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Tom Froemming

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  1. Like
    Tom Froemming reacted to Nash Walker for an article, Steamer Projects Massive Season for Byron Buxton   
    The tool doesn’t project a rosy picture for the Twins’ rotation in 2022, as expected. It isn’t exceptionally high on many Twins pitching prospects, nor is it fired up about Mitch Garver. But one area that Twins fans can lean on is the Byron Buxton portion.
    Steamer projects Buxton to hit .268/.316/.514 with 33 doubles, two triples, and 31 homers. Buxton’s projection of 6.5 defensive fWAR is the highest among all American League outfielders. His 4.3 fWAR ranks fourth among AL outfielders, behind only Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, and Luis Robert. 
    Buxton is estimated to produce more value than J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Chapman, Max Muncy, Giancarlo Stanton, and Tim Anderson. Buxton projects as the fourth most valuable player in the AL Central, behind José Ramírez, Robert, and Yasmani Grandal.
    Most encouragingly, Steamer projects Buxton to appear in 131 games and head to the plate 567 times. Buxton’s projections are even more impressive considering the tool has him playing fewer games than everybody but Grandal among the top-30 in fWAR.
    Buxton owns a 135 wRC+ over his last 187 games, and Steamer says he’ll surpass Franmil Reyes, Eloy Jiménez, Marcus Semien, Randy Arozarena, Austin Riley, and Nolan Arenado in 2022 wRC+. This offense all while Buxton roams centerfield at the highest level in baseball. 
    None of this comes as a surprise. Buxton is an elite player, evidenced by his $100 million contract extension. It does give a glimpse of how an entire season of Buxton could look. Even these gaudy projections feel conservative for fans who’ve watched him over the last three years. 
    Entering his age-28 season at peak physical shape, the very best could bubble for Buxton in just a few months. That possibility makes it more important for the Twins to invest in the 2022 team.
    What do you think about Steamer’s 2022 projections for Byron Buxton? Comment below!
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  2. Sad
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat for an article, ROSENTHAL: Byron Buxton Trade “Likely”   
    Here’s a link to that episode of the podcast, the Buxton discussion starts around the 14-minute mark. 
    Rosenthal said he believes a Buxton trade is “likely” this offseason and that he “expects it to happen.” The reasoning he provided was that Buxton rejected the seven-year, $80 million contract extension the Twins offered him in July and the team “felt this was kind of a gamble to take even offering him $80 million.”
    Rosenthal pointed to the current state of the Twins and argued it’s not a playoff-caliber team due to its subpar pitching staff. He also shared his opinion that it would be better for the Twins to take a step back, trade Buxton, and re-tool for 2023 and beyond. 
    Also on Tuesday, Rosenthal and Dan Hayes published an article at The Athletic on Buxton’s future with the Twins. That piece indicates “many in the industry” are also expecting the Twins to end up trading Buxton. 
    There are several interesting details in that piece, but one that stands out is The Athletic’s sources indicated the Twins weren’t willing to push even the potential value of a Buxton extension — including performance-based incentives — over $100 million.
    Taking a look through a list of the MLB active player contracts at Spotrac, here are some outfielders who’ve signed contracts in the $70-$110 million range in recent years:
    Player Signed Age Years Value AAV Charlie Blackmon 31 6 $108M $18M Justin Upton 30 5 $106M $21.2M Dexter Fowler 30 5 $82.5M $16.5M Lorenzo Cain 31 5 $80M $16M Aaron Hicks 29 7 $70M $10M           Twins Reported Offer to Buxton         Byron Buxton 28 7 $80M $11.4M
    And here’s a look at the value each of those players provided the season prior to signing those deals. These are FanGraphs WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR and Baseball Prospectus’ WARP.
    Player (year prior to signing) fWAR bWAR WARP Charlie Blackmon ('17) 6.6 5.5 6.7 Justin Upton ('17) 5.2 5.7 4.9 Aaron Hicks ('18) 5.0 4.4 2.9 Dexter Fowler ('16) 4.6 4.0 1.6 Lorenzo Cain ('17) 4.2 5.5 6.0 Byron Buxton ('21) 4.2 4.5 2.8 The thing to keep in mind with Buxton, of course, is this only accounts for the partial season he played. As you can see, even if that’s how the Twins would prefer to evaluate him — based on his actual past production as opposed to his potential upside if he were to turn in a healthy season — their current offer still doesn’t even stack up all that well.
    If Dexter Fowler was able to secure a $16.5 million AAV four years ago, when he was two years older than Buxton is now, I’d imagine the Twins offer of an $11.4 million AAV was an easy one for Byron and his agency to reject. 
    As someone who is really hoping to see Byron Buxton in a Minnesota Twins uniform for a long time, this is all very concerning. The Rosenthal/Hayes article did mention both sides continue to communicate, but reading between the lines and looking at some of these numbers I cannot imagine they are all that close to coming to terms.
    Under different circumstances, I’d think it might make sense to enter the year with the player on an expiring contract and play things out to see if you can complete. If so, great, you keep him and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, avoiding losing the player for absolutely nothing. If you don’t compete, just trade the guy at the deadline.
    With these particular circumstances, there are some problems. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring on Dec. 1, it’s not even certain that the qualifying offer system will be in place in the future. That leaves the door open to potentially losing Buxton for absolutely nothing. The other issue is this is Buxton we’re talking about. As much as I love him and hope they can keep him around, you wouldn’t want to bank on him being healthy come the trade deadline.
    This is a difficult situation and there are a lot of ways this could go poorly for the Twins. The most forgivable one, in my opinion, would be if they extend Byron and he simply never lives up to his salary. As Twins fans, I think for the most part we’re willing to be forgiving if we feel there’s a real effort made (though, like with anything, there are segments of the fanbase who will never be satisfied).
    One way or another, this decision has the potential to weigh heavily on the future of this front office, and this organization as a whole.
    How would you feel if the Twins traded Buxton away this offseason?
  3. Sad
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Minny505 for an article, ROSENTHAL: Byron Buxton Trade “Likely”   
    Here’s a link to that episode of the podcast, the Buxton discussion starts around the 14-minute mark. 
    Rosenthal said he believes a Buxton trade is “likely” this offseason and that he “expects it to happen.” The reasoning he provided was that Buxton rejected the seven-year, $80 million contract extension the Twins offered him in July and the team “felt this was kind of a gamble to take even offering him $80 million.”
    Rosenthal pointed to the current state of the Twins and argued it’s not a playoff-caliber team due to its subpar pitching staff. He also shared his opinion that it would be better for the Twins to take a step back, trade Buxton, and re-tool for 2023 and beyond. 
    Also on Tuesday, Rosenthal and Dan Hayes published an article at The Athletic on Buxton’s future with the Twins. That piece indicates “many in the industry” are also expecting the Twins to end up trading Buxton. 
    There are several interesting details in that piece, but one that stands out is The Athletic’s sources indicated the Twins weren’t willing to push even the potential value of a Buxton extension — including performance-based incentives — over $100 million.
    Taking a look through a list of the MLB active player contracts at Spotrac, here are some outfielders who’ve signed contracts in the $70-$110 million range in recent years:
    Player Signed Age Years Value AAV Charlie Blackmon 31 6 $108M $18M Justin Upton 30 5 $106M $21.2M Dexter Fowler 30 5 $82.5M $16.5M Lorenzo Cain 31 5 $80M $16M Aaron Hicks 29 7 $70M $10M           Twins Reported Offer to Buxton         Byron Buxton 28 7 $80M $11.4M
    And here’s a look at the value each of those players provided the season prior to signing those deals. These are FanGraphs WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR and Baseball Prospectus’ WARP.
    Player (year prior to signing) fWAR bWAR WARP Charlie Blackmon ('17) 6.6 5.5 6.7 Justin Upton ('17) 5.2 5.7 4.9 Aaron Hicks ('18) 5.0 4.4 2.9 Dexter Fowler ('16) 4.6 4.0 1.6 Lorenzo Cain ('17) 4.2 5.5 6.0 Byron Buxton ('21) 4.2 4.5 2.8 The thing to keep in mind with Buxton, of course, is this only accounts for the partial season he played. As you can see, even if that’s how the Twins would prefer to evaluate him — based on his actual past production as opposed to his potential upside if he were to turn in a healthy season — their current offer still doesn’t even stack up all that well.
