Offseason In Review: Minnesota Twins

Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Twins.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

For about $20MM and Carlos Gomez, Twins GM Bill Smith revamped his middle infield, retained a mid-rotation starter, added an excellent bench bat, and signed a groundballing middle reliever.  On paper, Smith improved his team at a reasonable cost.

In Hardy, Smith traded for two seasons of the offseason's best available shortstop.  Hudson should easily earn his salary, and might be able to top last year's Twins second base offensive output (.209/.302/.267) batting blindfolded.  Pavano's '09 peripherals suggest he deserved an ERA around 4.00 as opposed to his actual 5.10 mark.  Thome should come in handy; he hit .262/.383/.498 against righties last year.

The Twins' rotation looks respectable, with Kevin Slowey and Francisco Liriano likely to provide much more than last year's 227.3 innings of 5.42 ball.  Does the lineup pack enough punch?  CHONE projections suggest the Twins will score 850 runs.  That's optimistic, since injuries are inevitable for all teams.  Still, it's all relative, and the Twins' offense projects as the best in the division.  Thanks to Smith's fine winter, the Twins are my AL Central favorite.


126 Responses to Offseason In Review: Minnesota Twins Leave a Reply

  1. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Adding $20m to your payroll gives any GM the ability to make an offseason look productive…

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Tell that to Dayton Moore or Jim Hendry.

      I agree, in most cases it should, but not always.

      • damnitsderek 5 years ago

        Don’t forget Ed Wade and his $15 million relief pitchers.

      • damnitsderek 5 years ago

        Don’t forget Ed Wade and his $15 million relief pitchers.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Also you can’t forget Brian Sabean.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Also you can’t forget Brian Sabean.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        I just said it gives them the “ability”. I didn’t say they always take advantage of it 😉

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        I just said it gives them the “ability”. I didn’t say they always take advantage of it 😉

      • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

        Don’t forget the Orioles offseason.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          The Orioles will be an improved team in 2010… it’s just that the $33MM they spent won’t improve them enough to make a difference.They added about $24MM for this season and won’t contend anyway.

          Still, earlier in the offseason there was a lot about the Orioles wanting to improve the quality of the product to show future free agents that they’re serious about contending. MacPhail feels that by adding another handful of wins through free agent spending, it will show progress and lure in more free agents.

          I personally don’t like the philosophy, but at least there’s a reasoning behind the logic. Plus, it never hurts to have an arm like Mike Gonzalez on a cheap two-year deal around the trade deadline when teams starved for relievers will overpay. Same principle could apply to Tejada, especially with Josh Bell waiting in the wings.

          Millwood is an expensive piece but offers stability, experience to share with young arms, and should net two draft picks at season’s end if he can be reasonably effective. At the very least, he should be a Type B.

          Garrett Atkins… well… sometimes GMs just make bad moves. :)

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            The Orioles will not be able to spend their way into contention. If they are ever to win something they need to go the way of the Devil Rays. I do emphasise if b/c I don’t feel we’ll see the Orioles win in our lifetimes.

          • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

            Kind of like Tim, I really do dislike the way he went about it though. Why not spend that money on a star like Holliday instead of spare parts that won’t be part of your future? I know you have holes, but the more recognition the better right? Would Teixeira be more inclined to sign if Holliday was signed there long term?

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          The Orioles will be an improved team in 2010… it’s just that the $33MM they spent won’t improve them enough to make a difference.They added about $24MM for this season and won’t contend anyway.

          Still, earlier in the offseason there was a lot about the Orioles wanting to improve the quality of the product to show future free agents that they’re serious about contending. MacPhail feels that by adding another handful of wins through free agent spending, it will show progress and lure in more free agents.

          I personally don’t like the philosophy, but at least there’s a reasoning behind the logic. Plus, it never hurts to have an arm like Mike Gonzalez on a cheap two-year deal around the trade deadline when teams starved for relievers will overpay. Same principle could apply to Tejada, especially with Josh Bell waiting in the wings.

          Millwood is an expensive piece but offers stability, experience to share with young arms, and should net two draft picks at season’s end if he can be reasonably effective. At the very least, he should be a Type B.

          Garrett Atkins… well… sometimes GMs just make bad moves. :)

      • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

        Don’t forget the Orioles offseason.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Tell that to Dayton Moore or Jim Hendry.

      I agree, in most cases it should, but not always.

  2. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Adding $20m to your payroll gives any GM the ability to make an offseason look productive…

  3. Guest 5 years ago

    Denard Span is the best!!!!!!!!!!

    I really like the Twins off-season. I think that it was a lot to give Carl Pavano 7MM though.

    Kevin Slowey really needs to be back to his first half of 2009 form. As for Liriano, hopefully his winter league wasn’t a fluke. That rotation could really really be good!

