All Things 2023-2024 Minnesota Twins Off-Season Thread

short ornery norwegian

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Agreed - I think Polanco/Kepler are the most likely to be dealt and Farmer costs less and can play all four infield positions and is probably a better overall fielder than Polanco.

Lee will be exciting and we have Jenkins and Rodriguez after him - wow. As one of our Twins’ board historians, can you recall a time with this many ballyhooed prospects in this condensed period (I’m including Royce, Eddie and Wallner as well)?

off the top of my head, that early-80's period when Hrbek, Gaetti, Viola, Laudner, etc all came up at roughly the same time might be the best for multiple prospects coming up at the same time - and contributing. and then that Puckett guy in '84 (after Jim Eisenreich was forced out by undiagnosed Tourette's)

FWIW - in 2014, the Twins had the #1-ranked farm system in baseball - based on Buxton, Sano, Alex Meyer, Kennys Vargas and others. of that group, a lot of unrealized potential. in 2019, the Twins were ranked #5 on the strength of players like Kirilloff and Royce Lewis but also prospects like Alcala and Balazovic.

the nature of the sport is such that, for every prospect who pans out, there are a lot more who don't pan out. anyone remember Paul Ray Powell, B. J. Garbe, Bryan Oelkers, David McCarty, Adam Johnson, J. D. (the real deal) Durbin, etc? I remember when Michael Restovich was supposed to be the next great power hitter. He hit 3 HR as a Twin. shoot, I saw Bobby Kielty play at Class A and I thought he was going to be a solid major leaguer. (he was 4th in voting for AL Rookie of the Year, and then......)

so of the current group of prospects, history tells me that some will make it and some will not. just don't ask me who will make it.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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off the top of my head, that early-80's period when Hrbek, Gaetti, Viola, Laudner, etc all came up at roughly the same time might be the best for multiple prospects coming up at the same time - and contributing. and then that Puckett guy in '84 (after Jim Eisenreich was forced out by undiagnosed Tourette's)

FWIW - in 2014, the Twins had the #1-ranked farm system in baseball - based on Buxton, Sano, Alex Meyer, Kennys Vargas and others. of that group, a lot of unrealized potential. in 2019, the Twins were ranked #5 on the strength of players like Kirilloff and Royce Lewis but also prospects like Alcala and Balazovic.

the nature of the sport is such that, for every prospect who pans out, there are a lot more who don't pan out. anyone remember Paul Ray Powell, B. J. Garbe, Bryan Oelkers, David McCarty, Adam Johnson, J. D. (the real deal) Durbin, etc? I remember when Michael Restovich was supposed to be the next great power hitter. He hit 3 HR as a Twin. shoot, I saw Bobby Kielty play at Class A and I thought he was going to be a solid major leaguer. (he was 4th in voting for AL Rookie of the Year, and then......)

so of the current group of prospects, history tells me that some will make it and some will not. just don't ask me who will make it.
Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful reply.

I will be sending you a bill from my therapist due to the PTSD I am feeling after reading that list. Real Deal especially made me cringe, as I remember thinking it was odd to have such a cocky nickname when you hadn’t accomplished anything at the top level.

His career highlights from baseball reference -

SUMMARY
Career
WAR

-0.5
W
6
L
6
ERA
6.19

Real Deal indeed.
 

short ornery norwegian

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in looking up Durbin, was reminded that he had two big years in the minors:
2002 as a 20-yr old, went 13-4 with a 3.19 ERA
2003 as a 21-yr old went 15-5 with a 3.12 ERA

Twins minor league player of the year in 2002. In 2003 made the Florida State League All-Star game and pitched in the Futures game. so he was a genuine prospect. and then.......

as a major-leaguer, went 0-1 with the Twins in 2004. appeared in 4 games with 1 start and 2 games finished.

made it back to the big leagues with Arizona and the Phillies in 2007, posting a collective mark of 6-5 with a 6.06 ERA while making 10 starts among 18 appearances with 4 games finished, 1 complete game shutout (!!!!) and 1 save.

