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Tom Froemming

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  1. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from glunn in Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    We all have our favorites on this year’s starting pitching market, the guys we most want to see in a Minnesota Twins uniform, but who is the most likely pitcher they’ll actually target and sign. That’s almost impossible to predict at this point, it’s not even technically the offseason yet, but let’s give it a shot anyway.
    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?

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  2. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Hosken Bombo Disco in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  3. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from glunn in Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Cobb is the free agent (outside of Pineda) I can most envision them signing. I wouldn't expect him to be the primary rotation upgrade of the offseason, but it wouldn't surprise me. I think their best avenue to actually fix this rotation is to trade for somebody. Get someone in their prime who's going to be around for multiple years. Gotta give something to get something, though.
    I would be prepared to overpay in a trade that brings in a rotation piece if it came down to it, but does this front office feel the same way? I'm not sure, maybe. They seem to be pretty risk averse, though. Maybe they'll play it safer, since last offseason was such a disaster. Smaller moves that go poorly don't look as bad as big moves that go south. Another terrible offseason and Jim Pohlad's grade for them might drop from an A+ to just an A. Then they'll really be feeling the heat! 😅 
  4. Like
    Tom Froemming reacted to DocBauer in Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Tom, I guess my question to you, which you sort of hinted at, are you looking at Cobb as a secondary acquisition? Because if he's the primary addition then I have to say no. I don't trust the injury history, or feel there's enough upside to make a difference. 
    I'd prefer Cobb as a #3 SP option but could be convinced he'd be a solid #2 if the health question/gamble turned out. While his career W/L is uninspiring, as is his career K/9, most of his overall numbers are solid across the board. He could be that experienced, veteran guy that just suddenly stays healthy and starts to perform the way he always "could have" before, even at 34yo. It happens. We see a guy like that almost every year.
    Forgetting what I believe will be an approximate $140M payroll for the team to re-tool and compete and thus have the money for a quality FA signing to lead the staff, my biggest problem trying to figure out 2022 is the #2 spot. Is that filled via FA or trade? My gut tells me Pineda is the #3, and it's an easy play, as you alluded to.
    I can be talked in to Cobb. You make a compelling arguement. And I'd LOVE Gray, but recent rumors say Colorado may offer a QO, assuming they can with the CBA up in the air. If that happens, the Twins are out unless their pick next year is protected. (Want to say it is, but am not sure). I think Wood and Matz might be safer, and I do like a bounceback from Bundy and Duffy.
    But again, you've given me a lot to think about and I could be talked in to Cobb. Nice OP!
     
  5. Like
    Tom Froemming reacted to tony&rodney in Predicting the Twins' Most Likely Free Agent Starting Pitcher Signing   
    Tom, I like the work you do both with your videos and writing about the Twins and thank you.
    Alex Cobb may have a few good years left in him, but he is almost a #4 pitcher, similar to Michael Pineda. Perhaps the Twins can live with a bottom of the rotation pitcher sitting in the middle, but I will pass unless it is for less than $8 million. There are several trade opportunities out there and other free agents that would look better in a Twins uniform. Falvey has an interesting few months ahead of him. 
  6. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from TheLeviathan in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  7. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from TwinsDr2021 in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  8. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from AceWrigley in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  9. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Mike Sixel in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  10. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Hosken Bombo Disco in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    The Atlanta Braves were buyers even though they had a 51-54 record and were five games back at the trade deadline. They entered Sunday one win away from becoming World Series champions. Hopefully, the Minnesota Twins front office is paying attention.
    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.

    View full article
  11. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Dman in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  12. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  13. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Danchat in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  14. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Rigby in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  15. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from DocBauer in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  16. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Major League Ready in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  17. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from chpettit19 in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  18. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from Karbo in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  19. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from roger in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  20. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from mikelink45 in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  21. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from USAFChief in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    The Atlanta Braves were buyers even though they had a 51-54 record and were five games back at the trade deadline. They entered Sunday one win away from becoming World Series champions. Hopefully, the Minnesota Twins front office is paying attention.
    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.

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  22. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from h2oface in Lessons From Atlanta: If You Have A Shot, Take It   
    Thing is Atlanta didn't blow up the future at all. Here are the guys they gave up.
    For Rosario: Pablo Sandoval, who was immediately released by Cleveland.
    For Soler: Kasey Kalich, a reliever in High-A. Not among the top-30 Royals prospects per MLB Pipeline.
    For Duval: Alex Jackson, a 25-year-old catcher who has hit .132/.243/.225 (.488 OPS) in 61 MLB games. 
    For Pederson: Bryce Ball, a High-A first baseman who hit .206/.351/.387 (.738 OPS) this year. He is not listed among the Cubs' top-30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, though he was No. 19 on Atlanta's 2020 list.
    Atlanta really didn't do any damage to its future by making those trades. They mainly provided salary relief to the teams they dealt with.
  23. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from glunn in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    The Giants and Red Sox are two of the most successful franchises in baseball over the past 20 years but fell on hard times the previous couple of years. They’re back atop the league again, and they’re proving these three things are unnecessary ...
    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.

    View full article
  24. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from RpR in VIDEO: Giants, Red Sox Provide Hope For Twins Bounce Back   
    The Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants are two of the five teams still alive in the MLB postseason. They were both also outspent by the Minnesota Twins in free agency this past offseason. Here's a look back on the journey the Red Sox and Giants made back to the top of the baseball world despite not having flashy offseasons. Could the Twins replicate that success in 2022?

    View full video
  25. Like
    Tom Froemming got a reaction from RpR in Giants, Red Sox Proving You Don’t Need These 3 Things   
    The Giants and Red Sox are two of the most successful franchises in baseball over the past 20 years but fell on hard times the previous couple of years. They’re back atop the league again, and they’re proving these three things are unnecessary ...
    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.

    View full article
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