    Question, doesn’t J.J. Hardy have this season left on his contract?

  4. Guest 5 years ago

    Denard Span is the best!!!!!!!!!!

    I really like the Twins off-season. I think that it was a lot to give Carl Pavano 7MM though.

    Kevin Slowey really needs to be back to his first half of 2009 form. As for Liriano, hopefully his winter league wasn’t a fluke. That rotation could really really be good!

    Question, doesn’t J.J. Hardy have this season left on his contract?

    • Drew 5 years ago

      I think Hardy’s into his arbitration years, but I could be wrong.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Cot’s says that this is his final year but Tim just said it wasn’t.

        • Cot’s say he has 4.164 years of service time, meaning he will fall short of free agency after the 2010 season.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Gotcha Tim. That’s a mistake by Cot’s then because if you look at their 2011 Free Agent list, he is on it.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Gotcha Tim. That’s a mistake by Cot’s then because if you look at their 2011 Free Agent list, he is on it.

        • Cot’s say he has 4.164 years of service time, meaning he will fall short of free agency after the 2010 season.

        • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

          Since Hardy was sent down to the minors for an extended stay last season it delayed his free agency years. So the Twins do control Hardy fo 2 arb years.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Thanks you Fellow MLBTR readers for the answer to my J.J. Hardy question! I feel the Love!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Thanks you Fellow MLBTR readers for the answer to my J.J. Hardy question! I feel the Love!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

          Since Hardy was sent down to the minors for an extended stay last season it delayed his free agency years. So the Twins do control Hardy fo 2 arb years.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Cot’s says that this is his final year but Tim just said it wasn’t.

    • Drew 5 years ago

      I think Hardy’s into his arbitration years, but I could be wrong.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      7mm is a bit much for Pavano, but not a gross over payment. I’m okay with it

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      7mm is a bit much for Pavano, but not a gross over payment. I’m okay with it

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      “I’m angry at you, right now”.

      Did you catch Span in LEN3’s article today? He is an amazing guy. First time I’ve laughed out loud reading the sports page in a while.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        He’s one of the best people in Baseball. What I mean by “people” is that he’s one of the most likeable players and nicest and does a lot for the Twin cities. He won the Twins good guy award last season!

        Spanny being Spanny!

      • Guest 5 years ago

        He’s one of the best people in Baseball. What I mean by “people” is that he’s one of the most likeable players and nicest and does a lot for the Twin cities. He won the Twins good guy award last season!

        Spanny being Spanny!

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      “I’m angry at you, right now”.

      Did you catch Span in LEN3’s article today? He is an amazing guy. First time I’ve laughed out loud reading the sports page in a while.

    • danks50 5 years ago

      Yea I more or less agree, and while many Twins fans are already overrating Orlando Hudson putting more OBP in front of Mauer while improving your infield is never a bad thing especially at the reasonable price of $5 mil. Picking up Hardy could also be a nice move. However shelling out $7 million to a back of the rotation starter with virtually no upside didn’t make much sense to me. Pavano had a horrible season last year and free agency offered better more reliable options (ie Jon Garland) for less money.

      However the offense on paper looks really good, the pitching looks alright, and the bullpen is solid. Besides playing some of the worst major league outfielders in in left & right field the team doesn’t appear to have any serious weak spots and should be pretty good in 2010.

      • justincb 5 years ago

        You think Young/Cuddyer/Kubel are/will be some of the “worst major league outfielders in in (sic) left & right field”? That’s silly.

        • kg15 5 years ago

          I think he is referring to defensively. He would have to be a complete idiot to say that if he were talking overall.

      • justincb 5 years ago

        You think Young/Cuddyer/Kubel are/will be some of the “worst major league outfielders in in (sic) left & right field”? That’s silly.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        It’s far less horrible when viewed in conjunction with a 1.8 BB/9 and 3.96 xFIP.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          Indeed. Pavano’s numbers got noticeably better just by moving to a team with a better infield defense. He induces ground balls at slightly above league average, while limiting walks and registering a reasonable amount of K’s.

          He’s far from an ace, and I’m not in love with the signing due to Pavano’s injury history, but if he can stay healthy (a tall order, even with 199IP last season), he should earn his contract. He allowed 37.1% fly balls, but kept nearly one out of three of those within the infield.

          The reason the Pavano signing could be bad isn’t for his ERA last season, which was largely due to poor defense and some rotten luck, it’s because of his injury history.

          I think Pavano can pitch just fine, especially if he can continue with a reasonable ground ball rate and strike out around 7 per 9 innings (which he did in Minnesota).

          Offering arbitration was a risk worth taking given his peripherals last season.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          Indeed. Pavano’s numbers got noticeably better just by moving to a team with a better infield defense. He induces ground balls at slightly above league average, while limiting walks and registering a reasonable amount of K’s.

