Recently, there was a post by my co-blogger arguing that Twins general manager Terry Ryan should be fired. I strongly disagree with that statement. Here’s why.
Signing free agents and making trades are complicated. While they can look simple to the average fan reading about it, there are several things to consider before signing or trading for a player. Perhaps the biggest factor to consider is money.
A good example of this is the Twins signing Byung Ho Park. Park, who has hit over 100 home runs in the last two years, was signed for (only!) $3 million a year over 4 years. That’s not all that much compared to other major league players, even those with not nearly Park’s numbers, but Park has never played in the majors! He has only played in the Korean league, which I’ve heard is significantly less difficult than MLB. The Twins signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a three-year deal worth $9 million (a signing made by former general manager Bill Smith, not Ryan). Nishioka, who had had a lot of success in Japan, did nothing in MLB. Park’s deal is perfectly reasonable since, while his stats in Korea were very impressive, nobody knows how he’ll do in MLB.
Some fans may have been upset with Ryan not making any transactions at last week’s MLB Winter Meetings, despite the fact that some other teams spent big money. The Twins hoped (and still do) to add a reliever, but top relievers this year are very expensive. The Twins don’t have nearly the amount of money that some teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox do (Minnesota had the 18th highest payroll in 2015). Also, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune said, “The last time I checked, the offseason doesn’t end with the winter meetings.” There are about four months until for the Twins to do something until Opening Day!
I don’t agree with Ryan about moving Miguel Sano to the outfield. Ryan should trade Trevor Plouffe for a quality reliever and have Sano play third base. Still, I strongly disagree that Terry Ryan should be fired and that he is afraid to spend big money (he did sign Ervin Santana for $54 million!).
We all want the star players, but the reality is teams can’t always afford everyone they want. So before blaming Terry Ryan, think about how complex adding players can be.
Please vote on Michael Sack’s poll (see December 11 post) asking whether you want the Twins to keep Terry Ryan as general manager. Vote to keep him!
Written by: Sam Graves