With Jackie Bradley Jr. now headed to the Brewers, right-hander Jake Odorizzi is the clear top free agent left on the board. Oftentimes, when a player’s market drags to this extent, there’s continued speculation about a return to his prior team. There’s been some of that with regard to Odorizzi and the Twins, but president of baseball operations Derek Falvey all but ruled out the possibility in an appearance on MLB Now with Brian Kenney yesterday (video link).
“We look at our team as primarily put together here,” Falvey candidly replied when asked about a reunion with Odorizzi. “We know Jake contributed exceptionally well for us over the last few seasons, and certainly we wish him well. For us, our focus is on the players who are internally in camp at this point. We feel really good about the pitching we have already.”
Odorizzi has spent the past three seasons in Minnesota and had previously expressed interest in extending that stay, but he set out into free agency seeking a lucrative multi-year deal this winter at a time when the Twins have been focused on short-term additions. Minnesota has brokered one-year deals with Nelson Cruz ($13MM), Andrelton Simmons ($10.5MM), J.A. Happ ($8MM), Alex Colome ($6.25MM), Matt Shoemaker ($2MM) and Hansel Robles ($2MM) over the course of the winter. That series of moves has pushed the payroll to about $129MM — a number that could further rise by as much as $10MM as Kenta Maeda reaches his annual incentives for games started and innings pitched.
With Odorizzi seemingly out of the picture, the Twins will field a rotation of Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Happ and Shoemaker. Randy Dobnak is on hand as a sixth starter or possible long man, and other in-house options to start games include lefties Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe. Prospects Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran could both be ready for a look later in the 2021 season, and the Twins have some non-roster arms with big league experience in camp as well (e.g. Andrew Albers, Glenn Sparkman).
As for Odorizzi, the uncertain outlook on his market continues. Earlier this week, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman suggested the right-hander is content to wait for the right offer to arise rather than to substantially drop his asking price. It’s possible that injuries in camp will open some opportunities. The Astros are suddenly facing a very lengthy absence for Framber Valdez, for instance, and other clubs figure to encounter similar setbacks in their rotation as the spring schedule ramps up.
Would love to see him in Boston, solid pitcher who wont be asked to be an ‘ace’ to a pitching staff that needs the help
I’m sure Cole Hamels would do GREAT in Boston. Sign him now! Boston!
You are really bad at pretending you are not Cole Hamels’ agent.
If Cole Hamel’s agent is spending time in MLBTR’s comment section, it explains why he isn’t signed yet.
I like this idea. We were still in on JBJ. Might as well grab Odorizzi who I think is more of a need to the Sox than JBJ.
Nah, Martin Perez is the solution. Trust.
It looks like Odorizzi never missed a start in his career but can’t/doesn’t go more than 5 innings.
Nobody goes more than 5 innings with the 40 yr old virgin nerd analtytics guys in charge.
He’s an odd pitcher. He throws high heat that averages about 92 mph but doesn’t give up that many home runs. He looks great for the first few innings but fades badly around the 4th inning. I suspect he’s leery of the pandemic and that contributes to his not wanting to sign except for his price. He’s better than a #5 pitcher..
Odorizzi has started 94 games over the past four seasons and is very barely over an average of 5 innings per start. On a team that wants to contend for a WS title he should be no better than a number 5 starter.
Dakota Joe- Odorizzi Started 182 games from 2014-2019 that’s 30 starts a year with 991.2 innings and averaged 5.45 innings per start. If you want to count last year, go ahead. I’m not counting last year as he threw 13 innings in 4 starts in a short season. 2014-2019 gives the best picture.
You proved a point on him that I wrote yesterday……
“He was consistent for Tampa Bay working with a quality D and being spotted well from 2014-16. In 2017 at age 27 with his salary going up his production went down. TB pulled the cord and Jake went to Minnesota.
His 2018 season was similar to 2017. In 2019 he bounced back some, but at age 30 in 2020 with the short season and pandemic he had physical problems and only threw 14 innings.
This is not the sort of record that a professional front office is going to jump into – with a multi-year contract for a player on the wrong side of 30 asking for more guaranteed money then he ever made.
