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  1. As I read our reactions to each missed free agent and the excitement of the winter meetings I have come to the conclusion that the FO really is concerned about readership and postings on TD. I mean we have had a "why we should sign him" article about every FA that has been signed so far. Just to be clear - not signed by us. We went from everyone with an arm that has not fallen off to all the hitters who can add to Bomba mania. We debate, we anguish, and we hope. Well at least we read and post. So imagine if we made the first big signing of the off season. Over - done, nothing to talk about. So we wait. Then we get four articles about the winter meetings which actually turned into reports about other teams signings. So we write about how Dobnak is better than we think (how do you know what we think?). Maybe the Twins would sign another level of pitcher - no. Maybe the next level. How perfect an opportunity for our favorite site. If the Twins had not passed on all the players we have heard from we would not be writing about all the FA that we have never heard of. They are FAs? Wow, who cares? Well we do. Gleeman and the Geek get a chance to really dig deep into the pool of possible. We get to anguish and almost forgot we had 101 wins with this same group of players - sorry we did lose Cron, Perez, and Gibson. But now we can talk about the wisdom of Wisler and trading Eddie Rosario - the player we say was not as good as people think he is but we can trade him to the dumb teams who do not know he is as bad as TD writers think he is. So thank you Mr Falvey and Mr Levine.
  2. (Disclaimer; this article was written during the time the Twins had the lead. In the time they relenquished it, it approximately induced me into a cycle of imminent doom and hate for the Twins Baseball. Also, the comments on the pitching staff were written before a cheese puff decided to disguise himself as Taylor Rodgers) Lately, Jake Odorizzi has been making a legitimate case as new staff ace of the Twins staff. And to be a frank, so has every starter the Twins have thrown out their not named Michael Pineda on the mound. But in all seriousness, Jake has been head and shoulders above the rest in consistency, durability, pitching length, in every start minus the Citi Field and Citizen Park debacles that really could’ve (and should’ve) been called off in the first place. That however shouldn’t dissuade anybody that this Jake Odorizzi isn’t here to stay. Refashioned, maybe. High Octane, umm sure. New, and very much improved. Hell, yeah. The last season version of Jake Odorizzi was the ultimate head scratcher. In an splendid article writer by fellow handyman John Bonnes, he dissects the warts and wallows that doomed the hurler they call ODO to his less than stellar opening Twinkie season. I highly encourage you to give it a descent peek, cause it’s as I said, splendid. The season as of today, has been a pleasure to watch, far above mine and probably your meager expectations. From the power splurge, and tremendous pitching, the Twins are on a nuclear level of destruction, one that isn’t internal, but external on how they’ve creamed everyone in their course. But wait, wait, wait……….. wasn’t I the very person who implored and preached that everyone that everyone take a broader perspective on what the twins really are? Seemingly every season has been a loop of the constant theme of the Twins of what they are; a team taking one step forward and a half-mile back. Well, I’m sorry to inform you, but the Twins are for-real. I received so many inquiries by family and friends, if they should emotionally invest into this club. Even though I’m the last you wanna ask from any gambling standpoint, as evidenced by my arbitrary affinity for the Buffalo Sabres. But, nothing so far has indicated to me that the Twins are teetering, and are bound to falter. So if that compels you to buy season tickets, just letting you know that I’m not liable if they epicly crash and burn just like the Vikings did versus the Bears. On a more positive note though, I’ve gotta give it to the braintrust of Falvey and Levine. They’ve nailed nearly single decision they’ve been tasked to wage, and to resounding success. From the coaching staff and the unconventionality of hiring zero experience candidates, to reclamation projects in Perez and company, and how they’ve masterfully approached minor league development through the entire pipeline. So I think it’s fair to say that I’ll stop ripping them every time Niko Goodrum gets a hit under the Ron Gardenhire regime. But……..we all know the seasons a constantly oscillating corkscrew, full of highs and lows, and the customary fluctuations that define baseball itself. The Twins however have defied the gravity that grapples to aspirerers, of which that plunged the high-flying mariners that looked destined to make a serious bid for launching taters into the space time continuum. But the pessimistic Minnesotan in me says, it could collapse at a moments notice, so it isn’t extraterrestrial to keep a healthy dose of skepticism even if things have been so ever optimal in every challenge that has posed