Wednesday Night, December 5, 2007
A little something different today, and the NFL “Expert” Picks will be posted sometime this morning. With very little going on involving the Twins and the Winter Meetings, I thought it would be fun to share with you an e-mail exchange that I recently had with a friend of mine, Joe Cuchna. Joe and I played amateur ball against each other starting when we were probably 15. We played college ball together for a couple of years. He was good. I wasn’t. We have spent a lot of time talking baseball. We both are big Twins fans, and we both want to see the Twins win, and win championships. But we definitely have some different thoughts on how to do that. So again, I am going to share some of that conversation and I would love to hear your thoughts on the conversation. Which side do you stand on? It isn’t a simple black-white topic. Let’s get to the e-mails (which have been over the past several days):
From: Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
What are your thoughts now? I think it stinks.
I know you will defend them and say that our minor leagues will come through but why should it have to like this?
It was evident last year if you didn't score runs in the 1-6 spots, you weren't scoring, now they have three hitters that can do anything, they haven't done anything to gain offense in the offense oriented central, my opinion.
I guess every three or four years we are going to have to get used to getting rid of good solid players and starting over.
For all we know, Mauer and Morneau will be gone in 4 years as well, won't that be fun to watch, back to the early 90's.
I am not much of a twin fan right now, of course we will always see.
From: Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
1.) I LOVED the trade with the Devil Rays when I thought Juan Rincon was in it. Jason Bartlett and Brendan Harris are pretty similar. Bartlett more range, Harris surer hands. Garza, I hate to give him up, but they need bats and have plenty of arms. Pridie has some upside in the OF. I thought it was unfortunate that they gave up Morlan. But, I will wager almost ANYTHING that Delmon Young puts up better numbers than Torii Hunter EACH of the next six years (unless he gets hurt, which you just can’t predict. As a 22 year old this year, he hit .288 with a bunch of homers and 93 RBI. He walks about as much as Hunter did. He’ll play LF and any Santana deal will likely take care of CF (and a pitcher and an infielder (3B and or SS).
2.) My main contention of late is – you don’t overpay for mediocrity, or even for good (which is Torii). Giving him 5 years and $90 million was crazy and the Twins shouldn’t have touched that. Now, for Santana, the best pitcher in baseball, I would say it’s more OK to overpay… a little bit. The Twins 5 year, $93 million offer would have made him the highest paid (annual salary) pitcher in baseball. He of course wants 7 years and $126 million, which is what the horrible Barry Zito got somehow. I would like to see the Twins offer a sixth year and make it a 6 year, $117 million offer. BUT, if he’s not going to sign that, they HAVE TO trade him. They can’t be left in a situation where they get two draft picks for him (as is the case with Hunter). He’s the best, and they would be irresponsible not to get the best package available for him.
3.) Does signing a #3 or #4 pitcher, like Carlos Silva, to a four year, $40-44 million contract make sense?
4.) My ideal trade option (from the two teams most likely) – to Boston for Clay Buccholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie. There is a pitcher who is 22, threw a no-hitter in his second big league start for the Sox in September, in Buccholz. They will have him in their control for the next 6 years. Ellsbury would be their CF for the next six years. He was their starter in the World Series. That’d be great! And, I would also insist on Jed Lowrie, who can be their SS for the next six years. So… one more year of the best pitcher in baseball OR 18 years of (likely) better than average to great play from the three names mentioned above? Which one makes more sense?
5.) If the Twins make that deal for Santana, here is their lineup: Ellsbury CF, Lowrie SS, Mauer C, Young LF, Morneau 1B, Cuddyer RF, Kubel DH, Harris (2B or 3B), the 2B or 3B not named Harris (Buscher/Macri/Casilla/Punto). That is strong 1-8, and I’m still pretty high on Casilla!
6.) If the Twins make that deal for Santana, here is their rotation: Francisco Liriano, Clay Buccholz, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Boof Bonser (or Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn, Anthony Swarzak, Brian Bass, starters acquired in other deals). Pretty strong, especially if Liriano is healthy.
