Let's Make a Deal! (Round 2)

Welcome back to everybody's favorite form of roster-modification: LET'S MAKE A DEAL! That's right, I pretend to be Wayne Brady, you pretend to be Terry Ryan dressed up like a giant Radish! (Also, you pick a trading partner for an expendable player on the Twins roster)

First, let's reveal what we came away with last week as we made a deal for Denard Span. Between the three comments on Twins Daily, the one comment here and the poll votes it winds up with 6 votes to keep Denard and 4 to trade him (with Ryan Doumit for door #3).

So fans chose not to make a trade this first time around so let's see what they passed up:

  • Behind Door #1 there was a package originally swapped for the immortal Johnny Grubb...[cricket noises]...Grubb was another slash hitting outfielder with manageable salary who was traded from Cleveland to Texas for Bobby [not Mike] Cuellar and Mike Rivera, neither Cuellar nor Rivera ever made the majors for Cleveland. Zero votes...SMART FANS!
  • Moving on to Door #2 we have cash and a prospect named Cutter Dykstra!! (The touted Dykstra went from Milwaukee to Washington for Nyjer Morgan...and is currently rediscovering his form in Low A ball). Zero votes...SMART FANS!! 
  • Finally, behind Door #3 we have solid though unspectacular backups Koyie Hill and Bill Murphy (as well as career minor leaguer Reggie Abercrombie) who were previously traded to Arizona for the pale Denard, Steve Finley, and the weaker Doumit Brent Mayne. Four Votes...manageable, and hey, Koyie Hill will always trump Drew Butera.
So Twins fans made a savvy move holding on to Denard without a great deal in the offing. But before we all get gun shy  I will tell you this: not one but TWO future all-stars are available in the next round of deals to be offered, so keep your eyes peeled as we try to make a deal for everybody's favorite implosion waiting to happen closer Matt Capps! SO LET'S MAKE A DEAL!!
Okay Terry Potters (get it?) we'll pretend for a minute that (1) Matt Capps isn't hurt when the deadline rolls around and (2) that GMs are more focused on how he has done generally--right around average--rather than any specific catastrophes mishaps of the past year or so. So once again you can keep Matt Capps OR trade him away for what's behind Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3!! (In accordance with the suggestions from readers I'll include ages as well (years old in parentheses)

Door #1 costs a little more than Matt Capps, yes we'd ask you to include Jeff Gray as well, but in return for those two somewhat inconsequential players you can get a young power starter (21) in A ball with a 1.2 WHIP and a K/BB ratio above 3 as well as a starter (21) who has yo-yo'd between the majors and AAA, and despite a less impressive 2.0 WHIP at AAA this year came into this season ranked as a Top 30 Prospect by Baseball America.

Doors #2 & 3 ask for just Matt Capps, and for #2 we have a bonanza of three players, starting with an outfielder (21) with .810 OPS last year in A Ball--steady power numbers between low and High A, a slugging first baseman (21) who came into the season ranked in the Top 35 prospects by Baseball America after a solid AA season, and a starter (24) who ate up AA last year (1.18 WHIP, and 2.0 K/BB Ratio (though it hasn't been as easy there this year) he has started going deeper into games.

Finally, behind Door #3 you might find a budding relief prospect (21)--29 Saves and 2.92 K/BB--a starter (25) who has started rising to the challenge in AAA after struggling as a reliever in AA and a promising starter (21) in AA ranked as a top #50 prospect by BA who has cut back on his walks and wild pitches this year.

So what will it be would-be GMs? Would you like to keep Matt Capps or swap him out for what's behind Door #1, Door #2 or Door #3!?!? (There's a poll on the right side of our website, and always room for more comments below. Make your voice heard by Midnight Sunday. We'll wrap up the results next week and consider what might be netted in a trade for a cornerstone in the Twins infield.)


A worthy ally!

And this year, as the Twins remain frozen in carbonite out of contention (with .7% chance of making the playoffs) we COULD fixate on analyzing how the little things done by Ben Revere and Scott Diamond and Joe Mauer may or may not play out when the team returns to the playoff hunt in a year (or several), OR we could balance our love for the Twins with a special National League ally to give this season a hint of the old competitive flavor.

I have other reasons that Twins/Pirate
Fusionswill be awesome, but this is special
So it's fortunate that the last few days the Twins have been battling the Pittsburgh Pirates. Of course we've made no secret of the fact that we have a certain fondness for the Swashbucklers on the Allegheny. But why should the rest of the denizens of Twins Territory shift their attention to this particular squad?


