Thursday, November 29, 2012

Terry Ryan is Headed in Right Direction

Some of Terry Ryan's public statements about the Twins direction raised some of my fears that we were going to see the Terry Ryan of the mid-90's. That Terry Ryan kept looking for quick fixes by grabbing mediocre vets and fading stars. The Terry Ryan we all remember only emerged after the Pohlad's pulled the plug on that strategy by cutting off the money.

The decision to trade Denard Span for a top pitching prospect has qwelled  those fears.  The fear was that the Twins would trade span for some proven major league pitching that would plug a couple gaps in the rotation, but provide no future improvement. Instead Ryan bit the bullet and traded Span for a top flight pitching prospect. It may turn out he chose the wrong guy, but it is the right approach.

Which is what Ryan has been trying to say all fall with the "its not about money" mantra. The problem last year was not the budget. The problem was bad choices. Signing Jason Marquis was the right strategy, it was a poor choice.  And you can make bad choices even with a larger budget as many teams have proved.

The Twins still need to fill out next year's rotation. That probably means signing a couple guys like Francisco Liriano and Brett Meyers. It probably does not mean trading for a proven major league starter. I am thankful for that and thankful that wasn't what they got in return for Span. Ryan is making deals with one eye on the future. That is the way you build a championship team.

If they decide to move Justin Morneau or Josh Willingham at the trading deadline next summer, I hope they follow the same path as they did with Span. Getting prospects that can become the core of a future world series club, not filling projected gaps in the major league roster.


Jeff Peterson said...

I agree completely, it is so tough to acquire top flight pitching that they have to be willing to take some risks.

Jim H said...

I agree with your thoughts here and your last post. If Ryan is right about Meyer, it puts the Twins in a much stronger position pitching wise in the future. Top flight pitching talent tends to develop much quicker than top flight position players. I don't expect much from Gibson or Meyer this coming year, but perhaps as soon 2014 we could see some useful major league results.

I have read quite a bit on this trade. It does seem that many kind of overvalue Span. I like him but Revere has a good chance of being better. I believe Hicks should be better than Span as well, if not for a few years. Trading Span now, for high end talent makes sense to me.

One thing I don't get is the interest in Liriano. You, as well as others, have suggested he is in line for a multi-year contract. I can't see that. I should think that his performance the last 2 years would be unlikely to garner more than 1 year deal for a relatively low sum, say $3-4 million. I understand that people look at his talent, but he can't seem to harness it on any consistent basis. Personally, I expect you could get similar performance from Deduno or DeVries for much less money.

Your reference to the 90's was interesting. Just about every supposedly high end pitching talent drafted by the Twins during that period, did not work out. Few young position players with the exception of Knoblauch were able to gain much traction either. I suspect that was the main reason for the long line of stopgap solutions.

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