    If Dexter Fowler was able to secure a $16.5 million AAV four years ago, when he was two years older than Buxton is now, I’d imagine the Twins offer of an $11.4 million AAV was an easy one for Byron and his agency to reject. 
    As someone who is really hoping to see Byron Buxton in a Minnesota Twins uniform for a long time, this is all very concerning. The Rosenthal/Hayes article did mention both sides continue to communicate, but reading between the lines and looking at some of these numbers I cannot imagine they are all that close to coming to terms.
    Under different circumstances, I’d think it might make sense to enter the year with the player on an expiring contract and play things out to see if you can complete. If so, great, you keep him and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, avoiding losing the player for absolutely nothing. If you don’t compete, just trade the guy at the deadline.
    With these particular circumstances, there are some problems. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring on Dec. 1, it’s not even certain that the qualifying offer system will be in place in the future. That leaves the door open to potentially losing Buxton for absolutely nothing. The other issue is this is Buxton we’re talking about. As much as I love him and hope they can keep him around, you wouldn’t want to bank on him being healthy come the trade deadline.
    This is a difficult situation and there are a lot of ways this could go poorly for the Twins. The most forgivable one, in my opinion, would be if they extend Byron and he simply never lives up to his salary. As Twins fans, I think for the most part we’re willing to be forgiving if we feel there’s a real effort made (though, like with anything, there are segments of the fanbase who will never be satisfied).
    One way or another, this decision has the potential to weigh heavily on the future of this front office, and this organization as a whole.
    How would you feel if the Twins traded Buxton away this offseason?
  4. Sad
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, ROSENTHAL: Byron Buxton Trade “Likely”   
    Here’s a link to that episode of the podcast, the Buxton discussion starts around the 14-minute mark. 
    Rosenthal said he believes a Buxton trade is “likely” this offseason and that he “expects it to happen.” The reasoning he provided was that Buxton rejected the seven-year, $80 million contract extension the Twins offered him in July and the team “felt this was kind of a gamble to take even offering him $80 million.”
    Rosenthal pointed to the current state of the Twins and argued it’s not a playoff-caliber team due to its subpar pitching staff. He also shared his opinion that it would be better for the Twins to take a step back, trade Buxton, and re-tool for 2023 and beyond. 
    Also on Tuesday, Rosenthal and Dan Hayes published an article at The Athletic on Buxton’s future with the Twins. That piece indicates “many in the industry” are also expecting the Twins to end up trading Buxton. 
    There are several interesting details in that piece, but one that stands out is The Athletic’s sources indicated the Twins weren’t willing to push even the potential value of a Buxton extension — including performance-based incentives — over $100 million.
    Taking a look through a list of the MLB active player contracts at Spotrac, here are some outfielders who’ve signed contracts in the $70-$110 million range in recent years:
    Player Signed Age Years Value AAV Charlie Blackmon 31 6 $108M $18M Justin Upton 30 5 $106M $21.2M Dexter Fowler 30 5 $82.5M $16.5M Lorenzo Cain 31 5 $80M $16M Aaron Hicks 29 7 $70M $10M           Twins Reported Offer to Buxton         Byron Buxton 28 7 $80M $11.4M
    And here’s a look at the value each of those players provided the season prior to signing those deals. These are FanGraphs WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR and Baseball Prospectus’ WARP.
    Player (year prior to signing) fWAR bWAR WARP Charlie Blackmon ('17) 6.6 5.5 6.7 Justin Upton ('17) 5.2 5.7 4.9 Aaron Hicks ('18) 5.0 4.4 2.9 Dexter Fowler ('16) 4.6 4.0 1.6 Lorenzo Cain ('17) 4.2 5.5 6.0 Byron Buxton ('21) 4.2 4.5 2.8 The thing to keep in mind with Buxton, of course, is this only accounts for the partial season he played. As you can see, even if that’s how the Twins would prefer to evaluate him — based on his actual past production as opposed to his potential upside if he were to turn in a healthy season — their current offer still doesn’t even stack up all that well.
    If Dexter Fowler was able to secure a $16.5 million AAV four years ago, when he was two years older than Buxton is now, I’d imagine the Twins offer of an $11.4 million AAV was an easy one for Byron and his agency to reject. 
    As someone who is really hoping to see Byron Buxton in a Minnesota Twins uniform for a long time, this is all very concerning. The Rosenthal/Hayes article did mention both sides continue to communicate, but reading between the lines and looking at some of these numbers I cannot imagine they are all that close to coming to terms.
    Under different circumstances, I’d think it might make sense to enter the year with the player on an expiring contract and play things out to see if you can complete. If so, great, you keep him and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, avoiding losing the player for absolutely nothing. If you don’t compete, just trade the guy at the deadline.
    With these particular circumstances, there are some problems. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring on Dec. 1, it’s not even certain that the qualifying offer system will be in place in the future. That leaves the door open to potentially losing Buxton for absolutely nothing. The other issue is this is Buxton we’re talking about. As much as I love him and hope they can keep him around, you wouldn’t want to bank on him being healthy come the trade deadline.
    This is a difficult situation and there are a lot of ways this could go poorly for the Twins. The most forgivable one, in my opinion, would be if they extend Byron and he simply never lives up to his salary. As Twins fans, I think for the most part we’re willing to be forgiving if we feel there’s a real effort made (though, like with anything, there are segments of the fanbase who will never be satisfied).
    One way or another, this decision has the potential to weigh heavily on the future of this front office, and this organization as a whole.
    How would you feel if the Twins traded Buxton away this offseason?
  5. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, Time for a Challenge? Revisiting 6 Twins Challenge Trades   
    There are quite a few of these challenge trades in fairly recent Twins history, but this current Twins front office really hasn’t explored this avenue. The Kenta Maeda deal was close, but Brusdar Graterol only had 10 big league appearances to his credit. He was still a prospect.
    Possibly the LaMonte Wade Jr. trade qualifies as a minor challenge trade, as he had 113 plate appearances and Shaun Anderson had 46 career games pitched at the time of the swap. Considering how that one went, maybe it’s good there haven’t been more challenge trades of late …
    These deals are risky, but when a team has a surplus or is motivated to make room at the MLB level for a younger player they can make sense. With Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez already in the third base/second base equation and Jose Miranda waiting in the wings, this current Twins roster could be ripe for a challenge trade. There’s another possible option but I don’t want to ruin your day quite yet.
    Let’s take a look back at some of these types of deals from past Twins seasons. All of the trades below were completed during the offseason and included established MLB regulars on both sides of the deal.
    Nov. 14, 2003: A.J. Pierzynski traded to the San Francisco Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser
    We’re starting out this list on a high note. One of the ironic elements to this deal is part of its motivation backfired to a degree. In moving AJ Pierzynski, the Twins were making room behind the plate for 20-year-old Joe Mauer. He ended up playing just 35 games in 2004 due to injuries and Henry Blanco ended up as the primary catcher.
    The Twins still won 92 games that year in part due to Joe Nathan saving 44 games. He had 128 MLB games to his credit at the time of this deal. We’re focusing on the MLB pieces, but I’d say the prospect side of this package also worked out pretty darn nicely for the Twins.
    Dec. 3, 2003: Eric Milton traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky
    Milton was only a year away from free agency and Carlos Silva had pitched 130 games for the Phillies. Though he only had one career start prior to the trade, Silva was actually a better rotation piece than Milton right out the gate.
    I’d say that worked out pretty well. Toss in Punto, who also had some MLB experience at the time of the trade (though only 111 plate appearances) and this one was also a success. Kinda nuts that after back-to-back division championships the Twins made these two big trades and took the central again in ‘04.
    Nov. 28, 2007: Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza and Eddie Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie
    This was a pretty crazy trade under new GM Bill Smith. A starting shortstop and budding rotation piece for the former No. 1 overall pick and reigning runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Plus Brendan Harris and all of his Brendon Harris-ness!