  1. AL teams are now and will remain our adversaries. Cheering for one of our direct competitors (a team we've battled for years and will need to battle for future years) can lead to conflicting emotions when the Twins get back to business, so while seeing former Twins like Ron Washington or Delmon Young get a hard fought playoff spot might be nice, it comes with the knowledge that sooner or later we'll have to destroy them. (Ergo we need not cheer for the AL)
  2. The midwest rocks. We here in "flyover" country don't need the razmatazz of major media markets, or the obscene luxury suites that populate various capitals of industry. The more blue collar you get, the more dedicated and focused you are on the teams and players who bring a little notoriety your way. (Ergo we scratch the NL West (save Colorado/Arizona) and the NL East from our: teams to cheer for list)
  3. A little history goes a long way. It's easiest to join fan bases that are already a part of baseball lore. When fans can reminisce and brag up the glory of their guy and their best teams you get a sense of that passion. When fans reminisce about purple uniforms...that's just weird. (Ergo, now we can ignore Colorado, Arizona and Houston) But by the same token Twins fans tend not to mope about the problems of the past when the present is so darn entertaining unlike some other teams we could mention (Cou*CUBS*gh!)
  4. Everyone loves an underdog. And if you're the World champions you aren't an underdog (even if you did lose your MVP). It's been twenty years for the Twins you have to hope that if they don't do it some other hopeful franchise might (Ergo, St. Louis doesn't need us)
  5. Milwaukee is Milwaukee. Enough said (Ergo no Brewers cheering).
Please add one of our guys to this welcoming committee
(From: sfdiamondgirl)
So that leaves us with two teams, the Reds and the Pirates. The two teams who are (conveniently) first and second in the NL Central. But the Pirates have been waiting longer for a playoff berth, longer for a world championship, heck, longer for a winning record. Moreover, they've got this absurdly awesome education program, and their the setting for the new Batman movie! Best of all, they may be in the market for a new leadoff hitter/outfielder or a slugging first baseman (and be willing to give up a top pitching prospect for them)...so maybe we could cheer for our beloved Twins and the Pirates simultaneously (if you know what I mean).

So, while we remain Twins fans first-and-foremost, we'll make the time to root, root, root for the Pirates and we invite you to do the same.

But these are all our biases, where do you land in the quest for relevant baseball team to watch?


Let's Make a Deal! Round 1

In six weeks the trade deadline will come to pass, but before that happens there will be rumors, conjecture, and wheeling/dealing of innumerable kinds. It's exhilarating and yet, frightening because--after all--you're giving up something you know for something that is totally unpredictable.

There's so much uncertainty that it makes me feel every bit as anxious as I used to feel watching game shows as a kid. For some reason--even though many were decade's old repeats--I worried over each lightning round, groaned with each needless gamble and muttered "no whammy, no whammy, no whammy" over and over again.

But beyond a doubt, the trade-crazed part of the season reminds me of Monte Hall's legendary "Let's Make a Deal". For those who didn't waste their sick days gorging on bad tv: Let's Make a Deal gives average people the chance to just take away a couple hundred bucks or trade it in for something behind one of three doors. Some contain fabulous prizes, some contain goats chewing hay. You just never know
Yes, I have several brain cells devoted to knowing this show...
(Courtesy Letsmakeadeal.com)
Whatever you may say about scouting reports and statistical analyses, trades still boil down to fast choices between a few options--keep what you have or swap it out for an unknown risk. But rather than let Terry Ryan have all the fun/anxiety of these decisions, we fans can play along at home!

That's right, I'm channelling my inner Monte Hall/Wayne Brady and presenting three options for the Twins most likely trade candidates. Each one is based on trades made for similar players in baseball history, and while they aren't all deadline deals or deals with similar contract statuses, they represent deals that offer things the Twins might like to have in building for the future in exchange for a similar player at a similar age.

So, you'll all be playing as Terry Ryan and in the interest of fairness I'll give you a few hints at who's behind the door with stats and ages. Then you vote (either in the poll at the right, or the comments section below) for the trade you think TR should make. I'll unveil what's behind each door next week so we can see just what the blogo-sphere community would walk away with if we pooled our collective wisdom.

With that let's.......MAKE A DEAL!!!!!!!
Image credit: CBS.com
Okay, Terrys first up I'll give you a 28-year-old consistently above average Center Fielder: that's right it's Denard Span!!! Alright, would you like to keep Denard Span or would you like what's behind Door #1? Door #2? Or Door #3?

