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Thread: AL Central - 2014/2015

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    AL Central - 2014/2015

    As the Twins watch the Tigers and Royals commit multiyear contracts to decline phase players, the Twins have an opportunity to play the other end.

    Guthrie will be 34 with dropping K rates. The Royals will be lucky to get one good year. His signing is great news for the Twins.

    The Tigers signing of Hunter is also great news. I would bet the Twins get better production out of Hicks or Arcia in 2014 at 13 million less.

    Why not take the opportunity to get younger this year? The Twins should not join others in making these commitments. Instead they should go the opposite direction.

    They should trade aging veteran assets for pitching or middle infield prospects. If given the choice of a major league ready player or a higher ceiling player that might be ready for AA, let's go with the higher ceiling.

    They should wait out the fee agent market. The good news about the larger number of pitchers on the market is that some will be left at the end. I think the geek suggested last year that the Twins should have waited out the free agent relief pitchers rather than signing Matt Capps early. They could have found a bargain. This year there are numerous starters. Let's wait out the market and sign a few pitchers to a one year deals at the end of the market. If it works out well, those pitchers can be flipped for prospects at the trade deadline.

    Yes. They will lose more games this year than last.

    It will also be the first step towards long term success.

    They went young in the early 80s with the youngest rosters in organizational history and it paid off from 1987-1992.

    They went young again in 1999. That pay off period closed in 2010.

    Do you have patience to wait for the next pay off? I fear that the Twins management believes that we can not wait. I fear they will make moves that may nudge the Twins closer to .500 but also continue the current cycle of mediocrity.

    Is there anyone else out there hoping that the Twins do not make the kinds of free agent moves that so many others are recommending or even demanding?

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    They should trade aging veteran assets for pitching or middle infield prospects.
    Do you have a trade in mind?

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    The Twins can do both. they an sign a top of the line FA pitcher for 6 or more years and still wait out another FA pitcher. They just can't afford again to go cheap and wait 2 or 3 more years to improve there team.

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    What payoff? They have no pitchers, none.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    I think this is an interesting post, and an interesting idea. I think you're on to something that many of the impatient people here aren't really picking up on. Take the bold-moving Blue Jays this year. They're seeing that the Yankees are old and getting worse, the Red Sox completely cleaned house, the Orioles are lucky like you wouldn't believe, and the Rays are always shedding payroll. For them, it's now or never. Similar to the Tigers last year - they saw a really bad AL Central with a 99-loss Twins team, a Cleveland team that was projected to be even worse than the Twins, a Sux team that was shaky at best, and the Royals are just the Royals. The saw an opportunity and they took it.

    I think you might be right that the Twins' opportunity is later on. It's going to be tough to compete with the Tigers until age, payroll, and Price Fielder's massive fat rolls catch up to them. I'm not advocating completely punting on the 13 and/or 14 season, because I think shrewd moves and a little luck could make for a surprising run. But I like the idea of getting younger.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    What payoff? They have no pitchers, none.
    He said "get younger," not use our players and only our players. We can trade for, claim, or acquire pitchers, but they shouldn't be over the hill innings eaters on the downslope. Clearly, if your system has only outfielders, something must be done. That has nothing at all to do with getting younger and exploiting an opportunity.

    Read. Understand. Post.

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    Head Moderator All-Star glunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    I think this is an interesting post, and an interesting idea. I think you're on to something that many of the impatient people here aren't really picking up on. Take the bold-moving Blue Jays this year. They're seeing that the Yankees are old and getting worse, the Red Sox completely cleaned house, the Orioles are lucky like you wouldn't believe, and the Rays are always shedding payroll. For them, it's now or never. Similar to the Tigers last year - they saw a really bad AL Central with a 99-loss Twins team, a Cleveland team that was projected to be even worse than the Twins, a Sux team that was shaky at best, and the Royals are just the Royals. The saw an opportunity and they took it.

    I think you might be right that the Twins' opportunity is later on. It's going to be tough to compete with the Tigers until age, payroll, and Price Fielder's massive fat rolls catch up to them. I'm not advocating completely punting on the 13 and/or 14 season, because I think shrewd moves and a little luck could make for a surprising run. But I like the idea of getting younger.
    I agree with this, and you said it well.

