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ToddlerHarmon last won the day on December 9 2020

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  1. Now let's remove the guys who have NOT proven they are MLB hitters yet: C Depth - Garver, Jeffers, 1B Depth - Kirilloff, Sano, Donaldson, Garver 2B Depth - Polanco, Arraez 3B Depth - Donaldson, Arraez SS Depth - ?, Arraez LF Depth - CF Depth - Buxton RF Depth - Kepler DH Depth - Sano, Garver, Donaldson So, if Larnach hits, you need Arraez less. But proven depth? No.
  2. I remember being at a game against the Yankees, must have been April or May 2006. The Twins took a tiny lead, then things started to fall apart. The Yankees tied it up, had men on base, and the top of the order up. Liriano came in and looked unhittable against an historically great lineup. He shut things down, then kept the door shut as the Twins took it into extra innings and won on a Morneau squibber into right. Anyone who has ever seen a Twins-Yankees playoff collapse can just imagine what could have been if Liriano had kept that form for a few more years with the Twins.
  3. I think you're right, but interesting that that leaves Donaldson, Maeda, Sano, and Rogers off the list
  4. Thanks for asking the question. Most of the answers seem to be focused on the details of how, but I think there's a lot of room to discuss what the fans *should* want. So, look out, I'm going to go long form. Some possible guiding principles: 1) Meritocracy. The best players should play, and the best front offices should be able to win. Age, service time, options, imbalanced rosters, and the luck of who drafts you shouldn't limit players' playing time, career length, or earnings potential. Similarly, market size and local subsidies shouldn't decide which teams have a chance, and which fan bases get to have an engaging experience. Also, being good at player evaluation and development should be decisive over resources. 2) Continuity. We would rather root for people and their stories, not for laundry. Keeping performing players on the same team for lengthy careers contributes to fan enjoyment and engagement. This is about keeping stars on one team through their whole career, and about keeping the 30-year-old lineup fixture from being displaced by less expensive options, and about allowing a pitcher's arm to survive a 15-year career, and about getting future stars playing at the highest level as soon as possible. 3) Equity. Because college baseball is mostly not profitable, and minor league ball is well established, baseball has a unique opportunity to create a non-exploiting sport that provides a living for prospects and players and doesn't have us all cheering for free labor. Why should fans care? Besides wanting to like the places we spend money, this also contributes to meritocracy and continuity, as anti-competitive and anti-longevity abuses occur when players face an all-or-nothing career path: PEDs, overuse, playing injured, taking money outside the CBA-allowed channels, working without representation. 4) Accountability. Mistakes by management should be punishable by the fans staying away, but not permanent, thus encouraging owners to move on quickly. To me, this means revenue should flow to winners, but maybe others have other solutions. It also implies that resources to build next year's team shouldn't be only determined by past success or failure. Salary caps and floors contribute to this by divorcing revenue from payroll, but again others may have other solutions. What do we get from these principles? Well, imagine going to games and knowing the players. Imagine following a season without knowing that the super-team stands between your team and a championship. Imagine having it matter to your team winning whether you go to a game, or buy merchandise, or subscribe to a streaming package. Imagine championships being available at better odds than a lottery ticket. Imagine not having your well-oiled baseball machine blown up by a cheating scandal or a looming free agency. Imagine not having to give up on a team for 5 years at a time. I probably missed some principles, or oversold some of these, or even created an impossible goal. I'd love to hear what people think.
  5. Excellent premise, and well done. You even left shortstop open for us to argue about. Since you put a lot of weight on clubhouse presence and fighting spirit, my vote goes to Tanner of the Bad News Bears, who probably was the model for the real life AJ Pierzynski.
  6. This I think is the real story. They are taking their shot with the young pitchers. A pitching pipeline requires doing so. Doing so for five rotation spots is not how you write it up, but 2020 made it impossible to evaluate all the young pitchers on actual MiLB performance, so now they have to hold MLB level auditions or turn their back on half of their pipeline without enough information. I may not agree, but they seem to have concluded this is the right path. I will admit that there is NO affordable strategy that is likely to fill out an entire rotation from scratch and get you to the World Series. So auditions may be the least bad path for 2022
  7. I'm ok that Falvey and Levine and Pohlad are trying to find new and efficient ways to build a roster. BUT, if that work isn't even *trying* to build a *championship* roster, then count me out.
