Monday, June 6, 2011

More pre-draft stuff

Baseball America's final mock draft still has the Twins taking Sean Gilmartin. The commentary says the organization is targeting "strike-throwing lefties" and would prefer Tyler Anderson of Oregon, but they have Anderson going 16th overall (to the Dodgers).

No players from Minnesota are going to be taken tonight (all they're doing today are the first round and the supplemental first round, which is made up of extra picks awarded for lost elite free agents). None of the Minnesota players BA gives scouting reports on are from the Mankato area.

The Twins pick 30th, then pick at 50, 55, 87, 117, 148 and 178, and so on. They got compensation picks for Jesse Crain and Orlando Hudson, because the Twins offered those two arbitration, but not for Matt Guerrier, Brian Fuentes or Jon Rauch, because they didn't offer them arbitration. And, of course, they re-signed Carl Pavano, so no picks for him.

I said repeatedly last winter that I'd rather have the picks than Pavano, and nothing that has happened this season has changed my mind. I thought not offering arbitration to Guerrier, Fuentes and Rauch was the wisest thing to do, and certainly the lowest risk, and I'm starting to wonder about that judgment, at least in Guerrier's case.

A multi-year contract with a 30-something free agent relief pitcher is a bad bet, but arbitration is a one-year deal. Guerrier landed a three-year deal for $12 million from the Dodgers, and I don't blame the Twins for avoiding that bullet. But they did give Pavano a two-year deal for $16.5 million, and that's a bigger bullet.

The risk in offering arbitration to Guerrier was that he would accept arbitration and wind up awarded a one-year, $5 million deal. That was a real possibility, because as a Type A free agent offered arbitration he would be a very costly signing. The Dodgers probably don't offer him the deal he got if he also cost them their first-round pick tonight.

But if he had accepted, the Twins probably wind up walking away from Pavano, and they wind up with (a) less money being paid out; (b) a rotation spot for Kevin Slowey and (c) an established, reliable middle reliever. And if Pavano signed elsewhere, the Twins would have a pick from his departure, and if Guerrier HAD signed elsewhere, the Twins would have two picks from HIS departure.

But they didn't want to take the chance of both accepting. I believe they also expected Slowey would fit neatly into Guerrier's old role. That. obviously, didn't happen

I have the evening off, so I will monitor the draft and post a quick comment on whoever the Twins select tonight.

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