Organizational Rankings: #5 – Minnesota

For years, the Twins were an organization that succeeded in spite of their financial resources. They turned to player development to give them a chance to compete with larger payroll teams, and got so good at it that they ended up winning the division in five of the last eight years. Even as their best players got too expensive to retain, the Twins had a strong enough pipeline of talent to keep themselves competitive.

Now, with a new stadium ready to pump money into the organization, we get to see what the Twins can do with a real payroll. They added nearly $30 million in salary for 2010, bumping their expenditures on the current team from $65 million to $95 million, and this doesn’t even include the $184 million extension that they handed to Joe Mauer. The Twins are now a player development machine with money, and that’s a scary proposition for the rest of the AL Central.

The Twins are already the class of this division, even just looking at 2010. They’ve developed enough quality to surround Mauer with homegrown talent, then made some nifty off-season pickups, bringing in Orlando Hudson, J.J. Hardy, and Jim Thome. While their rotation may lack a big name ace, it’s strong at all five spots. Joe Nathan‘s injury is a blow, but relievers are one of the easiest things in baseball to find, and the Twins have some good arms in the bullpen already. In my estimation, the Twins are bigger favorites to win their division this year than any other team in baseball.

There’s no reason to expect a collapse any time soon, either. Essentially the entire core is under 30 years old, and with Mauer locked up for essentially the rest of his career, the team won’t be suffering any major talent losses going forward. They aren’t one of baseball’s farm teams anymore – the Twins can finally keep the players they want to retain, and given the strength of their player development system, they will have a significant amount of young talent to keep around.

The Twins already proved that they can win on a shoestring budget. Based on early returns, they’re not going to frivolously throw away the new found access to cash, and so now Minnesota is a real force to be reckoned with. The rest of the AL Central is playing catch-up, and the Twins have a significant head start.



Print This Post



Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Todd
Guest
Todd
6 years 4 months ago

Are the Twins really bigger favorites then the Cardinals? I’ve seen people giving the Tigers and White Sox a chance, but I haven’t really seen anyone say any team other then the Cards has a serious shot at the NL Central title.

Linus
Guest
Linus
6 years 4 months ago

The Cubs, for all their problems, could cause trouble for the Cards. Maybe the Brewers, too, if everything breaks right.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick
6 years 4 months ago

I… wow. Wow. I can’t believe how bullish this is.

I hope you’re right, Dave.

And I wonder… Who’s #4…? I can’t remember who all is missing.

1,2, and 3 are, after all, the beasts of the east… Or at least 3 of the top 4… but who’s the last one…?
I can’t imagine which team.

Shaun
Guest
Shaun
6 years 4 months ago

I am not totally certain, but I don’t think we’ve seen Texas yet.

Reuben
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Texas
Tampa
Boston
New York

bobby bottleservice's gold jetski
Guest
bobby bottleservice's gold jetski
6 years 4 months ago

“They aren’t one of baseball’s farm teams anymore – the Twins can finally keep the players they want to retain, and given the strength of their player development system, they will have a significant amount of young talent to keep around.”

No. The Twins have finally decided to keep the players they want to retain.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

I don’t know what you are trying to say with this. The Twins have historically spent a higher percentage of revenues on players than most. They could not afford to sign guys like Santana and put a decent team around him.

Pat
Guest
Pat
6 years 4 months ago

I think it’s the fact that Carl Pohlad was estimated at over $3.5 billion. Seems like a guy who could, if he wanted to, bump up the payroll. Not that he’s going to put his entire net worth into his baseball team, but he certainly could have spent the dough if he wanted to do so. FYI- The contract of Alex Rodriguez (10 yr), Derek Jeter (10 yr), Joe Mauer (8 yr), Mark Teixeira (8 yr), and CC Sabathia (7 yr) total less than $1B. The Twins ownership has enough net worth to pay for stars.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

Expecting a man to lose millions of dollars so that his baseball team is better is pretty ridiculous. He COULD have upped payroll. But no other owner spends money he isn’t getting back in revenues.

