• Building for the Future


    On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers signed former Twins outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year, $26 million contract. On the surface, the Tigers paid a ton for his charisma, leadership and veteran status. Although he had a terrific 2012 season, including the first .300+ batting average season of his career, there is a lot of risk in signing an outfielder who will be 39 years old when the contract ends.

    That said, my first thought when I heard the news was that it cemented in my mind the need for the Twins to build for 2014 or even 2015. The comment was met with mixed emotions and plenty of comments on both sides.
    Was the signing of Torii Hunter that big for the Tigers? No. The Tigers were head-and-shoulders the favorite in the AL Central even before the acquisition of the former Gold Glover. Adding Hunter got me thinking about the Tigers roster again. I think it is safe to say that Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are really good hitters. Austin Jackson and Hunter will comprise two-thirds of the outfield with Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch, and young Avisail Garcia. Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, and Danny Worth will round out a very strong lineup. Then there is the starting rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello is a pretty good starting point. Will they bring back Anibal Sanchez? Their bullpen is stacked even when they let closer Jose Valverde leave via free agency. Will they hand a starting job to Drew Smyly or the closer role to Bruce Rondon?

    Sure, the wild card could come from the AL Central, but considering the Aís, Angels and Rangers in the AL West, and the five strong teams in the AL East, it seems unlikely. (Yes, about as unlikely as the Aís and Oís being playoff teams in 2012.)

    So, what does ďbuild for 2015Ē mean to me? To some, it could be a fire sale like the Marlins did. It doesnít have to though. Here are some of the things it means for me:

    FREE AGENCY

    I completely agree with Terry Ryan that building via free agency is not the best way. That isnít to say that free agency isnít important. Of course it is. However, if Iím looking to being a contender in 2015, there is little need to spend a ton of money on older, expensive pitchers like Ryan Dempster.
    It can mean using the free agent market to acquire two types of players. First, the Twins can sign decent players who can fill a short-term role. If they do it well, they can be traded at the July deadline for more talent. Terry Ryan had success with this strategy in his previous time as GM. He traded signed Dave Hollins to be his primary 3B in 1996, and in August, he traded him to Seattle for David Ortiz. Roberto Kelly was turned into Joe Mays. JC Romero became Alexi Casilla.

    I also think that the Twins can still build for 2015 by making a big splash in free agency this season. (Not that I think they will, just that they could.) They could go after a big name, top of the rotation starter and give him four or five years. The name? Anibal Sanchez. Why? He is looking for a long-term deal, and he is just 28 years old. Most free agents are 31-32 years old. The best of those get three year deals. As he is just 28, maybe a six year deal would be OK. The risk is certainly higher, but it would be a way of telling the fan base that there is a plan, and Anibal Sanchez is going to help us get there. Of course, Twins fans also have to acknowledge that it takes two sides to make a deal. The Twins can go after Sanchez, but Sanchez would have to be willing to sign with a team that has lost 95 or more games each of the past two seasons. How much would the Twins have to overpay to acquire an impact pitcher like Sanchez?

    TRADES


    Beyond the trades mentioned above which generally will bring back low-level prospects, if the Twins are trying to build for 2015, they will likely need to trade some players. In order to bring back the best return, it is important to trade players at peak value rather than holding on to them for too long.

    The Twins have a few guys that they could consider trading this offseason. Itís hard because they are players that Twins fans know, and they would be traded for players that many fans do not know much about. When the Twins traded Chuck Knoblauch, few Twins fans know much about Eric Milton or Cristian Guzman. When All Star catcher AJ Pierzynski to the Giants, Joe Nathan had one good year as a reliever under his belt, Boof Bonser was a decent prospect, and Francisco Liriano was an injury-prone pitcher in Low A ball.

    Josh Willingham is coming off of the best season of his career. He could bring back a couple of quality players. Seeing that Torii Hunter got $13 million a year for two years, the market for outfielders is clearly a bit crazy. Willinghamís two years and $14 million (Total) has to look very attractive to teams looking for right-handed power.

    The same can be said for Denard Span whose contract, when compared to what teams are likely to shell out for Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino and Angel Pagan, is very team-friendly.