7.) Now, the Twins are also likely to trade Joe Nathan. I like him. I think he’s been the best closer in baseball over the last three or four years and even now, I would probably only rank Papelbon ahead of him. But a closer pitches 70 innings a game, tops. He’s making $6 million this year, which is way under market. Rivera just signed for three years and $45 million. Francisco Cordero signed for four years and $46 million with the Reds. Nathan’s better than both. The Twins offered him 4 years and $40 million, and he can and should say no, but it’s a legit effort. No one who pitches that little should make so much. They owe it to themselves to find out what they could get for him. I have heard Billy Hall and a prospect or two from Milwaukee, but since his 2008 deal is so cheap, lots of teams are in contention for him, which could raise the price.
8.) So yeah, I hate to lose Santana and Nathan, but it would be irresponsible of the team to not do what is best for them. So, if that’s backing up the team, or their philosophy, I guess it is. The thing is… with Santana and Nathan, will this team win the division in 2008? Probably not because Cleveland and Detroit are very good, and Kansas City will surprise because of their youth movement. The players that the Twins could get in these deals mean that they probably won’t be any worse off in 2008 with or without them.
9.) Note – The Yankees could offer Phil Hughes, who many say is better than Buccholz. I have heard that they would now consider giving the Twins Robinson Cano, which would be very nice. How about a deal of Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera? There is a starting pitcher, your 2B for 3-4 years and your CF for the next 4-5 years.
10.) How about the Dodgers? They could offer a package of CF Matt Kemp, 3B Andy LaRoche, RHP Chad Billingsley and RP Jonathan Broxton. There is your CF, 3B, a replacement starter with amazing upside, and a reliever who would easily step in to replace Nathan.
The team would be irresponsible if they weren’t at least finding out what the market is.
Now, WHEN Johan is traded and we find out what the package ends up being… I reserve the right to be disappointed.
From Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
Oh yeah, and I just heard that Boston will not let go of Ellsbury. Also, you can't pay for mediocrity, I agree, but you also can't go backwards and lose experience, you don't get that in cheap young players, no matter what talent they have
From: Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
I’d heard they would trade only one of Ellsbury, Lester and Buccholz. Again, I say that the Twins stick to their guns and get everything they can get for him.
I know, cuz Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester didn’t help the Red Sox win the World Series… or Troy Tulowitski didn’t help a young Rockies team… and that Diamondbacks team with guys like Justin Upton and Chris Young and Micah Owings and Stephen Drew… or the Yankees with Philip Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy… Having all veterans, guys over 30 signed to big, long contracts doesn’t work. Ask the Yankees the last 6-7 years.
From Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
True, but I believe, other than the red sox, that the rockies and the diamondbacks were cinderella stories, we will see next year, so you can say that, but I still believe it takes experience, not Yankee 30+ experience, that is not what I was referring to. When you look at Pedroia, Lester and Ellsbury, they are surrounded by Paplebon, Big Papi, Manny, Wakefield, who else should I mention. And did you notice that the Rockies didn't last long in the Series, in a very weak National League, against a very good, experienced mixed Red Sox team
We will not win the series in any foreseeable future because we will always take away our experience for younger players and by the time they get experience and get to be solid players, we trade them for the next phase of competitive baseball team.
I am tired of being competitive, it is time to get back to the series and we won't do that when we keep turning over players
From: Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
But how do you get back to the World Series when the playoffs are a complete crapshoot? The best team doesn’t always win. That’s the nature of the short series. 2007 was a strange example of the best team winning. And yes, the Red Sox do have the perfect mix to win. Youth, veterans, hitting, starting pitching, relievers, on-base guys, home run guys. But they have been smart and that’s what makes them scary. They have let veterans go before they were done so that they didn’t have bad contracts when they were still with them. They have put money into their minor league system so that they can continually replenish. Don’t forget that Papelbon just finished his second full big league season, so he’s hardly a “veteran” yet. But he is a guy that they developed.
The Twins weren’t the best team in baseball in 1987 or 1991. They were actually far better in both 1988 and 1992 than they were when they won the World Series. That’s why, to me, it’s all about the 162 game season rather than the 5 game and 7 game series. Anything can happen in that.
That said, a Red Sox rotation that includes Santana, Beckett, Dice-K and another year of Schilling is going to be very hard to beat in a short series. Not every team can afford to have a $20 million #1, a $15 million #2, give $50 million to a team in Japan just to talk to their #3 who they then gave about $52 million to, and a $12 million pitcher as their #4 and a $9 million pitcher as their #5, and pick up the option of a crappy swing man for $5 million.
Those kinds of revenues allow them to do play that game. They’ve just played it FAR smarter than the Yankees have.
From Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
Maybe I am just whining because I hate losing and I am sick of being second best
I was talking to <someone> yesterday at a meeting, and they were excited about next year and they had this projected a lineup of:
I can't remember the other 4 but Harris was in there and I can't remember who they had at third, but anyway, then they had Lester, Liriano, Baker, Bonser, Slowey as the starters with Neshek, Guerrier, Crain, and I don't remember who else as the relievers, but they seemed positive.
I don't know, I hate losing quality players. I realize it is a business and Pohlad is a business man and I have argued as well that you can't dip into your pocket, business is business so I agree with your argument that people who say Pohlad should spend his money is getting old. It just isn't any fun to lose the best pitcher in baseball
Maybe Liriano will take that place
From: Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
The Tigers just mortgaged their future to pick up two guys, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Giving up Maybin and Miller was a huge hit to their future. That is an older team, but in reality, are the Twins going to compete for the AL Central title in 2008 even if they do have Johan? He only played 1 of 5 games. If you probably aren’t going to compete with the Tigers and Cleveland in 2008, and you are going to lose Santana after 2008 for nothing, it would be pretty crazy to get nothing for him.
I also am not saying that the 2008 Twins can’t compete. Like others have said, there are some pretty good pieces to the puzzle already. Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer and Young is as good as any foursome in the middle of a lineup as there is in the league (potentially, of course you can’t really predict injury). I am still high on Casilla. Harris has more pop in his bat than Bartlett. Crisp is, in my mind (and statistically) as good as any CF in the game defensively, and I anticipate a solid season from him in the only category I care about him putting up, and that is on-base percentage.
Pitching-wise, yes, there are some question marks. Having the sure thing in Santana is a very nice thing, but he only pitches once every five games. The question marks are all still there after that. And, despite pitching essentially as well as he has the previous three years, he went just 15-13. The other four spots do involve question marks.
So I guess the theory has to be, do you want to win 75-80 games in 2008 and finish in third or fourth with Johan Santana, or do you want to win 70-77 games without Johan Santana while freeing up some money, letting younger players with big potential develop and get 3-5 players that will help you for at least the next 4-6 years, so that in 2010 you are again contending for a title. (or 2009 just because they aren’t that bad and have a lot of talent)
From: Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
I don't disagree with you, but your comment that letting the younger players with big potential develop so that in the future they can have the possibility of doing this or that. That is the problem, we are always looking to the future because we can't pay the players when they get good to keep them here to have that future. We did this a few years ago with Morneau and Mauer, we said can't wait for them to get better and on and on and on. We won and now what, yes they are still here but they have a lot of younger players, now all proven, around them and yes I realize they are not that old either. Now, they are the nucleus, and in 4 years, other than maybe Mauer, we will be trading Morneau, Cuddyer, Liriano etc etc because we can't afford to pay them and then again, we will have this same discussion, well the future is bright because we have this person and in a few years they should be able to do this and this person and this person, then they get good and guess what, can't afford them, so we trade them for prospects and here we go again. See what I am saying. I agree with your earlier comment that the playoffs are a crapshoot and you don't know what will happen in a short series so yes, anything can happen. We have made the playoffs and that has been great and yes, the 87 and 91 twins were not the best team when they won, at least the 87 team wasn't (that team had heart and camaraderie, and some good talent, and I know you don't think camaraderie is the only thing that makes the team good where I think it makes a world of difference, but you even said that they were the best team, even with good talent) Ok, anyway, we are always saying, the future the future, but when we finally get a team that looks pretty good, guess what, can't afford them, and trades and then well we have prospect A because he can do this and prospect B because he can do that, but it will take a few years. So I am hopefull because I am a positive person, but when will this cycle end? Will we have Morneau, Cuddyer etc etc when 2010 comes around, or will we be at the "Crossroads" again with our proven players, not being able to afford them and then getting players that we will have to wait until next year to see how it pans out?
From Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
Name two free agents that the Twins brought up through the system and have lost that they really wanted to keep…
From: Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
So you're saying that the twins never wanted to keep frank viola, tom brunansky, (Andy MacPhail has even admitted that one was a mistake) Johan Santana, you are saying that the twins don't want to keep these guys
Seth, I think you are being blinded by the same <BS> that the twins want you to be blinded by
From Seth Stohs
To: Joe Cuchna
They wanted to keep Viola, I’m sure, but they became a better team because of the players that they got in that trade (Tapani and Aguilera primarily). Also, Viola had one more good year before really falling flat on his face. So, would have a 4-5 year deal made sense in that case?