Career WAR was (-0.5)

and then there's this - according to Wikipedia, his last appearance as an active player was with the Lamigo Monkeys in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. The Lamigo Monkeys. I want a hat from that team.

1705171439372.png
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Some Hot Stove -

Twins agree to terms with pair of Top 50 international prospects​


The Twins agreed to terms with shortstop Daiber De Los Santos (No. 8 international prospect) and outfielder Eduardo Beltre (No. 39) upon Monday's opening of the 2024 signing period, according to an industry source. The club has not yet confirmed the agreements.

The Twins received $6.52 million in pool money.

De Los Santos might have the overall best raw tools in the class. One thing is for certain: the athletic teen has fast hands and the potential to have plus arm strength and plus raw power. Overall, he's emerging as a premium defender at a premium position.

At the plate, he shows good bat speed and the ability to make hard contact. There's a slight upstroke to his swing, and he uses it to spray the ball into the gaps. More raw power is expected as he matures and his body develops. Like most prospects his age, the teen is still working on polishing his overall game on both sides of the ball and making the most of his tool potential.
 

Ope3

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Through the Baseball Grid, I thought it was interesting that there have been 896 Pitchers in franchise history, which includes the first 60 seasons in Washington, DC.

Top 10:

1. Walter Johnson - 802
2. Eddie Guardado - 648
3. Rick Aguilera - 490
4. Jim Kaat - 484
5. Firpo Marberry - 470
6. Joe Nathan - 460
7. Camilo Pascual - 432
8. Matt Guerrier - 420
9. Glen Perkins - 409
10. Juan Rincon - 386

For the Big Train, if only his Games Started counted (666) he would still rank #1. If only his Relief Appearances (136) counted, he would just miss the Top 100. He would be tied with Jose Berrios and 1 spot behind Doug Corbett who ranks #100.

If the list only included those that pitched in Minnesota, then Brad Radke (378) as well as Jesse Crain & Jim Perry (both 376) would fill out the Top 10. They would replace W Johnson & Firpo Marberry.

There are currently 148 pitchers who have made at least 100 appearances on the mound for the Senators-Twins.


Even with the high turnover in current MLB baseball, I am guessing it will still be sometime beyond the year 2030 when they crack the 1000 mark. I am sure they will hit 900 though this year.
 


Ope3

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Yet another Twins Baseball nerd Alert.

Byron Buxton ranks 83rd in Washington-Minnesota Franchise history with 540 base hits. With 8 more he will pass #82 Disco Danny Ford and #81 Walter the Big Train Johnson.


Maybe, Johnson could have been the Ohtani of his day? He hit a respectable .235 lifetime with 24 HRs. He did play in the OF 13 Games, including 6 Starts (5 in CF).

 

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Through the Baseball Grid, I thought it was interesting that there have been 896 Pitchers in franchise history, which includes the first 60 seasons in Washington, DC.

Top 10:

1. Walter Johnson - 802
2. Eddie Guardado - 648
3. Rick Aguilera - 490
4. Jim Kaat - 484
5. Firpo Marberry - 470
6. Joe Nathan - 460
7. Camilo Pascual - 432
8. Matt Guerrier - 420
9. Glen Perkins - 409
10. Juan Rincon - 386

For the Big Train, if only his Games Started counted (666) he would still rank #1. If only his Relief Appearances (136) counted, he would just miss the Top 100. He would be tied with Jose Berrios and 1 spot behind Doug Corbett who ranks #100.

If the list only included those that pitched in Minnesota, then Brad Radke (378) as well as Jesse Crain & Jim Perry (both 376) would fill out the Top 10. They would replace W Johnson & Firpo Marberry.

There are currently 148 pitchers who have made at least 100 appearances on the mound for the Senators-Twins.


