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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Minnesota Twins

Signed P Terry Mulholland to a minor-league contract; designated P Brad Thomas for assignment.

The Twins have waited a while to see if Thomas could get his stuff working on a regular basis, but it never quite happened.  That being said, I can’t think of a worse reason to let him go - Mulholland’s been done for a few years.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 13, 2004 at 07:30 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cris E Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:32 PM (#551632)
Aaarrrgggghhh! It's 90 minutes past the deadline and I'm looking at Buck Bucannon and Chad Allan fulltime until the season ends, awash in a cold thin soup of 2-1 loses and empty pitching gems against the Royals. Did something happen to Terry Ryan's cell phone? Is he hurt, in an alley or hospital bed somewhere? Did they really trade a starting outfielder without getting an adequate replacement?

Oh my head hurts....
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:45 PM (#551633)
Just to rub salt into the wounds, Rob Neyer just posted Reed's home/road stats. Reed's had an ERA close to 2 runs lower at Shea than in road games over his Mets stint. Neyer goes on to suggest that it's because Shea's a poor park for lefthanded batters and notes that the Homerdome is a good one.

Don't feel too bad, though; I've had lots of people point out to me that I picked the Twins to win under 70 games this season and am a fan of a team (Baltimore) that Buchanan mightly very well be the best healthy hitter on. I also end sentences with words that indicate poor grammar.
   3. Cris E Posted: July 31, 2001 at 09:53 PM (#551634)
I don't worry about that whole lefthanded hitting flyball nonsense since we have this great RF to play the baggie... Er, nevermind.

On the other hand Buchanan did hit a lot better last month when he got a heap of regular ABs, so perhaps he's better than he's been given a chance to show.

Does anyone know how often teams in the chase attempt to slip trades through after the waiver deadline?
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 01, 2001 at 12:56 AM (#551636)
2 thoughts:

1)Lawton reminds me a bit of John Olerud. Lefty hitter, not much power, draws walks, good-to-great defensive player. Lawton even offers speed. Having Lawton to bat in front of Piazza returns the Met offense to the hoary days of 1999.....particularly if Alfonzo can recover for next year.

2)If Reed was greatly assisted by the dimensions at Shea, wouldnt it then follow that a player like Lawton would similarly benefit from Shea? Reed's Shea boost came largely from suppression of HR's, but a line-drive/speed offense like Lawton's will NOT be affected like a typical hitter. Therefore, Lawton will receive a "boost" relative to other players at Shea.
   5. Cris E Posted: August 01, 2001 at 02:13 PM (#551638)
Actually Lawton is even better than his numbers the past few years indicate. Last year he injured his foot, so if you go look at his SB numbers they just stopped after he piled up 23 by July. Also, the year before he caught a pitch in the face and it ruined the second half of his season. On a team where he can just be a leadoff hitter and baserunner and leave some RBI responsibility to others I think he'll flourish. By the end of next year he'll cost the Mets plenty but he'll be worth it.
   6. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 01, 2001 at 06:07 PM (#551639)
Actually, Dan, Kelly already used the Manhood Test. That's why Mark Redman was traded.
   7. Big Ed Posted: January 17, 2002 at 03:14 PM (#552812)
Good move by the Twins. This is the exact opposite of a Derek Bell signing, though I would be leery of giving any pitcher a four-year deal.
   8. Cris E Posted: January 17, 2002 at 04:18 PM (#552813)
The local paper says that the negotiations with Torii Hunter are not going nearly as well and they're mostly focusing on a 1 year deal now. I believe Hunter will end up being better than Mays, and would hope they can get him nailed down like Koskie, Guzman, Milton and now Mays. Radke and Reed are also both signed thru 04, so this team will be good for a while yet.
   9. Stevens Posted: January 18, 2002 at 12:25 AM (#552814)
I'm floored by how good Joe Mays was this year.

233 Innings. 3rd in AL.
   10. Cris E Posted: January 18, 2002 at 04:13 PM (#552815)
He was very good, but I'm glad he didn't get more than this. He had a lot of starts against DET and KC (11) where he piled up an ERA just over 1.8. He was more like above average against real MLB teams. But he was durable (only twice went less than five innings) and didn't give away many games (only three starts where he gave up 5 runs, and never more than that).

He's worth the money, but there's something I can't put my finger on that makes me think he's going to slip (kind of like that feeling that Eric Milton is going to be great even though he hasn't put it all together yet).
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 24, 2002 at 07:55 PM (#553159)
The last name. Having a Hernandez really taps the huge Hispanic market in Kansas City.
   12. J. Michael Neal Posted: January 24, 2002 at 09:17 PM (#553161)
Dan,

Perhaps. But the Twins now have an easy sell to the large Pop Music market. Next week, they plan to start a new add campaign touting what a thriller their bullpen will be.