this team. God I’m so desperate. But that's besides how the Twins have completely house cleaned and refurbished a pitching units that once sported literally the least upside since 3M started manufacturing post it notes. Once the achilles heel of the twins, the troubles for any above average pitching was the worst kept secret in baseball, and one documented well over the management of Ron Gardenhire. In every facet of pitching, in the pen and on the starters hill. Velocity, Swinging Strikes, Walks, and the results they bear, have all in some form or another improved. Remember the old pitch to contact mantra that epitomized the starting staff? That’s so far in the Twins rear view mirror, that Kyle Gibson was pushed so far to the brink to eschew that searingly nightmarish era of twins pitching baseball, that he actually began tallying strikeouts. Jake Odorizzi on a specific note, has been nothing short of really damn good. Brandishing a fastball, that will haunt the White Sox batting order for years to come, Jake has been wreaking havoc on the American League. The Twins have taken the league by storm, and plenty of that is owed to how well the Twins have pitched in length, and quality. Add to that repertoire with a already finely tuned splitter from hell, the once fitful pitcher has ascended to a different medium. Pitching has really been a godsend, and much more that just a mere pleasant revelation on how exceedingly stupendous this frontline, backline and in between starting rotation has performed in their proficiency. Remember the rumblings of the bullpen crisis? Overextension has been on the back burner, and much credit is due to the starting staff to keep everyone fresh in the marathon, not race that is the MLB season. Chemistry from coaching staff to roster has been the heart of how the twins have been able to instill such radical changes in approach, sequencing, and on the field conduct. Nevertheless this season has been such a divine omen, that it might be better to just enjoy it, instead of mincing and nitpicking every trivial error and miscalculation (which have been very few and far between), because god knows the next team that borders this will have an electronic strike zone, and retractable foul made of shatterproof glass, and a underground transparent seating area underneath the baseball field and etc and etc and etc…….. So savor this folks, cause the next good team will be playing in a new stadium post-Target Field. Follow me at @Sabir_Aden
  3. I was caught up in Dave Schoenfield's article about which teams have the best chance to return to the playoffs from those who were there last year. When I got to the section on the Indians, it read more like an article on the Twins.http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25870218/which-2018-playoff-team-most-likely-miss-year Schoenfield said, "Maybe the most frustrating comment from a front-office executive this offseason came over the weekend from Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine at the team's TwinsFest. Asked about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, Levine answered: "My view ... for doing it is the best time to acquire players of that magnitude is when your window to win is wide-open. Not when you've got your fingers underneath the window and you're trying to jam the window open. I want to do it when we're projected to win the Central and we're ready to put our foot on someone's throat." So, don't sign a star ... unless you're already expected to win the division? Not that Machado and Harper want to sign with the Twins, but no team could benefit from adding a player of that magnitude more than the Twins, who are trying to chase down Cleveland. The Twins have some strong rebound candidates, and the other three teams in the division are bad. Minnesota did add Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop, but imagine Machado or Harper anchoring its lineup." So when do you add a great player? My thought is that you add them when they are available. Do you see any 26 year old stars lining up for next years free agency? As the article states, they might not want to sign with the Twins, but among agents and Free Agents, I think our position is pretty obvious and not very inviting. I still see last years Darvish sweep stakes as more of a show than a real effort (and we are lucky that is all it was). Puckett's Pond rates Brian Harper the best we have ever done. https://puckettspond.com/2011/11/03/best-twins-free-agents-ever/ Twinkie Town gives a depressing recap of Free Agents and Trades https://www.twinkietown.com/2016/7/6/12101434/where-the-twins-have-gone-wrong-a-history Rett Bollinger says Molitor was the best Free Agent signing we have ever made; https://www.mlb.com/twins/news/paul-molitor-is-twins-best-free-agent-signing/c-214194398 I remember when Shannon Sharpe was traded for and made a big difference, when we brought in Chili Davis, and Torrii Hunter to push the other players. Maybe that is what we are doing with Cruz. But the real question is - would you sign Harper or Machado if they were willing to come here? Or would you tell them to hang out for a year or two until we are a better team?