Oh, don't make up your mind so fast Terrys! Let's get a little hint at what you'd get behind each other door

Behind door #1 there's a durable reliever in AAA who had a 1.94 K/BB ratio and a 1.35 ERA in a cup of coffee with the big team. To sweeten the pot, there's a fast rising outfielder whose defense just gets better with each level (1.34 RF/G in A ball to 1.79 in AA) he cranked 26 homers in A ball and though that dropped to 16 in AA this year he's just 20 years old and should get better with age especially in your system when you MAKE THIS DEAL!!

Behind door #2 there's a man Baseball Prospectus ranks as a top 10 prospect on the team! He's versatile enough to have split time between second base and the outfield in rookie ball and he's even made the transition to 3rd in A ball this year! But the bat is the big appeal for this youngster boasting a current slash line of .312/.416/.411! We'll even throw in a fat wad of cash just for you if you MAKE THIS DEAL!!

And finally behind door #3 we have some options, you can have any 2 of the following 3 players, yes... in this scenario you can pick between an outfielder who marked a career high in Home Runs in AA last year (but is crowded out of our flush system); a catcher who's just about major league ready posting a .286/.339/.471 slash line in AAA (how 'bout that to replace Drew Butera?); OR a AA Starting pitcher who has 113 Ks in 103 innings and 1.92 K/BB Ratio! And hey, if you want all three just agree to toss in Ryan Doumit and we will MAKE THIS DEAL!!

So there you have it blogosphere Terry-clones! Do you want to keep Denard Span or will it be Door #1! Door #2! or Door #3!!!

(Vote in the poll at right, or vote and share your reasoning in the comments below--our trade deadline is Sunday at Midnight Central)


Adopt a Prospect #3: Battle of the Beards

It's a frightening time for Luis Perdomo (and his beard). With all the young college relievers getting drafted and signed up with the Twins, long standing vets like Perdomo had better prove their worth quickly or else they'll find themselves looking for work elsewhere.

Meanwhile for the beard feared throughout New Britain there's the troubling development out of Oklahoma City. Yes, there's a new, hip, threatening beard loose in the world of sports: the mighty muzzle of James Harden.

But is Harden's hirsute chin chafer any mach for Perdomo's prickly scrap saver? (Is there any way I can work in some more aliteration?) Let's go to the tale of the tape for the two mighty beards.


James Harden's Beard                                                Luis Perdomo's Beard
"The Ogre of OKC"                                                   "The Beast of New Britain"

Experience: 3 Years                                                      Experience: 6 Years
Length: appox. 5 inches                                                Length: appox. 3 inches
Intimidation Rating:  7.5 Norisses                                 Intimidation Rating: 7.3 Norisses
#of Cheeze Its lost inside: 11                                        # of Cheese Its lost inside: 13
Media Exposure: 11.6 Million (TV)                        Media Exposure: 14 zipcodes (Paper)
Recent Victims: Tim Duncan's graying grizzle             Recent Victims: The Erie SeaWolves
Conceals: Blueprints for silky layups                      Conceals: An extra 4 MPH on fastball
Biggest Fans: ESPN Anchors                                       Biggest Fans: Me (Sorry Luis...)
Award: Most Valuable Beard ('11-12)                 Award: Carolina League All-Scruff Team ('08)
Odds Beard gains sentience: 13:2                                 Odds Beard gains sentience: 3:1

Unfortunately it looks like the Ogre beats the beast in the eyes of millions (especially given Luis' recent sloppy outings), but to we few, foolish, Twins followers will keep touting the Power of Perdomo regardless of recent results.


Spilling Less Ink: The 2012 Draft in 5 Words or Less

With the Twins more or less out of contention for this season (recent success not with standing), the attention of the Twins blog-o-sphere has been firmly fixed on the minor leagues and potential for future glory. There are bright and talented bloggers who write about this subject: Seth Strohs, Jeremy Nygaard, Cody Christie, Andrew Walter...

Our names are not on that list, largely because we aren't as savvy and also because we insist on quick and silly analyses. So while they might be able to break down all 40 rounds of the draft with staggering wisdom, we will break it down faster than anybody else.

