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  • On Terry Ryan, Truth And Gravity

    In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M Pirsig dwells on a topic about which we often argue at Twins Daily: Truth. (*1) Given a finite amount of data – and there is always only a finite amount of data – the human imagination is capable of creating an infinite number of explanations for what that data shows. But ultimately, one strikes us as The Truth. It can feel like an epiphany, an absolute. But it’s really just the prettiest of the explanations of which we can conceive.

    This is true even for scientific facts, like gravity (*2). It's even more true when there is less observable data, like say, watching the moves of your favorite baseball team's front office. We can speculate from the outside, but odds are the truths we think we've found are the truths that appeal to us and are likely to change.

    My experience is that even when the people involved tell you The Truth, it's of limited value. They likely don't want to tell you the whole truth. It may even be that they don't understand it themselves.

    At the press conference where the Twins introduced Ricky Nolasco, Terry Ryan was asked about whether the Twins philosophy is changing towards free agency. He replied that he didn't think so (*3), that they had always said that they would utilize free agency when it was appropriate, and this was certainly appropriate. He implied the difference was that they now had the resources.

    That's a fine explanation, one that certainly can pass as The Truth for a limited set of facts. But there are other facts it doesn't explain. And the top one is that the Twins were in the exact same situation last year, and risked just $15 million on two pitchers, instead of the $73 million (and maybe more, soon) that they have already spent this year. In fact, last year, they under-spent their budget by $20 million.

    This additional data point can also be explained an infinite number of ways. For instance,
    1) Maybe an extra year of losing added more urgency.
    2) Maybe last year the increase in prices surprised the Twins.
    3) Maybe Ryan just wasn't accustomed to having money to spend.
    4) Maybe they just like Nolasco and Phil Hughes more than any pitchers last year.
    5) Maybe someone new in the front office gained influence and convinced the organization to spend the money.
    6) Maybe someone above Terry Ryan in the Twins hierarchy convinced him to spend the money.

    Or maybe the philosophy changed. Whichever truth you choose depends on which additional events you choose to include, and which explanation you find most appealing.


    (*1)Actually, Robert M. Persig dwells on a lot of things, and they’re all wrapped inside an intriguing and somewhat gut-wrenching story that I should really re-read. And which you should too. It’s the offseason. Trust me on this one.

    (*2)You might have trouble, even in the Twins Daily forums, arguing against gravity. But before Isaac Newton, people noticed that stuff tended to fall to earth. The accepted Truth was that objects had an “earthly nature” that made them return to earth. It wasn’t until Newton came along and started talking about the other heavenly bodies and how they were holding other objects in orbit, and creating formulas for how quickly things fell to earth, that the idea of gravity sunk in.

    For the record, those previous “nature” ideas weren’t proposed by some dummy. This was Aristotlian (as in Aristotle) Physics. It was the truth for nearly two thousand years because it made sense to everyone. We accept gravity because it made even more sense once we started realizing the earth wasn’t the center of the universe.

    And we might well throw it aside – and Albert Einstein already did as part of general relativity. Which, by the way, has been modified several times by various theories. Einstein doesn't have all matter attracting other matter. Rather, matter curves spacetime, bending objects in motion towards itself. And with that insufficient teaser, I and my one trimester of physics are disentangling ourselves from this explanation.

    Instead, I choose to focus on this: we are talking about something that most would consider scientific fact, and yet every few hundred years, it’s modified as we recognize a different explanation as "truth" for why that apple falls on your head. They all explain the apple. But the one we accept at different times extends from additional facts and observations and is eventually adopted as the cleanest explanation. If scientific fact is that malleable, how absolute is any truth?

    (*3) The question was asked by Wally Langfellow of Minnesota Score magazine. Here was Ryan's entire reply:

    “No, I don’t think so Wally. This isn’t a change in philosophy. We’ve always said, if we need to do something. Now we have the resources to do it; there’s no doubt. If we were still in the Metrodome, this probably wouldn’t happen. But we’re in Target Field. We’ve got more revenue and resources, certainly. This is a nice opportunity. We need pitching. We went out and got it.

