During the search for a new organizational leader, Jim Pohlad made it clear that there were two expectations: The new president would have to be lovable, and he would have to keep Paul Molitor at the helm of the big league club. The Twins have made it apparent that they expect Rob Antony too keep his job in the front office as well. How many people within the organization will have a preserved post at the behest of Jim Pohlad?
Terry Ryan has done an excellent job at acquiring talent through the years. He put together a top flight lineup for the future, and there is more talent in the system that simply doesn’t have a spot on the major league roster. Either through his own failing or the failing of his staff, though, Terry Ryan was never able to develop a solid rotation.
Having it buoyed by Johan Santana and Brad Radke for so long made much of the early and mid 2000s look better for Terry Ryan, but they made his missteps all the more stark. Prospects were never coaxed into a starting role (Kevin Slowey) or traded anyone at peak prospect value in order to make a deep playoff run with reallocated resources. Sinkerballers like Carlos Silva and Nick Blackburn were ticking time bombs, but they were treated like top of the rotation starters. Francisco Liriano was driven repeatedly to the disabled list, and never attained his maximum value in a Twins uniform.
In recent years, we have seen free agency function more as an embarrassment. Ervin Santana has been good, but nearly every other starter brought in over the last few years has been an unqualified failure. The Twins have struggled acquiring starters since Rick Reed 15 years ago. While the relief pitching has been fine, that is hardly as important as the rotation.
Derek Falvey has earned his chops developing the Indians pitching staff, through acquisitions and development. He will be restrained in some regards to the organizational make-up, but will he be allowed to instill the infrastructure to acquire and develop pitchers that he wants? If not, the whole transition is a waste of time.