          He’s far from an ace, and I’m not in love with the signing due to Pavano’s injury history, but if he can stay healthy (a tall order, even with 199IP last season), he should earn his contract. He allowed 37.1% fly balls, but kept nearly one out of three of those within the infield.

          The reason the Pavano signing could be bad isn’t for his ERA last season, which was largely due to poor defense and some rotten luck, it’s because of his injury history.

          I think Pavano can pitch just fine, especially if he can continue with a reasonable ground ball rate and strike out around 7 per 9 innings (which he did in Minnesota).

          Offering arbitration was a risk worth taking given his peripherals last season.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        It’s far less horrible when viewed in conjunction with a 1.8 BB/9 and 3.96 xFIP.

      • cman 5 years ago

        By danks50
        “Pavano had a horrible season last year and free agency offered better more reliable options (ie Jon Garland) for less money”
        .
        Oh please….. Pavano had a decent year last year. Several of those starts early on in April where bad. But thats to be expected for a guy who hasn’t pitched a complete season since 2004. Those bad starts with the Indians really skued his ERA. At the end of April his ERA was 9.50.
        .
        BUT…. when you consider that 16 of his first 21 starts were “quality,” 3 runs or less, while pitching 6+ innings, he’s definitely not horrible. That fact that he continued to improve statistically throughout the season, up to the end, shows that he’s still a solid middle of the rotation starter.
        .
        I guess you forgot about his 9 inning SHUTOUT of “your” White Sox on June 12. Or how about the 7 inning 2 run performance against the Sox on June 16? Better yet, how about that 7 inning 2 run game he pitched against the Yankees with the Twins during the playoffs? CLEARLY THIS GUY STINKS!
        .
        Its rotten, loudmouth, know-it-all fans like you that give your team a bad name. You should take some time and research, before spouting ignorant statements about a player.
        .
        NEXT!

    • danks50 5 years ago

      Yea I more or less agree, and while many Twins fans are already overrating Orlando Hudson putting more OBP in front of Mauer while improving your infield is never a bad thing especially at the reasonable price of $5 mil. Picking up Hardy could also be a nice move. However shelling out $7 million to a back of the rotation starter with virtually no upside didn’t make much sense to me. Pavano had a horrible season last year and free agency offered better more reliable options (ie Jon Garland) for less money.

      However the offense on paper looks really good, the pitching looks alright, and the bullpen is solid. Besides playing some of the worst major league outfielders in in left & right field the team doesn’t appear to have any serious weak spots and should be pretty good in 2010.

  5. Donskoy 5 years ago

    I believe Hardy’s last arbitration is next year and we agreed on 5.4 million this year

    • rico7961 5 years ago

      Hardy’s a Twin through 2011 (last arb. year). 5.1 million cotract for 2010.

  6. Donskoy 5 years ago

    I believe Hardy’s last arbitration is next year and we agreed on 5.4 million this year

  7. bigpat 5 years ago

    I still think 7M is too much for Pavano. He had one good season in 5 years and he deserves that kind of money? He should be living off low base salary and high incentive contracts for the rest of his career.

    And no matter how sparkling his FIP was it doesn’t hide the fact that he is a hittable pitcher and his ERA will never live up to his FIP.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      It was an arbitration case. That’s a significantly different situation than just going out on the market and spending $7m on the guy. The Twins front office could not accurately know the pricetag in the event Pavano accepted arbitration – and they could have simply done it in the hopes of getting comp when he took a multi-year deal elsewhere.

      • I don’t think you know how arbitration works. Yes he accepted arbitration, but he didn’t go to an arbitration hearing. He accepted a $7 mil deal that the twins offered.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          Yes. Twins gave him that because it was better than risking losing the hearing.

          That still doesn’t mean 1) they wanted him to accept arbitration or 2) they wanted to pay him $7m (obviously a figure somewhere between what he and the club wanted).

          Therefore, point remains: its not like they just went out and signed him for $7m. They pursued him on as a gambit that just happened to cost $7m. Maybe offering arb was a mistake, but saying $7m was a mistake isn’t a fair statement.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            I don’t see why this is being made into such a big deal. There’s no indication the move prevented them from signing another pitcher so who cares what they paid him?

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          Yes. Twins gave him that because it was better than risking losing the hearing.

          That still doesn’t mean 1) they wanted him to accept arbitration or 2) they wanted to pay him $7m (obviously a figure somewhere between what he and the club wanted).

          Therefore, point remains: its not like they just went out and signed him for $7m. They pursued him on as a gambit that just happened to cost $7m. Maybe offering arb was a mistake, but saying $7m was a mistake isn’t a fair statement.