As I wrote above I think numerous teams have interest. But they don’t want to be stuck with 3 years for a profile like this. Most teams have youngsters that have a chance to be a #4-5 starter for not only far less money, but given a chance to get into the rotation might work themselves up to be a TOR guy for years….at far less money.”
Good stuff Samuel. Odorizzi might have to come down on his asking price. But I honestly don’t know what he is asking.
Yeah another words your not coming back to Minnesota
yank – “another words”
Did you mean “in other words”?
And did you mean “you’re” instead of “your”?
Chill y’all, this is ablism.
@prov356- yeah in other words, who cares? Lol
@baseballpun- you’re taking all of the phun of this. Are u happy now? So please just stick with the pun’s please.
yank – I’m just trying to help you sound smarter, but it’s your choice.
Welcome to National Grammar Day.
Odorizzi to the Astros with Valdez out now.
Nah Stros need to sign Cole Hamels cause he’s cheaper.
Is Odorizzi really the type of ballplayer any team wants to go over the luxury tax limit for? mid rotation starter, coming off bad season + wanting to get paid it seems like a front line starter?
Houston may be short a starter right now (2 actually), but they play in a division barely better than the AL central and it’s still winnable with what they have until he returns and without going over into the penalties. salary caps/when to go over/reset etc has become more important than it used to be. signing journeyman players, like odorozzi to do so would be borderline malpractice.
I don’t think he is wanting to get paid like a front line starter. He isn’t asking for $150+ mil. He is wanting to get paid like a 3, when teams think he is actually a 4 or 5. If he would take the Taijuan Walker style contract, he would be signed, but he wants more years, when teams just wont give that right now.
If I was the gm for the Pirates I would’ve signed him. Sign him and have him play for us and then trade him for prospects at the deadline. Maybe I hold on to him till the end of the season so I can trade him at Max Value but that’s only if I sign him to a 3-year deal. But I would only do this if Cole Hamels had not gotten signed at this point then I would sign him instead.
Given your comment, sure the Pirates are very happy that your not their GM!
Not everyone is “traceable” at the deadline and given what you pay, vs what you receive in return given your logic that could have been very easily a totally sideways deal! Further, given his recent 2 year performance, his “maxvalue’ may very well be extremely disappointing again as far as what you would receive vs what you would have to pay him for his performance.
Based on this offseason, I’d say there was exactly one player teams were willing to go over the tax threshold for.
I also wouldn’t say Odorizzi wants to be paid like a front-line starter. If he’s been looking at $13-15MM annually over three years, he’s basically looking to be paid like a No. 3-4 starter. It’s just not a good offseason to be that type of player.
Sorry, Adams, I am clearly the quicker Steve!
That’s what your wife says!
lol f’n gotem
Not so sure about AL West being better than AL Central.
Ducky Buckin Fent
That depends, @johnsilver –
Are you trying to win ballgames or some award for low payroll? Odorizzi raises the floor of pretty much any rotation in MLB.
Depends on what your team’s priorities are.
The AL Central is better than the AL West. The Twins won 101 games in 2019 and have a better team now than they did then. The White Sox and Clevelanders both made the playoffs last year and are poised to challenge for the division. Even the Royals and Tigers are improving. The AL West has the A’s, the dessicated corpse that was the Astros, an Angels team that evidently doesn’t know that you need actual quality starters, a Rangers team that did a mini-rebuild this offseason, and the Mariners.
The NL Central is the worst division by far. Then AL West, AL Central, NL West, AL East, NL East.
I would take nL west over AL east
Ducky Buckin Fent
At the top?
Hands down NL West > AL East.
But if we’re using the entire division then it’s AL East > NL West.
That’s how I see it anyway.
Yes Odorizzi is exactly the player you go over the tax line for. He is a very solid #3 pitcher that will get a salary in the $15 million aav range. If a contender isn’t willing to pay $3 million in taxes for a very solid #3 pitcher then they don’t want to see their team in the World Series. You need 3 solid TOR capable pitchers to win in the playoffs. Every contender sans the Dodgers is a solid starter away from becoming World Series favorites. The Yankees could join them if Severino returns later this season healthy and Kluber can still be at least a decent #2. Cashman should sign Odorizzi simply for the fact Boone’s teams always seem to have trouble keeping starters healthy. If Severino comes back pitching like his sophomore year and Kluber never finds his groove again the Yankees have little chance of the playoffs.
