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Everything posted by RJA

  1. Great article, Lucas. I will just add my eyeball observations as I have seen him pitch 4 or 5 times over the past couple of years. Clearly, his mechanics were messed up this year, and sometimes I think having pitchers continue to pitch if they have a knee or leg issue is the worst thing you can do as they tend to fall into bad habits and have difficulty repeating their delivery. Whatever the case, he wasn't right this year at all. I have seen him at his best, and his stuff is super when he is on. So, first, I hope they are making sure his knee strain is ok and having him build strength and flexibility in PT. Second, if his knee is fine, I hope they can work on his mechanics in the ways you suggest (you know WAY more about that than I do), and get him back on track. If they can get him "right", I still believe he can be a big league pitcher, and a good one.
  2. Did "strong and stable stewardship" of the franchise include offering to voluntarily contract the franchise in 2001 ;)! I think I would have chosen different wording, but actually I like this move. I do think Joe will take a fresh approach and maybe can even convince his uncle to loosen the purse strings a bit and let the budget drift north by a few million. Neither Carl or Jim were passionate about baseball, so having someone who loves the game in charge is a big plus in my mind. It will be interesting to see if he puts his imprint on the franchise in the next couple of years. Good news.
  3. Good article, Nick, as usual. Do you think the Twins view the Sano, Archer and Bundy dollars as dead money? I just noticed that some national folks have the Twins at 98 million. No big deal but that extra five million could get another catcher or bullpen arm if the Twins are open to just eating the 5 million for those three guys. I hope we find out about Correa soon, so if we don't land him, we can pivot to other players before they start signing elsewhere. Actually, if we were to add one of the 4 shortstops in FA, and Rodon or another live arm through a trade, this is not a bad looking roster IF the injured guys are healthy. If we get a top of the rotation guy, Maeda or Ober could be a spot starter and work out of the bullpen which would strengthen the relief corps as well. Isn't hot stove league fun?
  4. So much depends on whether Correa is back. If he is, or one of the other big 4 land here, I think there will be time sharing arrangements at first, second, third and DH. Miranda will play third, but he will also DH some of the time, especially if his defense shows some signs for concern early on. I think Farmer and Arraez could see time at third as well. Kirilloff (hopefully) and Arraez could see time at first. Polanco, Farmer, and Arraez could see time at second. If Lewis is back during the summer, he, too, could see time at third as well as center. Actually, the Twins have too many players for too few positions if Correa comes back, so I could see some players--Polanco, Larnach, Wallner, etc.--moved in trades. Lee and Julien are probably on course to arrive sometime this summer as well, so it will be a really crowded infield. It will be really fun to see how things stack up in spring training. I can't wait.
  5. Actually, my biggest fear is that the negotiation with Boras will drag out into the winter as he attempts to play teams off of each other, and in the meantime, other options at short and the rotation will come off the board, and then Correa will sign elsewhere and the Twins will go dumpster diving again. So, if the Twins want Correa, they should get the deal done early or back away and focus their energy and dollars to sign another shortstop, a rotation piece, another catcher, etc.
  6. The Twins will certainly have players at risk no matter who is added, but given that teams all across baseball have similar issues due to the lack of a Rule 5 draft last year, teams will have a lot more players to choose from which will work in our favor. I like your choices. I saw Helman a couple of times this summer as well as on Minor league TV, and I think he would be attractive to any team looking for a utility guy who does a lot of things well, including stealing bases. Severino has the potential to really break out, so I think hanging on to him makes sense. With so many players in the "portal" this year, what do you think the Twins might be looking for if they make a pick? Great article as usual.
  7. I am not talking about spring training games, I am referring to games played in the first month of the season which is what the author was describing.
  8. Great and interesting analysis. One comment. Despite the early season numbers, I can't believe they were planning to let most of the starters go more than five innings as the season progressed for two reasons. First, in the spring pitchers are normally ahead of batters, so the third time through the order is a little "safer" than it is in the heat of summer. Second, I think they clearly were planning to limit innings for the young guys like Ober, Winder, and even Ryan as he tends to throw a lot of pitches, and they knew Archer needed to progress slowly, and probably had concerns about Paddack's innings as well given his history. But, this doesn't detract from your fine analysis. Nice work.
  9. I LOVE these interviews. Another quality young man in the farm system. One thing all these interviews have shown me is that the Twins are very good at choosing thoughtful young men of character. And, he is a left-handed hitting catcher! Was that the start of a stache I saw on film?
