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Thread: Article: Moving Goalposts

  1. #41
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Free agency is not like going to the grocery store. It is more like an auction system in which you're recruiting players to play for you. Players don't just look at dollars when you do this. They look at the scale of the opportunity, competitive issues, location, etc. By scale, I mean, how likely is it that the player will be a fixture with the team to justify a long-term contract. In the case of the Twins, there is only one position where a guy can see long-term scale, and that is shortstop. Every other position looks to be occupied by a top prospect or star player by 2016.

    There weren't any good shortstops this year. I know some people thought Drew was a good one, but he's a short-term stop gap at best. As was the case with pitching last year, the Twins decided to pass and perhaps try again next year. I can't really fault them for that.

    So we are where we are. Let's see how they play. It does no good to mope about what might happen.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Free agency is not like going to the grocery store. It is more like an auction system in which you're recruiting players to play for you. Players don't just look at dollars when you do this. They look at the scale of the opportunity, competitive issues, location, etc. By scale, I mean, how likely is it that the player will be a fixture with the team to justify a long-term contract. In the case of the Twins, there is only one position where a guy can see long-term scale, and that is shortstop. Every other position looks to be occupied by a top prospect or star player by 2016.

    There weren't any good shortstops this year. I know some people thought Drew was a good one, but he's a short-term stop gap at best. As was the case with pitching last year, the Twins decided to pass and perhaps try again next year. I can't really fault them for that.

    So we are where we are. Let's see how they play. It does no good to mope about what might happen.
    Free agents who are good enough to look for long term deals aren't worried about prospects behind them.

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  5. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tharasix View Post
    Just because they didn't sign any real offensive threats doesn't mean they weren't trying. In fact, Antony said recently that they were just turned down by a lot of folks. Sure, they could way overpay for some guys and get them, but I'm willing to bet others wouldn't play here for any amount of money. When the details of the Twins offer to Ervin Santana came out, the reaction on the boards here was that it was a fair offer, and it wouldn't have made a lot of sense to offer more.

    To say that the Twins didn't sign people implies they weren't really trying is a big assumption based on a lot of missing facts.
    Well, Santana (and Garza) are pitchers. IIRC, the only strong rumors for position players were both catchers (Salty and AJ) -- where the Twins actually have their most MLB ready prospect!

    To be fair, I didn't see a whole lot of strong FA position players this past offseason, especially if you throw out Drew and Morales (who knows what Boras is up to there). But there have been a few who signed short reasonable deals and who could have at least provided more competition/depth (and greater potential returns than Kubel/Bartlett).

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  7. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    In the case of the Twins, there is only one position where a guy can see long-term scale, and that is shortstop. Every other position looks to be occupied by a top prospect or star player by 2016.
    And you wonder why some of us look like pessimists compared to you?

    The Twins would basically have to go something like 7-for-8 in converting their closest position player and starting pitcher prospects into MLB starters by 2016 in order for this to be true.

    As good as the farm system is, that would take an incredible amount of luck, particularly when only one of the prospects in question (Pinto) has appeared above AA, and in fact only 3-4 other key prospects have even played at the AA level so far.

    I'm pretty sure MLB free agents aren't counting on that (particularly those signing 1 to 3 year deals, which is the vast majority), and I hope that kind of outlook isn't driving our MLB-level decision-making either.

  8. #45
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    If either Brian Dozier or Trevor Plouffe fails to deliver or suffers a major injury, there's no appealing option to step in as an impact starter.
    Nick: to be fair, "impact starter" is a pretty high standard. Very few teams have potential impact starters on the sidelines unless they have a near-ready top prospect.

    "Competent replacement" would probably be a better term, although that's still a weak point for the current Twins -- it's not at all clear that we have an MLB-caliber utility infielder, backup corner guy, or especially a 4th outfielder available at this point either.