    This was an incredible trade … for the Rays. They went from 96 losses to 97 wins and a World Series appearance. Delmon had a great 2010 season with the Twins but was dealt away the next year after fizzling out.
    Nov. 6, 2009: Carlos Gomez traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for J.J. Hardy
    Gomez went from centerpiece of the Johan Santana deal to trade bait in just two seasons. If you thought that tenure was short, Hardy only lasted one season in Minnesota before being dealt to Baltimore.
    Both players found much more success with their new orgs than they had in Minnesota. Man, the Twins made a lot of trades back during this time. 
    Dec. 6, 2012: Ben Revere traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May
    Terry Ryan was back in the GM role and cleared room for another former first-round pick. The Twins traded both Revere and Denard Span that offseason to open the door for Aaron Hicks in center field.
    Worley made 46 starts for the Phillies prior to the trade. His Twins tenure was, uh, less impressive. May ended up developing into a nice bullpen piece, of course, but Hicks struggled to take advantage of his opportunity. Speaking of which ...
    Nov. 11, 2015: Aaron Hicks traded to the New York Yankees for John Ryan Murphy
    The hope was Murphy would be the long-term solution behind the plate. He was not.
    I guess I don’t really remember the motivation to move Hicks. Byron Buxton missed most of the previous season and started the year in Double-A, so it was a bit premature to make room for him. The Twins opened the season with Jordan Schafer and Shane Robinson platooning in center. Ugh.
    Looking back, it’s kinda funny how many of these deals revolved around the center field position. I know most Twins fans don’t want to think about this, but it’s time to ruin your day. There’s a possibility of a Buxton challenge trade this winter. We all know it, but most of us don’t want to acknowledge it. I’m on team Pay Byron, but if they don’t extend him … who knows?
    What do you think? Should the Twins try to pull off a challenge trade this offseason?
  6. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Time for a Challenge? Revisiting 6 Twins Challenge Trades   
    There are quite a few of these challenge trades in fairly recent Twins history, but this current Twins front office really hasn’t explored this avenue. The Kenta Maeda deal was close, but Brusdar Graterol only had 10 big league appearances to his credit. He was still a prospect.
    Possibly the LaMonte Wade Jr. trade qualifies as a minor challenge trade, as he had 113 plate appearances and Shaun Anderson had 46 career games pitched at the time of the swap. Considering how that one went, maybe it’s good there haven’t been more challenge trades of late …
    These deals are risky, but when a team has a surplus or is motivated to make room at the MLB level for a younger player they can make sense. With Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez already in the third base/second base equation and Jose Miranda waiting in the wings, this current Twins roster could be ripe for a challenge trade. There’s another possible option but I don’t want to ruin your day quite yet.
    Let’s take a look back at some of these types of deals from past Twins seasons. All of the trades below were completed during the offseason and included established MLB regulars on both sides of the deal.
    Nov. 14, 2003: A.J. Pierzynski traded to the San Francisco Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser
    We’re starting out this list on a high note. One of the ironic elements to this deal is part of its motivation backfired to a degree. In moving AJ Pierzynski, the Twins were making room behind the plate for 20-year-old Joe Mauer. He ended up playing just 35 games in 2004 due to injuries and Henry Blanco ended up as the primary catcher.
    The Twins still won 92 games that year in part due to Joe Nathan saving 44 games. He had 128 MLB games to his credit at the time of this deal. We’re focusing on the MLB pieces, but I’d say the prospect side of this package also worked out pretty darn nicely for the Twins.
    Dec. 3, 2003: Eric Milton traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky
    Milton was only a year away from free agency and Carlos Silva had pitched 130 games for the Phillies. Though he only had one career start prior to the trade, Silva was actually a better rotation piece than Milton right out the gate.
    I’d say that worked out pretty well. Toss in Punto, who also had some MLB experience at the time of the trade (though only 111 plate appearances) and this one was also a success. Kinda nuts that after back-to-back division championships the Twins made these two big trades and took the central again in ‘04.
    Nov. 28, 2007: Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza and Eddie Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie
    This was a pretty crazy trade under new GM Bill Smith. A starting shortstop and budding rotation piece for the former No. 1 overall pick and reigning runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Plus Brendan Harris and all of his Brendon Harris-ness!
    This was an incredible trade … for the Rays. They went from 96 losses to 97 wins and a World Series appearance. Delmon had a great 2010 season with the Twins but was dealt away the next year after fizzling out.
    Nov. 6, 2009: Carlos Gomez traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for J.J. Hardy
    Gomez went from centerpiece of the Johan Santana deal to trade bait in just two seasons. If you thought that tenure was short, Hardy only lasted one season in Minnesota before being dealt to Baltimore.
    Both players found much more success with their new orgs than they had in Minnesota. Man, the Twins made a lot of trades back during this time. 
    Dec. 6, 2012: Ben Revere traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May
    Terry Ryan was back in the GM role and cleared room for another former first-round pick. The Twins traded both Revere and Denard Span that offseason to open the door for Aaron Hicks in center field.
    Worley made 46 starts for the Phillies prior to the trade. His Twins tenure was, uh, less impressive. May ended up developing into a nice bullpen piece, of course, but Hicks struggled to take advantage of his opportunity. Speaking of which ...
    Nov. 11, 2015: Aaron Hicks traded to the New York Yankees for John Ryan Murphy
    The hope was Murphy would be the long-term solution behind the plate. He was not.
    I guess I don’t really remember the motivation to move Hicks. Byron Buxton missed most of the previous season and started the year in Double-A, so it was a bit premature to make room for him. The Twins opened the season with Jordan Schafer and Shane Robinson platooning in center. Ugh.
    Looking back, it’s kinda funny how many of these deals revolved around the center field position. I know most Twins fans don’t want to think about this, but it’s time to ruin your day. There’s a possibility of a Buxton challenge trade this winter. We all know it, but most of us don’t want to acknowledge it. I’m on team Pay Byron, but if they don’t extend him … who knows?
    What do you think? Should the Twins try to pull off a challenge trade this offseason?
  7. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Time for a Challenge? Revisiting 6 Twins Challenge Trades   
    There are quite a few of these challenge trades in fairly recent Twins history, but this current Twins front office really hasn’t explored this avenue. The Kenta Maeda deal was close, but Brusdar Graterol only had 10 big league appearances to his credit. He was still a prospect.
    Possibly the LaMonte Wade Jr. trade qualifies as a minor challenge trade, as he had 113 plate appearances and Shaun Anderson had 46 career games pitched at the time of the swap. Considering how that one went, maybe it’s good there haven’t been more challenge trades of late …
    These deals are risky, but when a team has a surplus or is motivated to make room at the MLB level for a younger player they can make sense. With Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez already in the third base/second base equation and Jose Miranda waiting in the wings, this current Twins roster could be ripe for a challenge trade. There’s another possible option but I don’t want to ruin your day quite yet.
    Let’s take a look back at some of these types of deals from past Twins seasons. All of the trades below were completed during the offseason and included established MLB regulars on both sides of the deal.
    Nov. 14, 2003: A.J. Pierzynski traded to the San Francisco Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser
    We’re starting out this list on a high note. One of the ironic elements to this deal is part of its motivation backfired to a degree. In moving AJ Pierzynski, the Twins were making room behind the plate for 20-year-old Joe Mauer. He ended up playing just 35 games in 2004 due to injuries and Henry Blanco ended up as the primary catcher.
    The Twins still won 92 games that year in part due to Joe Nathan saving 44 games. He had 128 MLB games to his credit at the time of this deal. We’re focusing on the MLB pieces, but I’d say the prospect side of this package also worked out pretty darn nicely for the Twins.
    Dec. 3, 2003: Eric Milton traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky
    Milton was only a year away from free agency and Carlos Silva had pitched 130 games for the Phillies. Though he only had one career start prior to the trade, Silva was actually a better rotation piece than Milton right out the gate.
    I’d say that worked out pretty well. Toss in Punto, who also had some MLB experience at the time of the trade (though only 111 plate appearances) and this one was also a success. Kinda nuts that after back-to-back division championships the Twins made these two big trades and took the central again in ‘04.
