• Terry Ryan: Twins Will Chase "Pretty Darn Good" Pitcher

    Terry Ryan is serious about improving the team's pitching.In our TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook, we’re including a transcript from a 45-minute meeting "State of the Twins" interview with Terry Ryan. As you can imagine, an 8000-word interview covers a lot of topics, including:

    • the strengths of the new coaching staff,
    • Joe Mauer’s future at catcher,
    • additional offseason priorities beyond starting pitching,
    • how Twins approach waiver wire or minor league free agents,
    • thoughts on the state of the Twins minor leagues,
    • his evaluation of the Twins middle infield,
    • whether Trevor Plouffe can stay at third base,
    • how the Twins will fit Chris Parmelee into the lineup,
    • and of course how the Twins will try to fix their starting rotation.


    One encouraging note, at least in my opinion, is that Ryan seems to be open to adding free agent pitchers who are a few cuts above Jason Marquis, who the Twins signed to a one-year, $3M.

    TWINSCENTRIC: As you look at the pitchers who are likely to become free agents or are scheduled to be free agents, do you think it’s a deep free agency class?
    TERRY RYAN: Thin.
    TWINSCENTRIC: You think it’s thin?
    TERRY RYAN: Sure. You tell me who you’re thinking about. I can’t comment on who is out there. There’s a few guys out there who are pretty darn good.
    TWINSCENTRIC: Are you likely to be chasing some players who are pretty darn good?
    TERRY RYAN: We better.
    TWINSCENTRIC: So you’re looking to add a top of the rotation, maybe not a #1 guy, but maybe a #2 guy or a top half of the rotation?
    TERRY RYAN: We’ll see. We’ll figure out how many years he’s looking for and how many dollars they want to get.
    TWINSCENTRIC: Are you willing to give multi-year deals to pitchers?
    TERRY RYAN: You aren’t going to get a pitcher unless you give a multi-year deal.

    So who qualifies as a “pretty darn good” pitcher? Despite Ryan’s characterization of the market as thin, there are no shortage of candidate that could be viewed as an asset to a rotation. Beyond ace Zach Greinke, the following will all likely get a contract in excess of $20 million dollars this offseason: Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster, Dan Haren, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, and Kyle Lohse. Another half dozen could get contracts in excess of $10 million: Hideki Kuroda, Brandon McCarthy, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Jeremy Guthrie and Shaun Marcum. That’s fourteen pitchers, most of whom would raise the eyebrows of even the most skeptical Twins fan.

    However, Ryan was also hesitant to commit to a payroll number and again emphasized that the Twins rotation woes won’t be solved solely through free agency. Does this mean the Twins may only have the funds to make one major signing and look to fill the other spots via other means?

    We likely won’t need to wait too long to find out. Ryan hinted that he plans to be aggressive with players that they think are going to be a good fit. That is consistent with the Twins approach last offseason, when players like Ryan Doumit and Jamey Carroll were signed even though there were still players in higher demand available.

    ~~~

    After this last season, don't you deserve to enjoy the offseason?

    The full interview (as well as profiles of all the above pitchers) will be available in the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook, which comes out tomorrow. You can still get it at its presale discount price through the World Series. And if you’re still on the fence, you can download a sample here.
    This article was originally published in blog: Terry Ryan: Twins Will Chase "Pretty Darn Good" Pitcher started by John Bonnes
    Comments 79 Comments
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobonewsome View Post
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
      Ryan has been caught in a straight up lie more than once...
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      For people who doubt based on Josh Willingham's contract blah, blah, blah . . . the Twins have money to spend and need to spend it, especially, for the millionth time, that after 2013, the payroll REALLY drops significantly and hopefully in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the vast majority of the non-Mauer roster is composed on sub $1 million players like Sano, Rosario, Arcia, Hicks, Benson, Gibson, Hendriks, Salcedo, Berrios, Harrison, Boyd, etc.
      Didn't the Twins have money to spend on pitching this offseason? They dropped payroll by 18M...
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by bobonewsome View Post
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
      Ryan has been caught in a straight up lie more than once...
      I'd like to see evidence of this. I'm sure he's guilty of misrepresentations, half-truths, distortions, but "straight up" lies?
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      Give me a Brandon McCarthy, not a sexy signing by any means but I think A.) He'll come cheap due to injury and playing in Oakland and B.) He seems like a Twins type pitcher.