  4. As has been stated before there was a long thread on how the Bryon Buxton September callup was handled. This is to be a different look with regards to damage to the long term franchise. 1. Case 1 Texas and Profar. Texas did a service time saving manipulation of Profar's time. This worked out very badly for Texas. (Side note Profar's agent is Boras so not all of this may be relevant). The long term result was that went after 2017 or 2018 when Texas tried to get an extension with Profar, the Texas front office was told not to bother without paying market rate or above market rate (my guess based on what happened here). This led to the trade of Profar to the A's for not what I would consider a market rate deal for Texas. Profar is in the same category as Buxton as he was rated in the top 5 prospect list for 2 years running at one time. Without the extension given Texas's time line they were forced to take what they could get (given Profar would be a free agent before Texas became relevant again). How does this affect Buxton? The Twins do not look as if they are actively planning to compete without a bit of the luck factor in 2019. There are two possible outcomes here: Buxton plays OK this year breaks out next year and hits his maximum trade value about the time the Twins expect to become relevant (2020 - 2024). Twins are then faced with the issue of (do you trade a potential superstar when you are ready to compete or do you hold on to compete and lose Buxton in 2 years for a compensation draft pick). Then there is the issue of the FO talking about sustainability. That would mean looking at trading Buxton at this time when the best Twins talent is years is arriving and creating issues in the clubhouse and ongoing for the Twins keeping players who could be the face of the franchise. Kyle Gibson (the union rep), has already weighed in by commenting he thought Buxton should have been brought up. This leads to 2 more issues: 1. Having problems with keeping players who are getting good or watching them walk after 6 years. Or being forced to trade them (issue with this is you are dealing with other GM's who on the free spending teams will give you a number of their lessor 4 - 15 type prospects, but put there top prospects off limits in deals like this). This rational being that in 1 - 2 years they could sign them without giving up prospects. 2. Team reputation: Unless you pay more money than anyone else will offer, you will not get good FA's to come here. This leaves you with taking chances or having to sign players with warts (bad clubhouse personalites, lack of hustle, and me first types). You will never win big with these types. Option 2: If you want to play hardball and Buxton plays into your hands by having a bad spring you could send him to Rochester and leave him for the year. If you as the FO are convinced he is not going to stay here, this might be the winning option. It will now align Buxton with the new upcoming core and you could get 2 - 3 years from Buxton when the Twins might be really good. Downside: There is this pesky thing called the CBA, this would certainly be noted by the union (especially if Buxton did well in Rochester and was not called up). It would certainly complicate things and might lead to the union holding out for shortened club control be free agency as small and mid market clubs would take note and try to group talent into possible windows. Extreme case is that it might be litigated based on deliberate manipulations with the goal of bringing all sports into a much changed employee - employer relationship (this might be done by dissolving the sports unions). 2. The Kris Bryant - Chicago Cubs case. This is more of the common case where the Cubs sent Bryant down at the start of the season to gain an extra year of control over him (even though Kris Bryant was clearly major league ready). What this has done to the Cubs is that there is almost no chance he will resign with the Cubs unless they offer more than any other club. Cubs might, but are not guaranteed to do that. Or the relationship may be so far south Cubs would have to do a big overpay to keep him. Where does thing affect Buxton? 1. It means that the union will almost certainly want changes to the CBA in this area. This could be a big sticking point (if the union decides to exist). This could lead to a nasty strike(which might last for a long time into the season before being settled), or major changes to the length of team control (most of which I have seen is about 4 years). This would in the long run kill the small market teams from being competitive for any length or period of time). 2. Buxton could develop a bad or me first attitude (this would be very bad for clubhouse chemistry) and could try and force his way out early than the Twins would want.