    What has been encouraging is reading rumors about the Twins interest in trading for young pitchers like Trevor Bauer (Diamondbacks), Danny Hultzen (Mariners) and some of the Braves young pitchers like Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. The pitchers all have high ceilings and only Minor has anywhere near a full year of big league service time. Those are exactly the types of pitchers the Twins should be feverishly attempting to acquire.

    PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

    This is the most important piece to building a team that can compete for years to come. The Twins did a terrific job of player development from about 1999 through about 2007. It was a system that started with several young players coming up together and then a player or two coming up and contributing each year. It started with the Hunter, Jones, Mientkiewicz, Koskie, Guzman, Pierzynski group that we enjoyed so much. Johan Santana came to the team in 2000. They were joined by Michael Cuddyer in 2002, Justin Morneau in 2003, and Joe Mauer and Jesse Crain debuted in 2004. Jason Kubel debuted in 2004 as well, but his knee injury meant that he missed 2005. Scott Baker came up in 2005, and Francisco Liriano came up late that season. Matt Garza and Pat Neshek came up in 2006.

    The Twins minor league pipeline seemed to have an unending supply of impact players. For whatever reason, that has not been the case in recent years, but there are some players working their way up the Twins system that we can be excited about. Some will be up in 2013, some more in 2014 and guys like Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario could be up in 2015. The entire goal is to develop and find out which players can be counted on for the second half of 2014 and 2015. It isnít to rush them to the big leagues, but it is to make sure when they come up, they are ready.

    The Twins have to find out what they have in Chris Parmelee. They still need to find out what Trevor Plouffe can be. Can Brian Dozier play shortstop, or will he move to second base? Can Pedro Florimon hit at all? Can Chris Herrmann fill the same role for the Twins in the future that Ryan Doumit filled in 2012? Scott Diamond, Liam Hendriks and Kyle Gibson all need to get innings in 2013 to see if they factor into the 2014/2015 planning. Could lefty Pedro Hernandez be this yearís Scott Diamond? Getting Adrian Salcedo and Alex Wimmers healthy for 2014 is important. Does Eduardo Escobar have the tool set to be the Twins utility player for the next half-decade? Those can be answered starting in 2013 and into 2014.

    In 2014, we should hear about names such as BJ Hermsen, Logan Darnell and maybe Levi Michael. If uber-prospect Miguel Sano were to be exactly on the Joe Mauer path, we would see him in 2014, although 2015 makes more sense for him, Eddie Rosario, and some of those hard-throwing relievers drafted in 2012. Maybe weíll even see Byron Buxton and J.O. Berrios. In 2016, Max Kepler, Niko Goodrum, Hudson Boyd, Travis Harrison and other names we arenít even aware of will start appearing. Thatís how you build a long-term contender. They have to hit (and get lucky) on their high draft picks, and they have to sign well in the international market as well.

    If youíre going to rebuild it, they need to do it right. That doesnít have to mean completely blow it up. It does mean being smart in free agency and in making trades, keeping an eye on the future as much as the present. It is always remembering that player acquisition through the draft and through international signings ill always be crucial, and then it is necessary for those players to develop their potential.

