It’s that time of year for the SB Nation GM Simulation! Each year a writer or fan from each SB Nation team site takes over as the faux GM f their team oand negotiates trades and deals with other participants. Click here for the full rules if you aren’t sure exactly how this works. The comments on that post also serve as a transaction tracker.
The 2017 simulation got underway yesterday, with me (T.J.) acting at the Twins’ GM. The fake 2018 Twins are working with a budget of about $113 million, so my goal is to find a way to add several solid starting pitchers, a few relievers, and another bat without breaking the bank.
The first minor move I made, which the real Twins also made, was to decline the $6.5 million option on Glen Perkins. I love Perkins, but he isn’t worth that money, and it frees up $5.7 million to spend elsewhere.
Several teams were asking for Mitch Garver in return for a starter, and ultimately the deal I liked best sent him to the World Champion Houston Astros. I also included Nick Burdi and Blayne Enlow in that deal. In return, I received Collin McHugh, Tony Sipp, and $2.35 million. I like Garver a lot as a player, and while I think he has a ceiling of catcher-of-the-future, he could realistically also end up as another Chris Gimenez. It was worth the risk to acquire McHugh, a 30-year old pitcher with two years of team control remaining and decent playoff experience. He slots in as my number two pitcher for now. Burdi has some injury questions, and more importantly, trading him frees up a roster spot. Sipp is a veteran reliever with a big contract, and didn’t play up to it this past season. A change of scenery could do him well, or he could crash and burn. Either way, there is one year left on his deal. I really didn’t want to include Enlow, but that was the only way to get the deal done. The money was included at the end to get it over the hump, and help offset Enlow’s signing bonus and Sipp’s salary, if he fails to play up to it.
The second trade I made was with a rebuilding team, to acquire a former ace coming off a bad season. Kohl Stewart and Tyler Duffey were sent to the San Francisco Giants, and in return, Matt Moore came to Minnesota along with $2 million cash. Moore has a $9 million price tag in 2018, along with a $10 million team option for 2019. He throws left-handed, and is only going into his age 29 season. If he can regain the form he had in Tampa Bay, this is a steal. If not, the team can walk away with only a $750K buyout. Stewart still has potential, but injuries and control issues have him stalled out in double-A. Duffey is a decent piece in the bullpen, but very replaceable.
The third trade of the day also involved a pitcher, but this one saw a pitcher leave Minnesota. The Arizona Diamondbacks were shopping the big contract of OF/3B Yasmany Tomas. Tomas is making 13.5 million dollars in 2018, and has player options for 15.5 million in 2019, and 17 million in 2020. In return for taking on this contract, Arizona took Phil Hughes off my hand. Hughes is scheduled to make 13.2 million in each of 2018 and 2019. Tomas costs me 300k more than Hughes this season, and if he chooses to exercise his options past that, the Joe Mauer contract will be off the books while most of the core players remain affordable. As a right-handed slugger, Tomas projects to be my every day DH, but he also has the positional flexibility to play 3rd in case Sano suffers injuries or cannot stay in the position, or he can play left or right field in a platoon with Rosario or Kepler.
The last big move my fake Twins made for the night was to sign right handed reliever Pat Neshek to a two year deal totaling $14 million, $6.5 million to be paid in 2018, and $7.5 million in 2019. This will give the Twins another reliable arm for high leverage situations.
As it stands currently, the Twins will have a rotation of Ervin Santana, Collin McHugh, Jose Berrios, Matt Moore, and either Adalberto Mejia or Kyle Gibson. Trevor May is also a dark horse here as he returns from Tommy John surgery.
The bullpen has lost Glen Perkins, Phil Hughes and Tyler Duffey, but added Pat Neshek and Tony Sipp, plus whoever loses out in the starting rotation competition.
For position players, the Twins lost Garver and gained Tomas. We also lost a few prospects.
Stay tuned folks, I have a few more deals cooking, and plan to make some more offers as our simulation unfolds! In the meantime, how did I do?
What grade do you give Day 1 of the Fake Twins off season?
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