Of course, I may just be deluded from having spent the 28 years prior to my legal name change as Michael Jackson.
   13. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 24, 2002 at 11:03 PM (#553162)
Name exploitation is fun. The other Jeff D'Amico only gets jobs because people confuse him with the good Jeff D'Amico.`
   14. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 25, 2002 at 04:07 AM (#553165)
Name exploitation really is fun. Remember when there was a Greg Olson on one all-star team and a Gregg Olson on the other (would have been early 90s--maybe '92, since Bobby Cox was managing the NL)? Or when Red Sox pitcher Greg Harris (he of the six-fingered glove that would have allowed him to be the majors' only switch pitcher) was only the second-best Greg Harris in baseball?
   15. Cris E Posted: January 25, 2002 at 07:17 PM (#553167)
Don't forget Alex Gonzalez and Bobby Jones and Alex Gonzalez and Bobby Jones.
   16. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 25, 2002 at 07:29 PM (#553168)
Good call, Cris. I had forgotten all about Bobby Jones being sent down to AAA to make room for... Bobby Jones.
   17. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 25, 2002 at 10:19 PM (#553169)
Frankly, I think the reason that so many of the double-name combos are both starting pitchers is that it really is just one rubber-armed guy, trying to pick up two paychecks... Jeff D'Amico, Greg Harris, Bobby Jones...
   18. Michael Posted: January 28, 2002 at 02:47 PM (#553170)
Hey, don't forget about the second baseman Steve Ontiveros having a second injury-filled career as a pitcher. It had to be the same guy, right?
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2002 at 02:19 PM (#553171)
My favorite name in the bigs recently has to be Mike Colangelo. I guess if the whole center field thing doesn't work out, he can always try art school, eh?
   20. Repoz Posted: February 19, 2002 at 06:20 PM (#554618)
Hey cut the cracks....My new issue of 5 Tool Player Magazine is to hit (or in this case,not hit)the stands this week,with the cover story of "My Advice to Juan Encarnacion....Seeing the Unseen Tool" by Jim Hicks.
   21. Bunny Vincennes Posted: February 19, 2002 at 07:01 PM (#554619)
Hey Thad,

I saw you hit a game winning grand slam back in 1986 I think. Man that was exciting.

JV
   22. Greg Franklin Posted: February 19, 2002 at 09:16 PM (#554621)
The proper formulation is 'Title is secure!' Get it right.

Signed P Jeff Kubenka to a minor-league contract. -> "Title is secure!" - Twins fan

Signed OF Dmitri Young to a 4-year, $28.5 milion contract. -> "Title is secure!" - Tigers fan

Signed/acquired 27 new bodies to the 40-man roster. "How can we ever compete with the Yankees!?" - Mets fan

You get the idea....
   23. Steve Treder Posted: February 20, 2002 at 01:34 AM (#554622)
Repoz,

LOL!!
   24. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: March 17, 2002 at 09:53 AM (#555472)
a lot of Twins fans are no doubt upset with having Reed down the stretch last year instead of Matt Lawton.

Bingo.

This is very much a market (as much as we would like to imagine the opposite) where your last stop determines your market value, and where in addition a popular player is worth a premium.

Reed will do well to play in Minnesota until (?) they drop far enough behind the White Sox to no longer be a threat.
   25. Repoz Posted: March 17, 2002 at 02:20 PM (#555473)
And the Mets turned down Cuddyer+ for Reed in that trade....
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 17, 2002 at 03:40 PM (#555469)
Morris's hitting approach has changed drastically over the last several years, along with those of several other Pirates (Chad Hermansen is the other big example). When he was hitting instructor, Lloyd McClendon apparently wanted people to be more aggressive, and move to more of an uppercut in their stroke. Some people it didn't affect so much, but others were absolutely shot to hell.

There's still a good hitter in Morris somewhere, trying to get out.
   27. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 18, 2002 at 02:25 PM (#555470)
There's still a good hitter in Morris somewhere, trying to get out.

But is there a good enough glove there?? Morris's defense was adequate at best during his rookie season, and despite work with Bill Mazeroski during spring training each of the past few seasons he's regressed with the glove.

Getting away from Pittsburgh might help Morris, but I think the odds are that McClendon and company have him screwed up so royally that he's got maybe a 20% shot (at best) of getting back to where he was as a rookie. When I saw him play last year, he looked totally lost at the plate.

-- MWE
   28. Tony B Posted: March 30, 2002 at 01:17 AM (#555696)
I've been intrigued by the decision the Twins were going to have to make about their outfield situation this year. From the start, Gardenhire simply gave a full-time left field job to Jones, for reasons I don't understand, and now is talking about batting him leadoff. (!)

The one open position was supposed to be right field, and Cuddyer, Kielty, and Mohr all responded with excellent springs. Buchanan was pretty lousy (decent average, no power, poor OBP, and the worst fielder of the 4), yet won the job anyway. I wonder if Gardenhire loses any credibility as a result?

Given that Cuddyer is best served by playing everyday, and that starting his arbitration clock later by optioning him now has benefit to the team, I can see sending him down for a month or two. I have severe doubts about Buchanan though, especially as an everyday player. If his strength is to mash lefties, why not platoon him and let him do that? Unfortunately, by sending Kielty down and keeping Mohr, the 4th outfielder is also a righthanded hitter, so it seems almost like Buchanan is going to play every day. It will be interesting to see how long Gardenhire stays with this everyday lineup. From what I've read, he seems to have the philosophy that letting guys like Jones and Buchanan play every day will somehow improve their confidence and make them better players. Even if that's true, won't it negatively effect the confidence of the bench players? It just seems like a strange philosophy, especially with these players. I always used to be frustrated when Kelly would platoon young players who looked like they could go every day (Koskie, Lawton, Ortiz), but I don't think Jones or Buchanan have been successful at any level as everyday players.

