I have zero problems with a team like the Twins going after lottery tickets. This is exactly what they should be doing. This guy is affordable, and while I hope it's not the only acquisition, it's the type of guy they can get cheaply, and if it pans out, becomes insanely valuable.
Oh, and one nit to pick. I'm getting tired already of people using the "largest FA contract" to judge Twins contacts. I get that they are cheap, but they did just hand out 184M to some guy named Mauer. Technically, he wasn't an FA. I get that. In the same token though, it was one of the largest baseball contracts. EVER.
And then you mixed your metaphors, "some guy named Mauer" was how you should spend your big money on a long-term contract, ie, on proven talent, not on a "flyer".
Can we sign someone not named Suk?
I have trouble believing a guy who's shoulder problems/performance were bad enough to cost him his spot as a starter in the Korean League is going to get anywhere near 3/$21.
I'll be surprised if he even gets a guaranteed 1 yr major league contract.
When I think "lottery tickets" as major league free agents, I typically think of guys where you're getting what you pay for... with a chance of getting something much better. (Liriano has been referred to as a lottery ticket this year.)
Someone will pay him like a #4 (and I think 3/21 is reasonable, given his age) and hope that he can return to his 2010 form where he could be a front-end guy. Like I said before, a lot will depend on how he performs when he pitches for teams. If the velo is still down and there isn't a team that feels good about his medicals, he'll get less.
So to me we should be asking ourselves, is this the player we want to go with? Is he the best FA signing we want to see signed this off season?
Clearly this is dependent on that 3/$21 number being roughly representational. If his value drops considerably into the 1 or 2 year deal then the above does not apply.
Then again, at the same time, this is worthy of response. You slam the Twins for not following the Cubs model going after lottery tickets such as Baker (did not pay off) and Feldman (paid off) and then in the same token say not to do it here. Which one do you want? From here it just looks like trying to be contrarian, or simply using an ever changing set of critera to slam the FO. As I said before, I don't have a problem with the Twins going after a lottery ticket like this. The odds don't quite fit your analogy, and I do agree that at a certain price they should drop out, and if you notice, I never quoted a price. Also, I wouldn't call the Twins poor. They aren't the A's or KC. They are in a budget place where they can afford this and still afford to do other things. If this is the only aquisition, then I'd most definitely pass unless he's a lot cheaper than 3/21.
As for my other point, I think you again missed it. I'm not bashing the Mauer contract. My point is that I'm tired of people talking about the Twins and the "largest FA contract in team history" (i.e. Willingham) as a means to denigrate the FO. I agree that they definitely spend less than I would if I were running things, but when used in that capacity it's a very carefully worded statement that very intentionally excludes the 184M contract that they just handed out a few years ago so as to prevent a local star from becoming a FA, or the many arb deals they've signed to guys nearing FA. When used in a way to degrade the Twins for being cheap, it's flat out ignorant.
And even in the scenario where there is no direct financial benefit, a player's current organization will have the most knowledge about his abilities, health, and makeup, all of which are critical in deciding how much to offer. So it's no surprise that extended players are safer bets compared to free agents (born out by studies - there was one on Fangraphs this past off-season).
The Twins have still managed to botch the handling of their own players, of course (e.g., Blackburn), but the bottom line is that the excessively risk-averse Twins view free agents in a completely different light than their own players. They never would give a free agent a Mauer-like contract, so that decision is utterly irrelevant to the issue of whether the Twins are unwilling to spend money on free agents.
The simple fact is that they are, while other clubs- who fully understand the downsides to the free agent market - nonetheless rely on it as an important source of players.
I clearly stated that when the Twins are playing the lottery game....."That's what a team like the Twins should spend for lottery tickets...." they should buy low, Rich Harden was a great example of a guy, who if he had panned out on a make-good minor league deal, would have been a huge lotto winner. Suk is the diametric opposite of that approach- now if Suk ends up signing for one year somewhere between Marcum and Haren range, that would be the other end of the range of the lottery nature of a speculative signing- do we really want to take the chance to relive 3 years of the Twins folly in foisting Blackburn ineptitude on the roster? And I stand by what I said previously, were the Twins to see Suk in his tryout and go all in, that will be The Big Signing. They have to do better. The Pirates hit the jackpot with Liriano on a 2/$7M deal that got even better when Liriano had his domestic difficulties. That's the type of deals that the Twins should be looking for if they want to play the lotto with a small portion of their available dollars.
Regarding Mauer, I referenced and reiterated your point exactly in its context relative to your first point. I didn't say that you bashed the contract, it was 4 years ago now that the Twins justifiably extended the centerpiece of their franchise with a proven quality and bankable piece of merchandise in potential HOFer Joe Mauer...... yet they obviously failed to have a clearly-thought-out long-term conception about how to be annually competitive with a Mauer-led team, who the Plan A and Plan B actors would, or could be, to keep the team atop the AL Central, and what it would take to justify the expense of having one top-heavy contract- should circumstances change radically. Clearly, their thoughts concerning taking the risks and doing what it takes by going outside the organization by adding more FA proven quality, and building around Mauer in his prime production years is not even remotely on their philosophical radar. To the contrary, they've been in slow-mo rebuild/breakdown the payroll mode for the last 2 years, with at least 2 more years to come. Now what's so ignorant about that ever-present reality?
This thread is a perfect example of what a lot of people are fed up with (and why I've posted less and less) -- far too many threads devolve into the exact. same. story. and debate about the front office, usually with the exact same posters. What hasn't been said on that already?
We can tie almost any and every topic to front office spending in some way. Why can't we have a thread to just talk about Suk-Min Yoon and what he could turn out to be.... without rehashing the exact same commentary on the front office?
If they are going to sign a guy coming off injury, as a lottery ticket, I'd rather they go with someone that has already been good in the MLB, like Lincecum or someone else.
I also think it's a pretty safe bet that Ryan would have done that too. There's no way the Pohlads were going to let Joe leave after they got their stadium. My whole point has been that using this concept of the largest FA contract is Twins history is nothing more than wording things for the purpose of drama, and doing so in a way that ignores that 184M one they just handed out a few years back. I get that Mauer wasn't a true FA, but these situations aren't that much different.