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    Point being missed here is that the Tigers have good and relitivly young pitching. That is what wins games and titles. My tigers projections has them being relivant for the next 4 - 5 years. That could be too long to wait. I am all in favor of getting younger, but you also have to put fans in the seats. Moves are needed as some chances taken. Trades need to be made and I think they will. But to hope the Tigers are a 2 - 3 year deal is a pipe dream.

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    Why can't they: 1) get a little younger right away, 2) solve the starting pitching problem to a large extent right now, 3) be "competitive" (.500) in 2013, and 4) start the youth movement in late 2013 with Hendriks, Gibson, Hicks, Arcia, etc.?

    How? Trade for one #2-3 starter (Span, Morneau, Willingham as chips), sign another #2-3 FA starter, pull a "Ryan" for a third starter in the #4-5 category. Fill the rotation out with Diamond, Gibson, Hendriks (who is going to be pretty good IMO), Deduno, etc.

    Not embarrassing in 2013, fun to watch by 2014, and in contention with the Royals by 2015 when Detroit, which REALLY has no farm system, Chicago, which REALLY has no farm system, and Cleveland, which has a much much thinner farm system than the Twins, all fade behind.

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    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    It dumbfounds me that people think it must be either one OR the other. That the Twins can't make moves for pitchers that will both improve the product on the field this year AND be around a couple of years from now when the next wave of top position players arrive. You're going to want some kind of veteran presence on the team when those young guys get to Target Field beyond just Joe Mauer.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    It dumbfounds me that people think it must be either one OR the other. That the Twins can't make moves for pitchers that will both improve the product on the field this year AND be around a couple of years from now when the next wave of top position players arrive. You're going to want some kind of veteran presence on the team when those young guys get to Target Field beyond just Joe Mauer.


    Agree. Never understood the either OR stance.
    I keep going back to the future is never guaranteed...and purposely constructing a roster for 2015 while ignoring the present takes some big stones...because if they are wrong about the talent (or the talent stalls/gets injured/whatever), Target Field is going to be pretty empty

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    Quote Originally Posted by beckmt View Post
    Point being missed here is that the Tigers have good and relitivly young pitching. That is what wins games and titles. My tigers projections has them being relivant for the next 4 - 5 years. That could be too long to wait. I am all in favor of getting younger, but you also have to put fans in the seats. Moves are needed as some chances taken. Trades need to be made and I think they will. But to hope the Tigers are a 2 - 3 year deal is a pipe dream.
    ---When you're talking more than 1-2 years out, is ceases to be a "projection", and amounts to little more than pure speculation. There are too many variables. 2006 was 5 years ago. Think of all the things that happened between 2006 and this year with the Twins. Success is not guaranteed from year-to-year, never mind 5 years out.

    And why is everyone talking about the Tigers like they are this insurmountable obstacle? Yeah they got hot for a couple of series in October. But let's not forget that they finished with the 7th best record in the AL, despite playing in what was by far the weakest division in baseball, and wouldn't have even made the playoffs but for a late-season meltdown by the Whiteys. They were abysmal defensively last year, and don't figure to be much better next year. They are still a top-heavy stars-and-scrubs team. They may be one or two players away from joining the league's top teams, but they are also one or two key injuries away from being bottom-feeders again.

    The AL Central is going to be weak again, it shouldn't take much for the Twins to at least be in the mix in 2013.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    It dumbfounds me that people think it must be either one OR the other. That the Twins can't make moves for pitchers that will both improve the product on the field this year AND be around a couple of years from now when the next wave of top position players arrive. You're going to want some kind of veteran presence on the team when those young guys get to Target Field beyond just Joe Mauer.
    ---Yeah the win-now or build-for-tomorrow is a false dichotomy that's thrown out way too often. It doesn't have to be an either/or. The Twins should always be looking to improve themselves now and beyond.

    IMO, when you start to concede seasons because you've got some grand plan to start winning 3 or 4 years down the road, you're sending the message that it doesn't matter whether you win now or not because you're not trying or expecting to win, and that breeds a culture of losing.