What is most frustrating, as Dan indicates, is that they somehow feel the need to keep 3 infielders on their bench along with a weak-hitting catcher (Prince). Can someone please rationalize that for me? The Twins fall all over themselves extolling the virtues of Denny Hocking because he can play any position defensively. It seems to me that the best way to take advantage of that is to allow you to keep an extra hitter on the bench along with your backup catcher, 4th outfielder, and 5th infielder. If your choices are Kielty, LeCroy, and Morris (Canizaro seemed to have been given the job of backup infielder), how in the name of heaven do you select Morris? They can't say it is because of spring performance, as both Kielty and LeCroy hit well this spring. I just don't get it.

Handing jobs to Prince and Canizaro are strange enough decisions. To compound them with their other selections this spring makes me worry about the leadership of Ryan and Gardenhire. How can they not see that their offense is the most suspect part of this team? Given the chance to keep LeCroy and/or Kielty instead of any two of the players currently on their bench, why wouldn't they do it?
   29. Cris E Posted: April 01, 2002 at 03:39 PM (#555697)
Gardenhire said he wanted Morris around as a lefty bat off the bench. He also likes Canizaro for being scrappy and remembers him from before he lost last season to injury. I get the feeling that he wants to see what Jones and Buck can do full time before he goes to a platoon. As a players' coach I think he wants to give the guys a shot before following Kelly's decisions from the past.

That said, A) Kelly was right about Jones vs lefties, B)Canizaro has a lot to prove after missing an entire season (and he didn't do anything this spring), C)they are still short on power and Lecroy is of no value in Canada, and D)what about Cuddyer in right and platooning Jones and Buck in left? (It helps with the weak bench too.)

This is still the Twins, so a quick audition for some guys that the manager likes shows that he's a good guy, might unearth some hidden talent and buys a little arbitration time for the young talent. It saves some money, makes a little sense, and takes no chances, which is (in order) what MN fans have always been able to expect.
   30. Tony B Posted: April 04, 2002 at 06:44 PM (#555700)
The Twins AAA team is in Edmonton. Cris was indicating that LeCroy does the Twins no good there.

Rivas was injured last night when hit by a pitch. Is it serious enough that he'll be on the D.L.? If so, it will be interesting to see how he's replaced(i.e. LeCroy or Kielty vs. Lamb). The folks at Baseball Perspective made the comment that perhaps Gardenhire decided to keep Morris and Canizaro in addition to Rivas and Hocking because he himself was once a marginal second baseman in need of a break to be in the majors. I hadn't thought of that.
   31. Tony B Posted: April 10, 2002 at 10:52 PM (#555701)
Dan hasn't noted this, but Kielty and LeCroy are back with the Twins as Buchanan and Rivas have hit the DL early in the season. LeCroy got the start at DH last night. It will be interesting to see how Gardenhire uses him. Same with Kielty. Interesting to note that all of the Twins' outfielders are capable of playing center. I wonder if any other team can say that?
   32. Tony B Posted: April 18, 2002 at 05:01 PM (#555951)
I like this move in terms of providing potential depth in the bullpen, but who would you replace on the current staff if you were to bring up Trombley today? The Twins' pen has been surprisingly good so far. Romero has been absolutely outstanding (No runs allowed, 15K in 10 innings), and the rest have been solid too. True, Hawkins could still melt down at any time, and Wells might finally run out of gas, but it would be hard to send any of them down at this time.
   33. Repoz Posted: May 13, 2002 at 02:19 PM (#556524)
When was the last time a clean-up hitter goes 2-4,2 Runs,HR,3 RBI and gets sent down as LeCroy was?
   34. Brian Posted: May 13, 2002 at 02:23 PM (#556525)
When was the last time a team batted an irregular player only in the cleanup spot, not including platoon situations ? Whenever they played him, LeCroy batted cleanup. If he's that good, why not play him more ? The ghost of Tom Kelly ?
   35. Bart Posted: May 13, 2002 at 03:28 PM (#556527)
To be fair to LeCroy, he was a great prospect a couple years ago. Catchers who pound Eastern League pitchers are by nature, good prospects. He probably wasn't as good a prospect as what Cuddyer is now, or what Morneau will be after this year. He was still an outstanding prospect back when he officially qualified for that title (his ROY eligibility is gone).