  5. mikelink45

    Why Now?

    I know - Spring training is still a two months away and the big fish are still swimming in the Free Agent pond so news is sparse, Santa is still trying to load the sleigh with big contracts and hope for every team. In an earlier blog I wrote about the moves of the Twins and how lack luster they have been. https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11289-%7B%3F%7D/ Now we are another three weeks since I wrote that and unfortunately I could publish it again and be just as timely. No rule 5 player taken, none loss (how can we rank so high as a team when no one wants our players in rule 5 - we had a lot of them to choose from). The Winter meetings came and went. Our team got a B- from ESPN for the off season - mainly it was our hiring of coaches which is such an inexact science we have no way to know if we did well. Remember how the Vikings went for the hot Offensive Coordinator from the Super Bowl Eagles - DeFillipo? How did that go? Well we need something besides the Winter Melt Down, or rather before we melt down. The big names and the roster projection at this point will probably not change before 2019 takes over the calendar and all the analysis seems to be mediocre at best. So we turn to Mauer. When the end of the season meant nothing and some prospects wondered why they were not with the team, we did a big finish with Mauer catching again. It was great, a wonderful story for a great Twin, but it was also a distraction from what went on this season. So now that we have nothing to grab onto - Mauer comes back to rescue us again. I know it is early, and we cannot even set the date yet, but let's announce that we are going to retire Mauer's number. We all knew it would happen, when we were not sure, but 2019 needs something and sports fans are confused by the Vikings, experiencing the same Timberwolves mystique, and watching the WIld grab fifth place in its division, while the Gophers 6 - 6 play in a the Mediocre bowl game against a 7 - 5 team. I think Mauer should have his number retired, but maybe we should wait to see if he gets so lonely for the diamond that he decides to return in March. Or is this our subtle way of getting him to the HOF - like Harold Baines who had his number retired by the White Sox after they traded him and he was still an active ballplayer? Well now we know and we can add this to the Twins off season WOW factor. Congratulations Joe, this is not a criticism of you. I know many will not see this update, but here I sit on the Solstice and I see the Dodgers have moved, Puig, Wood, and Kemp and the Reds got rid of Homer Bailey. Soria joined the As, Miller signed with the Cards, Profar goes to the As, Pagan to the Rays, Daniel Murphy is with the Rockies, Sanchez is a National, Cahill is an Angel, and a few minor parts moved. It is not that I wanted all of these players to be a Twin, but the Twin news is still - Mauer's number is being retired.
