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Pavano accepts arbitration

Last night at midnight eastern was the deadline for players to accept or decline arbitration.  Carl Pavano took his sweet time, and acceptedlate last night.  I think this is a good thing for the Twins.  I was afraid they would foolishly give him the multi-year deal he was looking for.  However, but accepting arbitration, we now know that nobody wanted to give Pavano more than a one year deal.  Prior to 09, Pavano pitched just 145 innings over the course of his stay in the Bronx.  He will need to have a second consecutive 200 ip season to prove he is worth anything more than a one year deal. I obviously hope he does that for the Twins in 2010.

We now have 4 of our 5 rotation spots filled.  With Baker, Slowey, and Blackburn taking the other three.  The fifth spot in the rotation will most likely be fought over by Liriano, Duensing, Swarzak, Manship, and Perkins.  I hope Smith tries to trade the last one, as it seems Perkins and Management aren’t getting along.  At this point Perkins is the definition of expendable. We have 4 back of the rotation guys who have major league experience (3 if you think Liriano is a bullpen arm and nothing more).  We don’t need all four of them.  If someone is willing to give us much of anything for Perkins I say we do it.  Ideally we get some pieces that fill a hole, but the best move now is to just clear out the logjam at the back of the rotation and amongst middle relievers.

What do you guys think? Are you excited to have Pavano back? Who should take the fifth spot in the rotation? What should we do with Perkins?


38 Comments so far

  1. sirsean December 8th, 2009 10:01 am

    I never understood why Yankees fans were so mad at Pavano. It was only a 4/$40M deal — don’t they waste that kind of money ALL THE TIME?

    I’m glad he’s back; he was one of our better pitchers down the stretch last year. (Yes, that says more about our other pitchers than it says about him.)

    And if he does really well, maybe he’ll be a Type A free agent after the season. That’d be great.

  2. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 10:10 am

    I doubt he could be type A since that is determined based on the two previous years. He’d probably have to have a really good year to sniff Type B.

  3. sirsean December 8th, 2009 10:19 am

    He was a Type B this year, wasn’t he?

  4. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 10:24 am

    Ah, you are right he was. It must be pretty easy to get Type B status.

  5. sirsean December 8th, 2009 10:36 am

    I don’t know exactly how they do the rankings, but it seems like it’s not done all that well. But since Pavano was Type B this year, I was hoping that a good year could bump him up to Type A. It makes some sense, given a basic understanding of — but no actual insight into — the ranking process.

  6. MarkW December 8th, 2009 11:11 am

    Would we then offer him arbitration next season as well? Or is he just a free agent and depending on who signs him, we get either 1 or 2 picks depending on his type.. correct me if I’m wrong please


  7. sirsean December 8th, 2009 11:16 am

    In order to get picks (whether he’s A or B), we’d have to offer him arbitration.

    But if he has an awesome year, good enough to bump him to Type A, he’s practically guaranteed to get a multi-year offer from somewhere. That takes away our arbitration-related risk.

    (So while I think we’re probably getting a little ahead of ourselves, it’s safe to say “we’ll be in a pretty good spot if Pavano has a great season.” I suppose that’s not all that insightful.)

  8. MarkW December 8th, 2009 11:31 am

    Ok, right. Well yeah, as long as he doesn’t suck, I think it puts us in a good spot not only this season but next season as well. If you checked out Joe C’s blog today, he’s got our payroll at $90M already w/out making anymore moves or extending Mauer… that seems worrisome to me. Who do we dump? or trade?

    Bonser, Perkins, Crain, Harris?

  9. sirsean December 8th, 2009 11:38 am

    Of those options, only Crain makes any money.

    And I don’t think we should dump anyone; I think the Twins know how much more money they stand to have, and they may not consider $90M an impossible payroll.

    The biggest “wastes” of money on the team are Cuddyer and, now, Pavano. I don’t think the Twins should trade (or dump) either one of them.

  10. MarkW December 8th, 2009 11:44 am

    Come one, Punto makes $4M!! now if that’s not a “waste”, what is!?

    Well right, I guess I meant also to try to get something for them as well (Bonser/Perkins/Harris), if they CAN fetch anything, some more A, AA talent?

    With Delaney, Slama, etc in the minors, they are about as close as you can get w/out seeing time in the majors.

  11. sirsean December 8th, 2009 11:51 am

    I guess my point is that the Twins don’t have to worry about it right now — they can afford their payroll as long as they’re willing to drop from the top-5 most profitable franchises (they make $25M+ in profits each year), and the team is set up well for both the short and long term.

    I don’t think Bonser/Perkins/Harris are huge trading chips, so we’d be best off just making it clear they’re available and waiting for someone to come to us with a deal. No reason to press.

