The Minnesota Twins have moved on from Ron Gardenhire as there manager after yet another abysmal season in 2014, and while the move doesn’t guarantee a leap forward, a change was all be imminent. Along with Gardenhire, many around Twins Territory wanted a change at the general manager position that Terry Ryan currently holds. Unfortunately, you’re wrong…for now.
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Terry Ryan resumed his career as the Minnesota Twins general manager in an official capacity on October 6 2012, two years ago on this same date. In that time, the Twins have lost 90 games in consecutive season, and the pitching staff has seen some of the worst ERA’s in Major League Baseball history.
Many Twins fans have pointed at Ryan’s lack of spending as a reason for the Twins demise, and while there may be some weight to that sentiment, there is also a method behind the madness. That is why, for now, Terry Ryan needs to continue to be employed as the Twins general manager.
Joe Mauer has a very large contract, one he very arguably hasn’t played up to, but that isn’t a concern of the Twins. Terry Ryan spent money on Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco this offseason, one of those moves looks genius through one year, and the other looks the complete opposite. In a grander sense however, neither of those moves hamper the Twins spending going forward either.
Despite a sport like basketball allowing a championship to be won by a big three, baseball requires a complete 25.
Baseball is a team sport in the greatest sense, there a players on a 25 man roster with a responsibility to only record one out per game, and they are paid heftily for it. Despite a sport like basketball allowing a championship to be won by a big three, baseball requires a complete 25. With that notion, the lack of a true salary cap allows each team to construct their perfect 25 when the time is right. This leads us to the “for now.”
Terry Ryan shouldn’t have come up amongst the discussions of dismissal following the 2014 season, but 2015 is a different story. No matter who is the Twins manager, the ball club will look significantly different in the upcoming season, and the expectations should as well.
Baseball benefits those who spend intelligently (Royals, Athletics, Orioles), rather than frivolously (Yankees, Angels, Red Sox). Combine groomed talent with free agent acquisitions is the name of the game, and Ryan is going to have to play his hand.
Last season, a signing of Masahiro Tanaka (3.2 fWAR) by the Twins would have added roughly 3.2 wins and cost them $22.1 million (7yr/155 million contract signed with the Yankees). Minnesota would have still finished with 89 losses, roughly 17 games out of first place in the AL Central. While he would be a piece to build around, the money would have been dead in year one.
In 2015, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco, and Nick Burdi could all spend time at Target Field making their major league debuts. Those names represent some of the highest rated prospects in all of baseball. So now, for fans around Twins Territory, the time to spend has come.
So now, for fans around Twins Territory, the time to spend has come.
If baseball is about supplementing in organization talent to build a winner, Ryan now sits at the crossroads. With names like James Shields, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Edinson Volquez, and Ervin Santana on the market, options are plentiful. The Twins hit to a promising clip in 2014, outscoring even the Orioles, but pitching will need to be an area of focus once again.
Over the next two offseasons, Terry Ryan will need to stake his claim at having an ability to not only build from within as he has done, but compete from outside. As Ryan works to ensure the Twins 25th player is better than the 25th player on the Tigers, Royals, and rest of baseball’s, he will need to compete on both the free agent and draft front.
So as it stands, you are probably wrong about Terry Ryan and his status with the Minnesota Twins, but it is on him to prevent from proving you right as we move into the future.