Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Offseason Blueprint

The following is featured in the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook, and you can check out that document in order to see how I came up with the payroll figures and to read more about some of the names listed. But I thought I'd post this here to rev up the conversation about potential moves for the Twins this offseason. Agree? Disagree? What would you do?

***

1) Let free agents Orlando Cabrera, Ron Mahay, Joe Crede and Mike Redmond walk.

2) Re-sign free agent Carl Pavano for two years, $12M.
This might be a conservative estimate for what Pavano could command after he proved himself healthy and relatively effective during the 2009 season, but he did settle for only $1.5M plus incentives this past season so a two-year deal averaging $6M might be palatable, especially since he seemed to enjoy playing with the Twins. He adds much-needed veteran depth to the rotation and is a strike-thrower in Rick Anderson’s mold.

3) Reach arbitration agreements with Boof Bonser ($900K), Matt Guerrier ($2.8M), Francisco Liriano ($2M), Pat Neshek ($750K), Carlos Gomez ($1.5M) and Brendan Harris ($1.1M).
These are the median salary agreements we’ve estimated. They might be a little conservative or aggressive in some cases, but for the most part this should give an idea of what to expect.

4) Non-tender Jesse Crain.
Crain recovered from some early struggles to come back strong late in the season, but he will be expensive in arbitration and is the odd man out in a suddenly crowded bullpen picture.

5) Trade Delmon Young for prospects.
Young’s big late-season offensive push may have upped his value, making this the perfect time to deal. I’m not convinced the power he flashed over the final weeks of the season is for real,
and the Twins need to settle on three outfielders so they don’t have the same playing time issues next year. See what you can get for Young and cut ties.

6) Trade pitchers Glen Perkins and David Bromberg to Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy.
Perkins had a rough year but maintains value as a young left-handed starter with major-league experience and a strong minor-league track record. Bromberg is one of the Twins’ top pitching prospects who finished the 2009 season in Single-A. It’s a steep price, but Hardy’s young and arbitration eligible so he won’t come cheap even coming off a down year.

7) Sign free agent second baseman Placido Polanco for two years, $9M.
Unlike shortstop, the free agent market for second basemen is deep this year so players won’t have a ridiculous amount of leverage. Polanco is 34 so he’d likely have to settle for a short-term commitment, and he’s a great contact hitter with a sterling defensive reputation who Ron Gardenhire would love to throw at second base and in the two-spot in the order.

8) Sign Mike Sweeney for one year, $1M.
Sweeney signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners last year where he enjoyed a solid season, and says he wants to return for another year. He seems like a good fit with the Twins, where he can take some DH at-bats against lefties, spell Justin Morneau at first on occasion and serve as a pinch-hitter.

9) Give Joe Mauer eight-year, $150M extension.
The same deal mentioned in my essay earlier in this book. The deal wipes away the 2009 season of Mauer’s current contract and starts anew. The annual salary is a shade under $20M, which is less than he’d be able to get in free agency, but the hope is that the security and comfort provided by the length of the deal sway Mauer.

2010 Opening Day 25-Man Roster:

STARTING LINEUP

C: Joe Mauer ($16M)
1B: Justin Morneau ($14M)
2B: Placido Polanco ($4.5M)
3B: Brendan Harris ($1.1M)
SS: J.J. Hardy ($5.5M)
LF: Denard Span ($450K)
CF: Carlos Gomez ($1.5M)
RF: Michael Cuddyer ($8.5M)
DH: Jason Kubel ($4.1M)

(Approx $54M)

BENCH

C: Jose Morales ($450K)
IF: Mike Sweeney ($1M)
IF: Nick Punto ($4M)
OF: Jason Pridie ($450K)

(Approx $6M)

ROTATION

SP: Scott Baker ($3M)
SP: Carl Pavano ($6M)
SP: Kevin Slowey ($450K)
SP: Francisco Liriano ($2M)
SP: Nick Blackburn ($450K)

(Approx $12M)

BULLPEN

CL: Joe Nathan ($11.25M)
RP: Matt Guerrier ($2.8M)
RP: Jon Rauch ($2.9M)
RP: Jose Mijares ($450K)
RP: Pat Neshek ($750K)
RP: Boof Bonser ($900K)
RP: Brian Duensing ($450K)

(Approx $19.5M)

TOTAL 2010 PAYROLL: $91.5M

SUMMARY:
The payroll rises drastically, by about $20 million. Arbitration raises, along with Mauer’s new contract, have taken their toll, and you’ve got to pay to upgrade the paltry production in the infield. While this is a major payroll leap, the Twins seemed headed for a $90 million payroll around this time back in 2007, at which point they boasted a $71M payroll after having increased spending for three straight years. Twelve major-league teams had a payroll over $90 million in 2009, and with their brand-new stadium the Twins should be joining that upper half in spending.

