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  1. When Thad Levine was introduced, the talk was about collaboration. Their organizational restructure has been focused around internal infrastructure. Upon entering a competitive window in 2020, the suggestion was for a necessary "impact" pitching addition. Each of the small quips or phrases allude to a larger story or goal, but it is there they will now be held accountable. Impact pitching is now gone from the open market. When the Toronto Blue Jays landed Hyun-Jin Ryu, there were officially no arms left that would slot into the upper half of Rocco Baldelli’s rotation. That leaves us questioning where the club turns, but it’s worth suggesting that this front office very likely may have intended this path all along. Jim Pohlad has not protected his pockets against this duo, and Falvine has not collaboratively come up with black eyes like “bilateral leg weakness.” No, this front office bided their time before appointing a Manager of the Year-quality leader in his rookie campaign. They nabbed a topflight collegiate pitching coach, they’ve overhauled the Baseball Operations department, and they’ve pilfered talent from all over the nation no matter what notch had been achieved on their target's belt. In short, they’ve laid a foundation for a successful and sustainable plan designed around competition. Not surprisingly, that’s also how they’ve handled the offseason thus far. Thad Levine suggested that the initial goal was to “stabilize” the roster, and then move toward a position of “impact.” In retaining top talent and filling out the bullpen, it’s now reached the critical juncture of impact acquisitions being the only thing left to accomplish. If the offseason ended today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Twins fan pleased with where things stand. Fortunately, it doesn’t end today, and that’s where our focus should be. Given the goodwill generated by shrewd and well-timed decision making thus far, it’s hard to imagine a complete failure waiting in the weeds. The Twins have something like $30 million yet to hand out, and those impact moves they’ve preached have yet to be made. Rather than operating from the standpoint that it was all just talk, the surmise that we will see those "impact" developments is a very exciting one. I can listen on Terry Ryan failing to land big fish. Maybe the Pohlad’s weren’t willing to open their pocketbooks for the necessary resources. We haven’t ever seen otherwise at this point, but the circumstances today are not what they were a decade ago. This offseason won’t be defined by what Minnesota has always done, or how the former regime operated. This all comes down to the execution plan from a dual-headed monster that has done everything to position the club in its current state as favorites within the AL Central Division. Should the buzzwords end up going undefined and unfulfilled once the club heads to Twins Territory South down in Fort Myers, a full-on roast should be sent toward 1 Twins Way. Until that point however, the anticipation of impact and belief in those having fostered all this promise seems like a far fairer expenditure of emotional resources. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. No, that’s not coming from the front office. I think that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine could take a quick look on the Twitter machine and realize pitchforks and brimstone flow heavily through Twins Territory. Doom and gloom is the mood with some big arms being off the board, and the fear of being left out in the cold has set in. All is not lost though, there’s still plenty of time and assets still to be sifted through. All we must do is wait. I have a tough time listening to arguments about what Minnesota has traditionally done. This front office has been in place for three years, and they’ve yet to be in a position where opportunity and trajectory point towards a path of sensible spending. They’ve opened a sustainable window of winning that we’ve not really seen the dual-headed monster work within. In short, this is uncharted territory. On top of all of that, this front office is directly responsible for the positioning that the Minnesota Twins are currently in. The farm system is loaded, and the infrastructure designed around development and advancement is derived from their vision. Internal talent is being explored and cultivated, while major league success looks here to stay. Through those happenings, it’s hard not to argue a benefit of doubt should be granted. As I wrote back in early November, the Twins can take a page from the book of Houston and Chicago in creating their juggernaut. Now is a time to supplement, spend, and add, but it isn’t the only time that will ring true in the years ahead. This needs to be a strong and consistent build. A right foot forward is put forth this offseason with that being doubled down upon in the immediate future. The gnashing of teeth is far from unexpected. We live in a world searching for immediate gratification and behind a “what have you done for me lately” ideology. It can be increasingly hard to separate from that, but there’s solace in understanding deadlines allow for processes to play out as well. The Twins didn’t need to make all their moves during the Winter Meetings, and free agents weren’t tied to accepting contracts while executives were out in San Diego. We’re exactly two months from the first spring training workout in Fort Myers, and plenty of work remains. From the outset of the offseason Thad Levine noted the Twins goal was to add “impact pitching.” If they don’t like what is presented to them, further supplementing the offense is another way to increase the water level. What can’t happen is a stagnant display of standing pat, but I’d have to imagine two intelligent guys that have orchestrated an organizational turnaround are aware of that fact. Until the dust settles, the point is this; breathe. Allow Falvey and Levine to cash in on some of their generated benefit. Trust that a similar process instituted to right the organization will be utilized to bolster the roster. When Bumgarner or Ryu sign elsewhere, assume that there’s a plan and other irons in the fire. All the way up until we get our first play ball from Twins Territory south, pump the brakes. If we’re still in a similar situation at that point, then, burn it all down. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. A little after 11:00 central time, news broke that Gerrit Cole had agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract. Yes, that is not a typo. Nine years. At $36 million per season... For a total of $324 million. Not a bad payday. Now the Twins were never really involved in Cole talks. Sure, they have been in regular contact with Cole's agent, Scott Boras. However, those conversations likely had more to do with Hyun-Jin Ryu or other Boras clients. However, not long before the Cole announcement, we saw this tweet from Jon Heyman: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1204605545576943617 Hurdle #1: Location... Read that as Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We are where we are. Not much we can do about that. Hurdle #2: League... Bumgarner wants to hit. That's why he wants to stay in the National League. And frankly, good for him to want to participate in all aspects of the game. Again, the Twins can't really do anything about that one either. However, less than 90 minutes later, the Cole news brought: Hurdle #3: Gerrit Cole signs with the Yankees. Not the Angels. Not the Dodgers. So there is news such as this from Ken Rosenthal. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1204628472359833600 The Dodgers will be willing to overpay. The Dodgers are in Los Angeles. So, the Bumgarner rumors were fun while they lasted, right? Oh, and they're in the National League. However, if you're looking for a little consolation, here is a more positive tweet for Twins fans: https://twitter.com/Jeeho_1/status/1204629469673050112 Hyun-Jin Ryu is really good, just as good as Bumgarner, just a couple of years older. Could he be the Twins target if Bumgarner goes elsewhere? Or as we mentioned yesterday, could the Twins shift their attention toward Dallas Keuchel? White Sox Make Another Move The White Sox have been active this offseason, having added catcher Yasmani Grandal and offering a lot of money for Zack Wheeler. Moments after the Cole news broke, news came from Rangers beat writer Evan Grant that right fielder Nomar Mazara had been acquired in a trade with the Rangers. Mazara hit .268 with 19 homers in 2019 for the Rangers. But the reason that he is intriguing is because he is still just 24 years old. Add him to the crop of very young hitters and pitchers that could help the White Sox compete in the AL Central very soon. More News Twins Killer Didi Gregorius signed a one-year deal with the Phillies. He will be reunited with manager Joe Girardi. After missing the first half of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery and struggling some in the second half, Gregorius will hope to have a big season and cash in next offseason. Last week, I wrote about Kevin Gausman potentially being a buy-low option for the Twins after being DFAd by the Reds. On Tuesday he signed a one year, $9 million contract with the San Francisco Giants with another $1 million available in incentives. Next up on my list of potential buy-low options would be Julio Teheran, formerly of the Atlanta Braves. Twins Looking at Trade Targets While Bumgarner, Ryu and Keuchel are all still available, and the Twins are interested in all three, if they are unable to convince any of them to take their money, they are also making calls to teams about young pitchers. We've been hearing Tigers LHP Matt Boyd's name for awhile now, but the Twins also have talked to the Marlins about one of their talented young starters. https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1204617020890742784 Baldelli Speaks to Media Rocco Baldelli met with media at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday night, and you can watch and listen here. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1204568084087853056 Cruz Named First Team Nelson Cruz received another honor on Tuesday. He was named First-Team DH on the inaugural All-MLB Team. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1204515860162973696 Rogers Goes (to the) Wild (game) Taylor Rogers was at the XCel Energy Center for the Wild game tonight. He was there in support of the Rogers Family Foundation for the mental health of St. Paul Firefighters. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1204589987947106304 He (and Devin Smeltzer) joined Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau earlier in the day at the Gillette Children's hospital for a visit with the kids. https://twitter.com/GilletteChildrn/status/1204468008929910784 What will Day 3 at the Winter Meetings bring? The two big pitchers got their paydays. Now that second tier or Bumgarner, Ryu and Keuchel is next. Anthony Rendon is the top free agent overall, but Josh Donaldson is going to get paid too. Will there be any more trades? And will the Twins be involved in any of the transactions? Stop by and add your thoughts on any rumors below.
  4. Day 2 of the Winter Meetings ended with a flurry of activity, ending a busy day. However, the Twins did not consummate any moves on Tuesday. Will Day 3 bring a transaction to the Twins?A little after 11:00 central time, news broke that Gerrit Cole had agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract. Yes, that is not a typo. Nine years. At $36 million per season... For a total of $324 million. Not a bad payday. Now the Twins were never really involved in Cole talks. Sure, they have been in regular contact with Cole's agent, Scott Boras. However, those conversations likely had more to do with Hyun-Jin Ryu or other Boras clients. However, not long before the Cole announcement, we saw this tweet from Jon Heyman: What will Day 3 at the Winter Meetings bring? The two big pitchers got their paydays. Now that second tier or Bumgarner, Ryu and Keuchel is next. Anthony Rendon is the top free agent overall, but Josh Donaldson is going to get paid too. Will there be any more trades? And will the Twins be involved in any of the transactions? Stop by and add your thoughts on any rumors below. Click here to view the article