DavidCEisen
Member
DavidCEisen
6 years 4 months ago

Lets not get carried away with the ‘new stadium’ effect. Its not like all of a sudden Minnesota’s market suddenly changed. People pay to see good teams, not to hang out in a nice stadium. Certainly the stadium helps, but the Twins could have spent more money in the past.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

The Twins revenues were terrible in the Metrodome. They had a bad deal with concessions, parking, etc. Bill Smith has admitted to 40 mil of new revenues just from the park opening. This isn’t your normal new stadium deal, this is a huge increase in revenues for the Twins.

As I said, according to Forbes, the Twins have generally been above average in percentage of revenues spent on salary. Expecting any more than that would be silly, no matter how rich the owner is.

Pat
Guest
Pat
6 years 4 months ago

“Expecting a man to lose millions of dollars so that his baseball team is better is pretty ridiculous. He COULD have upped payroll. But no other owner spends money he isn’t getting back in revenues.”

No other owner spends money he isn’t getting back in revenues?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2557770

Maybe you know more about the inner workings of the Yankees than Brian Cashman and Forbes Magazine. I’m guessing that’s not the case though. Seems like at least ONE owner spent money they weren’t expecting to get back in revenues. Next argument?

TheUnrepentantGunner
Guest
TheUnrepentantGunner
6 years 4 months ago

i still am not sure of the timeframe and how these are weighted… but lets take a 5 year weighting, with the heaviest weight towards the present

so maybe as follows

wins in 2010 are worth 1.0
wins in 2011 are worth .9
wins in 2012 are worth .8
wins in 2013 are worth .7
wins in 2014 are worth .6

maybe add 10 points for a playoff appearance (weighted the same way), 10 extra points for making the LCS, an extra 30 points for making the WS, and an extra 50 points on top of all of that for winning the WS.

over the next 5 years, do you feel the twins are going to outperform all but 4 teams?

i would decisively say no, and would be happy to take the braves, or cardinals, or the phillies against either the twins or the mariners.

if there is a charity you want to support, let me know and we can work something out dave.

TheUnrepentantGunner
Guest
TheUnrepentantGunner
6 years 4 months ago

as an aside, while i feel this is an overranking, i am in general agreement that the twins are in a surprisingly good place.

Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
Guest
Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
6 years 4 months ago

In your argument you stuck a bunch of numbers in but didnt analyze the twins situation at all. The twins have a better chance to make to the playoffs in the current year then the Cardinals, and they have a better Farm system going forward. I agree Atlanta should be ranked higher, but why is it that you dont see the twins winning their division and getting better with their increased payroll?

If you are going to make an argument dont just stick in a bunch of numbers and say it doesnt make sense why the twins are ranked that high. You need to explain why they are too high. Honestly, its hard to poke a hole right now at the twins. They have a great young core of players, and they are playing in a division that just got a lot worse. Like Dave said he thinks they have the best chance to win the division out of any team in baseball. When you take that into consideration and you look at their strong minor league system, and increased payroll, this team is going to be good this year and going forward. Not to mention how the twins will be able to use the increased payroll on international talent to help out an already amazing player development system.

Now why exactly should the twins be ranked lower?

don
Guest
don
6 years 4 months ago

The Cardinals have a better chance of making the playoffs this year than the twins according to the projections I’ve seen.

TheUnrepentantGunner
Guest
TheUnrepentantGunner
6 years 4 months ago

my numbers factor in playoff appearances, as well as wins for each round of the playoffs.

but again, making the playoffs is just an intermediate goal to winning the world series, certainly a necessary one but not exclusive.

so if team one wins 92 games and makes the lcs in 2010, they would have a “112” point season, in the admittedly simplistic scheme i made up.

i guess my point is this, the twins look good, and probably top 10 good over the next 5 years, but i feel confident that the braves, cardinals and phillies are all likely to out perform the twins over the next 5 seasons, in terms of wins, world series apperances, world series wins, etc.

i would be willing to back that up too, if someone were suitably interested.

David MVP Eckstein
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Disagree entirely. Twins under new management has not been nearly as smart in making moves or drafting.

Joe
Guest
Joe
6 years 4 months ago

The early trades Bill Smith made were pretty horrible.