This lineup has the potential to be a significant improvement over the 2009 unit, but much depends on Hardy bouncing back. That’s a better gamble than getting adequate regular production from Punto or Alexi Casilla (who opens the season in the minors). People surely won’t be excited about the prospect of Harris and Punto splitting time at third, but the upgrades in the middle-infield should offset this and hopefully Danny Valencia will be ready to take over at some point during the season. Jason Pridie serves as a defensive replacement and pinch runner while Punto returns to his super sub role. The bullpen features three or four reliable late-inning guys (depending on how Neshek looks); Bonser and Duensing are available for long relief and are potential options to step into the rotation should anyone stumble or get hurt.

40 comments:

Mitch said...

After reading through the book, my plan was fairly similar to yours. I prefer Orlando Hudson (Type A and all) to Polanco and I was thinking Fernando Tatis instead of Sweeney. I like the idea of pursuing a Josh Johnson trade, but a Hardy/Hudson/Johnson offseason might be a little too aggressive.

windfall said...

Kubel?

Anonymous said...

Casilla is out of options. So he's a utility infielder or trade bait. Agreed he should not be counted on to start.

I'd like them to bring Crede back. He should cost less and was valuable when healthy. With Valencia almost ready they have the depth to take a risk. The twins got 2.4 WAR out of the 3rd base position this year which is above average production.

I suspect JJ Hardy is going to be a Red Sox. He is certainly worth aquiring if the price is palatable. Jack Wilson and Alex Gonzalez are defense 1st SS who may not have their options picked up.

I really enjoyed the primer and felt it was well worth the cost. Thanks for all your excellent analysis and coverage.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of signing Pavano and Sweeney(or someone similar) for the bench. I would also look to resign Mahay if he would come back for a million and send Duensing to AAA to be a starter. That way if Liriano does not workout Duensing can replace him. If we could get Hardy I would like the Punto/Harris platoon at third until Valencia or possibly Plouffe can come up full-time.

rghrbek said...

Nice post Nick. For the most part you are spot on. I like what you did at 2nd and SS. Doubt we will get both.

Call me crazy but I think Cuddy s/b shopped around. Once they pick up that 11 mil option, he is too expensive. Especially for a below average outfielder who has had 2 really good offensive years in his career. I am confident, some team would over pay for him.

I know it would be a hit in the clubhouse, but if you are picking up other quality players, giving Young a chance in RF, where he belongs. Then maybe improve 3b, since you are not paying Cuddy.

I love the Mike Sweeny idea. He would be a perfect fit.

I do not like the Pavano idea. He has been healthy one year in the last 5. 6 mil for a guy with over a 5 ERA? What is the world coming too?

Dunsig deserves to start out of the gate, unless Liriano shows something in spring training, as far as control. We could trade Francisco too, if there were takers and we could get a nice return.

Just my thoughts.

Nick N. said...

I prefer Orlando Hudson (Type A and all) to Polanco and I was thinking Fernando Tatis instead of Sweeney.

I am a big fan of Hudson and was heavily in favor of signing him during the last offseason. His Type A status might make that situation tricky. Though, last I checked, Polanco was awfully close to qualifying as a Type A so the point might be moot.

Bottom line: if the Twins have a chance to make a meaningful upgrade right now at a reasonable cost, they should stomach the loss of a draft pick.

Kubel?

What about him?

Casilla is out of options. So he's a utility infielder or trade bait. Agreed he should not be counted on to start.

Good point, hadn't really considered that. In my scenario, there's just no need to have Casilla around.

I suspect JJ Hardy is going to be a Red Sox. He is certainly worth aquiring if the price is palatable. Jack Wilson and Alex Gonzalez are defense 1st SS who may not have their options picked up.

