Twins 39 Man Roster... Now what... Here's Mine.
Sign AJ to catch... Trade for Bonofacio and Sign Two Free Agent Starters... Two from Nolasco, Kazmir or Arroyo are my choices. I'll settle for Pelfrey as the 2nd guy but only as the 2nd guy.
Stop reading right there for the short version.
Continue reading for longer version reasoning.
Replace one of those Starter options with Tanaka... If the scouting department puts him on par with Darvish because he will cost as much or more than Darvish did... If he is on par or close with Darvish... Man up and compete for him. We need a Front Line starter more than the usual suspects with price tags that high need one. If your scouts think he is solid... Trust your scouts and get him.
Shane Wahl... It's Ok... I'm not a huge fan of Nolasco either... I just think he's the best choice because I'm not a fan of any of them. At the very least... His 2013 was pretty good.
Basically... I'm in a tough place. I'm not overwhelmed with the FA options. I think the only Reasonable Major League Trade Chip is Glen Perkins and I'm not in favor of trading our valuable young trade chips. A quick fix of the Twins for 2014 is tough.
I think you have one chance... Pitching depth of marginal talent and energy lineup guys if you can find them.
Looking at the 40(39) man Roster: Here's how I feel in November 13'... Disclaimer: I don't know which players are option considerations. So that could change things.
Opening Day I'm Comfortable With:
Kevin Correia--Right now he's our top starter
Sam Deduno-- Shoulder issue scare... Without that issue he is our top starter... Blind faith he's healthy.
Kyle Gibson-- He may get lit up but we need him to not get lit up so roll the dice and plan for him to start in the rotation.
Insurance Arms that should start in AAA or AA... I don't know anything about Johnson... The other 5 have something to prove and should be down to prove it.
Alex Meyer can leap past everyone eventually sometime in 2014. It's up to Alex.
That means we need Two Starters minimum via FA or trade. I can't see a trade happening that doesn't cost us young talent unless it involves Perkins.
That leaves FA and again with apologies to Shane... Nolasco is at the top of my list followed by Kazmir and Arroyo.
Tanaka... I haven't seen him... If the scouts are drooling over him. The Twins need to break the bank on him. If they are not drooling... Please don't break the bank on him.
The Lineup: Last year we didn't have enough speed and we didn't have enough power. The power has to return from those that can provide it because we were supposed to have power in 2013. We need to find some speed.
Opening Day with the holes I believe need to be filled.
DH Josh Willingham-- He has to rebound... Contract year... He just might. He has as much power as anyone in FA and we need it.
1B Joe Mauer-- He's 1B now.
2B Brian Dozier-- pray for a 2013 like 2014.. At the very least... His D is top of the league.
SS Pedro Florimon-- his defense is needed. SS's are expensive... I'm comfortable here.
LF Oswaldo Arcia-- We need his Power...
CF- Darin Mastroianni-- Yeah I Know... We need his speed and Hicks and Buxton Ain't ready. We need his speed so I'm rolling the dice.
RF Chris Parmelee -- He can do it... He's better defensively than Doumit and I think he has more hitting potential. He just has to catch up to the high fastball. I'm hoping Parm is the 2014 Dozier like rebound. If he struggles again... His out of town alarm clock will tick pretty loud. Presley, Plouffe, Hicks, Buxton, Herrmann and Colabello are replacement considerations and Willingham can be moved to OF from DH. Chris has to swim this year and I choose Parmelee over Doumit.
Backups that can help
C Chris Herrmann -- I'm alright with Chris in this role
INF-Eduardo Escobar -- Ditto
3B-OF Trevor Plouffe -- he's in my doghouse... He has to play himself out. He's too good to give up on and under performing too much to play everyday.
OF- Alex Presley-- he'll be a good backup
Players we don't need anymore and also have no trade value
Ryan Doumit-- We don't need him anymore. We just don't.
Minors Opening Day
C- Josmil Pinto-- I think he will be a good one... call him up when needed... Work on D some more but let's not hand him a job based on September.
C- Eric Fryer -- Whatever... Pulling for him but He ain't on my opening day roster. If called up... He might be Ok.
1B- Chris Colabello-- Power source if he become a little more traditional in his approach. Major league pitchers will eat him alive until he does.
1B- Kenny's Vargas
INF- Jorge Polanco
INF- Danny Santana
OF- Aaron Hicks-- he wasn't ready last year and he wasn't called up in September... Let him decide when he's ready by performing in AAA first.
Sano takes over at 3B mid season. If Sano advances like we hope he can.
That leaves two spots to bring in for opening day.
