Twins Looking To Add Three Starting Pitchers

The Twins wrapped up their organizational meetings late last week, and Phil Mackey of has the highlights. Mackey writes that the Twins' front office officials are embarrassed by the past two seasons, and that the majority of the team's offseason budget will be spent on starting pitching.

Mackey goes on to say that while the Twins' goal is to add three starters to what was a dreadful rotation in 2012, the team hasn't necessarily ruled out pursuing top arms like Zack Greinke. It's more likely that they'll pursue a handful of solid starters that can be counted on for quality starts and to spare the bullpen, however.

Of players on the current roster, only Scott Diamond will be penciled in for a rotation spot in 2013. The Twins are hopeful that Nick Blackburn will rediscover himself to provide some form of value next season, but his $5.5MM salary won't guarantee that he earns a chance. Blackburn was removed from the 40-man roster earlier this season.

In addition to free agency, trades will very much be in play for general manager Terry Ryan. Mackey writes that no one, aside from Joe Mauer (who has a full no-trade clause), will be off limits on the trade market.

The Twins also aren't convinced that Trevor Plouffe, who cracked 24 homers in 2012, is the answer at third base, but it sounds like that situation has taken a backseat to improving the rotation.

Only the Rockies had a worse collective ERA than the 5.40 mark posted by Twins' starters this season. According to Fangraphs, the Twins' rotation was worth a meager 3.1 wins above replacement — easily the worst mark in all of baseball. Diamond was the team's lone bright spot, as the 25-year-old broke out with a 3.54 ERA in 173 innings.

In addition to Greinke, the free agent market includes names like Anibal Sanchez, Brandon McCarthy, Shaun Marcum and Ryan Dempster. Jake Peavy and Dan Haren are also expected to become free agents after their options are declined. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently featured the Twins in his Offseason Outlook series.

87 Responses to Twins Looking To Add Three Starting Pitchers Leave a Reply

  1. tomymogo 3 years ago

    Twins and Braves should matchup and make a trade. Something like Randall Delgado, Tommy Hanson, and Nick Amhed for Josh Willingham and Ben Revere.

    Twins could sign a LF this offseason, and also get an affordable starter and be set for next year. Braves could add a cheap starter to provide some depth in case Teheran struggles again, put Ben Revere in CF and in the leadoff spot, and use Willingham in LF and the cleanup spot, move Prado to 3B.

    CF Ben Revere
    3B Martin Prado
    RF Jason Heyward
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Freddie Freeman
    2B Dan Uggla
    C Brian McCann
    SS Andrealton Simmons

    • Francesco 3 years ago

      That is terrible for the twins …there not gonna be able to replace Willinghams production

    • FS54 3 years ago

      you get two everyday players and twins end up with one sort-of prospect with high BB/9, one starter in decline, and another minor leaguer far from majors?

      • ian 3 years ago

        Yeah, doesn’t make sense for the Twins. I think the Twins would be better off working with the Reds, who could use a leadoff hitter and have some depth. Span would look good in Cincy. Newman at fangraphs suggested a Span for Didi/Cingrani deal.

    • Leo 3 years ago

      yeah, that would be a bad move for the Twins. They have Willingham for $7 million a year through 2014. They’re going to need something more enticing than Randall Delgado and Tommy Hanson.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        If I would have said Julio Teheran, who actually is Braves top rated prospect, you probably would have looked at his numbers and said no way. His numbers are mis-leading.

        Edward Salcedo, though he is far from the majors, Evan Gattis, Zeke Spruill, Todd Cunningham, Nick Amhed, Matt Lipka are others. Pick four, just not Teheran and Delgado both. Hanson is the only guy on the MLB roster who I would trade. Unfortunately can’t be objective, obviously a Braves fan

        • Leo 3 years ago

          Regarding you saying Julio Teheran – that’s not what I would have thought or done.

          • tomymogo 3 years ago

            Normally that’s the reaction around this blogs

    • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

      Thinking more like a SP straight up for Revere…

      • Sky14 3 years ago

        Thinking more like a starting pitcher straight up for span…

        • mypoorbuccos 3 years ago

          Minor for Span straight up. Who hangs up first?