    Nov. 28, 2007: Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza and Eddie Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie
    This was a pretty crazy trade under new GM Bill Smith. A starting shortstop and budding rotation piece for the former No. 1 overall pick and reigning runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Plus Brendan Harris and all of his Brendon Harris-ness!
    This was an incredible trade … for the Rays. They went from 96 losses to 97 wins and a World Series appearance. Delmon had a great 2010 season with the Twins but was dealt away the next year after fizzling out.
    Nov. 6, 2009: Carlos Gomez traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for J.J. Hardy
    Gomez went from centerpiece of the Johan Santana deal to trade bait in just two seasons. If you thought that tenure was short, Hardy only lasted one season in Minnesota before being dealt to Baltimore.
    Both players found much more success with their new orgs than they had in Minnesota. Man, the Twins made a lot of trades back during this time. 
    Dec. 6, 2012: Ben Revere traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May
    Terry Ryan was back in the GM role and cleared room for another former first-round pick. The Twins traded both Revere and Denard Span that offseason to open the door for Aaron Hicks in center field.
    Worley made 46 starts for the Phillies prior to the trade. His Twins tenure was, uh, less impressive. May ended up developing into a nice bullpen piece, of course, but Hicks struggled to take advantage of his opportunity. Speaking of which ...
    Nov. 11, 2015: Aaron Hicks traded to the New York Yankees for John Ryan Murphy
    The hope was Murphy would be the long-term solution behind the plate. He was not.
    I guess I don’t really remember the motivation to move Hicks. Byron Buxton missed most of the previous season and started the year in Double-A, so it was a bit premature to make room for him. The Twins opened the season with Jordan Schafer and Shane Robinson platooning in center. Ugh.
    Looking back, it’s kinda funny how many of these deals revolved around the center field position. I know most Twins fans don’t want to think about this, but it’s time to ruin your day. There’s a possibility of a Buxton challenge trade this winter. We all know it, but most of us don’t want to acknowledge it. I’m on team Pay Byron, but if they don’t extend him … who knows?
    What do you think? Should the Twins try to pull off a challenge trade this offseason?
  8. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from h2oface for an article, Top 50 MLB Free Agents for 2022: Who May the Twins Target This Winter?   
    Here’s my list, be sure to join in the discussion on who your favorite Twins targets would be down in the comments.
    1. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
    2. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
    3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
    4. Marcus Semien, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays
    It’s difficult for me to envision the Twins shopping at the top of the market, but they did show interest in Semien last winter. There are five great shortstop options available on this year’s free agent market and at 31-years-old, Semein is the oldest. Could this be a situation where there's more supply than demand?
    5. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
    6. Nick Castellanos, OF/DH, Cincinnati Reds
    7. Kevin Gausman, SP, San Francisco Giants
    8. Max Scherzer, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    9. Kris Bryant, OF/3B, San Francisco Giants
    10. Marcus Stroman, SP, New York Mets
    Short-term fixes are not solving the Twins pitching problems. It would surprise me to see the Twins trade away José Berríos and immediately sign a pitcher to a long-term deal, but I think Stroman is the safest bet among starting pitchers on this year’s market. Some hurlers have higher upsides, but I love Stroman’s high floor.
    11. Robbie Ray, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
    12. Javier Baez, SS/2B, New York Mets
    13. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    14. Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
    Cody Christie recently wrote about Syndergaard and Carlos Rodón as possible pitchers to take a gamble on, check it out.
    15. Chris Taylor, OF/IF, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Do the Twins need a high-end utility man like Taylor? That a question Cody Pirkl pondered in a recent article.
    16. Starling Marte, CF, Oakland Athletics
    17. Carlos Rodón, SP, Chicago White Sox
    18. Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox
    If his 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP scare teams away, Rodriguez could be a great rotation target. His FIP was nearly a run and a half lower than his ERA and he had the highest BABIP among starting pitchers with at least 150 innings … by 37 points! E-Rod had a .363 BABIP despite being in the top 87th percentile in hard-hit rate. Rodriguez has been a common target around these parts, mentioned in recent articles from Nick Nelson, Cody Christie and Andrew Mahlke. 
    19. Raisel Iglesias, RP, Los Angeles Angels
    20. Kyle Schwarber, OF/1B, Boston Red Sox
    21. Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    22. Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
    I like Gray as a fit for the Twins but question whether Colorado will let him out of their grasp. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s extended a qualifying offer tomorrow. The Rockies have discussed extensions with him recently and I expect them to be proactive about trying to bring him back. It’s just so difficult for them to land free agent pitchers. Gray has had positive things to say about the org, so I’m anticipating a reunion, unfortunately for the Twins.
    23. J.D. Martinez, DH/OF, Boston Red Sox
    24. Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets
    25. Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
    26. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, New York Yankees
    27. Justin Verlander, SP, Houston Astros
    Verlander is said to be seeking a multi-year deal, and after making just one start over the past two seasons, I have a hard time believing the top destination teams are going to be jumping at that. This Twins front office hasn’t been averse to adding aging players in the past (Nelson Cruz, Rich Hill, J.A. Happ), so I could see them kicking the tires on the future Hall of Famer.
    28. Jorge Soler, OF/DH, Atlanta Braves
    29. Avisail Garcia, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
    Pitching is clearly the Twins biggest need, followed by shortstop, but they could also use a right-handed bat. Garcia has obliterated lefties over his career, posting a .294/.363./.464 line (.827 OPS). Lucas Sheehafer recently wrote about the need for improvement out of left field, check it out.
    30. Alex Wood, SP, San Francisco Giants
    31. Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants
    32. Eduardo Escobar, 3B/2B, Milwaukee Brewers
    33. Nelson Cruz, DH, Tampa Bay Rays
    34. Eddie Rosario, OF, Atlanta Braves
    35. Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels
    You may know Cobb from such roles as the mystery player in my most recent article.
    36. Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics
    37. Zack Greinke, SP, Houston Astros
    38. Steven Matz, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
    39. Michael Pineda, SP, Minnesota Twins
    Pineda has been a Twin for the past four years (though he spent the first rehabbing), could he be back for 2022? Not many free agents will view Minnesota as an attractive destination, but Big Mike loves it here. A reunion for his age-33 season would make a lot of sense for both sides.
    40. Danny Duffy, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    41. Corey Kluber, SP, New York Yankees
    42. Corey Knebel, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    There are a number of relievers in this 40-50 range and several more who just missed my list. Knebel is the guy who intrigues me most. He missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John, then was terrible in a short sample in 2020. He missed three months of this season due to a back injury, but looked great from there and capped things off with an impressive postseason.
    43. Kendall Graveman, RP, Houston Astros
    44. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
    45. Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
    46. Collin McHugh, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
    47. Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Seattle Mariners
    48. Jonathan Villar, IF, New York Mets
    49. Joc Pederson, OF, Atlanta Braves
    50. Mark Melancon, RP, San Diego Padres
    See some surprises? Me too, actually. It’s funny, if you had me re-rank these guys a couple of weeks from now I’m sure I’d have a few things slightly different. This is a good, deep free agent class and there’s not a lot that separates some of these players. In the video below I called out some of the guys I felt were most likely I had too low.
    Who are your favorite potential Twins targets on this year’s free agent market?
  9. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, Top 50 MLB Free Agents for 2022: Who May the Twins Target This Winter?   
    Here’s my list, be sure to join in the discussion on who your favorite Twins targets would be down in the comments.
    1. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
    2. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
    3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
    4. Marcus Semien, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays
    It’s difficult for me to envision the Twins shopping at the top of the market, but they did show interest in Semien last winter. There are five great shortstop options available on this year’s free agent market and at 31-years-old, Semein is the oldest. Could this be a situation where there's more supply than demand?
    5. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
    6. Nick Castellanos, OF/DH, Cincinnati Reds
    7. Kevin Gausman, SP, San Francisco Giants
    8. Max Scherzer, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    9. Kris Bryant, OF/3B, San Francisco Giants
    10. Marcus Stroman, SP, New York Mets
    Short-term fixes are not solving the Twins pitching problems. It would surprise me to see the Twins trade away José Berríos and immediately sign a pitcher to a long-term deal, but I think Stroman is the safest bet among starting pitchers on this year’s market. Some hurlers have higher upsides, but I love Stroman’s high floor.
