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Thread: And then there were two.

  1. #21
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    No, 2010 was disastrous because they had no good players on the roster, and no one in AA or AAA ready to come up and help. There was no lack of flexibility in payroll in 2011, 12, or 13. There was a lack of talent. That is partly due to drafting, development, trades, and lack of FA signings that really helped the team in that time frame. It had nothing to do with payroll inflexibility.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  3. #22
    Brock , I'm sure you're right on Kubel, but I could swear I read just recently in the Strib that Antony negotiated Kubel's $8 million contract. But who knows, I could have been having a mental lapse.

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    That's not my argument and you know it. I'm all for taking a flyer on Drew, though I won't scream if the organization doesn't agree.

    Santana is a question mark. Sure, he had a good season. He's also had his fair share of clunkers. He's not a guy I'd give four years, particularly with Gibson and Meyer on the way.

    There's a reason why no other team wanted to give him a four year deal. On a three year deal, sure, you try to grab that guy in a soft market. If he wants a one year make-good deal instead, well, nothing you can do about that.
    My guess is Santana would have received 4/50 if that is what he was asking for in November. The Twins would probably rather have signed Ervin over Nolasco. But he was asking for 5/80 then and everyone moved on.

    Big picture, I think Ervin would have taken 3/36 with a vested 4th year at $12M or a $2M buyout now, over the 1/14 year deal. We won't know for sure, but I think this deal would have been better than what will be available next year (to the Twins). You do that and trade KC, our rotation gets much better this year and over the next few. Prospects that we care about are not really blocked.

    Ervin had a terrible 2012, well chronicled. But he was 9th in ERA in 2013, 14th in 2011, and 24th in 2010 (All AL only).

    When you are sitting here at an $82M payroll, you have to wonder if it is more about "getting deals", or common sense. We needed one blue chip guy (Nolasco). But after that I think Terry is trying to find value in both Hughes and Pelfrey as buy low types that could turn into values. We came back to Ervin and Garza when the market had moved on and they over-played their hands, therefore their value was suppressed. The Kubel deal is absolutely a value play. Same with Bartlett. Same with Matt G.

    My question would be, is this is the right approach to turning around a 95 loss team? Upgrades were out there at catcher, DH, and SS and we would have had to pay a market value and we came away empty handed as far as I am concerned. Santana over KC would have made this team better as well.
    Last edited by tobi0040; 03-12-2014 at 09:48 AM.

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  6. #24
    Nope, I'm not losing my mind. I just googled "Rob Antony negotiatated Kubel's $8 million contract", and that's the headline that came up. It was Phil Miller's article from a couple days ago. He's since corrected it, but the google headline still shows $8 million.

  7. #25
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    I hope no one thought my hyperbole was aimed at Brock. I know he's not for the Pohlads pocketing money. It was a flip comment that was probably best left untyped, the kind I'd make as a joke in a bar.....which this isn't.
    Lighten up Francis....

  8. #26
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Big picture, I think Ervin would have taken 3/36 with a vested 4th year at $12M or a $2M buyout now, over the 1/14 year deal. We won't know for sure, but I think this deal would have been better than what will be available next year (to the Twins). You do that and trade KC, our rotation gets much better this year and over the next few.
    I have a hard time believing he would take that if he rejected our 3/33 offer out of hand. If he was inclined to take a 3/36 deal with an option, they could have negotiated a compromise. Who knows what he would take? His demands all winter were way out of line with his market value. He took the one-year deal because he wants to improve his marketability next year. To me, that says he was unwilling to accept the reality of his market position.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  9. #27
    Morales at DH makes so much sense. As much as people hate Willingham in LF, it makes sense to leave him there for one more year, if for no other reason than to increase his trade value.

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Morales at DH makes so much sense. As much as people hate Willingham in LF, it makes sense to leave him there for one more year, if for no other reason than to increase his trade value.
    I could not disagree more. His trade value is what it is. They need OF defense with this flyball pitching staff. Put Hicks in LF, his possible long term position, and move on from Willingham in the OF. That's what I would do.
    Lighten up Francis....

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I have a hard time believing he would take that if he rejected our 3/33 offer out of hand. If he was inclined to take a 3/36 deal with an option, they could have negotiated a compromise. Who knows what he would take? His demands all winter were way out of line with his market value. He took the one-year deal because he wants to improve his marketability next year. To me, that says he was unwilling to accept the reality of his market position.
    The deal I proposed would be 3/38 guaranteed and would turn into the same thing Nolasco received if he pitches something like 500 IP over the next three years. He has to get $24M over years two and three for a break even point. I think it would have been in his best interest to take that deal. He had UCL issues in 2009. If that comes back or if he has a year like 2012, 2009, or the other clunker he had in the past he does may not get 2/24 next off-season.