SO! For the second year in the row, here is the official Peanuts from Heaven Draft Analysis on every player picked by the hometown 9...in 5 words or less! (Symbols/Abbreviations don't count) 

Round (Pick #)-Name-COL/HS: Idiotic "analyses"(Thanks to Seth Strohs for the comprehensive list)

Right Handed Pitchers (16)

#1S (32) - Jose Orlando Berrios - HS - Puerto Rico: Talented man, slightly emotional
#1S (42) - Luke Bard - COL - Georgia Tech: Excellent college closer helps bullpen
MLB Calls Chargois' curve "Spikey"
I call it Caan-esque
From Madmind.de
#2 (72) - JT Chargois - COL - Rice U: "Spikey" Curveball helps: in ROLLERBALL!!
#4 (130) - Zach Jones - COL - San Jose State: Already signed...glad someone's excited
#5 (160) - Tyler Duffey - COL - Rice U: Another college closer? Sounds good!
#8 (250) - Christian Powell - COL - College of Charleston: Sounds like Silent Movie Star
#10 (310) - Douglas Baxendale - COL - Arkansas-Fayetteville: Sounds like a Downton Abbey valet
#12 (370) - Alex Muren - RHP -  Cal St. Northridge: Matador's defense may be suspect...
#13 (400) - Erich Knab -  HS - South Carolina: Blatantly Obvious Web Gem Nickname 
#18 (550) - William LaMarche - COL - Chabot College: Graduated from Tom Hanks' school!
#23 (700) - Travis Huber - COL - Nebraska: Following in Brian Duensing's ('05) footsteps 
#28 (850) - Carson Goldsmith - COL - Northwestern State: Drafting two Deamons' Pitchers = Ominous?
#33 (1000) - Kaleb Merck -  COL - Texas Christian U: Really? Another College Closer? Really?
#35 (1060) - Jared Wilson -  COL - UC-Santa Barbara: Warning Muren: Gauchos hate Matadors!
#37 (1120) - James Marvel -  HS - California: Shouting "Shazam!" turns him superhuman
#40 (1210) - Brad Schreiber - RHP - Purdue: Probably returning to school...fool...

Left Handed Pitchers (8)
#2 (63) - Mason Melotakis - LHP - COL - Northwestern State (LA): Greek God of Middle Relief?
This could be a more
intimidating bullpen option
FROM: wikia.com
#6 (190) - Andre Martinez - LHP - HS - Florida: Trite But True: Lefties = Ungiveuponable
#11 (340) - Taylor Rogers - LHP - COL - Kentucky: Kentucky kid going pro? SHOCKING!!
#15 (460) - Jarret Leverett - LHP - COL - Georgia Southern: It's fun to rhyme!
#26 (790) - Justin Jones - LHP - COL - U of California: No Renunciar a los Zurdos!
#27 (820) - Jared Grundy - LHP - COL - U of Kentucky: Unrelated to Zombie Solomon Grundy
#29 (880) - Sean Hagan - LHP - COL - St. John's U: Ikke gi opp "lefties"
#32 (970) - Andrew Ferreira - LHP - COL - Harvard: Sign Kid! That degree's useless!

Infielders (10)
#7 (220) - Jorge Fernandez - C - HS - Puerto Rico: Insurance for Mauer
#9 (280) - LJ Mazzilli - 2B - COL - U Connecticut: Dad acted on Broadway/@ Shea
#16 (490) - Will Hurt - SS - HS - Kentucky: Go Lexington Catholic!! Signed, B. Revere
#17 (520) - Dalton Hicks - 1B - COL - Central Florida: Sounds like another country star
Help is on the way Joe...lots of it...
Photo: AaronGleeman.com
#22 (670) - Josh Graham - C - HS - Oregon: Knee donor for Mauer 

#21 (640) - Bo Altobelli - C - COL - Texas Tech: Wrist donor for Mauer
#25 (760) - Joel Licon - SS - COL - Orange Coast College: Leads his team in sacrifices!

#24 (730) - Jose Favela - C - HS - Texas: Thumb donor for Mauer
#30 (910) - Bryan Santy - C - COL - U of Washington: Sideburn donor for Mauer
#38 (1150) - Austin Rei - C - HS - California: Genetically altered INTO Mauer 2.0

Outfielders (9)
#1 (2) - Byron Buxton - OF - HS - Georgia: The Buck stops in MINNESOTA!!
#3 (97) - Adam Walker - RF - COL - Jacksonville U: Dad's an ex-Viking, Mom: ex-Ninja.
Jacksonville Mascot/Future 4th Outfielder
#14 (430) - Jake Proctor - CF - COL - Cincinnati: Stealing the Reds' local boy 
#19 (580) - Jonathan Murphy - LF - COL - Jacksonville U: Two Dolphin outfielders! Flipper's proud
#20 (610) - Zach Larson - CF - HS - Florida: 18  and livin' the dream

#31 (940) - Tim Robinson - LF - HS - California: Middle of the order Upside
#34 (1030) - Bryan Haar - OF - COL - U of San Diego: Stealing the Padres' local boy
#36 (1090) - Brandon Bayardi - OF - COL - UNLV: Tempting to call him Boyardee...
#39 (1180) - Steven Liquori - OF - HS - Georgia: WARNING: May inspire terrible puns

Finally, in other news, with the school year at a close I will likely have more time to write these little goofy things, so if you for some reason still put up with these shenanigans...stay tuned, we're just getting started.

