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Found 15 results

  1. Aaron and John announce big show news, say goodbye (for now) to Willians Astudillo, and talk about missing out on Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel, Byron Buxton's latest jaw-dropping highlight, Max Kepler's three-homer game, Keoni Cavaco and the Twins' draft class, and potential playoff matchups. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. And check out our new midweek (daily?) podcast here. Click here to view the article
  2. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_430_Announcement_and_Astudillo.mp3
  3. Minnesota’s Changing Perspective Before spring training started, Minnesota wasn’t exactly sure of what this season would bring. The front office was happy with the additions of players like Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, CJ Cron, and Martin Perez. However, it was tough to know if the Twins were going to be able to outlast Cleveland in a division the Indians have dominated for the last three seasons. Flash-forward to the present and Minnesota has a very clear view of the division and of their current roster. The Twins entered play on Saturday atop of the AL Central by 10.5 games. Cleveland, the division favorite this spring, sits tied with the White Sox for second place and they are actually closer to the bottom of the division than the top of the division. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have also seen the strengths and weaknesses of the current roster. Minnesota offense is one of the best in the game. There doesn’t seem to be a weak spot from the top to the bottom. On the pitching side, Minnesota’s has outperformed many of the expectations entering the season but Kimbrel or Keuchel would certainly be welcomed in the Twin Cities. Minnesota Rumors Locally, Judd Zulgad of SKOR North said the Twins could be in on one of the pitchers once draft pick compensation was no longer part of the equation. Kimbrel might be a better fit in Minnesota even though he’s coming off a postseason where he had a 5.91 ERA in nine appearances. He has over 330 career saves and an ERA under 2.00. It remains to be seen if Kimbrel would be willing to accept a non-closer role on a playoff contending team. Minnesota hasn’t used a traditional closer this year and they may not want to mess with a good thing. There are also questions about how long it will take for either pitcher to be prepared for pitching in a big-league game. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman also listed the Twins as a possible destination for Keuchel. He also included other teams like the Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Rays and Yankees. Last season in Houston, Keuchel made 34 stars and went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA. Scouts have been watching Keuchel throw simulated games in the weeks leading up to the draft. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1134546659751469058 Other Rumors As recently as Saturday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cubs are showing interest in Kimbrel. One of the difficulties for them is their lack of payroll flexibility, because Chicago wants to stay under the luxury tax thresholds. Other teams might be able to outbid the Cubs or Chicago would need to get creative with Kimbrel’s contract. Jim Bowden of SiriusXM reports that the Braves have legitimate interest in both free agent pitchers. Atlanta currently sits in second place in the AL East and they are tied with San Diego for the second Wild Card spot. https://twitter.com/JimBowdenGM/status/1132654704159330306 Tampa Bay, Minnesota’s opponent this weekend, is also interested in adding Keuchel or Kimbrel. Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino report the Yankees remain interested in Keuchel. The AL East can be a beast especially with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays all vying to be the king of the hill. Kimbrel is well familiar with the AL East, and he might want a revenge tour against Boston. Tampa is usually a little strapped for cash, so this might not be the best fit. Do you see either pitcher ending up in a Twins uniform this week? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. Even a really great meal goes stale eventually. I desperately wanted the Twins to do more to upgrade the bullpen this offseason, and was supportive of the idea of them pursuing Craig Kimbrel at one point, but I'm out now. I don't really want anything to do with him. My frustration with the bullpen inactivity was never tied to any one particular reliever. Things have boiled own to that, since Kimbrel is the last man standing, but there were several attractive free agent bullpen pieces out there this winter. The Twins didn't sign any of them. I'm over it. I'm not saying this bullpen is fine as it's currently constructed. While Ryne Harper has been a pleasant surprise and the backed trio of Blake Parker, Taylor Rogers and Trevor May has mostly looked good, there are some legit concerns about the depth. But bringing in a project isn't the answer. Kimbrel is one of the greatest closers of all time. There's also a reason why he's still unemployed. Here are a few: -He has to be rusty. This is item No. 1 with a bullet. There's no way he can possibly be sharp, I don't care what kind of simulated games he may be throwing. -He had a 4.57 ERA in the second half and a 5.91 ERA in the postseason last year. -His fastball velocity dropped from 98.72 mph in 2017 to 97.63 mph last year. -It actually took him awhile to work up to that velocity last season, sitting below 97 mph through April. Yes, he's been working out, but I'd still be concerned it would take him some time to get up to full speed. -His ground ball rate dropped from 37.0% to 28.2% last year. -His line drive rate went up from 19.4% to 24.8% last year. -He had a worse first-pitch strike rate (56.3%) than Fernando Rodney last year. -He had the eighth-lowest rate of pitches in the zone (36.6%) of the 151 qualified relievers last year. -He walked 12.6% of the batters he faced last year. That is horrible. It was the 20th-worst rate among 336 pitchers who logged more than 50 innings last year. In nearly every single positive mention of the Twins I see, there is somebody in the comments who calls for Kimbrel. I get it, I just think the idea of Kimbrel doesn't even accurately reflect who he actually is at this point. If the Twins seek to improve the bullpen, they should be looking for guys who are trending upward. Or at least, you know, active. Maybe Kimbrel will be great, I don't know, but I am comfortable with another team taking on that project. There are other ways to boost the bullpen.
