The Minnesota Twins were abysmal in 2014, the team on the field was below average in nearly every aspect of the game. That being said, I wrote a couple of months ago that you’re wrong about Terry Ryan, but maybe not for long. Welcome to the crossroads for the Twins general manager, this is coming to a head.
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Last night, as Terry Ryan watched on as an outsider, the Chicago White Sox dealt for former Cubs and Athletics pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, as well as signing David Robertson. The two moves took the White Sox from a door mat team in the AL Central, to a legitimate contender virtually overnight. Thus far in the free agency period, the only thing Ryan has to tie his name to is an aging outfielder brought in under a ruse that is little more than to sell tickets.
As mentioned in the piece about being wrong about Terry Ryan, spending in baseball is very cyclical, and is rarely the answer. While the Twins payroll hasn’t been outlandish by any means, it hasn’t needed to be. In baseball, you simply cannot win because of one big splash. You must supplement young talent with veteran signings to make yourself greater as a whole. The Twins are quickly approaching that opportunity thanks to the talent in their farm system.
Looking at the Chicago Cubs, the blueprint has been laid when it comes to promoting and supplementing talent. Should they land Jon Lester in the next few days, it would simply be icing on the cake. Minnesota is in a very similar position, but Terry Ryan has chose to make very different choices.
Instead of looking at Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Alex Meyer, and Jose Berrios as very serious 25 man roster candidates, Ryan appears content with virtually the same talent that finish last in the AL Central a year ago. Instead of going after a logical, but big name starter, like James Shields, the Twins have dabbled with Brett Anderson and Kris Medlen.
The sentiment that mediocrity is acceptable needs to stop, and as the trends continue, that means Terry Ryan either needs to realize that and change immediately, or he can go.
Torii Hunter does little for the advancement of the Twins, having a handful of average arms behind Phil Hughes does little for pitching prowess, and targeting the same types of free agents that have you in the position you are does nothing in regards to turning the franchise around. The Twins can’t continue to make the same safe decisions they have previously, and hope for different results.
It’s time for Terry Ryan, and maybe more importantly Dave St. Peter, to realize that the crossroads is here, and right now you’re dangling off of a cliff.
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