Monday Morning Minipiece: A Legitimate and Real Call For the Twins to Sign Edwin Encarnación
Recently the Yankees declined the 20mm option on on DH/Kinda-maybe 1B Edwin Encarnación. The 37 year old hit well last year, slashing .244/.344/.531 with 34 entire dingeroos. While a sudden collapse is always a fear with baseball-olds, The Evil Empire's letting him go has more to do with their desire to drop under the luxury tax threshold. It isn't likely ol’ Parrot Shoulder will swashbuckle his way into any sort of long term contract or anything more than the 14.3mm contract the Twins own Nelson Cruz nabbed last winter, so while he won't be the cheapest thing around, he won't be prohibitively expensive.
Even with 2019's Firstest of Basemen C.J Cron being a (an?) DFA candidate (according to MLBTR's offseason outlook for the Twins, which is reccomended reading.) you probably don't want Edwin manning first on any regular basis. He's also no Boomstick. I consider this all to be trivial.
“But where will he play, Tawny?” I imagine you asking yourselves. Haha, you idiots, who said anything about paying him to PLAY for the team. What I suggest is paying him specifically to NOT play for 29 other teams. Stay with me here, it is exactly as dumb as it first sounds but let’s roll with it for a second.
I added up the WPA (Win Probability Added, primer on the stat here if you need it) of each of Encarnación’s 9 games against the Twims in 2019 for a total of 0.634. Wow! That’s actually not that amazing, as its hard to make 9 games actually matter, but let’s not put an end to my dumb idea that I wanted to give like 7 paragraphs too anyway just yet. Because that would be a weird place to stop this.
The requirement here is to have more value being rostered than the otherwise
25th 26th man. While there isn’t actually a designated 26th man on a roster, we can make some pretty good guesses on who that honorable title most fit last year. Someone like Jake Cave or Willians Astudillo would be the odd man out on the position player side, or the team could forgo a reliever like Matt Magill, which the Twins actually already did, but he seemed like a good choice for 26th man tier relief. The season WPA scores for said trio in 2019 were -0.02, -0.01, and 0.0 respectively. Thus paying Edwin Encarnación to sit on the bench and literally never play is a net gain for the Twins.
Does any of this “analysis” actually mean anything? No. Was this a completely pointless exercise? Yes! Should I have kept this one up in the brain bin and never let it see the light of day? Oh, for sure!
I regret nothing. HEY LOOK LINKS.
Previously on Twinkle Town:
- Ben ranked the Twins departing free agents. This should theoretically be a pretty interesting off-season!
- With a Washington based ballclub winning it all, Zach looked at the symmetry on the 2019 and 1924 World Series...es. Seri. My main takeaway is that apparently 100 years ago score cards cost a quarter, which seems super expensive for a piece of card even now. That’s one brick of ramen right there. No thanks, sir. For that price I’ll just keep score on my own damned flesh.
- Jon did an absolutely excellent write-up on how open the Twins window is. It is getting pretty chilly out, Twins, ya’ gonna catch a cold.
- Hamsterman graded Martin Perez’s 2019, I disagree slightly and would go with a B-, but I’ll try not to send sandwiches hate mail over it. No promises.
Elsewhere in Twins Territory:
- LENIII names a free agent targets to fill up the pitching staff. Name dropped are Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler and Hyun-jin Ryu. Personally I’m high on Ryu, but y’know, why not all 3?
- Old Friend Cooper Carlson considers Eddie Rosario’s 2019 a continuation of a downward trend for the corner outfielder and trade bait candidate.
- “The Twins are Trend-Setters” is not a sentence I ever expected to read, but it’s almost 2020, and signing college coaches is the new thing thanks to the Twins brain-trust.
The Wide World of Bases and Balls:
- MiLB.com has a roundup of all the strange shit that happened over the year in minor league baseball. Fans of Weird Baseball will love this one.
Today’s Soundtrack is from my recent obsession, River City Girls.