  5. Looking at how well the lineup has performed, and the depth that should be available to keep a long and dismal slump at bay, pitching is where Minnesota can look to improve. The starting rotation went into the year with a clear ace, but the performances from Martin Perez and Jake Odorizzi have been a welcomed addition. Michael Pineda doesn’t look like a great bet at this point however, and the 5th turn in the rotation could be expanded upon. In the bullpen Minnesota left themselves open to plenty of criticism. Banking on unknown commodities such as Matt Magill and Ryne Harper, while hanging onto a miscast starter in Adalberto Mejia, there was plenty to worry about. The back end of the pen has been solid, and really the group has stayed afloat. Bringing in a high-level arm that can push everyone down a notch would only strengthen the unit. On the starting front, here’s who some of those names may be: Marcus Stroman- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021 I’ve been crushing on Stroman’s numbers for years now. He’s routinely put up better peripherals than the ERA suggests, and he’s a guy that’s previously performed at a very high level. Under team control for another season he won’t come cheap, but it’d be in the Blue Jays best interests to move him sooner rather than later. On the season he owns a 2.96 ERA with a 3.09 FIP. His ERA+ sits at 145, or exactly where it was when he finished 8th in Cy Young voting during 2017. Madison Bumgarner- Giants 29 years old FA 2020 It’s crazy to think Bumgarner is just 29 (almost 30) given how long he’s been around. He’s approaching 2,000 big league innings but pitched at least 200 innings every year from 2011-2016. The velocity has remained consistent over the past four seasons, and his track record speaks for itself. The Giants ace is amid his best season since 2016 and would slot in nicely behind Jose Berrios. Given his impending free agency, this could be a situation in which the Twins operate on a try before you buy model. Miguel Sano to the National League is questionable, but a straight up swap may be enticing for Minnesota. Mike Minor- Rangers 31 years old FA 2021 The least of the options on this list, Minor has plenty of intrigue in his own right. He’s coming off a mediocre 2018, but his 2019 has seen a nice resurgence. Minor has jumped his whiff rate roughly 2% from 2018, and it’s come on the heels of a career high in changeup usage. Being under team control for another year, he’ll cost a bit more than his numbers may warrant, but as a stabilizing force to round out the rotation he has some appeal. Relief help has some interesting names as well: Craig Kimbrel- 31 years old Unsigned At this point Kimbrel won’t be signed until after the June amateur draft. Without being tied to pick compensation, he may find suitors offering both long-term and one-year pacts. Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in the game, and while he’ll need some ramp up time, he’s coming off a 2.74 ERA and 13.9 K/9 season. Sure, he had some blowups in the postseason, and if you’d like to nitpick, there’re warts here. At the end of the day though, this is an elite talent that costs a team nothing but cash to acquire. Ken Giles- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021 Here’s another guy from Toronto and still under team control for another season. Giles comes with personality questions, as the Houston Astros shipped him out growing tired of his inconsistencies on and off the mound. He’s already on his third big league team, and despite being ultra-talented, he’s proven to be expandable. If that can be vetted out, the Blue Jays are offering a reliever with a 1.65 ERA 1.79 FIP, and 13.8 K/9. Walks have never been much of a problem, strikeouts are aplenty, and velocity is through the roof. He can operate as a closer or setup man, and that would give the Twins some flexibility. Sean Doolittle- Nationals 32 years old FA 2020 ($6.5MM team option) An unexpected name on this list given where the Nationals assumed they’d be this season. The reality is that Davey Martinez hasn’t done well taking over for Dusty Baker, and the team is a mess. For the opposition, a guy like Doolittle becoming available would be a massive boost. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for nearly a decade, and his numbers in 2019 are equally eye-popping. A lefty with strong strikeout stuff, he’s not a platoon pitcher, and Baldelli could use another Taylor Rogers type in relief. When it comes to execution on any deals they’ll do, the Twins have some very different options to consider. Miguel Sano could establish himself as an expandable, and valuable piece. They have prospect capital behind the untouchables of Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Brusdar Graterol. There’s also no reason to believe this club is cash poor, and simply doling out money is a possibility as well. If it’s up to me, I’d prefer to see Minnesota land a starter they believe can help them in 2019 and beyond. Someone that slides in at the middle of the rotation or higher, and will be around for another run, is a guy I’d give up some pieces for. In relief, choosing the cash route on Kimbrel makes the most sense. I’m not sure you want to part with assets in both areas, but it depends on the names you’d have to give up. We’re at least a month out from some of these deals potentially coming to fruition, but you can bet plans are in place to make sure the decision is a clear one when the time comes.
