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Two Of Us

The bullpen has been an issue for the Twins during the first half of the 2017 season. While expectations were not high going into the season coming off of a 103-loss season, the Twins are above .500 as the All-Star Game approaches.

Following the All-Star break, Twins Daily will be a great place for Twins fans to keep up with the rumors. Who are some of the players that the Twins could acquire from other organizations if they are buyers? How about if they become sellers? Which prospects might the Twins be willing to trade?
Image courtesy of Jake Roth, USA Today
Two relievers are believed to be on the market already, playing on teams that are clearly playing for the future. They are relief pitchers who could make the Twins bullpen stronger during the second half.

In addition to their tremendous on-field statistics, these two players are #OneOfUs. Brooklyn Park grad Pat Neshek and Chaska High School alum Brad Hand are having great seasons. On Sunday, both were named to the National League All-Star squads, and not just because their teams had to have one representative. Today we consider why these are guys who could help the Twins, and what it might cost to get them.

DISCLAIMER: I know there is a sentiment among many Twins Daily readers that ‘bringing back the band’ or acquiring guys who are “one of us” is a bad thing. However, I tend to believe that if the player remains good and can help a team win, then it just doesn’t matter. If Pat Neshek and/or Brad Hand can help the Twins win games in 2017, I don’t care if they’re from Minnesota or Texas. Australia or Venezuela. They happen to be from Minnesota.

In the Twins history, we’ve seen both sides of this. Terry Steinbach and Dave Winfield being brought back worked out. Bringing back Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett didn’t pan out. We’ve seen how Twins fans can turn on players when they don’t become what we thought they might, or they didn’t measure up in some way. We’ve seen one of the top five hitters in the organization’s history and a Minnesotan bashed to a crazy, unfair degree, in part because he’s from Minnesota. Imagine the scrutiny Kent Hrbek might have endured had he played during the age of Twitter.


PAT NESHEK

Let’s start with Pat Neshek since he’s got a bit of a double whammy. Not only is he from Minnesota, he was drafted by the Twins in 1999 and 2002, and played in the big leagues for the Twins between 2006 and 2010. He came up and used his funky delivery to dominate hitters immediately. He had Tommy John and missed most of 2008, all of 2009, and most of 2010.

The Twins let him go in the spring of 2011 and he bounced around a bit. He took off again in 2014 with the Cardinals. In fact, that’s the year that he made his first All-Star appearance, ironically in Target Field. He signed a two-year deal with the Astros, with an option for 2017. After he was traded to the Phillies, they picked up his option for this year at $6.5 million. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Neshek will turn 37 in September. This year, he has worked 32.1 innings for the Phillies. He’s struck out 8.2 per nine, a K-rate of 26.1%. He’s walked just 2.1 per nine. He’s given up just two home runs this season.

He has a 1.39 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. If you enjoy FIP and xFIP, his numbers are 2.41 and 3.59. He has a WAR of 1.1 already this season.

From sidearm, Neshek has thrown 49.7% fastballs with an average velocity of 90.1. He has also thrown 47% sliders at 83.1 mph. He throws a changeup too, but just 3% of the time. 73% of his 491 pitches have been strikes.

The Phillies are 28-55, so there is little reason for them to hold on to a veteran with an expiring contract in the second half.


BRAD HAND

Likewise, the Padres are just 36-48 at the halfway point of the season. They have three Rule 5 players on their roster and a plan to continue adding more young talent.

Brad Hand was the second-round pick of the Marlins way back in 2008 out of high school. He signed and by June of 2011, he was a 21-year-old in the big leagues. He struggled with the Marlins, particularly as a starter. Last spring, the Marlins DFAd him and he ended up with the Padres. He’s become one of the better, and most used, relievers in baseball.

Last year, he posted a 2.92 ERA over a league-leading 82 games. This year, he’s already pitched in 40 games and has a 2.42 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He has struck out 11.2 per nine innings while walking just 2.4 per nine. He’s given up less than a home run per nine innings.

His FIP is 2.88, with an xFIP of 2.96. He’s pitched to a WAR of 1.0.

Hand throws 49% fastballs at an average of 93.3 mph. He also throws his slider about 45% of the time, at 82 mph. His third pitch is more of a slow curve ball, which he throws just six percent of the time.

Hand turned 27 in spring training. 2017 was his first year of arbitration and he’s making just shy of $1.4 million. In 2018, he will again be arbitration-eligible for the second time.He’ll have his third and final arbitration in 2019 before having the potential to become a free agent after the 2019 World Series.


