01-28-2014, 11:34 PM #21
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I play GM all the time. Usually with my father, a very passionate, educated and lifelong Twins fan in his own right. We always come to great conclusions with a final statement of; "now if they would just listen to us." Lol
The way the market has played out the past month, or perhaps the way it has slowed down and not played out, with the exception of Tanaka and now Garza, my thoughts on spending have changed somewhat. I do not subscribe to the theory of "spend money since we have it". I know money not spent this year is not squirreled away to spend later. However, not overspending does open the door for additions next season and beyond. And as GM, I am concerned not only with putting a better, more competitive team on the field this season, but building for 2015 and 2016, and not handcuffing myself.
My first action would be to sign E Santana to a 3 yr deal in the 36-40M range as has been speculated. I was previously opposed to such a signing, favoring Garza for various reasons, but like Santana and believe the Garza signing and slower market to this point has changed the dynamics of the FA market.
Next I would trade Correia to someone in need of rounding/stabilizing their rotation. (Decent, solid SP is always in need somewhere) And I believe Correia would be attractive somewhere, especially considering the low salary as well as only a one year term. Gladly move him for a low or high A prospect of decent quality. Would even consider eating a portion of his salary if necessary, but prefer not to, hence the A level player return.
I wish I had a reliable crystal ball to tell me for certain what to expect from Willingham, Kubel and Hicks this season. But I don't. So I have to go with my gut and personal expectations, tempered with the immediate vs the building for the future. I believe Willingham will rebound and hit close to career norms this season, primarily as a DH and occasional LF. I feel Kubel might have life left after a one year plunge, and I welcomed the low risk signing initially, though I have doubts how he will truly respond. I also want to improve my bench and its versatility.
I have debated and now decided that K Morales is a perfect signing for my team. He is only 30 when the season starts, provides much needed power to my lineup, can provide an occasional start at 1B to give Mauer a day off, and provides an excellent PH when not in the lineup. Someone suggested 3 and 24M and I'll go with that, but have a feeling he might be had for 3 and 18-21M with the way the market has slowed.
Willingham might be traded tomorrow, during ST, a month or two or all star break during the season, or not at all and just walk away at the end. Any way, I have Morales at DH for two more seasons to help my lineup, and take a little pressure off Sano, Arcia, and to a lesser extent Pinto and possibly Plouffe. And with Morales in the fold, I wouldn't feel as bad selling low on Willngham. He's gone end of the year anyway, and even if he rebounds to his career norms, how much value in return do we really expect from an older player with mediocre defense in the OF?
Now, forgive me if I've missed a signing here, but last I checked utility guys Turner and Baker were still available. I'd sign one of them, and would still consider Betemitt for his bat and occasional Inf duty. I'm going to pick J Baker for his overall flexibility for this scenario.
I am a strong believer in Hicks, his talent and potential, as well as his ability to adapt, grow and develop from his experiences last season, as well as being optimistic that he was not only showing some improvement before injury, but that Glynn reported he was probably Rochester's best player the last few weeks of the season. Additionally, while I feel Presley is best used as a 4th OF, he may be our best lead off option for the time being as a decent defensive player who hits a little, gets OB a little, hits for a few XB's, can take an extra base and provide a little speed on the base paths. Nothing special, but a little bit of everything.
So my 2014 Twins are as follows:
Kubel as a LH DH/PH/OF and Baker as an OF/INF utility
Yes, I know a batting order only has 9 spots! I'm only showing it as 10 to examine some of the daily versatility available, along with Baker and possibly Kubel fitting in.
My rotation has:
5) Deduno, Diamond, Worley and hopefully Gibson
My bullpen includes: Perkins, Burton, Fien, Duensing, Thielbar, Swarzak and Tonkin or Pressley.
Yes, I have a 26 man roster. But this accounts for injury, pseudo injury, trade, minor options and a SP staff that might allow for an 11 man staff instead of 12.
I am OK payroll wise for this season as well as the future. I have a solid rotation with two #2 starters who occasionally pitch like #1's, a young, talented and somewhat enigmatic #3 with lots of potential now that he is out of NY, that park, a fresh start, and Anderson and Cueller to lead him, a potentially very solid and above average #4, and several options a #5, hopefully Gibson in the near if not immediate future. And there is no-one signed long enough or high enough to prevent a trade to open a spot in the next season or two for Meyer or May. (Or a trade or additional FA signing as well)
I have a deep and versatile bullpen that performed well last season, should be better this season without being overworked, and has potential depth in the minors.
With my couple additions and return to health, my lineup provides at least decent overall production, some versatility, quality defense at most positions, and like the SP staff, there is nothing in years or salary to block top prospects such as Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Santana, etc.
01-28-2014, 11:40 PM #22
I would not trade Hicks at all. Let him become the player he can be this season. A Hicks-Buxton outfield is ridiculous defensively.