  9. #46
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Nick, whenever you're ready to come over to the dark side I'll be here. Mismanagement and holding on the tired cliches have driven this organization to what it is. KC used to think their prospects were only a few years away 10 years ago. Is that where we're at? Lets slide by and sign mediocre guys that don't embarrass themselves every night?

    I have serious questions about the offense, but at least the starting rotation should be better. That will make a big difference where this team ends up. At this point, we just have to hope the best for guys to develop and hit. Plouffe, Pinto, Arcia, Hicks, Dozier could all be solid. If they are, the Twins will be fine.

    When Sano, Buxton and Rosario are regulars things will get easier.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

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  11. #47
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Free agency is not like going to the grocery store. It is more like an auction system in which you're recruiting players to play for you. Players don't just look at dollars when you do this. They look at the scale of the opportunity, competitive issues, location, etc. By scale, I mean, how likely is it that the player will be a fixture with the team to justify a long-term contract. In the case of the Twins, there is only one position where a guy can see long-term scale, and that is shortstop. Every other position looks to be occupied by a top prospect or star player by 2016.

    There weren't any good shortstops this year. I know some people thought Drew was a good one, but he's a short-term stop gap at best. As was the case with pitching last year, the Twins decided to pass and perhaps try again next year. I can't really fault them for that.

    So we are where we are. Let's see how they play. It does no good to mope about what might happen.
    I'm of the belief that whether or not the team has a chance to win it all is a bigger factor in a free agent's decision than whether or not there's a prospect that may supplant them.

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  13. #48
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    I'm with Mr. Brooks. It isn't the FO job to try to make the team better, it is their job to make it better. Two years ago, I was told to quit being so pessimistic, that 2014 would be better. Last year I was told to be patient, that next year or 2015 would be better. Now people are saying 2016 or 2017 will be better. It's fine if some of you are happy about that. It's fine if some people will pay serious money to watch a terrible product because they love baseball. But its also fine if some of us don't.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  15. #49
    Unprecedented losing? You clearly were not around during the waning years of the Griffith dynasty.

    This franchise has been competitive for the better half of the last 25 years. We have seen futility before and we will see it again - but what is different now is that we have seen success and we like it. Our disappointment has more to do with our high expectations for what has become Minnesota's most successful sports franchise - (yes the bar is low).

    The real disappointment this year is that the future remains on hold. I think our attitudes would have been much better if the likes of Sano and Rosario were waiting in the wings - certain to make their debuts this season.

    As it is - with the exception of Alex Meyer - there is little on the short term horizon to be overly excited about.

    So, let's adjust our expectations and look forward to a season with Kyle Gibson as a full time starter and an improved rotation, Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks hopefully taking the next step forward, and the debut of the hardest throwing starter since Scott Erickson - Alex Meyer.

    Most important and above all let's enjoy watching Joe Mauer hit every day.

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  17. #50
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Regression happens to every player. In some cases, that means improvement. I am concerned about some of the depth, especially at third base. But it is highly unlikely all the injuries you speculate about will happen at the same time. That's my point.

    When you make projections, you do a statistical analysis of the probability of regression for each player given their career averages and age/performance considerations and you come out with the most likely scenario. You don't speculate on what will happen if every player got worse or hurt.
    As Lev has previously suggested, you were misreading that passage if you took it to indicate that I think all those things will happen.

    The point was this: here are a number of plausible -- even likely -- things that could take place, and this club is ill-equipped to react to any of them. You only need a few of those outcomes to play out and you've potentially got major issues for an offense that was pretty bad already last year.

  18. #51
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    Disagree. I was also not happy with the lack of success before they were good. It isn't about changing expectations. It might be for you, but it isn't for "we".
    Lighten up Francis....

  19. #52
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighTwinsFan View Post
    Unprecedented losing? You clearly were not around during the waning years of the Griffith dynasty.
    Ha, well you're right about that. But the Twins have never lost 291 games in a three-year span before, so the statement stands.

