• Twins Punting 2013? Not So Fast

    Ben Revere swingsTrading established players for prospects is the sign of a rebuilding team, and that is certainly what we've seen from Terry Ryan with his first few major moves this offseason. Many casual fans have expressed outrage over trades that sent Denard Span and Ben Revere – cornerstones in the Minnesota outfield – to the NL East for young pitching geared more toward the big picture than immediate improvement.

    The two prizes acquired in these deals, Alex Meyer and Trevor May, both have what it takes to become true assets in the rotation. In all likelihood it won't happen in 2013, which is understandably frustrating for fans who are tired of all the losing and are yearning for short-term gains. However, the presence of Vance Worley cannot be ignored. He's an established major-league pitcher, and while he's probably more serviceable than great, he fills one of the club's several rotation vacancies at essentially no cost.

    Assuming that ownership is serious about keeping payroll steady, that leaves Ryan with around $20-25 million to spend on starters who can make a more immediate impact. Adding a pair of $10 million pitchers on top of Diamond and Worley, even in this inflated market, would greatly change the complexion of the starting corps. The rotation is not going to suddenly become an asset -- that was never really a possibility -- but could be good enough to compete, and there's always the chance that Meyer or May will perform well enough in the minors to become a late-season option.

    To get themselves into this vastly preferable position with the pitching staff while retaining plenty of financial flexibility, the Twins had to part with a pair of valuable and likable players. But Darin Mastroianni ought to be an adequate placeholder and a guy like Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia could very well step in and make fans quickly forget about the previous tenants.

    Having lost nearly 200 games over the last two seasons, this team was in need of a major shake-up, and we're seeing it. There's no doubt that it hurts to lose players we've grown to love and appreciate, but at the end of the day the GM has dealt away from a position of depth to address a position of crippling weakness.

    I have held fast to my stance that the best approach for the Twins at this time is to make a modest but meaningful effort at returning to contention next year, with an eye toward the organization's long-term health. After two savvy trades, Ryan is in position to do just that.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Punting 2013? Not So Fast started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 121 Comments
    1. Mauerpower's Avatar
      Mauerpower -
      ha that's my bad I got that backwards. However, a bone spur and and bone chip still are not the same thing.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      2013 is written off as far as I am concerned.

      If you are going to do it, do it right.

      Trade Mauer. Trade Morneau. Trade Willingham.
    1. Mauerpower's Avatar
      Mauerpower -
      ha i read that backwards. however, a bone spur and bone chip are still completely different.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      It seems to me that the Twins need at least a solid #2 starter to have a decent shot to contend. Would it make sense to make a big offer to Anibal Sanchez?
    1. frightwig's Avatar
      frightwig -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Drew Storen had surgery to remove bone chips in April of last season, came back in July and posted a 2.37 ERA with a sub-1.00 WHIP the rest of the way.
      Storen came back to throw 4.1 innings in July (4.15 ERA, 4.2 K/9), 10.2 innings in August (3.38 ERA, 6.8 K/9), and 15.1 innings in Sept/October (1.17 ERA, 8.2 K/9). He had a light workload that got progressively greater as he seemed to get stronger. I don't think that's the model we can expect Worley to follow. Worley is going to be expected to take his regular turns in the rotation, and I'm anticipating that the results won't look so hot for at least a couple months (while we occasionally read reports about 'breaking the scar tissue,' building strength, and gaining confidence in his elbow) because I've seen that movie before.

      Johan Santana in April/May 2004 is a big example that comes to mind (of course he was awesome from June onwards that season and won the Cy Young, because he was Johan Santana in his prime, but he had a 5.61 ERA in April/May). In June 2010, Santana also commented to the media about his slow recovery from another off-season surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow (LINK: http://metsblog.com/metsblog/johan-s...-from-surgery/). Part of his complaint at that time was that the injury had affected his mechanics... and, who knows, maybe that led to the shoulder injury that put him out for 2011, too. If 2004 Santana is a best-case scenario (Cy Young after a rough start), I guess the ultimate outcome of Santana's 2010 season would be the worst-case.

      I'm hopeful that Worley will be able to post a 4.00 ERA, or better, after May next season, and will go on to have a successful Twins career. In the meantime, I also hope that Twins fans won't immediately write him off if he struggles out of the gate next spring. Some recovery time at the start of the season should be expected.
    1. jessellsworth's Avatar
      jessellsworth -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      The Twins are not punting, and should not be punting in 2013. Look at the state of this division. Not a powerhouse in it. It was the weakest in baseball in 2012, and I don't really see it being any better next year. If the Twins can upgrade their starting pitching and middle infield from godawful to competent, they'll be able to hang in the race for a while.

      No power team in the division? What division are the Tigers in?? Didn't they just makes the World Series?? I could be wrong. But I thought they did and have Victor Martinez coming back and signed Torri Hunter.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      The Twins have zero intention to "punt" for 2013.. Ryan made that very clear again today in more than one interview. He said they intend to shore up the rotation. He may misfire, but he isn't punting.

      Now, it could certainly be that Ryan's expectation is to field a .500 ballclub at best for 2013. Isn't it unrealistic to expect a contending club for 2013 AND these great strides towards respectable future results? So, some of you might describe efforts to produce a .500 ballclub a "punt". I don't.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Good article, Nick. It's amazing how things can turn. I am still flabbergasted by getting a legit pitcher for 2013 and a prospect for the future in return for Ben Revere.

      From Philly's perspective, it is actually good too. They save a bunch of money and can spend on pitching or whatever. Michael Young and Dempster or somebody are possibilities now without spending that money on Bourn.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      It had looked like a punt after the Span trade. But this Revere deal had been in the works for awhile anyway.

