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I never got my code for free Papa Johns pizza for writing an blog post about Joe Mauer. What's up Twins Daily?
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http://m.startribune...?section=sports   Bummer. He sounds pretty pissed about it. Best of luck to him in the future.
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Deadline Primer: Should Nick Gordon Be On The Table?

Earlier this week, we pondered whether the Minnesota Twins should operate as buyers or sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. You all weighed in with more than 100 comments, with good arguments on both sides.

In a recent interview with Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, general manager Thad Levine laid out his thoughts on the matter.
Levine explained that the team's surprisingly successful first half won't fundamentally alter the front office's view of where the Twins currently sit in the winning cycle.

"We're probably not going to be inclined to spend lavishly on short-term assets," he said, "but we would be very open to spending aggressively on assets that we could use to propel our team forward this year and for years to come."

This is something that, I think, we can all agree on in concept. The idea of giving up prospects of any significant value for two-month rentals, particularly in a case where your club clearly is not top-tier, doesn't make much sense.

But the Twins could obviously use some controllable assets, especially when it comes to starting pitching. Their needs in that department aren't likely to go away anytime soon.

Sure enough, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted on Tuesday that Minnesota is "checking in on controllable starters."


That's nice to hear, but of course, such prizes can be difficult to pry.

Quality pitching you can lock in is the game's most valued commodity, so the Twins aren't likely to acquire such a player in exchange for their more expendable pieces, like Eddie Rosario or Eduardo Escobar.

No, sparking the interest of clubs like the Athletics (Sonny Gray), the White Sox (Jose Quintana) and even the Marlins (Dan Straily) will require at least one top prospect, preferably one who is somewhat far along. Since trading young hurlers like Fernando Romero or Stephen Gonsalves would run contrary to what the Twins are trying to accomplish, there is one candidate whose name stands out.

Should the Twins be dangling Nick Gordon in these discussions?

The 21-year-old infielder was widely viewed as the organization's best prospect coming into the season, and has solidified his case with a breakthrough campaign at Class-AA Chattanooga. By adding significant power and staying put at shortstop, he has alleviated the doubts that suppressed his ranking on some preseason lists (including ours). Gordon is now a bona fide rising star, and he was the Twins' sole representative at the All Star Futures Game on Sunday.

Uber-talented young shortstops are hard to come by, and certainly hard to give up, but Minnesota is better positioned than most.

... Wait a minute, did I just type that sentence? An organization that has notoriously seen a revolving door at the shortstop position – 11 different Opening Day starters in the past 12 years, and rarely an above-average regular at any point during that span – can now afford to part with one of the best shortstop prospects in the game?

Well, they kinda could. The Twins have a 24-year-old everyday SS currently in place with Jorge Polanco. Though his play this year has raised plenty of skepticism, he is altogether still pretty inexperienced with room for growth, and they also have Escobar on hand as a viable alternative. Then there is defensive whiz Engelb Vielma knocking on the door at Triple-A. And further down, several teenagers could rise fast, including recent No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis and big-dollar international signings Wander Javier and Jelfry Marte.

As is the nature of such prospects, there is no assurance any of the above players (other than Viema) will stick at short. But no such assurance exists for Gordon, either. Questions about his aptitude on the left side of the diamond aren't going away just because he got rid of his pesky timeshare partner when Vielma moved up to Rochester.

It's possible his value will never be higher. Gordon is turning the corner before our eyes and, for now, still looks like a future MLB shortstop. There's a great deal of logic in floating him over the coming weeks in exploratory fashion.

It is also possible that Gordon is only beginning to realize his potential and is on his way to major-league stardom – perhaps in the not-too-distant future. To trade away such an asset in for a guy like Straily, who might be no more than a mid-rotation starter for a few years, would be rough in hindsight.

These are the stakes in deadline dealings. If you're in Levine's shoes, how are you viewing Gordon and his movability?

