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Fire Dan Gladden

What if the Twins chose not to sign a name pitcher?

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There is one aspect of this off season that I don't think anybody has touched on, so I will give it a shot:

What if the Twins stand pat with pitching this off season?

An argument could be made for standing pat. The reasons for spending money have been discussed ad nauseum, lets look at some reasons not to spend:

- The Twins are expected to be at or near the bottom in the AL Central this year. If the Twins brass believe this, then spending any money on any pitcher not expected to be with the team 2-3 years from now makes no sense. Wait until the vaunted minor league group is ready and start spending then.

- While the market for mid-tier starting pitching is deep this year, the recent signings of Haren, Feldman, and Baker may make the remaining SP overpriced and not worth the financial value for the Twins

- Spending big money on a #1 pitcher (Grienke, Sanchez) would not push them enough next year. Why spend that money now? Again, push it off a year or two until it will have a stronger impact..

- The Twins do have some potentially intriguing minor league pitchers that could be starting for them this year: Liam Hendricks, Kyle Gibson, Cole DeVries (maybe even Meyer later in the year). With Scott Diamond and Blackburn/Swarzak/Deduno rounding out the rotation, a mid-tier starter would only take away starts from these guys. I mean we need to see what they can do, right?

- Moving Morneau or Mauer right now would not generate an equal return. That money is already spent. Mauer was great last year. Morneau showed flickers of comeback. Without a "win" trade, there is no reason to move them now.

I personally don't believe this would be the best course of action for the team, but I could at least understand it if the Twins chose to go this route.

(I would be interested in others thoughts on this, but please keep the responses civil. Many of you think taking this route would be a fireable offense, but I am looking for an intelligent discussion on this matter. Thanks.)
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  1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    They should not accept a 110-loss team for 2013-14. All transactions must be viewed in both of two positive lights: a) it helps a contending team in 2015, b) it helps bridge to 2015 by having a decent team in 2013-14. A 3-year contract to Dempster satisfies b) but violates a) assuming he is bad by then. A trade for Holland probably satisfies both. The trade of Span for a stud SP prospect satisfies a) and frees some salary for b). Taking on salary for 2013-14 in a way that brings prospects, such as a large trade involving Alfonso Soriano, could accomplish both. Et cetera, et cetera.
  2. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn
    They should not accept a 110-loss team for 2013-14. All transactions must be viewed in both of two positive lights: a) it helps a contending team in 2015, b) it helps bridge to 2015 by having a decent team in 2013-14. A 3-year contract to Dempster satisfies b) but violates a) assuming he is bad by then. A trade for Holland probably satisfies both. The trade of Span for a stud SP prospect satisfies a) and frees some salary for b). Taking on salary for 2013-14 in a way that brings prospects, such as a large trade involving Alfonso Soriano, could accomplish both. Et cetera, et cetera.
    I am not yet convinced they will be horrible next year. Also, I think "waiting" until 2015 (or 16 or whatever) puts an awful lot of pressure on the young kids being up and successful soon and the moment they show up. They odds are more likely only 1-2 of them will pan out. Cuddyer was a top 5 prospect in baseball at one time, he turned out to be average at best. Kubel blew a knee. Gibson an elbow. For every Mauer or Griffey, how many Brien Taylors are out there? Too much risk for me.

    In your opinion, what realistic FA signings could they make that would fit both of your criteria?
  3. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden
    In your opinion, what realistic FA signings could they make that would fit both of your criteria?
    I think I wrote unclearly. Very few if any FA would fit both. All transactions (not just FA) this off-season should be viewed in terms of the criteria, each individually satisfying one or the other, and not making one or the other uncorrectably worse. A few, such as a trade for Holland, have a potential to help both.

    Transactions will complement each other, more so than usual.

    No, I don't view a target date like 2015 as like turning on some light switch. If kids are ready to give it a try in the big show in 2014, they should be brought up, which hopefully makes them even more ready for 2015. If they are not ready, they should not be force-fed, as it just burns a year of arbitration eligibility. As in any other season, you make a plan for a few years down the road, and when the inevitable bumps in the road show up (TJ surgery, prospect plateauing at single-A) you adjust.

    I'm saying that 2015 for the Twins looks like when a real turning point could start in terms of competitiveness, and you should load up for then and beyond, while making short-term moves to get you through the coming two years without it being a revenue-killing drought and without mortgaging that more-promising future. I think it can be done, piece by piece.
  4. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Signing no one is preferable to signing a decline phase pitcher to a multiyear contract. It is not the year to sign a Guthrie to a multiyear.

