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Thread: Article: These Ain't Your Old Twins

  1. #21
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    Twins need to improve to keep attendance from dropping. Say it drops below 2 million which is 700,000 less than 2013 that would mean what $30 million less in revenues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    The only thing that should concern us about a big, long-term, contract to Garza would be the possibility that it would end up preventing the Twins from having that money 4-6 years down the road to spend on something else/better if Garza does tank before the contract is up.
    Outside of Cano, I don't think any FA contract this offseason would have a significant impact on the Twins payroll in 4-6 years. They have so few commitments now, and their top prospects haven't even hit MLB yet. 4 years is the absolute earliest any of them will get more than peanuts through arb.

    I mean, what's the high end expected contract for Garza (or Santana)? 5/80? That's basically Nolasco + Hughes, and as others have mentioned, those two deals have barely dented our budget.

    Not saying I recommend Garza etc., but the Twins absolutely should NOT be holding back on FA they like due to money concerns like this.

  3. #23
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Outside of Cano, I don't think any FA contract this offseason would have a significant impact on the Twins payroll in 4-6 years. They have so few commitments now, and their top prospects haven't even hit MLB yet. 4 years is the absolute earliest any of them will get more than peanuts through arb.

    I mean, what's the high end expected contract for Garza (or Santana)? 5/80? That's basically Nolasco + Hughes, and as others have mentioned, those two deals have barely dented our budget.

    Not saying I recommend Garza etc., but the Twins absolutely should NOT be holding back on FA they like due to money concerns like this.
    What happens if they need a 30 year old version of Garza in 2016 but have already committed $16m to a 33 year old version of that player?

    Good free agents are available every offseason. There's no reason to stack the deck with 30 year olds in 2013, players that will be 33-34 year olds in 2016 when the bulk of the Twins' young players should be coming into their own.

    I think too many fans have knee-jerk reactions to signings and don't stop to think of the repercussions of fielding an 85 win team in the here and now instead of considering the potential to have $20m on hand in 2-4 years to push the team into 100 win territory as the farm matures into a solid MLB core.

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  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Yeah. It's easier to swallow four years if the annual pay is around $12m.

    But when you up that annual salary to ~$16-17m and add a fifth year, it gets a lot harder to justify the contract for a pitcher of Garza's ability and age.
    Since becoming a full-time starter, Garza is a 110 ERA+ pitcher. Nolasco is at 95 -- almost exactly average for a SP. And actually, since 2009 (last 5 seasons), Garza is 108, Nolasco 90 which is below average (Nolasco's best year by far was his first year as full-time starter). Depending on where you draw the line, Ervin Santana is in the 100-105 ERA+ range too.

    Another factor is obviously durability, and Garza has missed time the last two years. Ervin Santana would seem to take the cake here -- he has multiple seasons of being a 220 IP workhorse, something no other FA pitcher offers.

    Nolasco has been something like a 195 IP, 90 ERA+ guy. If you think that's absolutely worth 4/48, what value do you put on 200 IP, 105 ERA+ (Santana's rough average)? Or 175 IP, 110 ERA+ (Garza's average)?

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Since becoming a full-time starter, Garza is a 110 ERA+ pitcher. Nolasco is at 95 -- almost exactly average for a SP. And actually, since 2009 (last 5 seasons), Garza is 108, Nolasco 90 which is below average (Nolasco's best year by far was his first year as full-time starter). Depending on where you draw the line, Ervin Santana is in the 100-105 ERA+ range too.

    Another factor is obviously durability, and Garza has missed time the last two years. Ervin Santana would seem to take the cake here -- he has multiple seasons of being a 220 IP workhorse, something no other FA pitcher offers.

    Nolasco has been something like a 195 IP, 90 ERA+ guy. If you think that's absolutely worth 4/48, what value do you put on 200 IP, 105 ERA+ (Santana's rough average)? Or 175 IP, 110 ERA+ (Garza's average)?
    It's mostly the fifth year, not the money. And there is some hope that Nolasco has spent a good portion of his career underperforming and that he has a little more upside than he has shown in most years. It's a gamble, for sure... But I think it's a pretty decent gamble.

    Historically speaking, five year contracts to 30 year old pitchers have not gone well for the signing team. I have no reason to think Matt Garza is any different.