But what draft choices haven’t you liked? Also, what moves in the last year and a half?

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the drafts the past couple years? Hicks and Gibson were great picks.

Also, have you been paying attention this off season? Thome, Hardy, Pavano and Hudson are WORSE moves than the ones they used to make? I realize you aren’t a Twins fan, but the Twins have always won IN SPITE of their free agent signings. Livan Hernandez, Mike Lamb, Ramon Ortiz, Sidney Ponson…. I could go on…

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
6 years 4 months ago

The only move I can really slaughter them for is holding out too long on Santana, then trading him for a bag of dirty balls instead of saddling up and making one last run with him, and while it’s a separate deal, they also got someone else to overvalue Carlos Gomez as much as they did.

David MVP Eckstein
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

I liked the Hardy pick up, for sure, but the rest is “meh” at best.

Pavanos a nice low-cost pick, but the rotation outside of Baker/Slowey is so weak and the defense is so questionable that it beckens some upgrade. Baker/Slowey made good middle of the rotation guys, but aces? Psh. Their rotation is weak and thin. It’s not Indians bad, but Blackburn/Pavano as your #3/4? They are #4/5 at most.

Twins have a great bullpen, still

Last Remaining Wolves Fan
Guest
Last Remaining Wolves Fan
6 years 4 months ago

If Liriano is healthy again and can be the staff “ace”, then Baker and Slowey are middle of the order guys and Blackburn and Pavano are the #4/#5. Seems like a winning rotation to me.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

David,

I’m not sure what anything you said has to do with the moves that were made. The BIGGEST holes, were in the infield. Yes, it would have been nice to get an “ace”, but at what cost? not extending Mauer? As it is, this team is the best in the Central, and I can’t imagine how they could have spent their money differently to make them better, outside of raiding the farm system.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

Just to add some numbers to the discussion:

The Twins basically got 7-8 WAR for 17 million dollars and Carlos Gomez. That’s a pretty damn good offseason. They addressed positions of need middle infielders, starting pitching, and did it while paying less than the going rate for wins. They also signed the best latin prospect, and drafted well.

Like I said, it would have been better to have gotten an “ace”, but aces don’t sign one year, 7 mill contracts.

David MVP Eckstein
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Garza-Bartlett, Santana lowballing only to extend nathan instead, etc.

David MVP Eckstein
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

I like the indians as the AL Central dark horse, honestly

OmarStrollin
Member
OmarStrollin
6 years 4 months ago

Is this serious? Since Bill Smith took over the Twins have drafted Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson and signed Miguel Angel Sano and Max Kepler.

The Santana trade was awful, but it’s never been clear how invested Boston and the Yankees truly were. Smith was forced into a bad deal, and has at least salvaged it somewhat by landing Hardy in exchange for Gomez (a trade that most felt the Twins won handily… as always, time will tell).

There’s no defending the Delmon Young trade, but you can also see the logic of trading a shortstop who was solid but not great for the Twins, and a young upside starter who clashed with management for a 22-year-old #1 overall pick, especially when the team was more in need of offense than anything else. Sure, it’s a bad trade, but most GMs have 1-2 on their resume at least.

The additions of Hardy, Thome, and Hudson have all improved the team significantly. The Pavano and Rauch acquisitions last season improved the club.

I used to despise Bill Smith, but he’s quickly turned that around and made some deals that have put the Twins in great position.

His Blackburn contract is semi-questionable, but it’s still a low amount of money, and the contract he signed Span to deserves high praise. Same for Baker. Smith’s first year was rough, but he’s turned it around in a hurry.

B
Guest
B
6 years 4 months ago

I don’t know much about the Twins, but decided I need to participate in a less hostile thread than #6….so, question – didn’t the Twins management change in the last couple years? I thought their GM retired and someone in the organization stepped up in his place, which indicates they’ll probably operate in a similar way to the past, but I would think pointing to their past success as proof of management’s quality needs to be taken with a grain of salt in this case….?

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

That’s why they were ranked lowly last year. But given the great off season, including the draft and signing prospects Sano and Kepler, I think any questions about management have been addressed.