    As people recall, we tried to retain [Johan] Santana or retain Torii Hunter. To some extent, we just didn’t have the wherewithal. We would not hesitate to jump into free agency. I don’t think it’s the greatest path, because it is risky. We all know that. Free agency is not the answer. It’s a help and a supplement to a roster. But if you’re relying on free agency year-in and year-out, it’s not gonna work.

    Now we’re in a situation where we need help. We need immediate help. And this is the reason Ricky is sitting here. But I don’t see this as a big change. Yeah, this is a nice contract for any player. But we’ve given out contracts of sizable worth and that lad over there on that poster [Ryan points to a picture of Joe Mauer] is a good example. He’s making a lot of money. We’re not afraid to do it, provided we get the right fit.”
    This article was originally published in blog: On Terry Ryan, Truth And Gravity started by John Bonnes
    Comments 111 Comments
    1. OldManWinter's Avatar
      OldManWinter -
      Intellectually interesting topic. Brings out the best in contributors.

      "Whole truth" in complex decisions takes years to develop, you cannot digest it into a sound bite.

      Anyway, thanks for stimulating the readers.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Joe Mauers contract , was not Just about production..It is about being a home town hero.
      While I thought it was a bit long. We can see the team has recouped the value of his contract.
      The Twins now have a big payday in MLB-tv revenue, which they didnt have in 89, also this year a 30+ million bump from the all star game, My point was as contracts go up so do revenue, since selig took over revenue has gone up over 600% while players salaries have gone up 435%

      What does any of this have to do with objectivity and ignoring Joe Mauer's contract while making a point of Kirby's contract. And, given we are talking about willingness to make large FA committments, Kirby's 3 year deal was not even remotely in the same leauge as Mauer's 8 year deal, yet Mauer's deal was ignored while Kirby's contract was highlighted as proof of a great willongness to spend in the past.

      The rest of the supporting facts make no sense in the context either.

      You are using increased revenue in 2014 to justify a decision that was made in 2010.

      Increases in leauge revenues are not relevent to comparing contracts to to Kirby and Mauer. The Twins don't pay players with leauge revenues. They utilize their own revenue so a meaningful measure would be to compare the Twins 1989 revenue to present. Unless present revenue is great than a 766% increase, the twins do not have increased capacity in relative terms.Even this measure is not all that relevent, at least not in itself. It probably makes more sense to look at percentage of payroll budget as well as the delta in revenue growth between the top markets and the twins. Mauer's contract was about 20% of payroll in 2010. Kirby's was 18.6% of 1990 and 13.7% in 1991.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Speaking of facts and perception - I wonder how one would try to measure this. I'm not sure it's that important to the discussion, because what is important is Ryan's perception of that free agent pitching pool. But my perception is completely the opposite. I don't think last year's was worse.

      I tried to show this before last offseason started, by comparing it to the previous five years, using the dollars likely to be thrown at them (and still underthrew the mark on those dollars considerably). But I suppose one could say that the dollars show how thin it was, though I would disagree.

