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  • Winter Meetings Set to Commence

    Last weekend, I traveled down to Nashville to see one of my best friends get married. The fantastic event took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which coincidentally is where general managers and other key executives from around baseball will congregate next week for the annual Winter Meetings.

    Rather than flying, we elected to drive down to Tennessee for the wedding. It was a slow, dull, 14-hour road trip that involved staring into endless cornfields and finding ways to pass the time. Actually, it was somewhat remindful of the Twins' offseason up until yesterday, when the club finally broke the ice by trading Denard Span to the Nationals for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. While a good move, it's geared toward the long-term and does nothing to benefit the 2013 team.

    To that end, the Twins still haven't made any splashes in free agency, and even the faint rumors we've been privvy to those involving names like Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Brett Myers have hardly provided jolts of excitement for the fan base. As a result, there's been consternation amongst fans anxious to see some motion from the front office, but the truth is that things have been quiet all around the league. Typically we see at least a couple of the top dominoes fall in November, but here on the final day of the month, top-tier names like Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Anibal Sanchez are still out there, along with the vast majority of their free agent counterparts. B.J. Upton is basically the only player we've seen sign a major deal.

    My theory is that this slow-developing market relates to the upcoming TV revenue boosts that will affect all 30 major-league teams. Agents who are looking ahead to the financial windfall on deck for next year and the league-wide spending increases that will surely come along with it are reluctant to settle for long-term contracts that adhere to established baselines. Certainly, this would help explain the inflated deals we've seen early on. We're in a transitional period right now, perhaps the early stages of a market shift, and it seems everyone is still trying to work through that dynamic.

    At some point, however, the action will pick up. There's a good chance it will be next week. We encourage everyone to stay tuned to Twins Daily, where we'll have news, analysis and discussion of any breaking news as it relates to the local nine.
    This article was originally published in blog: Winter Meetings Set to Commence started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Big City's Avatar
      Big City -
      In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN), Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said his team will likely pursue free agents over trades at the Winter Meetings. "We probably don't have a lot of pieces that we do have to trade for starting pitching [with Denard Span now gone]," Antony said. "We'll probably be a little more aggressive and spend our time at the winter meetings talking to agents rather than clubs."

      Does anyone have any idea which SP's the Twins have circled as potential targets? With the subtraction of Span we now are about $25 million under payroll from last season. TR's been quoted as saying we need top starting pitchers so, which 3 top SP's could we sign for around $25 annually?


    1. Big City's Avatar
      Big City -
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      TR's been quoted as saying we need top starting pitchers so, which 3 top SP's could we sign for around $25 annually?

      My 3 would be:

      Edwin Jackson $14mil 4-years
      Ryan Dempster$11mil 3-years
      Joe Blanton $8mil 2-years

      A total of $33 mill annually so I went over but not by much.
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      TR's been quoted as saying we need top starting pitchers so, which 3 top SP's could we sign for around $25 annually?

      My 3 would be:

      Edwin Jackson $14mil 4-years
      Ryan Dempster$11mil 3-years
      Joe Blanton $8mil 2-years

      A total of $33 mill annually so I went over but not by much.
      Why do people want Joe Blanton? He is a terrible pitcher and would be no better than Cole Devries. The other two yes i would go after, but Blanton is just a fat guy who will get tired by the 5th inning.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I would look harder at Myers, and even McCarthy to get the extra arms.

      Keep in mind that long-term, 2014/2015, the Twins could fill a rotation with the following names in the system: Gibson, Wimmers, Meyer, Hermsen, Bard, Barrios. We still have Diamond and Hendriks around. You have DeVries and Perdumo in reserve. So, if you could get any of the above names mentioned for 2-3 years, that would be stunning. Yet I would almost love to see the Twins take a 5-6 year plunge and get a Sanchez or dare I say Grienke.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      I originally thought I wouldn't want Grienke, as outside of one great season he's mostly been an above-average pitcher, not a star (nevertheless Cy Young quality compared to anything the Twins have). But he's young enough that he could stick around through the transition from our current veterans to all the young pups who'll be coming up in the near future. And I think it would be nice to have a little stability in the rotation when that is happening.