Even with the high turnover in current MLB baseball, I am guessing it will still be sometime beyond the year 2030 when they crack the 1000 mark. I am sure they will hit 900 though this year.
Perkins only needed about 12 more seasons to catch-up to Walter.
 


Gopher_In_NYC

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We need some significant activity. Pull the trigger on a deal or two.
 



coolhandgopher

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Yet another Twins Baseball nerd Alert.

Byron Buxton ranks 83rd in Washington-Minnesota Franchise history with 540 base hits. With 8 more he will pass #82 Disco Danny Ford and #81 Walter the Big Train Johnson.


Maybe, Johnson could have been the Ohtani of his day? He hit a respectable .235 lifetime with 24 HRs. He did play in the OF 13 Games, including 6 Starts (5 in CF).

Or, Babe Ruth?
 


short ornery norwegian

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Could be news pending on the Twins' TV deal. On the Bally Sports thread, news posted that Diamond Sports/Bally has reached a deal with Amazon. Amazon will invest in Diamond and in turn, Amazon Prime Video will be the streaming site for all teams featured on Bally RSN's. NOTE - Diamond only has streaming rights for 5 MLB teams; they do not have streaming rights for the Twins.

but, with this deal reached, it apparently clears the way for Diamond/Bally to emerge from bankruptcy, and could also clear the way for a new agreement between Diamond and MLB. that in turn could determine whether the Twins re-sign with Diamond/Bally or whether the Twins' TV rights go to MLB.

this is all expected to be reviewed at a bankruptcy court hearing on Friday.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Twins will announce their TV plans sometime next week - before Twins Fest is held next weekend (Jan 25-26) and potentially in time for the Twins Winter Caravan, which begins on Tuesday (Jan 23).
 

short ornery norwegian

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Speaking of the Twins Winter Caravan, it is another streamlined edition, with fewer stops and events than it used to be. and with all due respect to the players involved, well, that's not what it used to be, either.

here's the quick run-down. more details on the Twins website.

Here are the scheduled stops for the 2024 Winter Caravan:

Leg One: Twins Hall of Famer and longtime radio voice Dan Gladden, utility infielder and outfielder Willi Castro, reliever Caleb Thielbar and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Rochester, MN, Cedar Rapids, IA
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Randolph, MN, Welch, MN

Leg Two: Left-handed pitcher Kody Funderburk, utility infielder and outfielder Nick Gordon, new Twins lead play-by-play radio announcer Kris Atteberry, former Twins closer and three-time All-Star Glen Perkins and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Sioux Falls, SD
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Fargo, ND

Leg Three: Pitcher Louie Varland, outfielder Matt Wallner, new Twins lead television play-by-play voice Cory Provus, TV broadcaster and Twins special assistant La Troy Hawkins and mascot T.C.
Sunday, Jan. 28: St. Paul, MN, Duluth, MN
Monday, Jan. 29: Forest Lake, MN, St. Cloud, MN
Tuesday, Jan. 30: Mankato, MN

(Leg 3 looks like the best IMHO. LaTroy Hawkins is really a good dude. I've met him on earlier caravans.)
 



Ope3

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Speaking of the Twins Winter Caravan, it is another streamlined edition, with fewer stops and events than it used to be. and with all due respect to the players involved, well, that's not what it used to be, either.

here's the quick run-down. more details on the Twins website.

Here are the scheduled stops for the 2024 Winter Caravan:

Leg One: Twins Hall of Famer and longtime radio voice Dan Gladden, utility infielder and outfielder Willi Castro, reliever Caleb Thielbar and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Rochester, MN, Cedar Rapids, IA
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Randolph, MN, Welch, MN

Leg Two: Left-handed pitcher Kody Funderburk, utility infielder and outfielder Nick Gordon, new Twins lead play-by-play radio announcer Kris Atteberry, former Twins closer and three-time All-Star Glen Perkins and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Sioux Falls, SD
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Fargo, ND

Leg Three: Pitcher Louie Varland, outfielder Matt Wallner, new Twins lead television play-by-play voice Cory Provus, TV broadcaster and Twins special assistant La Troy Hawkins and mascot T.C.
Sunday, Jan. 28: St. Paul, MN, Duluth, MN
Monday, Jan. 29: Forest Lake, MN, St. Cloud, MN
Tuesday, Jan. 30: Mankato, MN

(Leg 3 looks like the best IMHO. LaTroy Hawkins is really a good dude. I've met him on earlier caravans.)

