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  • 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. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Is there a bit more substance in the rest of the interview than the "answers" Ryan provided in this sample?

      We learned nothing from these quotes.
      The interview is nine pages in length. There is plenty of content and answers in it, I assure you. Ryan was pretty frank at points and I think the interview is quite enlightening.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dabecka View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
      I'm glad TwinsDaily doesn't push the offseason handbook on it's users
      I'm sorry, but why would Twins Daily crew be researching, generating unique content, editing, and publishing a e-book...then giving it away...for free.

      Last time I checked, we lived in America.
      I don't, but we still buy and sell e-books, despite being socialists.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      It's a pretty thin market, there are no true "aces" on the market this year, Greinke is as close as that gets I suppose, otherwise there are a few #2's (Marcum, Peavvy, Sanchez, Lohse??) and the rest arelow end #3's and solid #4's (Kuroda, Jackson,) though low end #3's and solid #4's would be a huge upgrade for us...
    1. TwinVike61's Avatar
      TwinVike61 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      P.S. Who is this pitcher Will Chase?
      I don't know but we shouldn't go trading Willy Nilly for him.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Awesome post twinsnoeth49
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I don't care what you call it, thin or deep, there aren't a ton of names on the list of FA starting pitchers that I'd get all excited about. So while there may be a deep market in terms of quantity of pitchers likely to get pretty good paydays, I'd sure like to see more legitimate top of the rotation arms on the list. I think the Twins rotation has been so bad that mediocrity looks really good by comparison. A discussion of any one of the pitchers on the list will come with a "yeah, but..." at the end.

      I'm glad Ryan and his staff recognize the obvious... that their rotation is an abomination that must be fixed from outside the organization. Most of us recognized that fact at least a year ago and maybe if Ryan hadn't come so late to the party, he would have added real rotation help a year ago and the hole he now has to dig out of wouldn't be so deep.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Thick or thin... We can't sign them all... Mr. Ryan... Pick your favorites and bid aggressive.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Does anyone remember what our starting rotation was supposed to be when we broke camp? Wasn't it, in no particular order, Pavano, Liriano, Marquis, Blackburn and Baker (who never pitched this season) How many of those guys, along with guys like Swarzak and Duensing, were Ryan's and how many were Smiths?

      As we go into next season, we have one sure thing...Diamond. Is he Smith's or Ryan's?
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      This is the crop of FA starters. Some others may have options declined or released or just wouldn't likely fit, rumored trouble makers or injured.
      When nearly every team needs pitching this is a very thin list.

      2012 war based on 80+ innings
      Erik Bedard (34) 1.3
      Joe Blanton (32) 2.4
      Kevin Correia (32) .8
      Ryan Dempster (36) 3.3
      Zack Greinke (28) 5.1
      Dan Haren (32) 1.8
      Edwin Jackson (29) 2.7
      Hiroki Kuroda (38) 3.9
      Kyle Lohse (34) 3.6
      Paul Maholm (31) 2.5
      Shaun Marcum (31) 1.4
      Brandon McCarthy (29) 1.8
      Kevin Millwood (38) 2.0
      Anibal Sanchez (29) 3.8
      Ervin Santana (30) -.9
      Joe Saunders (32) 2.5
      I call this thin. The only ace on this list is Grienke--he wont come here and he is a borderline ace. The only number 2 are Sanchez and Haren. All of the rest are Pavano (of a couple of years ago) or Baker level. None are worth more than $30 million over 3 years. Avoid Lohse, Santana, McCarthy, Jackson, Millwood and Dempster like they have the plague. Maybe I would sign one of the others for $25million over 2 years and expect a mediocre number 3.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Haren had an off year for sure...or off first half...but I'd label him as a guy who has ACE stuff. He's a guy you normally get over 200 IP near 200Ks and an ERA low to mid 3.00s. I'd take that especially from a AL pitcher
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Is that list any worse than the last 5 years, though?
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Add Haren and Peavy and the list looks pretty damn good.

      Ryan didn't give away a lot, but when asked if he plans on offering multi-year deals to pitchers, he said you can't sign one if you don't.

      That is somewhat telling and possibly encouraging seeing as he has not used that philosophy in the past. It reminds me of early in the year when he was questioned about drafting control verses power arms in the draft. He (fibbed and) said the team always valued power arms. Previously it was obvious they did not, but after the draft it was obvious they had changed philosophy. I hope his suggestion about multi-year deals for pitchers is another stubborn change.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Here's last years crop, 31 available starting pitchers average age (throwing out Wakefield) 31.87, aces? Some might debate Wilson, I won't. This year, 16 available, average age, 32.18, aces? Grienke appears debatable, he's closer than Wilson in my mind.

