• Twins Arbitration Predictions

    The Twins (and all of the teams in baseball) have until 11 p.m. central time tonight (Monday) to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to their arbitration-eligible players. For the Twins, those players are Trevor Plouffe, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak.

    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.

    Photo by Betsy Bissen.

    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.
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that they all will settle. Duensing was the best LHP in the pen (other than Perkins) and Swarzak is a great guy to have around, since he can do many things. People do not realize Plouffe's value. If you look at this OPS+ in 2013, a down season, it was close to Dozier's and Willingham's. This team does not have many power RH hitters. I just wish that Gardenhire played Plouffe at a corner OF position instead of third base and I bet that he would be better with the glove than Willingham/Doumit/Parmelee/Colabello/Arcia who played out there last season. Maybe this will happen when Sano is ready.

      The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that these guys are nice guys, which goes long ways.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Deunsing will get between 1.9 million and 2.0 million. I can see him being traded in the next week to clear a roster spot. I can also see him still pitching here as well. I do not see him being non-tendered because he does have trade value. Even if it is for a low A c prospect at best.

      Swarzak will get between 900k and a Million. I would say the 800k is accurate from MLBtraderumors but he pitched so many innings from the pen that performance warrants a higher salary. Being in the pen warrants the increase be small.

      Plouffe 2.1 million seems about right this is the one I have given the least thought to. I know I shouldn't but I already see him as gone when Sano arrives. I would almost be ok with just letting him go and bringing up Diebenson (I know I misspelled this) Romero after last weeks spending splurge. It would only be for 2-3 months anyways. The only reason I am against it is because Plouffe can play elsewhere if need be (injury to others) and the 6 week power surge 2 years ago.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      I wonder if the Twins will non-tender either Swarzek or Duensing to create a needed spot on the 40 man roster (39 now) for Hughes and Nolasco. Albers, Hendricks, Deduno and Gibson can all be put in the long relief spot...just a thought...may be out in LF.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I would like Plouffe batting behind Mauer against lefties.

      I would like to see Swarzak be a 7th inning middle reliever who may be able to dial it up more for the K. I would have expected Achter to maybe fill that role. It isn't clear to me that Burton and Fien are going to be able to maintain.

      Duensing has good value as a lefty specialist and this can be maximized by trade deadline time.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      I think at least one of these guys are offered a two-year contract. Duensing is the most likely followed by Plouffe. I think it makes these guys easier to trade as well and that would be one of the motivations for a two-year deal.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I think that they all will settle. Duensing was the best LHP in the pen (other than Perkins) and Swarzak is a great guy to have around, since he can do many things. People do not realize Plouffe's value. If you look at this OPS+ in 2013, a down season, it was close to Dozier's and Willingham's. This team does not have many power RH hitters. I just wish that Gardenhire played Plouffe at a corner OF position instead of third base and I bet that he would be better with the glove than Willingham/Doumit/Parmelee/Colabello/Arcia who played out there last season. Maybe this will happen when Sano is ready.

      The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that these guys are nice guys, which goes long ways.
      This makes a lot of sense to me. A couple of recent comments from these guys on Twitter are highly complimentary of the Twins (and of Gardy BTW). Both Plouffe and Swarzak have reached out to new acquisitions with comments like "you'll love Minnesota", and Plouffe tweeted something like "pumped about Gardy's new contract." And I agree that the Twins may value Plouffe more highly than we generally do. Also, they have that loyalty thing going and tend to reach agreements with their arb-eligible players.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I think they'll all settle, but I don't think that's on the horizon. They'll just tender them contracts tonight... the exchange of figures doesn't happen until January, I don't believe.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I think they'll all settle, but I don't think that's on the horizon. They'll just tender them contracts tonight... the exchange of figures doesn't happen until January, I don't believe.
      January 17th to be exact. I got all the important off-season dates here.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      Swarzak and Duensing will be signed soon. Both are good pitchers and deserve their salaries.

      I'm not crazy about offering Plouffe a contract - especially for $2 million. I don't care for his inconsistent hitting and poor fielding. Maybe he would be better in a corner OF position. But in 2013, his hitting did not justify his continued play at 3B - or as a corner OF.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by lee_the_twins_fan View Post
      But in 2013, his hitting did not justify his continued play at 3B - or as a corner OF.
      Did Willingham's and Doumit's ?

      2013 OPS+ : Plouffe: 94 , Willingham: 98, Doumit: 96

      And he has higher upside than both (he is entering his prime while the others have exited it) and will cost just a fraction...

      I just don't get the Plouffe hate.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Rhett Bollinger just tweeted that the Twins have announced that they have tendered contracts to Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak and Trevor Plouffe. No non-tenders.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Rhett Bollinger just tweeted that the Twins have announced that they have tendered contracts to Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak and Trevor Plouffe. No non-tenders.
      No surprise. I do like all three players for what they will receive in salary. Reality is, however, that none of the three will be important players for the Twins when they have a winning team. It wouldn't surprise me to see any or all moved within a year.
    1. ND-Fan's Avatar
      ND-Fan -
      I agree with you on that because talent coming up is going to surely pass them quickly. Also both pitchers have trade value. The reason for Plouffe hate is that he has a lot of talent and has shown flashes of it at time to time. Then he seems like space cadet forgetting what he needs to do become top player having poor at bats to playing poorly in the field this makes him frustrating to watch. I guess he reminds me of kid never had to work hard because his talent always could carry him but now in the majors he needs that talent but also work ethic and intelligence he's never had to do before and I wonder if he can develop it.
    1. Sleestax's Avatar
      Sleestax -
      All three seem like steals to me. I did not realize the low value of great relief pitching! Swarzak c'mon that guy in my mind is worth much more than projected! Very happy that all three were tendered AND that we added some rotation guys! I just love exclamation marks today I guess....ok one big time trade is what I'm waiting for....Price or Stanton!!!
    1. VandyTwinsFan's Avatar
      VandyTwinsFan -
      Swarzak had the second highest WAR for pitchers on the team, after Perkins. Two relief pitchers had a better WAR than the entire starting staff...
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