  20. #53
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    In my opinion... The Front office probably has a plan B and a Plan C for CF and 3B.

    With my eyes... it appears that we have no plan B for CF or 3B.

    All eggs seem to be in the Hicks and Plouffe basket and that leaves me uneasy considering how Hicks and Plouffe performed in 2013.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

  21. #54
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    In my eyes, there is a plan D and F for most positions (ironically, other than SP) this year. Let's hope for a nice change in luck and performance this year (or more like Dozier)......
    Lighten up Francis....

  22. #55
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    Nailed It

    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    The Fans are paying high ticket prices to see very bad baseball at Target Field.
    The fans deserve to see an entertaining product on the field, regardless of what the future holds.

    " I'm not sure the Twins realize the amount of anger which is building towards their Organization"
    Patrick Reusse
    I am paying thousands of dollars buying tickets for myself and some of my staff. Those tickets ALWAYS go up in price even when the organization is terrible. Target Field is a great place to go watch baseball but honestly there are games where I watch less than 3 innings of baseball. The team is that bad.

    This front office has proven time and time again one of two things. Either they don't understand that the point of having a team is to win divisions and the World Series and they are working towards some other goal like making the Pohlads more money. Or 2, they are so inept and out of touch with how the game has changed that they have just fallen behind the rest of the league and can't compete.

    I'd like to believe they don't think the entire fan base are complete morons so for now I'm giving them a pass on #1.

    Honestly I wholeheartedly believe its #2. From Ryan to Bill Smith to Rob Antony to Gardy to Anderson I honestly believe this group distain for the changes in the game have led them to forge a path that increases their competitive disadvantage compared to the competition.

    Ryan has proven he can't build a balanced decent roster. Even by spending some money he may have improved the pitching but he completely neglected an embarrassing bad lineup. That's not just bad luck. That's being a terrible GM. He completely ignored the entire lineup and pitching staff last year also. So most of it is on him. I give him some credit for restocking the minors through trades and the draft but you need to get your young talent to the majors. Putting guys like Kubel and Bartlett on the team do nothing toward freeing up roster spots for younger guys that need experience and are flat out better than these guys anyway.

    The teams distain towards advanced analytics, lack of common sense strategy like platooning players, and continued mishandling of player injuries have all been documented so many times there's no need to do it again.

    I get "being positive" but that has nothing to do with being a "real" fan. I'm not going to stand by and be lectured that I'm not a fan because I don't buy what this front office is selling. The fact of the matter is they play this game to win. The win-loss record is all the indicators you need for how well a front office and field management are performing. This one has continually failed massively 3 straight years and on paper this team could be as bad or worse than the previous three. They have to be accountable for improvement don't they? You don't just go from being a 95-100 loss team for 4 years to a contender. If you can't meet the low bar of improving this trainwreck then maybe its time to stop handing out contract extensions and clean house.

    Being a fan involves going to games, watching them on tv, buying their merchandise, following them on the internet, and having a general interest in how they perform. It has nothing to do with agreeing with the front office, not pointing out when they make the same mistakes over and over, and not being upset as they fall further and further behind the competition.

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  24. #56
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    Free agents who are good enough to look for long term deals aren't worried about prospects behind them.
    No, but the Twins do. All things considered, they do not like to hire people for long-term deals when they have as good or better options a year or two down the road. And short-term options might give you a year or two above replcement level. But rarely do they make enough of a difference to be worth it.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  25. #57
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    In my opinion... The Front office probably has a plan B and a Plan C for CF and 3B.

    With my eyes... it appears that we have no plan B for CF or 3B.