WHAT IT MIGHT TAKE

There are reportedly several teams evaluating and considering acquiring Neshek including the Nationals. The belief is that it won’t take a ton to get Neshek, a “low level prospect.” Because there are other teams interested, the price could get raised a bit. I would guess it would take a top 20 prospect.

To acquire Hand, it is likely to cost the Twins (or another team) much more. He’s nearly ten years younger and has two-and-a-half years under a team’s control. There is value in that. There is no other reason for the Padres to trade him, other that they can ask for the world for him and sell very high. He would likely require a top 10 prospect and a second or even a third piece.

Do the Twins have the pieces to make these moves? No question. Do they want to outbid other teams and match the requirements of the teams? That we don’t know.

Would the Twins have any desire to acquire One of Us, maybe even Two of Us?


What would you do? How much (and name names) would you be willing to give up for these two guys?

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76 Comments

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HitInAPinch
Jul 06 2017 02:01 AM

I highly endorse the acquisition of both of these 2 very, very fine assets.  Mixing both in with Rogers, Duffey and Kintzler would make quite a group!

 

First, I'll temper my recommendations on this:  I don't really, really know the Twins prospects all that well.  Just what I read here, mostly.

 

If I'm getting both, I'd wouldn't hesitate to dip into MiLB prospect pool.  

 

Neshek:   Vielma?  Hildenberger?

 

Hand:  wouldn't be surprised if Gordon's name comes up.  If I could get the Padres off that, I'd try Gonsalve + Granite and see what happens.

 

 

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The Wise One
Jul 06 2017 03:23 AM

What makes a failure in Miami a success in San Diego? Answer that question before you trade. 

Tyler Wells, Sam Clay, Colton Davis. Two similar type prospects that could look good but lower on the prospect ratings. . Because Neshek is pitching well, a contending team might offer more than you would expect. I doubt that either are going to net a top prospect but should net a lower minor player or two with upside

    • Thrylos and jud6312 like this
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terrydactyls1947
Jul 06 2017 04:50 AM

I would "acquire" Curtiss and Reed from our own minor league system before spending assets; one of which is only a rental.

    • Seth Stohs, pbrezeasap, jimbo92107 and 17 others like this

I am trying to develop a clever response, but all I can come up with is No and No.  Neshek is getting old, will be a free agent, and might reach the tipping point really quickly meaning we rented a player for little value.  Hand looks good, is in his prime, is much more interesting, but if Twins Daily and Seth Stoths reports are to be believed, the answer might be in the minors already.  Save the prospects for something of real value, we do not need the world's greatest reliever, we just need to improve over what we have.  

    • Oldgoat_MN, sploorp, spinowner and 2 others like this

I'm okay with trading for a Neshek type if the price is pretty low. A fringe prospect in A ball who profiles as a reliever or a backup position player is fine. Anything more, not interested.

 

I agree that the Twins should just promote from within. There are enough guys who look ready in the next two weeks and then in six weeks that we can ride it out. Time for Belisle to go and maybe Breslow in six weeks or so.

    • SF Twins Fan and Tomj14 like this

I think a case can be made to attempt to acquire Hand but I don't see the same with Neshek.  If the Twins see Hand as a piece for the next few years, then it would make sense to attempt to acquire him.  However, to suggest that the Twins start with Gonsalves is absolutely crazy!  You can trade prospects but but why would you trade a valuable, young starter for a reliever? Makes no sense at all!

    • Siehbiscuit, jun, twinssouth and 6 others like this
The Twins should trade Billy Bullock for Neshek, and not Wilson Ramos for Hand, whoever that is.

I wonder if The Hand uses Game of Thrones for walkup music? If so, I would be inclined to throw in Hu.
    • matthew0211, TJW and Dave The Dastardly like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Jul 06 2017 07:17 AM
Yes on Hand so long as it's a prospect outside the top 10. Otherwise I'd rather see what Hildenberger, Busenitz, Curtiss, Reed, and Melotakis can do. No on Neshek, unless it's a prospect outside the top 30, like Amaurys Minier.
    • jun, CUtomorrownight and SF Twins Fan like this

Would Eddie Rosario get Hand? We can promote Granite.

    • twinssouth likes this

 

Would Eddie Rosario get Hand? We can promote Granite.

I would assume so, but why way over pay so you upgrade your bullpen and make your offense weaker?  How about Granite for Hand?

 

I don't see anybody in out top 10 that I would trade for Hand.