If Wilson and Gonzalez are the external options, I'm probably sticking with Punto.

I would also look to resign Mahay if he would come back for a million and send Duensing to AAA to be a starter. That way if Liriano does not workout Duensing can replace him.

The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking I would probably start Duensing in the rotation and Liriano in the bullpen. Duensing earned a shot in the rotation with the work he put in over the final couple months this year, and you can always hope that Liriano will build some confidence dominating in short relief appearances and then jump into the rotation and cruise a la 2006.

I really enjoyed the primer and felt it was well worth the cost. Thanks for all your excellent analysis and coverage.

Thanks a bunch!

Call me crazy but I think Cuddy s/b shopped around.

The idea itself isn't crazy, but the Twins are simply never, ever going to do this.

I do not like the Pavano idea. He has been healthy one year in the last 5. 6 mil for a guy with over a 5 ERA? What is the world coming too?

Pavano's FIP was 3.56 and his xFIP was 4.18. He pitched better than the base numbers show and should be expected to perform better next year -- particularly if he has Span and Gomez in his outfield, as is the case in my scenario.

the frenchman said...

I really like most of those moves. But getting another starting pitcher would be nice, but maybe not in the payroll cards. It would be amazing if we got anything of value for Young, but I don't see anyone wanting him, or B. Smith admitting failure.

Nick N. said...

But getting another starting pitcher would be nice, but maybe not in the payroll cards

I'd definitely be down for gambling on a high-risk guy with frontline potential (Harden, Duchscherer, Bedard) if the price is right. One of this team's biggest flaws going forward is their lack of a true ace or anything really resembling one on the horizon.

Shookit said...

First time visitor to your site. NICE! Polanco would be great but the Tigers will let others go before they let that guy walk. Overall I disagree with your crystal ball. Today I see a bigger upside to Young than Gomez. It appears the light bulb is finally turning on for Delmon. Even with all the tools MLB success requires a solid mental approach and it does not appear Gomez has many tools in that department. His at bats are getting worse not better. Love the hustle, but he needs to be dealt. So the Santana trade didn't yield anything...yet. Deal with it.
Sweeney??? don't need him. Bring back Crede? Why? He might play half a season. Why not give those at bats to Valencia? Finally Liriano's future is not in the rotation at least not with us. The Franchise has a future like a lot of post Tommy John guys and that would be in the pen. To think he is going to come back and start is overly optimistic. Overall though good reading and thanks for the effort!!!

David said...

Great column Nick! I really like Polanco at 2B, but so does Detroit. Here's hoping...
I can't imagine cutting Crain and keeping Bonser. For one thing, Crain actually has control of his pitches.
I like Duensing as a starter, and Liriano in the pen.
I think Punto's best role is super-sub. If you put him in the starting lineup, he wears down. I thought he played great during the stretch run and playoffs (except for the baserunning blunder).

Nick N. said...

Shookit: Welcome! The Young/Gomez debate is one with a lot of angles and it's been exhaustively discussed here and elsewhere over the past year. It's no secret that I prefer Gomez because he can be valuable without hitting a ton, while Young can't. Also, it's not exactly true that Gomez's plate appearances "were getting worse not better." His results were undeniably disappointing, but compared to 2008 Gomez struck out less, walked more and saw more pitches per plate appearance this season. That's progress, even if it doesn't show up in the stat sheet.

Liriano was dominant as a starter post-surgery during the second half of last year. I don't know why it's "overly optimistic" to believe he can do so again in the future. This was a rough season for Liriano; my hope is that with an offseason to get his head straight he can come back and look more like that 2008 version that helped propel to the Twins to a near playoff berth. If that means starting in the bullpen (as mentioned above), so be it.

Also, Shookit/David... the Tigers have already hinted strongly that they won't be bringing Polanco back. See here.

Anonymous said...

No lefty in the pem. Put Liriano there, and Dunsing in the rotation.

SL__72 said...

For a vL DH/1B platoon type I'd rather see the Twins go with Justin Huber. He might also still be capable of acting as a decent emergency catcher which lets Gardy not make stupid decisions based on the fear of running out of catchers.

I also don't think non-tendering Crain makes sense.