01-28-2014, 11:45 PM #23
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Likes: Keeping Florimon.
Dislikes: Trading Hicks and Rosario when their value couldn't be any lower. And, bringing in Bailey when we need a little space in the rotation for internal talent to advance.
And I agree with those who see Nick the Greek as a lifetime Oriole. Have you ever hear that sing-song "Nick Mar-Ka-Kis" chant? It belongs at Camden Fields as much as that awesomely bad "De-rek Je-ter" chant fits in Yankee Stadium at the top half of the first inning. Also, Nick is in decline, although I checked his numbers out before posting. I can't believe he's just 29? He broke in with the O's in 2006, at the tender age of 22, posted a .291 batting average, and played in 147 games. Maybe we can trade Mauer for him? (yes, that's sarcasm...)
01-28-2014, 11:48 PM #24
I think lineups:
and vs. LH
Should not be out of the question and should be considered a 5+ win improvement alone over last year. And Sano can easily be inserted eventually.
The pitching staff is also probably at an 8+ win improvement over last year. There is no reason this team doesn't get to 80 wins in 2014. And it's one more year of development for prospects who will be making the leap in 2015.
01-28-2014, 11:48 PM #25
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01-28-2014, 11:48 PM #26
Pinto soon takes the place of Suzuki and Herrmann (most of the time). There you go.
01-29-2014, 12:01 AM #27
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Another thought, since I am the GM after all...
Does Hicks' experiment keep me from pushing Sano and Buxton, preventing a repeat of the "Terrible Twins" of 1982? terrible twins.jpg
I'd love to see "terrible" improvement in 2014, instead of place holding AAAA players like Colabello, Diamond, Hendricks, Albers, Thomas, and the like... Kids like Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Hicks, Gibson and company can learn and improve in the MLB too. It's called on-the-job training. But I'm afraid that the Twin's front office has lost the cojones for premature advancement after the Hicks debacle...
This user likes Don't Feed the Greed Guy's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:
01-29-2014, 12:15 AM #28
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With Texas looking to sign Bruce Chen , maybe offer up 1 of our AAAA lefties Diamond ,Johnson,Gilmartin , for Sardinas.It might also take 1 of our 14-25 prospects as well.
Next sign Jimenez , Not Santana , 4/50-52 or Hammel on a 2/18 , then trade Worley and May to baltimore for Johnny Monell and a 10-20 prospect, next trade Correia and Bard to Huston for Stassi and LHP Hader (A ball)Sign both Yenier Bello and Diaz.
01-29-2014, 02:32 AM #29
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Isn't the reason Homer Bailey is thought to be available because he wouldn't sign an extension with the Reds but instead wanted to hit FA? I like your idea of searching for an above average pitcher via trade though.
I do know that Nolasco was the #4 starter for the Dodgers last year and Phil Hughes made the Yankee's rotation in only 2 of their 5 playoffs.
I think your rotation would look more like:
1 Santana can certainly pitch like a #2 but is he consistent enough to be labeled as such?
2Who knows what the Twins will get from Pelfrey. Could be anything from Yeah! to OMG Gouge my eyes out. Reminds me a lot of Liriano in that way.
01-29-2014, 05:29 AM #30
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If I were the GM, I sign Morales to a three-year deal. I love the idea of a switch hitter with no appreciable platoon splits in the middle of the lineup. I subtract two starters in separate small trades--Correia and Worley adding in a prospect with Worley to acquire a shortstop who'll be contributing by mid-season next year at the latest. The prospect would be in the range of Harrison/Walker and if both are needed to be traded, do it. Willingham goes by mid-season, but he should be in the lineup every day to rebuild some trade value. Hicks and regrettably Pinto start the season in Rochester, but both are recalled before Memorial Day.
01-29-2014, 07:40 AM #31
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I don’t see Bailey signing an extension unless he gets an offer he believes is equivalent to what he gets next year and we all know the players and agents believe that number is higher than we believe or the GMs believe. The net of it is that if we wait a year we can Bailey or another front line starter for a pick. That pick might even be a second rounder.
IMO, a Bailey type trade is something you do when you need the player immediately because you think he is the piece that puts you over the top as a contender. It just does make sense to me to give up Rosario, Hicks, and Correia. I would much rather sign Santana or Jimenez and trade Corriea. We get back something for Corriea which should make-up for the 2nd rounder we lose and we still have Hicks / Rosario for six years. I think the team is much better in the long run this way.
We could also just wait until next year and do what it takes to get one of the top of the rotation starters that will be available. The beauty of signing Santana now to a 3 year deal is that Hughes and Santana’s contracts would terminate in 2017 and Nolasco in 2018. We should have a few very good SPs coming out of the minors at this time. The Nolasco, Santana, Hughes money should allow us to fill whatever holes we need to compete.