Saturday, August 31, 2013

Minnesota Twins trade Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Twins are finishing up their third straight terrible season.  As such, lots of changes have been made and lots of changes still need to be made.  Older and more expensive players don't have much of a future with this team.  Even so, there was one older and more expensive player that I didn't think the Twins would have the heart to deal.  I was wrong.

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Alex Presley and a player to be named later or cash. 

Morneau was one of the more popular players on the Twins and one of the best Twins players of this past generation.  He's not an elite player anymore and he probably isn't much more than average, but he should help the Pirates regardless.

Presley is a 28-year-old outfielder who can play center, just not very well.  He's probably somewhere in the Clete Thomas range of ability/talent and he could be a DFA candidate within the next couple months. 

How do I feel right now?

What a dork!  Oh wait, that's me.  When I saw the news, I said to my wife, "wow, they actually traded Morneau."  I had pretty much made up my mind that the Twins would hold on to Morneau for the rest of the season.  I thought that was a sentimental move and the Twins should unload Morneau for anything they could get, but I also thought that was how they would approach the situation.  I was wrong and now I'm a little sad. 

Morneau was not my favorite player or anything like that, but I did like him.  I enjoyed watching him play for the past decade and I have witnessed many exciting moments provided by him.  This move is also sad because it wouldn't have been necessary if the team wasn't so awful.  The heyday of the 2000s is long gone and the casualties are piling up.  Morneau has a legitimate place on a good team, but can basically only offer veteran leadership on a bad team.  

I am a Twins fan, so I will move on.  It will be odd seeing Morneau in another jersey, but it's certainly what is best for him.  He goes from one of the worst teams in the league to one of the best.  He also gets to play for a team that hasn't made the playoffs in 20 years and are on the verge of erasing that streak.  It should be more fun for him than going through the motions with a bad team. 

Why make the trade?

Normally, I'd find some quotes from a story, but this story is too brand new.  Instead, I'll riff.  Like jazz.

Is it easier to trade an incredibly popular player with a month remaining in the season or to let an extremely popular player walk during free agency?  I think the trade route is better for PR.  The Twins can always entertain the idea of bringing Morneau back during free agency.  This gives them a month for fans' memories of Morneau to fade.  Odds are that Morneau would have been playing elsewhere in 2014 anyway, so getting something for him at least shows the fans that the organization did not want to let him leave for nothing.

Of course, this return appears to be just about nothing.  I just compared Presley to Clete Thomas a couple paragraphs ago.  That pretty much sums it up.  The PTBNL still looms, and perhaps the Twins can sell hope that they will receive someone interesting in a few weeks.  Most times, the PTBNL is a guy with no chance for any success.  Occasionally, they become MLB players.  Once, they become David OrtizHere is a slideshow with some of the most impressive PTNBLs of all-time.  You're not going to be pumping your fist with excitement after seeing it. 


Most likely, this trade will not make the Twins any better in the present or the future.  I guess it depends a bit on who the player to be named later will be, but as I said earlier, those guys aren't typically future superstars.  You can even look to the trades the Twins have made during the 2013 season to see the disparity in who will ultimately fill that role. 

The Twins traded Drew Butera to the Dodgers for a PTBNL and received a 19-year-old lefty who is holding his own in the Midwest League.  He's not a top prospect, but he is certainly a surprising return for a back-up (at best) catcher.  Of course, he is also 5' 10" and some project him for the bullpen.  Even a surprisingly good return needs to be muted a bit.  The Twins also traded Jamey Carroll to the Royals for a PTBNL and they simply took cash.  Of course, Morneau is better than those two players, but he also makes a lot more money.  Who really knows?  We'll find out soon enough.

The real impact of this trade will be felt off the field.  I am 100% positive that there will be some fans who are so turned off by trading Morneau that they will "give up" on the team.  Trading Morneau also removes one of the more popular and marketable players from the roster.  While Morneau was likely leaving in a month anyway, this move could make selling September tickets just a bit more difficult.  Of course, the Twins will probably see an uptick in tickets sold to Alex Presley's family.    

Who won the WAR?

Obviously, this WAR is just beginning.  I would guess that Morneau provides more value than Presley for the rest of this season.  The Twins will win this WAR if Morneau bolts Pittsburgh after this month.  Even so, I don't see much chance for the Twins to get much value out of this trade, even in the long-term.

One Sentence Summary

Again, I am surprised by how sad I am; and what a dork I am.

Friday, August 30, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: Goodbye Wild Stallion

The 2012 Twins sucked.  They just sucked and you know what, sucky teams make sucky trades with sucky players.  

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded Francisco Liriano to the Chicago White Sox for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez

Liriano didn't fare well for the White Sox.  He struck out some dudes but walked a ton of dudes as well.  He made just 11 starts for the White Sox and posted a 5.40 ERA.  He left for Pittsburgh in the off-season, where he somehow re-blossomed at age 29.  The man is baffling. 

Hernandez and Escobar are end of the roster players who have each split time between Minnesota and Rochester.  Escobar is a slick-fielding infielder with a weak bat.  Hernandez is a lefty with good control who can't strike anyone out.  Each could be moderately useful while their young and cheap.  Neither rock.

How did I feel at the time?

Crushed.  I had recently discovered the world of prospects.  I found the Up and In podcast and enjoyed it.  Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks introduced me to the world of baby baseball players and I just loved the concept.  I loved the promise, the tools, the hype and the hope.  So, I convinced myself that the Twins would be dealing Liriano for some great prospect or at least some secret sexy prospect.  Instead, they traded for a utility guy and a possible 5th starter.  I was crushed. 

Why make the trade?

Liriano had been rumored to be traded everywhere, including cities that did not have teams.  This story explains why the White Sox wanted to make this trade.  I guess.

The surprising Chicago White Sox have made a move to stay on top of the AL Central, acquiring left-hander Francisco Liriano from their division rival Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

What?  I know all of those words, but that sentence makes no sense.  Trading for Liriano to stay on top?  Ok, whatever you say, guy.  I bet the White Sox manager was so fired up that he wanted to go punch Nolan Ryan

"I think (White Sox GM) Kenny (Williams) is just trying to do everything he possibly can to make us better pitching-wise," said Ventura.