P.s. (Sorry for the poor formatting first time around, we should be good to go here)--oh and look a new poll, have fun all 2 of you readers out there!


Catching up with 2010 Draftees

Last year we posted our most popular blog post ever...more popular than the blog about Delmon being gone, more popular than the blog about our love, more popular even than that time we published a new JD Salinger short story under our own names.

It was a draft-analysis in 5 words or less--sometimes it was logical, far more often it was totally inane (what else can you do for "Nick Burdi"--other than say it reminds you of "watch the birdie!").

Now, moments after the Twins made Byron Buxton a wealthy (and scrutinized) young man, we wanted to take a step back and review the highs and lows of last year's draft (based on our previous analyses)

Unsigned (19)
Couldabeen Twin:
James Ramsey
For one reason or another 19 of the Twins 52 picks did not sign. None of these players came from the first 14 rounds, given that most players had about a 7% chance of making the majors at all...that's acceptable. Notable among those who didn't sign: Right fielder James Ramsey (recently named ACC Player of the Year at FSU), Vanderbilt power reliever William Clinard, Bear-Claw joke waiting to be made Kyle Barraclough.

Signed no Stats (7)
One of the nice things about being drafted by a Major League Baseball team (besides that whole: "childhood-dream-come-true"-thing and the "big-fat-signing-bonus"-thing) is that you get a good amount of time to decide whether or not you really want to play. You can finish your high school career, get drafted, toss the mortarboard in the air, toy with the affections of GMs and College Athletic Directors, and feel your own private slice of LeBron James' "The Decision". Then you can sign, start training and get to work the next year. So while late 1st rounders Hudson Boyd and Travis Harrison have lofty expectations to live up to (Seth Strohs called them both top 10 Twins prospects), others like Joshua Burris (whose alma-matar LSU-Eunice, sounds like its mascot should be the Fighting Septugenarians), Trent Higginbotham (whose last name is a Dickensian dream) will be proving their merit.

In the Game
The Gulf Coast League Twins will likely have a few of those new signees on the backlots of Fort Meyers this summer--not to mention a good chunk of tonight's draftees--but they've already seen a host of talented men who have already signed including local Floridian products Josue Montanez and Derek (Pudge Jr.) Rodriguez. [Other draftees Phillip Chapman, Julio Torres, Stephen Wickens, Robert O'Neill]

The Elizabethton Twins play in the Appalachian Rookie League (Boo!...Sorry I used to work for the Pioneer Rookie League, there's a mild rivalry). But when baseball comes back to Tennessee, Elizabethton will try to build off the performances of Garrett Jewell who sounds like he could be an avatar for the Rock Band Videogame. [Other draftees recently at Elizabethton: Cole Johnson, Corey Kimes, Tyler Koelling, Steven Evans]

Already there's action afoot in Beloit Wisconsin, home of the Beloit Snappers and most of last years' most promising draftees. Including highly touted blog-o-sphere favorites like Corey Williams, Matt Summers and Tim Shibuya (Shi-bu-ya; Shi-bu-ya; Shi-bu-ya...the girl is hard to get; Shi-bu-ya, Shi-bu-ya, Shi-bu-ya...but you can win her yet!) [Other draftees at Beloit: David Hurlbut, Matthew Tomshaw, Adam Pettersen, Andrew "Don't Call me Cloris" Leachman, Adam Bryant, Tyler Grimes]

Levi Michael, looking stylish
Finally there are the highest fliers hard at work down in Fort Myers for the Miracle (our High A team). Top pick Levi Michael is there (skipping Rookie ball altogether...but not skipping more than that what with the shaky legs and all), along with Eden Prairie's own Madison Boer. So far they've both had more downs than ups, but their careers are young and perhaps this level of analysis is a little silly.

Still, that's the catch with Major League Draft Analysis: I have ideas, you have ideas, they have ideas and we'll find out who was right and who was wrong in about 4-5 years.

Hear that Byron? 4-5 years to justify our love or wallow in ignominy. We'll break down Mr. Buxton along with all the other Twins draftees when the draft wraps up on Wednesday (finals grading permitting). Enjoy the draft!