Vazquez' future

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Likely he'll just finish his contract here and then sign elsewhere with a QO.
I'd be okay if they dealt him away after this season and I'm sure they could get a decent return for the one remaining season. But I'm fine with whatever happens. I really don't like him as a player anymore and would like to see him go but he's still part of the "core". I'm cautiously optimistic on Wong for '23 being ready with Hernandez. Someone upthread mentioned Gomes as a one year option which I like but it'd be possible lateral move unless they think they can get something good in return for Vaz.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
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Likely he'll just finish his contract here and then sign elsewhere with a QO.
I'd be okay if they dealt him away after this season and I'm sure they could get a decent return for the one remaining season. But I'm fine with whatever happens. I really don't like him as a player anymore and would like to see him go but he's still part of the "core". I'm cautiously optimistic on Wong for '23 being ready with Hernandez. Someone upthread mentioned Gomes as a one year option which I like but it'd be possible lateral move unless they think they can get something good in return for Vaz.
There's pretty much no chance that Vazquez is given a qualifying offer when his contract ends. His option for next year is $7M. A qualifying offer is likely to be close to $20M (it was $18.9M this year). Not a chance he increases his value that much at age 31-32.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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There's pretty much no chance that Vazquez is given a qualifying offer when his contract ends. His option for next year is $7M. A qualifying offer is likely to be close to $20M (it was $18.9M this year). Not a chance he increases his value that much at age 31-32.
Wow. Yeah no.
I thought QO’s were based off ratios of increase of prior contract
 

opes

Doctor Tongue
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If we want to move on from Vazquez, a player who might be worth targeting is Mitch Garver. Minnesota is very likely to launch a massive rebuild after a very disappointing season and Byron Buxton declining their offered extension.

Garver is already 30, but just entering his arbitration years, which will likely be pretty expensive. On the one hand, injuries have limited his playing time, but on the other hand, he has the kinds of skills that the arb process rewards. He has a career .256/.342/.495 line in about 1000 PA, including 53 HR and 52 doubles. Since his breakout 2019, his line (including a terrible 2020) has been a marvelous.254/.349/.548. He has tremendous quality of contact, a manageable K rate and a decent walk rate. He wouldn't likely hit fourth in Boston as he has in Minnesota, but adding another .850+ OPS at an up-the-middle position can really lengthen a lineup.

Now the caveats:

I don't know what to make of his health going forward, but the injuries that have limited his playing time don't appear to have been chronic. Shohei Ohtani messed up his ankle in a collision back in 2019, which cost him a few weeks, but he came back and finished the season strong. He missed about a month this season due to "groin contusion" that required surgery — yikes. But since returning, he's been hitting .299/.394/.552 and mostly cleaning up for a pretty good Twins lineup (the issues in Minnesota are pointedly not the offense: 103 OPS+, 88 ERA+). He's dealt with back issues, which sound like the most concerning issue going forwards.

I don't really know what to make of Garver defensively. He's big for a catcher. Defensive statistics are obscure in the best of circumstances, but I really don't understand how they work for catchers. Statcast had him as a terrible framer until this year, when he leapt to the 88th percentile. Is that just some luck with umpires, or is that a durable improvement? I have no idea. DRS hated his 2018, but has graded him as about average since then. In terms of the running game, Garver has only caught 19% of SB attempts in his career, and runners definitely try running on him more than they do on the Sox' catchers: about 50% more per inning caught. But that stuff is so hard to evaluate, because it's basically all confounding variables. Is his poor performance because some pitching staffs do a better or worse job at holding runners? Is it that, playing in the AL Central, Garver faces more speed-oriented teams that run a lot, like Cleveland and especially Kansas City? So is Vazquez catching more runners because he's throwing out plodding Orioles and Blue Jays, while Garver is getting beaten by the Royals' speedsters? Do the Twins more often find themselves in game situations where stolen bases are an attractive tactic? You could imagine that teams playing Boston, who plays in a park that has a huge park effect boosting doubles, might feel that their fast runners are in scoring position on first.

So why would the Twins trade him? You could readily imagine the Twins deciding to go with their glove-first rookie Ryan Jeffers as the primary catcher in a rebuild centered on younger players like Arraez, Kepler, Kirilloff and their top infield prospect Royce Lewis, and cash out Garver. You could imagine Dalbec or Duran being appealing additions to that young position player core, but what that team really needs is pitching.

Thoughts?
The problem the Twins have is Jeffers had a terrible season, Astudllio is a fan favorite but he's a career backup. So they really can't afford to give up Garver, and hope he bounces back. The Twins have a ton of problems from offense to pitching. It was painful to watch them this year. They were calling up pitchers that had no chance of sniffing an MLB roster for nearly any other team.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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There were only 7 catchers who made at least $7m this year.