I think that is probably a good assessment, perhaps.  Clearly, the White Sox manager was not head over heels for Liriano.  You can't blame him.  Liriano had an ERA over five and had just recently been shelled.  By the White Sox:

In his most recent start, the White Sox tagged Liriano for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Monday.

See?  There were many that wanted the Twins to make a Liriano trade before that start could occur; basically petrified of what could and did happen.  Before that start, the Twins might have gotten some good prospects.  Just not from the White Sox because their farm system sucks.  And they wouldn't have gotten good prospects.  

What did Liriano's new teammates think?

"He just has to come here and be solid," said Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko. "He doesn't have to throw shutouts. He just has to give us a chance to win. That's all we're looking for."

Check.  Walking over five per nine is solid, right?  As least he managed to average just over five innings per start.  Adam Dunn doesn't know what it's like to be terrible, so what does he think?

"Hopefully the change of scenery will help," White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said. "If he'll buy in to what we're doing over here, he can get back to what we know he's capable of doing."

I'm sorry, but that's nonsense.  You can interpret it how you like, but that is just a bunch of nonsense. 
Of course, this trade wasn't just about Francisco Liriano.  It was also about hurting Eduardo Escobar's feelings:

"It's a tough one team-wise," Ventura said. "(Escobar) is kind of like a little brother or a son to most guys. He's taking it hard. It's just part of baseball. It happens to a lot of people. It will make us better though."

It's going to be so funny when the Twins finally make Escobar feel at home in Minnesota and then trade him to Miami. 


Liriano was an impending free agent and he had basically worn out his welcome with the organization and the fans.  He went from rookie phenom to injured star to a martyr of sorts within seven years.  Near the end, he was being portrayed by commentators as some sort of wild stallion who needed to be tamed by the immortal Drew Butera.  Liriano was very inconsistent, but his talent was tantalizing.  In reality, Liriano's 2012 season was a microcosm of his career.  There were wild ups and downs, but ultimately he did not meet the hype and did not fulfill his promise.  Sad.

On the positive side, the Twins did turn an impending wild stallion of a free agent into two future MLB players.  Escobar may just be a utility player at his peak and Hernandez may just be a lefty specialist at his peak, but those are roster-worthy players who can provide value for multiple seasons.  When you think of it that way, it was not a bad trade.  Basically, the Twins turned two months of Liriano into two guys who can play.  Of course, the Twins are probably super pissed that Liriano has reinvented himself in Pittsburgh.  Oh well.

Who won the WAR?

Hernandez with the Twins:  -0.2 WAR
Escobar with the Twins:  0.2 WAR
Liriano with the White Sox:  0.3 WAR 

WAR won by the White Sox!  Thus far...

One Sentence Summary

Francisco Liriano is pitching really well for the Pirates, in case you had forgotten.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: JJ Hardy for some relievers

After the 2009 season, the Twins decided to make a smart move and deal from outfield depth to address a position that had been a weakness on the team for the better part of 20 years.  Just one year later, the Twins decided, "meh, shortstops are for dorks" and traded that same player away for a couple of relievers.  Buckle up folks, it's very hard to be even remotely positive about this trade.

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris and cash to the Baltimore Orioles for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson

Harris and Jacobson never played for their new teams, so we can just move past them. 

Hoey was one of the worst Twins relievers in recent memory.  He only threw 24.2 innings for the Twins.  In those innings, he posted a 5.47 ERA, which was actually a career low!  He walked 13 batters and only struck out 14.  He nearly posted a 2.0 WHIP.  He was brutal.

After a disappointing 2010 season with the Twins, Hardy bounced back in 2011.  He hit 30 home runs for the Orioles and was worth 4.3 WAR.  His offense slipped to an 82 OPS+ in 2012, but his defense and power helped make him a 3+ WAR player anyway.  In 2013, He has been somewhere in between 2011 and 2012, but would still be much better than Pedro Florimon and Tsuyoshi Nishioka sharing a uniform and trying to use their four arms to their advantage. 

How did I feel at the time?

Not pleased.  I thought acquiring Hardy was a very smart move and I wasn't happy that the Twins gave up on him after a season.  I was not on the Nishioka bandwagon at all and I didn't think that trading away a power-hitting shortstop is the kind of thing a good team does.  I'm not going to state who was right or wrong. 

Why make the trade?

That is a question that I can't really answer.  Here's an article that tries it's best to make sense of the senseless. 

"We're looking for a little more offense to our regular shortstop position, and we're confident he can provide that," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. "We also talked to other shortstop targets."

I love it!  Adding a great offensive shortstop is a great way to improve a team.  We sure are lucky that MacPhail is back and making shrewd moves.  Wait.  This is what the Orioles did.  Oops.  Well, I'm guessing the Twins were targeting some high upside arms, right?

Hoey and Jacobson are two hard-throwing minor leaguers who could eventually help replenish Minnesota's bullpen.

Yeah!  Hard throwing.  Now I get it.  Let's bring in some hard throwing relievers.  They will certainly match the value of a good shortstop.  They'll pitch like 60 innings apiece and all will be well.  The question remains:  who are these people?

The 27-year-old Hoey was 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk. He pitched for Baltimore in 2006-07, going 3-5 with an 8.13 ERA.

Well that doesn't look promising.  Although, there was nowhere to go but up, I suppose.  What about the other guy?

The 24-year-old Jacobson was 8-1 with one save and a 2.79 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 71 innings at Class A Frederick. The Orioles got him in August 2009 from Detroit in a trade for Aubrey Huff.

Hmm.  Not terrible.  Of course, this ignores the fact that Jacobson was 24 and repeating A ball.  Whatever, the Twins needed relievers, as they were about to lose Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier.  Of course, the Orioles needed relievers too, as evidenced here:

The Orioles also reached a preliminary agreement with pitcher Koji Uehara on a one-year contract for $3 million. The deal is pending a physical.  The 35-year-old Japanese righty was 1-2 with 13 saves and a 2.86 ERA in 43 games for Baltimore last season.

Three million was only slightly less than what the Twins were going to pay Nishioka.  Uehara was only good as an MLB pitcher, not good as a class A pitcher.  So, it just depends on which league you value more. 