LeCroy has to be close to running out of options and it will be very interesting to see what they do when he is out of options. With Jones, LeCroy, Mientkiewicz, Ortiz, Buchanon, Kielty, Mohr, and Cuddyer all hanging around manning 1B, DH, RF, LF, 4th OF, and 5th OF, somebody's gotta go because Cuddyer is not going to spend 2003 in Edmonton and only Kielty, Buchanon, and Mohr make sense as backup outfielders. That's without considering the possibility that Mike Restovich and Justin Morneau might be options at that point.
   36. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 13, 2002 at 03:31 PM (#556528)
Shoot the hostage.
   37. Tony B Posted: May 15, 2002 at 04:25 PM (#556537)
I disagree pretty strongly with Dan's assessments. Doug Mientkiewicz has tons of experience in the outfield? When was that? They would have signed old "proven" players if they had a chance? Where is the evidence of that? Look, the Twins were pretty stupid in the mid- and late 90's, signing bargain veterans like Otis Nixon who played marginally or worse, but that stopped after 1999. Maybe that was because they were cheap, and in that case, perhaps their success last year was accidental. But they've been giving their young players a chance for the last 3 years now, so the Charlie Hayes comment is unfair.

I don't like sending down LeCroy any more than the next person, and Gardenhire has made comments to that effect as well. LeCroy will be back as soon as there is a chance. Part of the problem is that the Twins are carrying 12 pitchers, and the way their starters are going, that won't change anytime soon. For what they've got, they didn't have a lot of choice here. I don't believe Mientkievicz is an option in the outfield, even if Jones and Buchanan aren't great options. I argue with people about Jones all the time. I don't think much of him, but he has played better this year. His walk total was higher in April, and that was a big part of his success. He looks to be falling back into old habits this month, so we'll see whether he figures it out or not. I'm not optimistic. Regardless though, juggling outfield options won't help LeCroy.

The other option is to let him catch. LeCroy hasn't caught regularly at any level in over a year. Most of his time in AAA last year was as a 1B/DH. Sometime, probably after his two month stint as the Twins' starting catcher in 2000, when he hit sub .200 with little power, the decision was made that he would have trouble hitting while handling major league catching responsibilities. Whether or not you agree with that decision, putting him at catcher now isn't a good option (for LeCroy or the team) in my opinion. I agree that Pyrzynski (sp?) isn't a long term option, but I think the Twins are just hoping to milk him for 3 years or so until Mauer is (hopefully) ready.
   38. Tony B Posted: May 15, 2002 at 11:08 PM (#556539)
I agree with your bottom line, certainly, and you could probably add Cuddyer to the list of bats they should have in the lineup. I even agree to some extent that they shouldn't have given up on him as a catcher. I'm not sure that it was because they thought Ardoin or Valentin or any of their other marginal catchers would pan out. Instead, I think they saw something in his play in 2000 that made them believe it was going to be too hard to catch. He really stunk that year, and he was playing regularly through June.

I guess I could see Mientkievicz in the outfield too, as you envision, but even you have to admit that's a pretty radical step. I don't know of any organization that would have the courage to do that with a gold glove winner (though I recognize that the value of that at first base is less of an issue). So, I still have issues with your inferring that this move is one only a boneheaded organization would do.
   39. BP Posted: May 16, 2002 at 04:24 AM (#556540)
At some point teh Twins have to seriously think about looking past Ortiz's power potential and decide whether he's of any value to the organization if he can't stay healthy and produces incosistently when he is healthy. Given his track record, I don't think that Ortiz should be considered a roadblock to anyone in this organization. I like the guy, if only because the sight of Ortiz trying to run out a close play on a double or a triple has to be the single funniest things in sports, but I get very frustrated with his bat and if the Twins can't be flexible in the one spot that doesn't impact their defense and pitching philosophy they might as well give up. BTW, how does timely hitting enter the equation? their lack of timely hitting is so prevalent that my friend and I use the verb 'Twinning' to describe getting a runner to third with no one out and managing not to score any runs...
   40. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2002 at 05:31 PM (#556962)
Of course, just to play devil's advocate, he's had lingering shoulder soreness and knee problems all year, which surely haven't helped. Doesn't explain his sloppiness on defense and his total 5 walks. He's definitely at the point at which he shouldn't be hitting against lefties.
   41. Tony B Posted: June 06, 2002 at 02:50 PM (#556963)
I'm just happy that they chose to send down Canizaro instead of one of their outfielders. Remember, this is a team that had Hocking, Canizaro, AND Warren Morris on their bench on opening day.

Dan, if Guzman doesn't face lefties, who gets his at bats? Are you advocating a platoon with Hocking or something more fun?
   42. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 06, 2002 at 03:06 PM (#556964)
Possibly a temporary platoon with Hocking, just to give Guzman time to get back in the groove a little as Hocking's been very up and down his whole career against lefties. The Twins don't have any other great options.
   43. Tony B Posted: June 07, 2002 at 10:34 PM (#556966)
It seems to me that the Twins depth is concentrated in the OF, 1B, and DH positions. I suppose that's true of a lot of teams. Rather than concentrate their worst hitters at the bottom of the lineup, the Twins seem to have the idea of breaking it up a little. I don't think it really matters. What would help is if they could find a way to get Bobby Kielty in the lineup every day. Personally, I'd put him in right field every day, and let Mohr spell each of the outfielders or the DH once a week or so. Buchanan would be relegated to pinch-hitting duties, but that would be okay with me.
   44. Eric Posted: June 11, 2002 at 03:27 PM (#557066)
The Twins have a very strange roster alignment right now. They are carrying 11 pithcers, 2 catchers, full time regulars for 6 other positions, then they have 5 guys basically for RF/DH: LeCroy, Ortiz, Buchanon, Kielty, & Mohr, leaving 1 roster spot for anyone who can play the infield-a spot filled by the immortal Denny Hocking (who, by the way, was the highest paid Twin last season, at least until they traded for Rick Reed). This should give Gardenhire plenty of pinch hitting options, if nothing else.