    • Carole Keller, jun and HitInAPinch like this
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Tommygun921
Jul 06 2017 08:06 AM
Promote from within. Unless you can trade someone the Org has no future confidence in for Neshek. Also any chance the Twins could trade Belisle or Brenslow to a contending team for....well anything? Would be better than just DFAing them.
    • LA VIkes Fan, jun and HitInAPinch like this

 

I would assume so, but why way over pay so you upgrade your bullpen and make your offense weaker?  How about Granite for Hand?

 

I don't see anybody in out top 10 that I would trade for Hand.

You are saying this with the opinion that Granite for Rosario would make our offense weaker.  Earlier it was suggested that it might take Gonsalves  plus Gordon.  To me that would be over paying so it really depends on perceived value.  Granite appears to be deserving of promotion and Hand appears to be a real asset.  Eddie had a .9 WAR last year to Hand's 1.6.  .8 to 1.0 this year. Hand appears to be the real deal so i don't think it will be for low level prospects.

 

I am trying to develop a clever response, but all I can come up with is No and No.  Neshek is getting old, will be a free agent, and might reach the tipping point really quickly meaning we rented a player for little value.  Hand looks good, is in his prime, is much more interesting, but if Twins Daily and Seth Stoths reports are to be believed, the answer might be in the minors already.  Save the prospects for something of real value, we do not need the world's greatest reliever, we just need to improve over what we have.  

I would say the world's greatest reliever for the next several years for prospects, depending on who they are would absolutely fit the criteria of prospects for something of real value. Our biggest weaknesses are depth of the bullpen and starting pitching. Starting pitching appears to be shaping up and yes, there do appear to be some prospects ready to step up in relief but I think Hand has real value.  If he was our asset with those stats we would not be saying, hey lets trade him for someone's top 30 prospect.

    • mikelink45 likes this

The question that the Twins should be asking is whether Neshek and/or Hand will make them beat the Astros in the post-season when their top 4 SPs will be Santana, Berrios, Mejia and Gibson, and the collective team OPS+ is 96 (and 90 the last month.)

 

If not, they should either do (a lot) more, or be sellers and promote within hoping that the young arms will make a positive difference.In the list of the names mentioned among Twins' minor leaguers, I would add Luke Bard who is finally pitching up to his ability (61 K in 38 IP)

 

All or none.Not half rear-end again.And Neshek and/or Hand alone would be just that.

    • jimbo92107, GoGonzoJournal and dbminn like this

Hand is going to be a hot target for multiple teams this July. I don't know if the Twins should be buying when he's at the peak of his value. 

 

It's pretty cool that a Chaska guy has gone from DFA'd to All-Star in 1.5 years. I was able to bat against him in HS... Went 0-2 with 2 swinging strikeouts, and 1 foul ball!

    • Carole Keller, pbrezeasap, Oldgoat_MN and 6 others like this

 

 

The bullpen has been an issue for the Twins during the first half of the 2017 season. While expectations were not high going into the season coming off of a 103-loss season, the Twins are above .500 as the All-Star Game approaches.

Following the All-Star break, Twins Daily will be a great place for Twins fans to keep up with the rumors. Who are some of the players that the Twins could acquire from other organizations if they are buyers? How about if they become sellers? Which prospects might the Twins be willing to trade?Two relievers are believed to be on the market already, playing on teams that are clearly playing for the future. They are relief pitchers who could make the Twins bullpen stronger during the second half.

In addition to their tremendous on-field statistics, these two players are #OneOfUs. Brooklyn Park grad Pat Neshek and Chaska High School alum Brad Hand are having great seasons. On Sunday, both were named to the National League All-Star squads, and not just because their teams had to have one representative. Today we consider why these are guys who could help the Twins, and what it might cost to get them.

DISCLAIMER: I know there is a sentiment among many Twins Daily readers that ‘bringing back the band’ or acquiring guys who are “one of us” is a bad thing. However, I tend to believe that if the player remains good and can help a team win, then it just doesn’t matter. If Pat Neshek and/or Brad Hand can help the Twins win games in 2017, I don’t care if they’re from Minnesota or Texas. Australia or Venezuela. They happen to be from Minnesota.

In the Twins history, we’ve seen both sides of this. Terry Steinbach and Dave Winfield being brought back worked out. Bringing back Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett didn’t pan out. We’ve seen how Twins fans can turn on players when they don’t become what we thought they might, or they didn’t measure up in some way. We’ve seen one of the top five hitters in the organization’s history and a Minnesotan bashed to a crazy, unfair degree, in part because he’s from Minnesota. Imagine the scrutiny Kent Hrbek might have endured had he played during the age of Twitter.