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262 Comments

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Cory Engelhardt
Jul 11 2017 08:20 PM
I don't know that I could stomach Gordon or Romero for Straily. I would almost be willing to listen on Gonsalves for him though. If they are shooting for a little higher than Straily, I believe anyone in the minors (or majors excluding Sano, Buxton, Kepler and Berrios) would be in play in my opinion.
Lewis will not be a SS. Lewis will not be a SS. Lewis will not be a SS.

As for Gordon, you need to get a legit starter controlled for at least three more years, or I am not interested. He will be at least a league average SS for s long time.
    • beckmt, Danchat, nater79a and 2 others like this
I have zero interest in trading Gordon.
I'd be open to trading any of the other SS you listed.
    • Danchat, nytwinsfan and CUtomorrownight like this
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drivlikejehu
Jul 11 2017 08:44 PM

I wouldn't rule it out per se, but I really don't see how dealing him could make sense for the Twins. For a top pitcher, he's not enough, and for an average pitcher he's too much.

    • ashburyjohn, Loosey, beckmt and 5 others like this

From the other side of it, if I were a GM who had a good, young pitcher with a few years of arbitration still ahead, I wouldn't even consider trading him just for a Nick Gordon-type prospect. You'd have to offer me Gordon, or someone better, plus at least one good pitching prospect, and preferably another, if my guy is really good. I doubt we'll be seeing any established, "controllable" unicorns moved for just a Top 40 prospect, or in any deals that don't make you sit up straight.

 

But maybe some kind of 3-way deal where Santana or Dozier gets moved and the third team supplies prospects to get a unicorn to the Twins? That could be interesting.

    • Steve Lein, pbrezeasap, Loosey and 4 others like this
I'm completely on board trading away Gordon. He's rising quickly up the prospect charts and there is depth behind him to fill the void. That's a very nice trade piece to dangle for a young, controllable SP.

It's hard to be an everyday player when you can't hit LH pitching. Last year he had a .530 OPS against them in Fort Myers. This year isn't much better with an OPS of .568 in Chattanooga.
    • Loosey and Mike Frasier Law like this
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notoriousgod71
Jul 11 2017 08:53 PM

Not for a rental player for this mediocre team, but if he were to net a good controllable player then yes.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan likes this
I sure wouldn't. I don't think Polanco or Vielma or anyone north of Rookie ball is anywhere near as good. This would only prolong the revolving door.
    • Danchat, CUtomorrownight and SF Twins Fan like this

If it were me, I'm keeping him. He's the best overall SS package they have in the entire organization at this point in my opinion.

 

If he gets you Stroman or Archer, then I can see it more. But he also wouldn't be the only top prospect in those deals.

 

This is not the deal I make this season. I use $$$ in the offseason for pitching, and not the young assets at AA currently on hand.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, pbrezeasap, Loosey and 6 others like this
Pretty much everyone should be on the table, in the right deal. Including Gordon.

If you aren't willing to spend actual prospects, you are going to have a hard time acquiring talent. And the Twins desperately need pitching talent.
    • ChiTownTwinsFan, glunn, Blake and 8 others like this

The Twins know, better than anyone else, what Gordon's weaknesses are and what the odds are that he will be a significant asset as a MLB SS. 

I don't think that anyone is off the table. They'd have to offer an arm and a leg for Sano or Berrios. Our OF is not deep at all, so any of them would be difficult to part with. MI is the only place (oddly enough) where we have depth currently and help on the way.

 

So yeah, we have to listen.

    • glunn, BigSkyTwinsFan, brvama and 4 others like this
I'd make Gordon available only for an ace. Would rather move Polanco or dozier though.. Surprised no mention of Palacios in this article I think he's the guy to watch at short.. If a first round pick or big bonus international signing was putting up his numbers at short they'd be a top 20 prospect in all of baseball.. I think it's worth trading a of and shortstop for pitching.. U have to deal from positions of excess to fill in the holes ..

