• 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. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      However, Carroll does have a player option for 2014 where he will be 40 years old. If the Twins FO has decided to essentially build for 2014+ then IMO looking to move Jamey Carroll is a good option.
      The player option kicks in if he accrues >400 PA in 2013. That makes it somewhat a team option - if he sucks, he'll be on the bench anyway, if he's marginal then his playing time goes down in Aug-Sept if he can't be traded at deadline. Don't know how much, if any, this changes the thinking.
      Brian Dozier
      Pedro Florimon
      Trevor Plouffe

      Barring injury I just don't see how he doesn't get >400 PA's.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      There is plenty of revenue to build for the future and still improve for 2013. Signing veteran pitchers to 1-yr contracts does not deter the Twins from building for the future--if anything it prevents the team from being hamstrung with washed-up players when money and roster spots are needed.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      However, Carroll does have a player option for 2014 where he will be 40 years old. If the Twins FO has decided to essentially build for 2014+ then IMO looking to move Jamey Carroll is a good option.
      The player option kicks in if he accrues >400 PA in 2013. That makes it somewhat a team option - if he sucks, he'll be on the bench anyway, if he's marginal then his playing time goes down in Aug-Sept if he can't be traded at deadline. Don't know how much, if any, this changes the thinking.
      Brian Dozier
      Pedro Florimon
      Trevor Plouffe

      Barring injury I just don't see how he doesn't get >400 PA's.
      If he's healthy and contributing as the super-sub to an extent he reaches the threshold, then just pay the man his $2M in 2014. I'm just saying that even this minimal risk is pretty well covered - if he turns out to be totally not worth that much money at age 40, chances are his 2013 will take care of the question on its own.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by joeboo_22 View Post
      I'd still be shopping Carroll as there appears to be some type of market out there for that type of player, and it would cut some more salary.
      If you trade Carroll, who's hitting leadoff? Mastroianni? Dozier? Yuck.

      If someone knocks your socks off with an offer for Carroll, you take it, but that's not going to happen. He's 39. He's also the only player in the Twins' (apparently finalized) middle-infield mix that is likely to be anywhere close to average. That's worth a lot more to the Twins than $3.75 million.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      One of the things that Ryan does well, generally, is evaluate talent. While I haven't seen enough, at the major league level, to have a lot of confidence in either Florimon or Dozier. At seems that perhaps Ryan has. Clearly, it doesn't seem to be a priority to add middle infield talent. It looks to me, like the top of the order will be pretty weak to start the season. I expect Hicks still needs minor league seasoning and even if Benson takes the center field job, that wouldn't address the top of the lineup.

      Maybe Ryan thinks that Mastroianni and some combination of Dozier, Carroll, Plouffe, can fill the 1st 2 spots in the order. I actually hope so, or you are going to with about 4 darn weak bats in a row somewhere in the order.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Who is batting 1 and 2. If they aren't good, Mauer doesn't get to hit...much. Who is playing cenetrfield. We gave up two leadoff hitters for a number nine spot in the batting order. ho is at second and short. How will they play together,

      Yes, the Twins are two starters away from having a rotation. And, don't forget, for all the grips of 2012, I felt we had a chance with Pavano, Baker, Blackburn, Liriano and Marquis (plus Swarzak/Duensing/Hendriks as backup). 4 of the 5 should've started 30+ games and thrown 200 innings and all win more games than they would lose. You would've thunk. But we all know what happened.

      Right now, today, I would predict a Twins line-up of Benson, Carroll, Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Parmell, Plouffe, Florimon. A bench of Butera, Dozier, Mastro and someone undetermined.

      A starting rotation of Worley, Diamond, Gibson/Hendriks and two guys to be determined.

      A bullpen of Perkins, Burton, Duensing, Burnett, Robertson, Pressly, Roienke.

      There are defense problems in the outfield and infield. They is still the clutch-hitting that plagued the team alst year. Without Revere and Casilla, the Twins lost a lot of stolen bases and MAYBE toe ability to make something extra happen in the gameplan.

      If Morneau is traded, the Twins need an established outfielder. If Mauer would go, the Twins need a better-than-average catcher. Hopefully, both could bring some major-league ready bodies to the game (Mauer for 4 Red Sox, Morneau for a pitcher and a 4th outfielder or starting infielder). I can live with Parmelee at first. I can almost live with Doumit and another person catching (not Butera). I can't live with 2-3 rookies in the outfield (sorry Hicks, Arcia and Benson -- I still see Hicks one solid year away, and Arcia coming up early and learning and flaying on the job).