    Iím a Twins fan, first and foremost. They could lose 100 games in 2013 and I will be right back and cheering for them again in 2014. I would like to understand the thought-process and the plan. That said, the front office shouldnít be expected to say, ďWeíre trying to compete in 2015.Ē They should make some moves and hope they get a little bit lucky and give Twins fans some good baseball in 2013. If Iíve learned anything from the last two seasons, itís much more fun watching a competitive team all regular season than watching a team that is out of contention by Memorial Day. That said, I also have to be realistic after two such poor seasons. I want hope for the future. Iíd like to see improvement in 2013. Iíd like to see a team that starts to really play well and come together as a young unit in 2014. And I want to see a team that is contending for the AL Central title in 2015, and 2016, and 2017, and, andÖ you get my point.
    This article was originally published in blog: Building for the Future started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 48 Comments
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      I am in 100% agreement. I don't see Terry Ryan ever admitting to the public that they are playing to be in contention in 2015, even if that is the plan.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Very good article. I feel they can go inbetween, but it is tricky. I agree with most of the article, but feel that Parmalee is a better trade chip than Morneau. Most of the teams with excess pitching are looking for good young players, not expensive veterens(Seattle may of changed).
    1. NoCryingInBaseball's Avatar
      NoCryingInBaseball -
      Great article Seth, I find my opinion shifting to the long-term approach and going after prospects and younger players rather than trying to be "somewhat" competitive in the short-run.
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Does it really have to be one (compete in 2015) or the other (compete now) though?
      Can't it be both? Using the Sanchez example, doesn't signing him/trading excess OF's for near ready pitchers/supplementing the roster to compete now/etc give us a chance to compete right now? I think it's realistic (not super easy, but doable) to expect them to try and compete to win now and in the future. The future is never a given, and whose to say Sano/Buxton/etc aren't just complete busts (shudder)??
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I believe a team with the Twins current financial resources SHOULD be able to "do both" if they are smart enough to identify the right trade and FA targets. I'm also not sure that it's the veterans like Willingham and Span that are necessarily the only "trade high" candidates. Are we absolutely sure that Parmelee's value right now isn't at its peak? As beckmt pointed out, teams are looking for the young, controllable, players as much as (or more than) veterans who, despite having relatively team-friendly contracts, are still going to be paid several million dollars per year. It's just as likely that someone like Hicks is at his peak value as it is that Span might be. It just depends on what kind of player your potential trading partner wants.

      My issue is that it's time we as fans stopped accepting the arbitrary ceiling that the Twins place upon themselves as being a reasonable payroll limit. There's absolutely no legitimate reason the Twins couldn't afford to sign Sanchez to a long term deal AND a couple of other legitimate starting pitchers to higher dollar, short term (1-2 year) deals, even if it meant a $125 million payroll (say 60% of revenue) in 2013-14. Why? Because by 2015, they're almost certainly going to be looking at something closer to a $70 million payroll, which will be far below their 50% of revenue target.

      The Twins can afford to compete now AND build for 2015 and fans have every right to expect them to make a legitimate effort at doing so.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Great post, but I can't get on board with the approach if the front office refuses to aknowledge a rebuild is underway. They had the chance to trade vets for prospects this year and failed to drum up enough interest to do so despite rumors about Span, Morneau, Willingham and Perkins. All they managed to do was bungle the timing on the Liriano trade. Hard to trust that there is an actual gameplan right now, I'm riding the opinion that they're just winging it at this point until there is evidence to the contrary.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      "I think it is safe to say that Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are really good hitters. Austin Jackson and Hunter will comprise two-thirds of the outfield with Andy Dirks, Brennan Boesch, and young Avisail Garcia. Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, and Danny Worth will round out a very strong lineup"

      Won't Victor Martinez also be back this year? While not Murderers' Row, it is a pretty impressive lineup on paper.
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      I'm not in awe of the Tigers. The White Sox could have easily won the division but went into a tailspin the last two weeks of season. The Tigers have two great players, Verlander and Cabrera, and a bunch of solid players surrounding them. Detroit is one bad hop (Cabrera taking one off the shins at 3B), and a sore shoulder (Verlander has logged a tremendous number of innings past 3 seasons) from being a .500 team with a bloated payrool. Twins need to upgrade pitching staff, period, get a little more production on offense, and they can make the division race interesting again.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      My issue is that it's time we as fans stopped accepting the arbitrary ceiling that the Twins place upon themselves as being a reasonable payroll limit. There's absolutely no legitimate reason the Twins couldn't afford to sign Sanchez to a long term deal AND a couple of other legitimate starting pitchers to higher dollar, short term (1-2 year) deals, even if it meant a $125 million payroll (say 60% of revenue) in 2013-14.
      I believe what you say is true. They could do that but we would have to assume that aliens had taken over their bodies. If what the Twins say about payroll is true (I agree that this is propaganda with no evidence to support it) that would require investment. Investment is a gamble and the Twins are pretty conservative and risk averse.