If we're looking a good, controllable starting pitcher, I think the conversation starts with Gordon, and includes a few other well-regarded prospects. We have a deep farm system, but we're lacking in Top 100 talent right now. As our only consensus Top 100 guy, Gordon would probably be included in any sizable trade, just by default (I'm not considering Lewis as currently tradeable).

 

Would I trade Gordon personally? In the right deal, of course. But I think it's unlikely to happen this year. It's much easier to trade your top prospect when you already have a dominant team. We're not there yet, and it's tough to trade future value for future value.

    • Steve Lein and Cory Engelhardt like this
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Pardon My Dinger
Jul 11 2017 09:55 PM
Straily? Puhleaze, girlfriend.


...but, yeah, Gordon should be available.
    • SF Twins Fan likes this

I was just over reading the comments on MLBTR ... White Sox fans seem to think a "number 1" like Quintana should be able to net them Gordon, Kirilloff and Gonsalves.

 

Did I miss a punchline somewhere? When did Quintana become an ace? Would anyone consider such a package?

 

I'd probably throw kittens into traffic if the FO did something that stupid.

    • pbrezeasap, Danchat, mikelink45 and 5 others like this

 

I sure wouldn't. I don't think Polanco or Vielma or anyone north of Rookie ball is anywhere near as good. This would only prolong the revolving door.

This is exactly what I was going to post. I like me some Polanco, but if you trade Gordon, we're stuck with a rotating door with Polanco doesn't figure things out. I don't think Vielma is a starter at short, I don't think Lewis will end up at SS, and the best guys are years away. I would still make Gordon available and consider sending him in a trade for starters with multiple years of control, but I would hold onto him very tightly.

    • Monkeypaws likes this

I was just over reading the comments on MLBTR ... White Sox fans seem to think a "number 1" like Quintana should be able to net them Gordon, Kirilloff and Gonsalves.

Did I miss a punchline somewhere? When did Quintana become an ace? Would anyone consider such a package?

I'd probably throw kittens into traffic if the FO did something that stupid.


I actually think that might not be enough for Quintana.
He's not an ace, no, but a really good number 2, would be a staff ace on several teams.
He's controlled beyond this year, and starting pitching is expensive in July.
    • Cory Engelhardt likes this
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Pardon My Dinger
Jul 11 2017 10:13 PM

I was just over reading the comments on MLBTR ... White Sox fans seem to think a "number 1" like Quintana should be able to net them Gordon, Kirilloff and Gonsalves.

Did I miss a punchline somewhere? When did Quintana become an ace? Would anyone consider such a package?

I'd probably throw kittens into traffic if the FO did something that stupid.


A few short months ago, we TDers were hoping to get Alvarez and Bellinger for Dozier and Duensing. Happens to the best of us.

You'll stay away from those kittens if you know what's good for ya.
    • 70charger, Joe A. Preusser, Vanimal46 and 4 others like this

 

I actually think that might not be enough for Quintana.
He's not an ace, no, but a really good number 2, would be a staff ace on several teams.
He's controlled beyond this year, and starting pitching is expensive in July.

 

I'd laugh and hang up the phone if they asked for that package, much less more on top of it.

 

Hopefully the Yankees step up and eliminate the temptation.

    • Tibs likes this

I think insinuating that we have middle infield depth is getting way ahead of ourselves. Polanco currently is about average defensively but has been awful with the bat so far this year. I expect him to hit better than this, but as of now he isn't. Brian Dozier is 30 and a free agent after next year. Vielma is a tremendous fielder but is hardly a threat with the bat. Anyone besides Gordon is at high A or rookie leagues currently. Do we even have a 2B prospect(not SS who could potentially move)?

 

It has to be a legit #2 or better for me to consider trading Nick Gordon. At that point we might be giving up so much in that trade that it will hurt the organization. SS at the major league level is definitely not in a good spot currently.