  5. There isn’t a soul within the organization or outside of it that will tell you Minnesota doesn’t need more pitching. Despite his efforts down the stretch, rookie Randy Dobnak in Yankee Stadium during the ALDS was hardly an ideal scenario. That said, the situation isn’t at all as dire as one may assume. From June 1st onward the Twins had the sixth best rotation in baseball, as well as the third best in the American League. That was on top of employing the now departed Kyle Gibson, who posted a 5.26 ERA over that stretch. So far this offseason has included the Twins bringing back Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda. The former graciously accepted the $17.8 million qualifying offer, while the latter is being had just south of that same dollar amount over the course of two years. Talking to reporters on Monday, GM Thad Levine said the team needed to be stabilized and “now we have the ability to impact it significantly.” Making sure the foundation is laid is something this front office has carried as a premise throughout their time, but this is the first opportunity to make a substantial impact. When looking at the free agent market, there’s scrutiny at every turn. Do you want to bet on Madison Bumgarner holding up despite the mileage? Is Hyun-Jin Ryu going to be any good if he keeps getting hurt? Is Dallas Keuchel really any better than a mid-rotation arm? All of those questions are entirely fair, and they’re being asked because teams must commit substantial sums to players seeking their next opportunity. Unless you want the certainty of the elite, and that comes with the unlikely proposition of outspending (and being more desired) than the big boys, this is the landscape the Twins must traverse. On the flip side, you’ve got the trade market. You can bet that the Chicago Cubs would love to have Gleyber Torres right about now, but I’d also assume they’re more than happy to have ended their World Series drought. Detroit probably wishes they’d hit on more for Justin Verlander, and the Pirates are no doubt kicking themselves for the gaffe that was the return for Chris Archer. Win some and lose some there too, but the risk is not much different. As Minnesota looks to make moves and additions that significantly impact the major league club, it becomes a chess game of evaluation. Is there enough information on free agents to hand out paydays, and is it detrimental to give up dollars if the deals go sideways? The farm system has both height and depth. Does that make it more enticing to part with a known commodity to acquire something that hasn’t been cast off by a former employer? This organization is often chided about spending, or lack thereof. Now with the first legitimate opportunity to do so in quite some time, it comes down to which risk factors are weighed most heavily by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. The payroll needs to be north of $135 million going into 2020, but there’s more than one avenue to get there. Before the dust settles it will be hard to present an argument for any real hand wringing, but a reflective analysis is certainly going to be on the table. At the end of the day we can pick apart what’s on the open market and push toward the trade route. We can also overvalue certain prospects and shy away from making that big move. What we can’t do is operate on both of those levels to the full extent and fail to make a well-timed acquisition solely because of inherent risk. The front office has worked their way into deserved trust, and now they need to cash the check and stand by their decision. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. 101 wins, an AL Central Division crown, and a trip to the postseason. That’s what the Minnesota Twins accomplished under first-year manager Rocco Baldelli in 2019. Now when looking to sustain that the front office is faced with a you-choose menu involving risk. How they navigate it will lay a foundation or the future.There isn’t a soul within the organization or outside of it that will tell you Minnesota doesn’t need more pitching. Despite his efforts down the stretch, rookie Randy Dobnak in Yankee Stadium during the ALDS was hardly an ideal scenario. That said, the situation isn’t at all as dire as one may assume. From June 1st onward the Twins had the sixth best rotation in baseball, as well as the third best in the American League. That was on top of employing the now departed Kyle Gibson, who posted a 5.26 ERA over that stretch. So far this offseason has included the Twins bringing back Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda. The former graciously accepted the $17.8 million qualifying offer, while the latter is being had just south of that same dollar amount over the course of two years. Talking to reporters on Monday, GM Thad Levine said the team needed to be stabilized and “now we have the ability to impact it significantly.” Making sure the foundation is laid is something this front office has carried as a premise throughout their time, but this is the first opportunity to make a substantial impact. When looking at the free agent market, there’s scrutiny at every turn. Do you want to bet on Madison Bumgarner holding up despite the mileage? Is Hyun-Jin Ryu going to be any good if he keeps getting hurt? Is Dallas Keuchel really any better than a mid-rotation arm? All of those questions are entirely fair, and they’re being asked because teams must