PAT NESHEK

Let’s start with Pat Neshek since he’s got a bit of a double whammy. Not only is he from Minnesota, he was drafted by the Twins in 1999 and 2002, and played in the big leagues for the Twins between 2006 and 2010. He came up and used his funky delivery to dominate hitters immediately. He had Tommy John and missed most of 2008, all of 2009, and most of 2010.

The Twins let him go in the spring of 2011 and he bounced around a bit. He took off again in 2014 with the Cardinals. In fact, that’s the year that he made his first All-Star appearance, ironically in Target Field. He signed a two-year deal with the Astros, with an option for 2017. After he was traded to the Phillies, they picked up his option for this year at $6.5 million. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Neshek will turn 37 in September. This year, he has worked 32.1 innings for the Phillies. He’s struck out 8.2 per nine, a K-rate of 26.1%. He’s walked just 2.1 per nine. He’s given up just two home runs this season.

He has a 1.39 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. If you enjoy FIP and xFIP, his numbers are 2.41 and 3.59. He has a WAR of 1.1 already this season.

From sidearm, Neshek has thrown 49.7% fastballs with an average velocity of 90.1. He has also thrown 47% sliders at 83.1 mph. He throws a changeup too, but just 3% of the time. 73% of his 491 pitches have been strikes.

The Phillies are 28-55, so there is little reason for them to hold on to a veteran with an expiring contract in the second half.


BRAD HAND

Likewise, the Padres are just 36-48 at the halfway point of the season. They have three Rule 5 players on their roster and a plan to continue adding more young talent.

Brad Hand was the second-round pick of the Marlins way back in 2008 out of high school. He signed and by June of 2011, he was a 21-year-old in the big leagues. He struggled with the Marlins, particularly as a starter. Last spring, the Marlins DFAd him and he ended up with the Padres. He’s become one of the better, and most used, relievers in baseball.

Last year, he posted a 2.92 ERA over a league-leading 82 games. This year, he’s already pitched in 40 games and has a 2.42 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He has struck out 11.2 per nine innings while walking just 2.4 per nine. He’s given up less than a home run per nine innings.

His FIP is 2.88, with an xFIP of 2.96. He’s pitched to a WAR of 1.0.

Hand throws 49% fastballs at an average of 93.3 mph. He also throws his slider about 45% of the time, at 82 mph. His third pitch is more of a slow curve ball, which he throws just six percent of the time.

Hand turned 27 in spring training. 2017 was his first year of arbitration and he’s making just shy of $1.4 million. In 2018, he will again be arbitration-eligible for the second time.He’ll have his third and final arbitration in 2019 before having the potential to become a free agent after the 2019 World Series.


WHAT IT MIGHT TAKE

There are reportedly several teams evaluating and considering acquiring Neshek including the Nationals. The belief is that it won’t take a ton to get Neshek, a “low level prospect.” Because there are other teams interested, the price could get raised a bit. I would guess it would take a top 20 prospect.

To acquire Hand, it is likely to cost the Twins (or another team) much more. He’s nearly ten years younger and has two-and-a-half years under a team’s control. There is value in that. There is no other reason for the Padres to trade him, other that they can ask for the world for him and sell very high. He would likely require a top 10 prospect and a second or even a third piece.

Do the Twins have the pieces to make these moves? No question. Do they want to outbid other teams and match the requirements of the teams? That we don’t know.

Would the Twins have any desire to acquire One of Us, maybe even Two of Us?


What would you do? How much (and name names) would you be willing to give up for these two guys?

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Great article Seth...I think the questions raised within will give great insight as to the new FO'S take on this season and the future of the roster and minor league system.Personally I don't see them going the rental route.I think they want players that they would have at least a couple of years of team control over. 

    • LA VIkes Fan and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

Neshek is less likely I think, because of his age and that a lot of teams will want him. From the Twins side, you might approach top 15 prospect territory, such as LaMonte Wade or Jake Reed - I'm guessing someone else will give up more.

 

I would be willing to give up a decent amount for Hand, but I would not under any circumstance give them Gordon, Gonsalves, or Romero. Thus, I don't think the Twins can win the bidding there either.

 

If they do get one of those guys, I don't think most fans are going to like the cost. it will be (much) worse than the Hu for Jepsen trade (and I didn't like that one at all).

 

 

    • Carole Keller, pbrezeasap, Siehbiscuit and 3 others like this
It's weird...many of the same posters who daily lament the state of the bullpen are the same ones who argue against the Twins taking actual steps to improve it.

