116 thoughts on “August 1, 2016: Deep Breath”

  1. Today I'm holding my breath, since I will be closing on the purchase of the building for my new practice.

  2. Good luck, Philo.

    In building-buying related news, our inspection is this afternoon. We hope nothing big shows up in it.

    1. Or, you could be hoping that if there is something big your inspector finds it, and your seller is willing to pay for the repairs....

  3. While I'm hopeful the Twins will be active today, in my mind there is a very low bar of success and it is simply "don't sign Suzuki to another extension."

    1. They still have an option to bring him back next year that, right now, I would be surprised if they don't exercise.

      1. I don't really know what I think about that right now. I mean, the free agent list starts out fun with your Wieterses and and your Ramoses, but after that it's all Butera and A.J. Ellis and tears. Also, from what I've seen, it's not like we've got any MLB-ready catchers in the minors for next year.

        1. what, you think Centeno needs to be sent down to work on his knuckle-curve? He's got the Butera...and tears part down already, otherwise.

          1. He needs to learn to get the bunt down.

            Though, if we're sending people down by that metric, we're going to be forfeiting a lot of games.

      2. The option is based on plate appearances, which he likely won't reach. Can they also elect to exercise it if he falls short of the plate appearances?

          1. As much as I don't want them to bring Suzuki back, the potential free agent replacements don't appear to be that much better. (Related: How is Nick Hundley almost 33?!)

            Meanwhile, Josmil Pinto has posed a .872 OPS* while playing about 54% of his time at catcher this season (in Colorado Springs, but still).

  4. Reading BP's analysis of the Andrew Cashner trade makes this deadline a bit more frustrating. If Antony's statements about keeping Santana are on the level, then it seems like a wasted opportunity. Not every team is going to give away what the Marlins surrendered to land a mediocre starter, but Santana's value is probably as high as it's going to be right now, and the Twins could use a couple more young pieces to add to the nucleus. Whether they get anything meaningful for any of the arms they're reported to be shopping (Nolasco, Milone, Abad) is an open question, but none of those three present the opportunity for a quality return the way Santana likely does.

    1. I disagree. As discussed previously, I think his trade value is higher with fewer years on the contract. There is injury/decline risk, but he isn't very good trade bait right now b/c of length of commitment.

      1. Santana's got two guaranteed years left, with 2019 being a potential vesting option based on accumulating 400 innings pitched, 2017-2018, plus passing a physical after the 2018 season. Dave Cameron put the value of a win roughly around $6 million in early 2014; Santana would need to be worth roughly a total of four wins over that same time to match his salary. Seems reasonable to think he would make it worth someone's while.

        1. He's also a 6.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 pitcher with the Twins. The strikeout rate is the lowest it's been in a decade. It could easily move back up over the next two months or maybe it doesn't. Two more years of that is kind of risky for a deadline move. If the Twins added salary relief that would make it more palatable. I think he should be moved but I can see where there might be skepticism.

          1. Santana's career ratios are 7.1 K/9 & 2.8 BB/9, so...he's right around his career averages.

            I'd trade some dollars to get a couple of good prospects in return. But that's not how the Twins have typically rolled.

    1. Nice. Remember, this guy was a minor league free agent signing, so the Twins had basically zero invested in him. It will be interesting to see what they get back for him. Hopefully, Kinzler is next.

      1. I like seeing this sentence in one of the first Google results:

        Pat Light is bringing his triple-digit fastball back to the major leagues.

        Like you said, this is like getting a free prospect/young player. I like the two moves Antony has made so far.

        1. Light didn't make BP's list of the Red Sox's ten best prospects, but got a write-up in the post anyway based on his fastball/splitter combo. If Light can become a bullpen asset, I like the prospects for his walk-in music.

          The notification I just got from MLB says #14 prospect. Not bad for a minor-league FA signing.

  5. Whoa.

    The Marlins announced that Rea has indeed been traded back to San Diego in exchange for Castillo. In essence, then, last Friday’s swap boils down to Miami acquiring Cashner and Guerrero in exchange for Cosart, Naylor and Capps.

    I don't recall a player ever being traded back like this.

    1. For Nolasco and Alex Meyer, apparently?

      Not sure what to think about this one, from my minute of research he kind of looks like an anti-Nolasco - his FIP is always higher than his ERA. Team control for one more year with an unimpressive K:BB rate.

      1. FWIW, a recent remark on Santiago by BP's J.P. Breen

        'Spoiler'd because it's behind BP's paywall SelectShow
      2. Frankly, I'm surprised that we were able to offload Nolasco, and I'm not convinced we were ever going to give Meyer an opportunity to do anything. So...I'm counting this as a win.

          1. I was very sad when DSpan2 got traded.

            I would've been a hell of a lot sadder knowing we traded him for a throw in to make Ricky Nolasco go away.

        1. Twins will pay Nolasco for rest of year, Angels will pay Santiago. Then Twins will send LAA $4 million in 2017, to make deal cash-neutral.
          -Phil Miller


            Santiago, 28, has played for both the White Sox and the Angels. This season, he is 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA and a 5.03 FIP. He has struck out about 8.0 per nine innings, but has also walked about 4.3 per nine innings. The southpaw has a 3.68 career ERA and one more year left of arbitration. He should immediately take Nolasco’s spot in the rotation.