  10. Great article. Three thoughts. First, I think you make a great point about the need for a comprehensive strategy to stop the run game. No matter how strong of an arm a catcher has, if pitchers don't hold the runners on, and are slow to the plate, good base runners are going to take a base. I don't see the Twins working on that much, but most teams haven't as base stealing has been an afterthought for the past few years. Second, the Twins do need to step up their run game. Yes, fast runners can score from first on a double, but can they score from first on a single? Plus, when a pitcher knows a team runs, and he has a good baserunner on first, it creates one more thing for him to think about, and tends to affect how many fastballs the player at the plate gets. The running game or lack thereof affects the game in subtle ways. Finally, like in all sports, strategies change over time in baseball. It is likely that with a limit on shifts and bigger bases, the running game may become a much bigger part of the game. With the Twins having players like Julien, Martin, Lee and others with great OBP's on the cusp of the majors, I think it likely we will see more running in the next year or so. I, for one, look forward to that.
  11. Thanks for the comment, but I think you are missing the point completely. I know they could sign Correa within present salary constraints, But, that is not my point. My point is that Pohlad has TOO LOW of a salary limit unless you believe all of this stuff about salaries as a percentage of revenue. The Twins are a capital asset for Pohlad. The family bought it for 44 million and it is now worth somewhere near 1.5 billion. That means Pohlad now has an asset worth almost a billion and a half more than when it was purchased. Pohlad has shown no interest in signing big free agents UNLESS they fit within his budget constraints. That is how we end up with Happ, Shoemaker, Bundy, Archer, Smith, Bailey, Hill, etc.. etc, etc. instead of Wheeler, Gausman, Ray, Stroman, etc., etc., etc. Coming off of 2019, what significant pitcher did they sign? In the best free agent pitching class in history, what free agent pitcher did they sign? If you haven't heard Pohlad in previous years say some of these things, with all due respect, you haven't been listening. If you haven't heard the FO say "Pohlad has never turned us down", you haven't been listening.He sends Dave St. Peter out to deliver the bad news about reduced revenues, etc. instead of saying it himself. Nobody expects a 300 million dollar payroll like San DIego (though the market is the same size or smaller), but good heavens when you have a team coming off of 2019 and don't stretch to make a real run at the prize, it is truly sad. Go for it, at least sometimes. But, the great thing about this forum is that we can disagree. Everyone has an opinion. It makes the off season fun.
  12. I fear this is a scene we have seen play out before. Pohlads say they are on board with some move, but they don't pony up the dollars to get it done. Then the FO says they made a competitive offer, but try as they might, they couldn't make it happen. Then, in response to a reporter's question, the FO will say Pohlad "was all in and money wasn't an obstacle." "Pohlad has never turned us down when we have gone to him and asked for money to make the team better." Sound familiar? It should. It is a way to protect Pohlad from criticism for being a tightwad. Wouldn't it be nice if behind the scenes Pohlad said "do what you need to do to get player X,Y or Z. I will expand the budget to accomodate his salary." I won't hold my breath.
  13. The one saving grace if the Dodgers land Correa and/or Judge is that they probably still won't win the Series :).
  14. I can't wait to see Julien at Target Field this summer. I know he is not an accomplished defensive player as yet, but my oh my the bat and the eye at the plate are special. With he, Lee, and (hopefully) Martin on the cusp of making the bigs, along with Larnach, Kirilloff (hopefully healthy), Lewis (hopefully healthy), Miranda, and Wallner, there is the making of a pretty good core, especially when you throw in Buck and Arraez. Ah, hope spring eternal in the off season :).
  15. Great comment, Seth. I think this is a difficult topic as the wisdom of acquiring players with some injury history depends a lot on the facts of each case. IMHO, I think there is a difference between pitchers with an extensive history of delivering quality innings but who have had TJ but recovered (Verlander), or who have maybe only had one season with injury problems, and pitchers who have frequent injury issues in multiple years, or who have injuries during the year you trade for them (Mahle), especially if they have been on the injury list multiple times for the same injury during the year of the trade. In the latter cases, I would be cautious about trading for them, or signing them to a long term free agent contract. But these days, with TJ being so common, if a team stays totally away from pitchers who have had TJ, it eliminates a huge segment of the market. I think Rodon is an interesting case for the Twins as he is coming off a great year, but has a fairly high level of risk if you sign him to a 5 year deal. For teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and some others, if they were to sign Rodon and he has TJ, and is out for a year or two, it is less of an issue as they have payroll space to add others. But for the Twins, if they sign Rodon and he has to have TJ next summer, they would not be in a financial postion (at least given the philosophy of the ownership on budgets) to acquire another costly arm to replace him for two years. Unfortunately, the Twins must make fewer mistakes and have fewer injuries than the wealthy teams if they want to compete, as this year clearly showed.
  16. Great question. I actually thought about looking at Diaz over Bassitt. If Rocco continues his 5 inning approach to pitchers, that might be a better move. In the long run, with questions about Mahle, Maeda and Winder, I thought a steady hand who eats innings would be a better choice, especially as I think it is less likely that Diaz would come here than Bassitt.
  17. I just posted my plan for next year and included Bassitt. I like Rodon better, but I am still a little concerned about his injury history and we have too many "ifs" already in Maeda, Mahle, and Winder. Bassitt will give us some innings.