      I wonder how we could do that. Maybe compare some basic metrics from teh year before for each pitcher?
      You could take the top 10 FAs for the two years by IP and FIP in their previous three years and line them up. I'm pretty sure the picture will be abundantly clear.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I think Ryan's plan A last year was rebuilding. I also don't think he was going to come out and say it (right or wrong, that's a different debate). The class was really weak, and as much as we slammed him for KC/Pelfrey, those are looking like pretty good moves in hindsight. He's already spent the $25MM in found money, and based on the rumors, it doesn't sound like the Twins are done. Given what they have coming up the pipe, I think they should be done other than some low risk/high reward type deals. They've added 2 guys that should be able to stabilize the rotation in 2015/16, which is what the next wave was going to need.
      No, Ryan hasn't spent a dime of that found money. Examine the payroll (found on hyperlink at top of TD header) and we find that the payroll is still lower than that of the 2013 season. Ryan has simply redeployed the salaries of Morneau, Blackburn, Carroll, Butera, and Pelfrey to salaries for Nolasco and Hughes. There is still another $2MM or so remaining for redeployment. None of the "found $25MM has been used.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      No, Ryan hasn't spent a dime of that found money. Examine the payroll (found on hyperlink at top of TD header) and we find that the payroll is still lower than that of the 2013 season. Ryan has simply redeployed the salaries of Morneau, Blackburn, Carroll, Butera, and Pelfrey to salaries for Nolasco and Hughes. There is still another $2MM or so remaining for redeployment. None of the "found $25MM has been used.
      This is true, we know that. Simple facts. And of course, last year was not high.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      No, Ryan hasn't spent a dime of that found money. Examine the payroll (found on hyperlink at top of TD header) and we find that the payroll is still lower than that of the 2013 season. Ryan has simply redeployed the salaries of Morneau, Blackburn, Carroll, Butera, and Pelfrey to salaries for Nolasco and Hughes. There is still another $2MM or so remaining for redeployment. None of the "found $25MM has been used.
      Yup. Until TR ponies up for Arroyo/Garza/Pelfrey/Santana plus a Catcher, plus a Bat, it's more of the same old/same old. I was genuinely surprised that a major, roster clearing, trade wasn't accomplished at the Winter Meetings, and the best that has come out of it so far has been Kubel on a minor league deal.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Until TR ponies up for Arroyo/Garza/Pelfrey/Santana plus a Catcher, plus a Bat, it's more of the same old/same old.
      This is an absurd standard to set. If I didn't know you were serious, the statement on itself would appear overtly sarcastic.
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      "So much of why some of us cut Ryan more slack and others are harshly critical stems from our amazing ability to see the "facts" so differently, or to create a fact set that supports our agenda."

      Great Article, John - but this is what TR does with maddeningly regularity. He creates facts to support his agenda - that being to run this ball club as cheaply as possible, while BSing his way to explain why we have 3 consecutive 90+ loss seasons.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      This is an absurd standard to set. If I didn't know you were serious, the statement on itself would appear overtly sarcastic.
      What's absurd about this standard? Is Howard Sinker "sarcastic" too? Going straight to the horse's mouth, Terry Ryan himself has admitted that these needs should be addressed this offseason as priorities. As of right now, assuming no other major additions occur, the Twins payroll will be lower than 2013, which was lower than 2012, which was lower than 2011- yep, the facts are absurd, aren't they?

      The fact that the Twins have for all intents and purposes admitted that what they have done with the SP over the last 2 years has been an utter failure, means that they are going forward with a changed mindset. This major philosophical change means that breaking the trend, ie, spending on higher quality talent, should include other areas of deficiency- it makes little sense to take half measures only. Should the $25M be put to use in this philosophical change? I certainly hope so! As of today, they still haven't spent one penny of the "found revenue". Adding another quality pitcher to rotation (of those listed above, less Pelfrey), a Big League bat and a proven catcher shouldn't even cost the full $25....

      hardly "an absurd standard to set"......
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      What's absurd about this standard? Is Howard Sinker "sarcastic" too? Terry Ryan has admitted that these needs should be addressed as priorities. As of right now, assuming no other major additions occur, the Twins payroll will be lower than 2013, which was lower than 2012, which was lower than 2011- yep, the facts are absurd, aren't they?

      The fact that the Twins have for all intents and purposes admitted that what they have done with the SP over the last 2 years has been an utter failure, means that they are going forward with a changed mindset. This major philosophical change means that breaking the trend, ie, spending on higher quality talent, should include other areas of deficiency. Should the $25M be put to use in this philosophical change? I certainly hope so! As of today, they still haven't spent one penny of the "found revenue". Adding another quality pitcher to rotation (of those listed above, less Pelfrey), a Big League bat and a proven catcher shouldn't even cost the full $25....

      hardly "an absurd standard to set"......
      Absurd is hard to measure. If you can manage to ignore that 29 other teams also got an extra $25M, and if you presume this is every free agents 1st choice, then, I guess it is a perfectly reasonable expectation. It also helps if you ignore Seattle just got a $2B TV contract, the Angels have a $150M/yr contract and the LAD have a $250M/yr contract and we have not talked about Boston or New York.