  6. My annual waiting for Buxton and Sano patience is wearing very thing. It reminds me of waiting for Godot! No, he is not a baseball player, Spark Notes tell us - "Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They converse on various topics and reveal that they are waiting there for a man named Godot." "a boy enters and tells Vladimir that he is a messenger from Godot. He tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming tonight," "The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot." "the boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming." https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/godot/summary/ Nothing ever happens because the two men just keep waiting. I think it is wonderful that we all have such patience with Buxton and Sano and that we can keep recycling our just wait columns, but in the mean time life happens, seasons come and go, and fans die, move away, or go and watch the Lynx and United. These are two men on a 25 man active roster, a 40 man potential roster. We have a FO that is supposed to deal with contingencies. We are not supposed to shut down the team for two players. Lots of teams have injuries that take their best players and they make moves. So we fill 3B and CF with really good players and suddenly Sano and Buxton look like superstars that we have all imagined. Great. Trade someone and continue to make the team better. Don't write off season after season. I posted in a comment section the following which is what I have seen from the FO (I have not included the manager and coaches changes because in the long run they do not matter - we need players): Here are the players that they have signed or traded for in 2017 and 2018, there are 54 and I skipped a few from 2017.So this is more than a 40 man roster - how much have these moves pushed us forward?What is the strategy of the FO? Lynn, Reed, Castro, Rodney, Morrison, Schoop, Torreyes, Adrianza, Cron, Austin, Cave, Odorizzi, Pineda, Haley, Paulsen, Field, Rucinski,Hague, Schuck, Tepesch, Vogelsong, Greenwood, Miller, Tracy, Giminez, Belisle, Breslow, Kinley, Duke, Pacheco, Buss, Curtis, Magill, Wilkins, Heisey, Sanchez, Rodriguez, Carter, Villalobos, Motter, Rupp, LaMarre, Raley, Smeltzer, Forsythe, Duran, Alcala, Celestino, Maciel, Trinidad, Costello, DeJong, Rijo, Drake,Adams, So Falvey and Lavine sat on a bench and said "We are waiting for Sano and Buxton." Twins Daily came out and said shouldn't we improve the rest of the roster? Falvey and Lavine sat on a bench and said "We are waiting for Sano and Buxton!
  7. Here we are December 6, 2018. We are almost a week after my birthday and what a week. I waited 73 years for all this to happen. We fired Molitor - he mishandled the bullpen which had all of three good relievers and we needed 4 per game. We let go the pitching coach even though Gibson and others out performed the past. We kept the hitting coaches even though our superstar, can't miss projects continued to flail at the plate. We fired Pickler the guy the front office said would provide new age stat information to the manager. We kept the bench coach who obviously shoulders no blame for the season that got Molitor fired. Then we lost Johnny Field to the cubs and Oliver Drake to the Rays even though they were good enough to prevent minor leaguers from auditioning in September. Great move. We showed other teams how good the players we did not want were. Then to show that we cared about pitching we signed Erasmo Moreno and Preston Guilmet to be our new right hander pitchers. Some real action to get November warming up. Randy Cesar was signed to give 3B depth, Zack Weiss signed to give even more right handed depth, and LaMonte Wade was put on the 40 man even though he was not good enough to come up in September. And Nick Gordon was added to the same 40 man even though he too was not good enough for September - glad we kept Field and Oliver on that roster. We traded Nick Anderson to the Rays and got another 3B Brian Schales, to push Sano. He must be worried that is two 3B players in one month. Having a strong BP we released Alan Busenitz. Then we added Luis Arreaz to the 40 man because we did not know Schoop would be there for the next season and we signed C J Cron and released Robbie Grossman making a completing unremarkable change in our batting talent. Then December came and we though that Ronald Torreyes should challenge Ehire - thereby pushing our talent level on more notch towards the championships we dream of. Is anyone else excited?
