17 thoughts on “December 8, 2022: Inconclusive”

  1. Given his experience last year, I have a feeling that Correa will not be happy to be the last marquee player on the market two offseasons in a row. I think the Twins’ best chance of re-signing him is in the next day or two.

    Correa now has the Bogaerts & Turner deals as his floor for length and Lindor & Seager as his target for total value. If the Twins get their offer somewhere in those ranges — or even make two, one with greater length & a shorter one with higher AAVs — there’s no real reason for him to turn them down if he’s genuine about his admiration for the organization & loving his time in Minnesota. And really, since they saved all that payroll flexibility with Buxton, they have no excuse to not sign Correa for the market rate.

    If they don't sign him, I don't think they're in a position to deceive themselves into thinking they're a postseason-caliber roster. In fact, I think it would be a point where they need to make some more significant changes — trading Polanco, & Kepler, then signing Arráez to an extension — that give them a better core for after Kirilloff & Lewis have demonstrated the extent of their post-injury capabilities.

    1. And to be certain, I will not be happy to see this front office walk away from the offseason trading from its major league roster to position itself to contend two or three years from now. And I hope Buxton would share that sentiment and let them hear it.

    2. I don't think they're a postseason-caliber roster even with Correa, unless they make some other significant moves as well. He would obviously put them closer, though.

      1. I don’t disagree. It’s hard to be a postseason team with only one catcher on the 40-man.

        I haven’t seen any indication the Twins are bidding on Kodai Senga, who is the best pitcher available who would not cost them a draft pick or talent in trade to acquire. All it costs them is money!

      2. I don't think anything matters until they can start developing pitching. They can't rely on free agents and trades.

        The next two years will show us if this front office succeeded at that goal or not.

    3. I think it kind of depends on how much he trusts his agent and how much he gets paid. If he gets less than Judge, but more than any other SS on the market, I don't think he'll have any issues sleeping at night.

      If I was his agent, the main thing I'd be telling him is that the Padres are doing him a favor by buying up so many high-value shortstops. You don't want to be the last one standing in musical chairs, but the question here is whether the players are the chairs or the teams are the chairs. Right now it seems to me that in the SS market, the players are the chairs and the teams are the ones who don't want to be the last one standing.

    4. Personally, I'm not big on trying to project exactly when you're good and when you're not good. A lot can change with some injury luck or you hit gold with a trade. I think it's more about the overall process of maximizing value -- trying to trade players who could be overvalued and trying to trade for players who could be undervalued. I actually really like what the Padres are doing, too, not being too picky about positional fit. I mention that, because even from a smaller-market perspective, I think there's something there to chew on -- don't really try to fit all your moves into a grand strategy that is maximizing every position every year into the future, but just focus on all the individual moves and whether you're winning the cost/value battle.

      I think it's reasonable to give Polanco a shot at a bounce-back season this year -- he'll still have two club option years left on his contract at the end of 2023, so he could recoup some potential trade value. I would have been more interested in trading him last offseason, coming off of a career year that he probably won't repeat again.

      I would totally be supportive of trading Kepler, provided that you find someone who values his last season at 2.0 fWAR and aren't too put off by his offensive numbers. It's possible that some teams out there will overestimate how much the shift ban will help some hitters out. Kepler runs reasonably well (so he could leg out some more doubles of any additional hits) and his strikeout rate was under 15% last year, which these days seems pretty good. If he'd qualified for the batting title, he would have been in the top 25 lowest strikeout rates. I think the concern is that the market would just look at him as a weak-hitting corner outfielder on the wrong side of his prime.

      Arraez is an interesting case. I think winning the batting title is the sort of trivial thing that even if you know it's kind of a trivial thing, it makes it easier to overvalue him. So I would definitely listen to anyone who is willing to give me a trade offer. But also, I look at the insanity on the free agent market, and I would be telling myself that I really want no part in that. It's a bit on the unhinged side of things, but if there's not a good trade market for him, I'd be kind of tempted to offer him like a 7-year deal with an option. Maybe even like an 8-year deal. I think it'd be an awfully big risk for him to turn down something like that, being 3 years away from free agency, but also, if the market is moving toward these 8-10-year deals, I'd rather make my gambles over the prime of someone's career instead of the end of their career. 7 years for Arraez starting in 2023 would be his age 26-32 seasons. The devil's always in the details, AAV, options, NTC, opt-outs, etc., but broadly speaking I think it could be a reasonable gamble. Even if he struggles for a couple of years, maybe he has a big age-28 season and with four years left on his deal, you could find a good veteran-for-prospects trade out there so you can use your cash elsewhere. It wouldn't be like these 10-year deals handed out to 30-year-olds, where if they struggle and then have a good age-36 season, there would suddenly be a big market for their age 37-40 seasons but getting paid a lot.

      Part of my thinking is that I wonder if it is really that worth it to penny-pinch everyone through their arb-eligible years when it's so hard to replace players that leave through free agency. If you signed enough of these age 26-32 deals, you'd win some and you'd lose some, but you could generally keep the age of your team more in their prime years. And even if the Twins were a $200M/year payroll, it's still extremely hard to get someone signed to anything like a rational contract on the free agent market. Sure, you'll occasionally get egg on your face ("look at dumb GM ubelmann over there, pulling the trigger on a long-term deal after Arraez only had a single outstanding season"), but it would be the $20-30M/year egg on my face and not the $35-40M/year egg on my face that you can get with premium free agents.

  2. Today I was informed that I'm in line for a pretty good pay raise. Its got to go through committees and be passed by city council and all that bureaucracy. But Im pretty jazzed.

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