    I'd view this very differently if the Twins were an 85 win team right now and age 31 & 32 Matt Garza can push them over 90 wins. At that point, you have to be willing to eat that fourth and fifth year to compete right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    What happens if they need a 30 year old version of Garza in 2016 but have already committed $16m to a 33 year old version of that player?
    Even signing Garza now doesn't push them to 100% of their budget, does it? Not saying I recommend it, but I don't think we're really that close to that figure yet. Certainly not close enough to pass on a player you otherwise like if they are available. There's no guarantee a better 30 year old will be available in 2016.

    Also, if you're talking AFTER 2016 (when Garza will turn 33), by all estimates he would only have something like 2/32 left on his deal at that point. Even if his arm fell off and you had to eat the whole thing, 2/32 doesn't justify passing on a good pitcher you think could legitimately push you to 100 wins or a title.

    And in most scenarios, even if Garza isn't that pitcher anymore in 2017, he still keeps some value. Maybe he replaces your Correia type making $5 mil at the back of the rotation -- now his excess salary is more like 2/22. Or he replaces a Guerrier type pitcher in your bullpen who's making $3 mil. Or he's traded somewhere with a little bit of cash.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Even signing Garza now doesn't push them to 100% of their budget, does it? Not saying I recommend it, but I don't think we're really that close to that figure yet. Certainly not close enough to pass on a player you otherwise like if they are available. There's no guarantee a better 30 year old will be available in 2016.
    I can pretty much guarantee that a superior pitcher to 33-34 year old Matt Garza will be available in 2016. Matt Garza is a good pitcher but he's nothing special, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Also, if you're talking AFTER 2016 (when Garza will turn 33), by all estimates he would only have something like 2/32 left on his deal at that point. Even if his arm fell off and you had to eat the whole thing, 2/32 doesn't justify passing on a good pitcher you think could legitimately push you to 100 wins or a title.
    The point is that you're committing dollars to a declining player when the rest of your core is peaking. Yes, you may have funds left over to spend... But what if you don't? What if you needed to fill an unexpected hole at second base to push yourself over the top? What is the long-term benefit of locking up players who profile to be in a decline phase when the rest of your team is peaking?

    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    And in most scenarios, even if Garza isn't that pitcher anymore in 2017, he still keeps some value. Maybe he replaces your Correia type making $5 mil at the back of the rotation -- now his excess salary is more like 2/22. Or he replaces a Guerrier type pitcher in your bullpen who's making $3 mil. Or he's traded somewhere with a little bit of cash.
    Again, it's all about situating players to peak at the same time. Yeah, Garza might have value as a #5 pitcher... But you're paying him like a #2 pitcher.

    If the Twins need another pitcher next offseason, I'm all for them going out and getting that guy. But I fail to see the benefit of stacking everything into the 2013 offseason. What's the rush?

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Historically speaking, five year contracts to 30 year old pitchers have not gone well for the signing team. I have no reason to think Matt Garza is any different.
    But 4 year contracts for lower upside pitchers have a much better success rate?

    Again, not advocating Garza particularly, but in the abstract, with the numbers we know, I'm just not seeing that much of a difference between Nolasco 4/48 and Garza 5/80 or whatever. Guaranteeing a fifth year is a negative, as is the slightly higher AAV, but there also appears to be a not insignificant upside benefit to the Garza side of the equation. (The odds are pretty good Nolasco never posts a 110 ERA+ again.) Also Garza is one year younger, FWIW. They are both probably market deals and a wash to this outside observer. (Scouting and medical could swing it but are beyond me)

    And as much as the Twins need average pitchers as much or more than upside guys, we shouldn't be excluding upside guys just because we're scared of a fifth year or a few mil in AAV. The odds are still pretty low that the Twins (or anyone) will develop their own workhorse or ace in any given window of time; it wouldn't hurt to take chances on that in the FA or international markets too.

    Actually, one could argue that Nolasco's average performance is more easily replaced on a year-to-year basis (see Kevin Correia's 2013, for example, or Carl Pavano, or any number of older pitchers looking at 2-year contract offers right now) -- there is less need to lock that in for 4 years (unless you're the 2013 Twins, of course). A "Garza type" (age 30, 110 ERA+) or even "Ervin Santana type" (age 31, 210 IP, 105 ERA+) is a more difficult commodity to acquire or develop. The Twins shouldn't be targeting type at the expense of the other (and fortunately we seem to have the budget room to target both).