If you want to even try to make sense of this move, then you are trying very hard to be positive.  However, the logic behind the move must have gone like this:  Nishioka is coming, Guerrier and Crain are gone, this will balance things out.  Hardy wasn't great in 2010 and the relievers acquired were young.  There is a hint of logic there.  A hint.  I'm not willing to go any further than that. 

The reality is that the Twins finally had a decent shortstop and they basically gave him away.  They gave him away much like they gave Jason Bartlett away just a few years prior.  It seems that the Twins aren't able to see a good defensive shortstop, unless it is very obvious.  As I type this, Pedro Florimon is manning the Twins' shortstop position and he certainly is defense-only.  However, Bartlett and Hardy might not make their defensive prowess as apparent as Florimon does.  They were both extremely solid but maybe didn't always look the part.  Whatever the issue was, the Twins let two very valuable players slip away. 

Of course, Hardy wasn't defense-only.  He has great power at a premium defensive position.  Hardy could bat 5th, play short and probably do so for another 3-4 years.  He'd be around when the Twins get good again.  Instead, the Twins will likely have a gaping hole at the position for the foreseeable future.  That being said, he's not a superstar.  True, the Twins let him get away, but he isn't without some major flaws.  He's inconsistent and he doesn't get on-base at even an above-average rate.  He's still a whole lot better than Nishioka, Hoey and Jacobson. 

Who won the WAR?

Hoey with the Twins:  -0.6 WAR
Hardy with the Orioles:  10.9 WAR

WAR won by the Orioles!

One Sentence Summary

Did anyone really think that the Orioles lost anything related to this trade?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: August 26, 2013

Since I am filled with useless snark, I stated back on August 12 that if the Twins could win 30-35 of their next 17 games, they could get back in the Central race.  See, the joke is...  Anyway, with three games remaining in that 17 game stretch, the Twins will win no more than seven games.  Whatever.  Perhaps the team isn't good enough to win two games every game.  However, the Twins are still on a 72 win pace (actually 71.5 but I'm rounding up to get the fan vote).  It's a small improvement, but improvement is always good.  Unless it's Home Improvement.  The show.

What if the Twins had signed Pelfrey to Kevin Correia's contract and Correia to Pelfrey's?  I think that having Pelfrey around for a second year wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.  He's certainly better than Correia and he is younger too.  However, there is simply no way that both guys can be in the rotation next year.  The options outside of these two won't make you dance in your underpants, but they are worth giving starts to.  Thus, Correia stays due to his contract and Pelfrey will almost certainly be gone. 

One guy who was nowhere near my starting pitching radar is Anthony Swarzak.  Starting pitching radar is a conspiracy theory; Swarzak would know.  However, it's hard to look at Swarzak's performance this season and not have a slight inclination to see if he could put together some solid starts.  I hesitate to move people from roles where they have found success, but long-man isn't exactly a hot commodity.  If Swarzak got a few starts in September, I'd be cool with it. 

As Twins Daily member stringer bell stated over the weekend, Brian Dozier is likely the biggest positive development from this season.  Dozier looks great at second base and has started to produce surprising power at the plate.  You'll see just how good Dozier is below, but needless to say, the Twins have found a solid second baseman.  You should read stringer bell's recap, as it's much better and much more detailed. 

Time for Madness

Fun stat - Twins 20/20 Guys

No, not eyesight.  20 home runs and 20 steals.  Now, we don't really talk about 20/20 guys because some dudes have hit 30/30 and 40/40.  However, the Twins need to be graded on a curve. Small market, greedy owner, Metrodome, stuff like that.  So, here are the guys in Twins history who have achieved this outstanding feat:

  • Larry Hisle - 1977:  28 HR, 21 SB
  • Kirby Puckett - 1986:  31 HR, 20 SB
  • Marty Cordova - 1995:  24 HR, 20 SB
  • Corey Koskie - 2001:  26 HR, 27 SB
  • Torii Hunter - 2002:  29 HR, 23 SB
  • Torii Hunter - 2004:  23 HR, 21 SB
Could Brian Dozier join this group one day? 

Half-hearted Rant

The Ryan Dempster/Alex Rodriguez situation worked up a rant in my brain.  I'm more offended by someone throwing a baseball at someone than by someone taking illegal substances.  If we are genuinely concerned with player safety when it comes to steroids, why aren't we worried when it comes to chucking baseballs at people. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm against both actions.  I just find it odd that steroids = 50 game suspension, throwing a baseball at another human = one delayed start.  For many, the issue comes down to "how do I explain this to my child(ren)?"  Well, I find one of these instances to be a lot easier to explain than the other. 
Join me as I walk through two scenarios where I explain these issues to my daughter:

  • Daughter:  Why isn't Nelson Cruz playing tonight.  After all, he is my favorite player.
  • Me:  Well, he took steroids, so he was suspended. 
  • Daughter:  Why was he suspended for that?
  • Me:  Because steroids are against the rules and he took them anyway.  He deserves to be punished.
  • Daughter:  Why are they against the rules?
  • Me:  Steroids make you better at baseball.
  • Daughter:  Isn't that a good thing?
  • Me:  Well, they also do bad things to your body and they hurt the competitive balance of the game. 
  • Daughter:  I suppose that makes sense. 
Now, unless my small child is a tiny libertarian, she is probably fine with this exchange.  Here's how I would explain the Dempster issue:

  • Daughter:  Why is Ryan Dempster, my second favorite player after Nelson Cruz, allowed to throw a baseball at Alex Rodriguez?
  • Me:  Well, A-Rod cheated so Dempster is getting back at him for ruining the integrity of baseball.
  • Daughter:  How does throwing a baseball at him accomplish that goal?
  • Me:  It's just how things have always been done.
  • Daughter:  Didn't we used to ride horses everywhere?  Before that, we just walked around.  Why don't you walk to work?
  • Me:  Well, I have a car.
  • Daughter:  But people haven't always had cars.  Things change.  Things evolve.  To me, throwing a baseball at someone is vigilante justice.  Shouldn't the police do the policing?
  • Me:  Go to bed. 
My daughter is two months old, so you have to take a bit of a leap here.  I simply feel that one action is easier to explain but both actions have no place in baseball. 

To summarize, I am anti-steroids and anti-beanings. 