Tom Brunansky was traded for Tom Herr. I am pretty sure their salaries were pretty close. In fact, Herr’s may have been larger. That was a horrible trade, but it wasn’t related to money.
Chuck Knoblauch asked out. That’s why he got booed so bad when he came back. He voiced his requirement to be traded (and I am pretty sure that Paul Molitor was more than willing to encourage Terry Ryan to trade him) and the Twins obliged, and because of it they got:
Eric Milton (4-5 years) –
à Carlos Silva à 4 years
è Nick Punto à4+ years
è Bobby Korecky à just added to the 40 man roster
Cristian Guzman (5-6 years)
2 draft picks in 2004 (a great draft for them!)
Brian Buchanan (off and on)
è Jason Bartlett (2-3 years)
o Brendan Harris, Delmon Young, Jason Pridie
Danny Mota, and Cash
That trade helped the Twins for years, and still is helping.
Players are generally their best, in their prime from ages 26-29. Some last a little bit longer. Most players come up at age 23 or so, so they become a free agent (and start making big money) at the age of 29-31, right as their career is at its peak. Some may go on to have a few more good years. Most don’t. Look at what the Twins have done in the last few years with the guys that came up in the 2001-2002 range:
Torii Hunter – They signed him to a 4 year, $32 million free agent contract, plus a 5th year option, which they picked up. Now he is 32 and certainly will not get better. He signed for 5 years and $90 million with the Angels? Should the Twins really have gone there?
Jacque Jones – They signed him to a two year, $10 million deal when he was about to become a free agent. He did ok (only against righties, but Gardy played him against lefties), and then they let him go elsewhere to a three year, $15 million deal. He hasn’t been good. The Cubs were thankful that the Tigers took him off their hands!
Shannon Stewart – they acquired him for Bobby Kielty. Then he was good down the stretch so they gave him a 3 year, $18 million contract to stay. He pretty much wasn’t good and was hurt the majority of that contract, so when he became a free agent again, they let him go.
Corey Koskie – He played out his time with the Twins. Because of his injury history, they weren’t willing to pay him the price that the Blue Jays did. Proved to be a great decision as he was hurt and played very little.
Cristian Guzman – He played out his 6 years with the Twins. He was fading already. The Nationals inexplicably gave him a four year, $16 million contract. The Twins were wise to let him go.
Luis Rivas – not worth consideration.
Doug Mientkiewicz – He was going to become a free agent, so they traded him, knowing that Morneau was ready and needed to play. He has been pretty much bad since then and people know it. Good (overrated) defense, no bat.
AJ Pierzynski – he had one more year left before free agency. Mauer was clearly ready and they were able to get Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano for him. Great trade, and AJ is nowhere near as good as most of the media thinks he is.
Brad Radke – He pitched his time and then they made the decision to offer him a four year contract worth (something like $36 million?). Then he became a free agent again and signed with the Twins for two more years. The team decided they wanted him and to build around him, and he stayed (taking less to do so, unlike others).
Eric Milton – He spent his time with the Twins and proved to be a good pitcher at that time. So, the Twins gave him a four year contract (can’t remember how much). When he had one more year (and $9 million left) on the deal, the Twins somehow were able to make the above deal with the Phillies including getting them to pay the entire $9 million!
Joe Mays – He had his one good year and the Twins made the decision to give him a long-term (4 year) deal, and then he got hurt so when he became a free agent, they let him go.
Eddie Guardado – He was around for a long time. Although he was league-average at best for a reliever, the Twins kept throwing him out there over and over again. They extended him with one year deals a few times. Then he became the closer and got expensive. He was also now over 30, so the Twins let him sign elsewhere (Seattle) for big money. He maybe had one more good year before getting hurt. He’s had at least one, if not two Tommy John surgeries since.
LaTroy Hawkins – Didn’t work as a starter. Didn’t work as a closer. The Twins stuck with him for a long time and finally, he became an excellent set up man. But, he got closer money elsewhere. He has been great ever since, so you could argue that they miss him, but at the same time, the Twins bullpen has not been a problem since. He is also about to cash in big time again.