Can't see them bringing Vaz back at that level. Or having positive trade value at that salary.

Maybe they do something like they did with Martin Perez where they decline the option & bring him back on a 1+1 for a bit less $?
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Jul 15, 2005
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If we want to move on from Vazquez, a player who might be worth targeting is Mitch Garver. Minnesota is very likely to launch a massive rebuild after a very disappointing season and Byron Buxton declining their offered extension.

Garver is already 30, but just entering his arbitration years, which will likely be pretty expensive. On the one hand, injuries have limited his playing time, but on the other hand, he has the kinds of skills that the arb process rewards. He has a career .256/.342/.495 line in about 1000 PA, including 53 HR and 52 doubles. Since his breakout 2019, his line (including a terrible 2020) has been a marvelous.254/.349/.548. He has tremendous quality of contact, a manageable K rate and a decent walk rate. He wouldn't likely hit fourth in Boston as he has in Minnesota, but adding another .850+ OPS at an up-the-middle position can really lengthen a lineup.

Now the caveats:

I don't know what to make of his health going forward, but the injuries that have limited his playing time don't appear to have been chronic. Shohei Ohtani messed up his ankle in a collision back in 2019, which cost him a few weeks, but he came back and finished the season strong. He missed about a month this season due to "groin contusion" that required surgery — yikes. But since returning, he's been hitting .299/.394/.552 and mostly cleaning up for a pretty good Twins lineup (the issues in Minnesota are pointedly not the offense: 103 OPS+, 88 ERA+). He's dealt with back issues, which sound like the most concerning issue going forwards.

I don't really know what to make of Garver defensively. He's big for a catcher. Defensive statistics are obscure in the best of circumstances, but I really don't understand how they work for catchers. Statcast had him as a terrible framer until this year, when he leapt to the 88th percentile. Is that just some luck with umpires, or is that a durable improvement? I have no idea. DRS hated his 2018, but has graded him as about average since then. In terms of the running game, Garver has only caught 19% of SB attempts in his career, and runners definitely try running on him more than they do on the Sox' catchers: about 50% more per inning caught. But that stuff is so hard to evaluate, because it's basically all confounding variables. Is his poor performance because some pitching staffs do a better or worse job at holding runners? Is it that, playing in the AL Central, Garver faces more speed-oriented teams that run a lot, like Cleveland and especially Kansas City? So is Vazquez catching more runners because he's throwing out plodding Orioles and Blue Jays, while Garver is getting beaten by the Royals' speedsters? Do the Twins more often find themselves in game situations where stolen bases are an attractive tactic? You could imagine that teams playing Boston, who plays in a park that has a huge park effect boosting doubles, might feel that their fast runners are in scoring position on first.

So why would the Twins trade him? You could readily imagine the Twins deciding to go with their glove-first rookie Ryan Jeffers as the primary catcher in a rebuild centered on younger players like Arraez, Kepler, Kirilloff and their top infield prospect Royce Lewis, and cash out Garver. You could imagine Dalbec or Duran being appealing additions to that young position player core, but what that team really needs is pitching.

Thoughts?
I missed this earlier. Good analysis. Some counters... I don't think Minnesota is "very likely to launch a major rebuild." I think that's one of a few options. Much is going to depend on whether they can creatively extend Buxton. If so, they'll convince themselves that next year is when Buxton will stay healthy, Sano will lose weight and gain focus, and their prospects will be healthy and productive. They have a good farm system. If they can land a starter to replace Berrios, maybe resign a guy like Pineda, and add a late inning reliever better than Colome, they'll try to contend in another bridge-like year.

All that said, Garver is a reasonable target. Opes is right, that Jeffers had a lousy year, but I could see the Twins gambling on a bounceback, maybe bringing in a cheap veteran #2 (or rolling with defense-only Rortvedt as a back up), and dealing Garver for pitching. But who do the Sox give up? Houck? Won't that be the sort of guy the Twins ask for (at a minimum)?

For Sox fans cringing at even that cost, keep this in mind: Garv Sauce makes a fine beer! https://www.omnibrewing.com/product-page/garv-sauce
 
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nvalvo

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I missed this earlier. Good analysis. Some counters... I don't think Minnesota is "very likely to launch a major rebuild." I think that's one of a few options. Much is going to depend on whether they can creatively extend Buxton. If so, they'll convince themselves that next year is when Buxton will stay healthy, Sano will lose weight and gain focus, and their prospects will be healthy and productive. They have a good farm system. If they can land a starter to replace Berrios, maybe resign a guy like Pineda, and add a late inning reliever better than Colome, they'll try to contend in another bridge-like year.