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I can pretty much guarantee that a superior pitcher to 33-34 year old Matt Garza will be available in 2016. Matt Garza is a good pitcher but he's nothing special, really.
    I can pretty much guarantee that multiple pitchers will be available every offseason that match Nolasco's average performance. In fact, we even grabbed one last offseason for 2/10. A few years ago, we signed one for 2/16. More Nolasco's exist than Garza's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    The point is that you're committing dollars to a declining player when the rest of your core is peaking. Yes, you may have funds left over to spend... But what if you don't? What if you needed to fill an unexpected hole at second base to push yourself over the top? What is the long-term benefit of locking up players who profile to be in a decline phase when the rest of your team is peaking?
    The core hasn't even hit MLB yet. Their salaries won't "peak" for at least 5 seasons. I agree, don't sign Garza beyond 5 years.

    You're never going to get everyone to "peak" at the same time and it's foolish to pursue that as some sort of Grecian ideal. John Lackey wasn't a good bet to "peak" in 2013 but he certainly helped the Red Sox. Same with AJ Burnett.

    I agree, no rush to add that type of pitcher, and if Garza isn't it for whatever reason, that's fine. I just don't like the idea of rejecting him out of hand because of the fifth year, or potential 2017 payroll flexibility, or basically any non-performance or non-market reasons.

  11. #30
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    I wasn't against signing Garza, though it may have come off that way. I'm mostly positive on the Nolasco signing as a whole.

    My point is that it's a mistake to sign both in the same offseason when you're coming off a 66 win season. Odds are that they're both in a decline phase at the same time while eating $30m a season. And in this situation, that's probably the same period the current Twins farm is coming into its own.

  12. #31
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    You know, there's a new draft every year. These kids don't stop coming. So I see little reason to meticulously plan every single move around hitting the (distant) peak years of a couple of guys taken in 2009-2012 who haven't even swung at an MLB pitch yet.

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  14. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    You know, there's a new draft every year. These kids don't stop coming. So I see little reason to meticulously plan every single move around hitting the (distant) peak years of a couple of guys taken in 2009-2012 who haven't even swung at an MLB pitch yet.
    It's not meticulously planning every move, it's the exact opposite... Improving consistently each year and not locking yourself into a situation where you need players and don't have money to adapt to new situations.

    I want to see the Twins stay good for a very long time and I believe a steady, incremental approach to free agency is the way to get there.

  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I wasn't against signing Garza, though it may have come off that way. I'm mostly positive on the Nolasco signing as a whole.

    My point is that it's a mistake to sign both in the same offseason when you're coming off a 66 win season. Odds are that they're both in a decline phase at the same time while eating $30m a season. And in this situation, that's probably the same period the current Twins farm is coming into its own.
    We're probably mostly in agreement, then. But when do you think the current Twins farm realistically comes into its own? Even if you think 3 years (although most of our farm pitchers seem further away than that), at that point Nolasco will have 1/12 left and Garza would have 2/32, and none of our young studs will even be arb eligible.

    Also, performance-wise, while "decline phase" is as good as we can get for predicting averages, it varies a ton by individual pitchers. While I don't expect either to be 100% of the pitcher they are today in 4 years, it's probably not likely that they both follow the same pattern. Garza could struggle in 2014 but rebound, Nolasco could do it in 2015 and be toast, etc. Again, look at Lackey, Burnett, Pavano, etc. -- not that comebacks are likely, but decline isn't always linear and predictable for individuals.

    The Twins need to concern themselves with adding talent -- both durability and upside. The next 5 years for the Twins are about as clear as an MLB team can get in terms of contractual commitments, this side of the Astros and Marlins. No need to get cute about synching payroll and performance phases.

  16. #34
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    It's not meticulously planning every move, it's the exact opposite... Improving consistently each year and not locking yourself into a situation where you need players and don't have money to adapt to new situations.

    I want to see the Twins stay good for a very long time and I believe a steady, incremental approach to free agency is the way to get there.
    Sounded to me like you were budgeting for 2017 already. I'd much rather the Twins blow their wad on FA every year to put the best product possible out there in case they pull another 1991 Twins and surprise everyone.