    Look at the Royals and Pirates who have been trying to "rebuild" under these multi-year schemes for 2 decades now. I view "we're rebuilding" as nothing more than a euphemism for "we suck".

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    It dumbfounds me that people think it must be either one OR the other. That the Twins can't make moves for pitchers that will both improve the product on the field this year AND be around a couple of years from now when the next wave of top position players arrive. You're going to want some kind of veteran presence on the team when those young guys get to Target Field beyond just Joe Mauer.
    ---Yeah the win-now or build-for-tomorrow is a false dichotomy that's thrown out way too often. It doesn't have to be an either/or. The Twins should always be looking to improve themselves now and beyond.

    IMO, when you start to concede seasons because you've got some grand plan to start winning 3 or 4 years down the road, you're sending the message that it doesn't matter whether you win now or not because you're not trying or expecting to win, and that breeds a culture of losing.

    Look at the Royals and Pirates who have been trying to "rebuild" under these multi-year schemes for 2 decades now. I view "we're rebuilding" as nothing more than a euphemism for "we suck".
    But isn't this all just perception? Wouldn't you rather follow a rebuilding team than a sucky team?

    I agree that you can build for the present and future at the same time, but it is a lot harder to do so. Focusing energy on one or the other just allocates the resources to one area, rather than trying to make sure every move fits both the short term and big picture. I think that is why most teams take one avenue or the other. Those that want the Twins to pick one lane or the other are simply playing the odds, in my mind.

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    I actually am pretty good at reading, but I appreciate your advice. They have no pitching in the minors either. And trading all their players away for more guys that are 3+ years away, that is hardly a guarantee on the future. I agree with the above, there is no either or, you can roll the die on doing both. But if that die comes up a 1, then you have to be willing to trade veterans (like they did not the last two years) at some point. But there is no reason to punt for 2-3 years, not while you are paying Mauer this much money.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I think people keep having these arguments because no one ever distinguishes priorities. I agree that the Twins should be in on signing starting pitching this offseason if it has either a very short term window (for trade value) or a long-term window to be part of the team's wave of offensive prospects. But the priority has to be maintaining a strong organization for the long haul and not be focused on improving 2013 at all costs. Any move that jeopardizes the long-term success (6 year contracts to 32 year old pitchers or anything of a similar ilk) needs to be avoided, even if it helps 2013.

    I doubt many disagree with that, but it's hard to tell because we're arguing past each other most of the time.

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    It is a mistake to think that they can accomplish both.

    Let's suppose that they can buy younger players by trading Morneau and picking up the bulk of his contract.

    Do they seek a 25 year old major league ready pitcher with around a 2 WAR ceiling?

    Do they seek a 21 year old higher ceiling player that may be ready for AA?

    I want the high ceiling player. If the priority is 2013, they have to go the other direction.

    I suggest they trade decline phase assets and add to the farm system. I suggest that they risk the playing time with unproven younger players. The young players that emerge will be the foundation for the next Twins team that wins a play off series.

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    Leviathan, you make sense to me. Except, I think a lot of fans are fine with the notion of six-year contracts to decline-phase players, since they can "afford" to think only about now. Ryan isn't going to make this mistake, especially with pitching. Hell, the chances of one rotation member having a career-ender during the season is about 100%. Detroit's rotation is formidable today, but with injuries, it could be pedestrian by 2014.

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    So if they punt on the next two years, and sell almost no tickets, how exactly will they have money to sign players to fill holes? And I'm curious, who are the pitchers in the minors that will be really good MLB pitchers in 2-3 years?
    Lighten up Francis....

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    They can put Diamond, Gibson and Hendriks in the rotation next year. There are three that can all be a key part of a winning team in 2015.

    They may struggle and the Twins must stick with them.

    They stuck with Viola through two miserable years and 56 starts. Radke was awful his first year and gave up 40 home runs his second. They gave him 63 starts his first two years.

    If either was in the current regime, they Twins probably would have bounced them around like they did with Hendriks. They may never have had the chance to develop.

    I highly doubt the current regime would have taken a Santana in the rule 5. Doyle was much closer to major league ready. Santana was useless his first year. There wasn't any payoff until three years down the road.

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