      That being said, I find it hard to believe anyone is outbidding the Dodgers for Grienke. I kind of feel the same about Anibal Sanchez, he's young enough that 5-6 years of him wouldn't be the worst contract ever if he doesn't tank. Both of those guys are going to get contracts much bigger than I think they should, but I don't get to set the market, and I think I'd like to see one (both ) with the Twins somehow. Not holding my breath, though. The Jackson/Marcum types seem much more likely for the Twins to actually pursue, and who knows what they'll eventually end up with.
    1. Sanibelchuck's Avatar
      Sanibelchuck -
      Hello from Fort Myers. I was out at Hammond Stadium this morning and saw Kyle Gibson and about 4 other Twins (Minor leaguers) working out. Also have heard that Joe Mauer has been out to Hammond in the mornings.
    1. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      My 3 would be:
      Dan Haren - 3 yr/13 million per
      Brandon McCarthy - 2 yr/10 million per
      Joe Saunders - 2 yr/8 million per year
    1. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
      J-Dog Dungan -
      Something I find really good for the Twins is that, according to the MLBTR Top 50 FA List, that of the Top 20 FA's, 8 are SP's and only one, Kuroda, has signed so far. I would have to believe that if the Twins are serious about competing this year that they will use the Winter Meetings to sign at least one of these Top FA's.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      I just hope the Twins don't spend money just to spend money
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by joeboo_22 View Post
      I just hope the Twins don't spend money just to spend money
      When did they ever do that?
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Grienke, Liriano & Myers. We need a true ace bad and for the young pitchers to fallow. Liriano and Myers can be moved to the pen when prospects get called up.
    1. jcphitman's Avatar
      jcphitman -
      We aren't getting Grienke. This is the Twins ... not the Wild or even Vikings, who have spent on big time free agents.

      I'd say we have about a 5-10% chance on Sanchez. I see another team (Tigers?) outbidding us on money and years. Just being 5% will allow the Twins to say they "pursued" him.

      With that being said, we might have a chance at Jackson or Haren ... not both. I see us having a better chance with Jackson. Haren will want to go to a team that can win now. He'll probably want to go back to the NL with his injury issues. Haren is probably LA or even San Diego bound. It'll take overpayment to secure Jackson. I think we probably have 15-20% chance at Haren and 35-40% at Jackson.

      I've just seen it with the Twins all these years. We get very excited on the idea of signing free agents and they never come through with it. I'm excited (yet again this year), but I also know not to get my hopes up.

      I think we're going to sign Meyers for sure. He'll go for 2 years at 14-16 million (7 to 8 per year). A lot for a pitcher trying to start again, but it is what it is.

      Marcum, we have a chance at. He'll want more than a 1 year deal. I live in Milwaukee and got to see him a few times. He had injury issues. I'd say it will take a 3 year deal to get him signed. Will the Twins do it? I'd say 30% chance they go for 3. I could see more of a two year 20 million dollar deal.

      That gives me what? 18 million for Marcum and Meyers? I have 7 million left. I'd rather have McCarthy than Liriano, but I have a feeling we'll go for Liriano over McCarthy. Liriano will go 1 year for either 6-7 million. That will about do it for our 25 million we have to spend. I think McCarthy will want at least a 3 year deal with 10 million per. If TR can convince Pohlad to bite on McCarthy at 30 million for 3 years, we'll be at 28 million for 2013 with the three pitchers. I'm thinking it could be done,

      In the end, I think the Twins will go for two pitchers with guaranteed MLB deals. Take your pick between McCarthy, Marcum, Meyers, Blanton, and Liriano. I think Meyers will be a definite. I'd hope the other one is McCarthy or Marcum, but it will probably be Blanton or Liriano in typical Twins fashion.