    The way you sustain long term success is by not blowing 1st and 2nd round picks on your Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee types. No team sent themselves into a tailspin by committing one lousy 5 year contract to a player 3 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Also, performance-wise, while "decline phase" is as good as we can get for predicting averages, it varies a ton by individual pitchers. While I don't expect either to be 100% of the pitcher they are today in 4 years, it's probably not likely that they both follow the same pattern. Garza could struggle in 2014 but rebound, Nolasco could do it in 2015 and be toast, etc. Again, look at Lackey, Burnett, Pavano, etc. -- not that comebacks are likely, but decline isn't always linear and predictable for individuals.
    Absolutely, but if you play the averages and keep typical player models in mind when you acquire guys, you'll probably end up taking on fewer bad contracts and you'll almost certainly take on fewer of them at one time.

  18. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetank View Post
    Twins need to improve to keep attendance from dropping. Say it drops below 2 million which is 700,000 less than 2013 that would mean what $30 million less in revenues?
    100,000=5 million in ticket sales ,merchandice and concessions

  19. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Sounded to me like you were budgeting for 2017 already. I'd much rather the Twins blow their wad on FA every year to put the best product possible out there in case they pull another 1991 Twins and surprise everyone.

    The way you sustain long term success is by not blowing 1st and 2nd round picks on your Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee types. No team sent themselves into a tailspin by committing one lousy 5 year contract to a player 3 years ago.
    Not budgeting for 2017, I'm advocating giving the franchise the ability to adapt to new situations as they arise. There's a big difference in those two ways of looking at the situation.

    Obviously, drafting is important for every team... But that's another argument entirely and even the best scouting and analysis departments churn out clunker draft picks.

    I agree that every team should be open to the idea of being pleasantly surprised by performance and making a short-term run at the ring... Which is why I wanted a heck of a lot more than Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey last offseason, but not at the expense of being eternally against your budget wall. That seems like a good way to perpetuate mediocrity as you remove virtually all flexibility to adapt on the fly. It's a short-sighted outlook that damages your ability to maintain long-term, sustained success.

  20. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Sounded to me like you were budgeting for 2017 already. I'd much rather the Twins blow their wad on FA every year to put the best product possible out there in case they pull another 1991 Twins and surprise everyone.
    I wouldn't say "blow their wad on FA every year" but aggressiveness when you see players you like is a good thing. And yes, under that principle they could afford another pitcher this offseason -- it's one of the perks of being cheap/inactive so long. Seriously, this team hasn't taken on any contracts of note since Mauer in 2010, and before him, it was Morneau, Nathan, and Cuddyer in 2008. That's 4-6 years of subtracting players and salaries.

  21. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Not budgeting for 2017, I'm advocating giving the franchise the ability to adapt to new situations as they arise. There's a big difference in those two ways of looking at the situation.

    Obviously, drafting is important for every team... But that's another argument entirely and even the best scouting and analysis departments churn out clunker draft picks.

    I agree that every team should be open to the idea of being pleasantly surprised by performance and making a short-term run at the ring... Which is why I wanted a heck of a lot more than Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey last offseason, but not at the expense of being eternally against your budget wall. That seems like a good way to perpetuate mediocrity as you remove virtually all flexibility to adapt on the fly. It's a short-sighted outlook that damages your ability to maintain long-term, sustained success.
    I agree with the idea of giving the franchise the ability to adapt to new situations as they arise. I agree that we need to keep the budget flexible so that we can add free agents down the road. 30 million to Nolasco/Garza + Joe Mauer = 53 Million. The rest of the expensive players will be off the roster leaving you with 11-15 million tied to low salary young players at 500k salaries and 50-60 million for those other free agents you want to sign. I don't see the concern.

  22. #40
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    What happens if they need a 30 year old version of Garza in 2016 but have already committed $16m to a 33 year old version of that player?

    Good free agents are available every offseason. There's no reason to stack the deck with 30 year olds in 2013, players that will be 33-34 year olds in 2016 when the bulk of the Twins' young players should be coming into their own.

    I think too many fans have knee-jerk reactions to signings and don't stop to think of the repercussions of fielding an 85 win team in the here and now instead of considering the potential to have $20m on hand in 2-4 years to push the team into 100 win territory as the farm matures into a solid MLB core.
    exactly why I really like (the potential of) the Hughes signing, low commitment high upside, and should be an improvement over the current pitching staff. Should be number 2 on the staff, could be number 1.

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