of .686. He was much improved over the second half of the year with an ERA of 3.47 (first half of 4.63), a K/9 of 8.3, and only 10 homers allowed (20 allowed in first half). That is encouraging to see. It remains to be seen what the market for Odorizzi will be. With only two years remaining of team control, he should fetch at least 2 solid MLB prospects. Cubs, Yankees, Brewers, and Twins have all been connected to Odorizzi in the last week. As a comparison, Gerrit Cole was traded for MLB ready Joe Musgrove and former first round pick Colin Moran plus two additional minor leaguers. Cole is at a higher level than Odorizzi and to some, gathered an underwhelming return. If that is the bar, maybe it wouldn’t take too much for the Twins to pry Odorizzi away? Collin McHugh Age: 30 Contract status: Arb in ‘18 & ‘19 162 gm Average: 3.70 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 195 innings, 8.4 K/9, 1.253 WHIP Like Odorizzi, McHugh would likely slot behind Big Erv and Berrios in the Twins rotation. A serviceable and reliable starting pitcher who threw healthy workloads for the Astros from 2014-16. Last year, he dealt with some arm issues that limited him to 63 innings. A “posterior impingement of his right elbow” led to shutting him down before the season even began. He rebounded for a solid campaign over 12 starts with a 3.55 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. He only threw 6 innings out of the bullpen last year for the World Champion, Houston Astros. With the addition of Gerrit Cole, the Astros have a bit of a logjam in their rotation. McHugh might be the odd-man out. He has already been rumored in trade discussions, notably with the Orioles. McHugh throws a low 90’s fastball and relies heavily on his curveball (thrown 20% of the time) and in 2017 developed a slider which he used 17% of the time. His slider clocks in at at 83mph and was very successful in a short period of time. Opposing hitters only batted .138 off it, with one homer allowed. A kudos to Astros pitching coach, Brent Storm for the help with that one. What this new pitch means for 2018, only time will tell. It’s hard to see McHugh taking another step at the age of 30. At this point he is what he is. With the Astros seemingly OK entering 2018 with McHugh in their bullpen and an emergency option for the rotation, there isn’t a lot of urgency to move him. If the Twins were willing, I am sure a solid low level prospect (Lewis Thorpe?) combined with a mid-tier minor league player would be enough to get a deal completed. With the Twins internal options less than ideal, it seems the best option will be 1) Sign a free agent and 2) trade for one of these three pitchers. The best case scenario would be a combination of both. There is not doubt Odorizzi and McHugh plus Cobb/Lynn help this team immensely in 2018 and give them a great opportunity to close the gap with the Cleveland Indians in the AL central. There is the issue however that adding two new pitchers could have an effect on the 2019 season. The Twins will add Michael Pineda to the mix. Additionally, Gonsalves/Romero should be ready. Plus don’t forget about Trevor May. None of those are a given and “too many starting pitchers” is never a bad problem to have. But the focus right now is the present. Without a real “ace” the Twins will have to rely on several #2 and #3 starters to get the job done. Already possessing a top 10 offense, upgraded bullpen and above average defense, the Twins would be poised to make a run back to the playoffs. Not making an addition is inexcusable. I do think the Twins do something, but how far do they go? So let me hear you Twins fans: What are your opinions on trading for a starter?
  7. I was thinking the same thing here too. But maybe they were waiting to see if they traded Ervin Santana or Dozier before then? I guess we will find out tomorrow.
  8. In the end I think you tender all of them. It would say a lot of they non tendered either Gibby or Santiago. That would mean they clearly have other plans (which is good) and see something in our roster/farm system the old regime didn't. I have been waiting for Gibson to break out for 4 years but after numerous injuries, I think 2015 is the best we are going to get from him. At best he is a 4/5 starter. Additionally, I have always been hard on him since the Twins took Gibson 22nd in 2009 while Mike Trout went 3 picks later at 25th overall Let that sink in.
  9. Finally a move that isn't a Twins "good ol' boy". Curious to see who has the connection with him. Falvey/Levine or Mollie/other coaches?
  10. Best option I believe is to sign a vet guy on a cheap one-year deal in the hopes that Garver will be ready to make the jump. Looks like his bat is there judging by his AA/AAA numbers and his defense has been above average in the minors. Having a name like Castro, Wieters, or Ramos would be fun, sure. But how much will they really help vs. an internal option? If the FO has no faith in our current players then definitely invest now. Maybe Ramos will be cheap coming off injury
  11. This season has been a fun ride.Finally igniting this state, making baseball in Minnesota fun again. I went into this year optimistically, like I do every year. I keep a tally at my desk of the Twins record and how many games back we are of the WC. We are in this race for sure and I think everybody in that clubhouse is going to do everything they can to push us to the playoffs. I watch every game enjoying meaningful September baseball as long as it's here and hope that we have it for many years to come. Im not a bad fan, but an optimistic, hopeful one. Because at the end of the day as a fan, all we have is hope. Go Twins!
  12. Andrew Luedtke

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