Johan Santana – He won his first Cy Young Award three years ago, and right after that, the Twins gave him a four year, $40 million contract offer that took them two years beyond his free agent eligibility. Now, he is worthy of a $25 million a year, 6-8 year contract? Whoever gets him will probably be happy. He’s proven healthy, durable and obviously great. Will those three things remain for the next 6-8 years? Debatable. Again, as I’ve said, you don’t overpay for good, or even slightly above average players. You can overpay for great players, and Santana is great. But that is a huge risk. It’s not as easy as saying, he’s great, sign him.
Joe Mauer – They signed him through the 2010 season. 4 years, and $32 million. A bargain, really. He’s obviously the face of the franchise. The team, the city, the state, they all want that. This was a no-brainer.
Now the question of the future comes up – They can’t keep them all, so which ones will they sign before they are close to free agency (a la Milton, Hunter, Santana, Mauer), and which ones will be willing to take less to stay (a la Radke,
Justin Morneau can’t become a free agent until after the 2010 season. The Twins tried to sign him a year ago, but a four year contract didn’t make much sense to the Twins because there was no benefit and all risk to them. A five or six year deal would have made sense, but then it is even more risky. I fully believe that they will make every effort to lock him up through 2011 or 2012.
Michael Cuddyer is a guy that I think they want to be a face and a voice for the franchise. Torii stole the microphone and the headlines by yapping constantly and in many times stupidly. Michael Cuddyer represents everything that this organization is and should be. Came up through the system. Wasn’t handed a job and ended up producing. He’s well spoken, smart and is excellent and active in the community. I am not exactly sure when he becomes a free agent, likely after the 2009 or 2010 season, so I would offer him three years and something like $23 million as a fair starting point and go to 4 years and $33 million if required.
I would also consider long-term deals right now with Jason Kubel and Francisco Liriano in this offseason.
By the way, many people will point to David Ortiz, and I really don’t think that is fair. Ortiz was a 1B/DH. He had never played more than 130 games in a season. He had played in more than 89 games just twice in his five years with the Twins. He had not driven in more than 75 runs or hit more than 20 home runs. He had only one season in which he was on base more than 34% of the time. Also, the Twins coaching of hit-the-ball-the-other-way would have kept him down as well (but that’s an entirely different issue that I do/did have with the Twins). And, he was arbitration-eligible and probably would have made around $5 million. Seems like a easy choice now, but for an injury-prone DH whose home games were on turf, it was probably an easy decision to let him go. In reality, no team really wanted him. The Red Sox signed him in late January of 2003 for $1.25 million meaning that all the teams had a chance to get him.
From: Joe Cuchna
To: Seth Stohs
Sure, you can make arguments either way
Knoblauch, he was like that because he was sick of losing, wouldn't you be? You come up, win a world series and then go to rebuilding, takes a special person to step back and help an organization rebuild, Knoblauch obviously wasn't the guy, he wanted out. I am not saying that how he went about it was correct but he wanted to be traded to a winner so no harm no foul, everyone got what they wanted out of that deal he got out, we got some solid players (Milton, guzman wasn't it)
Milton, sure we got good players and yes he was hurt and has been hurt, but would your thoughts have changed if he was solid after he was traded, plus, I don't think we should say we greatly benefited from Silva, and Punto, definitely not Punto. (Seth Thoughts – Silva threw over 200 innings in three of his four seasons. That’s pretty big!)
Guzman was solid, but never what we thought, yes it was good to get rid of him.
Buchanan, not good in my opinion, yes we got bartlett and we will find out about the three we got in that trade
I am not saying that the players we got rid of were bad, Koskie, Jones, Mientkiewicz, Pierzynski, we should have gotten rid of them but you had a pretty good nucleus with them.
You don't like Torii Hunter that is your opinion, you say he is not a clubhouse guy, ok that is fine, but in every team you need some cockiness, and the thing I liked about him, up until maybe the last two years, is he hustled, he played hard and was worth the price of admission, I believe.
You can say that the last two years, after he was injured that you didn't see him diving as much and maybe that is true, most likely is, you can say his bat was here for only 1 1/2 years I agree, but he showed up everyday and played hard, that is what I liked and respected out of him. His babbling about other players, I don't know, maybe they needed that, there is some old school in him, maybe Mauer and Morneau needed to buck up a little Maybe he was pissed because the org. babied them and he was out there playing hurt. Remember, Torii didn't have anything handed to him, remember where the chip comes from. (Seth Thoughts – So, he showed up and played hard… name a Twins player that hasn’t done those things. Nick Punto shows up and plays hard? Jason Bartlett shows up and plays hard. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Mike Redmond… they all show up and play hard.)