      The third pitcher signed will be Pavano or maybe even Webb on a minor league make good deal. The Twins will spell it they can have a good vet coming back trying to earn his way to the majors for cheap as normal.

      They'll go into 2013 with:
      Diamond
      Liriano/Blanton/McCarthy/Marcum
      Meyers
      Pavano/Webb
      Gibson/Blackburn/Deduno/DeVries/Wholters

      If I had to pick 5 for sure that will start a majority of the year, it be:
      Diamond (earned his spot, but not an ace)
      Blanton (Twins will avoid the Liriano reaction from the fans and not pay McCarthy or Marcum)
      Meyers (give him his chance to start)
      Pavano (will bring him back and say his minor league deal was worth it)
      Blackburn (has the best chance to start due to the money situation he's owed ... not much else of a chance, but to have him start)

      We'll see Gibson (limited innings), Deduno, DeVries, and Wholters all start here and there (maybe Duensing and Swarzak too, but probably more bullpen for them).

      It's not a rotation that will make us contend ... looks more like a last place rotation to me. Maybe we battle Cleveland for 4th?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I really want Sachez... I think that's the best calculated free agent signing out there for pitching. Take one year fliers on Bedard and Liriano to compliment him.

      Sanchez should provide value for the duration of his contract.
    1. mako83's Avatar
      mako83 -
      Mark Reynolds to play third and have Parmalee,Ploffufe rf
      Joe Saunders sp
      Brett Myers sp,rp
      Joe Blanton if theres money
      Carl Pavano because we are that stupid
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Big City View Post
      TR's been quoted as saying we need top starting pitchers so, which 3 top SP's could we sign for around $25 annually?

      My 3 would be:

      Edwin Jackson $14mil 4-years
      Ryan Dempster$11mil 3-years
      Joe Blanton $8mil 2-years

      A total of $33 mill annually so I went over but not by much.
      I think K.C. dropped out of the Dempster derby when he turned down 26 million over 2 years
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by jcphitman View Post
      We aren't getting Grienke. This is the Twins ... not the Wild or even Vikings, who have spent on big time free agents.

      I'd say we have about a 5-10% chance on Sanchez. I see another team (Tigers?) outbidding us on money and years. Just being 5% will allow the Twins to say they "pursued" him.

      With that being said, we might have a chance at Jackson or Haren ... not both. I see us having a better chance with Jackson. Haren will want to go to a team that can win now. He'll probably want to go back to the NL with his injury issues. Haren is probably LA or even San Diego bound. It'll take overpayment to secure Jackson. I think we probably have 15-20% chance at Haren and 35-40% at Jackson.

      I've just seen it with the Twins all these years. We get very excited on the idea of signing free agents and they never come through with it. I'm excited (yet again this year), but I also know not to get my hopes up.

      I think we're going to sign Meyers for sure. He'll go for 2 years at 14-16 million (7 to 8 per year). A lot for a pitcher trying to start again, but it is what it is.

      Marcum, we have a chance at. He'll want more than a 1 year deal. I live in Milwaukee and got to see him a few times. He had injury issues. I'd say it will take a 3 year deal to get him signed. Will the Twins do it? I'd say 30% chance they go for 3. I could see more of a two year 20 million dollar deal.

      That gives me what? 18 million for Marcum and Meyers? I have 7 million left. I'd rather have McCarthy than Liriano, but I have a feeling we'll go for Liriano over McCarthy. Liriano will go 1 year for either 6-7 million. That will about do it for our 25 million we have to spend. I think McCarthy will want at least a 3 year deal with 10 million per. If TR can convince Pohlad to bite on McCarthy at 30 million for 3 years, we'll be at 28 million for 2013 with the three pitchers. I'm thinking it could be done,

      In the end, I think the Twins will go for two pitchers with guaranteed MLB deals. Take your pick between McCarthy, Marcum, Meyers, Blanton, and Liriano. I think Meyers will be a definite. I'd hope the other one is McCarthy or Marcum, but it will probably be Blanton or Liriano in typical Twins fashion.