      With the greatest over-riding factor being every team needs and wants better starting pitching, this is a pretty thin list by comparison. Trades are definitely going to be the order of the day, especially considering the guy we ended up with from last year's, "deeper" list, was Jason Marquis!
      Erik Bedard 32
      Andrew Brackman 26
      Mark Buehrle 32
      Chris Capuano 33
      Bruce Chen 34
      Bartolo Colon 38
      Aaron Cook 32
      Yu Darvish 25
      Jeff Francis 30
      Freddy Garcia 35
      Jon Garland 32
      Aaron Harang 33
      Rich Harden 29
      Livan Hernandez 36
      Hisashi Iwakuma 30
      Edwin Jackson 28
      Hiroki Kuroda 36
      Rodrigo Lopez 35
      Paul Maholm 29
      Jason Marquis 33
      Kevin Millwood 36
      Roy Oswalt 34
      Micah Owings 29
      Brad Penny 33
      Joel Pineiro 33
      Jo-Jo Reyes 27
      Joe Saunders 30
      Javier Vazquez 35
      Tsuyoshi Wada 30
      Tim Wakefield 45
      Chien-Ming Wang 31
      Brandon Webb 32
      Dontrelle Willis 29
      C.J. Wilson 30
      Chris Young
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      This is the crop of FA starters. Some others may have options declined or released or just wouldn't likely fit, rumored trouble makers or injured.
      When nearly every team needs pitching this is a very thin list.

      2012 war based on 80+ innings
      Erik Bedard (34) 1.3
      Joe Blanton (32) 2.4
      Kevin Correia (32) .8
      Ryan Dempster (36) 3.3
      Zack Greinke (28) 5.1
      Dan Haren (32) 1.8
      Edwin Jackson (29) 2.7
      Hiroki Kuroda (38) 3.9
      Kyle Lohse (34) 3.6
      Paul Maholm (31) 2.5
      Shaun Marcum (31) 1.4
      Brandon McCarthy (29) 1.8
      Kevin Millwood (38) 2.0
      Anibal Sanchez (29) 3.8
      Ervin Santana (30) -.9
      Joe Saunders (32) 2.5
      Thanks for posting this. I believe that the Twins should, realistically, contend for both Jackson and Marcum. But I think that they WILL pursue two of: Marcum, McCarthy, Saunders, Blanton, Maholm (please no!) and Santana. Santana's 2013 is not going to be that bad. He is likely to have a strong bounceback season. Greinke, Haren, Sanchez, and Dempster are going to be out of reach unless the Twins only add one pitcher, and even then, only Greinke fits the bill. I don't actually believe that pursuing one top top guy is better than pursuing two second-tier guys, honestly.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      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.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      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.
      Blah, blah, blah... the Twins history of not doling out large contracts to FA, especially pitchers, would lead one to expect the Twins will not sign a major pitching name this offseason, rather they will sign 1-2 back-end starters for 1-2 years, $5-7 mil per season. Opinions from the Twins fans regarding the amount of money the team has to spend this year can't possibly have any value as their payroll budget has not been released yet.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      I gotta agree with Shane here.... We have one pitcher in Diamond slotted for the 2013 rotation right now. We have money coming off the books. Not signing at least half way decent arms would be criminal. Any GM in the land can see this. Even if you throwing away 2013 for a 2014 or 2015 build. You still have to spend some FA dollars this year with contracts that roll into the years that follow.

      We all know the past history. It simply doesn't apply right now. If we don't make significant additions to the pitching staff in the off season. I swear to all... I will make Thrylos look pale when I personally assess Terrry Ryan.

      That should scare them... riverbrian will type nasty stuff.
    1. bobonewsome's Avatar
      bobonewsome -
      Sorry John, but when it comes down to who are you going to believe, I'll take Ryan.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      I'll throw one more log on the fire - Hisahi Iwakuma (31) & 1.9 WAR. Twins went after him hard when there was a posting fee and lost out to the A's. He played out his time in Japan, became a free-agent, signed a 1-year deal with the Mariners ($1.5M) and was 9-5; 1.28 WHIP; 3.16 ERA. Started the year in the pen and ended in the rotation - 16 games started and 125.1 Innings. Now that there's no posting fee and he had decent stats, why wouldn't the Twins go after him? Low on radar, decent on potential.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      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.
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