Monday, January 27, 2014

Minnesota Twins POWER RANKINGS: January 27, 2014

Major shake-ups this week in the K-Slow POWER RANKINGS.  Our four-week number one is plummeting down the list because he is a freaking Judas and I hate him.  That's not true.  I don't know him, but he did betray me and the POWER RANKINGS and the entire state of hockey.  On the bright side, I don't have to retire the top spot forever.  Let's get to the rankin'.

Tanaka, you could have had it all.  I promised you the top spot in these rankings until you signed with the Twins, then I was going to retire the top spot in your honor.  Instead, you signed with the Yankees, meaning that 29 fan bases will loathe you, regardless of how cool you may be.  Oh, and good luck with that strikeout rate.  I notice it has dipped in each of your past three seasons.  Oh, but I'm sure it will jump back up as you transition to a much better league against much better hitters. 

I'm not bitter though.  Missing out on Tanaka could pave the way for a reunion with a high-strung pitcher with a spitting problem.

Crud.  Garza has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the Brewers.  The deal was reportedly done earlier in the week, but was reportedly finalized this weekend.  It is reportedly worth $50 million, or just a couple million more than the Twins paid for Ricky Nolasco.  Twins fans were reportedly upset, because the perception is that Garza is significantly better than Nolasco.  The peripheral stats might be close, but actual performance goes to Garza.  

I've seen some sentiment that the Twins should have signed Garza instead of Mike Pelfrey, as if the two are somehow related.  I tweeted that I wish the Twins had not moved to the Metrodome in 1982 and instead signed Garza.  That makes no sense, but as far as I am concerned, it makes just as much sense as trying to equate not signing Garza with signing Pelfrey.  Or maybe it isn't.  I haven't slept in days.  Of course, the reality is that the Twins still have tons of money to spend, so maybe they'll open up the pocketbook and upgrade a different position.

Apparently, the Yankees are considering Drew.  Whatever, they already have all the other players.  There were some reports earlier in the month that indicated that Drew might need to take a one-year deal or move to second base or even third base.  And yet, the Twins still have Pedro Florimon penciled in at short for 2014 and some fat wads of cash just chilling in the basement of Target Field.  If you went to TwinsFest, you should have went down there.  Drew would be an offensive upgrade at short and is still pretty young. 

I had written previously that I would not sign Drew, but a lot of that had to do with a Tanaka/Garza pipe dream that appears to have ended.  Now, I'd go grab Drew, tell him he can stay at short, give him some of the cash wads and improve the offense.  Of course...

7.  The Eddie 400

The Eddie 400 picked up some mainstream steam this week, appearing on the front page of Twins Daily.  The post generated an impressive three comments, two of which appeared to in support of the campaign.  I've been horrible at promoting this idea of the past few weeks.  I had actually forgotten about it myself until I saw it on Twins Daily.  If you need a refresher, here's The Eddie 400, in all its glory. 

In the inaugural edition of these rankings, I wrote about how Balfour was lucky to have failed his physical with the Orioles because the whole city of Baltimore smells like crab cakes.  I did later learn that this is not true, but Balfour ended up on his feet in the end.  Last week, he signed a two-year deal with the Rays and will take over as their closer/intense Aussie.  Without looking, how old do you think Balfour is?

36.  Did you think he was that old?  He looks great.

The Twins were thwarted in their attempt to sell Chris Colabello to Korea for some fast cash.  They almost certainly would have used that cash to sign Tanaka, but Colabello had to be a real sick in the mud and want to stay in this country.  In an ironic twist (irony more in the way that everyone but English majors use it), the Twins lost Andrew Albers to the Hanwha Eagles in South Korea.  Albers was unlikely to be in the Twins rotation, at least to start the 2014 season, but he was a nice story last year and he did pitch relatively well with the Twins.  Ah well.    

So this tweet pissed me off:
Nothing against Mason, he does a fine job.  Nothing against Suzuki really either, I just don't think he should be a starting catcher for any team that has ambitions of playing MLB baseball.  He's a fine backup and I liked his signing when I thought he would in fact back up and mentor Josmil Pinto.  As a starter, he's going to hit poorly, meaning the Twins will have at least two poor hitters in their lineup on a regular basis.  Of course, Pedro Florimon is good at defense, so he has some value.  Does Suzuki have defensive value?

3.  jorgenswest

Nope, Suzuki does not have defensive value.  An excellent post from Twins Daily member jorgenswest pretty much denies any narrative that indicates Suzuki's positive defensive prowess.  He's a poor pitch framer and pitchers seem to get worse when he catches.  You should read his post for more detail/analysis.

I am a big fan of jorgenswest's work.  I consider jorgenswest to be Twins Daily's pitch framing expert and his posts are insightful and highly analytical.  He doesn't blog too often, but he's a regular in the forums and provides great analysis using analytics in his forum posts. 

Buxton was named MLB Network and's number 1 overall prospect.  I could have written that sentence two months ago, long before the list was announced.  Buxton's placement was a foregone conclusion.  He's the best prospect in baseball and one of the best prospects of all-time.  According to Jim Callis of, Buxton is a better prospect than Mike Trout was:
Buxton's lore just keeps expanding.  Twins fans shouldn't have to wait long until Buxton starts his MLB lore.

Update!  He was also named Baseball Prospectus' number 1 overall prospect this morning.  What a man!  

Knoblauch was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame this past week.  He is a very deserving choice, as he provided the Twins with 37.8 rWAR over seven seasons as a good offensive and defensive second baseman.  He is one of the best players in franchise history and an exciting player in his prime.  Knoblauch's tenure with the Twins ended famously, but time heals all wounds.  I, for one, cannot wait until his induction:
Some people just can't let go.  In case you're seething right now, I was kidding.  I recycle my batteries.  Have a great week, everyone!

Brad Swanson doesn't know what power rankings are.  He is most proud of his 100% accurate semi-colon use.  He also buys a donut at the gas station 100% of the time.