      If the Twins had the money to swing it Haren's pretty attractive as well. Pretty close to ace quality typically. If they want to go complete bargain bin give me Bedard.
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by iastfan112 View Post
      Give me a Brandon McCarthy, not a sexy signing by any means but I think A.) He'll come cheap due to injury and playing in Oakland and B.) He seems like a Twins type pitcher.

      If the Twins had the money to swing it Haren's pretty attractive as well. Pretty close to ace quality typically. If they want to go complete bargain bin give me Bedard.
      I agree with all of these things. If this is the direction they ended up going, I would be content.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by bobonewsome View Post
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
      Ryan has been caught in a straight up lie more than once...
      I'd like to see evidence of this. I'm sure he's guilty of misrepresentations, half-truths, distortions, but "straight up" lies?
      When he trade Castillo, he said he only traded him cause "I didn't anticipate re-signing him at the end [of the season], so we ended up getting a couple players in return before October,". Then a day or two later he said he would have traded him even if he wasn't a pending free agent.

      So one of those statements is a lie.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      'Give me a Brandon McCarthy, not a sexy signing by any means but I think A.) He'll come cheap due to injury and playing in Oakland and B.) He seems like a Twins type pitcher.'


      Yes, he is a pitch to contact, low strike out pitcher
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by bobonewsome View Post
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
      Ryan has been caught in a straight up lie more than once...
      I'd like to see evidence of this. I'm sure he's guilty of misrepresentations, half-truths, distortions, but "straight up" lies?
      When he trade Castillo, he said he only traded him cause "I didn't anticipate re-signing him at the end [of the season], so we ended up getting a couple players in return before October,". Then a day or two later he said he would have traded him even if he wasn't a pending free agent.

      So one of those statements is a lie.
      That's pretty thin, especially without a quote to support the second assertion. Even if he made the two assertions, I'm not sure it makes TR a straight up liar. The first quote can be found here for those curious.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      A risk of a long contract (4+ years) on a pitcher makes sense. The Twins will need someone to serve as an anchor in the rotation to demonstrate that there is stability and that the team is actually rebuilding as opposed to just "plugging holes". Consider what DET did after their debacle of a 43 win season. They way overpaid for Ordonez, but that showed that management was building a foundation to win consistently. True, they did get extremely lucky to land Verlander, but many teams have made a great leap forward by adding one player--maybe the Twins will (someday)? But, they need to start building a foundation for the rotation--Now!
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      Great, Joe Saunders or Jeremy Guthrie it is. Color me unimpressed.
    1. Cris E's Avatar
      Cris E -
      Mark Buerhle has three expensive years left, but if the Fish were offered real players or prospects he might come with a scholarship. I'd make that call to find out
    1. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      Guthrie is a definite upgrade. Pitched well when he got out of Coors. Pitched solid in AL East which is more than any of our pitchers could do. No ace but we aren't getting three aces.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I don't understand any desire to have McCarthy. Another guy who doesn't strike anybody out. The Twins should honestly restrict their search to pitchers with 7+ k/9. I will leave it to someone else to narrow that list down . . .

      But it is CLEAR to me that these 5 or 6 k/9 pitchers should not be ADDED to the rotation. Doesn't anyone remember Santana and Liriano? Even Boof!? To rely on the Diamonds and Radkes is not going to be good. Those are guys who serve well as the 3rd pitcher. Jackson at 3/33 and Marcum at 2/16 could get the job done. Just saying.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Jeremy Guthrie is not very good. FYI. Same with Saunders. Seriously, there is NO point signing these guys as opposed to turning to Deduno, DeVries, Walters, Hendriks, or even Bromberg (who *should* be considered, given that he was actually quite good through 2010). The result is going to be about the EXACT same for millions less if they go in-house. The Twins should stick to second-tier pitchers, not third or fourth tier. They have plenty of third and fourth-tier pitchers right now.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      The market has been weird. Consider the difference last offseason between the Mark Buerhle signing and the Edwin Jackson signing. To me a comparable situation might occur this year with Dan Haren and Shaun Marcum. And the difference in performance between those two groups of pitchers is NOT $30-40 million over 3-4 years.

