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Field of Twins

An early blueprint for 2013

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Soon it will be time to actually get serious about next year (imagine being a Cubs fan). Maybe a title like Dr. StrangeGlove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb of the 2012 Twins Season would be most appropriate here.

An early blueprint for 2013:

Trade Justin Morneau (Oakland, Texas, Tampa Bay would seem to be potential teams for this trade) for pitching prospects (hopefully at least one in AA or AAA) or even an arbitration-eligible pitcher. Maybe include paying for half of that $14 million left on Morneau's contract to sweeten the deal. Add in Anthony Swarzak to give pitching and Bigfoot back.

Sign Shaun Marcum for 4 years and $50 million (12.5 per).

Try to sign Scott Baker to a one-year deal worth $2 million base and another $6 million in incentives. If he doesn't want to agree to something like that, he should leave.

Say goodbye to Matt Capps, Carl Pavano, and Alexi Casilla.
Option, DFA, or outright Drew Butera, Alex Burnett, Jeff Gray, Kyle Waldrop/Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, and three of: Manship, Deduno, Walters, Vasquez, Hernandez (the other two are fourth and fifth starters initially).

Let Rochester be happy with Nick Blackburn.

$67.25 (keeping half of Morneau's salary) plus $12 million plus 2-8 million equals $81.25-87.25 million.

Off the 40-man, then: Morneau, Capps, Gray, Butera, Swarzak, Waldrop or Gutierrez, and two of Deduno, Manship, Walters, and Vasquez.

On the 40-man, then: Marcum, Baker, Walters, Hicks, Herrmann, Pinto, Hermsen, Slama, pitcher acquired in Morneau trade, and potentially Vasquez.

With arbitration players, the payroll jumps too $90 million if Baker performs at a high level. I will let that stand for what it's worth. Clearly if Baker only earns that $2 million, another starting pitcher could be added and payroll would still drop from 2012 (there was a lot tied up in Morneau, Pavano, Baker, Capps, and Liriano).

Starting rotation in April:

Marcum
Diamond
Hendriks (yes)
Baker or Deduno or Walters
or Vasquez or Manship

LR: DeVries
MI: Guerra
MI: Oliveros/Fien
MI: Slama
SU: Duensing
SU: Burton
CL: Perkins

(or flip Burton and Perkins)

Position players (and keeping that OF situation as is . . . )

Span CF
Revere RF
Mauer C
Willingham LF
Doumit DH
Plouffe 3B
Parmelee 1B
Dozier 2B
Florimon SS

Carroll
Herrmann
Mastroianni
Carson


In Rochester:
Gibson
Bromberg
Hermsen
Deduno or Walters or
Vasquez or Manship

Hicks
Escobar
Arcia
Benson
Colabello
Tosoni or Bigley
Romero
Butera (if he clears waivers, Lehmann otherwise)

Ramirez, Chang, Burroughs, etc.


In NBR:

SP acquired for Morneau
Stuifbergen
etc.


Gibson, the pitcher acquired for Morneau, Hermsen, and Bromberg could all take over the other two spots in the rotation, or all three if Hendriks falls apart next year.

My thinking is that the Twins are an 80 win team next year without the addition of Marcum and the improvement of Hendriks, Parmelee, and Dozier (which one would think has to come in 2013). And Baker, Arcia, Hicks, and whoever is the SP acquired for Morneau are the x factors that could push them to over 90 wins.

Some more notes:

Hopefully personnel decisions are not made based on September and ST performances like they were this year. That time could be used to figure out how the MI plays out for next year, but hopefully not much more (I predict Florimon at SS and Dozier at 2B when Dozier comes back up in September).

The pitching situation is not as egregious as people are making it out to be. First of all, when the correct decision is finally made about Duensing, the bullpen is anchored pretty well with him, Burton, and Perkins. Gray won't be back and Burnett has an option (and he just has to regress, right?). I don't like Swarzak for a variety of reasons and think DeVries should be rewarded. Free Anthony Slama, and then figure out the last two spots (with preference for Oliveros, Fien, and Guerra). Second, 2012 was a trial run for a number of pitchers, and aside from Hendriks, all of the AAA guys performed well. The disaster that opened the 2012 will not be repeated. Excluding Blackburn, Marquis, half-Pavano, and half-Liriano will go a long way in 2013.