      The third pitcher signed will be Pavano or maybe even Webb on a minor league make good deal. The Twins will spell it they can have a good vet coming back trying to earn his way to the majors for cheap as normal.

      They'll go into 2013 with:
      Diamond
      Liriano/Blanton/McCarthy/Marcum
      Meyers
      Pavano/Webb
      Gibson/Blackburn/Deduno/DeVries/Wholters

      If I had to pick 5 for sure that will start a majority of the year, it be:
      Diamond (earned his spot, but not an ace)
      Blanton (Twins will avoid the Liriano reaction from the fans and not pay McCarthy or Marcum)
      Meyers (give him his chance to start)
      Pavano (will bring him back and say his minor league deal was worth it)
      Blackburn (has the best chance to start due to the money situation he's owed ... not much else of a chance, but to have him start)

      We'll see Gibson (limited innings), Deduno, DeVries, and Wholters all start here and there (maybe Duensing and Swarzak too, but probably more bullpen for them).

      It's not a rotation that will make us contend ... looks more like a last place rotation to me. Maybe we battle Cleveland for 4th?
      Good food for thought. I think you nailed what most are refusing to consider is likely: Watch for obviously-planted amazing rehabiliatory stories on Blackburn re-finding his 08/09 mojo and busting his tail in earning his spot in the rotation in 2013. It will take about a month and a half for the Twins to realize the only ones they were fooling were themselves and then quietly DFAing Blackie once and for all- with Gibson waiting in the wings for the call-up.

      Regarding the rest of the names you mentioned, I think you have to include Saunders and Lannan in that mix of possible options, both of whom could easily fall within the perceived $$$ parameters that are supposedly going to be devoted to starting pitching.

      Regardless, something like what you propose in closing is most likely to happen and "battling for 4th" with Cleveland is sure to keep many a Twin fan on the edge of their seats throughtout 2013.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I have a suspicion that Greinke, Sanchez, and Dempster all want the NL. Dodgers, Nationals (yes), Phillies, Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals are all more likely than the Twins to get any of those three. And that's just the NL.

      Haren, Jackson, and Marcum are tier 1,2,3 pitchers, respectively, and the Twins may not get any of them. That would be very frustrating. Myers and Blanton would not make me happy as the only two additions.
    1. Snortwood's Avatar
      Snortwood -
      At some point the Dodgers and the Phillies and oh yes even the woebegone Cubbies and the suddenly sinking Yankees and such are going to have to wonder why it is that they have to spend 2 or even 3! million per victory, while teams like the A's, Rays, and Twins (pre-2011, at least) barely spend 1m/v.

      Moneyball is alive and well. What is undervalued in the current game? Past actions have shown Terry Ryan to have, if not a statistically determined understanding of that aspect, an intuitive grasp of it. The list of minor-league talent acquired during his first stint, very impressive. Liriano, Ortiz, Guzman, Bartlett, others.

      In short, my guess is the Twins will not sign the obvious big-name top of the line guys but will go for the less highly regarded that have the higher upside against the cost. McCarthy, Liriano, Myers, Pavano, Blanton, that level. I think even Jackson & Marcum are unlikely to fall to the Twins.

      Which means a rotation of Diamond & Gibson, a pair of FAs, and either a third FA or someone up from the system - Deduno, DeVries, etc.

      Put that all together and the simple analysis for 2013 is that the Twins are going to have to score a ton of runs to be competitive.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I still like Marcum as the primary FA pitcher and feel he might fall withing the Twins fianaces, after that McCarty, and one lower cost FA(Lannan, Myers, Liriano, Blanton)though I do not like Blanton. Twins must have been told by Tampa Bay that they did not want what we were offering and Tampa wanted some of the Twins good young prospects(which rightly the Twins did not want to give). Many of the bigger clubs are looking for salary dumps rather than good trades.
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