Random Photoshops

I wrote about birds playing baseball a couple months ago.  I'm not going to link to it because I've linked to it many times before and it's starting to look desperate.  That being said, these two should have made the cut

Rich Woodpecker

Drew Bupterodactyl

The last one doesn't really count because everyone knows that Drew Butera is extinct. 

Random Top 10

Here are the top 10 second-year players in Twins history, sorted by rWAR:

  1. Tom Brunansky - 5.6 WAR
  2. Chuck Knoblauch - 5.3 WAR
  3. Lew Ford - 4.4 WAR
  4. John Castino - 4.4 WAR
  5. Jimmie Hall - 4.0 WAR
  6. Rich Rollins - 4.0 WAR
  7. Tim Teufel - 3.8 WAR
  8. Butch Wynegar - 3.8 WAR
  9. Denard Span - 3.7 WAR
  10. Kent Hrbek/Lyman Bostock - 3.6 WAR
Brian Dozier is currently at 3.2 WAR.  If he finishes the season as well as he has played in June-August, he'll reach 4.0 WAR at least.  That puts him in the top five.  He's having a great season. 

What's ahead?

I have a few things in the works.  It's the first week of school this week, so no promises.  I am currently G-Chatting with my 9-year-old self.  I think I might write about that.  I'm also investigating a forgotten Twin named John Moses.  Finally, I am looking at how I can tie Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development to the above scenarios involving Ryan Dempster and Alex Rodriguez.  Crazy stuff; keep your eyes peeled.

Parting Thought

Are the Twins going to make any tradez?  I am bored with this lack of trading.  In my fantasy football league, we put in a mandate that every team has to make at least one trade.  Everyone hates it.  Maybe Major League Baseball should consider something like this.  Every team needs to make one trade in July and one in August.  That way, all fans get to talk trades.  Win win. 

Have a nice week, everyone!

Friday, August 23, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: Wilson Ramos for a proven closer

Ok, let's all just try to be cool here.

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded Wilson Ramos, Joe Testa and cash to the Washington Nationals for Matt Capps

I'm not sure Twins fans remember this, but Capps was really good in 2010.  He took over as closer and fired off 27 innings of 2 ERA.  He saved 16 games down the stretch and helped the Twins make the playoffs.  The problem was that he was declining already and the Twins didn't see it.  He was much worse in 2011, seeing a huge drop in his strikeout rate.  The Twins still didn't see it and signed him again for 2012.  He was hurt and awful and hasn't pitched in the Majors since.

Ramos is great when he's healthy.  He has posted a 112 OPS+ with Washington, but he has only played 198 games in just over three seasons.  I'd love to see what he could do in a full season.  He's slugging almost .500 this year and is going to be a breakout candidate until he actually breaks out. 
Testa is playing independent ball now.  The cash was reinvested into the organiz... Ha!  I'm sorry, but that's just too funny to pass up. 

How did I feel at the time?

I had mixed feelings.  I actually liked Matt Capps.  I "found" him back before he was a closer.  In 2007, Salomon Torres was the Pirates' closer.  I was a fantasy baseball player.  We weren't a match.  However, I knew Torres sucked, so I stashed this dude named Capps and hoped the Pirates would reach the same conclusion that I had.  They did.  However, I liked Ramos too.  I did feel he was somewhat redundant with Joe Mauer signed forever and awesome.  So, I liked the idea of getting value for Ramos and I liked Capps.  I was wrong.

Why make the trade?

The Twins are a very traditional team.  If there is a traditional role to fill, they will fill it.  As such, the Twins needed a "proven closer" for the 2010 stretch run.  Or at least, that is what this article indicates:

"The motivation is that this makes us a better club," said general manager Bill Smith, whose Twins trail the Chicago White Sox by 1½ games in the AL Central. "This gives us more depth in the back of that bullpen. Matt Capps is an established, veteran closer who is going to give us a better chance to win our division and advance to the World Series."

I can't imagine a world where Matt Capps makes a team a World Series contender.  Jon Rauch had closed for the first half and had done a really nice job.  There was really no need to trade for a closer.  Any right-handed bullpen arm would have made the team stronger.  Unfortunately, a "closer" carries more weight than a "good reliever who doesn't close."  Thus, Ramos was sent away.  Weak. 

"Jon Rauch stepped up and has been phenomenal for us," Smith said. "This gives us three quality, veteran guys late in the game. I can't say enough great things about what Jon Rauch has contributed to this club and we expect him to continue to be a huge contributor to our success."

This quote doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  If Rauch had been phenomenal, then it would stand to reason that trading a prized catching prospect to replace him falls in the "bad idea jeans" category.  This is especially true when you consider...

"He's a tremendous talent and he's got a bright future," Smith said. "Anytime you're going to get an All-Star closer, you have to give up a good player. It was a tough decision, but one we felt we had to make."

I do agree that you have to get to give, but this give was too much for what they wanted to get.

The addition of Ramos to a talented young core led by ace Stephen Strasburg gives the Nationals the flexibility to move slugging catcher Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, into the outfield.

Well now that just seems unfair.


This is another trade that looks terrible on paper but the idea isn't completely insane.  Deal from strength to improve the team.  However, trading a 22-year-old catcher with big upside for one of the least impressive closers in baseball is just not worthwhile.  Ramos is probably going to be providing Washington with value for the next 5-6 seasons.  Even if he does remain injury prone, he'll be good when he can play.  He'd be a perfect player in the Twins' Ryan Doumit role, but alas, it was not meant to be.

This is the danger in worrying about a "proven closer."  The title carries more weight than it should.  If you put a good pitcher in the 9th inning, they will likely still be a good pitcher.  If you take a pretty good pitcher and call them a "closer," they become more valuable than they really are as a player.  Matt Capps isn't a proven closer any more than Jon Rauch, but if you give him enough save opportunities, he becomes one.  I guess that's just how baseball works, but it certainly clouded the Twins' judgment in this case. 

Who won the WAR?

Capps with the Twins:  2.0 WAR
Ramos with the Nationals:  4.2 WAR

WAR won by the Nationals!

