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Week four of the AFL season was likely the most interesting to the casual prospect follower, as it featured the circuit’s all-star showca...
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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

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Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

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The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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Falvey: "...We're going to target impact pitching...

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Make it rain up in here, Derek.   http://www.startribu...rket/562665252/
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Let's Make A Deal, Part V: Are We Getting Noah Syndergaard or Someone Else?

The deadline is just a little over 48 hours away (or less, depending on when you’re first reading this). We know what the Twins are trying to do (add pitching, pitching and more pitching). With the recent addition of Sergio Romo, who will slot into a 7th- or 8th-inning role, the Twins still appear hopeful to add another arm or, ideally, two. As Romo is a rental, their focus has likely shifted to controllable arms.
Image courtesy of © Wendell Cruz / Mets pitcher and top trade chip Noah Syndergaard

Have you missed the earlier parts of this series?

Part 1: 2020

Part 2: Payroll

Part 3: The Ammunition

Part 4: The Sellers


**********


At the top of the Twins - and every other team’s - wish list is a front-end starting pitcher who has team control. By adding one of these players, the Twins would take a current starter (probably Martin Perez) and move him to the bullpen for the remainder of the year. I’m also being more than generous lumping some of these guys into the “front-end” conversation. These guys are starters and would be inserted into the rotation if acquired.

Zack Greinke, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 36 in October, 4.7 bWAR, 3.15 FIP, 8.2 K/9; owed a boatload of money over this season and the next two, also has a lot of deferred money he is owed and the Twins are on his no-trade list. Will he be a Twin? No, he won’t. But it would be really fun.

Marcus Stroman, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 28 in May, 3.2 bWAR, 3.52 FIP, 7.1 K/9; owed ~$2.5 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $14m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Stroman would slot in perfectly behind Berrios despite not having overpowering stuff. He’s survived the AL East and performed heroically in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets traded for him Sunday afternoon, and appear to be keeping him rather than flipping him. Will he be a Twin? The Twins certainly had the pieces to deal with Toronto, but couldn't/didn't beat the Mets package. The Mets now have the most intriguing rental (Zach Wheeler), player with one year of control (Stroman) and player with two years of control (Syndergaard).

Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets. Turns 27 in August, 1.2 bWAR, 3.64 FIP, 9.0 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of the 2019 season and has two more years of arbitration left before heading to free agency. Syndergaard has not been as good this year as in the past, but the price is still incredibly high. The Padres and Braves sound like the most interested trade partners, with the Astros and Yankees showing interest as well. After adding Stroman, maybe the Mets are going for it. Will he be a Twin? We can dream, right? At this point, that’s what it is, despite having the ammunition to get it done.

Matthew Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 29 in February, 3.0 bWAR, 3.57 FIP, 12.0 K/9; owed ~$850,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration remaining. Not the youngest on this list, but is the one with the most team control, which makes him the most valuable. Will he be a Twin? Because he’s in the division, there is a very slim chance the Twins acquire Boyd.

Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians. Turns 29 in January, 2.4 bWAR, 4.19 FIP, 10.6 K/9; owed ~$4.3 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $18m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Do the Indians move Bauer? And would they move him to the team they competing directly with for a playoff spot? Will he be a Twin? Extremely unlikely, despite his Sunday meltdown.

Robbie Ray, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks. Turns 28 in October, 1.1 bWAR, 4.27 FIP, 11.9 K/9; owed ~$2 million over the rest of 2019 and will command around $11m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Ray is probably a step below many of the other available. Will he be a Twin? They’ve kicked the tires on Ray and the teams were able to match up on a deal last year. Will a team not in on the big names try to strike early? It’s possible. I don’t consider Ray to be one of their top choices, so I don’t see this being a match unless it happens very late in the process.

Lance Lynn, RHP, Texas Rangers. Turned 32 in May; 5.0 bWAR, 2.94 FIP, 10.2 K/9; owed ~$3.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and is under contract for two more years at $20.7m. Lynn has been an above-average pitcher for his entire career, except for his time with the Twins, when he couldn’t throw strikes. Will he be a Twin? It would be a nightmarish reunion for fans, especially if he doesn’t perform well. But he’s been really good this year, the cost wouldn’t be excessive and he would help with the playoff push. If he keeps playing like he has so far this year, all fans would get over his 2018 performance.