All that said, Garver is a reasonable target. Opes is right, that Jeffers had a lousy year, but I could see the Twins gambling on a bounceback, maybe bringing in a cheap veteran #2 (or rolling with defense-only Rortvedt as a back up), and dealing Garver for pitching. But who do the Sox give up? Houck? Won't that be the sort of guy the Twins ask for (at a minimum)?

For Sox fans cringing at even that cost, keep this in mind: Garv Sauce makes a fine beer! https://www.omnibrewing.com/product-page/garv-sauce
It's hardly gospel, but the baseball trade values simulator has Houck having ~4x Garver's trade value.

While I think that magnitude is a bit extreme, it makes sense to me that Houck would be the more valuable commodity, mostly because of service time. Houck still has two pre-arb seasons — and if the Sox keep him in AAA for six weeks (which I would consider shitty behavior) he could have three — and then all of his arb years. He should most likely be a 2027 FA, but could be a 2028. Garver, in contrast, has three years remaining until FA and they are his arbitration years, and he is about to start actually getting paid, especially because his power numbers are going to get him comped to guys like Posey and Grandal. He's also a 30 year old catcher, so it's unlikely that there's much more upside in there.

So Houck really does quite likely have millions more in surplus value.

(Then again, after writing all that, I checked MLBTradeRumors' arb projections, which are usually pretty close, and they projected Garver to get an Arb1 of only $3.1m, which was a couple million lower than I would have guessed — that's basically Plawecki money. So who knows?)

As for the broader direction of the Twins, I will defer to you as a local, but the national media seems to have all but concluded that Buxton is as good as out the door, and that others will follow.
 

opes

Doctor Tongue
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Buxton is out the door in my opinion. The Twins asked $73 million over 7 years which is laughable. Granted they have no idea if he can actually play an entire season. I'm surprised Sano didnt get traded. He's atrocious. Simmons was on a 1 year, and not trading him was stupid. Donaldson was un-movable. Polanco is signed on a super cheap contract, the twins are basically getting away with a steal. Taylor Rodgers will stay because they have literally no one else in the bullpen that can throw better than you or me. They will be sheading about $29 mil(https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/free-agents/minnesota-twins/) in FA's that were garbage to begin with.
They do have a ton of young guys, and some of them will stick. But I cant see them sniffing even a wildcard next year. Nearly all of their pitching needs to be replaced, and the offense is full of question marks. The Pohlad's are a joke, and wont spend money.
 

chawson

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Jeffers’ struggles this year aside, he’s is a highly regarded prospect who most expect is the catcher of the future.

The Twins have plenty of near-ready and graduating prospects that their contention window is likely to open in 23-24. They don’t need a full tear-down, but guys like Donaldson, Maeda, Garver, Sanó, Rogers, Duffey and Buxton (if they can’t extend) are likely gone to give that next team the development time. We should be in on Maeda, Rogers, Garver, Duffey and Buxton, and I don’t mind taking Sanó back if it helps us get the others.

Pivetta’s one guy who’d be useful to them. He’s obviously been great for us and I’ve got no complaints if he spent the next three years here. But if Houck and Whitlock move into our rotation and we keep E-Rod (which we should), I could Pivetta as a valuable piece to a team like the Twins who routinely have trouble signing pitchers. Arroyo, who pairs well with Arraez, would seem cheap and useful to them too.
 

nvalvo

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Jeffers’ struggles this year aside, he’s is a highly regarded prospect who most expect is the catcher of the future.

The Twins have plenty of near-ready and graduating prospects that their contention window is likely to open in 23-24. They don’t need a full tear-down, but guys like Donaldson, Maeda, Garver, Sanó, Rogers, Duffey and Buxton (if they can’t extend) are likely gone to give that next team the development time. We should be in on Maeda, Rogers, Garver, Duffey and Buxton, and I don’t mind taking Sanó back if it helps us get the others.

Pivetta’s one guy who’d be useful to them. He’s obviously been great for us and I’ve got no complaints if he spent the next three years here. But if Houck and Whitlock move into our rotation and we keep E-Rod (which we should), I could Pivetta as a valuable piece to a team like the Twins who routinely have trouble signing pitchers. Arroyo, who pairs well with Arraez, would seem cheap and useful to them too.
This discussion should probably be moved to the MLB forum (it's my fault), but Minnesota should be interested in players with more controllable years remaining than Pivetta has.