  18. After his year in NY, Kiner-Falefa may not be offered a contract, or will be available for a lottery ticket. I think he is better than the other cheap options at short for one year. Merrifield has one year before free agency, so given the talent level in Toronto, I think he would be available cheap. He hits right handed, and like Kepler, can spell Buxton in center and even Polanco at second. Christian Vasquez is a decent catcher with some offensive upside even against righties. I would sign Bassitt as he has less of an injury history than Rodon. I love Rodon, but would go safe here given we don't know about Mahle and Maeda for sure. Ober or Maeda could fill the long bullpen role--let's see how they look in the spring. I added Ottavino as I think he would be a good addition to Duran, Jax, Acala, Lopez and others. Henriquez is a plug in here--maybe Winder, Varland, or SWR fill a role as well. I say good bye to Pagan, and would trade Kepler for whatever I could get for him. I would keep Urshela as he plays hard, isn't hurt, and is consistent. If Kirilloff doesn't come back strong, he is even more important. I have left 7 million on the table--perhaps for another bullpen arm. C: Ryan Jeffers ($0.70M) 1B: Luis Arraez ($4.50M) 2B: Jorge Polanco ($7.50M) 3B: Gio Urshela ($9.00M) SS: Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($6.50M) LF: Alex Kirilloff ($0.70M) CF: Byron Buxton ($15.00M) RF: Whit Merrifield ($6.75M) DH: Jose Miranda ($0.70M) 4th OF: Trevor Larnach ($0.70M) Utility: Nick Gordon ($0.70M) Utility: Gilberto Celestino ($0.70M) Backup C: Christian Vasquez ($7.50M) SP1: Sonny Gray ($12.00M) SP2: Tyler Mahle ($8.00M) SP3: Kenta Maeda ($9.00M) SP4: Joe Ryan ($0.70M) SP5: Chris Bassitt ($20.00M) RP: Jhoan Duran ($0.70M) RP: Jorge Lopez ($3.00M) RP: Griffin Jax ($0.70M) RP: Jorge Alcala ($1.00M) RP: Caleb Thielbar ($2.00M) RP: Adam Ottavino ($5.00M) RP: Ronnie Henriquez ($0.70M) RP: Bailey Ober ($0.70M) Payroll is 11.11% under budget
  19. I think Julien is a great prospect. He had another great game in the AFL yesterday, with two doubles and a walk and now is hitting .346, with an OBP of .541 and an OPS of 1.002. If Martin continues to crush the ball as he is in the AFL, the Twins will have some tough decisions next year, either in the spring or midseason. Long term, with Lewis (hopefully he makes a complete recovery), Lee, and Julien, the infield looks like a real strength. You could add Martin to that list but I think he will end up in the outfield.
  20. Frankly, I don't see either of these guys around much this year. I think with his limited stuff and the injury issue, Stashak will be left off the 40 man roster. Enlow has the magic word--potential--so I expect they might keep him to see if he can adjust to the bullpen role, but he is not someone I would protect over a lot of others if there is a crunch. I would be surprised if we see either of them at Target Field next summer.
  21. Urshela played hard, stayed healthy, delivered in the clutch, and played a pretty good third base. Keep him. Kepler will always be remembered as a player who was too stubborn or simply unable to adjust his approach to be successful. It is a shame as he has talent. But, I would trade him if there is any market. Gray actually wants to pitch more than five innings so for heaven's sake, keep him around and tell Rocco to let him. I am worried that Mahle will be on and off the injured list next year and by August they will determine his shoulder needs surgery. But, he has talent so let's hope he recovers. Maeda is a total unknown as most pitchers coming off surgery are. Many do well but it often takes them a year to get "back" unless they are named Verlander who is a medical wonder. So, yes it is a big year. If next year is another lost year, I think we can say goodbye to the smartest guys in the room. If the young pitching develops, and/or they add to the rotation and bullpen, and Buck, Kirilloff, Larnach, Arraez and the rest stay healthy all year and play well, it might be a good year. Let's hope for the latter.
  22. Interesting article. Three thoughts. FIrst, the Twins signed Sano to a 3 year 30 million dollar contract as well, so while the term was shorter, he could be added to the list. His did not work out. Second, I like the overall idea of signing young players to longer term deals IF we don't hand them out to players with injury histories, Kirilloff for example. Arraez I love but I wonder if his body will hold up for 5 or 6 years? With Duran, if he pitches well and is healthy all of next year, he could be a candidate. The same for Ryan and Miranda. Finally, Atlanta has a 200 million dollar payroll, so if they make mistakes in signing these contracts, they have 60 million more dollars to work with than the Twins. Still, I like the concept if it is applied intelligently.
  23. MLB Trade Rumors has posted estimated arbitration salaries for all eligible players.
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