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Thread: Why the Twins should spend top $$ for an Ace?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Anyway, back on topic. Ace pitchers are nice. They are not needed to win a World Series, though they certainly help.

    But the idea of the Twins trading away a top prospect for a couple of years of an "ace" is laughable at best, grounds to fire the entire front office at worst. They simply aren't in the position to make that kind of move right now.
    I disagree that you can win without a top pitcher. I think you either need an ace or a pitcher that was a top 15 guy during a 3-5 stretch.

    I think most of these guys in the last 6 years meet that criteria.

    2013
    John Lackey, BOS
    Jon Lester, BOS
    Clay Bucholtz BOS
    Adam Wainwright, STL
    Michael Wacha, STL
    2012
    Matt Cain, SFG
    Madison Bumgarner, SFG
    Justin Verlander, DET
    Doug Fister, DET
    2011
    Chris Carpenter, STL
    C. J. Wilson, TEX
    2010
    Tim Lincecum, SFG
    Madison Bumgarner, SFG
    Cliff Lee, TEX
    C. J. Wilson, TEX
    2009
    Pedro Martínez, PHI
    Cliff Lee, PHI
    CC Sabathia, NYY
    Andy Pettitte, NYY
    2008
    James Shields, TBR
    Scott Kazmir, TBR
    Cole Hamels, PHI

    If you look at this list, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rting_pitchers, almost all teams had a true #1 pitcher or a guy that had a great 3-5 year run. Unless you have a lineup similar to some of the great Yankee teams, you need Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

    I agree the Twins shouldn't do it this year, but may need to in a couple years if there are close to having a World Series contending team.

  2. #22
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Y View Post
    I disagree that you can win without a top pitcher. I think you either need an ace or a pitcher that was a top 15 guy during a 3-5 stretch.

    I think most of these guys in the last 6 years meet that criteria.

    2013
    John Lackey, BOS
    Jon Lester, BOS
    Clay Bucholtz BOS
    Adam Wainwright, STL
    Michael Wacha, STL
    2012
    Matt Cain, SFG
    Madison Bumgarner, SFG
    Justin Verlander, DET
    Doug Fister, DET
    2011
    Chris Carpenter, STL
    C. J. Wilson, TEX
    2010
    Tim Lincecum, SFG
    Madison Bumgarner, SFG
    Cliff Lee, TEX
    C. J. Wilson, TEX
    2009
    Pedro Martínez, PHI
    Cliff Lee, PHI
    CC Sabathia, NYY
    Andy Pettitte, NYY
    2008
    James Shields, TBR
    Scott Kazmir, TBR
    Cole Hamels, PHI

    If you look at this list, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rting_pitchers, almost all teams had a true #1 pitcher or a guy that had a great 3-5 year run. Unless you have a lineup similar to some of the great Yankee teams, you need Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

    I agree the Twins shouldn't do it this year, but may need to in a couple years if there are close to having a World Series contending team.
    Most of those guys weren't top 15 pitchers in the years you listed. For example, Pedro only pitched 44 innings in 2009 and went 0-2 with a 6+ ERA in the World Series.

    Guys like John Lackey, Lester, etc. are not "Top 15" guys (plus, you're listing 3-5 guys per season from two teams, no way they're all "Top 15" guys). They're good pitchers. You know, kinda like Phil Hughes has been this season.

    I keep repeating this point but I'll do it again: "Ace Pitchers" and "Super Stars" do not win the World Series because if that's the team focus, that team will often miss the playoffs entirely. Those players are nice to have but I'll take a roster of 2009 Jason Kubels over one Joe Mauer and a bunch of league average players.

    That's what gets you to the playoffs. A bunch of pretty good to really good complementary players, not 1-2 superstars and roster chaff.

    And once you get to the playoffs, all bets are off. The better players tend to win but that's hardly a given.

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  4. #23
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Not sure why people are dismissing the Royals approach on this thread. They won 86 games last year and have as good a chance of making the postseason this year as the Twins do.

  5. #24
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    If the Twins did manage to offer a contract to Jon Lester and he signed it, I bet they would find a spot for him.
    I would agree that it's not going to be an immediate need going into 2015, and I'd prefer they spent the money elsewhere (OF, for instance) if they are chasing Free Agents.

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  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
    Not sure why people are dismissing the Royals approach on this thread. They won 86 games last year and have as good a chance of making the postseason this year as the Twins do.
    The Royals played the short game, I personally hope the Twins opt for something longer term. It's hard to fault the Royals for being proactive. For as bad as they've been for so long, I'm sure Royals fans are very happy with last year.

  8. #26
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    Twins are a longer term focus, but you also have to have hope to win the big one. I feel and hope one of the top minor league pitchers will become that ace. Until in 2016 or 2017 you have answered that question, you do not need to spend the prospects to buy one, spending the money would be a better way to go, when you get into the top 10 teams in baseball.

