The Morning After…

8 Nov

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So many thoughts run through my mind as I think more about the firing of Bill Smith, Terry Ryan returning to the GM role, Mike Radcliff and Wayne Krivsky and their potential roles, and how it all will work together to put together a team for 2012 and beyond. Clearly something happened. Clearly whatever philosophical differences there were between Smith and the management came to a head last week sometime. (Clearly those are the only things that are clear in my mind. That’s it! There are so many question marks.)

There was an excitement among Twins fans when the news broke. There was no confidence in Bill Smith’s ability to make things better. There is a supreme confidence among Twins fans in Terry Ryan. And there is additional confidence in Mike Radcliff and Wayne Krivsky.

However, it was the final question of the press conference that was able to nullify fan enthusiasm. When asked what the payroll for 2012 would be, Ryan said, “Around $100 Million.”

That number became the focal point. Now, is it possible that Ryan just threw a number out there? Of course, it’s not typical for the Twins to give a number like that. However, if $100 million is the number, many fans will be upset. That’s $13 million less than last year. $13 million is one really good pitcher. It’s most of a Michael Cuddyer contract. It could be two really good players.

Now, I’m definitely not one to say that winning is totally about payroll. Terry Ryan and the Twins proved that last decade. The Rays prove that. However, it certainly makes it more difficult, more challenging. A huge part of the challenge is that $37 million is committed to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, two guys that it’s hard to know what you will get from next year.

What it tells me is that the Twins are about to go through a rebuild of sorts. Obviously if you bring in some talent below market value, you can still compete and maybe even win. To do so, the Twins will have to be completely healthy and a lot of guys will have to have huge years. Is that realistic?

I think that if they believe that the Twins won’t be able to win in 2012, then it only makes sense to clean up the organization, to rebuild. If rebuilding is the plan, then Terry Ryan, Mike Radcliff, Wayne Krivsky, et al, are the right way to go. What does that mean? Lots of trades? Pavano? Liriano? Baker? Span?

But I don’t know what the philosophy for the offseason is, or what this decision means. I’m just speculating, and until we see a couple of moves, we won’t know.

$100 million is going to be tough, controversial, to many. It also is probably the right thing if your plan is to contend in 2013. Feel free to comment.


20 Responses to “The Morning After…”

  1. doug koebernick November 8, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Seth – what do you think about his comments on getting players healthy? Any insight in what this means as far as changes within the Twins’ organization in that regard?

    As far as $100 million, my thoughts are that this might be their starting point and initial goal for total salaries but that he will be given the flexibility to increase that number if he can make a good investment of those extra dollars.

  2. Matt November 8, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    When I first heard the $100 million figure, I was a little upset. But then I remembered that Terry Ryan has a history of being obtuse when speaking to the media. $100 million may be a guess, or a smokescreen, or a lie. But if it’s accurate, and the strategy is to rebuild, I can’t really disagree with that.

  3. JA November 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    It’s a fairly flawed roster. So a rebiuld is the way to go. Will they sign some low level free agents? Sure they will. Will they build value and trade the likes of Liriano, Pavano, and others? More than likely. I fully believe Terry Ryan will succeed and turn the organization around for a extremly competitive 2013!

  4. rhobbs November 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I would guess the buy or sell delta is based upon the health of the M & M’s. If they are still impaired (likely) it makes the choosing easy.
    So, my prediction is that the payroll will $80 million or $120 but probably not $100.

  5. roger November 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    The payroll last year was $116mm, which according to several recent comments was higher than they wanted. This year they will need to spend at least $8mm more on draft picks and they are likely budgeting for less revenue. So if last year should have been $110-$112mm, take away $8mm and a bit for lower revenue gives you $100mm.

    I expect part of the difference in philosophy was related to budget. Since becomming general manager, Bill Smith spent more every year…a lot more. I expect he was lobbying hard for $115-$120mm this year which wasn’t in the cards. Just my thoughts.

    As for Terry Ryan, $100mm is a lot of money for him!

  6. mike wants wins November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    I’m still in shock. I really am.