3B... I'd be very aggressive with the Royals trying to acquire Emilio Bonofacio. He's perfect for what I want. He can hold down 3B or provide competition for Plouffe until Sano arrives and easily move to another position if Plouffe gets it together or Sano comes up. The Twins need speed and Bonifocio is a serious base threat to pair with Mastro and of course Mastro in CF is questionable so Bonofacio can also play CF if needed until Hicks or Buxton are ready. He can also Backup at SS or 2B as well which gives Escobar competition. I really want Bonofacio... Wouldn't it be great if Kansas City took Ryan Doumit for him. I really want Bonofacio... I really really do.
C-- AJ... Bring him back... I want the club house vet pain in the backside guy. We have youth coming up that needs a tough player to serve as an example of how to Talk tough... Play tough... Be tough. AJ is perfect until Pinto proves himself. One year Contract... 3 million or 14 million... I don't care.
This is what I'd roll with
Current 40 Man with adjustments:
Andrew Albers (remove)
Brian Duensing (not offered arb)
Position Players: (20)
Eric Fryer (remove)
Chris Colabello (remove)
Eduardo Escobar (remove)
Darin Mastroianni (remove)
This puts us at 35 players.
Sign AJ Pierzynski (1 year)
Sign Matt Garza (4 years)
Sign Phil Hughes (1 year)
Sign Gavin Floyd (option for 2015)
Sign Stephen Drew (3 years)
Draft Daniel Burawa (Yankees)
Add AJ Achter
This would be the new 40 man roster:
1. AJ Achter
2. Matt Garza
3. Phil Hughes
4. Jared Burton
5. Kevin Correia
6. Logan Darnell
7. Samuel Deduno
8. Scott Diamond
9. Casey Fien
10. Kyle Gibson
11. Liam Hendriks
12. Edgar Ibarra
13. Kris Johnson
14. Trevor May
15. Glen Perkins
16. Ryan Pressley
17. Anthony Swarzak
18. Caleb Thielbar
19. Michael Tonkin
20. Vance Worley
21. Daniel Burawa
22. Gavin Floyd
23. Ryan Doumit
24. AJ Pierzynski
25. Chris Herrmann
26. Josmil Pinto
27. Brian Dozier
28. Stephen Drew
29. Pedro Florimon
30. Joe Mauer
31. Trevor Plouffe
32. Jorge Polonco
33. Danny Santana
34. Kennys Vargas
35. Oswaldo Arcia
36. Aaron Hicks
37. Max Kepler
38. Chris Parmelee
39. Alex Presley
40. Josh Willingham
Opening Day 2014:
Bullpen: Burawa, Pressley, Swarzak, Fien, Perkins, Burton, Thielbar
Bench: Florimon, Herrmann, Presley, Parmelee
SP: Meyer, May, Darnell, Johnson, Diamond, Hendriks
*Changes by July 2014:
Add and promote Meyer drop Hendriks, send down Deduno
Add and promote Buxton drop and send down Presley
Add and promote Sano after Willingham trade
Move up Achter send down Pressley
Move up Floyd(rehabbing) send down Gibson( I think it's going to take him a few times)
Move up Pinto, send down Herrmann
Squad by July 2014:
Garza, Hughes, Corriea, Meyer, Floyd
Perkins, Fein, Burton, Swarzak, Achter, Burawa, Thielbar
Bench: Pierznyski, Parmelee, Plouffe(OF/IF), Florimon
** I won't get too far into moves for 2015, but it would set us up nicely to look something along the lines of this:
Perkins(trade at deadline), Thielbar, Fien, Burawa, Achter, Tonkin, Johnson
Bench: C: Turner , OF/3B: Plouffe, UTL: Florimon, Some type of bench bat in FA.
If most things or even some go right, this team will compete not only for a wildcard berth, it will compete for the Central Title.
*If we did similar moves with pitching this offseason, not necessarily same players, but similar years and an option year on a comeback guy like Floyd(really aren't a lot of others i'd do that with though) this would put us in a good position for solidifying our future rotation, while not blocking young up and coming pitchers. After 2015, Floyd would be off books and a spot for Stewart would be available if he could grab it.
I really think guys like Deduno/Diamond are going to be up and down guys for injuries after this season.
It'll be interesting to see how our bullpen shakes out.
A lot of people expect Fien, Thielbar to come back to reality. Some others think Burton can have a bounce back year, while Burton is the closest one to being a non-Twin. I would consider it possible that guys like Swarzak, Burton are not back in 2015, which would give guys like Tonkin, Achter, Zack Jones, etc a good chance to have considerate roles in the pen after 2014. I also think it'd be a pretty good idea to try and trade off Perkins during the 2015 season, if not this summer. A lot of things to consider, but it really depends how we are doing. If we somehow find a way to compete this summer, it'd be hard to unload him then and I would presume in 2015 we are definitely going to be competing, but we also should have some young power arms really knocking on the door by then, which makes it easier to replace an aging Perkins.