          • Sky14 3 years ago

            I think both teams would have to seriously consider that deal…Twins need pitching badly and need to get rid of an OF while Minor wouldn’t be a significant loss to the Braves and would give them a solid CF/leadoff hitter.

          • ian 3 years ago

            I think both sides would probably listen to that. Braves might have to throw in a C+ prospect in the rookie league but it’s a pretty realistic idea.

    • Tempting. Really hoping the Braves get either Ben Revere or Dexter Fowler from Colorado… both are hometown boys and always wanted to play for Atlanta.

  2. Francesco 3 years ago

    Sign Greinke Chris Young and trade for Mark Buehrle (Marlins eat a good amount of his salary)

    • CrisE 3 years ago

      If I were Terry Ryan I’d take a flyer on Buerhle. What do you suppose they’d want?

    • tonyjar0502 3 years ago

      I think that with the money we have available they should sign Grienke. After that rely on in house options. Bring back Baker on an incentive deal for your #2 and have Diamond for 3. After that you have to give Gibson and Hendricks a shot. Gibson is lights out in the AFL right now and Hendricks needs more of a chance. The dude is young yet. You can save your trade pieces in case something happens during the season and use any other free money on the bullpen.

      • I have been stating this for weeks now. Sign Greinke, give Baker an incentive based deal. As you said, Daimond #3, Gibson, Walters and Hendricks fight for the last two spots. Cut ties with Blackburn. Enough already. The bullpen is in decent shape. We need a second baseman or shortstop more than bullpen guys.

  3. KoenWerkman 3 years ago

    Edwin Jackson?

    • Spencer James 3 years ago

      He may be too expensive for the Twins with boras as his agent. He didn’t have a terrible year in Washington and is probably looking to cash in on a 3-5 year deal.

  4. rrbass27 3 years ago

    Why would Mauer and his contract be off limits? Nobody is untouchable except cost controlled talent.

    • $1529282 3 years ago

      “…aside from Joe Mauer (who has a full no-trade clause)…”

      There’s also the fact that he got on base more than anyone in baseball last season and came close to a fourth batting title…

      • rrbass27 3 years ago

        A: I can read. So what if he has a no trade clause , they are waived all the time.
        B: Show me where I said Mauer Sucked?
        C: It might make sense to move one player to fill a lot of needs.
        I’m Not advocating that the Twins trade Mauer just stating that all options should be looked at.
        The Pohlads could open up their Wallets as well. The spendthrift crap has to end sometime when the owners are multi bilionairs.
        Again Not advocating but they’d be crazy not to listen.
        Save the Snark for somebody else.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          mauer is good but an injury risk and can no longer play the position he’s most valuable at because of his legs.

          mauer is untouchable because they would have to eat a large portion of his contract. sad but true. his hair is perfect though

          • Bob De Bob 3 years ago

            There is also the fact that Twin’s fans would likely riot if you take the “local” boy away from the team

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            as opposed to just general losing? okay

          • TBRays3 3 years ago

            and why would mauer waive his NTC when he is a hometown hero?

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            umm, to win.I dunno. what kind of question is that

          • TBRays3 3 years ago

            theres still what 6 5 years on his contract? the twins arent bad the pitchers they had this season just fell apart from injuries i.e. Baker and Pavano. I feel like they can still win in his contract

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 3 years ago

            Mauer is as tradable as A-Rod.

          • True, This time next year, A-Rod could be the World Series hero for the Dodgers.

          • “can no longer play the position he’s most valuable at because of his legs.”
            Uh…since when. Mauer played over 100 games last season as catcher. Thats hardly a sign that he no longer has the legs. He was in fact completely healthy last season. I love internet yoyos that look like complete buffoons stating things they know nothign about.

        • Mudhens 3 years ago

          Spendthrift means to spend money in an extravagant way. Definitely a confusing word.
          If I were the Twins I would seriously consider trading Mauer if they cannot acquire some decent pitching this off-season. But who would be willing/able to take on that contract?