B
Guest
B
6 years 4 months ago

Now, I’ll readily admit to being mostly ignorant on all things Twins, but I don’t think one “great” offseason, that includes draft picks that look good now but we have no idea if they are actually good or not (same goes for signing prospects) addresses all the questions someone might have. Let’s not forget about sample size concepts just because we’re talking about management right now instead of player performance.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

I think that’s fair. But the FO hasn’t really changed much, just a different guy at the top. Terry Ryan is still in the organization, and the scouting/development guys are all the same. So their past success, along with the small sample of recent good moves, is enough evidence (to me) that they are still one of the best player development machines in baseball.

Rust
Guest
Rust
6 years 4 months ago

Obviously a straight win% comparison won’t work. If anything has been made clear from the organizational rankings it’s that there’s a league/divisional weighting at play here, with the AL teams seen as stronger in general than NL teams.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

Exactly, which makes me wonder what they are trying to measure. They said they would have ranked the Orioles higher if they were in a different division, so they are taking that into account, yet the top 6 teams are in the AL, and 3 of the top 4 are in the AL East.

MC
Guest
MC
6 years 4 months ago

What hasn’t changed is who’s selecting the talent for the org and what has is the amount of resources they have to apply to their craft. Again, never been a better time to be a Twins fan.

snapper
Guest
snapper
6 years 4 months ago

Concur.

They also seem to be getting on the sabre bandwagon too (they just hired someone IIRC).

If they sucessfully blend appropriate stats with their excellent scouting/development, and can run a $100M payroll, they could absolutely dominate the Central. 6 of the next 8 division titles wouldn’t shock me.

ThundaPC
Member
6 years 4 months ago

Twins with more resources thanks to their new stadium? Somehow, I didn’t even think about that.

The Twins have been pretty solid in previous years. Now the Twins have more money? Sounds like they’re looking to become the AL Central overlord.

Good stuff!

Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
Guest
Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
6 years 4 months ago

ThundaPC – its time to Party on Dude! (if you are a twins fan)

ThundaPC
Member
6 years 4 months ago

Mariner fan here.

But it’s like being a visitor in a remolded house and saying “I love what you’ve done with the place!”

Matt
Guest
Matt
6 years 4 months ago

I don’t know about overlord, but continued success seems likely. Cleveland will have good teams in a few years and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them steal a pennant or two. The biggest weakness the Twins have is the IF, especially MI. Regardless as long as they can find stopgaps like Hudson and Hardy to fill those holes, the strength of the OF and pitching prospects should keep the Twins competitive.

snapper
Guest
snapper
6 years 4 months ago

Wait why will Cleveland be good? They have no pitching, none.

And their much vaunted FO has failed pretty miserably at acquiring averagish players to surround what was once a great core (Sizemore, VMart, Sabathia, Lee).

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

I have a feeling Hardy isn’t going to be a stopgap. I think he signs an extension if he has a decent year. The organization is ridiculously bare in infielders.

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 4 months ago

I know this isn’t just about prospects, per se, but if it was I’d strongly prefer the ROX prospects to the Twins. The ROX have 2 LHP in the minors who are each probably twice as good as the Twins best minor leaguer.

Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
Guest
Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
6 years 4 months ago

Like you said, its not just about prospects, its about your prospects of winning the the future. While the ROX may currently have a better Minor league system, the ROX dont have Joe Mauer for the next 8 years.

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 4 months ago

Is “winning in the future” going to be Dave’s criterion for Texas as well, or will the bar move back to “prospects”?

B
Guest
B
6 years 4 months ago

I’ll just point out that it seems the Rockies and Twins current chances of making the playoffs are pretty even right now….

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
6 years 4 months ago

Tyler Matzek is TWICE as good as Hicks? Uninformed, hyperbolic statements like that aren’t going to win you any arguments. Aaron Hicks is ranked higher than any Rockies prospect on Law’s, BA’s, and Scouting Book’s prospect lists.

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 4 months ago

Yes, he is. I’d rather have 1 Matzek than 2 Hicks.

Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
Guest
Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
6 years 4 months ago

Well that is because you are a moron

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 4 months ago

Being called a “moron” by trailer-trash like you is no insult, Jethro.