      • I don’t think you know how arbitration works. Yes he accepted arbitration, but he didn’t go to an arbitration hearing. He accepted a $7 mil deal that the twins offered.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      It was an arbitration case. That’s a significantly different situation than just going out on the market and spending $7m on the guy. The Twins front office could not accurately know the pricetag in the event Pavano accepted arbitration – and they could have simply done it in the hopes of getting comp when he took a multi-year deal elsewhere.

  8. bigpat 5 years ago

    I still think 7M is too much for Pavano. He had one good season in 5 years and he deserves that kind of money? He should be living off low base salary and high incentive contracts for the rest of his career.

    And no matter how sparkling his FIP was it doesn’t hide the fact that he is a hittable pitcher and his ERA will never live up to his FIP.

  9. jwsox 5 years ago

    as a whitesox fan i would like to think they are the favorites in the central. but i respect the twins and they have potential to be a very good team, as do the white sox. the whitesox have the pitching and the wins have the offence, if only we could combine the team, ha. I do think this is a 2 team race, with the 3rd being more of hte indians and less of the tigers. But my questions is this..Tim do you think if the whitesox get adrian, hopefully without giving up beckham, that they would be the hands down favorites…with a potential line up of

    Pierre(cf)
    Gordon(2nd)
    Adrian(1st)
    Carlos(RF)
    Konerko(DH)
    AJ(C)
    Rios(CF)
    Teahan(3rd)
    Alexi(ss)

    • Yeah that’s no gonna happen. Twins are the favorite to win the central. They have depth all around and the core of that team is in their hitting prime. You can’t say the same for the Chicago White Sux. If the young twins pitchers can revert back to 2008 form then the central won’t even be close. Anything they get from Liriano is icing on the cake. Imagine if Liriano’s out pitch, his slider, is back to it’s devasting 2007 form. He had cy young stuff that year. I love the twins from top to bottom this year and I think having Mauer for the first month this season will help them get off to a fast start.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        You say all this **** about the White Sox sucking then you mention Liriano had devastating form in 2007, where he didn’t even play all season. I’m not a fan of either team but don’t talk bout the teams unless you know what you’re saying.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        You say all this **** about the White Sox sucking then you mention Liriano had devastating form in 2007, where he didn’t even play all season. I’m not a fan of either team but don’t talk bout the teams unless you know what you’re saying.

      • kg15 5 years ago

        Yeah even being a Twins fan they probably would if they got Gonzalez without giving up beckham. But the odds of getting Gonzalez without Beckham is 0 to none.

    • Yeah that’s no gonna happen. Twins are the favorite to win the central. They have depth all around and the core of that team is in their hitting prime. You can’t say the same for the Chicago White Sux. If the young twins pitchers can revert back to 2008 form then the central won’t even be close. Anything they get from Liriano is icing on the cake. Imagine if Liriano’s out pitch, his slider, is back to it’s devasting 2007 form. He had cy young stuff that year. I love the twins from top to bottom this year and I think having Mauer for the first month this season will help them get off to a fast start.

    • liriano4mvp 5 years ago

      The Twins lineup shatters that of the CWS. The Twins have equivalent SP and the bullpen is hands down better than the Sox. Twins win the division by 10+ games and the White Sox finish no higher than 3rd. Tigers are much better than the Sox and the Indians and Royals are trash and will not be noteworthy.

      • foxtown 5 years ago

        “The Twins have equivalent SP…” LAUGH OUT LOUD. Who’s the equivalent of Buehrle, Peavy, and Danks? Liriano, Slowey and Pavano? In your dreams. The Twins offense may be better but it is under much more pressure to score runs than the WS.

      • foxtown 5 years ago

        “The Twins have equivalent SP…” LAUGH OUT LOUD. Who’s the equivalent of Buehrle, Peavy, and Danks? Liriano, Slowey and Pavano? In your dreams. The Twins offense may be better but it is under much more pressure to score runs than the WS.

        • Lady_A 5 years ago

          Thanks for including our ace in that “top 3″ — really makes your argument valid. Yes, the White Sox have better pitching, but the Twins are not as far off from them as you may think. Slowey is going to surprise some people this year.

          • foxtown 5 years ago

            Thanks for making my point and validating my argument actually. Your “ace” who I’m assuming you think is Baker, posted a 4.36 ERA last season and has a career ERA of 4.27. Not many teams will throw around the word “ace” for those stats. Compare that to Buerhle’s 3.8 career and Peavy’s 3.26. Also see Danks’ 3.77 line last year and Floyd’s 4.06 line. By your estimate, we have 4 “aces” starting for us.