One Sentence Summary

Fantasy baseball is a terrible way to learn about players.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: Carlos Gomez for J.J. Hardy

After the 2009 season, the Twins were riding high.  They had just won the vaunted AL Central and were looking to improve the team by dealing from depth.  They had four solid outfielders in Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Delmon Young.  They also had an extremely talented train wreck who was a major part of a blockbuster trade just two years prior.  Why not shore up a position that had been an issue for years and years and years and years and years and years and...

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for J.J. Hardy

Hardy only played 101 games in a Twins uniform.  He was injured and slow during his one season with the Twins.  However, he was a good defensive shortstop, just as he had always been and has been ever since.  The Twins didn't like what they saw in their short view of Hardy and shipped him off after the 2010 season (more on that next week). 

For two and half seasons with the Brewers, Gomez looked a lot like the player he was with the Twins.  He was excellent in center, but maddening at the plate.  Then, in the second half of 2012, Gomez broke out.  He started hitting for power and he actually posted an OBP over .300!  He carried that success into 2013, and has looked like a potential superstar with his combination of power, speed and defense.  

How did I feel at the time?

I liked this trade quite a bit.  Hardy was brutal in 2009, but had been a really productive player in 2007 and 2008.  Gomez was really fun to watch one minute and extremely frustrating to watch every other minute.  As much as I had high hopes for Gomez, I was happy that the Twins seemed to be addressing one of the biggest holes in franchise history.      

Why make the trade?

This article outlines things in clear terms:

"This was a good fit," Smith said. "We had one too many outfielders and they had one too many shortstops, so it worked out for both teams."

Seriously?  They had too many shortstops?  As a Twins fan, that makes me just want to puke all over your head, sir. 

Hardy was looking for a change of scenery, after being sent to the Minors during the 2009 season:

"I definitely knew I was going to get traded once I got sent down," Hardy said. "Once I got the call this morning, I was pretty excited about it."

It was reasonable to expect that Hardy would rebound after a poor 2009.  He had been productive in the two previous seasons and he was hitting that famed "age 27 season."    

I'm not even sure the Twins considered it "giving up on Gomez" anyway:

"To give up Carlos Gomez, and four years of control with the player, it's important to get somebody that we're going to have for more than a year," Smith said.

It was important to get someone who they would have for more than one year.  Yes.  That is true.  You should have followed that advice, Bill Smith.  

It seemed that Hardy was going to be the shortstop for the foreseeable future.  The Brewers may have been giving up on Hardy more than the Twins were giving up on Gomez.  The Twins were willing to take the chance on Hardy:

"He's got a strong arm. He's got good range and he's got power," Twins general manager Bill Smith said. "He had a bad year this year. We've talked to a lot of people and we have a lot of opinions in our organization. We're all on board that this was a good acquisition for us."

What is odd is that the perception of Hardy changed after one season.  Of course, two bad years is certainly more concerning than just one. 

Gomez was looking for a chance to play every day:

"Last year, I can't do nothing about it, because I didn't play every day," Gomez said. "You don't play every day, it's tough."

Gomez played fewer than 100 games in his first two seasons with Milwaukee.  Of course, he was awful offensively, so he didn't earn the playing time that he wanted.  Milwaukee's patience with Gomez does seem to have finally paid off.


This was a smart trade.  You have to separate it from the next J.J. Hardy trade.  If you just look at this as it is, it was a smart move.  The Twins had outfield depth (although much of that depth would be gone very soon) and they had needed a shortstop for decades.  Literally decades.  I'm not sure how you feel about Pat Meares and Cristian Guzman, but Hardy was the best and most talented shortstop that the Twins have had since Greg Gagne

Some will criticize the Twins for how they handled Gomez.  Many feel that he was forced into the MLB lineup to justify the Johan Santana trade.  He wasn't ready for the Majors, and could have really used delicious seasoning in AAA.  I don't have a huge problem with pushing Gomez.  He was certainly raw at the plate, but he was ready for center field.  As bad as Gomez hit, he still produced 2.1 WAR in his first season with the Twins. 

The following season was not good.  Gomez made such poor contact that he was relegated to a more part-time role.  A part-time role is not really ideal for a 23-year-old with raw, developing tools.  The Twins decided to see what they could get for Gomez, rather than use at-bats developing him.  They bought low on a quality shortstop and filled a need while jettisoning a frustration.  Gomez has blossomed, but it took a very long time.  I do wonder how Twins fans would feel about this trade had the Twins simply kept Hardy.  We'll never know.  Unless we invent time travel and decide to use it for the most trivial of all reasons.   

Who won the WAR?

Gomez with the Brewers:  11.8 WAR
Hardy with the Twins:  1.2 WAR

WAR won by the Brewers!  Ouch.  (Since this trade, both players have produced exactly 11.8 WAR.)

One Sentence Summary

This trade was not a mistake, but it did directly lead to a huge mistake just one year later. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: August 19, 2013

Over the past week, the Twins offense has been inconsistent, their starting pitching has been up and down and their bullpen has started blowing leads.  It's almost like this isn't a very good team.  This weekend, the Twins had a lot more trouble with the lowly White Sox at home.  This would be troubling, but the last three seasons have been troubling so I'm not sure we can feasibly add any additional trouble at this point.  On the plus side, the Twins play most of their games at 6pm or earlier this week, ensuring that I get to bed by 9pm like a good boy. 

So Casey Fien sucks now, right?  In his last three appearances, Fien has given up seven earned runs, raising his ERA from 2.61 to 3.71.  He's getting worked over by home runs, but he struck out more than a batter per inning and didn't issue a walk during that tiny sample.  Basically, we can all chill out.  Unless this home run problem persists for a couple weeks, this is just a blip on the ol' radar.  If we thought Fien was good a week ago, we should still feel the same way right now. 

.273/.415/.485.  That was Chris Colabello's triple slash in August.  That performance was apparently not good enough to keep an MLB job.  Once again, the Twins seem more concerned with having a lot of mediocre to bad players on the bench, rather than having potentially productive players in the lineup.  The Twins basically chose to keep Chris Herrmann as a third catcher/Andrew Albers caddy, Wilkin Ramirez as a backup centerfielder, and Clete Thomas as a human.  I would bet a bajillion dollars that Colabello would out-produce those three scrubs from this point on.  However, he doesn't produce some veiled positional flexibility, so he's out.  This makes no sense on a bad team. 