    But the broader point is 52% of revenue would be something like $120M-$125M if you add revenue from the new cable deal, all-star game, etc. We are sitting here at $82M (heading down after this year) and 3 consective 95 loss seasons. Is the lottery ticket approach to SS, DH, and value and upside starters the right approach (excluding Nolasco)?

    I can't find a single false statement below:

    Ervin over Pelfrey or KC is an upgrade

    Cruz or Morales over Kubel is an upgrade

    Drew over Florimon or Bartlett is an upgrade

    We have capacity to make at least two of these moves without hurting financial flexiblity long term.

    None of these moves are blocking a prospect that we care about
    Last edited by tobi0040; 03-12-2014 at 10:06 AM.

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  13. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I could not disagree more. His trade value is what it is. They need OF defense with this flyball pitching staff. Put Hicks in LF, his possible long term position, and move on from Willingham in the OF. That's what I would do.
    Well he's the LF'er whether we sign morales or not.

  14. #31
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    Simplistic and unfair.
    Mike later clarified his position on this post. Nothing to see here, let's drop it.

  15. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    To me, that says he was unwilling to accept the reality of his market position.
    I think he came to HAVE to accept the reality of his market position as we got into March but early on, he was very unrealistic. According to Ken Rosenthal, he wanted more than $100 million/5 years. At the same time, Nolasco supposedly wanted $80 million/5 years.

    The difference was that Nolasco and his team got realistic very quickly and signed his deal with the Twins before much dust had settled.

    Santana was seemingly waiting for the Tanaka situation to be resolved -- possibly hoping to cash in on the shirt tails.

    And when that seemingly didn't work in his favor and time went on, he fired his agent.

    I have to think that there is a lot of unhappiness on the Santana's part (and that's why he went with the one-year deal). Unhappiness over the impact that the compensatory pick has (lots of lessons learned from Lohse last year, Santana and others). Unhappiness over a player, unproven in mlb, receiving $155 m/7 years. (Tanaka may very well prove to be worth $22m/year but there still has to be unhappiness among some veterans over the price paid for him compared to what #2/upper #3 tier, proven mlb regulars are getting). Unhappiness with his agents and the way they read the market.

    If Santana is injured or has a bad season, this may all blow up in his face. But I have to admire him for betting on himself. He did what could be done to salvage the situation -- going to the NL -- to a team with a reputation for good pitching and with prospects for a good season. I wish him well.
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 03-12-2014 at 10:07 AM.

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  17. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    I don't understand that. If you think the player can help your club why do you have to low ball the guy? They have plenty of money if you want a guy do what it takes.

    He does nothing to help the club if you don't sign him and the money does nothing to help the club in Pohlads bank unspent.

    I'm not sure I would want the guy but if you do a few extra million isn't going to kill the team.
    This would make sense if we knew what Santana would have taken. For argument's sake, I'll guess Santana wanted $42M over 3 years and the Twins decided that he wasn't worth that bet. So they let Santana roll his own dice with someone else.

  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    edited because I can't type this am....

    As fans, I don't know why anyone does......but there is no right way to be a fan, so feel how you want to feel. Many fans want their teams to win, and don't care if the owners make zero dollars or $30-50MM per year in profits. I have no idea why anyone cares.
    mike, it's not about caring so much as respecting someone else's decisions. Also, it doesn't do fans any good if our favorite team make irresponsible financial decisions that later must be rectified. It's really not that dissimilar to how most of us respect our employers' interests in turning a profit. In a bad year, we're not going to snicker in our cubicles gloating that they're losing their shirts, even if we feel a bit underpaid. So yeah, some of us "care".

  19. #35
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    Fair enough. I'm not asking them to do things I think are stupid.....I wouldn't recommend them if I thought that. I think your example is off. I have a personal reason to care if my company makes money or not. I have no incentive (imo) to care if the billionaires that own the Twins make money or lose money on them. The only reason I should care (imo) is if it keeps them from later doing the right things. Given that they have piled up in the range of $50-100MM in "excess" profits over the 52% the last three years, and added another $25MM in revenue this year while adding 2MM in costs....I'm not too worried about them losing money.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  21. #36
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    No, 2010 was disastrous because they had no good players on the roster, and no one in AA or AAA ready to come up and help. There was no lack of flexibility in payroll in 2011, 12, or 13. There was a lack of talent. That is partly due to drafting, development, trades, and lack of FA signings that really helped the team in that time frame. It had nothing to do with payroll inflexibility.
    Payroll in 2011 was $115 million, which was more than 52% of revenue. That was with a pathetic team, which was only going to get worse with the exits of Baker, Cuddyer, Kubel, Thome, etc., the loss of key pieces like Ramos and Hardy, and investments in losers like Nishioka. At that point, they had to blow it up and start over. They didn't have the farm system to build a competitive team in one year. They had neither the talent without or within to build a contender this quickly. It's not about willingness to spend. It's about talent availability. Name one team that started over from scratch and contended within three years.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  22. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Mike later clarified his position on this post. Nothing to see here, let's drop it.
    Just caught mike's update. Thanks, mike, we're good as always.

