Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Later this evening, I will be posting another Q&A with a Twins minor leaguer that I think you will enjoy, but before posting that, I wanted to post a few links to some Twins stories for your discussion.
First of all, I just have to encourage everyone to head over to Twinkie Town and over on the right, in the diaries, you will see the Twins Community Prospect rankings. If you haven't checked them out, please do so. We are through our Top 10 prospects and onto the next ten. It's fun to see what the group thinks of the Twins prospects collectively, but really, I have just enjoyed the conversations and discussions around it. It is a lot of fun, so check it out!
Here's an MSNBC article on the Twins loss of Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva and probable loss of Johan Santana and potentially Joe Nathan and how it signals that baseball's economic situation is still not right. I don't know the author, Tony DeMarco, and whether he is a sports guy or not, but I really, really dislike articles like this. I think that whining about the Twins financial situation is dumb for several reasons. First, spending crazy amounts of money (like $90 million on Hunter or $48 million on Silva) does not necessarily guarantee anything. Signing any pitcher to a six or seven year deal with nine digits is a major risk. It is not wise to spend money just to spend money. Secondly, I know people hate to hear it, but the Twins revenue streams are not the same as other teams and they should abide by a semi-fiscally responsible business plan. Third, we can blame Carl Pohlad all we want, but he did not become a multi-billionaire by being dumb. Why should he pay a higher percentage of revenues to players than other team's do? I just get tired of the whining.
Along with that, I have always said that I think that salary caps are smart, but there are some players that you should be willing to not count into your cap number. Johan Santana is a guy like that. He is a great. He is a potential Hall of Famer based on his last five years. He's durable, left-handed, has three well above average pitches. He's got personality, leadership skills and is everything that a team would want. I would love it if he was willing to stay with the Twins for his whole career. However, the Twins offered him $93 million over the next five seasons. That is certainly market value. He just wants (and will eventually get) more years. But it is a fair contract offer. I mix my feelings of wanting Santana to stay with the realization that in trading him, the Twins could get three to five players that could impact the team over the next four to eight years. The Twins likely won't compete with the Tigers and Cleveland in 2008 with or without Santana (although this is a very good team either way), so my primary concern is what will benefit the team long term. Is it keeping a great pitcher for the next five to six years, or is it dealing him for players would could give the Twins 15-30 years of service for less?
I meant to link to this article on the Brewers lineup a few days ago but forgot, so please head over to Al's Ramblings and check it out. Al takes a look at the projected Brewers lineup by position and statistically projects the value in terms of Runs over Average for each. In the end, he projects the total numbers of runs scored for the team and compares it to last year. Some Twins blogger with some time should take a look at the Twins lineup this way. I would expect the roster as it sits today should score more runs than last year.
Former Ft. Myers Miracle OF Erold Andrus signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Justin Jones, who came to the Twins from the Cubs for Doug Mientkiewicz, recently signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals.
There was a diary on the Twins farm system over at John Sickels' Minor League Ball. In it, you can see the Twins prospect rankings of John Sickels, Kevin Goldstein and Baseball America's (which is strange to me).
I had Wilson Ramos ranked as my #31 Twins prospect back in September. LaVelle ranked him his 8th prospect. Yesterday, Joe Christensen wrote about Ramos on his blog. The comparison defensively to Pudge Rodriguez is certainly something that should excite Twins fans. He is now healthy and check out his numbers player in the Parallel League in Venezuela (which Joe C says is about the level of Rookie Ball). The numbers are incredible, but the great news is simply that he is healthy and playing. He is certainly a Twins prospect worth watching in 2008!
According to this Jon Heyman article, Johan Santana is looking for a six year, $150 million contract PLUS a signing bonus that would, when added to his $13+ million salary for 2008, put him in the same 2008 pay as Carlos Zambrano and Barry Zito. Again, if that's the demand, the Twins should be looking to deal, to whichever team offers the best package of players.
I'm no fan of Jon Heyman (of SI.com) but as you know, I am a big fan of the Strib's Joe Christensen, and he wrote a similar article to Heyman's, but when I read it, I was actually shaking my head up and down. It is well done!
Twins Winter Caravan is off and running. On Monday,
Michael Cuddyer, Mike Redmond and Twins Radio Network's
Kris Attebery began the West Tour which goes into North
Dakota. Also on Monday, Pat Neshek joined manager Ron
Gardenhire and hitting coach Joe Vavra on the Southwest
Tour. Their final stop tonight was in Sioux Falls, SD where one of
our readers, Bruce M, was in attendance. He checked in with the
I just got back from my first Twins caravan, this one in Sioux Falls. Had a good time. First time there. Gardy, Vavra, and Neshek were there. The place was standing room only, guessing 300 or more.
I really wanted to share a couple of responses from Gardy.
#1 The very first question was why he let Hunter go and he said, "There are 90 million reasons." He invited everyone there to attend the Angels opener and greet Torii back. Then said something like, "We'll buzz him high and tight to welcome him back." Then chuckled.
#2 When asked who he thought was the best pitcher in Rochester this year, he said that Blackburn got his feet wet in the 'bigs' and did really well in the AFL, but thought Duensing had raised his level of play last year and would consider him the best there at this time. Seemed very impressed with him. Looks like he agrees with the Community Top Prospect Poll.
Can't wait til spring training - 74 days left before the season opener.
Check out the Twins Winter Caravan schedule to see when the Twins are coming to your town (or close). I'd love to hear your thoughts if you go.
Finally, a big happy birthday today to former Twin Chili Davis!
And on that note, I will end this posting. Remember to check back shortly for the new Q&A with a Twins minor leaguer. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.
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