    11. Robbie Ray, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
    12. Javier Baez, SS/2B, New York Mets
    13. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    14. Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
    Cody Christie recently wrote about Syndergaard and Carlos Rodón as possible pitchers to take a gamble on, check it out.
    15. Chris Taylor, OF/IF, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Do the Twins need a high-end utility man like Taylor? That a question Cody Pirkl pondered in a recent article.
    16. Starling Marte, CF, Oakland Athletics
    17. Carlos Rodón, SP, Chicago White Sox
    18. Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox
    If his 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP scare teams away, Rodriguez could be a great rotation target. His FIP was nearly a run and a half lower than his ERA and he had the highest BABIP among starting pitchers with at least 150 innings … by 37 points! E-Rod had a .363 BABIP despite being in the top 87th percentile in hard-hit rate. Rodriguez has been a common target around these parts, mentioned in recent articles from Nick Nelson, Cody Christie and Andrew Mahlke. 
    19. Raisel Iglesias, RP, Los Angeles Angels
    20. Kyle Schwarber, OF/1B, Boston Red Sox
    21. Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    22. Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
    I like Gray as a fit for the Twins but question whether Colorado will let him out of their grasp. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s extended a qualifying offer tomorrow. The Rockies have discussed extensions with him recently and I expect them to be proactive about trying to bring him back. It’s just so difficult for them to land free agent pitchers. Gray has had positive things to say about the org, so I’m anticipating a reunion, unfortunately for the Twins.
    23. J.D. Martinez, DH/OF, Boston Red Sox
    24. Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets
    25. Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
    26. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, New York Yankees
    27. Justin Verlander, SP, Houston Astros
    Verlander is said to be seeking a multi-year deal, and after making just one start over the past two seasons, I have a hard time believing the top destination teams are going to be jumping at that. This Twins front office hasn’t been averse to adding aging players in the past (Nelson Cruz, Rich Hill, J.A. Happ), so I could see them kicking the tires on the future Hall of Famer.
    28. Jorge Soler, OF/DH, Atlanta Braves
    29. Avisail Garcia, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
    Pitching is clearly the Twins biggest need, followed by shortstop, but they could also use a right-handed bat. Garcia has obliterated lefties over his career, posting a .294/.363./.464 line (.827 OPS). Lucas Sheehafer recently wrote about the need for improvement out of left field, check it out.
    30. Alex Wood, SP, San Francisco Giants
    31. Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants
    32. Eduardo Escobar, 3B/2B, Milwaukee Brewers
    33. Nelson Cruz, DH, Tampa Bay Rays
    34. Eddie Rosario, OF, Atlanta Braves
    35. Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels
    You may know Cobb from such roles as the mystery player in my most recent article.
    36. Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics
    37. Zack Greinke, SP, Houston Astros
    38. Steven Matz, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
    39. Michael Pineda, SP, Minnesota Twins
    Pineda has been a Twin for the past four years (though he spent the first rehabbing), could he be back for 2022? Not many free agents will view Minnesota as an attractive destination, but Big Mike loves it here. A reunion for his age-33 season would make a lot of sense for both sides.
    40. Danny Duffy, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    41. Corey Kluber, SP, New York Yankees
    42. Corey Knebel, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    There are a number of relievers in this 40-50 range and several more who just missed my list. Knebel is the guy who intrigues me most. He missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John, then was terrible in a short sample in 2020. He missed three months of this season due to a back injury, but looked great from there and capped things off with an impressive postseason.
    43. Kendall Graveman, RP, Houston Astros
    44. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
    45. Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
    46. Collin McHugh, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
    47. Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Seattle Mariners
    48. Jonathan Villar, IF, New York Mets
    49. Joc Pederson, OF, Atlanta Braves
    50. Mark Melancon, RP, San Diego Padres
    See some surprises? Me too, actually. It’s funny, if you had me re-rank these guys a couple of weeks from now I’m sure I’d have a few things slightly different. This is a good, deep free agent class and there’s not a lot that separates some of these players. In the video below I called out some of the guys I felt were most likely I had too low.
    Who are your favorite potential Twins targets on this year’s free agent market?
  10. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Before we get into the name I landed on, let’s go over the main criteria I considered and go over some of the stats. I felt Michael Pineda would be too obvious of an answer to this question, so I excluded him from consideration (though I do use him as a comp later on in this article).
    Experience
    This typically goes hand-in-hand with free agents, though there are some guys on the market who haven’t turned 30 yet. The Twins should be looking to improve the rotation via trades, but I believe they’ll also prioritize adding an experienced arm.
    Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan emerged as encouraging pieces to the rotation last season, but they could use someone to set an example and take some of the pressure off of them.
    Distinction
    Speaking of Ober and Ryan, it would be nice to add a pitcher whose game plan is unique to what those two do so well. Both Twins rookies showed a penchant for working up in the zone with their four-seam fastballs. While that’s an effective plan of attack for many MLB hurlers, and there’s probably room for at least one more like them in this rotation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Twins target a different look.
    A pitcher who primarily attacks the bottom of the zone with sinkers and gets more ground balls could be a nice change of pace, but swinging strikes and strikeouts should still be a priority.
    Health
    The Twins are going to need innings, but it’s not like there are a bunch of workhorses out there on the market. Some of the guys who did shoulder a significant workload this season are getting up there in age, which makes you wonder if they’re even good bets to eat innings. Given the uncertainty in the rotation, the Twins need to get somebody they know is entering the offseason healthy. That actually slims things down a decent amount.
    There are some intriguing pitchers who were out all last season (including Justin Verlander and James Paxton) or who ended 2021 on the Injured List (including Dylan Bundy and Danny Duffy). There’s likely to be a good investment to be made among those recovering pitchers, but I don’t think the Twins will want to count on a rehab going as planned.
    Performance
    This might seem like an obvious one, but the Twins are going to want to add at least one starting pitcher who pitched well in 2021. I still think it’d be a good idea for them to also try to uncover someone who underperformed and hope to get them on track — just look at how well that worked with Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodón last year — but there should be at least one addition who isn’t viewed as a project.
    This also narrows things down quite a bit. The tricky part here is I don’t expect the Twins to be shopping at the top of the market. Beyond Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Ray and Rodón there aren’t a ton of free agents who pitched really well in 2021.
    Player X
    Before I reveal the name of the pitcher I landed on, let’s take a look at his numbers when compared to some names that will be familiar to Twins fans and some other free agents. This particular pitcher had a 2021 season that was much better than he’d pitched in recent years, so I felt it was more representative to use numbers from the past two seasons.
    Name IP ERA FIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr% GB% HR/FB Kenta Maeda 173 3.90 3.67 3.59 27.5% 6.0% 14.9% 42.1% 15.7% Jose Berrios 255 3.64 3.62 3.83 25.9% 6.7% 10.3% 42.2% 12.7% Marcus Stroman 179 3.02 3.49 3.95 21.6% 6.0% 11.6% 50.8% 12.8% Player X 145.2 3.95 3.62 4.12 22.0% 8.2% 10.7% 53.8% 13.4% Zack Greinke 238 4.12 4.18 4.30 19.3% 4.6% 9.6% 43.5% 15.2% Michael Pineda 136 3.57 3.82 4.35 19.9% 4.9% 11.3% 39.5% 10.6% Anthony DeSclafani 201.1 3.84 4.03 4.36 21.2% 7.0% 10.8% 43.2% 12.3% Stats courtesy of FanGraphs. Here’s a link to some more information on SIERA if you’re unfamiliar with that stat. 
    So over the past two seasons, Player X has ...
    A FIP equal to that of José Berríos with an even better swinging strike rate. A strikeout rate better than Marcus Stroman and Anthony DeSclafani. Better numbers than Zack Greinke in all of these categories except innings and walk rate. The best ground-ball rate of this bunch. Again, keep in mind this particular player had a much more impressive 2021 performance than 2020. One last thing I want to display before the big reveal is how Player X’s Baseball Savant sliders compare to José Berríos. 

    OK, ready?
    ...
    Player X is Alex Cobb.
