Blueprinting the Twins Deadline Plan
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsMinnesota has been linked to players like Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner. The Twins have ties to any number of relievers, and you can bet the front office has no desire to leave any stone unturned. We’re soon getting to decision time though, and what they acquire will matter almost as much as who they acquire.
The bare minimum here is two relief pitchers. Taylor Rogers has been nothing short of exceptional this season, but he needs to continue with an ability to operate as a hybrid pitcher. Keeping him solely locked into the ninth inning or late inning work isn’t necessarily ideal. He benefits Baldelli most by working as the fireman, and being able to work multiple innings is a massive boost.
Ideally one of the arms acquired should be a southpaw and finding an impending free agent over 30 years-old with an ERA right around the mid-3.00 range shouldn’t be a difficult task. Realistically hat type of get isn’t going to cost any significant prospect and the boost could be substantial.
On top of relief help a starter would be a definite bonus. Minnesota has just Jose Berrios and Martin Perez locked down for the rotation in 2020, and a controllable asset there makes a ton of sense. Giving up prospects for relief help is never an enticing plan of action but tying in a controllable starter would help to lessen that blow.
When the deadline comes and goes on July 31st success should be measured for Minnesota numerically. At least two relief arms would represent a job well done, and an additional starter could tip things over the top.
Derek Falvey is going to need prospect capital in order to make any move. I’d imagine, and probably suggest, that both Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff be non-starters in almost any package. From there though the Twins will have significant depth at their disposal. Finding a way to both utilize and conserve talent at the same time would provide an optimal crossroads.
Opposing organizations are likely going to want trades completed for one big-league asset at a time. If I’m Minnesota however, pairing the starter with a reliever is a way to mitigate risk. Working to pass on parting with real prospects for a rental or relief arm, adding in controllable starting talent opens the door to more coveted names.
There’s a handful of selling teams that have assets in both areas Rocco Baldelli’s club currently needs to upgrade. There should be no reason that any deal with those clubs doesn’t go down the path of two players at once when discussions start. Settling on one at a time is fine but look to pair a maximized return with a protected parting.
It’s true that there’re specific areas on the farm that you’ll never have too many prospects. Up the middle and on the mound, teams will forever find a way to utilize talent. For the Twins, in their current situation, one of the best ways may be in using said players as trade chips.
Falvey has a system chock full of middle infield prospects and corner outfielders. Although there’s not a significant number of upper-tier arms, there are a select few that have significant upside. Most of this talent is still at or below Double-A which makes the future risk carry a hefty amount of uncertainty. Using a trade partner to thin out some of that talent and turn it into big league commodities is hardly a bad blueprint.
This offseason the Twins will also be up against a 40-man roster crunch that will put some bigger names in a position where they could be exposed. Utilizing them now in a way that draws a return is a significantly better decision than seeing them lost in the Rule 5 Draft.
At its core the trade deadline should be a ton of fun for fans of the Minnesota Twins. This team is in position to be a legitimate player for the first time in nearly a decade. Good at the big-league level and on the farm, there’s opportunity to make some serious noise. The goal should be to acquire at least two assets, attempt to engage big with one partner, and work through some of your similar assets. How it all shakes out remains to be seen, but we’ll have answers soon enough.
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