    All eggs seem to be in the Hicks and Plouffe basket and that leaves me uneasy considering how Hicks and Plouffe performed in 2013.
    At this point I think the backup plan is for the PR department to buy more lipstick!
    This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

  26. #58

    Can't give away $$

    Agree, it sounds like they tried to spend. But, it's awfully tough convincing players to come to Minnesota after the last 2 winters we had and the likelihood of playing games outside in the 30's and 40's well into May, when the prospects of being a contender are slim to none. I'm not advocating a return to the Dome (it's torn down after all!), but it may be a factor.
    Winning cures all.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigTrane View Post
    First, props to Doc on saying that we're all real fans. Lots of divisiveness lately, and it's understandable why. You can look at all the numbers and information you want, but in the end, you're faced with the optimistic/pessimistic choice. That seems to be the source of the disagreement.

    Second, just finished listening to Olney & Crasnick agree that the Twins will finish last in the ALC with 68 wins. At the same time I was reading Beardino's piece where Antony said the Twins couldn't give their money away this off season. Then I read about Buxton's injury...
    Olney concluded that "it's going to be a tough year for a proud organization"- boy, he got that right.

    Many of us have clamored to tap into the FA market to augment the farm, but if you can't give it away, and the up-and-comers are still on the way up, what can you do? We're on the horns of that dilemma now.

    Same as Doc, I'll keep watching, looking for flashes wherever they appear. Dozier saved me last year, so I'll follow him closely. Being a Twins fan ain't for the faint of heart.

  27. #59
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    Actually, money cures most things. If they had offered A LOT MORE money to AJ, he probably would have come here. Not certainly, but probably......like, they have another 20million or so they could spend, if they offered AJ $5MM more, you think he would have said no?

    Don't kid yourself, look where players sign. They sign for money first, winning second (or third, after location).
    Lighten up Francis....

  28. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
    I am paying thousands of dollars buying tickets for myself and some of my staff. Those tickets ALWAYS go up in price even when the organization is terrible. Target Field is a great place to go watch baseball but honestly there are games where I watch less than 3 innings of baseball. The team is that bad.

    This front office has proven time and time again one of two things. Either they don't understand that the point of having a team is to win divisions and the World Series and they are working towards some other goal like making the Pohlads more money. Or 2, they are so inept and out of touch with how the game has changed that they have just fallen behind the rest of the league and can't compete.

    I'd like to believe they don't think the entire fan base are complete morons so for now I'm giving them a pass on #1.

    Honestly I wholeheartedly believe its #2. From Ryan to Bill Smith to Rob Antony to Gardy to Anderson I honestly believe this group distain for the changes in the game have led them to forge a path that increases their competitive disadvantage compared to the competition.

    Ryan has proven he can't build a balanced decent roster. Even by spending some money he may have improved the pitching but he completely neglected an embarrassing bad lineup. That's not just bad luck. That's being a terrible GM. He completely ignored the entire lineup and pitching staff last year also. So most of it is on him. I give him some credit for restocking the minors through trades and the draft but you need to get your young talent to the majors. Putting guys like Kubel and Bartlett on the team do nothing toward freeing up roster spots for younger guys that need experience and are flat out better than these guys anyway.

    The teams distain towards advanced analytics, lack of common sense strategy like platooning players, and continued mishandling of player injuries have all been documented so many times there's no need to do it again.

    I get "being positive" but that has nothing to do with being a "real" fan. I'm not going to stand by and be lectured that I'm not a fan because I don't buy what this front office is selling. The fact of the matter is they play this game to win. The win-loss record is all the indicators you need for how well a front office and field management are performing. This one has continually failed massively 3 straight years and on paper this team could be as bad or worse than the previous three. They have to be accountable for improvement don't they? You don't just go from being a 95-100 loss team for 4 years to a contender. If you can't meet the low bar of improving this trainwreck then maybe its time to stop handing out contract extensions and clean house.

    Being a fan involves going to games, watching them on tv, buying their merchandise, following them on the internet, and having a general interest in how they perform. It has nothing to do with agreeing with the front office, not pointing out when they make the same mistakes over and over, and not being upset as they fall further and further behind the competition.
    I could not agree more.

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