      The Hot Stove season still has two solid months yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the Twins can do something with $25-30 million. They have my money, I want to se them spend it rather than look at it!
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      My outlook on 2013 is greatly discouraged every time I hear how vital Jamey Carroll is so he can hit at the top of our lineup.

      Just sayin.
    1. Kobs's Avatar
      Kobs -
      Call me crazy, but I have a hard time considering a guy with a .343 OBP as "great" at getting on base.

      I don't expect three OPSs over ..800 this season. Tough to win with that.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Not sure if you guys are aware of a potential BIZARRE change in the NFL, but it involves having like 4th and 25 or 30 at their own 30 or something after a touchdown or field goal. It's completely strange to think about a team punting after having just scored. The Twins have just scored and cannot be said to be punting. They are bound to now get Dempster or Marcum, or they could even get both if they go up to 25 million to spend.

      The 2013 team is already a bit better with Worley than Revere anyway.
    1. Musk21's Avatar
      Musk21 -
      Another SP option off the board. McCarthy to DBacks per Heyman.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      4th and 15...it is an intriguing idea, but they would need to not allow a first down by penalty....too easy to get interference or holding....for the Twins, I think we are just in the third inning of the off-season....
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      The 2013 team is already a bit better with Worley than Revere anyway.
      And Span?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kobs View Post
      Call me crazy, but I have a hard time considering a guy with a .343 OBP as "great" at getting on base.

      I don't expect three OPSs over ..800 this season. Tough to win with that.
      I agree with your first point, though I think there are 5 guys who have a shot of cracking the .800 mark. Mauer, Morneau, and Willingham should do it relatively easily. Parmalee and Plouffe are question marks, but it is hardly a given that these guys will stink...
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I agree with your first point, though I think there are 5 guys who have a shot of cracking the .800 mark. Mauer, Morneau, and Willingham should do it relatively easily. Parmalee and Plouffe are question marks, but it is hardly a given that these guys will stink...
      Achieving .800+ is hardly the bar for stink or not-stink.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      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.
      And of course, jokin, true to form, you are a half nest empty guy. Congratulations. Thanks for the advice, by the way, to rely on Ryan's actions and not his words. Perhaps you should take your own advice, jokin. Ryan's stiil going to take more action, but you judge him on his words and accuse him of various forms dishonesty, don't you? Isn't that hypocritical of you? Isn't that perhaps a form of dishonesty in and of itself?
      I realize he's your cocktail party buddy and all, but unlike you, I have no emotional stake on this subject. His actions, like anyone in his political position means you always must look at what they do and "interpret" everything they say- at the top of the list this would include collaborating and conspiring with Carl and Bud to contract the team (and come away with his own fat payday on the deal).
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I agree with your first point, though I think there are 5 guys who have a shot of cracking the .800 mark. Mauer, Morneau, and Willingham should do it relatively easily. Parmalee and Plouffe are question marks, but it is hardly a given that these guys will stink...
      Achieving .800+ is hardly the bar for stink or not-stink.
      Won't the big drop-off of OBP at the top of the order (ie Carroll/Dozier, playing 2B- batting 2nd in Gardy's feverish mind) tend to hurt the production numbers in the middle of the line-up somewhat?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      The 2013 team is already a bit better with Worley than Revere anyway.
      And Span?
      That's just it, too many posters are pretending to themselves that this never happened.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Musk21 View Post
      Another SP option off the board. McCarthy to DBacks per Heyman.
      Hey, they're still in on the Kevin Correia sweepstatkes, so there's that.
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Musk21 View Post
      Another SP option off the board. McCarthy to DBacks per Heyman.
      Hey, they're still in on the Kevin Correia sweepstatkes, so there's that.
      Yayyyy............................................ .
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      mww, it's also realistic for me to buy a new Mercedes and enter it into a demolition derby. Not gonna do it. Guess I'm just cheap, right?



      You're not wrong for wanting Marcum, Sanchez, or whomever at their asking price. That doesn't make you greedy. But refusing to do that doesn't make the Twins cheap either.
      Birdwatcher's "cheap-cheap" sliding scale of expectations

      Gunnarthor's followup quote:

      "Yeah, I think he gets at least 5 years and over 15m per. His agent called a 4/48 offer insulting. Still, I'd be willing to offer him 5/70 and hope that's enough. Also like to see Marcum come here."


      Gunnarthor said it best, I believe this was the scenario you were suggesting was what Ryan was seeking, and you would hold him to this. This is the scenario that would have me doing handstands and cartwheels and singing TR praises.

      This aint gonna happen.

      This wasn't gonna happen once Span was moved. This is why you are now apparently in agreement with Ryan, ie calling a .500 record, "contending".
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.