      Doesn't it seem like there is the following:

      Tier One:
      Grienke
      A. Sanchez
      Dempster
      Haren
      Peavy (I guess)

      Tier two:
      Jackson
      Kuroda
      Lohse
      Marcum

      Tier three:
      Blanton
      Saunders
      McCarthy
      Bedard
      Maholm
      Millwood
      Santana
      Correia

      I submit that Santana might be worth giving a shot out of tier three, but I just don't like bothering with any of those other guys when millions of dollars would be wasted for replacement level pitching.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      I think that it is thin in quality not quantity. And the Twins in order to be competitive need at least 3 pitchers better than Diamond. How many of them are available as Free Agents. Heck, how many of the free agents available are better than a fixed Baker? So, yeah... pretty thin in quality. The trade marker on the other hand is a different story.
      WAR seems to be a big deal on this thread. By Fangraphs WAR, the Twins would have a difficult time signing three pitchers better than Diamond
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      I think that it is thin in quality not quantity. And the Twins in order to be competitive need at least 3 pitchers better than Diamond. How many of them are available as Free Agents. Heck, how many of the free agents available are better than a fixed Baker? So, yeah... pretty thin in quality. The trade marker on the other hand is a different story.
      WAR seems to be a big deal on this thread. By Fangraphs WAR, the Twins would have a difficult time signing three pitchers better than Diamond
      Yeah. First, the available pitchers above Diamond are: Greinke, Peavy, Kuroda, Sanchez, Lohse, Dempster, and Jackson. Second, no more than one of those pitchers are even possibly coming to the Twins. Dumping Gardy and Andy to get Lohse might have been worth it. Jackson would be. But alas.

      I don't expect Diamond to repeat, but I also don't think his performance is going to fall very much.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by bobonewsome View Post
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
      Ryan has been caught in a straight up lie more than once...
      I'd like to see evidence of this. I'm sure he's guilty of misrepresentations, half-truths, distortions, but "straight up" lies?
      When he trade Castillo, he said he only traded him cause "I didn't anticipate re-signing him at the end [of the season], so we ended up getting a couple players in return before October,". Then a day or two later he said he would have traded him even if he wasn't a pending free agent.

      So one of those statements is a lie.
      That's pretty thin, especially without a quote to support the second assertion. Even if he made the two assertions, I'm not sure it makes TR a straight up liar. The first quote can be found here for those curious.
      It happen how long ago, now? Took me forever to find the first quote...but this isn't the first time this has come up in conversations about him so it wasn't hard to remember. I remember him saying it live and reading it afterwards and saying, um, wait a minute. Just a couple days ago he said the reason he traded him was cause he didn't envision him re-signing him and now he says THIS?

      But it really doesn't matter, believe it, don't believe it, that's on you. I know what he said and didn't....and I don't trust him at all
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      But it really doesn't matter, believe it, don't believe it, that's on you. I know what he said and didn't....and I don't trust him at all
      Fair enough. I just tend to give people a bit of slack when they are also playing the PR game after a publicly denounced transaction. I just don't think there's really any reason to mistrust TR more than any other GM or Manager; I think some of the job involves PR-speak; in fact, TR has struck me as one of the more straight forward guys in the industry.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Marlins have received permission from the Blue Jays to interview Mike Redmond for their managerial vacancy.

      Redmond, who played with the Marlins from 1998-2004, is currently the manager with Class-A Dunedin. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has called him "a strong frontrunner" for the job, but Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Reds pitching coach Bryan Price are also in the mix. Other candidates could still emerge in the days ahead.


      Source: CBSSports.com
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