    • mikelink45 likes this

I'd laugh and hang up the phone if they asked for that package, much less more on top of it.

Hopefully the Yankees step up and eliminate the temptation.


Sure. We can just go with plan b of waiting until we develop an ace and hoping that we happen to also have a Sano and Buxton and Kepler hitting their primes along with enough other arms and pen pieces to be in contention at whatever future date that ace appears...

Or plan c, we trade away talent for future talent who will be able to contribute about the time we're forced to Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, or Torii Hunter our core (over pay, trade, or let walk) which is fine because there's always 2032.

This window is finite. I'm not willing to waste 2 years of Sano and Buxton. Otherwise trade them both and commit to a true rebuild centered around elite pitching prospects.
    • Nick Nelson, Mike Sixel, beckmt and 3 others like this

It's true that the window is starting to crack open a touch. The issue is that the only way they are going to get the pitching needed to truly compete is going to be through trades. They are going to have to trade prospects that we have followed and really like. A thing that we have to also come to grips with is the system isn't that good at the top. Gonsalves MIGHT be a pretty solid MLB pitcher. Romero MIGHT be a pretty solid MLB pitcher. After that, it's pretty much back end types... maybe. For the most part here we tend to way overvalue prospects and especially "our" prospects. To get something cost something.

 

 

If they just didn't miss so hard in a couple of the drafts...

    • Mike Sixel, brvama, LA VIkes Fan and 1 other like this

I find it frustrating when people don't want to trade any halfway decent prospect for good starting pitching. Or sign good starting pitching in FA.

At some point you need to get starting pitching and it won't be cheap in prospects and/or salary. If you don't want to do either then you might as well tear down the team and completely rebuild (including Sano) because the Twins don't have the pitching prospects coming up in the next 2-3 seasons to be a playoff team. Losing Gordon would hurt but they can survive without a SS (Escobar/Dozier/Polanco with some prospects lower in the system).

    • LA VIkes Fan and Vanimal46 like this
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HitInAPinch
Jul 12 2017 01:58 AM

Tough call.  One one hand, I'd like to see more MLB development of what the Twins have on the field.  Some pretty darn good things happening.  

 

On the other, I'd like to see the Twins on top of trade or two.  I agree with management:  no reason to chase short-term fixes.  I could definitely get behind an offer of Dozier and Gordon for some quality starter, reliever and a prospect or two.

Might take a 3rd team...  

 

I'd at least wait until mid-August to see what's happening here and the desperation level of teams headed towards the playoffs.  

 

 

    • MN_ExPat likes this

 

I find it frustrating when people don't want to trade any halfway decent prospect for good starting pitching. Or sign good starting pitching in FA.

At some point you need to get starting pitching and it won't be cheap in prospects and/or salary. If you don't want to do either then you might as well tear down the team and completely rebuild (including Sano) because the Twins don't have the pitching prospects coming up in the next 2-3 seasons to be a playoff team. Losing Gordon would hurt but they can survive without a SS (Escobar/Dozier/Polanco with some prospects lower in the system).

 

Trading for very good pitching is very expensive.  Look at the trades for Sale, Miller and Chapman. Those trades remade the Yankees farm system.  If you look at the Sale trade, which involved MLB top ranked prospect and a 30, the Twins currently have no one in there farm system to make such a deal.  If you look back historically, it would have been the equivalent of the Twins trading Sano (or Buxton) plus Berrios and couple of lower level prospects.  If the Twins were 1 starting pitcher away from a legitimate shot at a WS run, I could see a trade for Archer, Gray, or Quintana.  The problem is the Twins need at least 1 starting pitcher (maybe 2) and 2 relief pitchers.  Obviously the injuries to May and Perkins have an impact.  

 

I don't believe the Twins are capable of beating Houston, or Washington or the Dodgers.  So I would not trade away top prospects at the trade deadline, especially when prices for quality arms are expensive.

    • Steve Lein, brvama, PDX Twin and 4 others like this

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