Mike Leake, RHP, Seattle Mariners. Turns 32 in November, 2.0 bWAR, 4.71 FIP, 6.7 K/9; owed ~3.6 million over the rest of the 2019 season and acquiring team would be on the hook for $11m of his $15m contract in 2020 as well as a $5m buyout on a $18m mutual option in 2021. The Twins could afford to take on the $20 still owed to Leake and, in doing so, could avoid moving their better prospects. He’d also help fill a need in next year’s rotation… but is he an upgrade on anyone in the current rotation? That’s a big question. Will he be a Twin? If the Twins are convinced they’d be better with Leake in the rotation and Perez in the bullpen than with Perez in the rotation and a new acquisition in the bullpen, then this is a move I could certainly see the team making.
Mike Minor, LHP, Texas Rangers. Turns 32 in December, 5.8 bWAR, 4.20 FIP, 9.1 K/9; owed ~$3.3 million over the rest of 2019 and under contract for $9,833,333 next season. Minor will be a free agent following the 2020 season. Despite how good he’s been this year - he’s been great - his track record isn’t. Will he be a Twin? There is definitely familiarity between Thad Levine and Rangers GM Jon Daniels. And though he’s been arguably the best pitcher who is available, the cost shouldn’t be as high as others.

Next on the Twins list would be a controllable, dependable back-of-the-bullpen type.

Shane Greene, RHP, Detroit Tigers. Turns 31 in November; 1.5 bWAR, 3.74 FIP, 10.0 K/9; owed ~$1.3 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $8m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Greene is having his best season by far and the Tigers are looking to cash in. Will he be a Twin? Fortunately, the Twins and Tigers don’t appear likely to connect on a trade, saving the Twins from trading for someone who has a very short track record despite being a relief pitcher for the last three seasons.

Jake McGee, LHP, Colorado Rockies. Turns 33 in August; 0.8 bWAR, 4.92 FIP, 7.3 K/9; owed ~$2.8 million over the rest of the 2019 season with $11.5m more guaranteed over the next two years, including a likely-to-vest option for 2021, increasing the guarantee to $18.5m. McGee is not the same performer he was with Tampa Bay, but has dominated left-handed hitters this year (which he did not do last year). Will he be a Twin? There are better, less expensive options available currently. But if it gets close to the deadline and the Twins are still in the market for another left-handed option, they could do worse.

Edwin Diaz, RHP, New York Mets. Turned 25 in March; 0.0 bWAR, 3.50 FIP, 14.0 K/9; owed ~$200,000 over the rest of the 2019 season and has three years of arbitration left before free agency. Diaz was the best reliever in baseball in 2018 and the Mets paid for it. He hasn’t been good this year, yet the Mets are still asking for a ton, as they should. Will he be a Twin? The cost will be super high. The Twins appear most interested in Diaz of all the potential Mets trade chips, but that still doesn’t make this move more likely.

Kirby Yates, RHP, San Diego Padres. Turned 32 in March; 2.4 bWAR, 1.07 FIP, 14.7 K/9; owed ~$1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $7m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. The Padres turned a waiver-wire claim in Brad Hand into a Top 100 prospect in Francisco Mejia. They’re likely to try to do the same thing with Yates. Yates has been great, don’t get me wrong. But he’s a great example of how elite relievers don’t always take the path that begins with being a top prospect. Will he be a Twin? His price will be high, but if the Twins insist on moving big-time prospects for a controllable reliever, Yates is one of the better options.

Felipe Vasquez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates. Turned 28 in July; 2.0 bWAR, 1.96 FIP, 14.1 K/9; owed ~$1.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season, with two more guaranteed years ($13.5m) before two team options ($10m each). Vasquez would certainly change the complexion of the bullpen, wouldn’t he? Will he be a Twin? Like Diaz, the cost will be extreme, which makes the likelihood of a trade small.

Ian Kennedy, RHP, Kansas City Royals. Turns 35 in December; 0.9 bWAR, 2.16 FIP, 11.1 K/9; owed ~$5.5 million over the rest of the 2019 season and $16.5m in 2020. Kennedy’s career has been rejuvenated by a move to the bullpen. He’s walking less and striking out more hitters than ever before. Will he be a Twin? This is a move the team should make. With financial flexibility to take on salary, which would offset the need to part with top prospects, the Twins and Royals can match up nicely. That is, if the Royals are ok sending their closer to an in-division team.

Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays. Turns 29 in September; 1.8 bWAR, 1.60 FIP; 14.9 K/9; owed ~$2.1 million over the rest of the 2019 season and will command around $10m in his last arbitration year before heading to free agency. Giles should be high on the priority list for the Twins and others. You can definitely find reasons to not like Giles - he’s basically a two-years-younger-version of Cody Allen. But there’s a lot to like too. Will he be a Twin? The Twins will go as far down this path as they can. Will it end with Giles in Minnesota? We’ll find out soon.

We're getting down to it... who are the Twins going to add?

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30 Comments

Hey, just read the Cubs are looking for a second baseman. Would hate to part with Schoop, but we do have Arraez (and Gordon). Would the lineup survive with one less homer hitter in it? Would the Cubs want more power and infield play than the speed of, say, Villar? What could the Twins get in return (probably just more mid-level prospects). But flippable prospects? Would you trade Twins free agents if replaceable by internal assets or via trade (like move Odorizzi or Gibson if you have a starter coming abck in another trade). Teams are looking for pitching. Why not get something for your potential free agents, too! Heck, move Castro when he is hot with some value!

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Dan In Real Life
Jul 29 2019 09:23 AM
Great, comprehensive write up of the options. Can't agree on Kennedy, but I admit that has most to do with his history as a starter.
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ScooterDance
Jul 29 2019 09:32 AM
I’m starting to resign myself to the fact that we’re not going to land a big fish. I haven’t been Debbie downer to this point, but when I think about *all* the teams competing for a limited set of arms, I don’t have a ton of confidence we’ll splurge with best offer for any of them.

We’re so stacked on the offensive side of the MLB squad, and the mantra has been “trade position players for pitchers”. Will be obsessively refreshing MLBTR and TD like the rest of y’all, but starting to do that Minnesota thing where I lower my expectations to “nothing” to avoid the inevitable crushingly disappointing alternative.
    • jrod23 likes this

 

I’m starting to resign myself to the fact that we’re not going to land a big fish. I haven’t been Debbie downer to this point, but when I think about *all* the teams competing for a limited set of arms, I don’t have a ton of confidence we’ll splurge with best offer for any of them.

We’re so stacked on the offensive side of the MLB squad, and the mantra has been “trade position players for pitchers”. Will be obsessively refreshing MLBTR and TD like the rest of y’all, but starting to do that Minnesota thing where I lower my expectations to “nothing” to avoid the inevitable crushingly disappointing alternative.

Agreed, there are many teams with starting pitching needs that outweigh ours, Yankees, Astros, Brewers, Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, etc. Teams like the Padres and Angels are also looking to upgrade 2020. There should be stiff competition for the handful of available starters. I think it would have to be more than a rental for us to even try and it would take a lot to beat out these other teams.

 

I expect another reliever or two. We might go for a high level reliever but it would probably be more in the Romo, May caliber which I wouldn't consider a bad thing.

    • jrod23 likes this

I don't really understand the Mets picking up Stroman unless they think he is a nice add for the unlikely but still possible wildcard race in addition to being a nice piece to go with Thor for next year.If I were a Met's fan, that is the path I would want them to take.They were supposed to be fringe contenders this year.They just added afron line guy.Add a couple free agents and 2020 looks promising. As far as the Twins go... Pick up Kennedy.All it cost is money. Get Lynn if not too costly. It was actually a good signing last year that just didn't work out. I would have no problem with getting him back. Is he an ace?Who cares?Plenty of aces don't pitch like aces in the playoffs and plenty of guys considered #2 and 3 guys do pitch like aces. If we got Lynn and Kennedy I would call it a day and a good day at that.

    • Oldgoat_MN and jrod23 like this
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Utah Twins Fan
Jul 29 2019 10:34 AM
I know that trades don’t normally happen till very end of deadline but man the deadline is coming fast and I keep having this awful feeling Romo might be our only get
Hope I am wrong but we will see.
    • jrod23 and HawksNest like this
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SpicyGarvSauce
Jul 29 2019 10:35 AM

It is going to be really disappointing when Romo is the only guy the Twins trade for.

    • jrod23, HawksNest and Utah Twins Fan like this
I feel the same way. I fear Romo is all we’ll get.