KG
Guest
KG
6 years 4 months ago

JayCee is clearly a homer troll. I hate the Twins, but it definitely seems like Hicks could be something special. Matzek, too, but not on a x2 level. I actually thought Bill&Ted’s reply was rather appropriate and hilarious.

Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
Guest
Bill&TedsExcellentAdventure
6 years 4 months ago

Why the assumption that I am “Trailer Trash?” Because My name is an amazing movie – Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure?

Happens to be that I own my own home – which is a permanent structure. I might be an asshole, or look like trash a lot of the time, or do a lot of dirty/trashy things – but its unfair to put the word “trailer” in front of it. Just thought I would clarify.

I bet Hicks is a better PITCHER then Matzek, let alone a better overall prospect.

John
Guest
John
6 years 4 months ago

As a Twins fan, I still worry about the front office a bit. Their key challenge is going to be using their surplus at C and OF to address the organizational weakness in the infield. That’s been a problem area seemingly forever. They won’t be able to pick up good stopgaps every off-season.

Overall, the future does look good. The AL Central is not as horrible as most people say- most years they still clean up their NL opponents- but the Twins are well positioned relative to the competition. The Tigers and White Sox are older and without good farm systems, while Cleveland has potential but a ways to go.

Luke in MN
Guest
Luke in MN
6 years 4 months ago

As a Twins fan, I can attest that this is an organization with huge positive buzz going into this season. Fans who follow this stuff are feeling like management’s done just about everything right this offseason and of course everyone’s jazzed about a new stadium and having Mauer locked up forever.

Some things will have to break right to hang with the AL East’s big boys come playoff time, but the opportunity is there, and the window looks to be open for a while. Mauer’s prime years could be a golden age for Twins baseball.

Connor Nordstrom
Guest
Connor Nordstrom
6 years 4 months ago

1. Hardy may be more than just a stopgap, as mentioned earlier. He was pretty good before last season’s atrosicty, and if he picks his game back up, then he may be a valuable piece for many years. However, if he never fully recovers, he’ll be a nice stopgap as we continue to look.

2. I defy you to find 5 better rotations 1-5. If Liriano comes even close to his 2006, they might have the best overall rotation. An ace with Franky, a pair of #2s, and two #4s. Maybe “best” is a bit of an overstatement, but 5 great-aboveaverage starters is more than most organizations.

Do they deserve a #5 spot? I dont know. Im not a baseball expert, and I doubt any of you are either. Ill trust in this decision, and we’ll see. Maybe they are, maybe they arent.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy
6 years 4 months ago

You defy me to find a better 1-5? I am a huge Twins fan, but you are definitely biased here. The White Sox have a better rotation, even if I give you an 06 Liriano. The Mariners come close. Yankees come close.

There, one for sure, and two others that are arguable in the AL only.

That said, I agree with your point. We have incredible pitching depth and that will be a great asset all season long. In fact, considering how many solid pitchers we had competing for the fifth starters role, you could say that the Twins have more depth in the rotation than any one else; that is probably a better arguement, as then you can count Swarzack, Duensing, and Perkins as decent fifth guys for when someone goes down with injuries/struggles.

Reuben
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

“I defy you to find 5 better rotations 1-5.”

While nothing is for certain, I would say that the Rockies, Braves, Giants, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, White Sox, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks have a chance to outperform them in WAR. If I were to rank rotations in tiers, I would put the Twins toward the middle of the top tier with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rockies ahead of them.

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 4 months ago

Give me a break. SP is actually the Twins weakness, not strength.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C
6 years 4 months ago

Honestly the more I think about it the more I think I’d rank the Twins even higher. I’d think I’d put them ahead of the Rays.

Don’t get me wrong I think the Rays are a better team now and have a better farm system but I just can’t get past the division they play in. I could easily see Minnesota winning 4 out of the next 5 division titles(and I’m a Tigers fan), even at the very least they should make the playoffs 3 out of the next 5. Can you honestly say that about the Rays? As good as they are I just can’t see them competing with the Yankees and Red Sox year in and year out, sure there will be years where they will like in 08 but that’s not gonna happen all the time. It’s hard to win consistently without a big payroll, especially when you have to do that against the Yankees and Red Sox.