          • liriano4mvp 5 years ago

            I understand that by the numbers the Sox pitchers are better but what the numbers don’t show is that our pitchers are very young. Also we have at least 7 guys that could start which shows our depth in the case of inevitable injuries. Our “Ace” if you could use that term is not existent because we do not have 1 guy that stands out. We have 5 guys that could be #2 or 3 guys in most rotations. Blackburn is one of the most clutch pitchers in the Central, Baker battled through injuries but when healthy is our most consistent pitcher, Slowey was 10-1 last year before getting injured. If those 3 (our top 3 right now) pitch like they should we will have better pitching because we have Carl who we know what we will get out of, and Liriano who if doesnt pan out will be relieved by Brian Duensing (who by the way was nasty at the end of last year.) I like our depth in pitching and our lineup is top 3 in the AL, we have a GREAT bullpen this year, and I’ll take Gardy over Ozzie any day of the week. Have fun sniffing our behinds all year White Sox fans :)

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            I can safely say this is the only time I’ve heard someone make a case for how great their rotation is by stating the rotation is filled w/ 2’s & 3’s (which is generous at that).

          • CrisE 5 years ago

            It makes sense if it means you don’t have to start any #4 or #5 quality guys.

            That sort of thinking makes more sense in the context of the long season where good rotation depth means not giving away games started by terrible pitchers. (Of course, in the post-season you need the #1 quality guys and the back of the rotation isn’t important anymore. Really it has more to do with a team design philosophy than an absolute truth.)

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Which speaks to the point of who cares if you can get there if you can’t win a game. The goal as I understand it should be to win a World Series each season. Anything short of that is a failure. If this rotation of 3’s, 4’s & 5’s goes up against the Yankees again, do we have any reason to believe they fare any better? Not really.

          • cman 5 years ago

            Blah Blah Blah. I’ve heard this argument from White Sox fans over and over and over again. Just because you won the world series in 2005, you think you’re experts on what a successful season is. Even if you make it to the post season and don’t win, doesn’t automatically make it a failure. Come off it. You have to make the playoffs to have a chance at the world series. Its as simple as that.
            .
            As far as stating pitching goes, I do think that the Twins starting staff has several guys that could be #2 & #3 starters on most major league teams. Hello…Kevin Slowey & Scott Baker. Both of these guys battled injuries last season and still managed to have double digit victory totals with respectable ERA’s. Sure they weren’t Mark Buehrle or Gavin Floyd numbers, but they were good. And by the way, do you think Jake Peavy will really stay healthy all season? :)

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Who is “you”? I neither claimed to be a White Sox fan nor did I identify myself as a member of the organisation you refer to. Making it to the World Series and winning should be the goal of each team & I was unaware it had any bearing on the name or location of the franchise.

            I’m not concerned w/ win totals for any pitcher as that is about as useless a representation as there is. If Slowey pitches more than 100 innings this year then we’ll see what he has to show for himself.

            I have no idea whether Peavy or any other player in the league will stay healthy all season. Injuries are fairly unpredictable & can happen to any player at any time.

          • liriano4mvp 5 years ago

            I understand that by the numbers the Sox pitchers are better but what the numbers don’t show is that our pitchers are very young. Also we have at least 7 guys that could start which shows our depth in the case of inevitable injuries. Our “Ace” if you could use that term is not existent because we do not have 1 guy that stands out. We have 5 guys that could be #2 or 3 guys in most rotations. Blackburn is one of the most clutch pitchers in the Central, Baker battled through injuries but when healthy is our most consistent pitcher, Slowey was 10-1 last year before getting injured. If those 3 (our top 3 right now) pitch like they should we will have better pitching because we have Carl who we know what we will get out of, and Liriano who if doesnt pan out will be relieved by Brian Duensing (who by the way was nasty at the end of last year.) I like our depth in pitching and our lineup is top 3 in the AL, we have a GREAT bullpen this year, and I’ll take Gardy over Ozzie any day of the week. Have fun sniffing our behinds all year White Sox fans :)

          • gotts 5 years ago

            I fail to see where ERA is a sole viable stat in evaluating starting pitching.

            Go check out FIP or xFIP, man!!!

          • foxtown 5 years ago

            Thanks for making my point and validating my argument actually. Your “ace” who I’m assuming you think is Baker, posted a 4.36 ERA last season and has a career ERA of 4.27. Not many teams will throw around the word “ace” for those stats. Compare that to Buerhle’s 3.8 career and Peavy’s 3.26. Also see Danks’ 3.77 line last year and Floyd’s 4.06 line. By your estimate, we have 4 “aces” starting for us.

        • Lady_A 5 years ago

          Thanks for including our ace in that “top 3″ — really makes your argument valid. Yes, the White Sox have better pitching, but the Twins are not as far off from them as you may think. Slowey is going to surprise some people this year.

        • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

          I would argue that Baker will be better than all 3 of those (Except maybe Liriano if he comes back to form).

        • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

          I would argue that Baker will be better than all 3 of those (Except maybe Liriano if he comes back to form).