Some optimism abounds here, but overall the 2012 system improved quite a bit from a year ago. A 70-win total in 2012 (that might be optimistic itself) covers up the fact that the organization improved from the ground up this year. The problem was that the top faltered on many fronts, and strange inconsistencies in personnel decisions (treatment of Parmelee vs. Dozier, for instance) had negative impacts.

While I said last year that I was looking forward to the Twins 2012 season, when I say the same thing about the 2013 season, I won't be lying.

Updated 08-23-2012 at 02:08 PM by Shane Wahl

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Comments

  1. Dilligaf69's Avatar
    I still think Span is traded before Morneau although Span's value may be lower now with his continued injuries and why Slama over Gutierrez???
  2. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Why Slama over Gutierrez!? Something about how their stats compare in the minors, maybe?
  3. birdwatcher's Avatar
    This blueprint makes a lot of sense. I'd trade Morneau for a MLB #2-3 starter, not a prospect, if possible. I'd also trade Span, perhaps for a MLB MI, perhaps for a quality pitching prospect. I might quibble a bit with your RP choices. I'd argue that DeVries is a AAA injury backup and that Swarzak and Burnett still can improve their performances. Guerra can sit in AA until he shows some consistency. Carson is a AAA guy. I'd rush one of the prospects along and start them. If someone would take Carroll from me, I'd do it and live with some combination of Florimon, Dozier, Escobar.
  4. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Well, Guerra is out of options (strange isn't it), so they have to make a decision. I would doubt that he would clear waivers.

    I like the idea of trading Morneau for an arbitration-eligible younger pitcher. There are about a dozen good ones. And Oakland has a few of them.

    Burnett has gotten by somehow this year with more walks than strikeouts. I just don't really trust him, but he has an option left, so he can maybe setup in Rochester. I would expect DeVries to be slightly better than Swarzak in that role, actually.

    I was a bit taken aback by how cheap it actually was this way. And I think I actually am $7 million high and should have started out with $60.25 million after paying for 1/2 of Morneau's contract.

    Carson was the last guy on this roster . . . I didn't really know who else to start the season with. Carson is the guy who would be blocking guys if in Rochester, though. I want to see Arcia and Hicks in AAA for a bit next year before thinking about trading Span or Revere.
  5. Thrylos's Avatar
    This is pretty good stuff. A few comments:

    - Span has to go. He has proven that all over again. Sell High. I hope he plays a bit so his off-season value can be as high as the trade deadline value was.
    - Check the K/9 of Tyler Robertson. They is no way you get rid of the best strikeout pitcher in a team who does not have many.
    - I have hard time with the Twins signing NL pitchers. For some reason NL pitchers do not translate in AL. (Sanchez and Greinke last couple examples, Marquis, Peavy, the list goes on and on and on...)
    - I don't mind Baker as a number 2 (if he is healthy) And he is long tossing which is a good thing
    - This team needs a young ace. Trade whatever you have not named Sano, Arcia, or Rosario (you cannot trade 2012 draft picks) and get him. Even if that means Gibson/Hicks/Span as a package.
  6. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    I didn't mean to get rid of Robertson (I know I wasn't very clear about that part), but I want to see him give up fewer hits. Maybe some more time in Rochester?

    I could easily sub-in someone else for Marcum. Not sure who yet.