  6. It’s early May but we’re well beyond the point of still categorizing the results as being reflective of a small sample size. Right now, the Twins own the best record in baseball, the lineup has thump throughout, and the pitching staff is performing at a clip few could’ve seen coming. As good teams do, and Minnesota has not recently been in position to experience, adding big league talent for the stretch run is a must. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will have options, but where do they turn?Looking at how well the lineup has performed, and the depth that should be available to keep a long and dismal slump at bay, pitching is where Minnesota can look to improve. The starting rotation went into the year with a clear ace, but the performances from Martin Perez and Jake Odorizzi have been a welcomed addition. Michael Pineda doesn’t look like a great bet at this point however, and the 5th turn in the rotation could be expanded upon. In the bullpen Minnesota left themselves open to plenty of criticism. Banking on unknown commodities such as Matt Magill and Ryne Harper, while hanging onto a miscast starter in Adalberto Mejia, there was plenty to worry about. The back end of the pen has been solid, and really the group has stayed afloat. Bringing in a high-level arm that can push everyone down a notch would only strengthen the unit. On the starting front, here’s who some of those names may be: Marcus Stroman- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021 I’ve been crushing on Stroman’s numbers for years now. He’s routinely put up better peripherals than the ERA suggests, and he’s a guy that’s previously performed at a very high level. Under team control for another season he won’t come cheap, but it’d be in the Blue Jays best interests to move him sooner rather than later. On the season he owns a 2.96 ERA with a 3.09 FIP. His ERA+ sits at 145, or exactly where it was when he finished 8th in Cy Young voting during 2017. Madison Bumgarner- Giants 29 years old FA 2020 It’s crazy to think Bumgarner is just 29 (almost 30) given how long he’s been around. He’s approaching 2,000 big league innings but pitched at least 200 innings every year from 2011-2016. The velocity has remained consistent over the past four seasons, and his track record speaks for itself. The Giants ace is amid his best season since 2016 and would slot in nicely behind Jose Berrios. Given his impending free agency, this could be a situation in which the Twins operate on a try before you buy model. Miguel Sano to the National League is questionable, but a straight up swap may be enticing for Minnesota. Mike Minor- Rangers 31 years old FA 2021 The least of the options on this list, Minor has plenty of intrigue in his own right. He’s coming off a mediocre 2018, but his 2019 has seen a nice resurgence. Minor has jumped his whiff rate roughly 2% from 2018, and it’s come on the heels of a career high in changeup usage. Being under team control for another year, he’ll cost a bit more than his numbers may warrant, but as a stabilizing force to round out the rotation he has some appeal. Relief help has some interesting names as well: Craig Kimbrel- 31 years old Unsigned At this point Kimbrel won’t be signed until after the June amateur draft. Without being tied to pick compensation, he may find suitors offering both long-term and one-year pacts. Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in the game, and while he’ll need some ramp up time, he’s coming off a 2.74 ERA and 13.9 K/9 season. Sure, he had some blowups in the postseason, and if you’d like to nitpick, there’re warts here. At the end of the day though, this is an elite talent that costs a team nothing but cash to acquire. Ken Giles- Blue Jays 28 years old FA 2021 Here’s another guy from Toronto and still under team control for another season. Giles comes with personality questions, as the Houston Astros shipped him out growing tired of his inconsistencies on and off the mound. He’s already on his third big league team, and despite being ultra-talented, he’s proven to be expandable. If that can be vetted out, the Blue Jays are offering a reliever with a 1.65 ERA 1.79 FIP, and 13.8 K/9. Walks have never been much of a problem, strikeouts are aplenty, and velocity is through the roof. He can operate as a closer or setup man, and that would give the Twins some flexibility. Sean Doolittle- Nationals 32 years old FA 2020 ($6.5MM team option) An unexpected name on this list given where the Nationals assumed they’d be this season. The reality is that Davey Martinez hasn’t done well taking over for Dusty Baker, and the team is a mess. For the opposition, a guy like Doolittle becoming available would be a massive boost. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for nearly a decade, and his numbers in 2019 are equally eye-popping. A lefty with strong strikeout stuff, he’s not a platoon pitcher, and Baldelli could use another Taylor Rogers type in relief. When it comes to execution on any deals they’ll do, the Twins have some very different options to consider. Miguel Sano could establish himself as an expandable, and valuable piece. They have prospect capital behind the untouchables of Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Brusdar Graterol. There’s also no reason to believe this club is cash poor, and simply doling out money is a possibility as well. If it’s up to me, I’d prefer to see Minnesota land a starter they believe can help them in 2019 and beyond. Someone that slides in at the middle of the rotation or higher, and will be around for another run, is a guy I’d give up some pieces for. In relief, choosing the cash route on Kimbrel makes the most sense. I’m not sure you want to part with assets in both areas, but it depends on the names you’d have to give up. We’re at least a month out from some of these deals potentially coming to fruition, but you can bet plans are in place to make sure the decision is a clear one when the time comes. Click here to view the article
  7. This is an excerpt from an article which originates at Zone Coverage. Click here to read it in full. It’s not hard to find people with the opinion that the Minnesota Twins need to make a move to address their bullpen. Those people aren’t exactly wrong, either. As of this writing, the Twins are ninth in the AL with a bullpen ERA of 4.73. They’re also ninth in WHIP (1.39) and 11th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.3). Each of those numbers, on their surface, are not terribly exciting. But consider the plight facing the current AL reliever — the average marks right now of each of those is 4.51, 1.34 and 8.7. The Twins are more or less average when it comes to unadjusted stats, and even better when they’re adjusted. Peeking at Fangraphs for adjusted figures paints a bit more of a favorable picture. Twins relievers have combined for 1.0 fWAR, the fifth-best mark in the AL. In other words, they’ve pitched better in some higher-leverage spots, while outings like Chase De Jong and Andrew Vasquez’s against the New York Mets have sullied otherwise decent results from this bunch. But no matter how it’s sliced, it’s still not indefensible to suggest the Twins could use some more help out in the bullpen. Some of that help showed up on Friday in the form of Matt Magill, who was activated off the disabled list to take the roster spot of Kohl Stewart, who was returned to Rochester after his start in Houston on Wednesday night. Curiously, the Twins also outrighted Chase De Jong off the 40-man roster, leaving an open spot with no real move on the immediate horizon. The smart bet is that a reliever will eventually fill that role, but let’s take a look at how the Twins could end up making an addition in the bullpen in the near future. Promote internally Two relievers who could easily get the call who aren’t currently on the 40-man roster are Mike Morin and Jake Reed. Morin has big-league experience with the Angels, Royals and Mariners — 3.32 FIP in 174 innings — and a baseball contact recently told Zone Coverage that he was the “best pitcher for Rochester right now.” Morin has not allowed an earned run in 9.1 innings with the Red Wings with nine strikeouts, two walks and a WHIP of 0.86. Morin turns 28 next week. Reed has no MLB experience, but has been terrific in Triple-A the past four seasons: 2.16 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 1.13 WHIP in 100 innings with the Red Wings.