Good on the Twins and Theilbar for the return of the Randolph Rocket on Wed, Jan 24.
 

howeda7

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Could be news pending on the Twins' TV deal. On the Bally Sports thread, news posted that Diamond Sports/Bally has reached a deal with Amazon. Amazon will invest in Diamond and in turn, Amazon Prime Video will be the streaming site for all teams featured on Bally RSN's. NOTE - Diamond only has streaming rights for 5 MLB teams; they do not have streaming rights for the Twins.

but, with this deal reached, it apparently clears the way for Diamond/Bally to emerge from bankruptcy, and could also clear the way for a new agreement between Diamond and MLB. that in turn could determine whether the Twins re-sign with Diamond/Bally or whether the Twins' TV rights go to MLB.

this is all expected to be reviewed at a bankruptcy court hearing on Friday.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Twins will announce their TV plans sometime next week - before Twins Fest is held next weekend (Jan 25-26) and potentially in time for the Twins Winter Caravan, which begins on Tuesday (Jan 23).
Diamond doesn't have any rights for the Twins at the moment. Any deal they make now will include the streaming with no black-outs, presumably through Amazon. If the Twins were going through MLB they would have done it already. I'm guessing they'll take whatever Diamond is offering at least for one year. Maybe $30 million if they're lucky?
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Speaking of the Twins Winter Caravan, it is another streamlined edition, with fewer stops and events than it used to be. and with all due respect to the players involved, well, that's not what it used to be, either.

here's the quick run-down. more details on the Twins website.

Here are the scheduled stops for the 2024 Winter Caravan:

Leg One: Twins Hall of Famer and longtime radio voice Dan Gladden, utility infielder and outfielder Willi Castro, reliever Caleb Thielbar and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Rochester, MN, Cedar Rapids, IA
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Randolph, MN, Welch, MN

Leg Two: Left-handed pitcher Kody Funderburk, utility infielder and outfielder Nick Gordon, new Twins lead play-by-play radio announcer Kris Atteberry, former Twins closer and three-time All-Star Glen Perkins and Twins mascot T.C.
Tuesday, Jan. 23: Sioux Falls, SD
Wednesday, Jan. 24: Fargo, ND

Leg Three: Pitcher Louie Varland, outfielder Matt Wallner, new Twins lead television play-by-play voice Cory Provus, TV broadcaster and Twins special assistant La Troy Hawkins and mascot T.C.
Sunday, Jan. 28: St. Paul, MN, Duluth, MN
Monday, Jan. 29: Forest Lake, MN, St. Cloud, MN
Tuesday, Jan. 30: Mankato, MN

(Leg 3 looks like the best IMHO. LaTroy Hawkins is really a good dude. I've met him on earlier caravans.)
Two musings -

Can T.C. speak?
I wonder if this means anything regarding Nick’s future?
 

short ornery norwegian

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Diamond doesn't have any rights for the Twins at the moment. Any deal they make now will include the streaming with no black-outs, presumably through Amazon. If the Twins were going through MLB they would have done it already. I'm guessing they'll take whatever Diamond is offering at least for one year. Maybe $30 million if they're lucky?

everything I have read suggests that MLB wants to get all of its rights back in-house, especially the streaming rights.