SL__72 said...

"No lefty in the pen. Put Liriano there, and Dunsing in the rotation."

Duensing is a lefty! As is Mijares.

CA said...

It seems like Hardy will be a pretty hot commodity this offseason, so I hope the Twins can be players for him amongst some competition. If Polanco does turn out to be Type A, would the Twins be interested in Akinori Iwamura? He's coming off a knee injury, so there's risk involved, and the Rays have a $4.5M option for next year, but they're loaded in the infield. Even if they pick up the option it may not take much to trade for him.

Also (this is only sort of tangentially related to roster construction at the moment, but it might make a difference), is there any speculation about how the new stadium will play? With a predominantly fly ball-oriented staff and guys like Gomez and Span in the OF, the current Twins roster seems better built for a pitcher-friendly, non-HR-prone park.

Bryz said...

Hey Nick, how's it going?

1. I agree completely with letting the entire FA class walk. However, I'm sure plenty of fans will want Cabrera back because he was such an improvement over Punto/Tolbert that it'll seem like he's the answer (even though he isn't).

2. I'd be slightly in favor for this, but I'd prefer either a 1 year deal or less money per year for a multi-year deal. I think Pavano and his agent should understand that he still will be considered as an injury risk, and thus he won't be offered as much money in free agency. Regardless, the Twins should sign a veteran SP that has legitimate upside and cannot be compared to Ortiz/Ponson from a few years ago.

3, 4. I don't quite see how Crain is the odd man out* until Bonser and Neshek return from the DL, and even then I'd value him over Bonser.
* Just checked Cot's and estimated that he'll easily make over $4 million next year as a quasi-setup man. This is the only reason I'd agree with non-tendering him.

5. Sure the Twins value defense, but I don't think they value Gomez's defense as highly as Young's potential and usually only 2nd half offense, so (unfortunately) I'd expect them to continue splitting OF time if they're both on the roster next year. Looking at Young's lefty splits, I'd suggest skipping over Sweeney and just have Young as the LHP DH.

6-8. With how the Twins have failed with acquiring higher-priced or higher talent players through trades, I think they'd have to offer more than Perkins and Brombert to get Hardy. Right now MLBTR lists Polanco as a Type A, so the Twins might as well just go for Orlando Hudson then.

9. Any sort of extension that doesn't prevent other roster tweaking moves is encouraged.

Nick N. said...

If Polanco does turn out to be Type A, would the Twins be interested in Akinori Iwamura?

Iwamura would probably be my second choice. He's someone I looked very hard at.

Also (this is only sort of tangentially related to roster construction at the moment, but it might make a difference), is there any speculation about how the new stadium will play?

Very tough to speculate about how a new ballpark will play until the games start being played. I don't suspect right now that Target Field will be all that HR-prone.

Bryz said...

I'd also recommend having Liriano as a lefty-only reliever, again citing his LH splits (.255/.325/.307). Some improvements can be made, but .307 SLG???

@ CA: You can't really predict how a ballpark will play until after the games start. Take new Yankee Stadium for example...no one expected the RF jet stream to be so prominent when it was being built and opened.

Bryz said...

Correction: I don't think anyone expected there to even be a RF jet stream at new Yankee Stadium.

neckrolls said...

Remember last offseason, when everybody thought Dennys Reyes was superfluous because of the emergence of Breslow and Mijares? Then Mijares had a terrible spring, Breslow forgot how to throw strikes, and all of a sudden Sean Henn was pitching to Jim Thome. The Twins eventually had to pick up Mahay to cover for that.

For me, the lesson is this: don't take the bullpen for granted. I think that's especially true this year with both Neshek and Bonser coming back from serious injuries. I'd bring Crain back. If everything goes well in spring training, and they don't have enough spots for everybody, they can trade somebody at the end of March. Until then, I'd anticipate Neshek starting the year in AAA like Liriano did in 2008.

Michael said...

I second (or third, I guess) the idea of bringing in Iwamura. He's almost as good as Polanco, but 5 years younger and probably less expensive. The Twins probably should bring in at least one MI upgrade from outside the organization. Jack Wilson's a decent option too, but he's kinda like Adam Everett or Punto in that his value comes from defense, which can be hard to quantify. Fangraphs had him at 1.9 WAR this year (right about league average).