    They can offer opportunity. They are a perfect fit for an guy like Jurrjens. Last year they brought in a bunch of relievers and ended up with Burton. This year they need to bring in the starters.
  5. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest
    Signing no one is preferable to signing a decline phase pitcher to a multiyear contract. It is not the year to sign a Guthrie to a multiyear.

    They can offer opportunity. They are a perfect fit for an guy like Jurrjens. Last year they brought in a bunch of relievers and ended up with Burton. This year they need to bring in the starters.
    I agree with you. I am decidedly against bringing in a slew of washed up, overpriced pitchers on multi-year contracts.

    Can you imagine the uproar on this site if the Twins did not sign anybody and went with a boatload of minor league invites? The negativity would be incredible.
  6. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn
    I think I wrote unclearly. Very few if any FA would fit both. All transactions (not just FA) this off-season should be viewed in terms of the criteria, each individually satisfying one or the other, and not making one or the other uncorrectably worse. A few, such as a trade for Holland, have a potential to help both.

    Transactions will complement each other, more so than usual.

    No, I don't view a target date like 2015 as like turning on some light switch. If kids are ready to give it a try in the big show in 2014, they should be brought up, which hopefully makes them even more ready for 2015. If they are not ready, they should not be force-fed, as it just burns a year of arbitration eligibility. As in any other season, you make a plan for a few years down the road, and when the inevitable bumps in the road show up (TJ surgery, prospect plateauing at single-A) you adjust.

    I'm saying that 2015 for the Twins looks like when a real turning point could start in terms of competitiveness, and you should load up for then and beyond, while making short-term moves to get you through the coming two years without it being a revenue-killing drought and without mortgaging that more-promising future. I think it can be done, piece by piece.
    I tend to agree with the FA piece. At this point, I'm not sure any of the obvious-to-target FA pitchers would fit here. Virtually every pitcher, from Grienke down to Marcum, will be overpriced. The mid-tiers will be breaking down in a year or two (see Pavano). It puts the team in a tough spot.

    I actually thought before the loss of Baker and the Span trade they could be fairly competitive next year with an addition of 1-2 effective mid-tier starters (think Pavano of 3 years ago). As this offseason goes on, I am beginning to think the Twins are looking at it differently.

    I wonder what the general response would be if you saw them package some of the Hicks/Rosario group in a trade for pitching? Something like Morneau, Rosario, maybe a low-end prospect or two for a MLB ready #2-3.
  7. John Bonnes's Avatar
    Well, I think it would be fire-able to not bring in anyone, just because I think for the most part we know what we have in the guys we saw last year. There is not point in reserving innnings for them.

    That's doesn't mean I'm opposed to bringing in guys with some risk and upside - PROVIDED there is a future payoff. I think this means having an option year on 2014, or bringing in guys who aren't at 6 years service time. I'd be more willing to try out minor league free agents than sign lower level guys, even if they have upside, to a one-year deal.
  8. Winston Smith's Avatar
    you can only charge major league prices so long with minor league talent on the field.
  9. Rosterman's Avatar
    It's not a matter of bringing in free agents or not. The matter is, there is money there to heartily explore this route. The other route is to stand pat. The Twins are somewhere in-between. You can say suck it up and lets get rid of Morneau and Willingham and bring up prospects a year or two early and give them earlier cause to arbitrate, and not have potentially great stats while theya re force-fed the majors. We can stock the hometeam with hasbeens and wantabees for a couple of seasons and feed the rookies into the core. But, ask yourself...why do you want to attend Twinsfest 2013 and who are you excited about seeing at a table where you have to pay $10-20 for an autograph. The down-on-the-farm guys, and watch...the Twins will probably charge $5 to get in that line. They have a new stadium, Prices have held or slightly risen. You get 10% concession discounts with a season ticket package and All-Star game priority with a full season package (means you have to pay retail to mlb for ASGame tickets). I didn't renew this year. I'll take a chance buying a cheap ticket from a season ticket holder, bearing in mind that there will be less on stub hub as we will have significantly less season ticket holders...and I can always pick some up for most game days. The Twins, if nothing else, has to combat negativism. Not getting players, not spending OUR money, not doing anything with prospects, not putting the trees back up, not competing. I see a lot of negatives building up. Signing some guys will give hope. Spending money gives the thought of staying competitive. The only prospect that excites us is Kyle Gibson, and we keep being told he can't pitch a full season. All these negative vibes. And the ultimate negative vibe, if the Twins do nothing, it can only get worse. How getting worse than last place is beyond me, but it will be worse. Makes me want to be a Houston fan...at least they have nowhere to go but up.
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