The old FO seemed to like to after people with low-ball offers (mostly in free agency), then point to the reports of the discussion as “trying to get a deal done.” Hopefully all of these rumors aren’t as disingenuous as those.
    • HawksNest likes this
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SpicyGarvSauce
Jul 29 2019 11:22 AM

They will play the usual card - that they tried, made thousands of phone calls, but just could not come to any kind of agreement. How they didn't want to mortgage the future, believe in the guys in the clubhouse, they give great effort, yadda yadda.

 

Can't wait.

They'll end up with one of the less-inspiring guys from the starters listed. I'm guessing Minor or Leake.

 

They may also add another reliever in a similar mold, maybe Kennedy or something like that.

 

They'd better stay far away from Lance Lynn and not even entertain the idea.

 

The bats are going to have to carry this team all the way.

They'll end up with one of the less-inspiring guys from the starters listed. I'm guessing Minor or Leake.

They may also add another reliever in a similar mold, maybe Kennedy or something like that.

They'd better stay far away from Lance Lynn and not even entertain the idea.

The bats are going to have to carry this team all the way.

Minor is less inspiring? The guy’s having an all-star year and I could trust him to be our #2 starter in the playoffs. Leake would be a major disappointment.

 

Minor is less inspiring? The guy’s having an all-star year and I could trust him to be our #2 starter in the playoffs. Leake would be a major disappointment.

 

The season Minor is having reminds me way too much of Martin Perez. An average to below average lefty who's been bashed in prior years who is getting lucky with smoke and mirrors. I wish I felt like you do about Minor, but I feel like he's on a lucky streak and history points to that streak ending very soon.

    • USAFChief, gil4, Twins33 and 1 other like this

 

Minor is less inspiring? The guy’s having an all-star year and I could trust him to be our #2 starter in the playoffs. Leake would be a major disappointment.

Minor doesn't have any track record of this kind of success, he's way out-performing his FIP this year, and his July performance looks like he might be coming back to earth.

 

I'd take him over Leake for sure, though.

    • USAFChief and In My La-Z-boy like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 29 2019 12:30 PM

 

It is going to be really disappointing when Romo is the only guy the Twins trade for.

I have a very hard time seeing that happening, but it's possible. If they weren't interested in adding more, I'd think they would have not DFA'd so many guys in the recent weeks. It's important to keep some depth around in case of injuries.

 

 

The season Minor is having reminds me way too much of Martin Perez. An average to below average lefty who's been bashed in prior years who is getting lucky with smoke and mirrors. I wish I felt like you do about Minor, but I feel like he's on a lucky streak and history points to that streak ending very soon.

Minor has been a lot closer to the guy atop the Twins rotation than the guy at the bottom of it.

 

Mike Minor 2017-19

369 2/3 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9

 

Jose Berrios 2017-19

472 2/3 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.6 BB/9

 

Minor has also been hurt a ton over his career and has looked bad in his four starts this month. So it's not like he's a slam dunk, but when healthy he's been good.

    • Danchat, bluechipper, In My La-Z-boy and 1 other like this
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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2019 01:06 PM

 

Hey, just read the Cubs are looking for a second baseman. Would hate to part with Schoop, but we do have Arraez (and Gordon). Would the lineup survive with one less homer hitter in it? Would the Cubs want more power and infield play than the speed of, say, Villar? What could the Twins get in return (probably just more mid-level prospects). But flippable prospects? Would you trade Twins free agents if replaceable by internal assets or via trade (like move Odorizzi or Gibson if you have a starter coming abck in another trade). Teams are looking for pitching. Why not get something for your potential free agents, too! Heck, move Castro when he is hot with some value!

 

The most forward-thinking teams approach the deadline as buyers and sellers. If the Twins can make a move to improve their ball team both for now and the future by selling an expiring contract, they can't be closed-minded to it.

 

I don't think Odorizzi goes, because he'll likely bring back a draft pick by being QO'd (or he'll be back on a 1-year deal), neither which would be bad. I also don't think Castro gets moved because they would be super thin with only Garver.

 

But I wouldn't be shy in including Schoop or Gibson. Arraez/Marwin can take care of 2B and whoever comes back would slide into Gibson's spot in the rotation... but you'd still need to add to the bullpen.

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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2019 01:08 PM

Romo isn't going to be the only move. The last part of this series is my GM FOR A DAY article. Bring on the additions!

    • Tom Froemming and In My La-Z-boy like this

 

The most forward-thinking teams approach the deadline as buyers and sellers. If the Twins can make a move to improve their ball team both for now and the future by selling an expiring contract, they can't be closed-minded to it.

