Terry Ryan seems to have a different take his 2nd go around at GM. That's what industry experts say. And you can see it in the types of pitchers he's picking now too. High velocity, high swing and miss versus the control college pitcher types. Byron Buxton seems to be a find, they're pretty active in DR, PR, AUS, and GER. I look for them to be active again this summer with their relatively high amount of international signing money left.
Then factor in the Free Agent money he's shelled out for SP and it appears he wants one more.
Signing Bartlett and Kubel to minor league deals are low risk higher reward type of deals. Not biting on Salty was a good idea, even though he went for a modest $7M.
And I believe not biting on Stephen Drew is big deal. He's gotten where he's actually a below average defender at SS, according to SABR and other metric heavy groups. I think the bat is getting worse and he's already only a .250 hitter. Florimon cost $490K. Drew has $14M sitting on the table for a 1 year tender from the Sox. He's barely 1 WAR better than Florimon, for $13M more per season? Not a good deal. Sign Tanaka with that money. And if you must lose a Draft Pick, this is a deep draft, think more at the 2012 draft and where the Twins will be picking. Sure, he's an upgrade over Florimon, but this is about Wins and if in FA, buying Wins, Drew is essentially 1 Win for in excess of $10M per over Florimon. Are there any other $10M deals out there worth 2 WAR? or 3 WAR?
Concerning the Draft. Just looking at 2012, which is considered not as deep as this draft. That's Stephen Piscotty, Lance McCullers, Eddie Butler, Paco Rodriguez, Alex Wood territory. Guys who are already in MLB or are stud prospects starting at AAA in only 1.5 seasons of baseball.
Jorge Polanco is raking in the DWL, he had a very solid A-ball (Cedar Rapids) season and the jump from AA to MLB might only be 1 to 1.5 years away, heck maybe a Sept Call up. I wouldn't be surprised if he could hit .250 in the pros already and provide better D than Drew. I think the Twins would like to see more though.
Trea Turner is 3 year stud at NC State and looks to be available at pick #5 for this upcoming draft. He could be a quick mover. 80 grade speed, great D. The amount of stick he has will decide how fast he makes it to MLB. But he's likely at most 2 years away.
I'd hope they don't sign Drew for anything over a 1 yr $5 deal. Anything more is losing money for production in a season that likely won't see the Twins compete for a playoff position.
If they must spend $14M and lose a 2nd RD Draft pick, let it Ubaldo Jiminez or Ervin Santana.
I'd love to see the progression of WAR vs Age for SS's over 30.
Thanks a nice read, Im in the corner of , Terry cant stop being Terry , and he will continue to look for bargins and rehabed players
Drew turned down 14 million for 1 year. a 4/53 like Perralta signed is a risk deal. Drew has had 2 very good seasons and a few not so good seasons with the bat. I do not see Ryan signing that kind of player. When it gets to almost spring training time, if you could coax a 3/21 kind of deal for both of the players it would make sense to sign both. I think they each should have signed their one year offers.
I haven't heard much on Drew at all lately. It's likely a long shot that the Twins would land him. First, he'd have to be interested in joining a team that's not likely to contend in 2014. That would probably require the Twins to be willing to overpay a bit in money and/or years. If there's anything that would stop the Twins from moving forward, that would be it, I think.
I just don't see a 2nd round draft pick as being enough of a deterrent to keep them from a significant upgrade at one of the only positions they reasonably could upgrade. It's not like 2nd rounders are anything close to guaranteed future MLB starters. If you have a 2nd rounder that SOME DAY turns in to a Stephen Drew, you'd be ecstatic. Using a 2nd round pick to get that player RIGHT NOW is a no-brainer, to me.
If it doesn't happen, it's for the old fashioned reasons of someone else offered more money or a better opportunity for a ring or both.
Really like this column, JC. Read it first on Knuckleballs but didn't get a chance to comment.
I love the image of all those 20 somethings in suits scurrying around.
I especially appreciate your analysis of the possibilities of adding a significant position player. It just doesn't seem like there's many improvements available in ways that make sense for the Twins. I haven't seen any Stephen Drew rumors lately so do we have a feel for whether Ryan would be willing to give up the draft pick to sign him?
The other factor that I believe is playing a role in the Twins spending money is that their minor league talent is all a year closer. Last year there was money available but I don't think that Ryan thought he was going to get much help from the minors. This year I would not be suprised if Sano, Meyer and Buxton all were in Minnesota by summer's end. Fill in one or two more holes and this could be a solid, fun team to watch. I enjoyed your article.
The Twins have always looked at WHIP.
Ryan is a scout at heart. the numbers are important. the skillset is more important. Comments made in the past in regards to players he seems to talk of skills more than numbers. He knows the numbers, the skills seem more important.
Parables can be such wonderful things.
I think the 'Twins Way' was more about being solid in the fundamentals.
Excellent defense, throwing to the right base, hitting the cut-off man, etc.
And hustle, of course. If you don't play hard then someone who does play hard will beat you, often whether they have better players or not.
I like the point in the article about pitching.
No question that will be what makes the future Twins a powerhouse or not.
It's a pretty good article. I still find it ironic how when we finally became one of the "richer" teams, we went completely downhill one year afterwards. It's not about the money....
However, the philosophy about pitching to contact needs to go. NOW. We can't go forward with the Plefreys, Correias, Diamonds, and Marquis pitchers. I'm not saying we should spend 50M or more on a starter, but we have to do something to find reliable starters.
I bet a cardboard cutout of Jim Pohlad in the clubhouse would provide the proper motivation.
Nice post, JimCrikket. Sadly, I don't think you'll get what you, and all of us, are looking for. The Twins have a clear, no-punch-back policy. While they all care, and they're all professionals, this organization doesn't foster a fighting attitude or spirit. In fact, any attitude at all is usually frowned upon. The face of the Twins isn't nicknamed "vanilla" for nothin'. They'll play a safe season, with low expectations, and moderately improved play over 2011 and 2012. Yawn.
Originally Posted by mnfanforlife
Hey JC - how does your list compare to my Top 10?
As you'd expect, we largely agree on some guys and disagree on others. We both do have Buxton at #1, however. You can see mine here (I posted it in TD as well, but it's easier for me to find old posts at my own blog).
Yes TC Bear!
Yes, keep starters on a strict pitch count while the weather is cold in Iowa. I am impressed with the number of high-ceiling pitchers we have in A+ and below. Could be a very solid Twins staff by 2015.
Yes! DJ Baxendale! Cant wait to see what he can do with a full season as a starter.
Thanks for catching that, Justin. I thought I caught all of the offseason releases, but obviously I missed Kimes. Correction made.
I understand the Twins wanting to have guys like Baxendale and Bard start, but I just have some trouble figuring out how they're going to fit all these "starters" in to the limited number of rotations they have in April. Maybe you just have two different "starters" work 3-4 innings each during April games and let it all shake out by performance.
Kimes got cut.
Baxendale will be used as a starter, he was limited to the Bullpen last year because of how much he was used at Arkansas
Hey JC - how does your list compare to my Top 10?