An early blueprint for 2013
by, 08-23-2012 at 01:47 PM (1456 Views)
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:
Baker or Deduno or Walters
or Vasquez or Manship
(or flip Burton and Perkins)
Position players (and keeping that OF situation as is . . . )
Deduno or Walters or
Vasquez or Manship
Tosoni or Bigley
Butera (if he clears waivers, Lehmann otherwise)
Ramirez, Chang, Burroughs, etc.
SP acquired for Morneau
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.