I like the idea of a Ryan Sweeney type to spell Kubel and Morneau occasionally against lefties in theory. But Sweeney doesn't fare any better against lefties historically. Delmon does, but I doubt he'd be used that way. Kubel's just totally useless against lefties (.670 career OPS), but I doubt Gardy platoons him much next year.

Anonymous said...

I don't see a chance in hell of Perkins and Bromberg netting Hardy.

Ryan said...

I would like to see the team hold off on making the Young/Gomez decision. I think it's a travesty that both of these players aren't getting a chance to play every day. Young in each of his two seasons has been much stronger late in the season, and was certainly affected adversely with his mother's untimely death. When he was in the lineup, the Twins were a much better team (I had the exact statistic, I wish I could find it). The fact that he rode the bench so much during the middle of the season did nothing for him. As for Gomez, I don't think he is as refined a player yet as he could be and would be well served to play every day in Rochester. At 6'4 and over 200 pounds, he has the frame and physical skills to become a potent hitter, and right now as a role player he is simply not achieving that. With Gardenhire's small ball mentality, I don't think he'll be able to develop as a hitter in Minnesota either, due to his speed and Gardy's affection for the bunt.
I like having Pavano in the rotation too, simply because it would be nice to have another veteran innings eater in there. Other than that, I think next year's Twins should be left mostly alone, save for the extensions and resignings.

Anonymous said...

Two things here Nick.
1. Sweeney would never come to Minnesota. He has told Seattle reporters that if he does come back for another season it will be with Seattle or the Angels. He doesn't want to play anywhere else.
2. There is no way they'll have a payroll of 90 million plus.

Charlie Platt said...

Letting Cabrera walk and picking up Polanco would cost the twins a first rounder. I don't see the difference in production and salary between Cabrera and Polanco to be worth a draft pick that high.

Twinsd said...

Gomez to AAA

Craig in mn said...

I wouldn't be surprised if it would take Perkins and Gomez to get Hardy. Cameron is a free agent and Milwaukee might need a CF...it's a pretty good fit really. It's a lot to give up, but if other teams want Hardy too, you've got to make a good offer. If you trade Gomez, they'd have to keep Young, which is fine.

I'd look for Iwamura or a non-tendered Garrett Atkins before Polanco. Signing an old second baseman coming off of a poor year would worry me, and Iwamura or Atkins should give comparable impact for less money anyway. Let Punto, Harris, Casilla & Tolbert fight over the last starting IF spot and bench spots.

Crain should stay, with Bonser and Neshek both as big question marks.

If Pavano is the best you can afford for starters, then I want him back. But I would hope they could afford a little better.

The only other question mark is the backup OF job. I'm not high on Pridie at all, and with Young still being a question mark, I'd want to try to bring in someone else. Maybe Randy Winn would be cheap coming off a poor year...he's a switch hitter and can fill in at CF when needed. He seems like he'd have a good influence on some of the young guys on the team.

Cris E said...

The payroll will almost certainly start approaching $90m. They have players and revenue and they've more or less committed to the 52% thing even in the context of new waves of money coming in.

Anyway, steps for 2010, in order:

1. Re-sign Mauer.

2. Get two of 3B/SS/2B. Options here start with Hardy. Iwamura is a good option too. You could call San Diego for Headley or Kouzmanoff or ask MIL about Weeks. TOR has Encarnacion at 3b. Beltre will be on the market. Hudson and Figgins will likely be too rich, Mora and O Cabrera are old. Lots of options, so rank them and go get a couple. They hate Harris at 3b, by the way, and Punto shouldn't start, so maybe the kids (Tolbert Casilla Tolleson et al) get a shot at the positions.

3. One more SP to stabilize the rotation. A #1 is a good thing but pricey, so depending on how they filled the above slots they'll have to see what's left in the bank. Frankly it's hard to win in the playoffs without a #1, but the starting pitching was not what cost them against the Yankees. At any rate they only have Baker Blackburn Slowey as solid starters and they need two of Liriano Perkins Duensing Manship Swarszak Gabino etc etc to work out. They tried that and it sucked.