    (Unless, of course, someone has a 3B that they can’t afford because of the economy, and will send him to us for Perkins and a AA guy. That could be nice. But I’m not about to start any crazy fan-rumors about it.)

  12. Ed Bast December 8th, 2009 12:07 pm

    i wouldn’t give up on that 3b, seems like in this off season we’re seeing not a lot of action, teams are tightening up the purse strings and may be willing to deal. plus a weak free agent class. not much cash being thrown around.

  13. MarkW December 8th, 2009 1:15 pm

    Another question: Who’s taken off the 40-man roster? I see Pavano’s already been added on the twins website, which gives us 41 total players on the list.

    My vote is Tolbert (for obvious reasons)

  14. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 1:20 pm

    Those “obvious reasons” being…? He is bad at baseball? Unfortunately that kind of “logic” doesn’t fly with the Twins.

  15. MarkW December 8th, 2009 1:29 pm

    HA! yes, in so many words, my reason was “he sucks”

    but realistically, who do they leave off? you dont unprotect one of the guys you put on from the rule 5 draft right? How long do they have? until he makes a deal?

  16. sirsean December 8th, 2009 1:30 pm

    Looks like they just DFA’d Boof. So that answers that.

  17. MarkW December 8th, 2009 1:33 pm

    Well then… that’s kind of surprising…

    why can’t we DFA Tolbert!!! Damn it all.

  18. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 1:42 pm

    thats a bummer. Seems like you might want to keep a pitcher over a WORTHLESS UTILITY PLAYER WHO IS EASILY REPLACED

  19. sirsean December 8th, 2009 1:43 pm

    I think FunBobby has it about right — Gardy likes Tolbert, the Twins seem to think he’s a good player, and the “he’s awful at playing baseball” logic doesn’t work on the Twins.

    Tolbert is “a Twins player” — ie, he’s short, can’t hit, can play multiple positions just-less-than-adequately, and seems to try really hard.

    Bonser is not such a player — he’s fat, he throws a ball hard, he tries to strike people out, and he eats more donuts than innings.

    I think it’s the wrong move, but I can’t say it surprises me.

  20. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 1:47 pm

    Maybe the Twins aren’t confident that Bonser’s arm will ever recover so they just cut him lose. I believe you can never have enough pitching, so I disagree with this move for several reasons.

  21. sirsean December 8th, 2009 1:55 pm

    If they believe he’s bad and will never recover enough to even be a middle reliever, then yeah, this move can make sense.

    On the other hand … Bobby Keppel is still on the team. If Boof is still capable of dragging his ass off the bench and waddling out to the mound, he’s better than that asshole Keppel.

  22. joe December 8th, 2009 1:58 pm

    Denard Span, the former first round draft pick and heir apparent to Torii, claims he has what it takes to be the starting center fielder. He doesn’t. Of the three candidates competing, Gomez, Pridie, and Span, Span is by far the worst. None of the three are major league ready in my opinion. So when you are significantly worse than your below average competition, you should just shut up. I appreciate that he is going to give 110% and all the jazz, but was he not trying to make the big club in years past? Could he not beat out Lew Ford and Jason Tyner for the 4th outfielder spot the past few year? Did the likes of Darnell McDonald and Garrett Jones deserve late season call-ups more than Span? Yes they did. Span has not once played at the Major League level. The twins have recently had a severe lack of position player depth in the minors and Span couldn’t even compete with these scrubs for a late season roster spot. When Hunter got hurt in 2005 and missed most of the second half, Span’s name wasn’t even whispered to be called up for a look. I just don’t think he has what it takes, and he needs to be written off as a bust.

  23. MarkW December 8th, 2009 2:00 pm

    Hey, Keppel’s my friend… just kidding, no he isn’t. and he’s just as worthless as Tolbert…

    Oh what it would be like to have someone with a brain in our front office. Like Simmons says about the “common sense” guy on the sidelines for NFL teams, MLB teams need one in the front office…

    “Wait, Mr. Smith, this doesn’t make sense… you are dumping someone with value instead of getting rid of this empty can of diet coke that costs us $450K… let’s rethink this.”

  24. sirsean December 8th, 2009 2:05 pm

    joe: Are you sure you’re getting the names right? And, you know, the current year?

    MarkW: I think Simmons is right on about the VP of Common Sense idea, and baseball teams should definitely have something like that. But if he was an employee of the team, he’d probably be too close to the action and start to develop a way of thinking similar to the rest of the front office — ie, he’d be useless.

    Instead, they need a Common Sense Consultant. A third party that they can consult when they’re about to do the deal.