    Going back to the original criteria I mentioned, Cobb is a 34-year-old veteran with nine years of service time, primarily works with a sinker and split-change down in the zone, had a couple of IL stints last year but finished the season healthy and is coming off a great 2021 in which he ranked in the top-12 among all pitchers in FIP, GB% and Barrel% (minimum 90 innings). His 9.5 K/9 and 24.9 K% were both career highs.
    I’d prefer a pitcher who has a more encouraging overall track record of health, but again, it’s not like there are a lot of workhorses out there these days. It’s kinda slim pickings on the starting pitching market. Jon Gray has been an early favorite of mine, but I’m starting to feel like there’s a very good chance he returns to the Colorado Rockies one way or another. They’ve had concrete extension talks with him and are considering making him a qualifying offer.
    Cobb just completed the final season of a four-year, $57 million deal in which he signed with the Baltimore Orioles but finished with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s going to be very difficult to predict how the market unfolds this offseason, but Cobb will definitely fall somewhere in a price range the Twins find palatable.
    This name would not have inspired me much, but after taking some of these numbers into consideration, I do actually think this would be a solid signing for the Twins. Cobb seemed to be revitalized in part due to the reunion with Joe Maddon, whom he was successful under in Tampa Bay. That organization is where Rocco Baldelli was groomed, of course, so perhaps Minnesota would also be an attractive destination for Cobb.
    So that’s the starting pitcher I’m guessing is most likely to be targeted by the Twins. What do you think about Cobb and who are some other targets you envision for the Twins this winter?
  11. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Before we get into the name I landed on, let’s go over the main criteria I considered and go over some of the stats. I felt Michael Pineda would be too obvious of an answer to this question, so I excluded him from consideration (though I do use him as a comp later on in this article).
    Experience
    This typically goes hand-in-hand with free agents, though there are some guys on the market who haven’t turned 30 yet. The Twins should be looking to improve the rotation via trades, but I believe they’ll also prioritize adding an experienced arm.
    Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan emerged as encouraging pieces to the rotation last season, but they could use someone to set an example and take some of the pressure off of them.
    Distinction
    Speaking of Ober and Ryan, it would be nice to add a pitcher whose game plan is unique to what those two do so well. Both Twins rookies showed a penchant for working up in the zone with their four-seam fastballs. While that’s an effective plan of attack for many MLB hurlers, and there’s probably room for at least one more like them in this rotation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Twins target a different look.
    A pitcher who primarily attacks the bottom of the zone with sinkers and gets more ground balls could be a nice change of pace, but swinging strikes and strikeouts should still be a priority.
    Health
    The Twins are going to need innings, but it’s not like there are a bunch of workhorses out there on the market. Some of the guys who did shoulder a significant workload this season are getting up there in age, which makes you wonder if they’re even good bets to eat innings. Given the uncertainty in the rotation, the Twins need to get somebody they know is entering the offseason healthy. That actually slims things down a decent amount.
    There are some intriguing pitchers who were out all last season (including Justin Verlander and James Paxton) or who ended 2021 on the Injured List (including Dylan Bundy and Danny Duffy). There’s likely to be a good investment to be made among those recovering pitchers, but I don’t think the Twins will want to count on a rehab going as planned.
    Performance
    This might seem like an obvious one, but the Twins are going to want to add at least one starting pitcher who pitched well in 2021. I still think it’d be a good idea for them to also try to uncover someone who underperformed and hope to get them on track — just look at how well that worked with Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodón last year — but there should be at least one addition who isn’t viewed as a project.
    This also narrows things down quite a bit. The tricky part here is I don’t expect the Twins to be shopping at the top of the market. Beyond Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Ray and Rodón there aren’t a ton of free agents who pitched really well in 2021.
    Player X
    Before I reveal the name of the pitcher I landed on, let’s take a look at his numbers when compared to some names that will be familiar to Twins fans and some other free agents. This particular pitcher had a 2021 season that was much better than he’d pitched in recent years, so I felt it was more representative to use numbers from the past two seasons.
    Name IP ERA FIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr% GB% HR/FB Kenta Maeda 173 3.90 3.67 3.59 27.5% 6.0% 14.9% 42.1% 15.7% Jose Berrios 255 3.64 3.62 3.83 25.9% 6.7% 10.3% 42.2% 12.7% Marcus Stroman 179 3.02 3.49 3.95 21.6% 6.0% 11.6% 50.8% 12.8% Player X 145.2 3.95 3.62 4.12 22.0% 8.2% 10.7% 53.8% 13.4% Zack Greinke 238 4.12 4.18 4.30 19.3% 4.6% 9.6% 43.5% 15.2% Michael Pineda 136 3.57 3.82 4.35 19.9% 4.9% 11.3% 39.5% 10.6% Anthony DeSclafani 201.1 3.84 4.03 4.36 21.2% 7.0% 10.8% 43.2% 12.3% Stats courtesy of FanGraphs. Here’s a link to some more information on SIERA if you’re unfamiliar with that stat. 
    So over the past two seasons, Player X has ...
    A FIP equal to that of José Berríos with an even better swinging strike rate. A strikeout rate better than Marcus Stroman and Anthony DeSclafani. Better numbers than Zack Greinke in all of these categories except innings and walk rate. The best ground-ball rate of this bunch. Again, keep in mind this particular player had a much more impressive 2021 performance than 2020. One last thing I want to display before the big reveal is how Player X’s Baseball Savant sliders compare to José Berríos. 

    OK, ready?
    ...
    Player X is Alex Cobb.
    Going back to the original criteria I mentioned, Cobb is a 34-year-old veteran with nine years of service time, primarily works with a sinker and split-change down in the zone, had a couple of IL stints last year but finished the season healthy and is coming off a great 2021 in which he ranked in the top-12 among all pitchers in FIP, GB% and Barrel% (minimum 90 innings). His 9.5 K/9 and 24.9 K% were both career highs.
    I’d prefer a pitcher who has a more encouraging overall track record of health, but again, it’s not like there are a lot of workhorses out there these days. It’s kinda slim pickings on the starting pitching market. Jon Gray has been an early favorite of mine, but I’m starting to feel like there’s a very good chance he returns to the Colorado Rockies one way or another. They’ve had concrete extension talks with him and are considering making him a qualifying offer.
    Cobb just completed the final season of a four-year, $57 million deal in which he signed with the Baltimore Orioles but finished with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s going to be very difficult to predict how the market unfolds this offseason, but Cobb will definitely fall somewhere in a price range the Twins find palatable.
    This name would not have inspired me much, but after taking some of these numbers into consideration, I do actually think this would be a solid signing for the Twins. Cobb seemed to be revitalized in part due to the reunion with Joe Maddon, whom he was successful under in Tampa Bay. That organization is where Rocco Baldelli was groomed, of course, so perhaps Minnesota would also be an attractive destination for Cobb.
    So that’s the starting pitcher I’m guessing is most likely to be targeted by the Twins. What do you think about Cobb and who are some other targets you envision for the Twins this winter?
  12. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Dman for an article, Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Before we get into the name I landed on, let’s go over the main criteria I considered and go over some of the stats. I felt Michael Pineda would be too obvious of an answer to this question, so I excluded him from consideration (though I do use him as a comp later on in this article).
    Experience
    This typically goes hand-in-hand with free agents, though there are some guys on the market who haven’t turned 30 yet. The Twins should be looking to improve the rotation via trades, but I believe they’ll also prioritize adding an experienced arm.
    Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan emerged as encouraging pieces to the rotation last season, but they could use someone to set an example and take some of the pressure off of them.
    Distinction
    Speaking of Ober and Ryan, it would be nice to add a pitcher whose game plan is unique to what those two do so well. Both Twins rookies showed a penchant for working up in the zone with their four-seam fastballs. While that’s an effective plan of attack for many MLB hurlers, and there’s probably room for at least one more like them in this rotation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Twins target a different look.
    A pitcher who primarily attacks the bottom of the zone with sinkers and gets more ground balls could be a nice change of pace, but swinging strikes and strikeouts should still be a priority.
