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Twins Fan From Afar

General Manager for a Day: Undo a Recent Twins Move, or Make One they Failed to Make

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[Originally posted at Twins Fan From Afar]

I try to be a (mostly) practical Twins fan. I knew the Twins would never go after Albert Pujols. Last year, I wrote that I thought that Jose Reyes would be a good fit at shortstop, but realistically knew that the pieces would never fall into place for him to come to Minnesota. And, now I'm optimistic about Brian Dozier. Sure, I guess it's fun to dream (and even write) about those big free agent signings every now and then, but that doesn't seem, for a Twins fan, to be a very productive use of time.



For 2012, the Twins seemed very locked into the $100 million payroll. I'm not by any means fine with that, and have serious concerns about the starting rotation and the bullpen. But I'm more or less at piece with it: the payroll, and the team, are what they are, and there's nothing I can write that would have made Terry Ryan make a push for, say, C.J. Wilson (though, I'm not sure that Wilson will be worth what he got from the Angels, anyway), or Mark Buehrle.



But because we're fans, and we don't have to live in the here and now in the same way that Terry Ryan, Rob Antony and Ron Gardenhire do, I want to pose a question: If you, as General Manager for a day, could UNDO any one move made by the Twins in the last few years, or MAKE a move that the Twins failed to make, what would it be? I'm thinking about player acquisitions, letting certain free agents depart, picking up or declining options, trades that shouldn't have been made -- that sort of thing. But be creative. And, extra points if you explain what you would have done instead. It's easy to criticize, but often is difficult to find alternative practical solutions.


Here's mine: The Twins should have traded Francisco Liriano last year at this time, perhaps to the Yankees. Andrew Marchand at ESPN reported that Brian Cashman's offer to the Twins was Ivan Nova and Ramiero Pena for Liriano, and he suggested that the Yankees may have thrown in Joba Chamberlain to make a deal. A year ago, I was against the trade, because I, along with most of Twins Territory, was viewing Liriano as our de facto ace going forward after his very solid 2010 campaign. Well, with the benefit of hindsight, it might have made sense to sell high on Liriano -- especially if the Twins don't have much of an interest in extending his time with the team past 2012. Now, it seems that, either Liriano will have a good year and very well may price himself out of the Twins' range, or he will have another year of a 5-something ERA, and the Twins will be able to replace that spot in the order with many cheaper, and perhaps in-house, options. And Liriano will become a free agent after 2012, so the Twins will gain nothing if they let him finish the year in Minnesota and have no interest in re-signing him,


I'd be happy to hear your ideas in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Comments

  1. Thrylos's Avatar
    I would have them have Slowey starting last season with Blackburn in the bullpen and would have never traded Slowey. But that is a just a small move. Getting to the root cause of the Twins problems, last off-season, I would have brought a GM outside of the organization who would have finally shown the door to the manager of the millennium and his buddies and ask Jim Rantz to retire.
  2. rk83071's Avatar
    I would have traded Santana a season earlier than they did knowing he was not re-signing with the Twins. The Twins had zero leverage in trying to get quality in return because they waited to long.
  3. Captain Kirkus's Avatar
    Great blog idea. I would have traded one of my favorite players, Span. I beleive a deal was in the works last year that sent Span to the Nationals, for a releiver, (Storren or Clippard) and a position player (Bernadina or a second baseman). I would take Clippard over Storren, this would create more stability in the bullpen and hopefully lead to NOT overpaying for Capps. With extra money, perhaps Cuddyer or Kubel stays in Minnesota. Perhaps Ryan would go after a starting pitcher. I know you said one move, but this is one move that would lead to more cash for this past offseason.
  4. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
    Great ideas so far! You're right, Captain Kirkus, an idea can't really be viewed in a vacuum. One thing, whether it's acquiring a player or trading a player, leads directly to another.
  5. oprahchapelle's Avatar
    I wouldn't have given joe Mauer 23 mil a year, that is way too high a percentage of the teams payroll. He probably would be playing for the yanks but I would have 2-3 good ball players, maybe a quality arm
  6. gunnarthor's Avatar
    It's hindsight but taking Gary Brown (or Zack Cox) instead of Alex Wimmers would have been nice. I don't know if either player was really on the Twins radar but both seem to be progressing well.
  7. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
    I would undue the Young trade, taken Red Sox offer of Crisp, Lowrie, Masterson, and Lester for Santana, never trade Ramos for Capps, and unloaded Cuddyer, Kubel, and Nathan at trade deadline last year. We might actually have a pretty good team if these moves were undone. No doubt Bill Smith did some serious damage to this organization for the next five years. It will take time for GM Terry Ryan to get them back on track.
  8. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
    I would undue the Young trade, taken Red Sox offer of Crisp, Lowrie, Masterson, and Lester for Santana, never trade Ramos for Capps, and unloaded Cuddyer, Kubel, and Nathan at trade deadline last year. We might actually have a pretty good team if these moves were undone. No doubt Bill Smith did some serious damage to this organization for the next five years. It will take time for GM Terry Ryan to get them back on track.
    Jack, thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with you about the Red Sox' offer for Santana. I don't know that it was ever confirmed that they actually offered all those players (though it was written about extensively on ESPN), but even if the offer was only for 2-3 of those guys, it was much, much better than what they got in return.
  9. jlovren's Avatar
    Jack, thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with you about the Red Sox' offer for Santana. I don't know that it was ever confirmed that they actually offered all those players (though it was written about extensively on ESPN), but even if the offer was only for 2-3 of those guys, it was much, much better than what they got in return.
    Heck, in hindsight who wouldn't take Lester for Santana straight up? At one point if I remember correctly Bucholz and Lester were on the table at the same time.
  10. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jlovren
    Heck, in hindsight who wouldn't take Lester for Santana straight up? At one point if I remember correctly Bucholz and Lester were on the table at the same time.
    Yea, looking back, I would have pulled the trigger on that straight up. Lester has been pretty great, and also seems like a nice guy (fantastic story with him coming back from cancer in 2006-2007).
  11. Gernzy's Avatar
    Didn't the Twins want Ellsbury and Lester for Santana? Imagine if that would have happened...I would be happy with either player.

    Most recent trade that bugs me the most is JJ Hardy. We got nothing in return (Hoey is just...yeah.) All the talk about needing a stable SS and we had one. I'm happy he's tearing it up in Baltimore.
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