They also have an array of guys who are more or less pounding the PCL who are also corner OF/1B/DH types: Cuddyer, Restovich, Ryan, and Sears, but no one who you would really want to use at the major league level as a utility infielder/injury temp. Terry Ryan is going to have to sort through his options at some point; trying to find a useful middle infielder should be on his to do list as well.
   45. Tony B Posted: June 11, 2002 at 05:16 PM (#557067)
I've read a few places that say that the Twins made this move because they want an extra hitter when they go to NL parks, and I'm not sure I understand that. Sure, you need pinch hitters, but don't you also need a pitcher to replace the guy you hit for? Also, with no DH, you have an extra hitter on the bench anyway. Gardenhire has rarely let any of his starting pitchers go past the 6th inning anyway, partially because of ineffectiveness, but also partially to avoid having anyone go beyond 100-110 pitches in a game. As a result, the bullpen has been used heavily, even with 12 pitchers. Cressend may not have been that effective, but he and Wells seem to be the guys that suck up the innings in blowouts so that Romero, Jackson and Hawkins are available in the close games.
   46. Cris E Posted: June 14, 2002 at 03:50 PM (#557144)
One thing Gardenhire has said is that the addition of a second lefty to the pen will allow him to leave Romero in a straight setup role and not spot him against lefties too. JC is on pace to explode some time in early Sept, so anything that keeps him on the bench at this point in the year could be very beneficial during the stretch run.
   47. Cris E Posted: June 27, 2002 at 05:06 PM (#557322)
I was sort of surprised to see Traivs cast aside like this. He's pretty average and cheap, which is what you want to have around if/when Romero breaks down under the new workload. Santana makes Miller the fourth lefty behind Eddie G and Romereo, but I'd prefer to wait for one of the injured starters to sucessfully bump Santana from the rotation before dropping Travis completely. Not very Twins-like to be wasteful like this even if Miller is eminently replaceable.
   48. Mike Posted: July 22, 2002 at 08:29 PM (#557849)
While I think getting Mays back is a good thing, the Twins screwed up by demoting Johan Santana to the bullpen. In my humble opinion, Santana, in his brief stint as a starter, was the best pitcher on the Twins this year. He's struck out 59 in just 48 innings, walked 24 (which isn't great) and only given up 1 HR. His numbers are even better when you consider the fact that over half his walks came in just 2 starts. If the Twins are to make some miracle run in the playoffs, they should be starting a guy like Santana, who has the potential to dominate, rather then the current crop of mediocrities they are running out there right now.
   49. MM1f Posted: October 13, 2002 at 03:23 AM (#556543)
Kinda interesting looking back on threads like this one...
   50. MM1f Posted: October 13, 2002 at 03:27 AM (#556544)
Kinda interesting looking back on threads like this one...
   51. jwb Posted: November 13, 2002 at 09:43 PM (#559296)
Ben Ford put up one interesting stat line last year:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/cgi-bin/statsfindplayer.pl?player=ford,+ben

* Losing record (6-11)
   52. Colin Posted: December 16, 2002 at 10:02 PM (#560857)
Looks to me like an ideal candidate as a cheap 1B option in Atlanta. Injuries are a factor, esp. with no DH there, but he likely won't cost much.
   53. WillYoung Posted: December 16, 2002 at 10:13 PM (#560860)
Matthew LeCroy will post a higher OPS in 2003 than David Ortiz. Plus, he's a right-handed hitter who can hit with some power which is a rarity in Minnesota.
   54. WillYoung Posted: December 17, 2002 at 12:22 AM (#560868)
Ackbar is funny occasionally, but Greedo is just plain stupid.
   55. ColonelTom Posted: December 17, 2002 at 12:22 AM (#560869)
As good as Doug Mientkiewicz is in the field, Ortiz has to be that bad. He would probably cost a team 20 runs in the field.

I was surprised to see this myself, but in 132 games at 1B, Ortiz is a +2 in fielding runs according to Baseball Prospectus. He's no Gold Glover, but there's no reason to think he'd be that bad in the field.
   56. Aaron Gleeman Posted: December 17, 2002 at 08:01 AM (#560873)
Actual, I think Ortiz is pretty decent with the Glove, but that is just from personal observations, not numbers.