      • danks50 5 years ago

        “The Twins have equivalent SP”

        HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

      • danks50 5 years ago

        “The Twins have equivalent SP”

        HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

      • alxn 5 years ago

        Twins fans need to cool their optimism. You can say that your line-up shatters Chicago’s, but the White Sox have a huge edge in starting pitching.

        Carlos Quentin was out most of last year, Mauer will almost certainly have a drop-off from his unrepeatable MVP season. I see this race being very close.

        • cman 5 years ago

          In comparison to some Twins fans I don’t think we will walk away with the Division. However, I do see the Twins pitching A LOT BETTER this year compared to last season.
          .
          Our bullpen is going to be AWESOME this year and thats not an exaggeration either. We have Neshek back, signed Clay Condrey, Jon Rauch for a full season, Jose Mijares, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and Joe Nathan. That is a stacked pen!
          .
          As to the starting five. These guys are barely beyond rookie level with the exception of Pavano and Baker (our defacto ace @ 28). A full season from Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn (Sox killer), Carl Pavano, and either Duensing or Liriano as the #5 will compete just fine with the Sox on any given day.
          .
          I like the Sox starting five a lot. I do. Maybe not so much a fan of Freddy Garcia, but they are good. However, without a solid bullpen and a weak offense backing them up, these starters won’t have as much to work with. And IT WILL HURT THEM.
          .
          I also think that Sox fans are totally underestimating the Twins starting five. ESPN went on a cruscade in 2009, discrediting the Twins starting five. They didn’t pay attention to the fact that Baker was hurt the first month of the season and Kevin Slowey had season ending wrist surgery after starting 10-2.
          .
          All they focused on was the meltdown of Liriano & Perkins and ignored the emergence of starter Brian Duensing. His 5-2 record down the stretch was impressive and yet he recieved virtually no attention for it.
          .
          ESPN was too focused on discrediting Yankee reject, Carl Pavano.

      • alxn 5 years ago

        Twins fans need to cool their optimism. You can say that your line-up shatters Chicago’s, but the White Sox have a huge edge in starting pitching.

        Carlos Quentin was out most of last year, Mauer will almost certainly have a drop-off from his unrepeatable MVP season. I see this race being very close.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        This comment is so nonsensical it’s almost as if you just began striking arbitrary keys & then hit post.

    • liriano4mvp 5 years ago

      The Twins lineup shatters that of the CWS. The Twins have equivalent SP and the bullpen is hands down better than the Sox. Twins win the division by 10+ games and the White Sox finish no higher than 3rd. Tigers are much better than the Sox and the Indians and Royals are trash and will not be noteworthy.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      This is hilarious.

      “Hey, Tim, if my team goes out and lands the most coveted slugger in the world right now, and we don’t have to give anything up, that would make the hands down favorite, right?”

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      This is hilarious.

      “Hey, Tim, if my team goes out and lands the most coveted slugger in the world right now, and we don’t have to give anything up, that would make the hands down favorite, right?”

      Thanks for the laugh.

  10. jwsox 5 years ago

    as a whitesox fan i would like to think they are the favorites in the central. but i respect the twins and they have potential to be a very good team, as do the white sox. the whitesox have the pitching and the wins have the offence, if only we could combine the team, ha. I do think this is a 2 team race, with the 3rd being more of hte indians and less of the tigers. But my questions is this..Tim do you think if the whitesox get adrian, hopefully without giving up beckham, that they would be the hands down favorites…with a potential line up of

    Pierre(cf)
    Gordon(2nd)
    Adrian(1st)
    Carlos(RF)
    Konerko(DH)
    AJ(C)
    Rios(CF)
    Teahan(3rd)
    Alexi(ss)

  11. The biggest thing that makes this offseason stand out is that they lost virtually NOTHING from the 2009 Twins. Yes Gomez but he was riding the pine for the entire 2nd half of the year. So they added 5 players for 2010 to help out on the major league level without losing anyone already there contributing, ….that….is….good!

    • alxn 5 years ago

      Says more about the quality of players they replaced.

    • alxn 5 years ago

      Says more about the quality of players they replaced.

    • There is a reason they were able to give up “nothing” to get Hardy, and it isn’t Alcides Escobar.

    • There is a reason they were able to give up “nothing” to get Hardy, and it isn’t Alcides Escobar.

  12. The biggest thing that makes this offseason stand out is that they lost virtually NOTHING from the 2009 Twins. Yes Gomez but he was riding the pine for the entire 2nd half of the year. So they added 5 players for 2010 to help out on the major league level without losing anyone already there contributing, ….that….is….good!