  7. Bill in Sarasota November 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Smith listened to Gardy too much.

    Gardy openly asked for a Nathan replacement/reinforcement and wanted faster middle infielders. Obviously Ramos and Hardy moves were criticized at the time of the trades and even more so now.

    With Ryan in charge, Gardy knows the GM won’t cater to his desires. The GM will make decisions based on what’s best for the Twins and not necessarily for Gardy, Managers are willing to give up the future for the present.

  8. gobbledy November 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    they have 62.75 in contracts on the books and 2m for nathan for 64.75. liriano, casilla and perkins will get around 10m in arb. so we start with 75m for 10 guys under team control for next year. 429k is the minimum times the other 15 spots for 6.5m now we have a total of 81.5m. that leaves 18.5m +/- over and above league minimum to improve the team. being conservative we need above minimum guys at, backup catcher, ss, 1 outfield spot, 1 starting pitcher and 2 releif pitchers. so you have 6 major holes to fill with 18.5m over league minimum or about 3m+ each. now what can you get for around 3.5-4m to fill these holes no stars. an example; doumit for 4m, backup catcher and dh; barmes for ss @ 4m; cody ross outfielder 3m; harang stater @5m and bull pen guys wuertz and the hawk @ 1m each. that’s 18m so expecting a lot of big time help for 18m+ isn’t going to happen these guys may make the team better but not a playoff team, imo.

  9. mike wants wins November 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Assuming they don’t try to fix it all in one year, I’d go Revere, Span, Benson, Tosoni in the OF, and try to “fix” pitching, catching and SS. Benson and Tosoni aren’t quite ready…..but sometimes you just gotta go with what you got.

    • gobbledy November 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      agreed, with the way target field plays do what you can to fix the pitching and the defense first. time for small ball!

  10. Brad Beneke November 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Having had a few more hours to digest this I am leaning more and more towards Souhan’s theory, and the possibly theory your mentioned of Ryan throwing out a number… knowing that the Twins over spent last year almost as much as they under-achieved. I was also studying the strib’s 2012 roster/salary page. Slowey won’t be back, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Capps won’t be back, and I don’t believe that the Twins will have to absorb the major league totals for Butera next season plus with Dumatrait, Repko, and Tolbert being designated that will save some change as well.

    Hicks, Whimmers, Plouffe and Guerra for Jair Jurrjens
    Ryan Doumit 2 yrs (4.5per)Clint Barmes 3 yrs 4.25 per) Marcus Thames 1 yr 1.5m Grady Sizemore 1yr 7.5 mil (plus an incentive option for 2013) Rich Harden 1yr 2.5 guar 1.5 incent) Juan Cruz 2yr 2.75per, Joel Zumya minor league invite 1 mil contract if he makes the team
    Trade Span for Storen and Lombardozzi Team salary aprrox 109-112 million completely revamped.

  11. dave November 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    I’m not sure the number meant a lot except to send a messge. The new way didn’t want work and I’m not going to throw good money after bad. Here’s hoping they unload a lot of dead wood.

  12. BrynmawrDave November 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    In the Manager/General Manager dynamic TK was the top dog when Ryan took the job. When TK stepped down Terry became top dog with Gardy as the new guy without much clout. When Ryan stepped down, Gardy could call more shots. Now it’s a toss up with two guys with track records now. Whose top dog? Gardy has a bunch of division titles but Terry was the architect. I hope it’s Ryan, that’s the winning combo!

  13. Greg November 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    I don”t see where you guys give Gardy this much clout for the make up of the team. Smith made trades , he had some input from others , but my guess not allot..

    The real bad two bad ones in retrospect Ramos, and Hardy..

    I would like to see one new coach for 3rd base…

    Win Twins ..Let the activity begin..

  14. Shane Wahl November 9, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    I am guessing that the number is between $100 and $110 million, which is not that much than much of the various blueprints in the Twins Centric GM Handbook. I do think that one should rethink a blueprint based around what might be the most likely scenario: Kubel, Cuddyer, and Nathan are all walking away for longer or bigger deals. Getting to $105 with all three gone is not at all difficult and certainly does not require trading away Pavano, Baker, or Liriano. Furthermore, even if it starts out at $100 million, that might not be a bad way to go given they don’t know exactly who the hell is going to be fully healthy next year. Maybe they would be willing to take on $10 million more in salary in some trade in the middle of the season next year from a seller (like the Cubs dumping Dempster or something) if one or more major injuries is affecting the team.