      It is also December 14th. So, to suggest the 2014 payroll is below 2013 would be quite premature. For god sake, we are a week removed from the two largest FA signings in the teams history.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
      Absurd is hard to measure. If you can manage to ignore that 29 other teams also got an extra $25M, and if you presume this is every free agents 1st choice, then, I guess it is a perfectly reasonable expectation. It also helps if you ignore Seattle just got a $2B TV contract, the Angels have a $150M/yr contract and the LAD have a $250M/yr contract and we have not talked about Boston or New York.

      It is also December 14th. So, to suggest the 2014 payroll is below 2013 would be quite premature. For god sake, we are a week removed from the two largest FA signings in the teams history
      .
      On December 14th of last year, Ryan was done, completely done, in "upgrading" the team for 2013. And because we have made the 2 largest signings, means it's not anywhere close to time to stop with the upgrades. To come out of the Winter Meetings with zip can only be regarded as a setback to new-look Plan B. And your "Cry Poor" approach is so 2009, the Twins have the money available, even though a few of the clubs you mention are in a better financial position- the ones you mentioned are all Big Game Hunting, I don't think anyone's realistically projecting the Twins to compete for most of those names, just to make prudent, but solid incremental improvements at glaring areas of need. It's true, 29 teams have received media money, but each club's situation is unique, many clubs aren't spending at all, but rather are looking to stand pat or even further significantly reduce, not increase, bloated payrolls- these are clubs where a salary relief deal might work in the Twins favor for a trade.

      To reiterate, the Twins as of yet, still haven't increased payroll over last year, they passed or withdrew from seriously competing on some very needed and acquirable international and MLB FAs, and there isn't anyone, even Terry Ryan, arguing that the current projected Twins offense has improved over the anemic 2013 production- and they certainly have no excuses for needing to do better than Pelfrey as their third SP signing
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      What's absurd about this standard? Is Howard Sinker "sarcastic" too? Going straight to the horse's mouth, Terry Ryan himself has admitted that these needs should be addressed this offseason as priorities. As of right now, assuming no other major additions occur, the Twins payroll will be lower than 2013, which was lower than 2012, which was lower than 2011- yep, the facts are absurd, aren't they?

      The fact that the Twins have for all intents and purposes admitted that what they have done with the SP over the last 2 years has been an utter failure, means that they are going forward with a changed mindset. This major philosophical change means that breaking the trend, ie, spending on higher quality talent, should include other areas of deficiency- it makes little sense to take half measures only. Should the $25M be put to use in this philosophical change? I certainly hope so! As of today, they still haven't spent one penny of the "found revenue". Adding another quality pitcher to rotation (of those listed above, less Pelfrey), a Big League bat and a proven catcher shouldn't even cost the full $25....

      hardly "an absurd standard to set"......
      Spilled milk. They are spending the money. And they are not done.

      Last year, they didn't. Not because they did't want to, in principle. But because they had very few options and a lot of competition for the talent. So they decided to give the likes of Worely and Diamond the chance. It didn't work. Not many pundits on this site called that regression. What they did pick at we're the two FA signings, ironically.

      Anywho, the offseason is young. They have been more aggressive this year than ever. Let's wait until Feb. to make some of these claims.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Spilled milk. They are spending the money. And they are not done.

      Last year, they didn't. Not because they did't want to, in principle. But because they had very few options and a lot of competition for the talent. So they decided to give the likes of Worely and Diamond the chance. It didn't work. Not many pundits on this site called that regression. What they did pick at we're the two FA signings, ironically.

      Anywho, the offseason is young. They have been more aggressive this year than ever. Let's wait until Feb. to make some of these claims.
      This evening, the Twins just went over last year's payroll threshold, and though competing with no one, they signed Pelphrey and gave him a raise. And I don't see any irony at "picking at" the FA signings from last year, they were a joke for a GM who apologized to the fans for the team he put on the field in 2012 and said he was putting his total focus on upgrading the Starting Pitching, but instead, cut payroll by some 20%.