I suppose it's possible that MLB works out a deal with Amazon, but I think MLB would rather do a deal directly with Amazon and not have Diamond as a middle-man.

this is from a story I found a couple of weeks ago on a site that follows streaming TV news:

However, MLB commissioner Bob Manfred rejected Amazon’s proposal ahead of the bankruptcy hearing. The rejection was attributed to Amazon’s desire for a streaming deal lasting more than one year, with Manfred insisting on handling any digital deal with MLB directly.

At the upcoming bankruptcy hearing, MLB plans to present Diamond with a deal that reduces media rights fees for three of the 11 teams in exchange for MLB obtaining digital rights for all Diamond teams in 2025. While Diamond could still consider negotiating with Amazon, MLB seems inclined to strike its streaming deals with major platforms like Amazon or Apple from 2025 onward.


maybe something has changed behind the scenes, if this new Diamond/Amazon deal goes through. but it would seem to be a change in direction for MLB if MLB was opposed to the Amazon deal two weeks ago. I guess we'll find out more on Friday or early next week.
 

howeda7

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everything I have read suggests that MLB wants to get all of its rights back in-house, especially the streaming rights.

I suppose it's possible that MLB works out a deal with Amazon, but I think MLB would rather do a deal directly with Amazon and not have Diamond as a middle-man.

this is from a story I found a couple of weeks ago on a site that follows streaming TV news:

However, MLB commissioner Bob Manfred rejected Amazon’s proposal ahead of the bankruptcy hearing. The rejection was attributed to Amazon’s desire for a streaming deal lasting more than one year, with Manfred insisting on handling any digital deal with MLB directly.

At the upcoming bankruptcy hearing, MLB plans to present Diamond with a deal that reduces media rights fees for three of the 11 teams in exchange for MLB obtaining digital rights for all Diamond teams in 2025. While Diamond could still consider negotiating with Amazon, MLB seems inclined to strike its streaming deals with major platforms like Amazon or Apple from 2025 onward.


maybe something has changed behind the scenes, if this new Diamond/Amazon deal goes through. but it would seem to be a change in direction for MLB if MLB was opposed to the Amazon deal two weeks ago. I guess we'll find out more on Friday or early next week.
Long term maybe. But I can't see the Twins wanting to go online only or try and negotiate their own carriage deals with DirecTV, Comcast etc. at this point. They waited too long IMO. They kind of have to stick with Bally if they want traditional TV distribution for 2024.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Long term maybe. But I can't see the Twins wanting to go online only or try and negotiate their own carriage deals with DirecTV, Comcast etc. at this point. They waited too long IMO. They kind of have to stick with Bally if they want traditional TV distribution for 2024.

not easy but not impossible. MLB took over broadcast rights for the Padres and Diamondbacks literally in mid-season and found distribution for the games. MLB has its own department set up for local broadcasting, and Manfred has said that MLB could handle the rights for as many as 16 teams if necessary.

at this point, for the Twins, it's either Bally (probably on a one-year deal) or MLB. if it's Bally, they have to resolve the streaming issue and the black-out issue. those matters are a lot cleaner if MLB has the rights.
 

short ornery norwegian

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more about this on the Bally's streaming thread.

But - there was a video conference today in bankruptcy court. lawyers for Diamond said there are negotiations continuing with 3 MLB teams that do not have current deals with Diamond. those teams are reportedly the Twins, Rangers and Guardians. Diamond has told those teams that they want a "yes or no" answer by Feb 1. Diamond said they are in negotiations with one of those teams on a longer-term deal.

also the hearing scheduled for Friday is postponed again. a lawyer for MLB said that MLB was not informed of the proposed deal between Amazon and Diamond until it was announced in the media. MLB thought they were close to some agreement with Diamond but now MLB has to go over all this new information. (reading between the lines - MLB is not happy....)

the judge noted that the Amazon deal has to meet certain standards under the bankruptcy code in order to be approved, but (as far as I know) did not indicate when he would rule on that matter.

the mess just keeps getting messier.
 