    Morneau and paying half (or more) of his contract next season could fetch a young top pitcher. Maybe not an ACE ace, but a number one.
  7. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Thrylos, am I suppose to gather from this that you might be a fan of keeping Morneau and playing Parmelee in RF? If not (hopefully not), who is going to in RF, at least at the start of the season (until June, maybe?). I will concede that Mastroianni has been fantastic in his role, and I think Carson is an adequate fill-in for awhile too (I mean the dude was consistently between .280 and .295 all year in Rochester, and with solid power).
  8. jay's Avatar
    Nice job putting a plan together. A few thoughts...
    - Even if we pay down Morneau's salary to $7M, the surplus value for his one remaining year just isn't enough to bring back a top young pitcher... let alone a good young pitcher. I think we could hope for a decent AA prospect.
    - Agree with Thrylos' comment that Span has more value and would be more likely to go. Being cost controlled for up to three more years, he'd be more likely in my eyes to bring back a decent arbitration-eligible SP.
    - Agree in full on Scotty Bake Bake.
    - I'd almost rather see the Twins go all out on an SP. It's clearly the biggest organizational need and the payroll space is there to do it. Marcum had a few good years and even fits the Twins profile of slow-throwing (87mph FB), spot-hitting, walk-allergic... but I'm not sure that's what many of us want right now.
  9. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl
    Thrylos, am I suppose to gather from this that you might be a fan of keeping Morneau and playing Parmelee in RF? If not (hopefully not), who is going to in RF, at least at the start of the season (until June, maybe?). I will concede that Mastroianni has been fantastic in his role, and I think Carson is an adequate fill-in for awhile too (I mean the dude was consistently between .280 and .295 all year in Rochester, and with solid power).
    I am not a fan of Parmelee playing the outfield. At this point I can see an OF of Willingham/Revere/X/Mastroianni. Let the ones who you add to the 40-man next season (Arcia/Hicks) battle it out. If nothing goes, I am fine with Carson having a shot too. The OF is the least of my worries. If they do not get 2 good starters one way or another, you might as well play Doumit out there. Part of the problem with this team the way it is, is that they have a few DHs (Willingham, Plouff, Doumit, Parmelee) slated to be on the field. And that's ok if you are not going anywhere.
  10. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    With the Twins being so bad again - and with the amount of guys being promoted from AAA over the last two years - I think we'll see the organization add a dozen or so six-year free-agents that know they'll get an opportunity to play in the majors.

    The team has done a good job the last two offseasons in this department and I'd expect that trend to continue.

    That will bulk up both the bullpen and AAA's rotation and lineup.
  11. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    I am not sure what you are really getting at, Jeremy. I don't see that happening at all. That's the exact opposite of what I think should happen and even what will likely happen.

    Anyway, I am not sure if Span is necessarily more valuable in a trade than Morneau. It depends on the team. And the Twins could throw in a Swarzak, Gutierrez, or someone else to make it more palatable. Clearly, if Parmelee is going to be a Twin, Morneau has got to go. There is no other palatable way if Parmelee is going to be a Twin next year.
  12. beckmt's Avatar
    For all the comments on Marcum - he was a sucess in Toronto! Like the idea. Morneau's best fit is with the Dodgers. Tampa Bay is too much a small market team for that move, Texas or Seattle would be the other spots. Span's landing points could be Cinn, LA Dodgers, Tampa Bay, Arizona or Washington. All these teams have excess pitching(though getting them to give it up may be difficult. Not totally sold on Parmalee, much more in line with trading an outfielder. Would hate to give up Willingham, but for a Major League ready starter and a decent prospect would live with it.
  13. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    I am really not down with trading more than one of the Twins core, unless there are established replacements. Parmelee's AAA numbers are ridiculous. I am more confident that he could at least put up his 2011 NBR numbers in the majors. That's worthy of trading Morneau for a good pitcher. However, I don't really see Revere as Span's replacement any longer given they were so effective *together* in the lineup. But I am NOT comfortable with replacing him with a AA player yet. How could I? Revere needed time in AAA. Clearly Parmelee did too. Hicks and Arcia in AAA to begin the year next year and maybe by June a Span trade would be a good idea (as long as there are no injuries to Willingham or Revere at that point).

    Point taken back on Marcum.
  14. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl
    I am really not down with trading more than one of the Twins core, unless there are established replacements. Parmelee's AAA numbers are ridiculous. I am more confident that he could at least put up his 2011 NBR numbers in the majors. That's worthy of trading Morneau for a good pitcher. However, I don't really see Revere as Span's replacement any longer given they were so effective *together* in the lineup. But I am NOT comfortable with replacing him with a AA player yet. How could I? Revere needed time in AAA. Clearly Parmelee did too. Hicks and Arcia in AAA to begin the year next year and maybe by June a Span trade would be a good idea (as long as there are no injuries to Willingham or Revere at that point).
    That is the proverbial rock and hard place between which the Twins find themselves:

    If they do not trade Span they do not have the Starting Pitching to win or be competitive (unless they trade prospects - ain't happening - or they go crazy in the free agent market -ain't happening either.)

    so

    If they are not going to win (or be competitive), I see no harm in playing Hicks and/or Arcia every day.

    If a Span (and a Willingham) trade brings 2-3 good high A or AA level arms, the Twins would be nuts not to go with an OF of Revere/Hicks/Arcia and look full force into 2014. And they might even surprise in 2013.

    The biggest problem would be if they (again) do a half-baked effort
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