    Smith: “Okay, so here’s the deal. Pavano is staying so we need to get rid of a guy. I’m thinking Boof Bonser.”
    Consultant: “No. Bonser may have value. Tolbert or Keppel should go. And Keppel is a pitcher like Bonser, so he’s the guy.”
    Smith: “Thank you! Here’s your nice hefty check for your invaluable services!”

    Yes, I think that’s about how it’d go.

  25. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 2:13 pm

    I think Joe was referring to something one of us (I think me) wrote when we first started the blog and Span was sucking it up in the minors. Not sure what his point was, but it was general consensus that Span was a bust until midway through the 08 season. So we (I) were wrong, but we weren’t the only ones and hindsight is 20/20.

  26. MarkW December 8th, 2009 2:14 pm

    I think Joe’s comment is some bug that posted some random comment from someone 3 years ago… actually sounds like something I would have said that far back! ha!

    Sirsean: 3rd party Common Sense Consultant – best idea of Dec 2009!

    Tweet This: Twins have hired a new CSC

  27. sirsean December 8th, 2009 2:27 pm

    I went back and looked. Joe’s comment was a direct quote (in full, without permission, I might add) of one of FunBobby’s posts from February 2008, when there was literally zero indication that Span would end up as any sort of decent player. Things, as they tend to do, have changed since then. I would’t say FunBobby’s analysis was that far off, at the time.

    And there’s another article, from June 2008, in which I derided Span’s skills for the last time. It took a while for Span to establish himself as good — probably happened by the end of 2008, but definitely by May of 2009 when he’d shown it wasn’t a half-year fluke.

    Just goes to show how tough a job front offices have when picking which guys to keep/play. Did anybody guess Denard Span would become the 3rd best player on the team, back at the start of 2008? Because that guy gets a cookie.

  28. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 2:31 pm

    So was his comment just to point out that I, like most pepole, am wrong more than I am right? But yes, talent evaluation is very difficult, especially when it comes to 18 year old high school players. If they are tearing it up how do you reall know if it is because of their talent/skills or the fact that they are playing against very weak competition?

  29. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 2:34 pm

    Also, I think that I was right about gomez and pridie not being major league ready. Pridie is still a 4th OF/AAA guy and Gomez has shown in 2 years at the majors that he is totally overmatched at the plate. So I got 2 our of 3, thats pretty good.

  30. MarkW December 8th, 2009 2:40 pm

    I think it was a glitch when you were posting another comment… and it just used “joe” from somewhere else… if it truly was a real comment from Joe, you’d think he’d be saying something else right now…

    But yeah, no one thought Span would be as good as he has become… it’s still early, but the improvements he’s made are astonishing to say the least. Good for him.

  31. joe December 8th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I, like most pepole, am wrong more than I am right

    Why don’t you just always write the opposite of what you believe to be correct then?

  32. FunBobby December 8th, 2009 2:45 pm

    Like George Costanza? I should try that.

  33. sirsean December 8th, 2009 2:50 pm

    I wonder if that’s what Reusse does sometimes. Being a columnist at a failing newspaper for 50 years has to get boring — maybe some of those crazier articles is just a “let’s see what happens if I say the opposite of what I mean” writing exercise.

    Sounds like it’d be fun. I might do some opposite posts at some point.

  34. Ed Bast December 8th, 2009 2:51 pm

    but didn’t the stats project Span to be doing as well as he is right now? i always thought he projected well. thats why the twins stuck with him.

  35. TT December 8th, 2009 7:55 pm

    “it was general consensus that Span was a bust until midway through the 08 season.”

    Which tells you something about the value of the “general consensus”. If you go back a decade earlier the “general consensus” was that Torii was a bust. Now its Plouffe.

  36. sirsean December 9th, 2009 9:02 am

    You realize that the “general consensus” about a player sucking is almost always correct, right? I mean, every couple of years there’s an exception somewhere — but there are also hundreds, thousands of players who are generally regarded to be bad, and in almost every case they are, in fact, bad.

    Oh, and no, the stats didn’t project Span to be any good. In fact, the stats said he’d be an adequate defensive CF but would post Gomez-like offensive numbers, with no plate discipline or power. Then he got laser eye surgery and was promoted to the majors, and suddenly he’s a great player. It was not predictable.

  37. FunBobby December 9th, 2009 9:05 am

    Didn’t Cuddyer have that LASIK surgery last winter as well? I believe this issue was addressed in a post but he broke out in a similar fashion to Span. It was a few months after the surgery.

  38. sirsean December 9th, 2009 9:11 am

    Yeah, I posted a while back that it seems like it takes about a month of gameplay to get used to the eye surgery. Span and Cuddyer both dipped for the the first month, then came roaring back with a huge year; and if Cuddyer stays at this level for the next two years, well, people might finally stop complaining about that contract.

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