  13. Dan_O62 5 years ago

    They didn’t really address that 3rd base issue – although Hudson puts both Punto and Harris over there (and Harris I think could handle the job with decent effect)…

  14. Dan_O62 5 years ago

    They didn’t really address that 3rd base issue – although Hudson puts both Punto and Harris over there (and Harris I think could handle the job with decent effect)…

  15. ultimate913 5 years ago

    I think a trade for Mike Lowell makes sense. That lefty-heavy lineup could use a decent right handed slugger.

  16. ultimate913 5 years ago

    I think a trade for Mike Lowell makes sense. That lefty-heavy lineup could use a decent right handed slugger.

  17. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    If anyone on this staff emerges as the ace, the Twins will take the division. The offense looks potent, and the bullpen is solid, but the rotation has question marks.

  18. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    If anyone on this staff emerges as the ace, the Twins will take the division. The offense looks potent, and the bullpen is solid, but the rotation has question marks.

  19. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Twins quietly had one of the best off-seasons in baseball. I really like everything they did outside of Pavano. Should have let him walk. That said, it was only a slight overpay. Thome and Hudson will both prove out to be great signings. Hardy will revert back to his pre-2009 form.

    Just a good all around off-season. Just because the people they signed weren’t the big names, folks have written them off while gushing about teams like the Mariners.

  20. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Twins quietly had one of the best off-seasons in baseball. I really like everything they did outside of Pavano. Should have let him walk. That said, it was only a slight overpay. Thome and Hudson will both prove out to be great signings. Hardy will revert back to his pre-2009 form.

    Just a good all around off-season. Just because the people they signed weren’t the big names, folks have written them off while gushing about teams like the Mariners.

  21. fenam 5 years ago

    I really hate how people say Mauer’s season is unrepeatable…

    The man had back surgery in the off-season, missed ST and the first month, had to bat in the 2 hole or behind a man in the 2 hole who just wasn’t adequate.

    Alright, he’s moving outside, I’ll give you that. BUT, the kid played outside all his life before now, and only struck out once in high school.

    So, please don’t say unrepeatable. Not likely, okay. But, it just bothers me when people say unrepeatable.

    PS: The whitesox pitching is many times better than the twins. (Establish stability takes the cake every time.) Pavano, Baker, Slowey, Liriano have all been injured and come back from injury worse.

    Twins will win the World Series though.

  22. Ricky Bones 5 years ago

    One key point that hasn’t been mentioned here is the Twins move from the dome into the outdoors. That cannot be discounted as the dome gave a decided edge over their opponents for various reasons, not least of which being their primary competition – the White Sox.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      What kind of difference do you see that making? 0.8 games maybe?

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        Tough to say & only time will tell really. The Twins have crushed the Sox in HHH’s house & I’m certain that if the coin flip a couple years ago went the other way the Twins would have been in the playoffs & not the Sox.

        There were always guys from other teams not familiar w/ the place who would lose a ball in the garbage bag & the ability for the Twins to chop the ball off the concrete & utilise that quickness & small ball style. Now a lot of that changes.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          The roof/baggy (RF) were overrated by the media. In all honesty, in watching every home game since 2001, I’ve only seen either of them come into play all of about 15 times.

          And 6 of them were to the Twins disadvantage. It’s probably effected the final result of 1-2 games in the past decade. Anecdotally of course, but it’s probably not much different than the various unique dimensions of any other field and the frequency they lead to a misplayed ball.

          The chop-hitting-factor of the concrete will certainly make Punto worse… but like twins33 points out below, there’s not anyone else in the current lineup who has the statistics to back up the notion that an outdoor field will be a big detriment.

          • twins33 5 years ago

            Yep, roof thing was definitely overrated. I only remember two opposing players being messed up by the roof last year. One was a Pirate and the other was a Tiger. The Pirates don’t play here much so that was understandable and I think the Tiger guy was a rookie or fairly new to the league. If Delmon Young was telling the truth, he said he had problems with the roof every day. So it was just as much of a disadvantage for us too. Young is a terrible fielder, hopefully part of that can be explained by him not being able to see the ball off the bat.

            And I agree about the chop. Punto is likely the only one to suffer, maybe Casilla, but he’s not going to be a starter. Since the new turf came in, I can safely say that the Twins only did the chop thing a lot one year out of six. The main guy to do it was Luis Castillo.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Right. The “Piran-yas” of 2006 may have utilized bunting and chop hitting, thereby giving the team a reputation for it, but there’s simply not any of those on the starting roster anymore outside Punto.

            Heck, and it’s not even a sure thing Punto is a starter this year, he may be relegated to his rightful utility role again.

            And even if the small ball factor was at play… isn’t grass more conducive to bunting, since it slows the balls and keeps it from getting to the pitcher or CI too quickly?