      The stated payroll goals are based on the Twins' business strategy which, of course, may be completely idiotic or very sane but reflect their goals. There are many ways to operate a business. Some invest in the hope of expanding, others cultivate their current business, trying to maintain or improve slowly. We have decades of evidence on which way the Twins operate.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by SurroundedByTigers View Post
      I'm not in awe of the Tigers. The White Sox could have easily won the division but went into a tailspin the last two weeks of season. The Tigers have two great players, Verlander and Cabrera, and a bunch of solid players surrounding them. Detroit is one bad hop (Cabrera taking one off the shins at 3B), and a sore shoulder (Verlander has logged a tremendous number of innings past 3 seasons) from being a .500 team with a bloated payrool. Twins need to upgrade pitching staff, period, get a little more production on offense, and they can make the division race interesting again.
      I think you are seriously understating the talent on that team. Yes, they underachieved in the first half, but they played up to their potential in the 2nd half and worked their way to the W Series. They now get Hunter and have VMart coming back too?
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "Lookin back in front of me....." Stevie Ray

      Our drafts from 2002-2008 have produced these Twins with at least a plus 1 war.
      02: Span
      Crain
      Neshek
      03: Baker
      04: Perkins
      05: Garza
      Slowey
      Duensing
      06: None
      07: Revere
      08: None

      7 drafts and they have Span, Perkins, Duensing and Revere left on the team. Nothing in return for the other guys.

      This really is at the heart of why we fell so hard. A team that doesn't sign average or above free agents must rely on it's farm system. 02-07 are Ryan's last 6 drafts and now he is back in charge. I'll keep looking for a reason for hope but I'm not seeing it yet.

      2015 Morneau, Willingham, Doumit and likely Span will all be gone and Joe will be 32. A depressing amount of work to do!
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      Great article Seth!
    1. THE DFC's Avatar
      THE DFC -
      Going for the youth movement is only thing that makes sense. Let’s look at the Twins’ situation at key positions of controversy:

      Catcher: We’re locked into Joe Mauer here for many years to come. Teams aren’t going to trade for him, the Twins aren’t going to deal him, Mauer isn’t going to approve the trade. Let’s let this situation go. In 2012, he was top 10 in the AL in OPS, OPS+, oWIN%, oWAR, etc. It’s very debatable if he lives up to the full $23M per, but he had an excellent bounce back season and is in the prime of his career. Let’s mellow on this topic. It’s hardly the biggest issue in the grand scheme of things.

      1st Base: We’ve got one more year of Morneau on the books for $14M. Yes, he had a decent bounce-back season, playing 136 games and putting up above-average batting numbers. The reality here is that he’s not worth his contract anymore, and we have about-to-be 25 year-old Chris Parmelee destroying AAA at an embarrassing level right behind him. It was rumored that the Dodgers were interested in Morneau around the trade deadline, and big market have always overpaid for depth. One option would be to flip Morneau to a big market, pay maybe $5M of his salary (if we have to pay at all), keep the extra $9M and open a spot for Parmelee.

      Or, we could keep Morneau for another year in hopes he returns to MVP form. This scenario either pushes Parmelee to the OF (which I don’t think makes sense given our depth there...more on that in a few), makes him available for trade (would he net a prospect greater than the $9M+ we could get for moving Morneau), let him rot on the bench (not smart) or send back for more AAA (really a waste of time and talent).

      If I was TR, I would be considering Free Agency moves knowing that teams are going to go after Morneau after signing dry up and essentially bank on the salary savings as added potential payroll. Then, no doubt do I flip him before the season starts.

      OF: Kudos to Josh Willingham for have a career year at 33. He (and Plouffe) really showed the right-handed bats can have some serious success at Target Field utilizing that Left Field porch. Also, kudos to Denard Span for being an all-around great player for the Twins for the past couple years. However, both players are in a predicament--they have the most value trade value of anyone on the roster and have young prospects ready to replace their production.
      Willingham is owed $7M over the next two seasons, and Span is owed $4.75 in 2013, $6.5M in 2014 and $9M in 2015.