          • vtadave 3 years ago

            “Ned Colletti on line one….”

      • slasher016 3 years ago

        Other than Joey Votto of course.

  5. daveineg 3 years ago

    When you have to chase after that many starting pitchers, you are in a world of hurt. A team like the Twins has to develop their own for the most part. I can see them spending a lot and not getting their money’s worth. That’s not the kind of model that ends up winning.

    • slidingintobase 3 years ago

      they consistently develop their own talent. looks like the Twins simply want to patch things up and be more respectable until that talent comes along.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Sure they develop their own pitching…they just don’t do it very well.

        • Jim Wade 3 years ago

          Twins were renowned for their pitching prospects over the past decade. It was always their offense that sucked. Now it’s gone in reverse but they still have good prospects. They have just been getting hit by injuries like Kyle Gibson and his TJ.

        • ian 3 years ago

          They did pretty good. They got some good years out of a lot of mediocre type pitchers (Silva, Lohse, Mays, Milton, Slowey, Blackburn all had more 2+ bWAR seasons with the Twins than super Yanks prospect Phil Hughes) and some really good years from guys like Santana and Radke. Considering where they were drafting and budget constraints, they did pretty good.

          • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

            You sound like you’re still bitter about taking the Mets package rather than the Yanks’ one for Santana if your standard for prospect success is Phil Hughes.

          • ian 3 years ago

            No, I didn’t even think about it until your post (Most Twins fans understood the inevitability of the Santana trade and were happy that he didn’t help NY or Bos win a WS. The Garza deal and the Ramos deal bother most Twins fans a lot more). I picked Hughes because he was the top 10 flamethrowing pitching prospect the Twins don’t have many of and was taken by the Yanks after the Twins took Perkins. It was an attempt to show that the Twins type pitchers (control, no walk guys) can be successful without spending millions in free agency or having highly touted pitching prospects.

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 3 years ago

            Hughes pitches at Yankees Stadium.

          • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

            I respect what you said. And nothing wrong with control pitchers.

            But I do have issue with one thing, the flamethrower part, because the only time Hughes was a flamethrower was in ’09, when he was used out of the bullpen. Other than that, I don’t think anyone would characterize him as a Strasburg or a Chapman. If anything, the scouting report on Hughes was that his fastball had no movement at all, and was easily hittable.

    • $21621694 3 years ago

      This is so true. It’s like saying the Cubs are looking for a Catcher, a 2B, a solid OF, a First Basement…. ohhh and 2 starting pitchers. Might as well rebuild and do it well than go on crazy spending rampages that never end well (marlins, dodgers, angels)

    • $1529282 3 years ago

      Agreed for the most part, but they’re also not talking about throwing five-year deals at a lot of guys. I’d imagine they’re looking at names like Marcum, who will probably only require two years.

      Terry Ryan said on the radio today the pitchers will likely come through a combination of free agency and trades. In other words, Span gets dealt for a pitcher and a prospect, and they give out a pair of two-year deals to Marcum and Blanton or something.

      That line of attack would improve the team without really hamstringing it long-term.

  6. craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

    Hmmm…Span or Revere for a Braves pitcher?

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Willingham could also be in play. Not in the same deal, but either/or. Revere is locked up for the future and good defense, but no power (low SLG) and not a great OBP though he had a good AVG. Span is all of those with better defense, but is controlled through 2015 (including option).

      I’d prefer Span, but the CF is deep with better options at cheaper prices could be available. MIN’s SP is terrible and anyone they get from ATL (Delgado, Teheran, etc.) would be an upgrade to almost anyone in the rotation.

  7. HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

    Oh hey, Twins, RA Dickey only makes $5mil next year…..whacha got in the OF/C department?

    • Jim Wade 3 years ago

      No thanks. We tried the RA Dickey experiment before you. He works better in the NL.

    • Revere, Span, Willingham and Sano for Dickey and Wright.