No Sano in September?

Terry Ryan was quoted this week basically saying that there is little-to-no chance that Miguel Sano gets a September call-up this season.  I don't disagree with that decision, but why state it publicly?  Wouldn't the anticipation of Sano's potential debut be something to keep fans engaged as this uneventful season winds down?  Granted, come September 1 all the hope would die, but does this need to be ruled out in mid-August?  It really doesn't matter a lot, but it seems like a bad PR move.  What if Sano hits .450 with 10 home runs to end his season with New Britain?  It's unlikely, but he could probably do it.  Just odd to me. 

Clete Thomas

Clete Thomas in August:  .230/.309/..328.  That's markedly better than his July, by the way.  Question - Does this guy ever get a legitimate hit?  Every time I see him actually make contact, it's some sort of blooper or he reaches his bat out and pokes it to left or he bunts and the ball hits his bat twice.  I don't want to continually bag on Thomas, but I'm going to.  Everyone has their whipping boy.  

Time for fun and madness instead of complaining and sadness.

Half-hearted Mini-Rant

I would like to present to you the newest feature in the Madness, a rant that I'm not really all that into:

Why was Oswaldo Arcia on the bench on Friday and Saturday?  Doesn't this kid need to play every day?  Please don't tell me it was because he was facing "tough lefties" either.  Chris Sale is tough, but Jose Quintana is not.  How will he improve against lefties on the bench?  Also, please don't tell me this is some concentrated ploy to keep Wilkin Ramirez fresh or to keep Clete Thomas' "hot bat" in the lineup.  You can sit either one of those guys for 5 years straight and guess what, they'd be totally ready to come in and not produce.  Trust me, when you need Clete Thomas to come in and go 0-4 with three Ks, he'll be ready.  In fact, I created this flow chart to help the Twins make better decisions in this area:

It's not rocket science.  End rant.

Fun Stat - Most innings with no starts

The Twins are about 75% through the season and Anthony Swarzak has thrown about 75 innings.  That puts him on pace for 100 innings pitched.  Math!  Throwing that many innings solely in relief is a bit of a lost art.  In fact, in this millennium, it has only been done six times, usually by guys named Scott or Scot.  Here's the list of guys Swarzak could potentially join:
  1. Steve Sparks 2003 - 107.0
  2. Scott Sullivan 2000 - 106.1
  3. Scot Shields 2004 - 105.1
  4. Guillermo Mota 2003 - 105.0
  5. Scott Sullivan 2001 - 103.1
  6. Scott Proctor 2006 - 102.1
Random Photoshop 

I've grown tired of traditional baseball celebrations.  I find the "beat the holy hell out of the hero" celebration to be the worst.  There's nothing more annoying that watching Clete Thomas try to throw rabbit punches at Chris Herrmann.  To me, celebrations are stale and need to be revamped.  Celebrations don't need to be huge productions.  Sometimes, it is just a minor touch.  Look how much better the famous Jim Thome walk-off celebration looks on silly hat night:

Look how happy Joe Mauer is!

Baseball Card from the Past

Senior Photo!

Link to something I wrote - Anniversary

I realized over the weekend that I had been maintaining this "blog" for a year now.  As a blog-guy, it is my duty to celebrate milestones with posts that will generate more views.  It's a snake eating itself really, but it's all in fun.  I threw together a list of my five most OUTRAGEOUS posts from the past year and some fun pictures/photoshops as well.  You can find it here. 

Song of the Week:  Butthole Surfers - Let's Talk About Cars

Parting Thought - Thanks Twins Daily

To accompany the previous section, I wanted to give a huge thank you to Twins Daily for the past year.  First, thank you to the site leaders who have put together a fantastic site where everyone can contribute.  I appreciate it every time I see one of my posts on the front page, even if I don't always say it.  Really, I appreciate just being able to have a blog here, even if nothing ever touched the front page.  Without Twins Daily, I would have never written a word on the Twins.  So, now you know who to blame if you've ever wished I'd shut up.

Second, thank you to the whole Twins Daily community.  I enjoy being a part of this community.  I wish I could post more and comment more, but I read just about everything.  People are very supportive of each others' ideas and thoughts and very encouraging when someone new arrives and weighs in.  I've told just about every Twins fan I know about Twins Daily and I will continue to do so. 

End sap.

Have a nice week, everyone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Super Terrific Anniversary Celebration!

I realized this morning that I have been maintaining this blog for roughly a year.  I remember this because I started around the time of the State Fair last year.  That is a captivating story on it's own, but there's a point to the story as well.  I looked at the date on my first post and found that my very first post was on 8/17/2012, or exactly one year and one day ago.  Cool, I forgot my own birthday.  However, anniversary celebrations are the most important component of a successful relationship; much more important than trust, dedication, and honesty.

Therefore, to celebrate a year of unsuccessful blogging, I present to you a look back at the five stupidest posts from that year and a fun, old picture or photoshop to accompany.  These photoshop/picture/blog post combos will likely have no relation to each other and probably will make little-to-no sense alone or together.


5.  Fun with Stizzles

I had a trial version of Baseball Reference's play index and no idea what to do with it.  I decided to scour the index looking for fun records and stats.  And boy did I!  This is a great example of why any idiot can have a blog and fill it with "content."  Also, here's a picture of Bobby Bonilla ice cream, because I had a cousin who called him Bobby Banilla instead of Bobby Bonilla.

4.  Gardy-Hicks Speculation Sentral

Remember when Aaron Hicks and Ron Gardenhire had their public spat in the dugout?  Nope, neither do I.  But, at the time, it was a HUGE deal.  However, we could only really speculate on what was being said.  I presented six scenarios of my own, from my own ability to read lips and conjecture.  To accompany, here is a photoshop of Joe Mauer without sideburns.

3.  A Championship the Twins can win.

This was one of the ideas that lead me to create this blog.  I thought it would be funny if nine sets of Twins faced off against nine giants in a battle of literal baseball supremacy.  Instead, I wrote well over 2500 words about all the different teams' nicknames and what would happen if they faced off for a season.  It's long, but there are two or three solid jokes hidden in there.  For something shorter, here's a picture of Trevor Plouffe from Spring Training when he was battling a sore calf.