  9. #27
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
    Not sure why people are dismissing the Royals approach on this thread. They won 86 games last year and have as good a chance of making the postseason this year as the Twins do.
    They missed the playoffs last season after winning only 72 games the previous season. They only have Shields for 1/2 a season more and then he's gone for good.

    Would you want the Twins to give up Miguel Sano for David Price only to have them miss the playoffs this season? I'd be pretty pissed if that happened.

    Trading for an ace is a smart move if you're confident that puts your team over the 90 win mark, which basically guarantees a playoff berth. The move itself wasn't the problem so much as Moore banked on too many unknowns and lost half of Shields' service time because of it. He was impatient at the exact moment when patience is needed more than anything else.

    And they could still easily miss the playoffs this season as well, which moves the trade from "bad" to "blunder".

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  11. #28
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    And Meyer's replacements have been better than him, they traded from a position of strength for a proven commodity, not prospects. Brock and I disagree on this. Either way, I never see Ryan trading the future for the present, in terms of a big time prospect for a proven player.

  12. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Most of those guys weren't top 15 pitchers in the years you listed. For example, Pedro only pitched 44 innings in 2009 and went 0-2 with a 6+ ERA in the World Series.

    Guys like John Lackey, Lester, etc. are not "Top 15" guys (plus, you're listing 3-5 guys per season from two teams, no way they're all "Top 15" guys). They're good pitchers. You know, kinda like Phil Hughes has been this season.

    I keep repeating this point but I'll do it again: "Ace Pitchers" and "Super Stars" do not win the World Series because if that's the team focus, that team will often miss the playoffs entirely. Those players are nice to have but I'll take a roster of 2009 Jason Kubels over one Joe Mauer and a bunch of league average players.

    That's what gets you to the playoffs. A bunch of pretty good to really good complementary players, not 1-2 superstars and roster chaff.

    And once you get to the playoffs, all bets are off. The better players tend to win but that's hardly a given.
    While I'll agree not all of those guys were top 15 pitchers and the term "Ace" is always going to come down to semantics, I agree with the premise. To win the World Series, you're going to have to field top end pitching unless you catch every break.

    Pitching is much more important to post season success. The Twins had Santana (who didn't seem to hold to the pressure of the post season) but they haven't had any other arm this century who could have led them to a title.

  13. #30
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    While I'll agree not all of those guys were top 15 pitchers and the term "Ace" is always going to come down to semantics, I agree with the premise. To win the World Series, you're going to have to field top end pitching unless you catch every break.

    Pitching is much more important to post season success. The Twins had Santana (who didn't seem to hold to the pressure of the post season) but they haven't had any other arm this century who could have led them to a title.
    I don't think we're really disagreeing. Much like the argument about the Royals and Shields, much of my opinion comes down to timing.

    If the Twins are an 87 win team, go for that ace. He'll not only get you to the playoffs, he'll give you a better chance to advance once you're there.

    But a 70 win team has as much use for an "ace" as it does 2013 Joe Mauer. It's going to barely move the needle and you'll give away incredibly valuable resources to barely move that needle.

  14. #31
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    I think trading for an ace is much less desirable than buying one in free agency. Free agency costs a lot of money. Trading for one costs a lot of talent AND a lot of money if you plan to keep the guy.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I think trading for an ace is much less desirable than buying one in free agency. Free agency costs a lot of money. Trading for one costs a lot of talent AND a lot of money if you plan to keep the guy.
    Agreed. It makes more sense to throw money at a guy who you know will cripple your team in years 4-7 and keep that prospect who might help keep the team afloat in years 4-7 than trade the prospect and lose the ace pitcher in two years anyway.

    I'd rather have an albatross of a contract and a top prospect than no prospect, no ace, and some money.

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  18. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Agreed. It makes more sense to throw money at a guy who you know will cripple your team in years 4-7 and keep that prospect who might help keep the team afloat in years 4-7 than trade the prospect and lose the ace pitcher in two years anyway.I'd rather have an albatross of a contract and a top prospect than no prospect, no ace, and some money.
    Well, you do what you have to do. A team like KC probably can't spend the kind of money it takes to sign a top free agent, so if they want one, they have to go the less desirable route. I don't think the Twins have the same financial constraints.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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  20. #34
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Well, you do what you have to do. A team like KC probably can't spend the kind of money it takes to sign a top free agent, so if they want one, they have to go the less desirable route. I don't think the Twins have the same financial constraints.
    Yeah. It's unlikely that KC could swing an ace even if they wanted to spend the money. I'm not really bashing the idea behind the Shields trade, only the timing. If you're going to trade for an ace with two years of control, you damned well better make the playoffs twice because things are going to only get harder after that point.