He seems very good at scooping balls in the dirt, but he doesn't have much range.
   57. jwb Posted: December 17, 2002 at 05:10 PM (#560877)
Jonathan, Phil Rogers is reporting in the Chicago Tribune that an unnamed Twins executive said "We tried to trade him. We couldn't get a pair of spikes and a cracked bat."
   58. Bill Posted: December 17, 2002 at 11:08 PM (#560879)
If the Yanks trade Nick Johnson and sign Todd Zeile, they could do a lot worse than sign Ortiz to be the DH platoon with Zeile.
   59. Darren Posted: December 18, 2002 at 02:51 AM (#560882)
Paging Mr. Epstein, paging Mr. Epstein, your platoon partner for Zuletta's ready.
   60. Darren Posted: December 18, 2002 at 02:52 AM (#560883)
I never followed Kelly closely but I could never stand him. He seemed so high and mighty about his teams playing "the right way" while players like Todd Walker and Ortiz withered on the vine. And of course, the media ate it up.
   61. Cris E Posted: December 18, 2002 at 06:35 PM (#560884)
As useful as a .900+ OPS is in general, in the specific case of Ortiz and the Twins it isn't so true. They have lots of young cheap guys to replace him, he doesn't hit from the right side and they were facing arbitration with a 20 HR guy and a tight budget. I'm surprised he was worth nothing though. I mean, a journeyman MI to fill roster in AAA would have been useful. Anything. Bizarre state the game is in these days...
   62. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2003 at 10:09 PM (#563780)
I'm not sold on this one. Probably an OK deal and lord knows if Darin Erstad is worth this, Hunter certainly is. And it's wonderful to see the Twins invest in their product for once. But...

Player A 2002: 852 OPS in 626 PA;
   63. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 17, 2003 at 10:45 PM (#563782)
Looking at his BR page (http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/hunteto01.shtml), it looks like a 4 year deal would buy out two non-arb years. No? In any case, I think it's Torii's next employer who will grossly overpay him.
   64. Scott Posted: January 17, 2003 at 11:05 PM (#563785)
Look closely:

Hunter 2001: 785 OPS
   65. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 18, 2003 at 12:19 AM (#563786)
It's a trap!
   66. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 18, 2003 at 12:26 AM (#563787)
Thanks, DL.

Shut up, Ackbar!
   67. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 18, 2003 at 01:06 AM (#563788)
Scott, this is why if I were Ryan, I'd be running, not walking, to trade Jones. They don't have the stock of good centerfielders they way they're accumulating four-corner types.
   68. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 05:17 AM (#563792)
There are some Jones trade rumors floating around Pittsburgh, FWIW.

Minnesota isn't exactly hard up for CF options. Even beyond Jones and Hunter, they've got Lew Ford and Bobby Kielty as short-term possibilities.

The bigger question with this signing, as I see it, is whether Hunter's defense will rebound this year. Just looking at the numbers, he was substantially worse than in past seasons, though still not much below league average.
   69. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2003 at 06:00 AM (#563796)
Giles probably isn't going to Minnesota, what with his partial no-trade clause, avowed desire to stay both in Pittsburgh and in the NL, and previously-stated inclination to veto any trade that didn't put him near his California home or with Marcus in Atlanta. And that isn't accounting for Pohlad's tight wallet, or the kicker that increases Giles's salary if he's traded, either.

If it did happen, though, it'd probably take something along the lines of Jones/Kielty, Santana, and Restovich to make it happen. That's a lot of talent, but Littlefield did say that a GM would have to "knock him out" to get Giles in a trade...
   70. John M. Perkins Posted: January 24, 2003 at 05:35 PM (#564236)
IMO, Todd Sears is better than Doug Mientkiewicz. Better bat, almost as good of a glove.
   71. Snowboy Posted: January 24, 2003 at 06:44 PM (#564239)
Casey Blake, 2002 Edmonton: .309/.383/.492, plus 24 steals.
   72. WillYoung Posted: January 24, 2003 at 09:50 PM (#564240)
Hopefully, Shane Andrews will suffer from whiplash as hundreds of line drives fly past him while Jose Cabrera is on the mound. I would rather him suffer the injury than Koskie.
   73. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 24, 2003 at 11:58 PM (#564242)
No fair! I *did* do the McCracken signing.
   74. MM1f Posted: January 25, 2003 at 01:10 AM (#563800)
"One thing to consider with the Twins is they're getting their own cable network in a year or two, Victory Sports. It's pretty much modeled after what the Yankees and Red Sox have had success with, except it's pretty experimental because the Twins, of course, aren't in the same type of market. The Twins believe it will succeed because they have a healthy regional following (Minnesota, Iowa, Dakotas, Montana), and coupled with perhaps a new stadium down the road,"

