My first prediction is the Twins will offer arbitration to all three. First, the dollars they will potentially receive for 2014 will not be huge, so the Twins could take them on. Secondly, each would have at least some measure of trade value at the dollars he will receive. Plouffe has shown flashes of power, is young and has the ability to play a lot of positions. Swarzak can eat a lot of innings out of the bullpen or there may be some teams that think he could be a back-of-the-rotation starter. Duensing is a left-handed reliever who, aside from 2013, has dominated left-handed hitters. Again, there is value in that.
Below, I will put out predictions for each of these players as it relates to tonight and his arbitration process.
Last year at this time Duensing and the Twins settled on a $1.3 million contract for 2013 . He went 6-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 61 innings. He walked just 22 and struck out 56. He is in line for a raise with projections being anywhere from $1.8 million to $2.3 million. Duensing will be 31 years old through the 2014 season.
Prediction: The two sides will reach an agreement today and won't need to exchange numbers. My guess is $2.1 million. If they don't, I would think the Twins will come in at $1.8 and Duensing's side will come in at $2.5.
Offseason Handbook Prediction: $2.5 million
MLB Trade Rumors Prediction: $1.9 million
This year, Anthony Swarzak is eligible for arbitration for the first time. He led all relievers in 2013 with 96 innings pitched. He walked 22 and struck out 69. He posted a 3-2 record with a 2.91 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He will be 28 years old through the 2014 season. Projections have been that he would make $0.8 million, but I could see him getting as much as the $1.3 million that Duensing made a year ago.
Prediction: I think the two sides will come together on a deal at or just over $1 million dollars. If not, I think the Twins will offer $800,000 while the Swarzak camp will likely ask for closer to $1.4 million.
Offseason Handbook Prediction: $1.3 million.
MLB Trade Rumors Prediction: $800,000.
Trevor Plouffe is an interesting case, in his first year as an arbitration-eligible player. Last year, he hit .254/.309/.392 (.701) with 22 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, and 52 RBI in a career-high 129 games. He won't turn 28 until mid-June.
Prediction: My sense is that this one won't settle today and the two sides will exchange numbers. I think the Twins will offer about $1.4 million and Plouffe's side could ask for as much as $2.2 million. At the end of the day, they'll likely agree on a deal somewhere around $1.75 million.
Offseason Handbook Prediction: $2.0 million
MLB Trade Rumors Prediction: $2.1 million
So there are my predictions with the predictions of the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook and MLB Trade Rumors. What are your thoughts? What will they offer to these three players and what kind of money would you offer or find acceptable? Get your thoughts in before tonight's 11 p.m. CT deadline.