David Ortiz, I agree, the Twins cut him loose, he was injured, but he got injured playing the coaches’ way, he didn't hit because he played the coaches way. (a team player, more on that later) Maybe if you cut him loose and let him play his game, it doesn't happen that way. They knew he had power, but he abided by Tom Kelly rules. I liked Tom Kelly, but in his later years, his "fundamentals" (which are not bad, they have to be taught, but I have a comment on that later) were getting old to watch and his dictatorship hurt some pretty darn good players. The point then is sometimes certain players just have to be allowed to play and let them do what they do best and if Ortiz were to be allowed to play for us, he may have been better, of course we wouldn't have been able to keep him because if he had done for us what he does now for Boston, we would have traded him and it wouldn't have mattered.
I refer to Manny Ramirez, Is he a jerk, yes, does he hustle, no does he play defense, no, does he drive in runs and hit the ball out of the park, yes and that is all that they want him for. Sometimes you give and take
Guardado, why wouldn't you keep him, he would have stayed and probably for less, I don't remember the situation
LaTroy, we saw why we got rid of him this fall (Seth’s Thoughts – he has been an excellent reliever. My opinion of him doesn’t change based on a couple of appearances. He’s about to make a lot of guaranteed money)
All I am saying is pay the players that played and said the things for the organization
Santana was a team guy, an organizational guy, said the right things. I think ultimately what has made them mad is they play the team and company line, saying all the right things and all they do is to ask the org. to sign the players to win them a championship. I know they were upset when they traded Castillo. I understood why they traded him, they weren't going to be able to sign him. But you have to get out of GM mode and look at it from a player mode, they want to win, they want to get the players that can get them that world series the Twins are not committed to doing that. They have proven it. What did Brad Radke want, to sign players to win a championship. They kind of obliged him, the got players to win. What Santana and Hunter want is to win a Championship and they wanted to do it with the team they started with, but the org is not or will not spend the money to do that. You talk about spending wisely. Fine, no problem, but who have they signed, in the last 10 years that they thought would help them win something. Remember you are on the player side now, not the GM side. What have they done. It is obvious the players felt strongly about keeping Castillo because they believed he would help them win a series. Hunter and Santana most likely would have taken less if the org. was committed to signing players to help them win. When have they signed a guy at the trade deadline (you can use Don Baylor either) that has helped them win a championship. Stewart, yes good pickup.
The Twins are committed doing whatever they can to keep a fairly decent team on the field, but when they have a shot to really do it, what have they done to sign someone. We have been saying for three years they need a big bat, have they done it. I don't think they tried to get Thome, ("good clubhouse guy") or Frank Thomas. Why didn't they try one of those guys? We could spend 1 and 3 million on two horrible pitchers.
Wow, I rambled but what have they done. You defend them by saying you can't over spend. well, if you are going to win the big one, you have to spend something. Thome and Thomas were obviously pretty good deals the past two years. Where were we? They are 19 of 30 for team payroll. Detroit and Chicago are ahead of us, Cleveland is 4 spots behind. You could argue that they won last year with the same style as the twins. I will bet that it will be like the twins, it will be a one or two year deal and then they will be in the same boat. Yes, they have some good players, will they pay them to keep them. I don't know. (Seth’s Thoughts – I think I showed that the Twins will pay to keep the guys that 1.) Want to stay and 2.) They want to stay. Thome hasn’t helped the White Sox win, has he? I also think that many teams in the last half-decade have shown that spending doesn’t equate to winning championships.)
And that is where we are. I got home from work last night and Joe called me and we talked more about this stuff. It really is interesting to me that two people with the same goal in mind can have completely different methods or ideas for how to get there. And yet, the conversation is great because we are able to discuss it intelligently and explain why we think what we think. He mentioned Jim Thome, and I don’t want to mention to him that the White Sox won the World Series the year before he showed up and they have been worse each of the last two years. But I love this kind of discussion and I do want to encourage this type of discussion in the Comments or feel free to e-mail me any time. How would you respond? Which side of the situation would you say you lean toward? Let me know what you think.