40 thoughts on “February 10, 2018: Go Sports!”

      1. It's easy for me to spend other people's money, but that doesn't seem so unreasonable to me. $21/yr. He's been above a 3 WAR/yr player, so figure he averages 2.5/yr over the life of the contract, that's 18 WAR. At $8mil per win, that'd put a price in a reasonable range of $120 over the life of the contract. I suspect he outperforms that too (baring injury). Unless you think he's gonna hit an aging curve hard and not approach that 18 WAR, I think that 6th year is well worth price. Wins in 2024 matter a heck of a lot less to me than wins in 2018 and 2019.

        I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: better to have the right guy a year too long than to not have him at all.

            1. Seriously though, I don't understand this defense of the Twins. Darvish was the best free agent available, and there was every indication if the Twins pitched the extra year and dollars they could get him. They desperately need pitching, and are in a great window with most of their young offensive core. Is 6 years for Darvish ideal? No. But I'd take that "bad" option over the current rotation. Plus, an extra $21 million for a too-old starting pitcher might hamstring them a bit in 2024, but it might not. They're so afraid of that possibility that they won't take a reasonable shot now.

              1. Was there "every indication" they could have gotten him though? It seemed to me the general consensus was that he really wanted to stay with the Dodgers but, for whatever reason, they couldn't make the money work and that the Twins were just "on a list" of places he'd be willing to sign. I doubt they were at the top of that list,and considering how long it took him to sign, I'd say he was being very selective and they basically had little chance.

                I would have loved it if they'd gotten him, but I'm not going to roast Farley and Lavine for for it.

                1. I have a hard time faulting the front office on this. I can just see Darvish watching the Superbowl coverage and thinking "wow, it's freaking cold there". Let's face it, we are not going to be the #1 destination for many players due to reasons outside our control. We almost have to overpay in many of these cases to pull in the big fish. Pitchers are fragile, and a team like the Twins is going to be royally screwed if a contract like that does not pan out due to injury. We are going to have to be that type of team that develops front line starters from within (we need to do better on this), and sign marginal starters to fill the gaps in our rotation. I truly believe the Twins made an offer at the edge of their comfort level, and someone else out bid them. I am already over it.

                  1. I think the problem for me is that phrase "edge of their comfort level." Because their comfort level is set by reference to an insane amount of profit. They're comfortable when they're making $90 million a year, or whatever we figured out it was a couple weeks ago. There is plenty of room in there to invest a little more.

                    Again, it's easy for me to spend other people's money, but I do not understand an argument that takes a baseball team's self-imposed spending limits as being competition focused. Not signing Darvish might have had something to do with him not coming here, it might not have. But it certainly wasn't a product of their desire to be competitive. They didn't not-sign him because they wanted to be a better team.

                    1. But weren't they offering the same money, just one less year? I mean, sure, the cynical reading of that is that they only even offered it knowing he wouldn't take it because if the years, but they're also in the same division as Detroit who are a good cautionary tale of giving out big ass contracts. I'd like to give them some more rope during their first real offseason.

                    2. Yeah, it seems like the numbers were almost the same per year. Throw in the option and the extra year though, and that's some increased value for Darvish. Plus, as has been acknowledged, it's MN, and they might need to sweeten the pot a little bit.

                      I've heard too many stories of how Falvey and Levine got the job ("yes, we'll bring you in under budget > yes, we'll help you win") and how the Twins were turned down by at least one GM who actually wanted to try to win... I'm not inclined to give them more rope, since that's giving Pohlad more rope, and he hasn't earned it.

                    3. One of the things going on here is that Falvey and Levine raised expectations, or at least allowed them to be raised. Let's face it, if Terry Ryan was the GM no one would be disappointed that the Twins didn't get Darvish, because no one would've expected them to get him in the first place. But this off-season, we read story after story about how the Twins were going to be active players in the free agent market, that they were going to go after the big names, and that Darvish was at the top of their list. Falvey and Levine did nothing to discourage those stories. And yet here we are, not getting Darvish and with the big acquisition being Addison Reed. Nothing against Reed, who's a good reliever and will definitely help. But we were led to believe the Twins would do something more than that, and so far, it hasn't happened. I think some criticism for that is perfectly reasonable.

        1. Steamer projects him for 3.6 wins next season. You can't just guess three wins a year for his 32-37 years. Going with the usual 0.5 win decline every year, that's 14 wins over six year. I recall projections should use something steeper at a certain age (35?) so I would guess 14 wins is the optimistic side.

          1. I had been thinking 3 originally, corrected to 2.5 after looking more closely, but then didn't change the 18 total WAR I had typed out. The $120 at 8/per matches with the 15 total I was actually using.

            So not really that far off. $8 mill per was a pre-2016 estimate too, IIRC, and that's maybe gone up?

            1. Also worth pointing out: WAR is a trade-off. If the Twins end up slotting a league-minimum, negative WAR guy into that 5th spot, that's an even bigger loss. Instead of 3.6 wins this year he's really worth [3.6 - whatever WAR the 5th pitcher is worth].

              1. If the Twins end up slotting a negative WAR guy into that 5th spot, heads should roll. It's wins above replacement.

                1. It happens. For example, with a good second half last year Gibson was worth .2 wins on the year. His first half was almost certainly negative.

                  1. It's been pointed out before but there is not a 5th spot guy, but a 5th spot that is occupied by the hot arm. I would bet it's common to be replacement level for all but the best teams.

                    1. So we compare to the 4th spot guy?

                      Bottom line, there are ~200 innings of pitching that will be filled by not-Darvish. If those 200 innings are filled by, say, the Twins signing Cobb (Steamer has him at 1.7 wins), then that might be more reasonable (half as much WAR projected as Darvish). That'll especially depend on price, I suppose (projections for Cobb are ~ 5 years/80 mil from a quick search). That's trading wins for money vs. Darvish, and then it's a question of where else the Twins can pick up those wins.

                      But if it's filled with replacement level guys who, despite being the hot hand, end up contributing a negative WAR, it's not looking as good.

                      It's an open question, but there shouldn't be much doubt the Twins (if they could have signed Darvish at some price) were leaving wins on the table for money.

        2. better to have the right guy a year too long than to not have him at all.

          What if it is a one-year contract?

    1. Ugh, any of the decent options left (Cobb, Lynn, Arrieta) will require forfeiting a draft pick since they declined qualifying offers. I’d rather the Twins not trade for pitching, but none of those guys makes me feel like this rotation is playoff-caliber.

      1. Cobb could be a steal if he gets back to presurgery form or close to it. Last year was his first full season back from TJ surgery and his second-half K rate was the same as his career K rate of 7.3.

  1. 1. I remembered how to get my preferred CBC coverage.
    Chrome plugin "Hola"

    2. I overheard someone at the store today talking about the Olympics in "Pyongyang".

  2. 3. Watching the opening ceremony, I thought "this is nowhere near as cool as China's".
    (Caveats about the muscle of a totalitarian state and summer vs winter Olympics),
    New competition: Opening Ceremony Olympics, where countries compete to see who can do the best Opening Ceremony.

    3a. I did like the old guy singing the Korean version of ghazals.
    3b. I thought the use of PSY in the recorded music was disappointing, because it meant he most likely wasn't going to show up to sing. I wanted him to arise out of the Lotus in the middle of the stadium after the torch-lighting.
    I guess he can still show up for the closing ceremonies.

  3. 4. The "Unified Korea" flag is pretty awful. It's like a worse version of Cyprus's. I hope that the actual future unified Korean flag is just South Korea's current flag... One of the best and most interesting while using entirely geometric shapes.

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