Ducky Buckin Fent
I’ve been texting this same thing – more or less – to Hal for months. He blocked me. Your turn.
Twins need to sign Coke Hamels.
Is that Cole’s brother that has an affinity for nose candy?
Stop with the Hamels hype guy is over the hill.
Cole Hamels already signed a one year deal with the STFUs.
He’s a bum. Smart to let him walk.
Cardinals, just like Lohse. As soon as they realize Mikolaus won’t be ready
Maybe they’re gun-shy after being burned on the Leake contract but it’s not like they won’t need him next year. Waino may well retire, Kim will be a FA. No reason not to give Odorizzi 3 years.
Waino and Yadi should both be retired in 2022, so I agree with you — I just don’t know whether tying up Odorizzi is a smart move. The Cardinals stand to have C-Mart dropping off their books next year as well, so that frees up some cash for a big name starter next year if they decide their rotation needs a boost.
The UFA class at starting pitcher for 2022 includes some interesting names. Beyond guys that are almost certainly close to the ends of their careers (Greinke, Scherzer and Verlander), you’ve also got Kershaw, Stroman, Syndegaard, Gausman, Kluber, etc. Could be they decide to pass on Odorizzi and focus on 2022’s rotation, especially since nobody seems all that certain whether Knizner is the heir-apparent for catcher with Yadi on the way out, or if they need to look at free agency.
Libertore, Thompson, De Leon, Woodford, Oviedo are the reasons not to give a back end starter a 3 yr deal.
You always have to have somebody that will reliably give you innings. You can never have too much pitching.
i agree…no such thing as too much pitching, but not at the cost that odorizzi is rumored to be asking for and the length of the contract knowing whats younger and cheaper in the organization
Lol De Leon ? Over Odo …really that made me laugh , id take 3 yrs of odor over 7 of de leon
If Valdez is really going to be out for almost the whole season for the Astros as surprisingly reported earlier today… they might all of a sudden be in the market for him. though not sure they’ll be willing to spend the amount of money that he’s going to be looking for.
I never said he was that good i said ‘solid’ i want boston to get him cause hes-
1, able to eat up innings
2, WONT be that expensive
3, have you looked at bostons rotation? last i checked its pretty average to awful( assuming sale comes back this year)
I never said this guy was nolan ryan, but if the red sox are gonna even pretend to play a full season they cant start april with the 5 guys they have, they will be dead last by april 20th, im obviously a red sox fan, i hate seeing this team making bad/low/fringe moves just to fill in air time, NOTHING they did last year worked, forget about Covid im talking about the actual boston roster, everynight they lost and they were never in a game, they did the same thing this year.
This has all the earmarks of a so-so veteran pitcher getting a 3 year contract in which at best one year will be very good, and the other two he’d be massively overpaid while eating up innings that would best be given to a cheap youngster with some upside.
Bloom was with the Rays when they maximized Odorizzi, and then cut ties when he peaked. His current position with the Red Sox is to rid them of underproductive contracts as they revamp the farm system as well as player development at all levels. Taking on Odorizzi at multiple years would simply paint the team back into the corner they’re slowly extricating themselves from.
Odorizzi appears to be waiting to find a desperate team. He doesn’t appear to be open to betting on himself with a one year make-good contract. Based on his 2020 season, this has to be sending signals out to every front office in MLB. Seriously – he wants a 3 year guaranteed contract after pitching 14 innings in 2020? It’s not like this guy was a perennial Cy Young contender….and even then…..
Cap & Crunch
You aint wrong Samuel!
His selling point imo was He’s “Ok” when most options were less than okay this free agency when it came to SPs
His best attribute imo use to be his dependability …… Now….your guess is as good as mine
You mean like the1 year “make good” QO he took last year?
He wants security clearly. Hoping that teams think 2020 was a wash
He’s not an innings eater! Stop it!
Amanda I agree he is a good add to a team like Sox that needs to upgrade rotation. Have always liked him but he’s not quite the pitcher I thought he would become when brewers traded him for Greinke.