  8. Early Season Results Minnesota’s limited amount of games to start the season has certainly altered the bullpen’s results. Only three pitchers have appeared in double-digits games (Trevor May, Trevor Hildenberger, and Taylor Rogers). Blake Parker and Taylor Rogers have split save situations with both players earning three saves or more. There have been some surprises so far this season. Minus one appearance in Houston, Ryne Harper has been outstanding. There’s reason to believe he could continue this in the weeks ahead. Hildenberger, Rogers, and Parker have also been outstanding. Does that mean the Twins aren’t that desperate to add depth to the bullpen? The Ninth Inning Question Craig Kimbrel might not want to pitch outside of the ninth inning. With 333 saves, he currently ranks in the top 14 on the all-time list. He’s a long way away from catching Mariano Rivera’s 652 saves, but there is room for him to move up the list. Even if he signs after the draft this season, he could still pass Rollie Fingers (341 saves) and Randy Myers (347 saves). Also, Kimbrel might not be willing to pitch outside of the ninth inning. Rocco Baldelli has been open to using relief pitchers in the best situation. Would Kimbrel be willing to enter the game in the seventh inning if the opposing team’s best hitters were scheduled to appear. Relief pitching has drastically changed during the last handful of seasons. Kimbrel might be more worried about his long-term legacy than the results of team he has little connection tio. Trickle Down Effect If Kimbrel came in to be the team’s closer, other strong relief pitchers would be able to be utilized in earlier innings. May, Hildenberger, Rogers, and Parker could be utilized in earlier innings. Pushing all of the relief pitchers back an inning would mean the starters don’t need to go as long. This could make the bullpen even stronger and it could allow the Twins even more separation in the American League Central Division. Will Kimbrel solve everything that is wrong with this team? No… But he could add depth to a strong core. This could be the difference in a first-round exit and a competitive team in the AL Championship Series. Could Kimbrel make that much of a difference? I believe he can…
  9. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' fireworks show in Baltimore, debating the merits of pursuing Craig Kimbrel, Byron Buxton's doubles spree, Trevor Hildenberger the fire-fighter, Francisco Lindor rejoining the Indians, and spies reporting on John Bonnes in the wild. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.http://traffic.libsy...3?dest-id=74590 Click here to view the article
  10. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Ep_422_Bashing_Baltimore_and_Considering_Kimbrel.mp3?dest-id=74590
  11. It’s important to keep in mind that every situation is different, but I still think there’s some value in looking back at how the Lynn contract came to be and compare that to where things are with this year’s market. I’m not saying any of this means the Twins are going to sign Kimbrel or Keuchel, but as long as they’re out there on the market it’s a possibility. One more disclaimer, sharing these reports that ultimately turned out to be untrue isn’t intended to be a jab at the reporters mentioned. They were simply relaying the information that was brought to them at that time from credible sources. Their reports were accurate to the situation in that snapshot in time. It’s clear things changed very quickly at some point, actually right around this time, last year. Here’s a look back at how things developed through the rumor mill. Feb. 28, 2018 Mike Berardino Tweets that the Twins, who are just a few weeks removed from a strong pursuit of Yu Darvish, are likely done adding. https://twitter.com/MikeBerardino/status/968920573169553409 March 2, 2018 Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports Lynn’s asking price is north of $50 million, a mark no team is currently willing to entertain. https://twitter.com/JimBowdenGM/status/969602577498361864 March 4, 208 Bowden’s sources tell him the Twins are unlikely to sign Lynn or any of the other top starters available. https://twitter.com/JimBowdenGM/status/970452020795772930 March 6, 2018 Berardino writes that a person with direct knowledge said a $20 million commitment was a non-starter for Lynn. March 12, 2018 Lance Lynn signs a one-year, $12 million deal with the Twins. https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/972587332066074624 I’m sure there were additional reports I missed, but you get the drift. As we learned with Lynn last year, things can change incredibly quickly. That lesson can obviously apply to other teams, as well. Bowden Tweeted Friday evening that the Nationals and Braves were “not in” on Kimbrel according to multiple sources. That would certainly make it appear the Twins have a better chance at swooping in at the midnight hour to sign him, but (again) things can change very quickly. If Kimbrel’s expectations are lowered, I’d imagine there’s a point at which the Nats and Braves would be very much in on him. Dan Hayes, also of The Athletic, passed this along shortly after Bowden's Tweet: https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1104213155637530624 Wouldn’t say no 100 percent? So you’re telling me there’s a chance! But seriously, Dan would know. To his credit, he’s already done a lot of the leg work in trying to find a scenario in