      • Snark David Chapman 3 years ago

        Oh, thank God you’re joking. If you had been serious…

        …wait, you weren’t being serious, were you?

  8. Spencer James 3 years ago

    The Yanks could use some more speed on the bases. Not sure if pitchers like Hughes/Nova would be enough to get a deal dome for Span or Revere . Perhaps the starting point In a conversation though

    • LukeNalooshe 3 years ago

      Willingham for Nova + Betances?

      • Spencer James 3 years ago

        Dont know if the twins could replace willimghams affordaility and production with the free agent market.

        Otherwise I’d take that trade if I were Cashman. Hopefully span or revere would be attainable as well

    • Kaleb Smith 3 years ago

      The Yankees need SP so I don’t see them dealing Nova or Hughes for an OF LOL….btw any news on CC’s elbow yet?

      • Spencer James 3 years ago

        Id say their SP is a little more expendable then one might think. Again it was their historically anemic offense that was too one dimensional and failed them

        With Swish virtually out the door they could open up the checkbook for a pitcher.

        As for CC the elbow exam was considered routine.

  9. Kaleb Smith 3 years ago

    Revere probably isn’t going to bring a ML ready SP….Plus they aren’t going to trade both him and Willingham..I look for something like a Zeke Spruill or J.R. Graham with Billy Bullock from Atlanta for Revere..You get a SP that should be ready in mid season or 2014 at latest and a bullpen guy that has closer stuff for Revere who is going to be your 4th of very soon with Buxton and Hicks possibly in the OF as soon as 2014

    • $1742854 3 years ago

      The Twins already lifted Diamond from the Braves FOR Bullock. Why would they want him back, especially with his atrocious BB/9?

      • Kaleb Smith 3 years ago

        You’re right they did send Bullock to Atl…Just think Revere will draw something similar to that…maybe Spruill and JR Graham….I just don’t think they will get an established starting pitcher for just Revere

  10. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Terry Ryan, 404-522-7630. Ask for Frank Wren.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

      Ahhh, so that’s what you look like.
      As for me I would freak out if the International Man of Mystery was spotted.
      Seriously, though poor Frank Wren, he probable answers his own phone.
      Also, at least the Twins had 3 CG in 2012. The Orioles had only one. Not Good!
      The funny part is Hammel had a CG against your Braves! =P

      • rundmc1981 3 years ago

        I don’t know how to respond to this because I don’t have a clue of what you’re saying. I cheered for BAL as they had a great run and wish continued success. Can’t wait to see what Bundy will do in 2013. MIN would get a great deal and they look to be similar teams and good trade partners, at least on the surface. MIN has some big questions to answer, like the long-term commitment to Morneau, and whether to sell high on Willingham despite a great contract for a lot of power. Thing is, they need a lot of pitching. When you’re considering Blackburn at $5.5 million when he was cut from your 40-man roster last year, that’s a serious need to fill. I’m not too keen on their farm system and don’t know what they have in the pipeline, but ATL needs a CF with many available. I don’t think we’ll re-sign Bourn and Span/Revere seems like a great trade-off, especially when Wren has been quoted as saying that we’ll be looking to fill our organizational holes via trade, though we have the most money available of any off-season since Liberty Media became the Braves owner.

        • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
          Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

          Ha, sorry I was vague. I blogged on MASN today saying the Orioles were amongst the lowest in the league in CG’s and I was trying to say the Twins were at least better than that. It just didn’t translate that way here.

        • burnboll 3 years ago

          I’m sorry but you actually will have to wait until next year to see What Bundy can do.

  11. Otis26 3 years ago

    Say…we normally don’t like to trade within the division, but the Royals can offer you a former #1 overall draft pick in Luke Hochevar. In exchange we want….nothing.

    • CrisE 3 years ago

      Everyone SAYS they don’t want anything, but they’re almost always just being polite. Here, take the Blackburn. I’ll wrap it for you. He’s a nice boy and he once had a fantastic sinker. He grows a handsome beard. Look, I’ve already put him in the back seat. Go on, you’ll thank me later.

      • And later could be when Blackburn has a no-hitter for the Royals against the Twins.