"Don't trade...wait for magical internal improvement" isn't a very good plan.
    • Siehbiscuit, HitInAPinch and Broker like this

 

It's weird...many of the same posters who daily lament the state of the bullpen are the same ones who argue against the Twins taking actual steps to improve it.

"Don't trade...wait for magical internal improvement" isn't a very good plan.

 

That's because the cost is going to be the internal players that will (hopefully) bring you over the hump in the next few years when you're expected to be better, than going for it now when nearly everyone agrees there's holes preventing it.

 

I would not mortgage the future for this season if I was running the team. I'd try to improve where it makes sense, but I'm not sure the cost for these guys is right for them at this point.

    • 70charger, Dozier's Glorious Hair and MN_ExPat like this
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twinsfanstreif
Jul 06 2017 09:24 AM
Would anyone do Kohl Stewart and maybe a lower level prospect for Hand? Seems like it could be a good swap to me
    • Oldgoat_MN and GoGonzoJournal like this

 

Would anyone do Kohl Stewart and maybe a lower level prospect for Hand? Seems like it could be a good swap to me

 

In a heart beat. The Padres would not do that though. 

    • Dantes929, HitInAPinch and spinowner like this
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Siehbiscuit
Jul 06 2017 09:35 AM
I respect everyone that says promote from within, yet I struggle with us having a "we gotta fix the bullpen, but don't give anything up to do it" mentality. We all love prospects, but forget that so many of them do not pan out. Michael Tonkin has very good minor league track record and has been dominant in the minors (12.7 K/9 currently). It frequently doesn't translate to MLB success. Other franchises values its players too and often we get too attached to our own.

Hand is an established Major League reliever and hopefully we can get a guy like Curtiss, Chargois, Reed and Burdi to someday realize their potential and put it all together, but how long have we already been waiting on many of these guys? I thought Tyler Jay would be a quick to the Majors guy? What happened? Don't sell the farm for a rental like Neshek, but IMO, a guy in the mid 20's is reasonable (Niko Goodrum territory) is worth helping the bullpen this year. A guy like Hand is worth giving up a 10-15 prospect or two, IMO (some combination of a LaMonte Wade and/or Daniel Palka).

To get good players, you have to roll the dice on your prospects sometimes. Most of the time, the prospects never amount to much.

Play to win, both now and long-term.
    • USAFChief, Dantes929, LA VIkes Fan and 2 others like this

 

It's weird...many of the same posters who daily lament the state of the bullpen are the same ones who argue against the Twins taking actual steps to improve it.

"Don't trade...wait for magical internal improvement" isn't a very good plan.

 

I am all for improving, but you got to get a rotation arm at the Berrios level, a couple of arms better than Kintzler in the pen and at least one, maybe 2 bats in order to have a chance against the Astros in the post season. If they are willing to do all of that, have at it.I am just done with half rear end "improvement" jobs and living on a prayer for the rest

 

You are saying this with the opinion that Granite for Rosario would make our offense weaker.  Earlier it was suggested that it might take Gonsalves  plus Gordon.  To me that would be over paying so it really depends on perceived value.  Granite appears to be deserving of promotion and Hand appears to be a real asset.  Eddie had a .9 WAR last year to Hand's 1.6.  .8 to 1.0 this year. Hand appears to be the real deal so i don't think it will be for low level prospects.

I wouldn't trade anybody in our top 10 prospects Lewis, Gordon, Gonsalves, Kirilloff, Romero, Jay, Jorge, Diaz) for Hand or a every day major leader for a relief pitcher. I agree Granite is deserving of a promotion. But in no way do I believe a minor leaguer with ZERO major league at bats wouldn't be a downgrade to a guy with over a 1000 at bats with a .750 OPS in the short run. 

I would be willing to trade one or two for the next group of players for Hand.

    • LA VIkes Fan and sploorp like this

It's weird...many of the same posters who daily lament the state of the bullpen are the same ones who argue against the Twins taking actual steps to improve it.

"Don't trade...wait for magical internal improvement" isn't a very good plan.


I'm not opposed to a trade but I wish we had been looking more aggressively internally. Hildenberger should have a month-plus of MLB experience by now, including some leverage appearances. Reed and Bard could be getting looks by now as well. (Why is Bard still in AA?) No offense to Jorge, but Romero could have a spot start already in preparation for a possible pen assignment later.

We had 4 months before the trade deadline to find internal solutions and I don't think we've done a good job of that. Breslow, Wimmers, Belisle, Haley, etc. Hard to get excited about a potential deadline deal in light of that approach.
    • rghrbek and SF Twins Fan like this

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