  23. #38
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    didn't I say the same thing? The problem was a lack of talent?

    I guess I should have said they were under 52% of revenue, every year but 1 since opening the new stadium, not the last three years. that's probably more accurate, and probably more damning (if you believe buying good players is a good idea).
    Lighten up Francis....

  24. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Fair enough. I'm not asking them to do things I think are stupid.....I wouldn't recommend them if I thought that. I think your example is off. I have a personal reason to care if my company makes money or not. I have no incentive (imo) to care if the billionaires that own the Twins make money or lose money on them. The only reason I should care (imo) is if it keeps them from later doing the right things. Given that they have piled up in the range of $50-100MM in "excess" profits over the 52% the last three years, and added another $25MM in revenue this year while adding 2MM in costs....I'm not too worried about them losing money.
    We need to first start with an objective, then what is the best way to achieve that objective.

    I think with a team you have four options.

    1) Win at all costs and lose money (Tigers)

    2) Spend up to a reasonable profit and field the best team, while not hurting long term prospects and/or blocking top prospects. Break even or make $5M a year.

    3) Spend enough to not be called cheap, find value in players, have a good or respectable win to payroll ratio. Make $10-15m+ a year.

    4) Make money at all costs, i.e. have a $30M payroll. We would certainly make money here.

    I agree with Mike 100% that asking that we bring payroll up to say $100-$110M is not unreasonable. The team is still making money at this level. They received $150M in tax funds to get a stadium, that helped boostthe value of the franchise from $280M to over $700M (which makes the yearly revenue for payroll discussion a bit arbitrary).

    Which bucket do the Twins fit in? We can say no to #1 and #4. I would argue #3. We are sitting $10-$20M above the metrodome payroll. $30M under 52% of revenue. Payroll over the next 1-2 years could be at this level or lower with prospects filling roles. If #2 was the objective, it is hard to see how we don't sign Ervin over Pelfrey (or sign Ervin and trade KC). Sign Cruz and DH him or move Josh or Arcia to DH. Sign Drew, etc. These undoubtedly make the team better and don't block the prospects that we care about in the near future (Sano, Buxton, Meyer, and Gibson). I don't see how the lottery ticket approach to turning this team around, Kubel, Matt G, Bartlett, etc, is the way to go.
    Last edited by tobi0040; 03-12-2014 at 10:57 AM.

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  26. #40
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    We need to first start with an objective, then what is the best way to achieve that objective.

    I think with a team you have four options.

    1) Win at all costs and lose money (Tigers)

    2) Spend up to a reasonable profit and field the best team, while not hurting long term prospects and/or blocking top prospects. Break even or make $5M a year.

    3) Spend enough to not be called cheap, find value in players, have a good or respectable win to payroll ratio. Make $10-15m+ a year.

    4) Make money at all costs, i.e. have a $30M payroll. We would certainly make money here.

    I agree with Mike 100% that asking that we bring payroll up to say $100-$110M is not unreasonable. The team is still making money at this level. They received $150M in tax funds to get a stadium, that helped boostthe value of the franchise from $280M to over $700M (which makes the yearly revenue for payroll discussion a bit arbitrary).

    Which bucket do the Twins fit in? We can say no to #1 and #4. I would argue #3. We are sitting $10-$20M above the metrodome payroll. $30M under 52% of revenue. Payroll over the next 1-2 years could be at this level or lower with prospects filling roles. If #2 was the objective, it is hard to see how we don't sign Ervin over Pelfrey (or sign Ervin and trade KC). Sign Cruz and DH him or move Josh or Arcia to DH. Sign Drew, etc. These undoubtedly make the team better and don't block the prospects that we care about in the near future (Sano, Buxton, Meyer, and Gibson). I don't see how the lottery ticket approach to turning this team around, Kubel, Matt G, Bartlett, etc, is the way to go.
    Good discussion. I vote for 2, but it looks like 3 is closer to their operating model.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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