Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Twins offseason blueprint

The guys over at TwinsCentric have put together another fantastic Offseason GM Handbook with over 130 pages of great content on the moves the team could make in the coming months. If you enjoy reading about the Twins and you are interested in what the team could look like for next year, I suggest you head over to the TwinsCentric website and pick up a copy for yourself.

Last night I was on the Weekly Minnesota Podcast and we broke apart each other's blueprints. We spend a lot of time discussing the moves that each of us made and our reasoning behind them. There are positives and negatives to any roster that is created and it is fun to see what you can do with the estimated financial resources for the Twins organization. Click here to listen in as you follow along with my blueprint.

Here is a look at the moves I would make if I were the General Manager for the Twins. There were some tough calls but I had certain weaknesses I wanted to address and this plan does that.

"Free Agent Frenzy"
1) Let Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Matt Capps walk.
It is a tough call to let a couple of these players walk but the market is not in the favor of the Twins in this situation. There are some teams out there who will be willing to overpay for Cuddyer and Kubel could be in the same boat. Each of these players has provided some great things to the club but the market is not going to allow the Twins to keep them on the roster. The Twins will offer them both arbitration and be satisfied with getting the draft picks back for these two players. Capps will not be offered arbitration by the Twins. I am excited to see how much Capps gets from some other team that looks at his "proven closer" record and decides to overpay for him.

2) Arbitration decisions
Tender: Alexi Casilla ($2.5M), Jose Mijares ($700K), Glen Perkins ($1.5M), Francisco Liriano ($5.25M)
Nontender: Kevin Slowey (or tendered and then traded)
Casilla and Perkins will be in line to play vital roles for the club next season so this makes the decision very easy. Mijares wasn't perfect last season but he is still cheap enough to be a left-handed option out of the bullpen or a relief option in waiting at AAA. Liriano is playing for his first year of free agency so this means he has to pitch well to get paid. Hopefully, that will translate to a bounce back year from Mr. Liriano. Slowey didn't show the Twins anything down the stretch that proved he wanted to stay around for next year.

3) Free agent signings
Pitchers: Mark Buehrle (3 years/$30M), Jonathon Broxton (1 year/$4M), Dan Wheeler (1 year/$2M)
Carl Pavano has been a great asset to the Twins during his tenure with the club but his contract will be done after next season. The Twins need another starting pitcher that is a proven innings eater to be a leader for the starting staff. Buehrle's contract fills that role for the next three years and he can be a valuable veteran leader. Broxton is my sleeper pick to come in and win the closer's job for the Twins. I loved what he was able to do in '09 and '10 with the Dodgers and I would love to see him rekindle some of that magic with the Twins. The Red Sox decided not to pick up Wheeler's option for next season so I have the Twins swooping in to pick him up. The Twins need some reliable arms in the pen and he can be a reliable right-handed option in the late innings.

Position Players: Cody Ross (2 years/$10M), Johnny Damon (1 year/$5M), Clint Barmes (2 years/$8M), Rod Barajas (1 year/$3M)
With money spent in other areas, Ross and Damon were added to fill holes with the remaining funds for the team. Ross will take over in RF and be a right handed bat in the line-up and Damon will continue the productive DH role he had with the Rays in 2011. Barmes will be one of the most important moves for the Twins this offseason as he can solidify the middle infield for the next couple of seasons (until Brain Dozier or Levi Michael is ready). A defensive line-up of Barmes and Casilla could be fun to watch. Rod Barajas will help to alleviate some of the catching duties from Mauer and allow him to spend some time at 1B.

4) Minor leaguers waiting in the wings
Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee showed some positive signs in the final weeks of the season but there is still things for them to work on during their first season at AAA. Brian Dozier has continued some of his success from this season in the Arizona Fall League and he will get a long look in Spring Training. The young starters and relief pitchers like Liam Hendriks, Lester Oliveros, David Bromberg, etc. can continue to gain experience against some of the talent in the International League. All of these players can help Rochester to improve over last season and they can be ready to help the Twins if the time is right.
Overall, there were a lot of free agent signings made in my offseason blueprint. That is not something the Twins have done in previous years but this is the first offseason at Target Field in which the team has the ability to spend a significant amount of money. I really like some of the moves I made but some of the moves handicapped me later in the roster creation process.

LEAVE A COMMENT. What do you think of my roster? What kind of moves would you make?

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I think this is a very good blueprint. There won't be a lot of home runs on this team, but the pitching would be improved (in theory, at least). It's tough to imagine, clubhouse-wise, losing Cuddyer, Kubel and Nathan in the same off-season. Mauer and Morneau are really going to have to set an example on and off the field in 2012.