Ope3

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Spring Training Dates Announced. Twins Pitchers & Catchers report on Wednesday, February 14. Full Squad on Sunday, February 18.

 

howeda7

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Spring Training Dates Announced. Twins Pitchers & Catchers report on Wednesday, February 14. Full Squad on Sunday, February 18.

A month away. And the Twins have made one roster move.
 

short ornery norwegian

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A month away. And the Twins have made one roster move.
quite a few of the teams impacted by the Diamond/Bally bankruptcy proceedings are in similar situations.

Yes, the Twins have probably had the least activity, but they're not alone.

according to Bleacher Report - the teams that have done the least to improve this off-season (based on 2023 WAR outputs and 2024 projections) are:

1. LA Angels (they apparently lost some guy who was a decent player)
2. San Diego
3. MN Twins
4. Tampa Bay
5. Texas (World Series champs - no new TV deal yet)
6. Houston
7. Baltimore
8. Milwaukee
9. Seattle
10. Red Sox
 

Breakin' The Plane

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A month away. And the Twins have made one roster move.
I get tightening the purse strings. I'd even understand moving into the season with the rotation as it stands if you had a couple of MLB-ready arms waiting in St. Paul in case one of your starters goes down. But they don't have much, if any rotation depth in the minors, unless someone really takes a leap. Just seems like a recipe for trouble.
 


short ornery norwegian

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I guess I'll beat the dead horse some more.

this TV situation is really having an impact. that's not just coming from me - multiple writers who cover baseball are saying something similar. you have multiple teams that do not know how much revenue they will have this season, because their TV deals are in limbo - or in the case of the Twins, they don't have a TV deal yet.

i know some people have this notion that owners should be willing to lose money, because "they're rich." and that may be true for some owners - but not all owners. nobody ever got rich by losing money.

maybe I'm naive, but I honestly believe that the Twins would have made some moves by now IF the TV situation was settled.

Opening Day is over 2 months away. a lot can happen between now and then. I would not be surprised if there are several deals that take place during Spring Training.
 

howeda7

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I get tightening the purse strings. I'd even understand moving into the season with the rotation as it stands if you had a couple of MLB-ready arms waiting in St. Paul in case one of your starters goes down. But they don't have much, if any rotation depth in the minors, unless someone really takes a leap. Just seems like a recipe for trouble.
They need a starter and a CFer badly. The free agent options for both are slim pickings and a trade is going to get harder every day.
 

howeda7

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I guess I'll beat the dead horse some more.

this TV situation is really having an impact. that's not just coming from me - multiple writers who cover baseball are saying something similar. you have multiple teams that do not know how much revenue they will have this season, because their TV deals are in limbo - or in the case of the Twins, they don't have a TV deal yet.

i know some people have this notion that owners should be willing to lose money, because "they're rich." and that may be true for some owners - but not all owners. nobody ever got rich by losing money.

maybe I'm naive, but I honestly believe that the Twins would have made some moves by now IF the TV situation was settled.

Opening Day is over 2 months away. a lot can happen between now and then. I would not be surprised if there are several deals that take place during Spring Training.
You're not wrong, but it's a cop out. We're talking about the difference between a payroll of $125 million or $140 million. Sure they don't know exactly how much TV $$ they're getting, but the Pohlad's won't go bankrupt if they guess and are off $15 million.

For a team in a division that's there for the taking, being paralyzed to the point of doing nothing over $15-20 million in TV $$ uncertainty is pathetic.
 

TNGophfan

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You're not wrong, but it's a cop out. We're talking about the difference between a payroll of $125 million or $140 million. Sure they don't know exactly how much TV $$ they're getting, but the Pohlad's won't go bankrupt if they guess and are off $15 million.

For a team in a division that's there for the taking, being paralyzed to the point of doing nothing over $15-20 million in TV $$ uncertainty is pathetic.
Ill agree with you if we break spring training with this roster. Don't think that will happen. Patience grasshopper.
 




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