What’s the going rate?
Remember the 1994 movie Little Big League? In it, the owner of the Twins passes away and wills the team and the stadium to his grandson, 12-year-old Billy Heywood. He names himself the manager of the Twins. Some of the veteran players do not like that decision and needing to abide by the rules of the youngster. A veteran pitcher tells him that he isn’t going to pitch and isn’t going to do anything to affect his upcoming free agency.
Heywood says, “What’s the going rate for a 30 year old free agent pitcher that can’t get anybody out?”
Suddenly, the pitcher had a change of heart and pitched well again.
The Twins will have some big decisions to make between now and the beginning of the 2012 season. Two of the bigger decisions involve a couple of immensely talented but enigmatic ball players, Delmon Young and Francisco Liriano.
Some believe that the Twins should trade them for whatever they can get for them. Both have one more year of arbitration remaining, but some fans believe that the two are non-tender candidates. What would you do?
How about this? Go to each player with the Billy Heywood comment.
“Hey Francisco, what is the going rate for a 28 year old pitcher with an ERA of 5.00, a history of injuries and the perception that he doesn’t put in his work?”
“Hey Delmon, what is the going rate for a 26 year old corner outfielders coming off of a season with a .650 OPS, less than 30 extra base hits, bad defense and a questionable attitude?
Neither of these guys is old. Both have had very good seasons as recently as 2010 when Young hit .298 with 46 doubles, 21 homers and 112 RBI and Liriano won 14 games with an ERA of 3.62 and 201 strikeouts in 191+ innings.
Instead of selling low on both of them, why not put the pressure on them to work really, really hard in the offseason, knowing that they really need to put up big numbers in 2012 or potentially lose out on a lot of money. Why not let the Twins see what they can get from those players in a contract year? Let the Twins be the beneficiary of that effort. Both do have the world of talent. We have seen that talent on the field. They are both young enough to still reach that level again.
Of course, bringing them back means that the Twins will need to pay them at least 80% of what they are paying them this year. Most likely, each would be in line for a small raise. That could mean $10-13 million for the two players that could be used elsewhere.
I just really do not believe in selling low. What do you think?
(For the record, I don't think that this is what will or even necessarily should be done. I think at least one, most likely Young, will be traded in the offseason, or sooner)
The Twins were able to beat the Red Sox 5-2 on Wednesday night. It was a much-needed win for the team. A couple of quick notes:
· Following the game, Trevor Plouffe was optioned to Rochester with Alexi Casilla coming off the Disabled List. He got a few games here and there in this stint, but again, no regular, daily playing time. He definitely was shaky defensively no matter where they put him, and the bat did not come through in the limited playing time.
· Justin Morneau will be activated on Friday before the game in Cleveland. At that time, the Twins will need to send one more player down. I have to assume the decision is between Jason Repko, who has an option, and Ben Revere, who has all three of his options remaining. Revere is clearly the better player, but that isn’t the decision. Revere needs to play pretty much every day. If he will do that with the Twins, then keep him up. If not, send him to Rochester for the next two weeks and let him play. With Denard Span struggling, I have to believe Revere stays.
· Nick Blackburn needed a good start, and he got it.
· Congratulations to Joe Nathan for becoming the Twins all-time leader in Saves, passing Rick Aguilera on the list.
MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
· Rochester 11, Durham 3 – Justin Morneau went 2-4 with a walk and a long home run. Dustin Martin went 2-5 with his 21st double. Michael Holliman went 1-3 with a walk. Jake Stevens started and gave up only an unearned run in four innings. He gave up eight hits, walked none and struck out two. Eden Prairie native and former Gopher Cole DeVries struck out four in three scoreless innings. Dusty Hughes struck one out in one shutout frame. Jim Hoey gave up two solo home runs in his inning of work.
· After being rained out on Tuesday, the New Britain Rock Cats and Altoona played two games on Wednesday. In the first game, the Rock Cats lost 5-0. David Bromberg went four innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one. Brett Jacobson then struck out three and gave up an unearned run in two innings. Matt Schuld pitched a scoreless inning. The Rock Cats managed just five hits. Yangervis Solarte (30) and Mark Dolenc (13) each doubled.
· The second game got ugly quick, and the Rock Cats lost 14-1. Spencer Steedley started and went one inning. He gave up seven runs on seven hits and four walks. Dakota Watts then gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in the next two innings. Steve Hirschfeld gave up a run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Deolis Guerra gave up a run, but struck out two in one inning. Tyler Robertson worked a scoreless inning. The Rock Cats had just six hits. Mark Dolenc went 3-3 with his 14th double.
· Beloit lost to Wisconsin 3-1. Blayne Weller made the start in place of BJ Hermsen. He went four innings and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out four. Michael Tonkin gave up one run on three hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out three. Adrian Salcedo pitched a scoreless inning. The Snappers had just four hits. Nate Roberts was 1-3 with a walk.
· Elizabethton shut out Danville 3-0. Tim Shibuya threw five scoreless innings. He gave up eight hits, but he walked none and struck out four. Corey Williams gave up one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings in which he struck out four. Steven Gruver struck out two in two scoreless innings. Eddie Rosario led the offense by going 2-4 with his sixth triple. He also stole his 12th base. Kennys Vargas hit his 11th double. Matthew Koch, the Twins 12th round pick, made his debut and went 1-1 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
· The Ft. Myers Miracle and the GCL Twins games were both rained out.
· Twins Minor League Weekly will be on tonight at 10:00.
· LaVelle blogged his updated prospect list, starting with Twins prospects 6-10. Today, he will post his Top 5 Twins Prospects.