 

I don't think Odorizzi goes, because he'll likely bring back a draft pick by being QO'd (or he'll be back on a 1-year deal), neither which would be bad. I also don't think Castro gets moved because they would be super thin with only Garver.

 

But I wouldn't be shy in including Schoop or Gibson. Arraez/Marwin can take care of 2B and whoever comes back would slide into Gibson's spot in the rotation... but you'd still need to add to the bullpen.

 

You think every team passed on Keuchel, but will sign Odo if there is a QO? 

    • gil4 and Vanimal46 like this
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In My La-Z-boy
Jul 29 2019 01:31 PM

Write it down (I guess I am) Falvey will make a big move. 57 hours to prove me right or wrong. I just think he has to. Its his old Indians chasing us down. He can't let that happen - He certainly can't let that happen without giving it his best shot. Romo for a rule 5 eligible was smart - but not the homerun he needs to stave off the catcalls if the Indians catch and pass us. If we can't go big now, with the best offense in the history of offenses - then that's just dense. We've been waiting for this offense for a decade.

    • Reider and jrod23 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 29 2019 02:26 PM

 

You think every team passed on Keuchel, but will sign Odo if there is a QO? 

 

I think Odo signs his offer.... and if one was extended to Gibson or Pineda, they would too. The QO is a kiss of death to pitchers who can be described as decent but not great. 

    • Steve Lein likes this
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jorgenswest
Jul 29 2019 03:04 PM
One year deals for number 3 pitchers into their 30s seems a wise direction. I think the Twins should make a qualifying offers to the two they have the most confidence in maintaining their performance.
    • beckmt likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 29 2019 03:14 PM

One year deals for number 3 pitchers into their 30s seems a wise direction. I think the Twins should make a qualifying offers to the two they have the most confidence in maintaining their performance.


My bet on that would be Gibson and Pineda.

Of the three, Odorizzi has the highest number of pitches per PA and the lowest swinging strike percentage. In terms of results, they are pretty close to the same. The edge goes to the guys that take you deeper and lessen the burden on the pen. That’s not Odorizzi.
    • nicksaviking likes this
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nicksaviking
Jul 29 2019 03:22 PM

I'd guess if the Twins get a starter in free agency, Perez will move back to the pen. But I'd bet Odorizzi is the 2nd option to move. 

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FormerMinnasotan
Jul 29 2019 03:29 PM
We have enough higher end minor league talent that we could make a bigger splash than just a trade for Romo. I mean we could afford to move some of our top prospects. We don’t necessarily need both Trevor Larnach AND Alex Kirilloff since they play mostly the same position. Likewise we have the flexibility to trade either Kohl Stewart or Lewis Thorpe as both could potentially be in the mix for a MLB rotation in the near future and aren’t terrible starting pitching prospects. Lastly it might be wise to trade Brusdar Graterol before he has no value (like Fernando Romero or Stephen Gonsalves). With the emergence of Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran as potential top rotation staters I see Graterol’s star kind of dimming, but MLB Scouts are still high on him we have enough talent like him to trade him (assuming we get a good return for him).
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yarnivek1972
Jul 29 2019 03:43 PM

We have enough higher end minor league talent that we could make a bigger splash than just a trade for Romo. I mean we could afford to move some of our top prospects. We don’t necessarily need both Trevor Larnach AND Alex Kirilloff since they play mostly the same position. Likewise we have the flexibility to trade either Kohl Stewart or Lewis Thorpe as both could potentially be in the mix for a MLB rotation in the near future and aren’t terrible starting pitching prospects. Lastly it might be wise to trade Brusdar Graterol before he has no value (like Fernando Romero or Stephen Gonsalves). With the emergence of Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran as potential top rotation staters I see Graterol’s star kind of dimming, but MLB Scouts are still high on him we have enough talent like him to trade him (assuming we get a good return for him).


I know he’s not the only name you mentioned, but Kohl Stewart has next to zero trade value. I don’t think anyone views him as anything better than a long reliever.
    • gil4 and Danchat like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Jul 29 2019 03:54 PM

I know he’s not the only name you mentioned, but Kohl Stewart has next to zero trade value. I don’t think anyone views him as anything better than a long reliever.

That’s probably true, but he could be a “throw-in”, close to MLB rotational starter. While Thorpe might grade higher as his ceiling is a little higher and is also a close to MLB rotational starter.

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