which Kimbrel could land in Minnesota. Back in late January, he wrote a thorough 1,300-word piece over at The Athletic on the topic. He’s been painting the possibility of Kimbrel signing with the Twins as a long shot, but he did end that article attached above with this sentence: “As unlikely as it seems, if all those market conditions fell their way, the Twins could just wind up with Kimbrel.” This past Monday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune wrote that “it would take a major change of events for the Twins to sign either pitcher [Kimbrel or Keuchel] and bring him into a training camp that started three weeks ago.” And added this: “I got the sense that, unless Keuchel or Kimbrel were willing to sign a one-year contract, there's no deal here.” A one-year contract you say? Hmm … While it does not appear likely that either Kimbrel or Keuchel will be in a Twins uniform this season it also doesn’t really seem like either of those guys is likely to be in any particular team’s uniform this season. There doesn’t appear to be a front-runner or obvious destination for either of them at this point. We’ve seen this movie. Our guys came out on top with contract in hand when the dust settled. Things didn’t work out exactly as intended, which was unfortunate, but they have this move in their playbook. Is it possible there was something they learned from last year that they can apply and ensure a smoother transition into the regular season for a late signing? All I’m saying is anything’s possible. Here are a couple more links if you’re interested in some further reading. MLB Trade Rumors featured both of these pitchers Friday. Let’s Find A Landing Spot For Craig Kimbrel Historical Market Price Points For Dallas Keuchel
  12. During the first week of March 2018, Twins fans were hearing that the team was done adding to it’s already madeover roster and that the remaining free agents were not budging from their lofty asking prices. Fast forward one year and … same. Based on the rumors, it would appear highly unlikely the Twins could sign Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel. Just like how it appeared highly unlikely they would sing Lance Lynn. Huh.It’s important to keep in mind that every situation is different, but I still think there’s some value in looking back at how the Lynn contract came to be and compare that to where things are with this year’s market. I’m not saying any of this means the Twins are going to sign Kimbrel or Keuchel, but as long as they’re out there on the market it’s a possibility. One more disclaimer, sharing these reports that ultimately turned out to be untrue isn’t intended to be a jab at the reporters mentioned. They were simply relaying the information that was brought to them at that time from credible sources. Their reports were accurate to the situation in that snapshot in time. It’s clear things changed very quickly at some point, actually right around this time, last year. Here’s a look back at how things developed through the rumor mill. Feb. 28, 2018 Mike Berardino Tweets that the Twins, who are just a few weeks removed from a strong pursuit of Yu Darvish, are likely done adding. Wouldn’t say no 100 percent? So you’re telling me there’s a chance! But seriously, Dan would know. To his credit, he’s already done a lot of the leg work in trying to find a scenario in which Kimbrel could land in Minnesota. Back in late January, he wrote a thorough 1,300-word piece over at The Athletic on the topic. He’s been painting the possibility of Kimbrel signing with the Twins as a long shot, but he did end that article attached above with this sentence: “As unlikely as it seems, if all those market conditions fell their way, the Twins could just wind up with Kimbrel.” This past Monday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune wrote that “it would take a major change of events for the Twins to sign either pitcher [Kimbrel or Keuchel] and bring him into a training camp that started three weeks ago.” And added this: “I got the sense that, unless Keuchel or Kimbrel were willing to sign a one-year contract, there's no deal here.” A one-year contract you say? Hmm … While it does not appear likely that either Kimbrel or Keuchel will be in a Twins uniform this season it also doesn’t really seem like either of those guys is likely to be in any particular team’s uniform this season. There doesn’t appear to be a front-runner or obvious destination for either of them at this point. We’ve seen this movie. Our guys came out on top with contract in hand when the dust settled. Things didn’t work out exactly as intended, which was unfortunate, but they have this move in their playbook. Is it possible there was something they learned from last year that they can apply and ensure a smoother transition into the regular season for a late signing? All I’m saying is anything’s possible. Here are a couple more links if you’re interested in some further reading. MLB Trade Rumors featured both of these pitchers Friday. Let’s Find A Landing Spot For Craig Kimbrel Historical Market Price Points For Dallas Keuchel Click here to view the article