  15. dave November 9, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Amen to going with the younger outfield [although I’d keep Kubel to DH] and fixing the infield and pitching. But, and here I am in a distinct minority, I’d favor giving Dozer and Plouffe a shot as the middle infield tandem. And what’s this about Johnny Cueto?

  16. Mark November 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    IT is obvious that this is going to be a rebuilding year.

    Nathan is already gone. Cuddyer is probably gone. Kubel and Capps are most likely gone. Several other players from the previous years will most likely not be on the roster. Couple that with the players they lost last year, the holes that they already have, and the Morneau issue, this is a hollow team.

    We have major holes at 2nd base and shortstop. Without Mauer being able to play everyday we have a hole at catcher. With Morneau and Span’s unknown condition we have holes in the outfield. At best, we have a couple of established pitchers and a partial, inconsistent solution at 3B.

    The fantasy trades some of the other commentators have suggested are not going to happen and the odds of the Twins signing major free agents to fill any of these positions are minimal. That leaves rebuilding with the minor league prospects we have followed for quite some time.

    LF: Span
    CF: Revere
    RF: Benson
    4th OF: Tosoni

    3B: Valencia
    SS: Dozier
    2B: Casilla
    1B: Morneau
    C: Mauer

    DH: Parmalee

    Backup C: A major league veteran FA signed to one year deal
    Utility: Trevor Plouffe
    Utility: Luke Hughes

    SP Carl Pavano
    SP Scott Baker
    SP Brian Duensing
    SP Nick Blackburn
    SP Liariano

    Closer: Lester Oliveros ????
    RP: Perkins
    RP: Mijares
    RP: Burnett
    RP: Jeff Gray
    RP: Matt Maloney
    RP: Anthony Swarzak

    Some of these pieces will fail. Some, like Liariano, Pavano, or Scott Baker could be traded for younger, cheaper players as the year plays out. A couple of players may make surprises like Brian Dozier. As this happens, other faces like Liam Hendricks can be brought in as replacements.

    That is going to be the situation in 2012 and we might as well prepare for it.

  17. Gary November 10, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Good roster moves: Gobbledy, Brad & Mark. I’m wondering about the effect on the 40 man roster based on the trades and free agent signings. I like the trade ideas with the Nationals, and Braves (probably can get Jurrjens for less – hang on to Hicks). May be time to cut the cord on: Burnett, Waldrop, Hoey, Diamond, Butera, Mijares, and Nishioka. and possibly Casilla. The recently added Maloney and Gray can probably also be moved off the 40 with minimal risk of losing them. Slowey needs to be moved – possibly to the Rockies. May be time to trade Valencia out of Gardenhire’s doghouse and replace him with Hughes (not that I like this idea, it’s just that Gardenhire isn’t going anywhere and Valencia is his constant goat) .Also I expect both Pavano and Liriano to be traded by 07/31/12 at the latest. The kids: Henricks, Benson, Tosoni & Parmelee need to play every day in the minors. Morneau can’t be counted on to be anything more than DH.
    Mauer can’t be relied upon to catch more than 80 games with the balance being at DH or other positions. The team does not need a full time DH. They do need 2 players who can catch in addition to Mauer with one of those able to play 1B and the OF and both being able to swing a decent bat meaning that neither is Butera

  18. Gary November 10, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Time for Ryan to do what he does best = bottomfeeding. Find the free agents who can “fit” and be had on the cheap. Identify arbitration eligible players that teams want to unload to save them salary in exchange for non-key parts from the Twins. Remember the rule 5 draft and come away with at least one player out of this. Review scouting on all 6 year and minor league free agents, they may just have been caught in a numbers game with their prior organization. Review former players from the Twins organization who may have departed over the last 4 years to see if they now would be able to help the team.

  19. Gary November 10, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Coaching needs some tweaking. Vavra needs to go. Get a new hitting coach. Ullger needs to go. Liddle needs to return to being the bench coach. Get a new 3rd base coach

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