  8. This is not rebuilding - it is prolonged agony. A rebuild from what - an accidental year that got us blown out of the play offs, Since 2010 we have lost 90 or more 5 times. We have been above 500 twice. We have averaged being 22 games behind for the last 8 years. We have seen attendance go down 7 out of 8 years. We have been 4 or 5th place 5 times and second 3 times - does second in the Central count? We have been in limbo or purgatory. Some teams get better when they get worse because of their draft place, but we always have to wait two years - now it is for Lewis and Kiriloff. We rank number 16 in OBP, 19th in Slugging, 18 in OPS - we are 94 in OPS+ and 23rd in HRs, but only 16 in Ks! If you have lots of Ks I thought that the theory was you would have lots of HRs. What did I miss? Of course if you do not hit the long ball - there is always speed - we ranked 28 in SB. So pitching! Here the BP gives us position number 23 in saves. But good news we are up to 16 in Ks! And we rank #20 in ERA+. But maybe we can just keep them off base with ground balls and great fielding - nope. We are #24 in WHIP. Our starters gave us a +2 WAR ranking us 15 - middle of the pack - at least it is better than the rank of #25 in RP WAR (-4.5) In wins above average by position we rank #20 overall at - 6.3 WAR. #18 in total pitching WAR (-2.8) which is brought down by our Bullpem ranking #25 at (-4.7). NOTE THAT ALL THESE RANKINGS ARE FOR MLB, NOT JUST THE AL. In non-pitching we rank number 19. So go around the diamond: Catcher 16 (-0.6) 1st Base 24 (-1.6) who wanted to bring Mauer back? 2nd Base 21 (-0.7) SS 24 (0.0) Despite the fact that Eduardo Escobar played there half the year and had 2.2 WAR while he did. What does that say about Polanco? 3B 23 (-0.7) LF 7 (1.3) There is no minus! Way to go Rosario. CF 17 (-0.3) RF 10 (0.3) Not great, but no minus. DH 27 (-0.8) My god, we can't even get a plus from DH? All of those from Baseball Reference - https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2018.shtml So what are we rebuilding? We have 40% of a rotation, one decent reliever, two OFs who hold their own and a catcher that is improving. Yes I am a skeptic. All our deals, our drafts, our promise has amounted to an 8 year purgatory. Tell the FO to call me when we have at least half of a really good team. In all of MLB we were in 19th place last year, 30 games behind the Red Sox, In AL only we were number 9 and five of the six teams behind us were tanking. Even in just our division we were 13 GB! And Cleveland ranked number 5 in the AL and you know how well they did in the playoffs.
  9. I am not going to rip on the front office of Levine and Falvey, however I am going to criticize them somewhat in their ability to communicate across the organization. The whole mess with Byron Buxton seems to have really snuck up on and stung Buxton. From all accounts I have read he was not aware he was going to have his season end in Rochester. Then he finds out from his agent and AAA manager. I know he is not currently a part of the big league club, however, he is sort of one of the faces of the organization and not being told directly by the major league club seems to be a little bit a slap in the face. A personal call from either Levine or Falvey (if all the reports are true) a little bit prior to the decision being made public could have prevented the confusion and bruised egos. For all we know there is a completely valid reason and plan in place to get Buxton back to where the team wants him to be. But the team's executives let the messengers tell Byron the news, he was done, and they appear to have done it at the last moment. Another example was Mientkiewicz being let go. Again, Falvey and Levine didn't communicate with Dougie Baseball. He was apparently without cell service cleaning up after a hurricane last year and received a call from Brad Steil, not Falvey or Levine. Steil either wasn't allowed to give a reason and who's decision it was or he himself didn't know. Either way, another poor job of communication. These are two relatively high profile examples of poor communication. I am not criticizing either decision, but the way in which they go about making their decisions has left bad tastes in people's mouths multiple times now. Hopefully, this is an area they can improve on, or a reputation could be formed pretty quickly and hurt their ability to retain and attract talent.