commit substantial sums to players seeking their next opportunity. Unless you want the certainty of the elite, and that comes with the unlikely proposition of outspending (and being more desired) than the big boys, this is the landscape the Twins must traverse. On the flip side, you’ve got the trade market. You can bet that the Chicago Cubs would love to have Gleyber Torres right about now, but I’d also assume they’re more than happy to have ended their World Series drought. Detroit probably wishes they’d hit on more for Justin Verlander, and the Pirates are no doubt kicking themselves for the gaffe that was the return for Chris Archer. Win some and lose some there too, but the risk is not much different. As Minnesota looks to make moves and additions that significantly impact the major league club, it becomes a chess game of evaluation. Is there enough information on free agents to hand out paydays, and is it detrimental to give up dollars if the deals go sideways? The farm system has both height and depth. Does that make it more enticing to part with a known commodity to acquire something that hasn’t been cast off by a former employer? This organization is often chided about spending, or lack thereof. Now with the first legitimate opportunity to do so in quite some time, it comes down to which risk factors are weighed most heavily by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. The payroll needs to be north of $135 million going into 2020, but there’s more than one avenue to get there. Before the dust settles it will be hard to present an argument for any real hand wringing, but a reflective analysis is certainly going to be on the table. At the end of the day we can pick apart what’s on the open market and push toward the trade route. We can also overvalue certain prospects and shy away from making that big move. What we can’t do is operate on both of those levels to the full extent and fail to make a well-timed acquisition solely because of inherent risk. The front office has worked their way into deserved trust, and now they need to cash the check and stand by their decision. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  7. Last night the baseball world watched in awe of the contract that Gerrit Cole was handed by the New York Yankees. He signed the for the largest AAV and total contract value ever given to a pitcher. New York spending money isn’t surprising at all, but there’s a tickle down effect and how it impacts a team like the Twins remains to be seen. It’s a great thing that the Minnesota Twins have significant funds and a real opportunity ahead of them. What is less than great is there’s only so many desirable commodities. When Cole came off the board, teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels immediately pivoted to the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Just hours before, those arms looked like targets Minnesota may be able to wrangle in. Now, the competition just became more fierce. This exact scenario is one that we can consider during the regular season as well. Although many teams like to wait until closer to the deadline providing an ability to determine their fate, acquiring organizations obviously benefit by earlier action. We can assume somewhat of a premium is paid for early swaps, but the desired result could outweigh that cost when it results in additional wins. During the offseason games aren’t being immediately impacted, but the game of musical chairs gets more intense with each spot pulled from the circle. Zack Wheeler went from reports suggesting he’d accept something south of $100 million to signing for $18 million north of it. That contract upped Madison Bumgarner’s ask, and both Stephen Strasburg and Cole being gone dwindled the list of worthy assets. Does all of that equate to an opportunity being missed? We’ll never directly know what contract negotiations sound like on an individual basis, but early action could seem to hold some weight. Rather than being worried about setting the market to high, a team could be sitting pretty having nabbed their desired talent prior to feeling pressure of commodities being unavailable. A team like the Twins is now faced with the proposition of outbidding either Los Angeles franchise if Ryu or Bumgarner was their man, and that creates a higher level of stress than was initially desired. Although we’re discussing these principles within the realm of baseball, it’s applicable across so many facets of life. As human beings we’re all out for our best interests and looking to snipe a deal. Is the coupon at Target going to save us the most money, or should we save the additional five miles by going to Walmart and buying it first? The fear of missing out can cause us to make rash decisions but being comfortable in our evaluations may afford the opportunity to overlook the result. I’d imagine Derek Falvey and Thad Levine aren’t going to tip their hand as to which pitching assets they had ranked highest. Maybe everyone was lumped together and they truly do not care who winds up in Twins Territory, a true test of their internal development staff. We can draw some conclusions or generate educated guesses once all the chips are on the table, but the waiting and guessing game is all we have for now. In a vacuum it seems the Twins may be best suited to approach a high value target with a strong offer and a deadline. Maybe it doesn’t work that way and maybe they tried, but maybe being the one without a dance partner at the end of the song isn’t so great either. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  8. After bringing back Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda the Minnesota Twins should be turning their focus solely to the top of their rotation. Madison Bumgarner is the presumed name, but Jon Heyman recently reported that former Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu could be the target. What if Minnesota wanted to go a different route entirely? There’s no denying that Bumgarner and Ryu are the best (see: only) arms left in the second tier of available starters. Bumgarner has been dissected plenty, and Ryu is essentially the flip side of what he brings to the table. Injury concerns are abundant and could be an immediate issue. He won’t command the same length in a contract, but that may not matter if you get burned on the front end. Ryu is a really nice arm, but there’s plenty of risk regarding how much time he’ll miss. For a while I’ve contended the Twins plan this winter should be to acquire a top-tier arm through free agency while also dealing for an option with some nice team control. What if it they decided to deal for the top-tier arm as well, and spend by taking on someone else’s contract? Enter Yu Darvish. Minnesota came up a year short in signing Darvish before he eventually landed a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Thad Levine has in-depth knowledge of the arm having worked in the front office that originally signed him in Texas, and the parallels with Ryu run pretty deep. Chicago’s starter is roughly six months older than Ryu. He could be had on a four-year, $81 million contract today assuming the Cubs take on no salary. Although Ryu may not get four years, he’ll probably wind up somewhere between the $60-75 million range. Darvish was injury and bad a season ago, and then started slow in 2019. Across his final 20 starts last year he allowed just a .629 OPS and had a 162/18 K/BB ratio. When looking at Darvish and Ryu it comes down to what path you prefer (and if Chicago is truly motivated to move him). Ryu costs dollars and brings a strong amount of command while lacking the strikeouts. Darvish would require prospect capital, involves a similar level of injury risk, but brings arguably the best strikeout numbers Minnesota would have ever employed. If you’re hoarding prospects, and there’s reason to suggest that the Twins should be at least until the deadline this season, then spending money on Ryu or Bumgarner should be the obvious decision. If Darvish is seen as the superior option to Ryu, then engaging the Cubs in meaningful discussion is absolutely a conversation worth having. We’re at the point in roster construction where big moves are going to involve a certain level of skepticism. Knowing that there’s nothing certain about any of the options involved, a level of belief will be required with any asset acquired. I’m not sure which path the Twins will choose, and I don’t know what the right one is. I am glad we’re at the crossroads where it becomes a necessity, and these are the real discussions that we’re having. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  9. It was a pretty quiet day, but here are some of the Day 1 Discussions: Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu Shock and Awe were felt by most around baseball when new broke that Stephen Strasburg had an agreement to return to the Washington Nationals for seven years and $245 million. That was believed to be what the Yankees were going to offer Gerrit Cole. Now, we can only imagine what Cole (and Scott Boras) will command for his services . But does the Strasburg contract affect what Bumgarner and Ryu will get? In my opinion, it shouldn't, though their agents certainly will try to tie it together. In reality, Bumgarner and Ryu are still more closely connected with Zack Wheeler's five-year, $118 million contract. Bumgarner's side let it be known that they are now expecting five years and at least $100 million. That's understandable. The Phillies paid for what they hope Wheeler might become, but certainly hasn't been to this point. Bumgarner has every right to point out that he has actually been an ace in the past, and while that was a few years ago, he's earned a contract similar in length and dollars. The Twins are one of about eight to ten teams to express interest in Bumgarner. The White Sox and Reds and Cardinals are among interested teams, and Bumgarner will meet with the Giants this week too. It would seem that the Twins are interested in both, but maybe even slightly more interested in Ryu over Bumgarner, potentially because he might command fewer years due to his age. https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1204175043221168128 But, What About... While the teams appear to be focusing on Bumgarner and Ryu, Dallas Keuchel is again a free agent. He's about a year younger than Ryu. Would the Twins consider jumping to Dallas Keuchel in an attempt to add a veteran starter of nearly the same ilk? Would Keuchel consider a one-year, $18 million deal (like Hamels did), or could he be available for two-years at $36 million, or even three years and $51 million? After his free agent experience a year ago, could he be interested in signing quickly this offseason? As a side advantage to this, Keuchel would not cost the Twins a draft pick. Just a thought... https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1204401633930559488 The Twins could leave one rotation spot for one of their young starters, or they could fill in while Michael Pineda finishes his suspension. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1204212197217275905 First Base Internal Options When Derek Falvey met with Twin Cities reporters, he said that Brent Rooker and Luke Raley could be first base options in spring training. And Alex Kirilloff is just a step behind them. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1204207744279924736 Isn't He Handsome? The recently-engaged Rocco Baldelli ranked #1 in the Most Handsome Manager list, via Craig Calcaterra. So he's got that going for him. A Romo Return? https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1204136529980866560 There are several teams interested in Sergio Romo. He really helped stabilize the Twins bullpen after he was acquired from the Marlins at the July deadline. His slider generally proved really good. He won't cost much, so I don't think that it would be spendy to add him. The only concern is the 87 mph fastball and the home run ball. He's been successful, but he can be nerve-wracking. Seems Romo is the only reliever that the Twins have been linked to in any way. One would think they might have interest in at adding at least one more veteran type. Then again, there have not been a lot of free agent reliever rumors to this point either. We haven't heard rumors regarding the likes of Will Harris or Daniel Hudson or Dellin Betances. The Return of Wilfredo According to reports, the Twins have signed infielder Wilfredo Tovar. He played nine games for the Mets in 2013-14 and returned to the big leagues for 31 games with the Angels in 2019. The 28-year-old played in 125 games for the Rochester Red Wings in 2016. So there are some topics to get the Day 2 conversation started. Will there be more Twins rumors? Will there be any signings by the Twins? Will Tuesday be the day Gerrit Cole picks a team?
  10. Day 1 of the Winter Meetings came and went. There was a major signing. Stephen Strasburg returned to the Nationals. But for the Twins and their fans, Day 1 was incredibly quiet. Maybe Day 2 will bring more rumors for discussion. Here is the place to discuss any Twins rumors throughout the day.It was a pretty quiet day, but here are some of the Day 1 Discussions: Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu Shock and Awe were felt by most around baseball when new broke that Stephen Strasburg had an agreement to return to the Washington Nationals for seven years and $245 million. That was believed to be what the Yankees were going to offer Gerrit Cole. Now, we can only imagine what Cole (and Scott Boras) will command for his services . But does the Strasburg contract affect what Bumgarner and Ryu will get? In my opinion, it shouldn't, though their agents certainly will try to tie it together. In reality, Bumgarner and Ryu are still more closely connected with Zack Wheeler's five-year, $118 million contract. Bumgarner's side let it be known that they are now expecting five years and at least $100 million. That's understandable. The Phillies paid for what they hope Wheeler might become, but certainly hasn't been to this point. Bumgarner has every right to point out that he has actually been an ace in the past, and while that was a few years ago, he's earned a contract similar in length and dollars. The Twins are one of about eight to ten teams to express interest in Bumgarner. The White Sox and Reds and Cardinals are among interested teams, and Bumgarner will meet with the Giants this week too. It would seem that the Twins are interested in both, but maybe even slightly more interested in Ryu over Bumgarner, potentially because he might command fewer years due to his age. There are several teams interested in Sergio Romo. He really helped stabilize the Twins bullpen after he was acquired from the Marlins at the July deadline. His slider generally proved really good. He won't cost much, so I don't think that it would be spendy to add him. The only concern is the 87 mph fastball and the home run ball. He's been successful, but he can be nerve-wracking. Seems Romo is the only reliever that the Twins have been linked to in any way. One would think they might have interest in at adding at least one more veteran type. Then again, there have not been a lot of free agent reliever rumors to this point either. We haven't heard rumors regarding the likes of Will Harris or Daniel Hudson or Dellin Betances. The Return of Wilfredo According to reports, the Twins have signed infielder Wilfredo Tovar. He played nine games for the Mets in 2013-14 and returned to the big leagues for 31 games with the Angels in 2019. The 28-year-old played in 125 games for the Rochester Red Wings in 2016. So there are some topics to get the Day 2 conversation started. Will there be more Twins rumors? Will there be any signings by the Twins? Will Tuesday be the day Gerrit Cole picks a team? Click here to view the article
  11. As the Winter Meetings get underway in San Diego, we've got a juicy tidbit courtesy of the always-plugged-in Jon Heyman, who says the Twins are "in on Hyun-Jin Ryu": It seems the focus of fans has collectively centered on Bumgarner since Wheeler signed (TD had great explorations of MB's pros and cons) but there's been relatively little steam on Ryu, who led the majors in ERA this year and was the National League's Cy Young runner-up. He might fit better with what the Twins are seeking – shorter-term, higher AAV deals – than Bumgarner, who is said to be seeking 5 years. In the Offseason Handbook we projected a 3-year, $54 million contract for Ryu, but that feels quite low based on how the market has taken shape early. Would something like 3 years, $75 million sway Ryu from his apparent preference to stay on the West Coast? What's your interest level in Ryu? How high would you bid to bring him in?
  12. On Sunday, the annual baseball Winter Meetings will commence in at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. The event is another opportunity for the Minnesota Twins front office to continue working on their 2020 roster. Here are areas that the Twins still need to address this offseason.Over the next four days, we will hear about teams talking to teams, and agents talking to GMs. We’ll have to work hard (or at least think hard) about many of the vast rumors that we will hear and read about. Many will fall into the “That’s Silly” category. Others will warrant interest and discussion. But it’s important to remember that the Winter Meetings are just that. They are a series of meetings. Minor league teams will be there, sitting in on meetings. Independent Leagues will have representatives there, going to meetings. There will be a lot of college kids and others, wearing suits, trying to line up jobs in baseball. It isn’t just about making roster transaction. Let’s admit it though. That’s the only part we care