Crazy thought- If healthy he would be a good veteran SP for brewers who seem to be snagging good players at a discount this year. 2-$24 works for me. Same as JBJ. Just seems like brewers are loading up in a weird way and this would fit.
Houston needs a SP now that Valdez is out for some time and possibly the year.
If the Rangers swoop in and made this signing late in the off-season, I would be pumped. We’d be a low-key decent team if we added him to the mix, and surely I’d be pumped. A rotation of…
That’d be a fine rotation for where we are as a team rn (though obviously I doubt it happens).
I seriously think he’s either an Astro or a Red Sox.
I don’t see the Red Sox going over the tax for Odorizzi.
Love ur enthusiasm on Rangers , but a low key good team is pretty optimistic more like better than Pittsburgh, but fighting not to be 29th in baseball.
You forgot to mention the best starter of them all Jordan Lyles!
That doesn’t look low key decent at all to me. The Rangers look like one of the worst teams in baseball. Not Pirates bad but probably Orioles and Rockies bad.
With less prospects on the brink than Baltimore….
If only there was a team with some truly great players, a stud closer, and a need for some solid pitching depth….
Maybe one in a winnable division with a billionaire owner and great weather…..
Houston’s weather has been hit or miss the past few weeks, so wouldn’t say great weather. And I don’t think they have a stud closer at the moment.
he is talking about the angels. however, i would like the team to get another good relief pitcher.
Cap & Crunch
I think the Angels pitching depth is actually OK actually….They need a #1 in all honesty moving forward…
With all the short playoff series these days you need a no doubt #1 come playoffs
I think the floor has been raised this year, for sure. And an ace is needed. We keep praying Ohtani will be that, but who knows.
I do know that generally Odorizzi, Bundy, and Quintana go to the post 25-30 times per year and don’t embarrass themselves. I’d feel a lot better pushing Cobb way back and having one more quality arm to weather the inevitable injuries.
You can wish him well, but the Twins rotation would be much stronger with him in it.
Baltimore should swoop in, give Odorizzi Alex Cobb’s old jersey (literally) and sign him to a one year deal plus an option with incentives. Rotation of Means, Akin, Kremer, Odorizzi and King Felix. Something like that.
If Odorizzi would do one plus an option, he’d have 8-10 teams bidding on him right now.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Cap & Crunch
Personally not an Ordoozi fan, especially when it comes with a double digit AAV-
He doesnt have the pure stuff when healthy to be more than a SP3 (best case scenario) and he’s not a beacon of health so what exactly is his selling point ? These are typically horrible buys you instantly regret (Tanner Roark /Cobb type guys)
Imo, it was REALLY always that this was a weak fa SP crop this year . Failure to capitalize so far is not a good sign for him
Odorizzi to the Rangers or Astros.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Odorizzi is stinky
Odorizzi seems to be seriously overvaluing himself. He’s essentially a league average pitcher (a 3 or 4 in most rotations).
He had a solid 2019 (15-7, 3.51 ERA), but didn’t even hit 162 innings to qualify for leaderboards. He only completed 7 innings twice (and never came out for the 8th). He’s a guy to get you through 5+ innings, but his belief he should be paid like an ace is just wrong.
He’s not asking for 100 plus he’s only asking for 3 years and 45 million.
Wouldn’t Toronto want him on a 2yr max length deal (with opt out after ’21) that seems to be the limit anyone would go?
Odorizzi is better than other starters out there.
Cap & Crunch
He is, I agree ! But the thing IS….those other guys, just aint so good in the first place
I think GM’s dont overpay as much these days for the just “better than rest available ” type guys –
I always thought Ordoozi was going to be a good case study this year in those regards, Im not surprised the bites have been limited for his camp based on the asking price.
Odo’s kind of unique. His ceiling’s a #3 starter. His floor ‘s a #3 starter. He is who he is.
Ya, any double digit AAV is questionable,, but in a post-Covid reality, some contender is going to need him. I’d sit and wait if I was him, too. Might even wait until the season starts, and some starters are falling by the wayside.
Just take a 1 year deal with the Jays and be done with it already
If he was going to take a one year deal he would have sign by now.