  10. I know it is popular to say Molitor is a poor manager. Today there is even a comparison with Lovullo. But maybe the problem rises to higher levels. Yes Lovullo lost his Ace and still succeeds. The Twins pitching lost its Ace and continued too. I here that the Twins are not running the bases like others. The problem is, you have to get on base. We have a collective 234 batting average and a 307 OBP. The old cliche is - you can't steal first. This team is not built for much of anything. So what has the Front Office done for Molitor - they brought in LaMarre, Cave, Morrison, and Motter. We lost our catcher and they brought in Bobby Wilson. Tell me how Mauer compares to Goldschmidt? Who are the leaders for the team. On the pitching side the analytical geniuses bring in Lynn and Odorizzi - its been a roller coaster, but I am not upset by those moves. On the other hand our aging bullpen additions do nothing for me. We have a 41 year old Rodney and 38 year old Belisle. Then we tell Molitor not to over use the one or two arms that are actually delivering. Reed and Duke - two more old vets are okay, but Reed failed as the eighth inning arm. The FO brought in more coaches, consultants, good old twins guys than I can count or remember, but we watched our two premier players for the future - Sano and Buxton fail and flounder. How many consultants can we assign to them. Fernando Romero looks like the real thing, but as he reached that point where some adjustments are needed we send him down - sorry calling all our consultants. We have had Adrianza and Petit at SS when we have Gordon in the minors. Gordon might be needing some more development, but can't he match these two or perhaps spell a struggling Dozier. Of course Molitor does not want a 224 lead-off hitter like Grossman, but we started with Dozier who is batting 218 and Mauer who is batting 254 and looks lost since his occurrence of concussion symptoms. So who else can bat first? We need the two Eddies to be in the top of the lineup, but do you move them to one and two and put powerless Mauer at number 3 with 191 batting Morrison and 218 batting Dozier in position to drive them in? Who does Molitor bring in from the pen - Hildenberger is doing great, Magill does not seem to have anyones confidence, Reed lost his position, Duke scares us, Rogers and Pressly have eras over 4 - terrible for a reliever. So FO guys, where is the help? How do you give your manager a roster he can actually work with?
  11. Of all the things that I love about the MLB, the farm systems are near the top. Following baseball is so much fun because even in the lowest years there is that optimism that comes with building up a minor league program. Honestly, I would rather be at that bottom than treading water in the middle. Now, it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways, a World Series every now and then would be nice. However, for much of the last decade Twins fans have been watching the pipeline grow. Speculating about Miguel Sano’s future production, salivating at the thought of Buxton roaming the Target Field grass, and always searching for the top pitching prospect has been and continues to be a challenging enjoyment. What got the Twins to this place, building from the bottom, however; was the lack of consistent growth in the farm system. Like most Twins fans, I have been pleased with the work of Thad Levine and Derek Falvey. Honestly, it is hard not to be impressed considering the improvements the club has made over their watch. However, what I’m most excited about has been their ability to put a winning club together at Target Field and not just keep their prospects, but build out the farm system. MLB.com just put out their 2018 Prospect Lists and I thought it would be fun to look at who of the Twins Top 30 Prospects are the results of Levine and Falvey moves. Let’s take a look… Player/Prospect Rank/Acquire Through Royce Lewis #1 Draft Brent Rooker #8 Draft Blayne Enlow #9 Draft Zack Littell #15 Trade Andrew Bechtold #20 Draft Tyler Watson #22 Trade Jacob Pearson #25 Trade Landon Leach #28 Draft Yunior Severino #29 International Signing David Banuelos #30 Trade Taking into account only the moves made to acquire minor league talent it is safe to safe this front office did well last year. Certainly drafting from the top gave them an advantage. However, they took full advantage of that draft slot and the money that came with it. With one draft class Falvey and Levine have stacked their farm system with five talented players. Three of whom are in the top ten. Beyond the draft class which has yielded great early results, they were smart with their International Signing Money. The Twins were able to jump on Severino, who was made available after the Braves scandal. In addition to the middle infielder, the Twins made two smart trades sending away money to bring in Jacob Pearson and David Banuelos. Obviously, all three players have their flaws, but they are also young and were acquired wisely. I believe that is the best way to sum up the early returns of this new front office; wise moves. The Twins really haven’t yet made a big splash, but they have made smart, calculated moves. Falvey and Levine seem perfectly content to continue to stock the selves with raw talent, watch it grow and strike when the timing is right. I must admit, it’s been fun to watch so far!
  12. What are the odds that Joe Mauer will look to continue his career after his contract finally expires after 2018? The reason I ask because the other night they showed that Kirby Puckett is the all time Twins hit leader with 2304 & currently Mauer is 383 behind. With Mauer never having a 200 hit season ever he would almost have to play through 2020 to pass Puckett. I can't see the new FO wanting to even think about keeping him around even at a huge discount after 2018.
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