      To me, moving Willingham is an easy call. He had a Silver Slugger season and is only owed $7M a year for the next two years. However, he is 33, and odds are that this team won’t be going after a World Series in the next two years. On top of all of this, the Twins have rockstar prospect Oswaldo Arcia primed and ready to take over in LF. There has to be a team in win-now mode willing to part with a top starting prospect to get a Silver Slugger caliber hitter at a seriously affordable price. I would guess the potential for making this deal is equal to moving Arcia for a similar prospect. However, in the case of Willingham, we shed his salary. Plus, we stand to have a lot of productive years from Arcia at a minimal salary. Willingham is the guy to move.

      In regard to Span, he garners lots of interest league-wide. He’s a very good starting CF and a very good lead-off hitter. As discussed, his contract is great, too. So, why do we move him? We need starting pitching and his production has been proven nearly replicated by Ben Revere. How wouldn’t it make sense to have a small drop-off in production from Span to Revere, gain $4.75M in payroll and net a strong starting pitching prospect in return? So, given Rivere and Span were both playing most games last year, who replaces Revere you ask? Well, Darren Mastroianni proved to be a competent player last season, and of course, you have another rockstar prospect in Aaron Hicks coming off an excellent season in AA. In fact, Hicks’s arm strength is perfect for RF, and a defensive combination of Hicks-Revere is equally or more devastating than a Span-Revere combination. Moving Span makes a lot of sense.

      The only question here is--could we move Hicks for more or equal value than Span? That’s a tough question. Hicks is cheaper than Span and has a higher ceiling, but there’s certainly risk involved, and Span is young enough to expect a good 5 years of production from him. That being said, Span has had some odd injury issues. Unless the prospect for Hicks is significantly better than what we could get for Span, I’d go for the home run play which is to keep Hicks.

      So, why didn’t we discuss 2nd/SS/3rd? Not worth discussing. We have low payroll players here with minimal trade potential. We also don’t have any major league ready prospects here, either. Plouffe deserves another shot at 3rd after his torrid stretch in the middle of the season, and the cluster up the middle is passable. It’d be worth considering upgrades at any of these three positions with excess resources, but for better or worse, starting pitching deserves all of the attention. From a minor-league perspective, ideally, Rosario (2B) and Sano (3B) will ultimately end-up here. However, I would say those two are pretty close to untouchable, as they have ridiculous ceilings, and using the moves above, I think we’ve already made the moves needed to rectify our starting pitching.

      Where does this leave us? According to the plan, we now have an additional $15 - $20M freed up for payroll and two blue chip starting pitching prospects.

      The line-up is:

      C: Mauer
      1B: Parmelee
      2B: (cluster)
      3B: Plouffe
      SS: (cluster)
      LF: Arcia
      CF: Revere
      RF: Hicks/Mastroianni
      DH: Doumit

      Bullpen:

      Perkins
      Burton
      Slama
      Duensing
      Swarzak
      Waldrop
      Alex Burnett/Fien

      Starters:

      With Diamond, Gibson, Berrios, two prospects eyed for the future rotation, I would prefer the money is spent on a Greinke, Sanchez, etc., to anchor the rotation. Be bold! We just got an extra $15 - 20M a year. Heck, use Span/Willingham to acquire an anchor. Just don’t mortgage the future.

      1. Sanchez?
      2. McCarthy?
      3. Diamond
      4. Deduno
      5. DeVries

      In a year, this becomes:

      1. Sanchez
      2. Gibson
      3. Diamond
      4. Prospect #1
      5. Prospect #2

      ...with Berrios hopefully shredding through the minors.

      Easy call for me. Sure, the team loses 100 games next year, probably, but it brings excitement back to Target Field because there’s potential. In intent, it’s much like where the Timberwolves were last year and the Vikings are this year--if you have young talent and are having minor to strong successes, the buzz comes back. Simple stuff.

