One of the more interesting times in every offseason is when the rhetoric goes away and the choices become, often painfully, clear. Rock, meet Hard Place.
The Hard Place is where the Twins are: fronting a rotation with Scott Diamond next year. Diamond, by Twins general manager Terry Ryan’s own analysis, is a #3 starter. He’s clearly scouring the winter meetings for upgrades. But like Charlie Brown at Halloween, all he’s getting is a whole lot of Rock.
Here are the available pitchers who could be considered an upgrade over Scott Diamond. (FYI – These guys are all profiled in the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook.) Tell me which one you think the Twins should go after.
- Zack Greinke – Will likely get a nine-figure deal over at least six years.
- Jake Peavy – Re-signed with the White Sox for 2 years at $29M with a vesting option for a 3rd year.
- Hiroki Kuroda – Re-signed with the Yankees for 1-year/$15M.
- Dan Haren – Available. He’s getting “getting interest from lotsa East-coast clubs.”
- James Shields – Only available via trade, and probably not to the Twins after they traded away Denard Span.
- Edwin Jackson – Available. Most recently rumored to be courted by the Angels.
- Anibal Sanchez – Reportedly called a 4-year/$48 million offer from the Tigers a few weeks ago “insulting.” Says he is seeking a 6-year/$90M offer.
- RA Dickey – Available via trade from the Mets. The price for him is “very high.”
- Brandon McCarthy – Still available. However, several teams have expressed an interest in him including “the Red Sox, the White Sox, the Cubs, the Royals, the Diamondbacks and the Twins – and the Angels and Rangers are also expected to join in.”
- Ryan Dempster – The 35-year-old has been linked with the Twins, Diamondbacks and Brewers and is searching for a 3-year deal, likely for around $13M per year.
- Kyle Lohse – Represented by Scott Boras. ‘Nuff said.
Each of these guys (with the possible exception of Haren or maybe McCarthy) is pushing for (and probably likely to get) $13-$15M per year. Also, each is looking for a deal at least one year longer than any fiscally sane club would want to give them.
Thus, this is the “interesting” time, or, if you prefer, “hellish.” It’s looking more and more like teams are going to need to pay to play. We can look at a 5-year/$65M deal for Jackson or a 3-year/$33 million deal for McCarthy and say that’s “crazy,” and we’re probably right.
But we can’t do that and then rip Ryan for not upgrading the rotation, or settling for names like Brett Myers, Kevin Correia, Joe Blanton or John Lannan. This is the way free agency works. The vast majority are overpaid. It is the nature of the system. When a player signs with the one team that offers him the most money, instead of the 29 that think that much money is too much, odds are that is too much.
We can rip the Twins for putting themselves into this position – this is why minor league development is so important – but that ship has sailed. If we want to focus on the problem at hand, the choices seem to be overpay or settle. Rock or Hard Place.
Which way are you going to go?
Each of those rumors and tweets that are linked above? Each was covered in the Twins Talk forum at Twins Daily. There were 425 different threads/posts yesterday about them. Why aren't you already there?