All Things 2021-2022 Minnesota Twins Off-Season Thread

BleedGopher

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Biggest decision this off-season is what to do with Buxton.

I think we need to pay him.

Win Twins!!
 

BleedGopher

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Per Shama:


Media speculation has manager Rocco Baldelli on the “hot seat.” His name is on the list of managers that could be fired soon but team president Dave St. Petertold Sports Headliners it’s not going to happen.

“We believe in Rocco,” St. Peter said. “We think he’s part of the solution. He’s certainly not the problem in our mind.”

Baldelli had no managerial experience when he took over the Twins for the 2019 season. His first club won the AL Central with a 101-61 record, the second most in franchise history. During a pandemic shortened 2020, the Twins were 36-24 and again led the division standings. This year’s team has underwhelmed with inconsistent pitching and injuries to key positional players.

St. Peter believes Baldelli, 40, is a better manager today because of what he has experienced the last three seasons. “Think about what he’s faced as a manager. He’s had 100 win teams. He’s had to deal with a world-wide pandemic. He’s had to deal with social justice issues. He’s had to deal with the loss of a bench coach (the late Mike Bell). He’s dealt with probably every injury you could ever imagine from all of his star players.

“And now he’s dealt with a really challenging season. A season where we’ve failed to meet expectations. Those things and 100 other things are going to help shape you as a leader, and Rocco Baldelli is still on the opening chapters of his managerial career. So there is no doubt in my mind his best managing is ahead of him.”


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BleedGopher

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Twins' Byron Buxton excited by his future because of his production this season​


A dreary, frustrating Twins season finally comes to a close on Sunday, and Byron Buxton, limited by an oblique strain and a broken hand to playing in fewer than 40% of their games, is excited. "I'm pretty pumped," he said.

Wait, wait — it's not the ending that has him charged up, but a beginning. Because as annoying as the injuries were, as difficult as it was to miss more than three months of baseball, Buxton believes some big things changed in 2021: His production. And his future.

That second part isn't entirely up to him, and Buxton has only increased his value, his potential price tag this season. He is eligible for free agency 13 months from now, but said a new contract, which the Twins and his agents tried to negotiate in July, isn't on his mind yet.

"I'm sure they're probably still talking. I'm not too much in on that," though he is "keep[ing] the door open," Buxton said. Being traded instead has "obviously crossed my mind, but it's nothing I've worried about. The only uniform I know is the Minnesota Twins. It's the only thing I really cared about."

Well, that and being a better ballplayer. And that's where 2021 was especially exciting.

"Hitting-wise, that's something I always could do. I did it through the minor leagues, and that's what got me here," Buxton said of his seventh major league season. "It took me a little longer than I wanted to get where I wanted to be, but … I'm positive and I'm confident."

With good reason. Buxton, the Twins' ninth-place hitter through much of his first five seasons, in 2021 became the Twins' toughest out and most feared hitter. His .996 OPS, albeit in too few at-bats to qualify, would rank with Vlad Guerrero Jr. as the American League's best. His .637 slugging percentage is explained by his 18 homers in only 60 games, and his 39 extra-base hits rank fifth on the Twins; the only players ahead of him have played at least twice as many games.

"It's a treat to watch," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "It's one thing to hit the ball hard. There are a lot of guys in this league who have some snap in their bat, and can really drive the ball and hit the ball hard. It's another thing to go out there against major-league pitching and be on the fastball, be on the breaking balls, and today, even on the changeups."


Win Twins!!
 

BleedGopher

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He's just realizing this NOW!? WTF??

Seeking to lose 30 pounds, Twins' Miguel Sano hoping less is more in 2022​


Coming off one of the most discouraging and yet weirdly encouraging seasons of his career, Miguel Sano says he intends to do more with less in 2022.

Less of him, he means.

"I got my plan for the offseason: Try to lose like around 30 pounds," Sano said Friday. "That's something I put for myself, for my life, my future. … Like, I want to be in better shape. That's one of my goals in the offseason."

That's been one of the Twins' goals for the 28-year-old slugger for years, with obviously mixed results. But after enduring the worst stretch of his career to open this season — nearly three times as many strikeouts (58) as hits (21) in April and May — Sano said he's ready to change the shape of his body and the arc of his career.

"A lot of stuff happened this year, and I don't want to see that happen next year again," Sano said. "I'm ready to work in my offseason."


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BleedGopher

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Charley Walters: Jim Pohlad still rates Twins’ brain trust ‘A-plus’​


Last year, the Twins won the American League Central Division. This year, they finished last.

Chatting with Jim Pohlad last week, I asked the Twins’ owner to grade his top two baseball operation executives, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, and manager Rocco Baldelli on this season’s performances.