Sounds similar to the Braves deal with TBS (which I assume the Braves have done well w/ money wise, but I don't know the figures). TBS, while not a round-the-clock Braves station, carries (along w/ Turner South) 85% of the Braves games. And the Braves and Twins are in similar situtations as far as regional fanbases. Atlanta is the #9 or 10 market but there are boatloads of Braves fans in Alabama(most of whom are related), Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas and even north Florida (do you really want to go to a Devil Rays game?).
   75. WillYoung Posted: January 28, 2003 at 05:50 AM (#564411)
I like the Mike Fetters signing a lot more than the Jose Cabrera signing; however, I cannot imagine anyone in the world that wouldn't. He fits nicely into the "Mike Jackson: I'm 39 years old, only have one effective pitch, cannot pitch more than twice a week, and will not kill you as an effective veteran leader and second-righty" out of the pen. Plus, this pushes Tony Fiore back into the long-relief role that for which he is much better suited. Fiore struggled at the end of the year and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he turns into a one-year wonder. However, with all this said - I really think Grant Balfour deserves the job the most.
   76. Aaron Gleeman Posted: January 28, 2003 at 07:16 AM (#564412)
I agree with Will.
   77. Eugene Freedman Posted: February 03, 2003 at 03:56 AM (#564775)
The Twins are buying their fans trust, but hurting the team long-term. What are they going to do. Morneau will replace Mientkiewicz after this season. Cuddyer is established in RF one would presume. Keilty is the DH, but could handle LF easily. Mohr is a useful player with no position. Restovich is on the rise. What position is left for him?
   78. John Posted: February 03, 2003 at 10:01 AM (#564777)
As one of the few remaining Expos fans I can say, no way I would do Vidro for Rivas and J.Jones. Jones can't hit lefties so you'd have to carry a crappy guy like Wil Cordero to platoon partner with him. Rivas has a hgh ceiling but looks like he'll just be a 2Bman who hits like Orlando Cabrera even if everything goes right. Vidro on the other hand is and has been one of the 4-5 best hitting 2Bmen in baseball for 3-4 years now. I'd think Vidro would require a trade with at least one really good talent going back in return (Cuddyer, Johan Santana, maybe even Resotovich if the rest of the package was good). I'd certainly hope Vidro wouldn't be traded for a somewhat above average guy who can't hit lefties and a high-ceiling, low performance so far guy to replace him, but Minaya might not think so.
   79. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 03, 2003 at 01:23 PM (#564778)
Sorry Expo fans; I know *you* guys wouldn't do it. I think the Expos would, though. How many of you would trade Colon for Hernandez, Biddle, and Liefer?
   80. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2003 at 04:29 PM (#564783)
Twins' fans are getting as bad about including Mohr in every trade proposal as Mets' fans are about Timo. :)

I couldn't see trading Vidro even-up for just one prospect, even one as good as Santana or Cuddyer. That'd be a deal of a young, cheap guy who IS a star for a young, cheap guy who MIGHT BE a star; there just isn't any percentage in it.
   81. WillYoung Posted: February 03, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#564784)
How about Jacque Jones, Luis Rivas AND Michael Restovich for Vidro? That way the Expos won't need to carry a crappy-platoon mate because they will also be getting Restovich. Plus, the Twins' outfield is so crowded as it is that even by traded two players there still is Kielty, Hunter and Cuddyer starting with Dustan Mohr and Lew Ford coming off the bench.
   82. Walt Davis Posted: February 03, 2003 at 06:38 PM (#564786)
Is this really below market value? (OK, arb years are pretty much by definition below market value, but you know what I mean) If I'm not mistaken, these are his first 2 arbitration years. Not only doesn't it cover any FA years, it doesn't cover all the arb years. In his first 2 arbs, I'd be surprised if Jones could do better than $7.1 M.

Looking around the AL, Carlos Lee's contract covering his first 2 arb years cost $6.9; Carlos Beltran's first arb year cost $3.5; Terrence Long's contract buys out all his arb years, and that's $11 M total; Erstad's first 2 arb years cost less than $6 M (that was a couple years ago); Trot Nixon's first arb year (2002) was $2.7 M; Jose Cruz's first 2 arb years cost $6.3 M. That would seem to be Jones' comparison group.

$7.1 for 2 years of a guy with Jones ability is reasonable, but it's an average or maybe even slightly high price, not a good one, compared to what else is out there.

If the Twins can trade him for some talent, then this is a fine move. But otherwise, they're spending good money to block young players who are as good or better than Jones. Jones should have much more value to another team that needs a CF, so a trade is a real possibility.
   83. Cris E Posted: February 04, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#564802)
Bravo to Carl for spending money but is Jones the best place to spend it?

Agreed on the spending, but to answer the second think about this: who else would you give the Jones money to? There aren't any FA pitchers or MI out there that would be more useful than Jones, and the trade option actually becomes easier with Jones inked to a modest contract.

I'm less and less sold on Rivas, but PTBNL is right: the team is still thinking "young and improving" and proof that the academy is working. They arent going to give up yet. I don't think Ryan has made the mental jump to Win Now (or Soon anyway) and thus will hang on like he did with the rest of the guys on the roster. That was fine when they sucked, but the door is only open for a year or three and waiting for an oft-injured 23 yo to get it together might be costly.

Say, what about Rivas and a souvenier playoff hat to FLA for Castillo? Not until IRod crashes and the fans give up, of course, but say May 15. Or perhaps grab one of those young RP guys too and make it worth their while with a Jones/Rivas/even younger arm package.
   84. WillYoung Posted: October 23, 2003 at 04:06 AM (#567852)
To quote Will Ferrell:

"I like it! It's genious!"
   85. Ziggy Posted: December 08, 2003 at 05:13 PM (#569460)
Would Stewart have gotten much more than this in arb? Couldn't they have offered him arb, hoped he signed somewhere else, and plugged in one of their numberous corner outfield prospects? Is LeCroy still around? If I remember correctly he's a C/1B cum LF or something. Have him playing LF, relieving Maur when the kid needs a day off, and then slotting Cuddyer in left. The Stewart projection looks nice, and I'm sure the Twins will appreciate that much production, but I'm almost always against paying $6m when you've got good options waiting around in the system.