      What's fascinating to me is that Aaron Hicks, who was maligned by Twins "fans" going into 2012, may MAY be the starting CF and leadoff hitter for the 2013 Twins.
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      sign Ichiro!!!!! lol not really

      but maybe

      anyways REMEMBER NOT TO RUSH AARON HICKS he needs a FULL season of AA/ AAA time.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      The FA market is pretty bad for CF after the top players. It seems doubtful that the Twins would do that now.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      The Twins have zero intention to "punt" for 2013.. Ryan made that very clear again today in more than one interview. He said they intend to shore up the rotation. He may misfire, but he isn't punting.

      Now, it could certainly be that Ryan's expectation is to field a .500 ballclub at best for 2013. Isn't it unrealistic to expect a contending club for 2013 AND these great strides towards respectable future results? So, some of you might describe efforts to produce a .500 ballclub a "punt". I don't.
      Not surprisingly, you're a nest-half-full guy. What else would you expect Ryan to say in this situation? Read his actions, they speak far more clearly than his words.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      It had looked like a punt after the Span trade. But this Revere deal had been in the works for awhile anyway.

      What's fascinating to me is that Aaron Hicks, who was maligned by Twins "fans" going into 2012, may MAY be the starting CF and leadoff hitter for the 2013 Twins.

      Dave has him alreay penciled for the BBHOF, others remain cautiously optimistic that everything finally clicked last year after all these years in the wilderness and that he's virtually on the cusp of a great Twins career that may net him membership in the Twins HOF some day.

      Having said that, it would be a stunning development if he left with the team in April. Erik Komatsu and Clete Thomas will probably be available again on the waiver wire.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Hicks should get the chance. We need to start exposing the younger players and slowing the process down will not help either the attendance or the Twins major league club. If he fails he can season in Rocester.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Detroit was the American League representative in the World Series. Twins' fans like to cast aspersions on Detroit and Chicago, but to deny Detroit's talent is perhaps being a bit short sited.
      ---Really? Detroit had the 7th-best record in the American league last year (playing a much softer schedule than the 6 teams from the other 2 divisions who finished with better records) and needed a late-season collapse from a very mediocre White Sox team to even get to the post season

      Yes, they have some very talented guys, but they are a stars-and-scrubs team, very top heavy without a lot of depth. Once you get past Verlander, Scherzer, Fielder and Cabrera, what do you really have there? A team with holes in its lineup that is bad defensively and has a suspect bullpen.

      Certainly, the Tigers would have to be considered the favorite to win the division going into 2013, but they're not some unstoppable powerhouse, the fact that they got hot for a couple of weeks in October notwithstanding.
      Yes, really. The point is to get in the play-offs, and then perform, right? The season really doesn't matter as much as what you do in the play-offs, as long as you get in. Cardinals in 2006 (83 wins), Twins in 1987 (85 wins), Yankees in 2000 (87 wins). All earned the World Series title with dismal records. True, 2012's Tigers (88 wins) got swept in the Series when the the bats went cold, but other than the first game, the pitching didn't. They outperformed the rest of the league when the pressure was on, still earned their spot in the series, and their players performed when it counted more than any other team in the American League, and they did it as a team, not individuals that considered themselves stars-and-scrubs. I tip my hat to them as a baseball fan first, and a Twins' fan second. I like Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame, too. He did what he had to do to win the game, and to win BIG games. Sometimes that means you don't have to get everybody out all the time.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      2013 is written off as far as I am concerned.

      If you are going to do it, do it right.

      Trade Mauer. Trade Morneau. Trade Willingham.
      Mlb rumors reports Terry Ryan will listen to offere for everyone including Morneau and MAUER
      so does that mean Ellsbury in cf,and Lester in the rotation?
    1. mako83's Avatar
      mako83 -
      Revere couldnt handle being the no.1 cf. On pitching I am happy we got someone. But I still think we should go after a ss,2b,3b player right now. Screw sp until grenike and sanchez sign.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      The Twins have zero intention to "punt" for 2013.. Ryan made that very clear again today in more than one interview. He said they intend to shore up the rotation. He may misfire, but he isn't punting.

      Now, it could certainly be that Ryan's expectation is to field a .500 ballclub at best for 2013. Isn't it unrealistic to expect a contending club for 2013 AND these great strides towards respectable future results? So, some of you might describe efforts to produce a .500 ballclub a "punt". I don't.
      I think this is well said... a lot of things will have to break right for the Twins to contend, but some smart moves can make this team a .500 club.

      Presently I'm not sure we are any better than we were last season (though I'm not sure we are much worse either), but one big signing and that will change. Like others said, this team is still going to need pitching in 2015. Getting a guy like Sanchez who is 28 and would have a decent bet of providing decent value to that big contract makes a ton of sense.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      The Twins have zero intention to "punt" for 2013.. Ryan made that very clear again today in more than one interview. He said they intend to shore up the rotation. He may misfire, but he isn't punting.

      Now, it could certainly be that Ryan's expectation is to field a .500 ballclub at best for 2013. Isn't it unrealistic to expect a contending club for 2013 AND these great strides towards respectable future results? So, some of you might describe efforts to produce a .500 ballclub a "punt". I don't.
      Agreed 100%. If the Twins pick up Dempster, they're instantly a better team than they were in 2012. If they pick up Marcum and, say, Liriano, they're quite a bit better. If they pick up Marcum, Liriano, and find a way to pull a middle infielder off the market, they're a vastly superior team to the 2012 squad.
    1. Einstein's Avatar
      Einstein -
      Even if the starting rotation is solidified, they've got holes at 2B, SS, 3B, CF and even DH. I predict another 90 loss season. They've definitely punted on 2013, come to grips with it already.
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