4. Sort the bullpen. I think they have too many arms in the pen and will have a huge job sorting through them all. The comments here seem to think Bonser and Neshak will come back fine, but that's almost laughably naive given how Crain and Liriano have struggled in the years since their surgeries. You can't know, but you can't wait, so whatever they can't stash at Roch will have to be traded. There are enough guys, so no new faces are needed.

5. Sort the OF. I think they keep both Young and Gomez until they figure out how the new field plays. If it turns into Fenway then they can trade Gomez and his fabulous D, but if the OF turns out to be hard to play (wind? lights? hills? you never know...) then maybe Delmon goes. (Actually I think his defensive hijinks in the Detroit and NY series were embarrassing enough that he could get sent out this winter while his trade value is high again. Anyway as soon as they determine that the Gomez D won't be needed they should park him in Roch. I'm also on board with trading Cuddy. I think we saw his career year, and the temptation will be to extend him for some dumb amount of dollars after his option gets picked up in 11. This should probably not happen. In any event, I like Span and think the rest can shake out in a lot of acceptable ways.

6. I'd add a Spanish-speaking coach to the staff. It's ridiculous that Cabrera had such an impact on the youngsters just because he could talk to them. No MLB staff should be without that in this day and age.

Cris E said...

I'd also like to go on record as agreeing with pretty much all of what Craig wrote at 3:30.

Jake Lunemann said...

1) Let free agents Orlando Cabrera, Ron Mahay, Joe Crede and Mike Redmond walk.

Agree. Although I think Valencia will probably be called up in June just to keep his arbitration clock from starting at the beginning of the season. So I could see the Twins offering Crede a one year deal and hope he can stay healthy out on the new sod for two months.

2) Re-sign free agent Carl Pavano for two years, $12M.

Agree again but one other name I would like the Twins to at least look at is Mark Mulder. Once was dominant but due to injuries would probably come fairly cheap.

3) Reach arbitration agreements with Boof Bonser ($900K), Matt Guerrier ($2.8M), Francisco Liriano ($2M), Pat Neshek ($750K), Carlos Gomez ($1.5M) and Brendan Harris ($1.1M).

All easy calls with the price tag. Could we lobby for a clause in Brendan Harris's 2010 deal that he should never start at DH?

4) Non-tender Jesse Crain.

Relief is always in demand. I say we give him the money but not shy away from trading him away later on if the need arises. Anyone remember the A's trading an old Mark Guthrie for David Justice? Bullpen depth can only be a good thing.

5) Trade Delmon Young for prospects.

I really do not think we could get much of anything for DYoung at this point. It is possible if he starts out next season like he ended this one but one month of production rarely gets much attention after two years of average ones. He should be the Twins DH against lefties and LF against righties. Gomez can start against lefties and be a super-sub off the bench. At his low price, Gomez gives so much more than Jason Pridie (the poor man's Jason Tyner) could.

6) Trade pitchers Glen Perkins and David Bromberg to Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Love it but think it would take more. Maybe the Brew Crew would bite on Liriano and Bromberg.

7) Sign free agent second baseman Placido Polanco for two years, $9M.

Wouldn't this be a bit like having Orlando Cabrera play 2nd base? Except in this scenario we would have to give up a draft pick?

8) Sign Mike Sweeney for one year, $1M.

As I said earlier, I think Valencia comes up in June and starts the rest of the year. Melvin Mora's last year will probably be bought out by the Orioles. He could start at 3B for a couple months and then be a serviceable right handed bat off the bench. Although he may ask for too much money so he can raise his quintuplets.

9) Give Joe Mauer eight-year, $150M extension.

If these were in order this one should be #1.

Nick N. said...

Sweeney would never come to Minnesota. He has told Seattle reporters that if he does come back for another season it will be with Seattle or the Angels. He doesn't want to play anywhere else.

Players say a lot of things. Sweeney is very familiar with the Twins' organization from his days as a Royal. We'll see.

There is no way they'll have a payroll of 90 million plus.

What do you base this on? Revenue increases this year should logically lead to a boost of at least $12-$15 million in payroll; it's not much of a stretch to think they could go a bit further.

I'd add a Spanish-speaking coach to the staff. It's ridiculous that Cabrera had such an impact on the youngsters just because he could talk to them. No MLB staff should be without that in this day and age.

This is a great point.

