I dont know why its so hard for so many people to understand. With the new ballpark and the new TV contract, the Twins are raking in money hand over fist. They can spend it, even if they have to overpay, or they can put it in their pockets. And no, this money isn't put in an account to be used when the team is competitive again. It's gone forever so Mr. Pohlad can take it with him when he dies.
I understand. However, isn't there at least a slight possibility that the Twins don't like any of the remaining free agent options? Or, isn't it possible that some of these free agents don't want to come here? Or both?
The Twins have already exceeded my expectations this off season, but that doesn't change the fact that I want to see the team win more games. I can't see them winning too many more games unless the offense gets better.
The Twins upgraded their starting rotation because they had to. The fact that they haven't been as aggressive on the offensive side tells me that a) they aren't all-in this year and / or b) they are once again over-estimating their offense and / or C) they are cheap and are trying to kick the can down the road for as long as they can.
The reality of the situation is the Twins have been cutting payroll / kicking the can down the road since the end of the 2010 season. I understand that the team is waiting for their young prospects to establish themselves in the MLB, which could take years. But I really hope they plan on building this team into a serious contender over the next couple / few years even if it means spending serious $. Who wants to watch a bunch of can kickers who aren't committed to winning?
Back to the original point about the offense, I'm not sure Mauer is the only above-average offensive player. Both Brian Dozier and Oswaldo Arcia posted an OPS+ of 100 or higher. Each is young and it's conceivable that they will improve. They may not, but the Twins have to hope they will. That takes first, second and one corner OF position off the wishlist.
Willingham should occupy the other corner OF if the Twins have any hope of trading him for assets and/or any hope of contending. Center is out, the Twins have Presley, Hicks and then Buxton, so there's no reason to sign a long-term option there. Catcher is covered with Suzuki and Pinto. That leaves third, short and DH. Sano should be ready soon, but his elbow injury is concerning. Plouffe is who he is. That said, the third base options are sucky, at the risk of using an overly fancy word.
That pretty much leaves DH and short. I'd be fine with sacrificing a draft pick for Morales and/or Drew in order to upgrade those positions. However, I don't think that passing on those players equals a bad off-season. Morales is a fine offensive player, but I'm not a big fan of paying good money for a DH. I've come around on Drew a lot, but I'm not sold he will be a great player if the Twins do land him.
Beyond those two, I don't see a lot of other options. Mark Reynolds? Justin Turner? Those guys will be pretty cheap and I'm not sure they are better options than those already on roster.
Moderator warning -- please be respectful to each other. You can make your points without being snide and combative.
I would be more inclined to give the Twins a pass on this if there weren't reasonable, obtainable options out there that cost only money and a second/third round pick. The draft picks are a serious cost, but well worth it IMO, and the money required really shouldn't even give the Twins a second thought. They are spending a smaller percentage of revenue now than they were in the dome. I think it's entirely fair to ask why we as fans should accept a team worse than necessary, when reasonable upgrades are there for the taking.
This link shows players who will be free agents next year.
There are some SSs there and some really good SPs. I don't really want the Twins to sign someone to a multi-year deal just to tie up money for the next several years. I will not get hysterical if the Pohlads put some money in their pockets this year.
They've clearly lit a fire under TR. That is a great start.
If they need a SS and a top of the rotation SP next off-season I want them to be able to go get those guys.
At Fangraphs both Oliver and Steamer expect Drew's BABIP, ISO and defense to drop. Doesn't necessarily mean he would be a bad pickup, but I really think they will go with Eduardo Escobar and see what we can get out of him. Maybe go get a real SS next year if no one surprises us.
Yes, I see all the stats. Just me, but I believe Drew will drop off a lot in 2014.
Regarding Morales and Drew, they becomes prime trade bait for a contender without having to forfeit a draft pick- so that mitigates the downside risk even more for the Twins- and as discussed, they block no one for the immediate future. Admittedly, both have their weaknesses and drawbacks, but come on, both would be a HUGE upgrade over what the Twins project to put in their places this season and for the immediate future. And as Marta so eloquently stated, we need to have some crumbs thrown our way, rather than merely using those crumbs to pay down part of the nut on TF.
Michael Young is out there as an alternative bat, no doubt hoping to get snapped up by a contender. The Twins should at least consider him as the clock ticks towards Spring Training- might end up being a bargain pick-up.
The crickets are chirping a little louder this evening, offering small rays of upgrade hope:
1) Twins have requested medicals on Ervin Santana.
2) Twins are cited as 1 0f 5 teams "to be in on" Mark Reynolds.
And saving the best for last, the 2014 Reunion Tour might get somewhat head-scratchingly even bigger...
3) Dougie reports that Matt Guerrier begins throwing off a mound on Friday and that the Twins are "interested in potentially bringing him back."
4) Scott Baker's name is also broached in the article, but I think the Twins may have permanently burned that bridge.
This is where the front office has to define the teams goals. If you think that the team is close to contending and you just want an upgrade over Pedro Florimon then Drew is that. I just hope we get a shortstop better than Drew by the time the rest of the team is ready to contend. Drew hit .222 on the road. His numbers left handed were very good at Fenway Park. Paying for that and bringing him to Target Field will not work out that well. I would keep buying pitching. Tanaka not coming but the next three are possible targets.
I like the idea about contacting the Dodgers about an outfielder but Crawford not Kemp. He is a good fielder who would add much needed speed at the top of the lineup. Dodgers would have to eat a large portion of Crawford's contract but that is not a problem for them. I agree with a previous poster who said Kemp's price will be too high.
The Twins far and away exceeded my expectations this offseason. Even though I'd love more, it wouldn't be fair to let that cloud my satisfaction. Those preaching patience are on point, IMHO.
Drew would be okay and is really the only halfway decent FA fit left, but not signing him won't change how great this offseason was particularly considering there's no less than 5 shortstops that are likely to be available next year that could very well be better choices. Cruz and Morales are terrible in the field and can hit some, but really don't solve much outside of the need for some to spend more money. The only other FA move I can see making any sense is another SP upgrade and dealing away Correia.
Finally, Drew's a guy that gets sronger at the plate as the season progresses, his 2 best months are the last months of the season (corroborated in 2013)....career August .815 OPS/113 OPS+... and career September .822 OPS/114 OPS+ ... just the kind of guy you want in the middle of your infield during a pennant chase.
Let's get another pitcher from the top 3 FAs and a Major League SS.
We all hope that a better SS is available just down the road, but why wait and hope for that to happen?...... the Twins have never demonstrated the ability or desire to develop or keep a SS above the level of Little Nicky. The chances of getting the Cuban, Diaz, who many say projects to 2nd base anyway, are very slim, what wth the likes of the Yankees and Dodgers said to be all over him.
Drew may very well be available for likely on a 2 or 3 year deal, and even acknowledging that he's not the perfect answer, just what is the opportunity cost in acquiring him?
*The money is available and doesn't inhibit other signings,
*no prospect is being blocked,
*and provided he stays reasonably healthy, Drew is readily tradeable during the life of the contract should another SS opportunity emerge.
If the Twins can't make a trade for JJ Hardy, they could offer him a contract next off season (if he chooses to become a free agent).
How about the need to move out of the bottom quintile on offense?Quote:
outside of the need for some to spend more money.
I think we sign at least one more. Might not be a big name. Maybe Korean Pitcher Suk-Min Yoon who the Twins have been linked too.(Not Garza I know) Overall, I'm happy with the moves we have made. The market has stalled with everyone waiting on Masahiro Tanaka.