Are the Twins in danger of entering a cycle of mediocrity?
by, 03-10-2012 at 05:01 PM (1108 Views)
As I read posts about the decisions the Twins have made and predictions about their roster, I wonder if they are in danger of entering a cycle of mediocrity. They have been there before, signing older players on the down side of their careers with the thought they would be the necessary difference in the coming season. Ultimately they were not and the Twins entered the following season with the same holes and questions.
Of course there are many motivators for signing the veterans. Sometimes they are signed to appease the fans and increase season ticket sales. If the Twins had not made any moves this winter, ticket sales would be down even further. It seems that the Royals were in this cycle for many years, but now are coming out of it. The Mariners may still be in the cycle as they continue to pour at bats into Chone Figgins.
As I look at this roster, I wonder if they have a reasonable chance of 90+ wins and a playoff spot. If so, signing veterans like Carroll, Marquis, Doumit and Willingham will have been money well spent. Is that season really reasonable? It would certainly be one historic turn around from 63 wins. Is it more reasonable to think these players were signed to give us a chance at 84 wins while appeasing some fans and increasing ticket sales? Will any of these players be on the next Twins team that wins a playoff game?
I, for one, do not need to be appeased. Given the likelihood of mediocrity this year, I would prefer they search for the next Jamey Carroll or Nick Punto rather than sign one on the down side. I appreciate that they are looking for the next Todd Coffey or Matt Guerrier rather than sign a mid 30's version. Doumit? He is signed for one year. Would we have been better off finding out if Parmelee is a major leaguer? Should we see if we Towles is an answer as a reserve catcher? Marquis? I guess if he finds success, we have a chip to trade midseason. What if these signings are just enough to wonder if we are buyers or sellers? Even last year in a 63 win season, we were potential buyers mid July.
Following a blue print of going with youth has risks. Fans will be angered when the it appears the only motivation is the budget. Ticket sales would be down further as signing veterans generates interest even though those veterans are on the down side. This blue print also has benefits. Moving up to the major leagues requires adjustment through struggles for most players. The Royals will benefit from the major league time given to Moustakis and Duffy. The Twins could invest time into Dozier, Parmelee and Benson. You will argue they are not ready. I concede they are not ready to contribute significantly to a 90 win team. I do think they will be more ready in 2013 with significant major league at bats this year.
What do you think? Are the Twins making decisions that will lead to a cycle of mediocrity? Is it reasonable that the players they signed this off season will be part of the next Twin team that wins a playoff game?