“I’d grade them all A-plus,” Pohlad said. “For sure. I mean, I’m 100 percent on that with them.” Pohlad emphasized their effort.

“Derek and Thad and their group, they tried things,” he said. “Some relievers didn’t click in the middle of the season, but they tried.”

How will the Twins rebuild?

“We’re not going to rebuild — that’s not a rebuilding thing,” Pohlad said. “We’re going to be good next year.”

How?

“That’s up to Derek and Thad and the staff,” Pohlad said. “I think they feel the need to enhance the team and maybe guard against misfortune.”

Major changes?

“No, I don’t think there’s any major changes,” he said. “I don’t know of any, nor do I desire any major changes. I think we’re a good team. Things just didn’t go our way in any respect.”

Sounds like front office and manager are going to be back.

“Definitely,” Pohlad said.


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BleedGopher

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I think he is using the new grading scale many schools have adopted. 50% is now passing.

It appears Pohlad is happy with how hard they "tried"

“I’d grade them all A-plus,” Pohlad said. “For sure. I mean, I’m 100 percent on that with them.” Pohlad emphasized their effort.

“Derek and Thad and their group, they tried things,” he said. “Some relievers didn’t click in the middle of the season, but they tried.”


Can't get more Minnesotan than that analysis.

Win Twins!!
 

howeda7

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Get the checkbook out Jim.

Buxton 5/$110 million + PA incentives.

Marcus Stroman 5/$110m

Robbie Ray: 3/$48m

Bring back Pineda 2/$20m

Bring back Eddie Rosario for LF/bench as a buy low candidate 1/$6m

Total payroll: ~$145 million.
 

GophersInIowa

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Get the checkbook out Jim.

Buxton 5/$110 million + PA incentives.

Marcus Stroman 5/$110m

Robbie Ray: 3/$48m

Bring back Pineda 2/$20m

Bring back Eddie Rosario for LF/bench as a buy low candidate 1/$6m

Total payroll: ~$145 million.
I really don't see a need to bring in another OF. Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker, Gordon, and Miranda can all play out there. Plus Martin might be ready at some point next year.
 



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Is Gausman cheaper than Stroman? If so, then sign him.
 

howeda7

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I really don't see a need to bring in another OF. Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker, Gordon, and Miranda can all play out there. Plus Martin might be ready at some point next year.
Ideally, Kiriloff is at 1B, Miranda at 3B and Gordon is the utility infielder. Neither Rooker nor Larnach has shown enough. Worst case Eddie is a good 4th OFer.
 

GophersInIowa

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Ideally, Kiriloff is at 1B, Miranda at 3B and Gordon is the utility infielder. Neither Rooker nor Larnach has shown enough. Worst case Eddie is a good 4th OFer.
Kirilloff would still probably play OF once in awhile. I still think Donaldson will pay 3B a good amount of time as he's too good in the field not to. Rooker would be in the lineup against lefties. I'd much rather roll with the young guys we have already. Eddie doesn't add much IMO.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I don't think there's room for Rooker. Larnach is a much better overall hitter and defender.

They have to make room for Miranda, and it sounds like he is mainly a 3B.

Assuming Sano is back, then you have Miranda or Donaldson at 3B or DH. Gordon is the super-utility player.

the other big question is SS. I would move Polanco back to short so Arraez can play 2B every day.
But if Polanco is at 2B, then they have to bring in a SS - because it doesn't look like they think Gordon can be an every-day SS. But Arraez' bat has to be in the lineup somewhere.
 



howeda7

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Kirilloff would still probably play OF once in awhile. I still think Donaldson will pay 3B a good amount of time as he's too good in the field not to. Rooker would be in the lineup against lefties. I'd much rather roll with the young guys we have already. Eddie doesn't add much IMO.
I just think Eddie is a good candidate to have a bounce-back season and anything that ensures Divin' Jake Cave is off the roster is a plus. Larnach hit .176 in AAA, he's no lock to make the opening day roster and Rooker isn't either IMO.
 

howeda7

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I don't think there's room for Rooker. Larnach is a much better overall hitter and defender.

They have to make room for Miranda, and it sounds like he is mainly a 3B.

Assuming Sano is back, then you have Miranda or Donaldson at 3B or DH. Gordon is the super-utility player.

the other big question is SS. I would move Polanco back to short so Arraez can play 2B every day.
But if Polanco is at 2B, then they have to bring in a SS - because it doesn't look like they think Gordon can be an every-day SS. But Arraez' bat has to be in the lineup somewhere.
Because of all of this, I think it's very unlikely that both Sano and Donaldson are back next year. Especially if they're going to insist on keeping Polanco at 2B and bringing in another SS.
 