            Finally, the Twins acquired Alan Busenitz in the deal. He was the Angels 25th round pick in 2013 out of Kennesaw State. He will turn 26 years old later this month. He began the season with 24 appearances out of the bullpen in AA Arkansas where he posted a 1.93 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. He recently moved up to AAA Salt Lake and has a 9.00 ERA in 13 innings. He does have 13 strikeouts in the Pacific Coast League. He should report to Rochester.
            -Seth Stohs

            1. Nolasco's making $12M this year (Twins to pay remainder) and is due $12M next year, of which the Twins apparently will be paying $4M, leaving $8M to be paid by the Angels ... maybe that's what they expect Santiago to make in arbitration?
              Santiago's on a 1-Yr, $5M deal for 2016 (Angels to pay remainder) and will be arbitration eligible in 2017.

              1. I assumed that's what it meant but I couldn't figure out how they knew the amounts would be neutral if the Twins sent $4 million next year since Santiago's deal is only for 2016.

    2. Looks like the Twins have landed themselves a starter who can knock Jim Perry out of the Top Five on a franchise leaderboard.

        1. Perry's 5th on the leaderboard for HR surrendered in a season, with 39 in 1971. He shares that spot with Pedro Ramos, who is also third on the list (with 43 in 1961).

          1. I did not know that.
            Santiago surrendered 29 HR's in 180.2 innings last year and he's at 20 through 120.2 innings this year ... so yeah, I hope you're not right, but wow.
            In 1971, it took Perry 270 innings to give up 39 HR's and 264.1 innings for Ramos in 1961.

            1. Hector Santiago made the all-star team last year. Who knew?

              We pretty much know who Nolasco and Santiago are, so it pretty much comes down to what you expect out of Meyer and Busenitz. I really have no idea what to expect out of them, so I guess all I can say is we'll see.

              1. Well, that and what money the team can save by unloading Nolasco's contract for next year.

                1. Sounds like Twins are paying Nolasco this year (Angels paying Santiago) and are throwing in $4M for next year. Any savings would come from Twins not offering Santiago arbitration since he would be expected to get around $8M next year, so the Twins have basically paid for an even money swap. Basically, they'd rather pay Santiago what they were paying Nolasco, which I don't think is unreasonable.

            2. Bradke in third with 40 through 232 IP in 1996. He finished 3rd in Cy Young voting the next season.

  6. Awful day in Nebraska for Minnesota family.

    OGALLALA, Neb. (AP/WCCO) — Authorities have arrested a truck driver involved in a fiery crash that killed a young Minnesota couple and their three children in western Nebraska.

    The Nebraska State Patrol said Monday the crash happened Sunday morning near Brule when the truck struck a van on westbound Interstate 80. Three more vehicles soon were involved.

    The patrol identified the family members killed as Jamison and Kathryne Pals, both 29 and of St. Paul, and their three children, Ezra, Violet and Calvin, aged, 3, 1 and 2 months.

  7. Phil Miller reporting Santiago will debut Thursday, Duffey back in the rotation (and starting Wednesday) and Tommy Milone to the pen to take Abad's 'lefty' spot.

    1. I've always liked Milone, and it's kind of tough on him, but I can see why you'd do that. We pretty much know who Milone is, too. Might as well leave Duffey in the rotation, get him some experience, and see if he can get it going again.

      1. Plus, Duffey seems to have the higher ceiling. I'd almost be afraid if Duffey got put in the bullpen that he'd start dominating and then get stuck in a reliever role with no opportunity to try starting again. He needs to be challenged as a starter to see if he can be successful there.

  8. I'll give Antony this much credit--interim or not, he wasn't afraid to jump in and pull the trigger on some deals. There's no way to know if these were deals Terry Ryan was working on, and there's no way to know what he'd have done if he was still there, but at least Antony was willing to try some things.

    1. No matter the origin, I'm happy that they were willing to make some moves to acquire younger talent (with potential to help the club down the road) using the pieces available (that likely wouldn't be around to help the club down the road).

    2. I hadn't seen any reports linking the Twins to Santiago, so that might be a pretty recent development. If Santiago can get his walks under control, that trade might look pretty good. It's certainly no worse than keeping Nolasco.

    1. This is interesting:

      Hutchison, formerly a regular in the back end of the Jays’ rotation, has spent most of the 2016 season with Triple-A Buffalo, where he’s posted a 3.26 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. He’s had considerably less success in his four-year big-league career, with a 4.92 ERA, although with a reasonable 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

      Hutchison is three years younger than Santiago, but has put up similar K/9 and HR/9 rates. Santiago's walk rate is significantly worse, though.

    1. Wow.

      But looking at his b-r entry, it is pretty striking to see the dramatic, year-by-year decline in his OPS. What the heck happened to him?

      1. It's gotta be health related. Injuries always seem to be the easiest answer for declines like that.

        1. There's something wrong with Puig's swing this season. He's not chasing significantly more bad pitches than normal (for him), but his contact is bad. Over 25% of the fly balls Puig's hit so far this season have been infield flies, his career percent is less than half that (11.8%). Meanwhile, his percentage of hard-hit balls has dropped from 37.5% in his rookie season to 29.7% now, and the percentage of softly-hit balls has jumped from 13.9% to 20.1% over the same period. (h/t to Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs for the IFFB analysis).

          Might be health-related, might be needing a change in batting coaches. The Dodgers aren't collecting those, too, are they?

      2. Update: more info on the Puig story in an update here. Sounds like Rosenthal got bad word or misunderstood. I'm just going to throw out there the possibility that Rosenthal relied on the predominant caricature of Puig and reported this without two sources. He's "adjusting" his story.

    1. I'm not nearly so handsome - or tall - as the author.

      True story though: I love having a name that lots of other people have, as it means some level of anonymity online.

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