2.  Inside a Target Field Promotions Meeting:  A Screenplay

To date, this is still my only screenplay.  It came from my idea to create Joe Flower, a Joe Mauer-flower that you could give to your friends when they are feeling down.  Somehow, that lead to this crazy screenplay with five executives determining the giveaways for the coming season.  Lots of the players involved aren't on the team anymore, so that's fun!  To go with my only screenplay, I present to you my only web comic, from my very brief days (hour) as a cartoonist.

1.  A Career of Baseball Memories Remembered

Some ideas are simple:  Alfredo Griffin played for the Dodgers and Alf is in his name.  Ergo, photoshop Alf's head on some baseball cards and create a corny career retrospective.  It's easily the dumbest thing I've ever written and that says a lot if you have made it through this whole countdown or if you have somehow been reading this blog for the past year.  Regardless, it is poignant and that is I all I ever really wanted when I started writing about the Twins a year ago.  To celebrate the end of this self-adulating exercise, here are the Fox Sports Waynes dancing it up.  You can't celebrate this blog without Gary Wayne and his fabulous 1991 Score pitch face.

Thank you very much to anyone who has read this blog in the past year.  I have really enjoyed writing about the Twins and just about everything else that pops into my head in the middle of the night.  I have appreciated the kind comments and messages as well.  If I ever think that I might be done writing, someone says something far too kind and it makes me want to write more.  It's been a fun year, and I appreciate any and all support that I have received.

Oh, and a very special thanks to Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Andrew Albers, Delmon Young and Baseball Reference for being more popular than I am and bringing me tons of readers.

Friday, August 16, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: Carl Freaking Pavano

The 2009 Twins were hungry to return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.  The team was good, but not great.  Another starter would really help.  Cliff Lee was available at the deadline.  Cliff Lee was excellent.  The Twins should have traded for Cliff Lee.  That would have been sweet.  Of course, the Twins did not trade for Cliff Lee.

The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded a player to be named later (Yohan Pino) to the Cleveland Indians for Carl Pavano.

Pavano was nothing special for the Twins in 2009, but he did give the team savvy veteran innings and he had a memorable mustache.  Pavano had an excellent 2010 season, throwing over 220 innings with an ERA under 4 and 17 wins.  He was still an innings eater in 2011, but his overall results diminished.  In 2012, he was injured and ineffective.  That was the end of his Twins career.    

Yohan Pino hasn't pitched an MLB inning, but I was sure he was a future ace judging by how upset some people were when he was traded away.  He is still kicking around and pitching pretty well for Cincinnati's AAA team.   

How did I feel at the time?

Carl freaking Pavano?!?  I distinctly remember Paul Allen of KFAN having that very reaction when talking about the trade.  Essentially, Allen, and all Twins fans really, wanted the team to make a bigger splash and bring in a bigger name/better pitcher.  I get that.  However, under the circumstances (waiver trade, early August, not much to offer in the way of prospects/young ready MLBers), the trade made sense.  I wasn't elated and I wasn't downtrodden and there is nothing in between. 

Why make the trade?

Isn't it obvious?  T-shirts.  Trading for Carl Pavano leads to better t-shirt sales.  Actually, that's untrue.  Perhaps the Twins always wanted to have a free mustache giveaway, but needed the right face to attach them to.  That's unlikely.  In reality, there were baseball reasons to make this trade, according to this story:

Craving help for their starting rotation, the Minnesota Twins have turned to Carl Pavano.

Cravings are tough.  It's generally best to just give in to them. 

"It's kind of uncharted territory for him, but we'll see how it plays out," Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said. "It's no mystery that our starters have struggled. We think this is an opportunity to add a guy who can hopefully help us out."

Ah, The Mystery of the Scuffling Starters.  I think that might be my favorite Choose Your Own Adventure book.  Antony was right, Pavano did help.  The rotation was super young and he was certainly better than the guy who he replaced:

Francisco Liriano's starting spot has been in question after another poor performance on Wednesday that led to his 11th loss, tied for most in the league.

It wasn't just losses either.  Liriano was walking almost five batters per nine innings, he was giving up a lot of home runs and he was wildly inconsistent.  Pavano is no Cliff Lee, but next to 2009 Francisco Liriano, he looks a tad like Cliff Lee.

Pavano was pretty excited:

"It's pretty exciting, a move up in the standings," said Pavano, who arrived at Comerica Park to join his new teammates before Minnesota took batting practice.

But, were his new teammates excited to have him?  The 2009 Twins had trudged through a challenging season as a team.  Who was this new guy to try to horn in on their success and replace one of their own?  If only there was a good clubhouse guy to act as a Pavano Liaison:

Pavano and Twins backup catcher Mike Redmond were teammates with the Florida Marlins when they won the World Series in 2003.  "He's pitched in some big games and pitched against some good teams," Redmond said. "He changes speeds, not a guy who's going to overpower you. ... He's smart."

Upon completing this sentence, Redmond took all of his clothes off, put TC Bear's head on, turned on the sprinklers, and hit fungos to the Twins' outfielders.  As he did every day. 


The 2009 Twins were surprisingly good, but the 2009 rotation was awful.  The team hadn't made the playoffs in the two previous seasons, after reaching the playoffs in four of the previous five seasons.  You can see why the front office would want to do something to improve the team, but not do anything hasty.  Trading a 25-year-old AAA pitcher with limited upside for a proven, veteran starter with limited upside is a good move.  Honestly, you make that move every time if in the Twins' situation back in 2009.

The 2009 rotation was littered with bad and/or underperforming starters.  Only Nick Blackburn posted an ERA+ greater than 100 and he's Nick Blackburn.  Think about that for a second, Nick Blackburn was the best starter on a playoff team.  Only in Minnesota!  Pavano himself only posted a 95 ERA+ in 12 starts, but he gave the team effective innings.  He replaced Francisco Liriano, who couldn't even approach what would be considered "effective pitching."  It was an upgrade, even if it wasn't exciting.  In the end, the Twins made the playoffs after a thrilling game 163 against the Tigers.  I doubt the Twins make the playoffs without Pavano.

Who won the WAR?

Pavano with the Twins:  6.1 WAR
Pino with the Indians:  nada

WAR won by the Twins!