    Health
    The Twins are going to need innings, but it’s not like there are a bunch of workhorses out there on the market. Some of the guys who did shoulder a significant workload this season are getting up there in age, which makes you wonder if they’re even good bets to eat innings. Given the uncertainty in the rotation, the Twins need to get somebody they know is entering the offseason healthy. That actually slims things down a decent amount.
    There are some intriguing pitchers who were out all last season (including Justin Verlander and James Paxton) or who ended 2021 on the Injured List (including Dylan Bundy and Danny Duffy). There’s likely to be a good investment to be made among those recovering pitchers, but I don’t think the Twins will want to count on a rehab going as planned.
    Performance
    This might seem like an obvious one, but the Twins are going to want to add at least one starting pitcher who pitched well in 2021. I still think it’d be a good idea for them to also try to uncover someone who underperformed and hope to get them on track — just look at how well that worked with Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodón last year — but there should be at least one addition who isn’t viewed as a project.
    This also narrows things down quite a bit. The tricky part here is I don’t expect the Twins to be shopping at the top of the market. Beyond Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Ray and Rodón there aren’t a ton of free agents who pitched really well in 2021.
    Player X
    Before I reveal the name of the pitcher I landed on, let’s take a look at his numbers when compared to some names that will be familiar to Twins fans and some other free agents. This particular pitcher had a 2021 season that was much better than he’d pitched in recent years, so I felt it was more representative to use numbers from the past two seasons.
    Name IP ERA FIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr% GB% HR/FB Kenta Maeda 173 3.90 3.67 3.59 27.5% 6.0% 14.9% 42.1% 15.7% Jose Berrios 255 3.64 3.62 3.83 25.9% 6.7% 10.3% 42.2% 12.7% Marcus Stroman 179 3.02 3.49 3.95 21.6% 6.0% 11.6% 50.8% 12.8% Player X 145.2 3.95 3.62 4.12 22.0% 8.2% 10.7% 53.8% 13.4% Zack Greinke 238 4.12 4.18 4.30 19.3% 4.6% 9.6% 43.5% 15.2% Michael Pineda 136 3.57 3.82 4.35 19.9% 4.9% 11.3% 39.5% 10.6% Anthony DeSclafani 201.1 3.84 4.03 4.36 21.2% 7.0% 10.8% 43.2% 12.3% Stats courtesy of FanGraphs. Here’s a link to some more information on SIERA if you’re unfamiliar with that stat. 
    So over the past two seasons, Player X has ...
    A FIP equal to that of José Berríos with an even better swinging strike rate. A strikeout rate better than Marcus Stroman and Anthony DeSclafani. Better numbers than Zack Greinke in all of these categories except innings and walk rate. The best ground-ball rate of this bunch. Again, keep in mind this particular player had a much more impressive 2021 performance than 2020. One last thing I want to display before the big reveal is how Player X’s Baseball Savant sliders compare to José Berríos. 

    OK, ready?
    ...
    Player X is Alex Cobb.
    Going back to the original criteria I mentioned, Cobb is a 34-year-old veteran with nine years of service time, primarily works with a sinker and split-change down in the zone, had a couple of IL stints last year but finished the season healthy and is coming off a great 2021 in which he ranked in the top-12 among all pitchers in FIP, GB% and Barrel% (minimum 90 innings). His 9.5 K/9 and 24.9 K% were both career highs.
    I’d prefer a pitcher who has a more encouraging overall track record of health, but again, it’s not like there are a lot of workhorses out there these days. It’s kinda slim pickings on the starting pitching market. Jon Gray has been an early favorite of mine, but I’m starting to feel like there’s a very good chance he returns to the Colorado Rockies one way or another. They’ve had concrete extension talks with him and are considering making him a qualifying offer.
    Cobb just completed the final season of a four-year, $57 million deal in which he signed with the Baltimore Orioles but finished with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s going to be very difficult to predict how the market unfolds this offseason, but Cobb will definitely fall somewhere in a price range the Twins find palatable.
    This name would not have inspired me much, but after taking some of these numbers into consideration, I do actually think this would be a solid signing for the Twins. Cobb seemed to be revitalized in part due to the reunion with Joe Maddon, whom he was successful under in Tampa Bay. That organization is where Rocco Baldelli was groomed, of course, so perhaps Minnesota would also be an attractive destination for Cobb.
    So that’s the starting pitcher I’m guessing is most likely to be targeted by the Twins. What do you think about Cobb and who are some other targets you envision for the Twins this winter?
  13. Sad
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Before we get into the name I landed on, let’s go over the main criteria I considered and go over some of the stats. I felt Michael Pineda would be too obvious of an answer to this question, so I excluded him from consideration (though I do use him as a comp later on in this article).
    Experience
    This typically goes hand-in-hand with free agents, though there are some guys on the market who haven’t turned 30 yet. The Twins should be looking to improve the rotation via trades, but I believe they’ll also prioritize adding an experienced arm.
    Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan emerged as encouraging pieces to the rotation last season, but they could use someone to set an example and take some of the pressure off of them.
    Distinction
    Speaking of Ober and Ryan, it would be nice to add a pitcher whose game plan is unique to what those two do so well. Both Twins rookies showed a penchant for working up in the zone with their four-seam fastballs. While that’s an effective plan of attack for many MLB hurlers, and there’s probably room for at least one more like them in this rotation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Twins target a different look.
    A pitcher who primarily attacks the bottom of the zone with sinkers and gets more ground balls could be a nice change of pace, but swinging strikes and strikeouts should still be a priority.
    Health
    The Twins are going to need innings, but it’s not like there are a bunch of workhorses out there on the market. Some of the guys who did shoulder a significant workload this season are getting up there in age, which makes you wonder if they’re even good bets to eat innings. Given the uncertainty in the rotation, the Twins need to get somebody they know is entering the offseason healthy. That actually slims things down a decent amount.
    There are some intriguing pitchers who were out all last season (including Justin Verlander and James Paxton) or who ended 2021 on the Injured List (including Dylan Bundy and Danny Duffy). There’s likely to be a good investment to be made among those recovering pitchers, but I don’t think the Twins will want to count on a rehab going as planned.
    Performance
    This might seem like an obvious one, but the Twins are going to want to add at least one starting pitcher who pitched well in 2021. I still think it’d be a good idea for them to also try to uncover someone who underperformed and hope to get them on track — just look at how well that worked with Robbie Ray and Carlos Rodón last year — but there should be at least one addition who isn’t viewed as a project.
    This also narrows things down quite a bit. The tricky part here is I don’t expect the Twins to be shopping at the top of the market. Beyond Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, Marcus Stroman, Ray and Rodón there aren’t a ton of free agents who pitched really well in 2021.
    Player X
    Before I reveal the name of the pitcher I landed on, let’s take a look at his numbers when compared to some names that will be familiar to Twins fans and some other free agents. This particular pitcher had a 2021 season that was much better than he’d pitched in recent years, so I felt it was more representative to use numbers from the past two seasons.
    Name IP ERA FIP SIERA K% BB% SwStr% GB% HR/FB Kenta Maeda 173 3.90 3.67 3.59 27.5% 6.0% 14.9% 42.1% 15.7% Jose Berrios 255 3.64 3.62 3.83 25.9% 6.7% 10.3% 42.2% 12.7% Marcus Stroman 179 3.02 3.49 3.95 21.6% 6.0% 11.6% 50.8% 12.8% Player X 145.2 3.95 3.62 4.12 22.0% 8.2% 10.7% 53.8% 13.4% Zack Greinke 238 4.12 4.18 4.30 19.3% 4.6% 9.6% 43.5% 15.2% Michael Pineda 136 3.57 3.82 4.35 19.9% 4.9% 11.3% 39.5% 10.6% Anthony DeSclafani 201.1 3.84 4.03 4.36 21.2% 7.0% 10.8% 43.2% 12.3% Stats courtesy of FanGraphs. Here’s a link to some more information on SIERA if you’re unfamiliar with that stat. 
    So over the past two seasons, Player X has ...
    A FIP equal to that of José Berríos with an even better swinging strike rate. A strikeout rate better than Marcus Stroman and Anthony DeSclafani. Better numbers than Zack Greinke in all of these categories except innings and walk rate. The best ground-ball rate of this bunch. Again, keep in mind this particular player had a much more impressive 2021 performance than 2020. One last thing I want to display before the big reveal is how Player X’s Baseball Savant sliders compare to José Berríos. 

