In the recently released TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook, John Bonnes (Twins Geek), Nick Nelson (Nick's Twins Blog), Parker Hageman (Over the Baggy) and myself (SethSpeaks.net), dove into the many decisions that Twins GM Bill Smith and the Twins front office have to make in the offseason. The 137 page book concludes with blue prints for the Twins offseason by each of us. Today, I will be posting the crib notes of my bluepring of recommendations for the Twins offseason.
Recommendation #1 - Internal Free Agents - I think the Twins should make reasonable offers to Orlando Cabrera (1 year, $3.5 million) and Carl Pavano (2 years, $12 million). If they take them, great. If not, wish them well. I would thank Mike Redmond, Ron Mahay and Joe Crede for their efforts.
Recommendation #2 - 40 Man Roster Decisions - I would remove Brian Buscher, Bobby Keppel, Justin Huber, Jason Pridie and Drew Butera from the 40 man roster. I would then add Danny Valencia, Deolis Guerra, Alex Burnett, Rob Delaney, Loek Van Mil, Steve Singleton and David Winfree to the 40 man roster.
Recommendation #3 - Arbitration Decisions - I would offer arbitration to all eight arbitration-eligible players on the roster (Boof Bonser, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Brendan Harris, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek, Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young). I would offer two year contracts to Guerrier and Crain.
Recommendation #4 - Make it clear that Danny Valencia is to be the starting 3B - obviously this is a decision for the manager, but the GM can influence. Typically Valencia has struggled early after a promotion before dominating the new league. I'd rather those adjustments happen in April and May than July and August.
Recommendation #5 - Acquire an Ace - The Twins need a true #1 starter to counter the White Sox (Jake Peavy), Tigers (Justin Verlander) and Royals (Zach Greinke). I would trade Carlos Gomez, Brian Dinkelman, Anthony Slama and Carlos Gutierrez to the Florida Marlins for Minnesota native Josh Johnson. I would then offer Johnson a five year contract extension.
Recommendation #6 - Keep an Eye on Ben Sheets - Sheets missed all of 2008 with an arm injury. If his contract demands are reasonable and his MRI results favorable, he could be a high reward option.
Recommendation #7 - Sign the Mauer Guy - OK, you're right. This should be the #1 thing on this list. How many years, and how many dollars? How big can the signing bonus be in an attempt to keep the annual salary down in future years? Count on at least six years beyond 2010, and at least $17-18 million per year. It will be much more if they wait a year.
Recommendation #8 - Sign Denard Span Long-Term - There is much less urgency in this recommendation since Span likely does not become a free agent until after the 2010 season. However, he proved that his rookie year was not a fluke. He is the definition of a leadoff hitter and a Twins type of player. I'd offer a six year deal with an option year.
Recommendation #9 - Acquire a SS - It will be interesting to see what the trade market is for the Brewers' JJ Hardy. Could Alexi Casilla, Anthony Swarzak and Glen Perkins possibly be enough?
My revised 2010 Opening Day roster for the Minnesota Twins includes a payroll at just over $84 million.
The Twins have a busy offseason ahead of them. There is a very strong core of players on their roster. This team is close, and really they need only to make a few moves. However, I believe they also can become significantly better with a couple of key additions. The TwinsCentric.com Offseason GM Handbook provides the ready with a look at all of the decisions that the Twins have in front of them. It reviews the organizational depth, 40 man roster decisions, looks at free agents (internal and from other teams), possible trade options, the payroll, the Joe Mauer situation and much more.
So what do you think? What would your blueprint for the Twins offseason entail, and how would you make it happen? Leave your comments below.