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Don't worry. Trades will be made, if there's an offseason with enough length to make trades, to make room for the younger players. Don"t be surprised if Donaldson is gone or some other infielders.
 

GophersInIowa

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Because of all of this, I think it's very unlikely that both Sano and Donaldson are back next year. Especially if they're going to insist on keeping Polanco at 2B and bringing in another SS.
If it were me, the position player roster would look like this to start the year:
C Garver
C Jeffers
DH/1B Sano
1B/OF Kirilloff
2B/SS Polanco
2B/3B/OF Arraez
2B/SS/OF Gordon
SS Free Agent
3B Donaldson
OF Buxton
OF Kepler
OF Larnach
OF Rooker

Miranda waiting in the wings when there's an injury (there always is)

DH consists of Donaldson about 1/3 of the time, Sano 1/3 of the time, and everyone else the other 1/3 of the time. Lets see what we got with the prospects. If Donaldson gets traded then that opens it up for Miranda right away.
 
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Its going to be a long cold winter but keep your hopes up fans. 1991 wasn't all that long ago -- well less than 1/2 a century anyway.
 


BleedGopher

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Royce Lewis isn't ready, so Jorge Polanco should return to Twins shortstop​


The Twins have plenty of challenges this offseason if they are serious about putting a competitive, contending team on the field for 2022. Finding a shortstop shouldn't be one of them.

But it is.

Their carefully constructed plan to prepare 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis to be ready to take over next season was ruined when Lewis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during February workouts and was forced to miss all of 2021.

So for the second consecutive offseason, add finding a solution at short to the Twins' offseason goals. Those goals include crafting a quality starting rotation and making another run at signing Byron Buxton to a long-term deal. But one of the premium positions on the field needs attention as well, as Andrelton Simmons, who was signed to a one-year deal, is not expected to be brought back.


Win Twins!!
 

BleedGopher

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Paying money for a proven closer should be high on Twins priority list​


Now that the season has ended, it's time for the Minnesota Twins' bosses to pull on some baby blue doubleknits, slap some pine tar on their laptops, grow handlebar mustaches and pull up their pants legs to show those skinny stirrups.

The New Agers needs to go old-school.

In at least one important way.

Twins boss Derek Falvey isn't an analytics caricature. He doesn't make every decision while tapping on a keyboard with both hands and feet. But he and his team have adopted one new-age philosophy with which I disagree.

The decisions of Falvey and the Twins over the last few years have indicated that they believe in the popular analytics notion that closers are overrated.

It's a logical notion. Why save your best reliever for what appears to be the easiest relieving job — coming in with the bases empty to get three outs in the ninth, sometimes while leading by two or three runs?

Instead of assigning innings to pitchers — setup men work the eighth, the closer works the ninth — use your best relievers in the toughest situations. The game would be won, the thinking goes, in the sixth as easily as it could be won in the ninth.

All of which sounds great, if you're sending robots or dice or computer printouts to the mound. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball insists on humans doing the job.


Win Twins!!
 

TruthSeeker

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Paying money for a proven closer should be high on Twins priority list​


Now that the season has ended, it's time for the Minnesota Twins' bosses to pull on some baby blue doubleknits, slap some pine tar on their laptops, grow handlebar mustaches and pull up their pants legs to show those skinny stirrups.

The New Agers needs to go old-school.

In at least one important way.

Twins boss Derek Falvey isn't an analytics caricature. He doesn't make every decision while tapping on a keyboard with both hands and feet. But he and his team have adopted one new-age philosophy with which I disagree.

The decisions of Falvey and the Twins over the last few years have indicated that they believe in the popular analytics notion that closers are overrated.

It's a logical notion. Why save your best reliever for what appears to be the easiest relieving job — coming in with the bases empty to get three outs in the ninth, sometimes while leading by two or three runs?

Instead of assigning innings to pitchers — setup men work the eighth, the closer works the ninth — use your best relievers in the toughest situations. The game would be won, the thinking goes, in the sixth as easily as it could be won in the ninth.

All of which sounds great, if you're sending robots or dice or computer printouts to the mound. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball insists on humans doing the job.


Win Twins!!
Souhan is stupid.
 

TruthSeeker

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Royce Lewis isn't ready, so Jorge Polanco should return to Twins shortstop​


The Twins have plenty of challenges this offseason if they are serious about putting a competitive, contending team on the field for 2022. Finding a shortstop shouldn't be one of them.

But it is.

Their carefully constructed plan to prepare 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis to be ready to take over next season was ruined when Lewis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during February workouts and was forced to miss all of 2021.

So for the second consecutive offseason, add finding a solution at short to the Twins' offseason goals. Those goals include crafting a quality starting rotation and making another run at signing Byron Buxton to a long-term deal. But one of the premium positions on the field needs attention as well, as Andrelton Simmons, who was signed to a one-year deal, is not expected to be brought back.