Love it but think it would take more. Maybe the Brew Crew would bite on Liriano and Bromberg.

I don't think I'd make that deal and I don't think Smith would -- has the potential to come back and bite the Twins Garza/Young style.

Most people seem to think Perkins/Bromberg won't be enough to pry Hardy, and that may be. But it's important to keep in mind that Hardy is coming off a REALLY terrible year, will be expensive next year and will be a free agent after 2011. It's not like the Brewers are dealing a star with his value jacked up. I guess we'll just have to see how the market for him shakes out.

Wouldn't this be a bit like having Orlando Cabrera play 2nd base? Except in this scenario we would have to give up a draft pick?

Polanco is a far better fit in the No. 2 spot in the order than Cabrera. Also a much better fielder.

Nick N. said...

Also, I think the Twins' increased willingness to spend in the international market should lower their aversion to losing draft picks through free agent signings. If the team has a chance to make a meaningful improvement through free agency, they shouldn't let losing one pick become a major obstacle.

I will say, though, that when I initially wrote up this blueprint about a month ago, Polanco was projecting as a Type B.

Anonymous said...

duensing earned a spot in the rotation. definately more than liriano.

Anonymous said...

It seems like the Twins have a lot of AAA/marginal MLB prospects (Perkins, Duensing, Manship, Swarszak, Gabino, Tolbert, Buscher, Casilla, Tolleson, Plouffe, Huber, Pridie) on their 40-man roster who are young but represent very little Denard Span-type breakout potential. I'd rather see the Twins deal 4 or 5 of these guys for 1 or 2 prospects with higher upside than see the Twins hang on to all of these guys this offseason in the hope that a few of them will break out next season.

Matt said...

"I don't see a chance in hell of Perkins and Bromberg netting Hardy."

Really?? Perkins probably doesn't have much in trade value, but Bromberg was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year. Granted he is not a top 10 overall prospect in the majors, but he is still a very solid prospect for a guy who just hit 1 point higher than Punto did this year.

I am a big fan of a Hardy trade, as his value probably will not be lower than it is now, so it would be a great time to get him.

Kyle said...

Perhaps this is my baseball naivete talking, but don't the Twins owe Mike Redmond something? For four seasons with the Twins, he was the best backup catcher in the bigs, batting over or near .300 each season in about 150 plate appearances. But more importantly, he seemed to be the heart of the team. He was first out of the dugout to congratulate players. He seemed to be the team's unofficial cheerleader, and he seems to know a ton about baseball. His offensive and defensive production may have decreased (and we may have a young backup catcher on the way), but if the Twins don't sign Redmond, they must find a place for him to coach in their organization. At least his departure would not be viewed by so many in the clubhouse as "Thanks for all the good years, and thanks for emotionally carrying young teams on your shoulders for the last 5 years, but don't let the door hit you on the ass when you leave."

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot!

Brian 4 Twins said...

I would not prefer many of the moves you suggest. We can do better. Gomez leaving is a great move. Yes Gomez is popular with twins fans but YOUNG YOUNG YOUNG is the guy we need to keep. I'm glad to have both Young and Hardy as locks for the 2010 season.

As for third base, Harris is not the answer. I would consider it an offseason fail if Harris is our starting 3B by the start of the year. If the price is right, I would bring back CREDE before giving the spot to Harris. My guy would be ADRIAN BELTRE who we can finally get for NOTHING, well just money.

We need to address pitching with more vigor, resigning Pavano and going with that is NOT the answer. We can do better. How bout take a chance on some former aces in Ben Sheets or Rich Harden (who we obviously already have interest in). Again this just takes money. This is the lineup we should have for 2010 and feel free to look back at this at the start of the year and say, wow that dude was darn close on Nov 6th.

SPAN -CF
HARDY -SS
MAUER -C
MORNEAU -1B
KUBEL -DH
CUDDYER -RF
CREDE/BELTRE -3B(I'm giving Crede the nod as Beltre would be tough to pull off)
YOUNG -LF
PUNTO -2B

Pitching
BAKER
SHEETS/HARDEN
SLOWEY
DUENSING
BLACKBURN

The bullpen is pretty much set adding Neshek and Bonser to the mix but this will periodically change throughout the year so there's really no need to make projections here. That's my take, enjoy!

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