      If you build a strong young team, draft well and continue having waves of talent (it looks like we have one wave coming up and another in Sano, Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Goodrum, etc., etc. a few years later), your window never closes. The worst thing we can do is sell young talent to "win now" when it's clear we're not on the cusp.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I'm always known as a Positive Twins Blogger, so after the Twins make a few moves this offseason, by Spring Training, I'll be writing about how if this goes right, and these guys stay healthy, and if the other teams have injuries and a few of the young players step up, etc., the Twins could compete. And, I do think that any team can surprise. So, I'd never say Don't pick up players or make moves for today. I do think that overall 2014 and 2015 should be considered.
    1. Heinie Manush's Avatar
      Heinie Manush -
      Seth, seems as if I've been a voice in the wilderness since the 2011 trade deadline. There was so much wrong with the organization (not just the team) that weighed against a quick turnaround. In my mind we wasted much of a year and a half by not going "all in" on a rebuild. Trying to do both? Sure, you can have pieces fall into place and make the playoffs ( White Sox, A's) but that's not really a plan, it's pretty much crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

      Winston Smith, above, touches on a key point. Look at the players born in 1986, 1987 or 1988 that are in our system. Not much there. Gibson, Parmalee, Revere, Robertson, Hendricks, maybe Wimmers and a couple others. Those 24-26 year old players need to be the backbone of any organization. Supplement them with useful veterans and role players and then with an impact free-agent or two. That's a reasonable blueprint for continuing success.

      So we need to restock our system with 24 to 26 year old major leaguers/prospects. We've got Mauer and a seemingly strong system at the younger levels. Say we can turn Morneau (and money), Willingham, Span/Revere and two free agent winters into a quality starter, a solid starter, a quality middle infielder, a decent corner bat and a bullpen piece. Then we have fun watching a young but talented team in 2013. A team on the rise that very well could make a playoff run in 2014 and a legitimate contender in 2015.

      As a fan, that would be great. Trying to do that and still plan to compete in 2013 risks a long stretch of mediocrity.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Heinie Manush View Post
      Seth, seems as if I've been a voice in the wilderness since the 2011 trade deadline. There was so much wrong with the organization (not just the team) that weighed against a quick turnaround. In my mind we wasted much of a year and a half by not going "all in" on a rebuild. Trying to do both? Sure, you can have pieces fall into place and make the playoffs ( White Sox, A's) but that's not really a plan, it's pretty much crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

      Winston Smith, above, touches on a key point. Look at the players born in 1986, 1987 or 1988 that are in our system. Not much there. Gibson, Parmalee, Revere, Robertson, Hendricks, maybe Wimmers and a couple others. Those 24-26 year old players need to be the backbone of any organization. Supplement them with useful veterans and role players and then with an impact free-agent or two. That's a reasonable blueprint for continuing success.

      So we need to restock our system with 24 to 26 year old major leaguers/prospects. We've got Mauer and a seemingly strong system at the younger levels. Say we can turn Morneau (and money), Willingham, Span/Revere and two free agent winters into a quality starter, a solid starter, a quality middle infielder, a decent corner bat and a bullpen piece. Then we have fun watching a young but talented team in 2013. A team on the rise that very well could make a playoff run in 2014 and a legitimate contender in 2015.

      As a fan, that would be great. Trying to do that and still plan to compete in 2013 risks a long stretch of mediocrity.
      Nice handle bro!
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      The future is now! Not in 2015 or the year 2525.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Sure, the wild card could come from the AL Central, but considering the A’s, Angels and Rangers in the AL West, and the five strong teams in the AL East, it seems unlikely. (Yes, about as unlikely as the A’s and O’s being playoff teams in 2012.)
      The logic which says, because the wild card will not come from the AL Central, then the Twins should look to the future and not the present, is backwards.

      It is because the AL Central is weakest, that the Twins should push for now.

      The Tigers won the division in 2012 with fewer wins than either wildcard. Winning division is a first round bye, and increases a WS odds by double compared to either wildcard team.

      The playoffs are random, it is binary math, John just went over this.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      FROM THE TERRY RYAN YEARS, a bit before and after.

      What I find interesting in the names that played elsewhere.

      Plus, the players that the Twins have signed back later, either at the major or minor league level.

      And the names that never made it from the top of the draft lists...or may have been traded away (circa of late).

      Enjoy!!!!