Win Twins!!
LaVelle is wrong about baseball. Who isn't surprised?
 

GophersInIowa

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Paying money for a proven closer should be high on Twins priority list​


Now that the season has ended, it's time for the Minnesota Twins' bosses to pull on some baby blue doubleknits, slap some pine tar on their laptops, grow handlebar mustaches and pull up their pants legs to show those skinny stirrups.

The New Agers needs to go old-school.

In at least one important way.

Twins boss Derek Falvey isn't an analytics caricature. He doesn't make every decision while tapping on a keyboard with both hands and feet. But he and his team have adopted one new-age philosophy with which I disagree.

The decisions of Falvey and the Twins over the last few years have indicated that they believe in the popular analytics notion that closers are overrated.

It's a logical notion. Why save your best reliever for what appears to be the easiest relieving job — coming in with the bases empty to get three outs in the ninth, sometimes while leading by two or three runs?

Instead of assigning innings to pitchers — setup men work the eighth, the closer works the ninth — use your best relievers in the toughest situations. The game would be won, the thinking goes, in the sixth as easily as it could be won in the ninth.

All of which sounds great, if you're sending robots or dice or computer printouts to the mound. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball insists on humans doing the job.


Win Twins!!
Colome was a proven closer. I'd rather spend that money to get a couple of good relivers.
 

howeda7

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It appears Pohlad is happy with how hard they "tried"

“I’d grade them all A-plus,” Pohlad said. “For sure. I mean, I’m 100 percent on that with them.” Pohlad emphasized their effort.

“Derek and Thad and their group, they tried things,” he said. “Some relievers didn’t click in the middle of the season, but they tried.”


Can't get more Minnesotan than that analysis.

Win Twins!!
Jim should just not give statements. It's fine to say you still have faith in Falvey and Rocco. Saying you give them A+ is just ridiculous and makes you look like a fool.
 

howeda7

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Royce Lewis isn't ready, so Jorge Polanco should return to Twins shortstop​


The Twins have plenty of challenges this offseason if they are serious about putting a competitive, contending team on the field for 2022. Finding a shortstop shouldn't be one of them.

But it is.

Their carefully constructed plan to prepare 2017 No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis to be ready to take over next season was ruined when Lewis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during February workouts and was forced to miss all of 2021.

So for the second consecutive offseason, add finding a solution at short to the Twins' offseason goals. Those goals include crafting a quality starting rotation and making another run at signing Byron Buxton to a long-term deal. But one of the premium positions on the field needs attention as well, as Andrelton Simmons, who was signed to a one-year deal, is not expected to be brought back.


Win Twins!!
100% Correct, LaVelle.
 

BleedGopher

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STrib: Staying or leaving? An in-depth look at the Twins roster heading into the offseason

Jorge Polanco, 28

Relieved of pressure of playing shortstop, he morphed into Twins' most dangerous hitter, launching 35 doubles, 33 homers and slugging .503.

Contract: Guaranteed $5 million in 2022, $7.5 million in 2023

2022 outlook: Though trading him at his peak may be tempting, expect Polanco to hit in the heart of next year's lineup.

Miguel Sanó, 28

Survived the worst three months of his MLB career, putting his job in jeopardy, then made adjustments that made him a second-half juggernaut. Hit the year's longest home run in MLB.

Contract: Owed $9.25 million in 2022

2022 outlook: Playing first base and trying to make his second-half hitting performance permanent.

Byron Buxton, 27

With 4.5 WAR, had one of the greatest seasons in MLB history — by a player who missed 60% of his team's games. A breakout season, in other words, with the usual Buxton caveat.

Contract: Final year of arbitration, can expect to make $12 million or more.

2022 outlook: The Twins will try to sign him to a contract that figures to top $100 million; if unsuccessful, he's too valuable not to trade, because losing him to free agency for nothing would be disastrous.

Alex Kirilloff, 23

Nagging wrist injury spoiled his debut season, but Twins believe he's heart-of-the-order hitter for next decade.

Contract: Pre-arbitration

2022 outlook: Everyday starter in left field, or maybe right field, or perhaps first base. But count on 500 at-bats.


Win Twins!!
 

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Keep Polo at 2, make Gordon the everyday SS. It’s not that hard. There are bigger issues with this team.
 


GophersInIowa

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Arreaz needs to be in the line-up though.
If they did that (I don't think they will), Polanco would still probably get his fair share of starts at SS. So Arreaz could easily play at least 1/3 of the time at 2B and 1/3 at 3B.

I'm pretty certain they will sign a veteran SS for 1 year again. I'm not sure Gordon will ever be an everyday player. But he could be a solid speedy utility guy.
 




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