      We're in agreement that this offseason is young, but as I pointed out, Ryan shut the operation down for the winter at this point in time just one year ago...and hardly looked very vigorous and "aggressive" at the Hughes signing this year; if anything, he looked like his pet dog had died and wondering how many days were left before he retired again. To complete the makeover this year and return the team to some semblance of respectability, there is still much work to be done- ie, signing or trading for: another quality pitcher, a bopper bat and a decent Catcher, this will require some heavy lifting, I hope Terry is up to the task.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      [Terry Ryan] hardly looked very vigorous and "aggressive" at the Hughes signing this year; if anything, he looked like his pet dog had died and wondering how many days were left before he retired again.
      With this kind of fact-based analysis, you're right to point out that only fools would disagree with you.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      There are time I think some Twins fans are like my brother's ex-wife. She never ceased at bringing up past perceived transgressions, nor capable of accepting increased positive actions of her spouse. It will never be good enough even though there are outside limitations as to what can be done.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      The Twins were in the exact same situation last year as this year, is not a fact. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any of my teams that were ever in the exact same situation from one year to the next, much less a rebuilding team. The Twins did not suddenly change the plan. A light did not suddenly come on. I'm hopeful that more and more are starting to realize, the Twins are a well-run, respected organization that doesn't take shortcuts.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Hey guys, this thread has a chance to get derailed. Please remain civil. Thank you.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      This evening, the Twins just went over last year's payroll threshold, and though competing with no one, they signed Pelphrey and gave him a raise. And I don't see any irony at "picking at" the FA signings from last year, they were a joke for a GM who apologized to the fans for the team he put on the field in 2012 and said he was putting his total focus on upgrading the Starting Pitching, but instead, cut payroll by some 20%.

      We're in agreement that this offseason is young, but as I pointed out, Ryan shut the operation down for the winter at this point in time just one year ago...and hardly looked very vigorous and "aggressive" at the Hughes signing this year; if anything, he looked like his pet dog had died and wondering how many days were left before he retired again. To complete the makeover this year and return the team to some semblance of respectability, there is still much work to be done- ie, signing or trading for: another quality pitcher, a bopper bat and a decent Catcher, this will require some heavy lifting, I hope Terry is up to the task.
      I guess the question I would have to ask you Jokin is exactly what is that would satisfy you as a fan. I honestly didn't expect the Twins to go out and get 3 pitchers this offseason (and 2 is what I've been saying they should get all along). And in so doing, they took two of the better guys on the market. You could make a case that all 3 of these guys will out-perform their 2013 numbers and could be bargains for what they've signed for. Add to it that you have some talented pitchers coming up in the system and room will need to be made for them.

      I get that money needs to be spent, but spending money for the sake of spending doesn't make sense in my book. I could see them going hard after Drew (if he's still there) simply due to the lack of talent at SS in the high minors and at the major league level, but position by position, they are largely set.

      C - Pinto, Doumit, Mauer as an emergency. Perhaps room for another option, but this won't cost much.
      1B - Mauer, Parmelee.
      2B - Dozier, with Rosario being in Rochester for 2014.
      SS - Florimon, needs an upgrade, no question. Very little on the market though other than Drew.
      3B - Plouffe. Definitely a place for an upgrade, but there's a pretty nice one sitting in Rochester next year. No big contract here for that reason alone, and I think you have to give Plouffe one more chance.
      OF - Willingham, Presley, Arcia, Parmelee. 2 potential upgrades in Buxton and Hicks in the minors. Another place where big contracts make little sense, and again I think Parmelee in particular deserves one more chance.
      DH - Doumit, Parmelee, Plouffe, Colobello. Other than Doumit, these 3 are more of a see what sticks. I could see a contract to fill this position, but I also think it makes more sense to see if they can get a break out from one of these hitters.

      They've already signed 3 pitchers, and you have a guaranteed contract in KC as well. Gibson, Deduno, Diamond, Worley, Darnell, and eventually Meyer are all guys who will be looking at getting some PT next year, and there's only 1 spot for them as of now. As it is, this is pretty crowded. I get that several of these guys will likely wash out, but there's also the possibility that some of these guys outperform some of the guys we signed. And if they make it somewhere else, people will be screaming about why we let them go.

      Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you here, but I get the impression that no matter what the front office does, it won't win. I'd really like to know what it is you think they should do.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you here, but I get the impression that no matter what the front office does, it won't win. I'd really like to know what it is you think they should do.
      DHTF,

      I think there are a couple things that create the discontent with the front office. However, the two most prevalent are failure to recognize the competitive Landscape for FAs and the concept of rebuilding and how long-term contracts put that process at risk.

      Let’s go back to last year. People were mad that we did not get one of the top three. (Grienke, Sanchez, or Jackson). Every team wanted Grienke and Sanchez. The situation with Sanchez was very simple. He wanted to stay where he was and his team offered market rate. It’s kind of like Mauer who every team would have loved to have. What kind of response would a fan from another team have gotten if they suggested their team should have ended up with Mauer. To complain about not getting Sanchez requires that we ignore the surrounding circumstances.

      Complaining about not getting Grienke requires that one buries their head very deeply in the sand called economics. The Dodgers had just signed a TV deal that would net them $6B after revenue sharing or somewhere north of $250M/yr. The Twins new contract provides $29M/yr. In more general terms, the top 6-8 teams have landed the top FAs. People hoping or expecting something different is simply a product of love for their team. We better come to accept it because the landscape is changing in a way that will widen the gap. Of course, LAA signed a $150M/yr deal 2 years ago which matches the Rangers deal and Seattle just inked a deal that provides somewhere around $115M/yr. The Phillies are next in line for a huge TV contract. Of course, The Yankees are the Dodgers equals in terms of revenue and Boston is not far behind.

      The second theory has been covered several times. It would not matter what any of us write on this topic. Those who cling to this premise are not going to change their position. The use of Boston as anecdotal evidence is a good example of how far knowledgeable baseball fans will bend their supporting logic. Those who argued the timing premise know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Red Sox and Twins of 2012 were not even remotely parallel situations but they supported trade scenarios and FA signings citing this example.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
      DHTF,

      I think there are a couple things that create the discontent with the front office. However, the two most prevalent are failure to recognize the competitive Landscape for FAs and the concept of rebuilding and how long-term contracts put that process at risk.

      Let’s go back to last year. People were mad that we did not get one of the top three. (Grienke, Sanchez, or Jackson). Every team wanted Grienke and Sanchez. The situation with Sanchez was very simple. He wanted to stay where he was and his team offered market rate. It’s kind of like Mauer who every team would have loved to have. What kind of response would a fan from another team have gotten if they suggested their team should have ended up with Mauer. To complain about not getting Sanchez requires that we ignore the surrounding circumstances.

      Complaining about not getting Grienke requires that one buries their head very deeply in the sand called economics. The Dodgers had just signed a TV deal that would net them $6B after revenue sharing or somewhere north of $250M/yr. The Twins new contract provides $29M/yr. In more general terms, the top 6-8 teams have landed the top FAs. People hoping or expecting something different is simply a product of love for their team. We better come to accept it because the landscape is changing in a way that will widen the gap. Of course, LAA signed a $150M/yr deal 2 years ago which matches the Rangers deal and Seattle just inked a deal that provides somewhere around $115M/yr. The Phillies are next in line for a huge TV contract. Of course, The Yankees are the Dodgers equals in terms of revenue and Boston is not far behind.

      The second theory has been covered several times. It would not matter what any of us write on this topic. Those who cling to this premise are not going to change their position. The use of Boston as anecdotal evidence is a good example of how far knowledgeable baseball fans will bend their supporting logic. Those who argued the timing premise know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Red Sox and Twins of 2012 were not even remotely parallel situations but they supported trade scenarios and FA signings citing this example.
      Comparing Mauer to Sanchez requires that one ignore some things as well...the most obvious of which is that one was a free agent, one wasn't. It also requires one to ignore that Mauer grew up in Minnesota and had been with the organization for a decade, while Santana "wanted to stay" with an organization he had been with for 3 months.

      As to Grienke, it seems to me one has to bury their head in the sand called "woe is us" to think the Twins didnt have the financial resources to sign him. They did. Whether or not the Dodgers have higher revenue streams isn't the important factor. By their own statements of what they can support for payroll, we know with virtual certainty the Twins could have signed him. There are good arguments to be made about whether the Twins should have signed him. There is no economic argument to be made they couldn't have signed him.
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