about. So, let’s discuss what the Twins need to do yet this offseason, while at the same time reminding us all that it doesn’t have to all be done by Thursday. ~~ Read Nick’s Offseason Update ~~ Here are some things to watch this week: Number One: Add an Impact Starting Pitcher The Twins have Jose Berrios under team control, signed Jake Odorizzi to the qualifying offer and are a passed physical from having Michael Pineda inked up. While not as exciting to bring back players, two of those players could have been lost via free agency and now will return. However, we all know that the Twins need an “Impact” starting pitcher to give themselves a better chance to compete not only in the AL Central but in short series in the playoffs too. I think we can all understand that they aren’t going to get Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. But they have clearly been involved in conversations for the next level. They were involved in Zack Wheeler discussions. They clearly have strong interest in lefties Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Is either interested in leaving California for Minnesota? If not, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will likely need to shift gears and start contemplating trade options for an impact starter. A call to Colorado’s front office to discuss Jon Gray or German Marquez might make a lot of sense. What other starters might be available in trade? Number Two: A Second High-Quality Starting Pitcher Even if they add an impact arm, the Twins front office will need to ask itself another question. Do they want to bring in one more starting pitcher or do they want to trust their young pitchers and player development to fill one of the five rotation spots? Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe all showed signs in 2019 that they are either ready to pitch in the big leagues in 2020 or are very close. Brusdar Graterol will likely get another opportunity to start at some point in 2020. But could the front office bring in another veteran pitcher or two to compete for a roster spot. Last week, I mentioned Kevin Gausman as a possibility for a veteran coming off a tough year who could potentially be a #3 type of starter if Wes Johnson & Company are able to help him. Also, Julio Teheran fits into that category. Both of them are still well under 30 years old. Number Three: Who’s on First? Last week, the Twins non-tendered first baseman CJ Cron. That opens up a roster spot, if the Twins front office wants it to. One option, of course, would be for Miguel Sano to stay at third base and Marwin Gonzalez to play first base. Or vice versa. Ehire Adrianza is the utility man, and Willians Astudillo remains in the picture. There are also other internal options for first base. But if the Twins are unable to convince Bumgarner or Ryu to take their money, maybe they chose to offer it to a position player. They could get someone like Mitch Moreland within a budget to do a nice job defensively at first base, saving errors for the other side of the infield. Or, they could make the move of Sano to first base and sign someone like Josh Donaldson for big money. Maybe a trade for an all-star, like Matt Chapman, could also be explored. Number Four: The Bullpen While I don’t think that the Twins bullpen would be considered a strength, it certainly can be solid. The Twins have not been mentioned in rumors around relievers, with the possible exception of bringing back Sergio Romo, so it’s hard to know how active that have been or will be in the bullpen market. In general, the bullpen market has been fairly quiet so far. Taylor Rogers has turned into a great late-inning reliever, but the Twins may be interested in adding another lefty (though Smeltzer and Thorpe could compete for a spot as well). They have added Blaine Hardy on a minor league deal and he is certainly an option. Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zack Littell were all really good in 2019. Cody Stashak showed a lot, and Fernando Romero is out of options. Matt Wisler signed for $700K. I can certainly see the Twins looking to add one more high-quality late-inning reliever, if not two. Number Five: Rule 5 On Thursday, the Rule 5 draft will take place. The Twins 40-man roster is currently at 35. With the additions of Alex Avila and Michael Pineda (whenever they are announced), they will be at 37. They could add a free agent or two and still have a 40-man roster spot for a Rule 5 pick. Without knowing who might be available for the Twins to consider, teams should absolutely always consider adding in the Rule 5 draft. It is a good, cheap way to potentially add talent. With rosters jumping up to 26 in 2020, the Twins - and every other team - may use the Rule 5 draft more liberally as an opportunity to add a piece. While I think it’s something to be considered, I don’t necessarily think it’s likely for the Twins to add a player in the Rule 5 draft. As Twins fans, we will likely be paying attention more out of concern for potentially losing high-talent prospectslike Wander Javier and Luis Rijo or near-ready talents like Griffin Jax or Tom Hackimer. ---------------------------- So there you have five things to watch for during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. As always, the Winter Meetings will be complete on 12th, so not all of these things will need to be answered by then. Be sure to refresh Twins Daily often as we will try to keep close tabs on any Twins news and rumors. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  13. Over the next four days, we will hear about teams talking to teams, and agents talking to GMs. We’ll have to work hard (or at least think hard) about many of the vast rumors that we will hear and read about. Many will fall into the “That’s Silly” category. Others will warrant interest and discussion. But it’s important to remember that the Winter Meetings are just that. They are a series of meetings. Minor league teams will be there, sitting in on meetings. Independent Leagues will have representatives there, going to meetings. There will be a lot of college kids and others, wearing suits, trying to line up jobs in baseball. It isn’t just about making roster transaction. https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1203804282350395393 Let’s admit it though. That’s the only part we care about. So, let’s discuss what the Twins need to do yet this offseason, while at the same time reminding us all that it doesn’t have to all be done by Thursday. ~~ Read Nick’s Offseason Update ~~ Here are some things to watch this week: Number One: Add an Impact Starting Pitcher The Twins have Jose Berrios under team control, signed Jake Odorizzi to the qualifying offer and are a passed physical from having Michael Pineda inked up. While not as exciting to bring back players, two of those players could have been lost via free agency and now will return. However, we all know that the Twins need an “Impact” starting pitcher to give themselves a better chance to compete not only in the AL Central but in short series in the playoffs too. I think we can all understand that they aren’t going to get Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. But they have clearly been involved in conversations for the next level. They were involved in Zack Wheeler discussions. They clearly have strong interest in lefties Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Is either interested in leaving California for Minnesota? If not, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will likely need to shift gears and start contemplating trade options for an impact starter. A call to Colorado’s front office to discuss Jon Gray or German Marquez might make a lot of sense. What other starters might be available in trade? Number Two: A Second High-Quality Starting Pitcher Even if they add an impact arm, the Twins front office will need to ask itself another question. Do they want to bring in one more starting pitcher or do they want to trust their young pitchers and player development to fill one of the five rotation spots? Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe all showed signs in 2019 that they are either ready to pitch in the big leagues in 2020 or are very close. Brusdar Graterol will likely get another opportunity to start at some point in 2020. But could the front office bring in another veteran pitcher or two to compete for a roster spot. Last week, I mentioned Kevin Gausman as a possibility for a veteran coming off a tough year who could potentially be a #3 type of starter if Wes Johnson & Company are able to help him. Also, Julio Teheran fits into that category. Both of them are still well under 30 years old. Number Three: Who’s on First? Last week, the Twins non-tendered first baseman CJ Cron. That opens up a roster spot, if the Twins front office wants it to. One option, of course, would be for Miguel Sano to stay at third base and Marwin Gonzalez to play first base. Or vice versa. Ehire Adrianza is the utility man, and Willians Astudillo remains in the picture. There are also other internal options for first base. But if the Twins are unable to convince Bumgarner or Ryu to take their money, maybe they chose to offer it to a position player. They could get someone like Mitch Moreland within a budget to do a nice job defensively at first base, saving errors for the other side of the infield. Or, they could make the move of Sano to first base and sign someone like Josh Donaldson for big money. Maybe a trade for an all-star, like Matt Chapman, could also be explored. Number Four: The Bullpen While I don’t think that the Twins bullpen would be considered a strength, it certainly can be solid. The Twins have not been mentioned in rumors around relievers, with the possible exception of bringing back Sergio Romo, so it’s hard to know how active that have been or will be in the bullpen market. In general, the bullpen market has been fairly quiet so far. Taylor Rogers has turned into a great late-inning reliever, but the Twins may be interested in adding another lefty (though Smeltzer and Thorpe could compete for a spot as well). They have added Blaine Hardy on a minor league deal and he is certainly an option. Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zack Littell were all really good in 2019. Cody Stashak showed a lot, and Fernando Romero is out of options. Matt Wisler signed for $700K. I can certainly see the Twins looking to add one more high-quality late-inning reliever, if not two. Number Five: Rule 5 On Thursday, the Rule 5 draft will take place. The Twins 40-man roster is currently at 35. With the additions of Alex Avila and Michael Pineda (whenever they are announced), they will be at 37. They could add a free agent or two and still have a 40-man roster spot for a Rule 5 pick. Without knowing who might be available for the Twins to consider, teams should absolutely always consider adding in the Rule 5 draft. It is a good, cheap way to potentially add talent. With rosters jumping up to 26 in 2020, the Twins - and every other team - may use the Rule 5 draft more liberally as an opportunity to add a piece. While I think it’s something to be considered, I don’t necessarily think it’s likely for the Twins to add a player in the Rule 5 draft. As Twins fans, we will likely be paying attention more out of concern for potentially losing high-talent prospects like Wander Javier and Luis Rijo or near-ready talents like Griffin Jax or Tom Hackimer. ---------------------------- So there you have five things to watch for during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. As always, the Winter Meetings will be complete on 12th, so not all of these things will need to be answered by then. Be sure to refresh Twins Daily often as we will try to keep close tabs on any Twins news and rumors. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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