If none of the zillion prospects the Twins have had in their system for the past several years pan out, it'll be a real shame. In fact, they've had so many that even if Santana remains an awsome pitcher, it'll still be a shame.
   86. jeff angus Posted: December 08, 2003 at 05:37 PM (#569462)
I'm pitching in with Craig & RossCW. On the field it's an acceptable signing and off the field it communicates "something" to prospective season-ticket buyers, which has financial, if not on-field, value.

How many Twins OFs with significant PAs achieved last year the .37X OBA in Stewart's ZIPs projection? Try zero. And among all sorta-regulars, only Bombo Mientkiewicz, and LaTroy Koskie exceeded that #.

Stewart's worth a little more to the Twinkies than to most other teams, because what he <it>DOES</it> bring to the table is something they don't already have in abundance.
   87. Jayson Stark Posted: December 08, 2003 at 05:42 PM (#569463)
Wow. The Twins got quite a deal for the MVP. Kudos to Terry Ryan.
   88. Jayson Stark Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:12 PM (#569468)
Yea right Phil. Alex plays for a LAST PLACE TEAM. Where's the value? If the Rangers wanted Shannon Stewart, they'd have to find a way to offer fair value for Stewart, maybe find someone who knows how to win, like Clay Bellinger, or Luis Sojo. These guys have VALUE because they play for winning teams.
   89. Toolsy McClutch Posted: December 08, 2003 at 11:07 PM (#569469)
Actually, I'd say Shannon is a terrible defensice outfielder. Ignorning the issues with arm strength, there are other problems. He gets a very poor jump on balls (even noticed by some of my non-baseball friends, ie "Hey, shouldn't he have already been over there?") and makes poor decisions throwing the ball (wrong base, going for the "home run" instead of making the safe throw).

That said, I'd love to have him working the count somewhere in my lineup, and I think he's a pretty decent guy to boot. $6mil, even in this era of fiscal responsibility, isn't too bad.
   90. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: December 09, 2003 at 02:34 AM (#569471)
I had the Twins in this weekend's BP Pizza Feed/Mock Winter Meetings. For the record, I make a token offer to Stewart, then signed Rondell White for cheaper. I also traded Jones for some pitching, specifically Aaron Sele (+ $2mm to help even the deal). In the end, I figured having Torii Hunter would make the defense at least decent, then I had Cuddyer and White in the corners, with Restovich and Mohr as backups (I also dealt Lew Ford).

Of course, this only proves that, once again, I'm an idiot.
   91. Cris E Posted: December 10, 2003 at 12:12 AM (#569472)
blue -
   92. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2004 at 03:46 AM (#571596)
I'll get to the rest of you. The Oracle has limited time in this astral plane.
   93. WillYoung Posted: January 14, 2004 at 06:13 AM (#571600)
Who is in competition for the Twins 5th spot?

At this point:

Rick Helling, Peter Munro, Grant Balfour, Juan Rincon, Carlos Silva, Carlos Pulido, Mudcat Grant, J.D. Durbin, Brad Thomas, and Adam Johnson
   94. Will B. Posted: January 14, 2004 at 06:37 AM (#571602)
Speaking of missing transactions, what about the Indians signing Jose Jimenez?
   95. NTNgod Posted: April 12, 2004 at 11:55 PM (#573401)
Hmm....Brad Thomas was DFA'd to make room for Terry Mulholland.

If he gets on to the waiver wire, the Brewers might want to take a look (since league restrictions are gone this year for waivers)...
   96. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 13, 2004 at 03:31 AM (#573403)
Glad Beimel's drawing a check, and even gladder that he's doing it from someone that isn't the Pirates.
   97. The Artist Posted: April 13, 2004 at 08:13 PM (#573497)
What on earth is wrong with letting Jesse Crain have a shot ?
   98. Matthew Rich Posted: April 14, 2004 at 04:02 PM (#573509)
Yeah, I second what Mr. Greene said. Mulholland is still a very useful arm -- you don't want him out there for high-leverage innings, but if you need somebody to go 4 or 5 when your starter has to leave early with an injury and then start the first game of a doubleheader the next day, Mulholland is your guy. And he also functions as a de facto pitching coach. For a team like the Twins that's coping with some early injuries and a shaky staff, I don't see the downside to picking up Terry Mulholland.
   99. Craig in MN Posted: April 15, 2004 at 03:18 AM (#573510)
Accoriding to the Star Tribune, Mulholland wasn't signed---they traded for him. Seattle trade him for $1. I hope that's a classy move, and not a pathetic one. If I was Mulholland, I would have asked if they could trade me for a box of baseballs instead...it would be a fun footnote to one's career.
   100. NTNgod Posted: April 16, 2004 at 02:58 AM (#573511)
The Red Sox were trying to sign him before the Twins stepped in?
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