  21. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Besides signing an ace, they could develop one. Both Meyer and Stewart have that ceiling. Santana obviously. And occasionally a #2 or 3 has a ace type season - Twins got one from Tapani in 91. Radke had a few. Joe Mays actually led the AL in ERA+ one year and was second in pitching WAR. I'd rather the Twins focused on developing a complete rotation rather than worrying about who the #1 pitcher is.
    This is where the "Ace" conversation always bothers me. I don't think you need an "Ace" to win the world series, but I do think you need at least one pitcher who has a really really good season, and that pitcher doesn't have to come with an "Ace" label. Scott Erickson had an ace-like season in 91 but I don't think anyone would have ever given him an "Ace" label. Erickson had a higher WAR in 91 than Felix Hernandez has had in 5 out of 8 full seasons, so I'll take Erickson's 91 over 62% of Hernandez' years. There are plenty of candidates currently in the Twins organization to have a year like that - they don't need to have some mysterious "Ace" label.

  22. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I don't think we're really disagreeing. Much like the argument about the Royals and Shields, much of my opinion comes down to timing.

    If the Twins are an 87 win team, go for that ace. He'll not only get you to the playoffs, he'll give you a better chance to advance once you're there.

    But a 70 win team has as much use for an "ace" as it does 2013 Joe Mauer. It's going to barely move the needle and you'll give away incredibly valuable resources to barely move that needle.
    For sure. Funny things happen when you jump into the middle of an arguement and miss the context.

  23. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sssuperdave View Post
    This is where the "Ace" conversation always bothers me. I don't think you need an "Ace" to win the world series, but I do think you need at least one pitcher who has a really really good season, and that pitcher doesn't have to come with an "Ace" label. Scott Erickson had an ace-like season in 91 but I don't think anyone would have ever given him an "Ace" label. Erickson had a higher WAR in 91 than Felix Hernandez has had in 5 out of 8 full seasons, so I'll take Erickson's 91 over 62% of Hernandez' years. There are plenty of candidates currently in the Twins organization to have a year like that - they don't need to have some mysterious "Ace" label.
    Right, but then you're counting on the one season out of 15 that Erickson will produce his "Ace" season as opposed to the nearly 100% success rate of Hernandez. Those odds are terrible. How would you even begin to suspect that Erickson's "Ace" season would even coincide with a year your team is in position to win?

    Also, while I had fond memories of Scott Erickson in 1991, it was pretty flukey. You really shouldn't suspect success with a 4.8 K/9 in any era of baseball. A 1.52 K/BB rate wouldn't normally predict much success.
    Last edited by nicksaviking; 06-17-2014 at 03:29 PM.

  24. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Y View Post
    If you look at every team that has won or been to a World Series they had either a HOF quality pitcher or a guy that dominated for a 5+ year span and pitched his team to the World Series, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rting_pitchers. They had an Ace.

    ’87 Twins = Viola, Blyleven. ’91 Twins = Morris, Erickson Two HOFs and 2 guys that had great 5 years stretches.

    Since Santana, the Twins have not had this type of guy, and will not make it or go far in the playoffs until they do. The Twins may not be able to sign an Ace, but they can trade for one. And I for one would give up valuable prospects for a known commodity. What % of prospects actually make it in the majors vs getting a known commodity?

    Obviously, you may give up some good players in a trade, but you may also be giving up on top prospects such as David McCarty, BJ Garbe, Ryan Mills, Adam Johnson, Matt Moses, Kyle Waldrop, Matthew Fox. All very high drafts picks or considered top prospects.
    The Twins have an ace in Hughes, Gibson is starting to look like our number two guy, You have to call Correia a number five guy and Nolasco has been pitching like a number four. So what we need is to swap out Deduno for a number three, which we probably have in AAA, just a matter of which one. All the Twins need to do is make a decision.

  25. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Agreed. It makes more sense to throw money at a guy who you know will cripple your team in years 4-7 and keep that prospect who might help keep the team afloat in years 4-7 than trade the prospect and lose the ace pitcher in two years anyway.

    I'd rather have an albatross of a contract and a top prospect than no prospect, no ace, and some money.
    This is my exact thought. The problem with this is that the big aces usually don't hit free agency. Scherzer said he is going to test it and look what he turned down from Detroit. Not that I would want the Twins to go after either, but you have to go after one, I would target Scherzer over Price. Scherzer and Price will both command a contract the Twins wont offer but at least you don't have to trade anything in order to offer the contract.

  26. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by bear333 View Post
    The Twins have an ace in Hughes, Gibson is starting to look like our number two guy, You have to call Correia a number five guy and Nolasco has been pitching like a number four. So what we need is to swap out Deduno for a number three, which we probably have in AAA, just a matter of which one. All the Twins need to do is make a decision.
    I liked the Hughes signing at the time and he's pitched great, but he is not a #1 on a World Series caliber team. On a team with a chance to win playoff series, I would say Hughes is a #3 and Gibson a #4. Here would be how I would hope that the Twins rotation might look like the next couple years, with 2016 or 2017 as a much more likely years to expect playoff wins.

    2014: Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Correia, ????
    2015: Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, May
    2016: Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, May, (Berrios in Sept.)
    2017: Nolasco, Gibson, Meyer, May, Stewart, Berrios

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