My personal top 5 would be.

1. Red Sox(Their Farm System is what puts them at 1 over the Yanks.imo)
2. Yankees
3. Rangers
4. Twins
5. Rays

I’d be tempted to put them ahead of the Rangers as well but I just like their farm system too much and the West isn’t nearly as difficult as the East.

Connor Nordstrom
Guest
Connor Nordstrom
6 years 4 months ago

Jeremy:
I said 5 starting rotations, I didnt say it was THE best.
Reuben argued my point with 8 that might be better, and has a valid point, but I stick to my guns that 1-5, there are not 5 better rotations.

JayCee:
Starting pitching a weakness? You’re being foolish. As Jeremy pointed out, we have three MLB ready starters in the wings in Duensing, Manship, and Perkins. If Franky dominates, they have a legtmate ace with two very very solid and consistent starts in Slowey and Baker along with a lock for a .500 record 4.00 ERA in Blackburn and a veteran with Pavano.
Calling SP a weakness without showing any reason is just a foolish statement.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy
6 years 4 months ago

Ahh, your right, you did say 5 better 1-5, my bad.

Yankees, Mariners, Braves, White Sox…Rockies? Diamondbacks if Webb is healthy, but then you have to count Liriano too….

Yea, if I had read your post correctly I would have agreed. Top 5 1-5 seems right.

Connor Nordstrom
Guest
Connor Nordstrom
6 years 4 months ago

DavidC:

Thats where you’re wrong. The Twins got hosed in their deal with the Metrodome, with a lot of the revenue going to the Vikings instead of the Twins.
Therefore, with their own stadium, they will have more a great deal more money because they are not sharing it with the Vikes.

NickL1538
Guest
NickL1538
6 years 4 months ago

Let’s take a look at some WAR projections for a few rotations:

Twins (14.6): Baker (3.5), Slowey (3.3), Pavano (2.8), Blackburn (2.5), Liriano (2.5)
Strength comes from all 5 starters projected above 2.0. You could argue that Pavano will be closer to 2.0, but you could also argue that Liriano could be closer to 3.5 or higher. Baker and/or Slowey could improve but either could regress. Something in the 12-16 WAR range from that staff is more than reasonable. 16-18 is possible if if Baker, Slowey and Liriano improve (not entirely impossible).

WhiteSox (14.7): Peavy (3.8), Buehrle (3.5), Danks (3.0), Floyd (3.0), Garcia (1.4)
Arguments could be made for Peavy being higher, but he is not in the NL anymore. Danks and/or Floyd could improve over last year or they could regress. Garcia could easily slip below 1.0. Something in the 13-16 WAR range is reasonable. If Peavy regains his old form and both Danks and Floyd improve 18 would be within reach.

Mariners (18.1): Hernandez (6.0), Lee (6.0), Rowland-Smith (2.4), Bedard (2.0), Snell (1.7)
The big mark on the Mariners is the health of Lee and Bedard. If either are out for the majority of the season the rotation’s WAR falls to the middle of the pack even with King Felix at the top. Also, projecting Rowland-Smith over 2.0 seems like wishful thinking. 16-20 WAR if Lee and Bedard get healthy, 10-14 if they stay injured.

Yankees (19.4): Sabathia (5.5), Vazquez (4.8), Burnett (3.2), Petttitte (2.9), Hughes (3.0)
Sabathia is a lock for 5-7 WAR. Burnett outside of a contract year is good for 3.0. Vazquez is better suited for the NL, so 4.8 is probably high. Pettitte should be solid at ~3.0. Hughes is a question mark and 3.0 would be a ceiling. 16-20 WAR should be reasonable.

Looking at those rotations all of them should fall somewhere close to 16.0 WAR. MN has youth on their side while NY and Seattle have experience and Chicago a nice mixture of both. In the end, the health of these rotations will be the biggest factor in their final production. Looking beyond #5 for injury replacements would only yield the typical 0.5-1.5 WAR fillers.

wpDiscuz