  8. No The Twins don't have a DH (especially if Kirilloff is needed in the outfield, which looks likely) Besides Arraez, the Twins only have Donaldson who can regularly get on base at over a 350 clip The better defenders in his positions are older and more expensive. And some stats were tracking him as better than Donaldson at 3B now. At his age, he is one of the new, cheap crop to keep until pitching arrives. The rest of the established core will be on the wrong side of 30 very soon Donaldson needs to be kept fresh if he can't be traded, and will bring a bigger haul if he can be And finally, the bat to ball skills aren't merely entertaining. They are the unteachable offensive skill. And the Twins have darn few others in the organization who can match Arraez on that, and no youngsters who have proven it in MLB
  9. So, we have a lineup, but no rotation, and holes in the bullpen Circumstances dictated that we trade Berrios, and we did the best we could by getting prospects We have a handful of young starters that need MLB experience to both see who develops and to become competitive If we sign Buxton, our lineup will remain intact for a couple more years, with the exceptions of Sano and probably Donaldson. And, we WILL overpay if we outbid anyone for starting pitching (not to mention that if teams like the Yankees decide to win any bidding war, it's out of our hands) I hate to say it, but to me, this adds up to focusing on auditions, not wins, in 2022. Don't sign any FA, extend Buxton, and find out which youngsters can start (x5), close, and play shortstop. Then fill in the holes before 2023.
  10. I have to admit ignorance of this part of the calculation. The idea of a replacement player is below average: your standard AAAA player - someone that can be obtained from waivers or a minor-league contract for the cost of nothing more than a roster spot. But that doesn't give me a number to hold on to. I've heard that a team of replacement players (0 WAR) would be expected to win about 48 games (again, with Runs -> Wins), but I don't know how that baseline gets set, either. Polanco being credited with 4.8 WAR isn't at all a slight. It means a lineup of 9 2021-version-Polancos, saddled with the Saints rotation, bullpen, and bench, (think 5 ERA pitching and a bunch of .200-hitting benchwarmers) would grab 91 wins and a Wild Card berth, if not a division championship. The usual benchmarks for hitters are 8 WAR is an MVP season, 5 WAR is an All Star season, 2 WAR is an average everyday hitter (for their position). I'm sure you've heard it before, but the runs-produced stats are obviously dependent on other players' performance, and end up with clear outliers. A famous example: 1985 Mattingly, a fine hitter, looks like Gehrig with 253 R+RBI, when in truth it was Rickey Henderson's INSANE production in front of him that made it all possible, but he "only" had 218 R+RBI, (which also doesn't credit the fact that Henderson played a much harder defensive position). WAR, which gives Mattingly all-star kudos at 6.5, and Henderson ALL-TIME recognition at 9.9 WAR, paints a more accurate picture.
  11. To answer the specific question of whether on-base percentage is weighed correctly versus slugging when coming up with WAR, the answer is: there was an attempt. WAR uses Runs Created (RC) as its basis for offensive production, which gives more weight to getting on base than OPS does. It also gives more weight to singles versus walks (because walks don't drive in runners from 2nd), credits steals, etc. So, WAR tries to fairly account for the different offensive skill sets. Now, whether it does so accurately is another issue. The WAR calculation assumes a "normal" offensive environment, so a lineup with extreme power and poor on base skills might struggle more than WAR accounts for, and so might a lineup with good on-base skills and little power. The other thing WAR does is assume that runs make wins. Which equates consistent production with streaky production, which is probably not accurate. A team that averages 4.5 runs a game by having a week of 1, 2, 2, 3, 8, and 10 runs probably went 2-4, but a team that scores 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, and 7 runs probably went 3-3 or 4-2. So, IMO, WAR undervalues on-base skills, because something that happens 35% of the time (getting on base) is more consistent than something that happens 10% of the time (extra-base-hits).
  12. This sounds like a great best case for the post-Donaldson future. Assuming this gives you Sano, Garver, Kirilloff, Polanco, MIranda, Lewis, Larnach, Buxton, Kepler, Jeffers, Arraez, and Martin. So, you do have room for Gordon, Palacios, or some other Adrianza-esque SS backup. But leaves Rooker or any other bench slugger out of the picture.
  13. Getting more than a wild card bid in 2022 is a long shot, even with trade and free agent acquisitions, mostly because the starters that would put us in the World Series aren't available at a price we can pay. Hopefully the young pitchers develop enough to make 2023 more realistic. That says to me: - *don't* trade Arraez, he's just 24. If this had been his rookie season performance at age 24, we'd be moving pieces all over to find a place for him to play. He can be a huge part of the next group if this group doesn't perform. Start him at 3B as often as you can. Donaldson will need the rest anyway. - Sano and Kepler are tradeable as underperformers, and have candidates for their position (Kiriloff, Larnach) waiting to prove themselves - don't trade for rentals
  14. I had the impression that his defense at 3B has been at least average this year. He's still just 24, and one of our few reliable OBP producers, so in a lineup sense, he is not redundant. Yes, he would bring back more than Kepler and Sano. But he's the kind of guy you trade to make a playoff run, not to solidify a reload.
  15. "What about dealing a semi-redundant yet valuable fixture such as Kepler, Arraez, or Sanó?" Arraez is younger, more productive, less expensive, and may still have more to show in 3B defense and power. He shouldn't be in the same trade conversation, IMO.
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