One Sentence Summary

Carl freaking Pavano was a pleasant surprise.          

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

20 Minnesota Twins Trades: The Johan Santana Grift

Ok, I'm going to need a second.  It's just... it's hard to talk about this one.  I mean... it's Johan.  He was my favorite... PLAYER! BLAHAWAAWA!   I'm sorry.  I'm sorry!  I can't do it!  I'M JUST SO UPSET.  I MEAN, HE'S JOHAN SANTANA, WHY DID THE TWINS HAVE TO TRADE HIM AWAY?!?  ...



The Trade:  BREAKDOWN!

The Minnesota Twins traded Johan Santana to the New York Mets for Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. 

Johan Santana is the greatest.  Santana was fantastic for the Mets from 2008-2010.  He was robbed of the Cy Young Award in 2008, much like he was robbed in 2005.  He should really have four Cy Youngs.  Four!  There were some signs of decline in 2010 and then he missed all of 2011 with an injury.  He returned last season but succumbed to another injury in 2013 and may need to retire at the age of 33.  That makes me a sad panda.

Carlos Gomez seemed like the kind of guy who might round the bases the wrong way, if you just let him do his thing.  He was an exciting player though.  He flashed power and speed and was always an excellent defender.  Humber and Mulvey were nothing special and have done nothing special.  Nope, neither guy has done anything special ever.  Especially Humber.  Nothing special.  Guerra was viewed as the crown jewel of the trade, but has yet to pitch an MLB inning and it is looking more and more like he never will. 

So, that's all a bummer.

How did I feel at the time?

Awful.  We all knew this trade was coming.  In fact, it had been a long time coming.  Santana was upset as far back as the second Luis Castillo trade, which was as hard to swallow as the second Bald Bull was to knock down.  The rumors had been floating around for such a long time and so many different players were involved that it almost seemed like it would never actually happen.  Of course, with Santana's contract running out, time was running out on getting value for one of the best pitchers in Twins' history.  I felt awful, but I moved on.  But man, sanding that Santana tattoo off of me hurt like crazy.

Why make the trade?

We all remember this trade and the hoopla vividly, so I'm not going to bombard you with quotes.  I did find some good stuff from this article that was written just prior to the trade actually occurring:

"If Santana agrees to a deal -- and it is thought he will seek a six-year, $150 million contract -- then he also would have to pass a physical.  In return for Santana, the Twins would receive center fielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra -- a package which some talent evaluators believe could be the fourth-best offer that Minnesota received during this process."

In the Wild Card era, the fourth-best team usually makes the playoffs.  So there.  In reality, the Twins delayed this process so much that some of their Johan suitors dropped out.  Which is exactly what you want in a bidding war. 

Mets third baseman David Wright was ecstatic about Santana possibly joining the team  "If it's true, obviously, you're getting arguably the best pitcher in the game," Wright said, according to AP.

Is it possible that Bill Smith made this trade entirely with the focus on making David Wright happy?  If so, that certainly changes my perception on how successful this trade was. 

David Wright aside, perhaps the other packages were filled with garbage:

In early December, the Yankees had offered a package built around pitcher Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera, and the Red Sox talked about two separate deals, one built around left-hander Jon Lester and the other around center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, with pitcher Justin Masterson and infielder Jed Lowrie prominently involved.

Well, I've never heard of any of those players, so clearly this article is stupid.  If we're going to be serious, the Twins should have taken the Lester package.  He's been up and down, but he is also the closest to Santana that the Twins could have received in return.  Hindsight is nice.  So is opportunity:

With Santana gone, there is a big opening in the Twins' rotation. Francisco Liriano is on track to return after missing last season following elbow surgery, but Carlos Silva signed with Seattle as a free agent, leaving youngsters Scott Baker, Boof Bonser and Kevin Slowey as the starters with the most experience.

What we didn't know when this article was written is that the Twins were planning to sign Livan Hernandez to join those studs in the rotation.  Of course, that signing directly lead to the Great Chocolate Bunny shortage of 2008, so it wasn't a total win. 

We've read about how this trade will affect the Twins' rotation, but how will it affect Joe Mauer?

"Joe Mauer's job, and my job, just got a lot tougher," backup catcher Mike Redmond said. "We're going to have to work a lot harder to help these guys out the best we can."

Upon completing this sentence, Redmond took his pants off, put his cup on his head like a tiny beret and went and took batting practice.  Just like he did every day. 


Disgruntled superstar trades kind of suck.  First, there is a limited market for such a devastating and therefore, expensive player.  Second, the other team knows that the trading team is desperate to move the unhappy player and can make low-ball offers.  Finally, unhappy players are often unhappy for legitimate reasons.  In this case, Santana was upset that the Twins were cheap and only thought of the future.  In some ways, he was right, although the Twins did offer him $20 million per season on a couple occasions. 

Therefore, the player packages were going to be prospect heavy and were going to come from just a few teams.  The Yankees had some fun prospects, but apparently none that fully intrigued the Twins.  The Red Sox had two elite prospects, but rightfully did not want to part with both.  The Dodgers were offering Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but the Twins passed.  That's not true, but I definitely remember it that way and lie to people about it to this day.  In the end, the Mets offered three starting pitching prospects, one with very high upside, and an outfielder who could "go get it."  The package was reasonable, but the players didn't pan out at all.  Very sad. 

The impact of the trade was felt immediately in 2008 as the Twins lost to the White Sox in Game 163, thus missing the playoffs by one game.  You will never convince me that having Santana on that 2008 team wouldn't have added at least one win to the Twins' total.  Never!

Who won the WAR?

Santana with the Mets:  15.2 WAR
Gomez with the Twins:  2.6 WAR
Mulvey with the Twins: 0.0 WAR
Humber with the Twins:  -0.1 WAR

WAR won by the Mets!

One Analogy Summary

Say you have a hundred dollars and you want to cut down to smaller bills.  One friend is going to give you two fifties.  One friend is offering five twenties.  Another friend is offering a fifty, a twenty and three tens.  One friend is offering you a twenty, a used postage stamp, Kevin Mulvey and some sidewalk chalk.  Which deal do you take?

And yes, I am aware that Philip Humber pitched a perfect game.  I like jokes.