          • twins33 5 years ago

            I would assume so, yes. And Punto couldn’t really even bunt last year. That 2006 team made it look like that’s what the Twins did all the time to win, but they really don’t and haven’t. The new turf didn’t bounce at all like the old turf did. Not even close, but that’s the how people portray the Twins. “They only win because of the Dome.” Which, for the hitters at least, really isn’t true. We’ll see for the pitchers, hopefully they are just more comfortable playing at home, which is probably true for most pitchers/players.

  23. lefty58 5 years ago

    The Twins should win this division based on a consistent team defense and steady offense with a very solid pen, the starting pitching will be fine if it avoids injury. The primary competition of the the White Sox may have a strong starting staff but has nothing in the pen other than Thornton, Jenks is in rapid decline and Putz is a joke. The real problem is the lineup has no one that will take a walk or looks at many pitches, giving apposing starters extra innings against them. And no team in the majors is worse defensively, starting with Pierre and Quentin (Herman Munster on roids) in the outfield, they may kill a very good (defensively) Rios in center and moving to the worst infield in the majors, Teahen, AJ, Ramirez and Gordon is as bad as it gets.
    If the Twins stay healthy, it should be an easy division title in 2010.

  24. twins33 5 years ago

    I don’t really get when people say that the Twins will be way worse outdoors. I checked the career stats on all the hitters and most play the same inside vs. outside and some actually play better outdoors. Cuddyer and Punto are the only Twins hitters who play much worse outside. Span and Harris play slightly better indoors. Morneau and Young play better outside. The rest of the hitters play the same either way. If the pattern continues Morneau/Young should easily cancel out Cuddyer/Punto, probably even better than just cancelling them out.

    I don’t think the hitters are going to be a concern at all in the switch. It’s the pitchers that are going to have to worry. The Twins pitchers play much better in the Dome. I guess we’ll find out if that becomes “they just play better at home Dome or not” which wouldn’t be surprising, but rather normal or if the indoor factor really helped them.

    The only advantage the Twins really had was the roof sometimes, most teams weren’t affected by it. I’d say over the years, the Twins have been messed up by the roof just as often as the opposing team. It doesn’t happen very often either way. The new turf was still kind of hard but it wasn’t concrete like the old turf. It had more true hops, but I don’t see it being that big of an advantage. Old turf, yeah. And then the noise factor, but I don’t see that being as big of a deal in baseball. It energizes our team, but I don’t really see how it could hurt the other team. It’s not like they’re yelling plays to each other like football.

  25. disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

    How about the Twins making a deal with Boston for Lowell to play 3rd. He says he feels great and the Red Sox would eat a good chunk of the contract. Minnesota would then have one of the best defensive infields in the A.L.

    • cman 5 years ago

      I’d make the deal if Punto was going to Boston to be their utility infielder.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I’ve heard this brought up before. I go back and forth with it. I’d certainly like his bat in the lineup and his defense has been good. I worry that he’ll be injured for another 50 games. Even if he isn’t, he’s slow. If he gets on base, he might be clogging them. The Twins need to get faster, not slower. This is already the slowest Twins team that I can think of as far as recent memory goes.

      I see the biggest reason for the Twins not going after him is because he’s kind of a Crede type with the injuries. There is no guarantee that he’ll play more than 100-115 games. The reason they give for not wanting to re-sign Crede is because they think that will be like playing with a 24 man roster rather than a 25. There’s the nagging injuries that take you out 3-4 times a week because of age and then the injuries that take you out for awhile.

      I don’t see the Twins wanting to do that since it already feels like they have a strapped bench. Thome/backup catcher/Punto or Harris/Casilla. At least that’s the way it looks right now. The Twins would have to send someone the other way. And it likely wouldn’t be the guys who should/could go. I really don’t want to get rid of Casilla, because of his age, though he’s greatly disappointed me nearly his entire time in the big leagues. I’m still hoping there’s something in him, probably being too optomistic though. And I don’t see Punto or Tolbert going. I don’t think the Sox will just give him away, they’ll pay most of his contract but I’m sure they don’t want crap in return.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but there are several concerns.

      • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

        If your worried about the Twins team speed, wait for the first time you see Jim Thome chugging around second, digging for third.
        You won’t know if you should laugh or cry.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          I know, that’s one reason why getting Lowell would hurt. He’d just be another old, slow guy. I’m hoping Thome is faster than Frank Thomas. Thomas has to be the slowest guy I’ve ever seen. I have seen Thome run, but only in games against us. He was slow, but I don’t remember him being Thomas slow. Thomas always looked like he had two pianos strapped to his back.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          I know, that’s one reason why getting Lowell would hurt. He’d just be another old, slow guy. I’m hoping Thome is faster than Frank Thomas. Thomas has to be the slowest guy I’ve ever seen. I have seen Thome run, but only in games against us. He was slow, but I don’t remember him being Thomas slow. Thomas always looked like he had two pianos strapped to his back.

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