      1995: Mientiewicz, Mark Redman. Played elsewhere: Jeff Harris, Robert Ramsay, A.J. Hinch, Mike Moriarty. Duds: Jay Hood, Jason Bell.
      1996: Jacque Jones, Chad Allen, Mike Ryan, Chad Moeller, Mike Lincoln. Played elsewhere: Travis Lee, Mike Lamb (signed him as free agent), Matt Kata, Jason Bard. Dud: Dan Cey.
      1997: Michael Cuddyer, Mike Restovich, Matt LeCroy, JC Romero. Played elsewhere: Nick Punto, then traded for him. Dud: Greg Withelder (who?).
      1998: Kevin Frederick, Tommy Watkins. Played elsewhere: Juan Padilla, Saul Rivera, J.J Putz, Kevin Thompson, Mike Gosling. Duds: Ryan Mills, Marcus Sents, Brent Hoard.
      1999: Justin Morneau (a catcher), Rob Bowen, Willie Eyre, Travis Bowyer, Terry Tiffee. Played elsewhere: Brian Wolfe, Brian Slocum. Duds: B.J. Garbe, Jeff Randanzo, Brent Schoening.
      2000: Adam Johnson, J.D. Durbin, Jason Miller, Josh Rabe, Jason Kubel. Played elsewhere: Paul Maholm, Daniel Davidson. Duds: Tagg Bozied, Colby Miller.
      2001: Joe Mauer, Jose Morales, Nick Blackburn. Played elsewhere: Jason Vargas, Kevin Cameron, Matt Macri (though got him back). Duds: Scott Tyler, Angel Garcia.
      2002: Denard Span, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek. Played elsewhere: Clete Thomas (signed as free agent), Kyle Phillips, Adam Lind, Evan Meek, Jeff Clement, Garrett Mock. Duds: Mark Sauls, Alex Merricks, Ricky Barrett, Doug Deeds...remember T.J. Prunty?
      2003: Scott Baker. Played elsewhere: Levale Speigner, Travis Metcalf, John Gaub, Steve Pearce, Mike Hollimon. Duds: Matt Moses, Johnny Woodward, David Shinskie, Erroll Simontisch, David Winfree, Eli Tintor.
      2004: Trevor Plouffe, Kyle Waldrop, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Fox, Matt Tolbert. Duds: Jay Rainville, Eddie Morlan, Mark Robinson.
      2005: Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Brian Duensing, Rene Tosoni, Alex Burnett. Played elsewhere: Yonder Alonso, Steve Tolleson, Dave Herndon. Duds: Pat Kelly, Drew Thompson, Hank Sanchez, Ryan Mullins, Erik Lis.
      2006: Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson, Tyler Robertson, Brian Dinkelman, Danny Valencia, Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama. Played elsewhere: Andrew Olivier, J.D. Martinez, Duds: Whitney Robbins, Garrett Olson.
      2007: Ben Revere. Played elsewhere: Mickey Storey. Questions: Danny Rams, Angel Morales, Reggie Williams.
      2008: Possibles: Aaron Hicks, Bobby Lanighan. Gone elsewhere: Tyler Ladendorf, Shooter Hunt, Carlos Gutierrez.
      2009: Brian Dozier, Chris Hermann. Possibles: Kyle Gibson. Gone elsewhere: Ben Tootle, Matt Bashore, Billy Bullock.
      2010: Possibles: Alex Wimmers, Niko Goodrum. Gone: Pat Dean.
      2011: Possibles: Levi Michael, Travis Harrison, Hudson Boyd, Madison Boar, Corey Williams.
    1. SeanS7921's Avatar
      SeanS7921 -
      If you have a payroll of around 100 million dollars then you don't need to plan on contedning in 2015 you can contend now. Le Tigres who won only what 88 games this season signed Tori Hunter? Big wow. Tori Hunter got lucky on balls in play last year. His power is dimished and his Defense in RF isn't even average anymore. Maybe plus two wins for Le Tigres. The Twins could contend now with smart trades and a couple of free agent SP signings. You obviously want to be flexible for future years because what you have isn't a sure thing or even close to it. The Blue Jays went all in for this upcoming year. With the package they got which is close to 10 plus wins a year if healthy they went all in. The Twins don't need to do that but can contend in the AL Central with smart moves. Look at the Orioles, I'd argue the Twins are a better team with a couple of above average starters and luck thrown in.
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