Twins exec Falvey tries to soothe 'emotional impact' on fans of recent sell-off
CLEVELAND — Now that the dust has settled after completing a five-player sell-off that included franchise stalwarts Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, the Twins are in make-up mode.
In a letter emailed to season-ticket holders on Monday, Aug. 6, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey set out to help the team's fans "understand the difficult steps we took aimed at achieving the only goal that matters ... to achieve sustainable championship-caliber baseball."
Among the highlights:
— "It is not lost on me the emotional impact that comes along with changes of this magnitude and I commit to you that we will never take that for granted."
— "On July 27, less than a week out from the trade deadline, we sat at the 100-game mark. More than 60 (percent) of the season had passed and we were six games below .500, 7.5 games behind first-place Cleveland, ranking (ninth) of the 15 games in the AL. We were tasked with a difficult decision — to either invest more in 2019 and beyond or to stay the course and hope for a significant rebound and improved health."
— "I want to make one thing clear — our commitment will always be to invest in the now or in the future. It is our fervent belief that by doing neither, teams will run right past us."
— "With the support of ownership, we completed five trades that netted us 12 players who will contribute to our future. While I believe deep in my heart that this was the right decision, I do not take it lightly that an investment in the future often comes with pain in the present."
— Listing the subtractions in the following order — Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, Ryan Pressly, Escobar and Dozier — Falvey added "it is challenging to see players go who have been integral members of our Twins family. Nothing will replace the impact they have had on this franchise and in our community."
— "We believe in the players who are currently on this roster and so many others who are on the way. I am confident that great days are ahead for our baseball team. ... Led by (manager) Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer, there is a great deal of talent and character in that clubhouse."
The Twins were actually 48-53, seven games behind the Indians, at the time of the July 27 trade that sent Escobar to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three Class A players, including a pair of top-20 prospects from the Arizona system.
That was the closest the Twins had been to first place since June 23 and the closest they had been to .500 since ending play on June 21 at 33-38. They had gone 18-5 since falling a season-high 13 games under .500 on July 4, shaving five full games off the Indians' divisional lead.
They also had 10 games remaining against the Indians after going 6-3 against the two-time defending division champs to that point.
Some of the confusion might be due to a report that the Twins initially had agreed to send Pressly to the Houston Astros on July 26, hours before Kyle Gibson pitched them to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. A reported concern about the medical records of one of the prospects the Astros were set to give up pushed the deal back until the middle innings of the Twins' game on Friday night, July 27.
Nowhere in the letter does Falvey mention this year's club-record, $128.7 million Opening Day payroll nor any specifics about payroll targets for 2019. As currently constructed, the Twins have a little over $30 million in guaranteed obligations for next season, but that doesn't take into account a deep class of young core players who will be moving into the salary arbitration system for the first time.