  12. Francesco 3 years ago

    Josh Willingham ans Ben Revere to Mets for Niese and minor league OF?

  13. Francesco 3 years ago

    Morneau to Red Soxs for Bucholz and Ciriaco

  14. Francesco 3 years ago

    Sign Ryan Dempster and Chris Young.. then sign Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli..

  15. slider32 3 years ago

    I can see the Yanks signing Ichiro to take Swishers spot next year. I don’t think they will trade for an outfielder.

  16. El Roacho 3 years ago

    Before we all get excited about the endless possibilities, consider the payroll situation. According to they have $64 committed to 2013 payroll. Add roughly, another $10MM to arbitration eligible players, that leaves them with roughly $25MM to spend in the market, assuming they hold the payroll around $100MM. There is no way that $25MM gets them Grienke and two other slots, plus any bullpen arms they want to bring in. They also will need to make a decision on Morneau. The best bets are a make good contract from Baker, and maybe two F/A’s that sign a one or two year deal. That’s it. Even going after mid-range guys like Blanton & Marcum will still cost $6MM a year at a minimum to sign. The money isn’t there.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      I think the best decision the Twins could make would be to significantly increase their payroll. They won’t, but that would be the best course of action to get a better team.

    • Take a look at those numbers again. That $64 mill committed, shrinks to $42 in 2014 assuming no changes other than Morneau and Blackburn coming off the books.
      Arbitration list:
      Butera, Duensing, Burton and Casilla
      Of that list two players are likely to be non tendered. Most likely Casilla and Butera. SO the Twins have more than $25M to spend. More like 30 million if they go all in and grab Greinke, Marcum and possibly a 2nd baseman. I don’t think they will, but they have PLENTY of money to grab two decent starters and a 2nd baseman.

      • El Roacho 3 years ago

        You can’t forecast that far ahead though, CL. We’re talking about 2013 and the actual payroll number. Ryan has already said he doesn’t think they need to spend more than $100MM. I believe they opened the year at $99MM and ended the year at $94MM. So you are making the assumption that Ryan will actually ADD to that number and get it back up to $100MM for 2013. I don’t believe they will. Additionally, even if they did, the flexibility for 2014 is irrelevant because there is no way the Twins would commit 40% of their payroll to two players every year. Thus, they are not really a contender for a guy like Grienke or Haren. They MIGHT be a contender for ONE guy like Marcum, Blanton, McCarthy, etc, along with Baker. Baker will still cost $6MM on a make good deal and Marcum or Blanton will command a minimum of $8MM. We’re also assuming those guys, outside of Baker, will settle for a prove it contract of 1 or 2 years. Plus they still have some upgrade some INF spots and add at least two arms in the bullpen. $20-$25MM doesn’t go nearly as far as you think it does.

  17. Stoibs 3 years ago

    If Haren’s option is declined, then the Twins should go after him first. If they can get a 3/36 or4/45 then they would have that #1 or #2 guy. I would go with McCarthy for the second guy. He’s looking at maybe 1/4. Finally, see if Baker can get healthy and sign him to a small deal. That’s well below the money they have available in the off season. To be safe just sign someone like Colon or Wang for depth.

  18. burnboll 3 years ago

    Twins need to shop Mauer regardless. He may accept a trade if he realizes that twins wants him gone.
    He’s got no power and cannot catch full time. A waste. Eat 4-5 nil on the contract.

  19. Nelson 3 years ago

    How embarrassed can this organization really be when it kept essentially its entire coaching staff–the same one responsible for a dreadful 195 losses over the past two seasons??? And “solid starting pitchers” in Twins terms simply means re-signing Scott Baker and Carl Pavano and re-rostering Nick Blackburn. Who is it that thinks Terry “The Cowardly Lion” Ryan is a great GM??? He’s missed the playoffs three of his past four years as a GM. What a penny-pinching farce.

    • He did his job to an acceptable level during the “dark ages” mid 90’s, but he has a long history of boched trades and failed free agent signings. He is definitely cheap.

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