  13. Going into the offseason, the Minnesota Twins had plenty of opportunity to make waves. Playing in a bad AL Central division with a strong farm system on the rise, jump starting a competitive window seemingly was the obvious play for the front office. At this point, they’ve upgraded the offense while ignoring their pitching staff. In the bullpen, the most central name in all of this is none other than Matt Magill. The 29-year-old returned to the majors in 2018 after having big league stints during 2013 and 2016. He logged 56.2 IP under the tutelage of Paul Molitor, and his 3.81 ERA was plenty shiny. That’s where the luster wears off. Under the hood is an ugly 5.08 FIP, 1.7 HR/9, and a 1.429 WHIP. He did average 95 mph on his fastball last season, and the 75% contact rate was plenty workable, but in the big leagues, there needs to be more. Magill needed just 8.2 IP in Rochester prior to getting the call for Minnesota. His minor league track record has been relatively spotty though, and there’s the tale of a guy who owns middle-of-the-road numbers in just about every stop he makes. Knowing that Rocco Baldelli could use a significantly upgraded bullpen, it’s curious as to why such a smart front office would go down this path. Currently Minnesota is all but accepting the idea that Magill and Fernando Romero will round out the final two spots in relief. The former is a regression candidate waiting to happen, while the latter is a starter being pushed into this position. There’s nothing to suggest that Romero couldn’t move back to the rotation in the future, but this duo has become plan A as opposed to being the fallback for what could have been better executed. As big-league talent signs on minor league deals, and quality options remain free agents despite the Twins having an abundance of unused funds, the blueprint seems sketchy at best. Spending on relievers is hardly a winning strategy in a vacuum, but right now Minnesota has a need along with a position in which cash considerations aren’t a factor now or the future. There’s zero argument to be made against the substantial upgrade that Craig Kimbrel would provide in relief for the Twins. Baldelli is tasked with a dart throw or committee approach at present, and while saves aren’t a worthy chase, that level of reliever takes the collective whole up another notch. Shying away from relief, Dallas Keuchel would improve the rotation, and in turn allow Martin Perez to bolster the pen. Something like $20 million per year for either of these guys does nothing to the Twins bottom line and would undoubtedly be a more realistic process to drive results. At the end of the day, Minnesota isn’t doing anything with the bullpen or the rotation. Matt Magill and his shiny ERA are somewhat of a defining principle for how this offseason has been handled. Sure, there’s plenty of reason to look for more, but why not see what regression we can hope to stave off? In relief, the Twins start with a low bar, and they’ll need to bet on the bottom not falling out. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  14. You can listen directly here or download directly from iTunes here. Nelson Cruz Signing and Possible Extensions: 1:58 Martin Perez Signing: 10:07 Craig Kimbrel? Other Free Agents & Payroll: 23:07 25-Man Roster Predictions: 45:50 Question from the Audience (Perez, Media and the fans, Free Agents) : 1:11:10 Let us know what you think and thanks for listening!
  15. The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of outfielder Carlos Quentin to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp. The 33-year old last appeared in a game for Tacoma, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. His last big league appearance was in 20014 with the San Diego Padres. The former two-time All-Star was first round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. He played parts of two seasons at the big league level in Arizona before being dealt to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Carter. His debut season in Chicago was his best as he hit .288/.394/.571 with 36 home runs and 100 RBI while finishing fifth in the American League MVP vote. His 36 home runs were one behind Miguel Cabrera for the league lead. Quentin would make another All-Star team in 2011, his last year in Chicago. The White Sox would trade him to the Padres in the offseason. Injuries limited him to averaging under 75 games played per season in San Diego. In 2014, he batted just .177/.284/.315 and he has long been a below-average defender. Plus, there have been just three times in his career where he's played in 100 or more games in a season. Entering the 2015 season, he was sent to Atlanta as part of the deal that brought Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton to the Padres. The Braves released him and he signed with Seattle before retiring last May. He cited chronic knee injuries as his reason for stepping away from the game before his 33rd birthday. During his nine-year career, he hit .252/.347/.484 while hitting 13 home runs or more in six consecutive seasons. From 2008-2013, he hit .260 with an .860 OPS while averaging 30 homers per 150 games. At this point, it seems like Quentin is being added as organizational depth and he'll have to prove himself healthy and ready with Rochester. There are already plenty of first base and corner outfield options on the Twins roster including Joe Mauer, Byung Ho Park, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, and Oswaldo Arcia. It seems hard to see him cracking the Opening Day roster unless the injury bug hits the team hard in Florida. What are your thoughts on the signing? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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