    OK, ready?
    ...
    Player X is Alex Cobb.
    Going back to the original criteria I mentioned, Cobb is a 34-year-old veteran with nine years of service time, primarily works with a sinker and split-change down in the zone, had a couple of IL stints last year but finished the season healthy and is coming off a great 2021 in which he ranked in the top-12 among all pitchers in FIP, GB% and Barrel% (minimum 90 innings). His 9.5 K/9 and 24.9 K% were both career highs.
    I’d prefer a pitcher who has a more encouraging overall track record of health, but again, it’s not like there are a lot of workhorses out there these days. It’s kinda slim pickings on the starting pitching market. Jon Gray has been an early favorite of mine, but I’m starting to feel like there’s a very good chance he returns to the Colorado Rockies one way or another. They’ve had concrete extension talks with him and are considering making him a qualifying offer.
    Cobb just completed the final season of a four-year, $57 million deal in which he signed with the Baltimore Orioles but finished with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s going to be very difficult to predict how the market unfolds this offseason, but Cobb will definitely fall somewhere in a price range the Twins find palatable.
    This name would not have inspired me much, but after taking some of these numbers into consideration, I do actually think this would be a solid signing for the Twins. Cobb seemed to be revitalized in part due to the reunion with Joe Maddon, whom he was successful under in Tampa Bay. That organization is where Rocco Baldelli was groomed, of course, so perhaps Minnesota would also be an attractive destination for Cobb.
    So that’s the starting pitcher I’m guessing is most likely to be targeted by the Twins. What do you think about Cobb and who are some other targets you envision for the Twins this winter?
  14. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  15. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Karbo for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  16. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  17. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  18. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from h2oface for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  19. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    What’s striking about Atlanta’s July makeover is they didn’t even go big. Their front office made several key improvements to the outfield, but taking on salary meant they didn’t have to give up much to make those upgrades.
    It’s pretty incredible what can be done if a team’s willing to invest. Not even go for broke, simply try.
    We don’t have to look back far to find a Twins team that’s comparable to this year’s Atlanta club. Back in 2017, the first year of Derek Falvey & Co.’s tenure, the Twins had one of the strangest deadlines in recent memory. They decided to go for it, then changed their minds.
    The Twins traded for Jaime Garcia on July 24, when they were 49-49, three games back in the division. They traded Garcia away on July 30, when they were 50-53, seven games back in the division. All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was also dealt away on the 31st, leaving Matt Belisle to close out games.
    The 2017 club responded to that slight sell-off by going 20-10 in August. Back then, there was still an opportunity to make trades during August via waivers. There were some valuable pieces moved that month, but none of them to the Twins. Entering play on Aug. 31, 2017, the Twins still trailed Cleveland by seven games but were only a game back of the Yankees for the top wild card spot.
    Is it crazy to think a couple of improvements and a show of good faith by the front office may have resulted in the Twins catching the Yankees and having home-field advantage in that Wild Card Game? Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered and the Yankees were going to overcome the Twins no matter where the game was played, but I can’t help but wonder ...
    It’s hard for me to ignore the fact that Ervin Santana, who started that Wild Card Game, posted a 4.16 career ERA at Target Field and a 6.50 ERA at Yankee Stadium. José Berríos, who also ended up pitching in that 2017 Wild Card Game, has an even more extreme split, with a 3.61 ERA in Minnesota and a 6.43 mark at Yankee Stadium. At the very least, having that game played in Minnesota certainly couldn’t have hurt.
    The 2017 Twins were the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after losing 100 games, so it would be unfair to look back at that season as a failure. A missed opportunity? I think that’s fair.
    Even if the Twins had beaten the Yankees, they still would have had to overcome Cleveland and Houston, both of whom won more than 100 games that year. Seems far-fetched, but it’s also about as unlikely as this 2021 Atlanta team beating the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Highly unlikely, but not impossible.
    This 2021 Atlanta team shows that every front office in the league should be obligated to improve their club if they’re near .500 and have any shot of a postseason berth. A lot can happen over the final two months of the regular season. The New York Mets taking a nosedive definitely helped Atlanta’s ascension, but they definitely don’t get as far as they have without Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.
    Nobody saw this coming, postseason baseball is unpredictable and a hot team can punch above its weight on paper in a series. Give your team a chance and you never know what might happen.
    With 20/20 hindsight, the other issue with the 2017 decisions by the Twins front office is they hurt the club in both the short and long run. Huascar Ynoa was traded away and none of the prospects added in the second Garcia swap (Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns) or the Kintzler deal (Tyler Watson) made a big long-term impact with the Twins.
    It’s all water under the bridge at this point, of course, but here’s hoping this Twins front office learned its lessons and is paying attention to what Atlanta has accomplished this October.
  20. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  21. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Minny505 for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  22. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  23. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from RpR for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  24. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Dman for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
  25. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    Before we get into those three items, here’s a video that takes a bit of a deeper look at where the Giants and Red Sox were the past couple years and how they re-emerged after quiet offseasons.
    You Don’t Need A Rebuild
    All that recent success makes it easy to forget neither the Giants or Red Sox made the postseason the past two years (four years for the Giants). That’s especially noteworthy since 16 teams qualified for the playoffs in last year’s shortened season.
    With aging rosters and former stars on bloated contracts, both orgs were in the type of position where rebuilding had to have been considered. Yes, Boston traded away Mookie Betts prior to last season, but they never turned it into a full-on tear down, throw in the towel type situation.
    Meanwhile, several of the league’s bottom teams repeat their place in the standings year after year. Some organizations like the Houston Astros have made rebuilds work in the not-so-distant past, but they are looking more like the exception than the rule.
    Re-tooling can work.
    You Don’t Need A Flashy Offseason
    The Twins spent more on free agents this past offseason than both the Giants and Red Sox. The Twins shelled out $41.75 million while the Giants spent $41.35 million and the Red Sox were at $38.95 million. On the flip side, those teams actually acquired a greater number of players (10 signed for the Giants and eight for Boston), choosing to spread the wealth more than the Twins (six players).
    Meanwhile, the top two spending teams last winter (the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies) and three of the top-five spenders (adding the New York Mets) all missed the playoffs. And if there’s any team that “won” the 2020-21 offseason it was the San Diego Padres. That’s where their winning streak ended.
    The offseason most definitely matters — the 2021 Twins are as much proof of that as any team — but big splashes and flashy signings (or lack thereof) still don’t guarantee anything.
    You Don’t Need A Lavish Bullpen
    There are some expensive, big-name bullpens among this year’s playoff participants but Boston and San Francisco are not among them. 
    The Red Sox have a couple of highly-paid members of their bullpen, but Garrett Richards isn’t there by design (he was signed as a starter) and Adam Ottavino was acquired as a salary dump. It’s not as if either of those guys is exactly a difference-maker, either.
    In fact, the Red Sox bullpen leader in WAR was Garrett Whitlock, their Rule 5 pick. They had eight different pitchers record saves in the second half alone, including former Twins great Hansel Robles.
    The Giants have done even more with a great deal less invested. They signed Jake McGee to a modest two-year, $7 million deal, just $2 million of which was paid this season. Oh, and he was their highest-paid reliever. McGee ended up as one of only nine pitchers to save 30 games this season. 
    San Francisco had a handful of underpaid studs in their pen including Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell (ouch) and Dominic Leone. When McGee went down, however, it was rookie Camilo Doval who stepped up and was the National League reliever of the month for September. He had a 4.99 ERA and a 7.0 BB/9 in 28 games at Triple-A this season!
    Sometimes a reliever just happens. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Twins need next year.
    The Giants ranked sixth in bullpen WAR (per FanGraphs) and the Red Sox were ninth, a spot ahead of the Mets, who ended the year with four of the top-20 paid relievers in baseball (Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz). The Mets also only won four more games than the Twins this year.
    The Twins have a long way to go from 89 losses back to contention, but they don’t need to tear it down, have an extravagant offseason or spend big on risky bullpen arms to do so. The Giants and Red Sox are proof of that.
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